Science News Archive - February 19, 2009


Researchers found that tropical forests are absorbing nearly a fifth of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels, taking 4.8 billion tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere each year.

Some medical researchers say they're let down U.S.

A Swiss doctoral student has made a discovery that medical scientists say could revolutionize magnetic resonance imaging technology. David Brunner of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Zurich said he has succeeded in exciting nuclear magnetic resonance imaging in the human body by propagating electromagnetic waves. Brunner said he developed his theory of using propagating waves for MRI after a colleague took images of a hand and captured so-called fold-over artifacts that seemed to originate from outside the detector's field.


Skyrocketing coastal erosion occurred in Alaska between 2002 and 2007 along a 64 kilometer (40 mile) stretch of the Beaufort Sea, a new study finds.

In their ongoing study of the processes involved in embryonic development in fruit flies, researchers at WPI's Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park have identified the function of a protein that sticks out of the embryonic cell membrane like an antenna and processes signals needed for the flies' wings to develop properly.

As shapes, both possess certain symmetries that are easily recognizable in the natural world. Now, at an extremely small level, researchers from Duke University and the University of Massachusetts have created a unique set of conditions in which tiny particles within a solution will consistently assemble themselves into these and other complex shapes.


Researchers will travel to 80 developing countries in February to find and review some of the world's filthiest industrial waste locations.


A new imaging technique developed by researchers at the University of Illinois overcomes the limit of diffraction and can reveal the atomic structure of a single nanocrystal with a resolution of less than one angstrom (less than one hundred-millionth of a centimeter).

Word of the Day
  • The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
  • A winged horse with a single horn on its head; a winged unicorn.
The word 'alicorn' comes from Italian alicorno, already associated with unicorns and reinterpreted, popularized by Bearing an Hourglass (1984) and other fantasy novels by Piers Anthony.