New Impact Factors Yield Surprises

Thomson Reuters has released its 2009 Journal Citation Report, [available electronically through the UC San Diego Libraries] cataloging journals’ impact factors, and shuffling in the top few spots has some analysts scratching their heads.
Read more: New impact factors yield surprises – The Scientist – Magazine of the Life Sciences – 21st June 2010 04:00 PM GMT

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Microsoft Research Releases WorldWide Telescope application

The crowd-science trend has reached Mars. Students and amateur scientists can now explore the Red Planet online, using software released today by Microsoft Research based on NASA images.
More from Wired Campus July 12, 2010

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Earthquake info from UCSD

Did you feel today’s quakes? Want to read the data recorded by UCSD’s IGPP?

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Nano Cocktails That Target, Kill Tumors

Cooperative nanomaterial system to sensitize, target, and treat tumors
Ji-Ho Park, Geoffrey von Maltzahnc, Mary Jue Xuc, Valentina Fogald, Venkata Ramana Kotamrajue, Erkki Ruoslahtid, Sangeeta N. Bhatiac, Michael J. Sailor
Published in PNAS 12/28/2009

Press release from UCSD about this article: Researchers Develop “Nano Cocktail” to Target and Kill Tumors. See also: Computerworld, Medical News Today, Science Daily.

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LCROSS Impact Data Indicates Water on Moon

NASA today opened a new chapter in our understanding of the moon. Preliminary data from the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus cater near the moon’s south pole.
more from NASA

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Happy Birthday Internet

The first email message was sent over the Arpanet from the Interface Message Processor [a computer] at UCLA to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute 40 years ago.

It took place at 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969. Happy 40th birthday! Read more about it at:

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This Day in Patent History

aaaPhilo-Farnsworth-Stamp-344x222US 1,773,980, Television System, patented on August 26, 1930, by Philo T. Farnsworth. He came up with the idea while still in high school, and had a working model by the age of 21. In later years, he battled a patent interference case with RCA and after much legal wrangling, won. Sadly, he ended his life in isolation and depression, but remained one of television’s first critics. When his son was asked what his father’s attitude was toward his invention, he replied, “I suppose you could say that he felt he had created kind of a monster, a way for people to waste a lot of their lives.” Brief biography of Farnsworth at Time 100.

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This Day in Patent History

US 1,678,456 “Resonance Ring for Stringed Musical Instruments,” patented by George Altermatt, of Kalamazoo, MI and assigned to Gibson, Inc., 1928.
(Clicking the link above takes you to the Google Patents site for this patent — A good example of mis-spellings introduced by Google’s poor quality control in scanning the patent documents from the US Patent Office.)

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Sci-Tech Panels at Comic-Con

Attending Comic-Con next week and looking for some alternative sessions to attend?  Consider these:

Thurs, 12:00-1:00, Ballroom 20
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space OdysseyKey production personnel and cast members discuss the making of Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, the 3D, CGI Large Format film that combines beautiful animated sequences with actual space imagery captured during seven ongoing NASA and NASA/ESA space missions. Featuring a stellar voice cast that includes Neil Armstrong, Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, Amanda Peet, Robert Picardo, Jason Alexander, Tom Kenny, Sandra Oh, Brent Spiner, James Earl Jones, Williams Shatner, Mark Hamill, Doug Jones, Abigail Breslin and Gary Graham, Quantum Quest has been endorsed by the X Prize Organization, the International Space University, Challenge Center for Space Science Education, and the Young Astronauts Council. Producer, screenwriter, and co-director Dr. Harry Kloor, whose writing credits include Star Trek: Voyager, the animated series Godzilla, and Earth: Final Conflict, is joined by co-director Daniel St. Pierre (co-director, Everyone’s Hero, production designer, A Shark’s Tale, art director, Tarzan), space scientists, and key cast members. The panel will offer new work-in-progress clips and an in-depth exploration of the science behind the film.

Thurs, 5:30-6:30, Room 30CDE
The Physics of Hollywood MoviesJoin physics instructor Adam Weiner (author of Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies) for an interactive presentation employing basic physical principles and a sense of humor in analyzing scenes from favorite Hollywood science fiction, superhero, and action movies, from Iron Man to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and actually learn the physics behind them—both good and bad!

Thurs, 6:00-7:00, Room 6DE (does conflict w/ program listed above)
Mad Science: The Science Behind Science FictionDiscover magazine and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange explore science as a double-edged sword—it’s ethically and morally neutral in and of itself, but science depends on who wields it and how. Join moderator Phil Plait (Discover magazine contributing editor and blogger), Jaime Paglia (co-creator and executive producer of Eureka), Kevin Grazier (science consultant, Eureka, Virtuality), Jane Espenson (executive producer, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Rob Chiappetta and Glenn Whitman (staff writers, Fringe), and Ricardo Gil da Costa (neuroscientist and consultant on Fringe) for a lively and fun discussion on science used for good vs. evil. Followed by Q&A.

Friday, 2:30-3:30, Room 3
Building Tomorrow’s TechnologyHow does a present where the availability of natural resources is already an issue affect the technology one imagines for the future? Moderator Steve Saffel (editor and publishing consultant) maps a path with panelists Greg Bear (City at the End of Time), David Williams (Burning Skies), Dani & Eytan Kollin (The Unincorporated Man), and Kirsten Imani Kasai (Ice Song).

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Freestream Behavior of Water in Microgravity

Or, who doesn’t want to pee more comfortably in space?

Fluid Dynamics Research to Make Peeing in Space More Comfortable and Sanitary (w/ video)

The mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduates from the Jacobs School of Engineering mimicked the behavior of streams of human urine in zero gravity in order to collect the data necessary to make better space urinals for both women and men.

This project was one of 20 proposals selected by NASA’s Microgravity University. It will continue into 2010 as the students begin…

building urine collection prototypes that are both comfortable and sanitary when used in space. With knowledge of how and when urine-like streams of water break up in space, the students will have insights into the best points in space to collect streams of urine in zero gravity.

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