Media Criticism

A study in the June 1 New England Journal of Medicine shows that we journalists could probably do our jobs better. Stories about new medications often exaggerate benefits, ignore risks, overlook costs and fail to comment on financial ties to drug manufacturers. The study, co-authored by medical researchers and a journalist, analyzed 207 news stories and found that only 124 reported benefits quantitatively. And 103 of those gave the results in relative terms only articles about the...

Focal Point Behind Subject

OPTICAL LAYOUT shows how the camera determines where the focal plane is. Separator lenses create two identical images, each of which falls on half a pair of CCD sensor arrays. When these points of light are a set distance apart, the subject is in focus. When the separation is too small (middle panel), the focus is in front of the subject. When it is too large, the focus is behind the subject.

Photography Autofocus Systems

High-quality cameras all employ the same basic system for automatic focusing, known as phase-detection autofocus. In a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, light from a part of the scene passes through the lens and then through the camera's reflex mirror, which is partially transparent. (The reflex mirror flips up when the shutter button is pressed to allow the image to fall on the film.) A submirror, attached to the back of the reflex mirror, directs the light that comes through the main mirror...

Fossil Fuelbased Plastics Pe I

First approach, which turns sugar from corn and other plants into a plastic called polylactide (PLA). Microorganisms transform the sugar into lactic acid, and another step chemically links the molecules of lactic acid into chains of plastic with attributes similar to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a petrochemical plastic used in soda bottles and clothing fibers. Looking for new products based on corn sugar was a natural extension of Cargill's activities within the existing corn-wet-milling...

Particles Our Universe

MICRO BLACK HOLES could be created by particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider smashing together protons (yellow) at high energies. The holes would evaporate rapidly by emitting Hawking radiation of Standard Model particles (blue) and gravitons (red). berger of the University of Washington. They expect preliminary results this year. The idea of extra dimensions in effect continues the Coper-nican tradition in understanding our place in the world The earth is not the center of the...

Where Diseases Or Their Carriers Have Reached Higher Elevations

Nino Map Health Hantavirus Dengue

Uganda and Zimbabwe Usamabara Mountains,Tanzania Highlands of Papua New Guinea and West Papua Irian Jaya can spread dengue fever and yellow fever Eastern Andes Mountains, Colombia Northern highlands of India become all too familiar as the atmosphere heats up favor the transmission of St. Louis encephalitis and other infections that cycle among birds, urban mosquitoes and humans. This sequence seems to have abetted the surprise emergence of the West Nile virus in New York City last year. No one...

Corpus Spongiosum

SYMPATHETIC, MOTOR AND SENSORY FIBERS IN PUDENDAL NERVE of their axons down to the erection-generating neurons in the lower spinal cord. There the PGN nerve endings release the neurotransmitter serotonin a chemical messenger that inhibits erections by opposing the effects of pro-erectile neurotransmitters. This discovery may have important implications for the millions of men and women who take serotonin-enhancing drugs to treat depression and other mental health problems. Drugs such as Prozac...

Engineering Superconductivity

Southwire Plant Carrrollton Images

High-temperature superconductors start finding real-world uses For a few months in 1987, it seemed the world was about to change. Trains would fly on magnetic cushions, computers would be faster, electric power cheaper, new medical scanners would sprout in doctors' offices and more. The reason for this overheated optimism was the discovery by IBM scientists in Zurich, namely, J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alex M ller, of a new kind of superconductor, an almost miraculous material that conducts...

Rearing A Plankton Menagerie By Shawn Carlson

Culture Your Own Live Phytoplankton

Shawn Carlson explains how to raise single-celled aquatic creatures-lots of them The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California houses some of the finest marine exhibits in the world. So when the staff recently offered me a personal, behind-the-scenes tour, I couldn't refuse. Tim Cooke and Ed Seidel made the visit absolutely fascinating, and I am indebted to them for their hospitality. Tim, an aquarist extraordinaire, even let me in on a few secrets for raising plankton. And he should know them the...

Valuesolid For Sheffer Stroke

Truth Table Grids

SIERPINSKI'S GASKET above left can be approximated using mathematical logic. Plugging four-digit binary numbers into the truth table for the Sheffer stroke yields a color diagram in which the green squares form a gasketlike shape left . The figure can also be seen in the value solid for the Sheffer stroke above . It is also possible to change 0 to 1 and 1 to 0 by applying the operator NOT that is, NOT P is true if P is false, and vice versa. There are 16 possible truth tables for ALL POSSIBLE...

Hutton Media Limited

WORLD FOOD The food problem confronts the world with two dangers. One is the political danger of hunger. A lifetime of malnutrition and hunger is the lot of two thirds of mankind. Yet in the midst of this dire need there remains the economic threat of the food surpluses generated by modern technologies. The abundant food output of the U.S. already has begun to undermine its prosperity. A World Food Board, as an agency of the U.N., would be responsible for maintenance of stable world prices, and...