My picks from ScienceDaily

Insect's Sensory Data Tells A New Story About Neural Networks:

A group of researchers has developed a novel way to view the world through the eyes of a common fly and partially decode the insect's reactions to changes in the world around it. The research fundamentally alters earlier beliefs about how neural networks function and could provide the basis for intelligent computers that mimic biological processes.

One In Four Teenage Girls In U.S. Has Sexually Transmitted Disease, CDC Study Shows:

A new CDC study estimates that one in four (26 percent) young women between the ages of 14 and 19 in the United States - or 3.2 million teenage girls - is infected with at least one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis). The study, presented today at the 2008 National STD Prevention Conference, is the first to examine the combined national prevalence of common STDs among adolescent women in the United States, and provides the clearest picture to date of the overall STD burden in adolescent women.

Climate Change Predicted To Have Major Impact On Transportation Infrastructure And Operations:

While every mode of transportation in the U.S. will be affected as the climate changes, potentially the greatest impact on transportation systems will be flooding of roads, railways, transit systems, and airport runways in coastal areas because of rising sea levels and surges brought on by more intense storms, says a new report from the National Research Council. Though the impacts of climate change will vary by region, it is certain they will be widespread and costly in human and economic terms, and will require significant changes in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems.

Startling Discovery About Photosynthesis: Many Marine Microorganism Skip Carbon Dioxide And Oxygen Step:

A startling discovery by scientists at the Carnegie Institution puts a new twist on photosynthesis, arguably the most important biological process on Earth. Photosynthesis by plants, algae, and some bacteria supports nearly all living things by producing food from sunlight, and in the process these organisms release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. But two studies by Arthur Grossman and colleagues*+ reported in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta and Limnology and Oceanography suggest that certain marine microorganisms have evolved a way to break the rules--they get a significant proportion of their energy without a net release of oxygen or uptake of carbon dioxide. This discovery impacts not only scientists' basic understanding of photosynthesis, but importantly, it may also impact how microorganisms in the oceans affect rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Evidence Of Ice Age Hunters: 28 Palaeolithic Handaxes Found In North Sea:

An amazing haul of 28 flint hand-axes, dated by archaeologists to be around 100,000 years-old, have been unearthed in gravel from a licensed marine aggregate dredging area 13km off Great Yarmouth.

Sperm-Check Home Test Receives FDA Approval:

Technology developed at the University of Virginia could soon have a dramatic impact on male contraception practices throughout the U.S. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved SpermCheck Vasectomy, a home test that confirms men's post-vasectomy sterility and is based on discoveries made at U.Va.

Which Came First, Social Dominance Or Big Brains? Wasps May Tell:

There's new evidence supporting the idea that bigger brains are better. A study of a tropical wasp suggests that the brainpower required to be dominant drives brain capacity.

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A Canadian spruce and a Caribbean pine couldn't live in more different environments. One sits amid freezing tundra and the other basks in tropical heat. But despite their wildly different habitats, both trees have something in common - the temperature inside their leaves. Over the course of a year…
Climate change is a major crisis, don't get me wrong, and it's something that needs to be discussed extensively in both scientific and policy circles. We're pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at rather too high a rate, and getting something done about that is a key priority. It's possible,…
I've got a press release from the University of Southern California that seems important, but I don't have time today to read the study. So, you can look at the press release and tell me what you think of it. Climate Change Will Irreversibly Force Key Ocean Bacteria into Overdrive Scientists…

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