Monthly Archives: November 2011

Crowd-sourcing -- accurately!

Crowd-sourcing — accurately!

Many popular sites, such as Wikipedia and Tripadvisor, rely on public participation to gather information — a process known as crowd data sourcing. While this kind of collective intelligence is often valuable, it is also fallible, and policing such sites for inaccuracies and offensive material is a costly undertaking. But not for long. Prof. Tova … learn more→

For sake of our children, 'think small and dream big' to be more sustainable

For sake of our children, ‘think small and dream big’ to be more sustainable

“Why sustainability? The challenges we face are many, they’re daunting, and everyone needs to help. We all need to be leaders,” said Mike Hoffmann, director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) in Ithaca and associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, during his keynote address at the President’s Sustainable Campus … learn more→

The new story of stuff: Can we consume less?

The new story of stuff: Can we consume less?

Will rich societies start consuming less? Could wealth go green? Might parsimony become the new luxury? Heresy, surely, you would say. But it might just be possible. Take Britain. A new study finds that the country that invented the industrial revolution two centuries ago reached “peak stuff” between 2001 and 2003. In the past decade, … learn more→

Baby talk - do mums just know?

Baby talk – do mums just know?

James Cook University speech pathology honours student Vicki Williams wants to find out what first time mums know about speech and language development in young children. “The early years are so important” she said. “Parents are the most influential people in a young child’s life and how they interact with their child influences their development, … learn more→

Fungi: Another tool in bacteria's belt?

Fungi: Another tool in bacteria’s belt?

Bacteria and fungi are remarkably mobile. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the two organisms enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship to aid them in that movement — and their survival. Fungal spores can attach themselves to bacteria, “hitching a ride” wherever the bacteria travel. And while this allows them to travel further … learn more→

Leaders urged to curb climate vulnerability

Leaders urged to curb climate vulnerability

Representatives of the world’s governments meeting in Durban this week have been advised by scientists that urgent action is needed to reduce the vulnerability of communities worldwide likely to be worst affected by the impacts of climate change. In a new scientific paper and book, leading marine researchers Dr Josh Cinner of the ARC Centre … learn more→

Durban: where success will mean the avoidance of failure

Durban: where success will mean the avoidance of failure

Global climate policy reached a turning point at the 2009 Copenhagen conference. Expectations of a binding global climate treaty were dashed, but instead all major countries made unilateral pledges to cut or restrain their greenhouse gas emissions. That was probably a more significant outcome than a binding, but weak, agreement might have been. What counts … learn more→

Race plays a role in the pace of some romances

Race plays a role in the pace of some romances

Among young American adults, relationships between white men and minority women move into sexual intimacy and from sex to cohabitation significantly faster than white-white couples or minority-minority pairings, reports a new study by a Cornell demographer. Despite rising intermarriage rates in recent decades — a sign of declining social distance between race groups in the … learn more→

A new model for understanding biodiversity

A new model for understanding biodiversity

Researchers develop a unified theory of ecosystem change by combining spatial modelling and food web analysis. Animals like foxes and raccoons are highly adaptable. They move around and eat everything from insects to eggs. They and other “generalist feeders” like them may also be crucial to sustaining biological diversity, according to a new study published … learn more→

Adolescent boys more prone to delinquency without a father

Adolescent boys more prone to delinquency without a father

Adolescent boys are more prone to delinquency if they do not have a father figure in their lives, a University of Melbourne study has found, while adolescent girls seem unaffected by the presence or absence of fathers in their lives. he study, undertaken by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the … learn more→