This Week in Science! March 5-9
By: Ryan Wheaton
Chimpanzees Have Police Officers, Too
Chimpanzees are interested in social cohesion and have various strategies to guarantee the stability of their group. Anthropologists now reveal that chimpanzees mediate conflicts between other group members, not for their own direct benefit, but rather to preserve the peace within the group. Their impartial intervention in a conflict — so-called "policing" — can be regarded as an early evolutionary form of moral behavior. See the whole story.
Nasty People in the Media Prime the Brain for Aggression
Research over the past few decades has shown that viewing physical violence in the media can increase aggression in adults and children. But a new study, co-authored by an Iowa State University psychology professor, has also found that onscreen relational aggression — including social exclusion, gossip and emotional bullying — may prime the brain for aggression. See the whole story.
Communication Technologies Including Smartphones and Laptops Could Now Be 1,000 Times Faster, New Study Suggests
Many of the communication tools of today rely on the function of light or, more specifically, on applying information to a light wave. Up until now, studies on electronic and optical devices with materials that are the foundations of modern electronics — such as radio, TV, and computers — have generally relied on nonlinear optical effects, producing devices whose bandwidth has been limited to the gigahertz (GHz) frequency region. (Hertz stands for cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon, in this case 1billion cycles). See the whole story.
HIV/AIDS Vaccine Shows Long-Term Protection Against Multiple Exposures in Non-Human Primates
An Atlanta research collaboration may be one step closer to finding a vaccine that will provide long-lasting protection against repeated exposures to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Scientists at Emory University and GeoVax Labs, Inc. developed a vaccine that has protected nonhuman primates against multiple exposures to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) given in three clusters over more than three years. SIV is the nonhuman primate version of HIV. See the whole story.
Proposed Nuclear Clock May Keep Time With the Universe
A proposed new time-keeping system tied to the orbiting of a neutron around an atomic nucleus could have such unprecedented accuracy that it neither gains nor loses 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years — the age of the Universe. See the whole story.
Oldest Organism With Skeleton Discovered in Australia
A team of paleontologists has discovered the oldest animal with a skeleton. Called Coronacollina acula, the organism is between 560 million and 550 million years old, which places it in the Ediacaran period, before the explosion of life and diversification of organisms took place on Earth in the Cambrian. See the whole story.
Origami-Inspired Paper Sensor Could Test for Malaria and HIV for Less Than 10 Cents, Report Chemists
Inspired by the paper-folding art of origami, chemists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a 3-D paper sensor that may be able to test for diseases such as malaria and HIV for less than 10 cents a pop. The sensors can be printed out on an office printer, and take less than a minute to assemble. See the whole story.
Insects Have 'Personalities' Too, Research On Novelty-Seeking Honey Bees Indicates
A new study in Science suggests that thrill-seeking is not limited to humans and other vertebrates. Some honey bees, too, are more likely than others to seek adventure. The brains of these novelty-seeking bees exhibit distinct patterns of gene activity in molecular pathways known to be associated with thrill-seeking in humans, researchers report. See the whole story.
Quidditch Takes Off: Turning a Fictional Game Into a Real Sport
Muggle Quidditch match between University of Leicester and Keele University teams will be first in the UK played according to formal IQA rules. See the whole story.
Just for fun: Adorable robots playing music.