dark side of the universe
presented by U of C astronomers at the April 29 meeting of the
American Physical Society confirm mounting evidence that ordinary
matter accounts for less than 5 percent of the contents of the
universe. The rest consists of mysterious dark matter (30 percent)
and an even more mysterious dark energy (65 percent) that causes
galaxies to rush apart from each other at an accelerating rate.
The findings, from a research team led by John
Carlstrom, the S. Chandrasekhar distinguished service
professor in astronomy & astrophysics, are based on measurements
taken at the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI) in Antarctica.
DASI has revealed a pattern of minute temperature variations in
the cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow of the
Big Bang. By measuring differences in the radiation's intensity,
Carlstrom's team was able to estimate the contents of the universe.
link for DiGeorge syndrome
A team led by Akira
Imamoto, assistant professor in the Ben May Institute
for Cancer Research and the Center for Molecular Oncology, has
identified genetic abnormalities in mice that are responsible
for the multiple malformations associated with the human disorder
DiGeorge syndrome, which affects one in every 4,000 live births
and is the second most common genetic cause of heart defects.
Mice lacking a functional version of the gene CRKL, according
to the March Nature Genetics report, have multiple defects
of the heart, thymus, and facial structures-malformations also
found in humans with the disease.
Complex industry was a reality as long ago as the Early Bronze
Age, says K. Aslihan
Yener, associate professor in Near Eastern languages
and civilizations and the Oriental Institute. In The Domestication
of Metals (E. J. Brill, 2000), Yener charts the organization
and management of tin mining and smelting in southeastern Anatolia
from 8000 to 2000 B.C. Her findings are based on 15 years as director
of excavations at the highland tin mine of Kestel and the nearby
tin-smelting workshop in the lowland town of Göltepe.
small, think big
Students beginning school in small classes are likely to outscore
other students in high-school mathematics, reports Larry
Hedges, the Stella M. Rowley professor in sociology,
psychology, and education, in the Spring 2001 Journal of Experimental
Education. Minority students in the study, conducted in Tennessee,
did particularly well: those in small classes from kindergarten
through third grade scored 7.26 points higher on standardized
mathematics tests than students who were in regular-sized classes.
White students in small classes scored 3.91 points higher.
Jack D. Cowan,
professor of math and neurology, and University of Utah researchers
have mathematically reproduced the dancing geometric patterns
some people see when they ingest mind-altering drugs, view bright,
flickering lights, or have near-death experiences. As the visual
cortex tries to make sense of stimuli, says the March 2001 Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society of London-Biological Sciences,
the firing of specific nerve cells creates the patterns.
ballots are in - again
was hands off, lips zipped, and eyes checked for the study participants
who scrutinized and logged into a database detailed descriptions
of some 180,000 disputed Florida ballots from the 2000 presidential
election. Each ballot was examined by three people for the NORC
study, which aims to quantify how perceptions vary during hand
recounts. Led by statistics professor
Kirk M. Wolter, NORC senior vice president for
statistics and methodology, the study was funded by a consortium
of news organizations, including the New York Times, the
Washington Post, and CNN, which will publish analyses of
the data later this year.-S.A.S.