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September 11, 2006, 9:41 PM CT

Bio-sensitive Nanofibers

Bio-sensitive Nanofibers
Detecting bacteria, viruses and other dangerous substances in hospitals, airplanes and other commonly contaminated places could soon be as easy as wiping a napkin or paper towel across a surface, says a researcher from Cornell University.

"It's very inexpensive, it wouldn't require that someone be highly trained to use it, and it could be activated for whatever you want to find," said Margaret Frey, the Lois and Mel Tukman Assistant Professor of Fiber Science and Apparel Design at Cornell. "So if you're working in a meat-packing plant, for instance, you could swipe it across some hamburger and quickly and easily detect E. coli bacteria." She reported on the research at the American Chemical Society's national meeting today (Sept. 11) in San Francisco.

Once fully developed, the biodegradable absorbent wipe would contain nanofibers containing antibodies to numerous biohazards and chemicals and would signal by changing color or through another effect when the antibodies attached to their targets. Users would simply wipe the napkin across a surface; if a biohazard were detected, the surface could be disinfected and retested with another napkin to be sure it was no longer contaminated.

In work conducted with Yong Joo, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Antje Baeumner, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, both at Cornell, Frey developed nanofibers with platforms made of biotin, a part of the B vitamin complex, and the protein streptavidin, which can hold the antibodies. Composed of a polymer compound made from corn, the nanofibers could be incorporated into conventional paper products to keep costs low. Nanofibers, with diameters near 100 nanometers (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or about three times the diameter of an atom), provide extremely large surface areas for sensing and increased absorbency compared with conventional fibers.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 6:40 PM CT

How to prepare stew for 30,000

How to prepare stew for 30,000
At the Yamagata Imoni Festival ("Yamagata potato stew festival") last weekend, 100 chefs gathered around a cauldron measuring 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter to prepare potato soup for 30,000 guests. The 18th annual festival organized by the Yamagata Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held on the banks of the Mamigasaki River in Yamagata prefecture.

As the centerpiece of a PR campaign to spur consumption of local agricultural products, the soup was made entirely from local ingredients, including 3 tons of taro potatoes (satoimo), 1.2 tons of beef, 3,500 blocks of konnyaku (yam paste), 3,500 leeks, 50 bottles of sake, 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of sugar, 700 liters (185 gallons) of soy sauce, and 6 tons of water. After the stew boiled for 4 hours, 2 backhoes were used to scoop it into smaller cauldrons for easier serving. The soup was reported to have a refreshing soy sauce flavor.

A separate batch of miso-flavored potato soup with pork was prepared in a smaller cauldron measuring 3 meters in diameter.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 6:28 PM CT

Skeleton Of Cartoon Characters

Skeleton Of Cartoon Characters

See the skeleton of cartoon characters on this Korean site.

Fabulous crations.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 6:14 PM CT

In Katrina's Wake

In Katrina's Wake

Chris' new book titled "In Katrina's Wake" was released in August by Princeton Architectural Press in New York. This collaborative project features Chris' Katrina photographs, essays by writers Bill McKibben and Susan Zakin, and poems by Victoria Sloan Jordan. One-hundred percent of Chris' proceeds from this book will be donated to Gulf Coast hurricane relief charities.

Chris has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 Fellowship Award from the Society For Contemporary Photography in Kansas City, Missouri. Chris' Katrina series will be featured in the upcoming SCP International Photomedia Biennial (December 2006), and SCP will host a solo show of Chris' work in late 2007. The award juror was Leslie A. Martin of Aperture Books.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 5:45 PM CT

Stripper Storm At Climate Meeting

Stripper Storm At Climate Meeting
Outraged researchers stormed out of a government-sponsored climate change conference dinner in Canberra last night, after female entertainers stripped down to their underwear as part of a burlesque show.

And one of the performers, who was covered in balloons, walked around the venue inviting researchers to burst parts of her costume.

A number of of the women who attended the dinner at Old Parliament House left the room in horror or protested to the male conference organiser, who called a premature halt to the show when the extent of the offence taken became clear.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 11:13 AM CT

Key To Rebuilding New Orleans

Key To Rebuilding New Orleans Design board by Jessica Garz and Kelly Manning
The French Quarter, the Garden District, the Treme, the Lower Ninth Ward. Perhaps more than any other American city, New Orleans is a collection of individual neighborhoods - 72 in all - each with its own history and culture.

In a number of ways, these neighborhoods represent both the key and the key challenge to rebuilding the city, says John Hoal, Ph.D., associate professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Last week, Hoal's firm, H3 Studio Inc., was one of five selected to lead the Unified New Orleans Plan, which will coordinate rebuilding in the city's 13 planning districts. Another 10 firms, including St. Louis-based HOK, will generate plans at the neighborhood level.

"The challenge is to rebuild these very distinct neighborhoods in ways that recognize their very particular heritages," Hoal explains. "You can't just formulate a generic proposal.

"New Orleans has fabulous architecture, but New Orleans is really about a kind of spirit," Hoal continues. "The individual will to rebuild homes is simply amazing. Our challenge is to craft a plan that accommodates the character of each area while also recognizing the rebuilding people have already done."

Hoal spent most of the summer developing H3 Studio's proposal and made a formal community presentation Aug. 1. Final selections were announced Aug. 28, marking the one-year anniversary of Mayor Ray Nagin's required evacuation order.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 11:09 AM CT

Options Backdating By Bending The Rules

Options Backdating By Bending The Rules Managers can find way to increase their compensation.
Now that the U.S. Senate Finance Committee has returned from its summer holiday, members have put the recent spate of backdating stock options at the top of the agenda. Several professors from the business school at Washington University in St. Louis are ready to discuss the implications backdating has on corporations and shareholders.

It is believed that dozens, if not hundreds, of companies across the country may have improperly manipulated the dates of stock options grants to coincide with low points in the value of their companies' shares. Among the many firms that have been implicated in options backdating are Apple Computer Inc., Comverse Technology, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., Affiliated Computer Systems and Monster Worldwide Inc.

The reason that companies grant options is entirely logical, said Richard Frankel, associate professor of accounting. It's a way to get managers on the same page with the shareholders.

"Managers don't intrinsically have the same interest in growing the company as shareholders do; they tend to be more conservative," Frankel said. "It's especially costly for them if they make a decision that hurts the company, so they tend to be rather risk-averse.

"Options are intended to do two things: increase the correlation between a manager's payout and the share price, and encourage managers to take risks," Frankel said.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 9, 2006, 5:25 AM CT

Public Confidence In Government Drops

Public Confidence In Government Drops
Five years after September 11 and one year after Hurricane, public confidence in the government to protect the area they live has hit a new low. Only 44% of the American public believes that the federal government can protect their community from a terrorist attack. This is a sharp and ongoing erosion of confidence, down from a high of 62% in 2003, and the second consecutive year that fewer than half of the American public believes government can protect them.

Confidence in the health system to respond to a biological, chemical, or nuclear attack has also steadily declined. Barely one-fourth (28%) are confident compared to 53% in 2002. Worse still, only 23% believe the health care system is ready to respond effectively to a bird flu pandemic.

When asked about specific aspects of keeping America safe, there are no signs of increased confidence. Just over one-third (36%) of the American public believes government can protect public transportation from terrorism, down from 43% in 2004. Also, just over one-third (36%) are confident that shipping ports are protected, confidence in the government's ability to protect U.S. borders (31%), and being confident in the government to oversee spending and set priorities on terrorism and disaster preparedness (35%).........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 7, 2006, 8:27 PM CT

Failiure of Diversity training

Failiure of Diversity training
A new study shows that diversity training programs have roundly failed to eliminate bias and increase the number of minorities in management, despite the fact that a number of corporations have spent increasing amounts of money on them since the 1990s.

In a paper would be reported in the American Sociological Review, Frank Dobbin, professor of sociology in Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Alexandra Kalev of the University of California, Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota concluded that such efforts to mitigate managerial bias ultimately fail in their aims. In contrast, programs that establish responsibility for diversity, such as equal opportunity staff positions or diversity task forces, have proven most effective.

"For the past 40 years companies have tried to increase diversity, spending millions of dollars a year on any number of programs without actually stopping to determine whether or not their efforts have been worth it," Dobbin says. "Certainly in the case of diversity training, the answer is no. The only truly effective way to increase the presence of minorities and women in managerial positions is through programs that create organizational responsibility. If no one is specifically charged with the task of increasing diversity, then the buck inevitably gets passed ad infinitum. To increase diversity, executives must treat it like any other business goal".........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


September 7, 2006, 5:19 AM CT

Nurses Are Abused at high rate

Nurses Are Abused at high rate
These figures are horrifying. Almost a third of the nurses who took part in a large-scale study reported that they had been subjected to both physical and verbal abuse in the last 4 working weeks and a quarter had considered resigning as a result, according to research in the latest issue of the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Two-thirds of the 2,407 nurses who took part in the survey, led by the University of Tasmania and supported by the Australian Nursing Federation, reported some form of abuse during the period covered.

This ranged from being sworn at, slapped and spat upon to being bitten, choked and stabbed. The abused nurses, who all worked in Tasmania, reported an average of four verbal incidents and between two to three physical incidents.

Sixty-nine percent of nurses who had been physically abused had been struck with a hand, fist or elbow and 34 percent had been bitten.

A further 49 percent said they had been pushed or shoved, 48 percent had been scratched and 38 percent said that someone had spat at them.

"We also discovered that that six percent had been choked and just under one percent had been stabbed" adds lead author Professor Gerald A Farrell, now based at La Trobe University School of Nursing and Midwifery in Victoria, Australia.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


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