Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 15, 2014
Stanford scientist to unveil 50-state plan to transform US to renewable energy
Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson will present a new roadmap to renewable energy for all 50 US states at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on Feb.

First 2014 Golden Goose Award to physicist Larry Smarr
Larry Smarr, a physicist whose work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on calculating black hole collisions led him to champion a federal commitment to dramatically enhance US computing power -- which in turn led to the development of NCSA Mosaic, the precursor to web browsers -- was named today as the first 2014 recipient of the Golden Goose Award.

Cultural foundations of human social behavior
Joan Chiao conducts extensive research on how cultural and biological forces give rise to everyday emotion and social interaction.

Top-down and bottom-up approach needed to conserve potato agrobiodiversity
Mashed, smashed and fried, Americans love potatoes, but only a few varieties are grown in much of North American agriculture.

Research on urban ghettos must recognize differences among cities
Research on urban neighborhoods must take into account differences among cities and rely on some techniques that have not been used extensively by sociologists studying neighborhood effects, according to Mario Small, professor of sociology at the University of Chicago.

The new Africa -- green shoots in biosciences
This key session will bring African experts in person to Chicago to report on how agricultural biotechnology is starting to have a real impact on the crucial smallholder farming sector in particular.

Beat-keeping sea lion shows surprising rhythmic ability
Ronan, a California sea lion at Long Marine Laboratory at University of California Santa Cruz, is the first non-human mammal convincingly shown to be able to keep the beat.

Repeal of Missouri's background check law associated with increase in state's murders
Missouri's 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase (PTP) handgun law, which required all handgun purchasers to obtain a license verifying that they have passed a background check, contributed to a sixteen percent increase in Missouri's murder rate, according to a new study from researchers with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

University institutes are shaping future of research
In an age of specialization, building networks of outstanding scientists, engineers and clinicians is helping the development of creative solutions to complex societal needs.

Longer commutes disadvantage African-American workers
African-Americans spend more time than any other group getting to work and in some cases spend about 15 minutes more a day than whites commuting, according to research by Virginia Parks, associate professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Arizona State researcher explores responsible innovation
While it may be difficult to foresee, the work of scientists and engineers often has a societal impact.

Contemplating the workplace of tomorrow
Robert Gordon, considered to be one of the most influential macroeconomists in the world, has long been raising questions about the process of economic growth -- questioning whether economic growth is a continuous process that will persist forever.

Robotic fish aids understanding of how animals move
The weakly electric black ghost knifefish of the Amazon basin has inspired Northwestern University's Malcolm MacIver to develop agile fish robots that could lead to a vast improvement in underwater vehicles used to study fragile coral reefs or repair damaged deep sea oil rigs.

Making biodiverse agriculture part of a food-secure future
Is biodiverse agriculture an anachronism? Or is it a vital part of a food-secure future?
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