Archive for "science"

News From Around the Web: Feb. 1 Edition

February 1st, 2012

In today’s top news, Soul Train pioneer Don Cornelius dies at 75, Beyoncé fans want to erect a monument to the singer in Houston and BET celebrates Black History Month.

Soul Train pioneer Don Cornelius dies at 75. [BET]

Beyoncé fans in Houston are clamoring for a monument to the singer. [BET]

BET celebrates Black History Month. [BET]

Flavor Flav speaks out on his recent family feud. [BET]

A Congolese inventor has created the first African tablet. []

More and more Americans are shirking census race labels. [FOX]

Connecticut student bullied for not being ‘Black enough.’ [NewsTimes]

South African lesbian killers get 18 years in prison. [BBC]

Pfizer recalls one million packets of birth control. [MSNBC]

Photography exhibit examines Black male fashion. [BET]

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News From Around the Web: Dec. 9 Edition

December 9th, 2011

(Photo: John Ricard)

In today’s top news, Obama blasts GOP critics with a snarky comeback, Jay-Z prepares to raise cash for the United Way, and Oprah’s TV network may be getting a lot more color.

Obama tells critics to  “ask Bin Laden” if he’s an appeaser. [CBS]

NBC will approve Questlove’s future Fallon show selections. [AP]

Jay-Z to perform for charity. [BET]

FAMU president punished after hazing death. [Orlando Sentinel]

Scientists discover nature’s own STD test. [MSNBC]

Sandusky’s wife stands by her man. [ABC]

Despite the achievement gap, Black parents do care about education. [BET]

Eddie Murphy eyes role of ex-D.C. mayor Marion Barry in upcoming HBO film. [Hollywood Reporter]

Oprah’s OWN network may shift its aim to Black viewers. [NYPost]

Black atheists in the south share stories. [CNN]

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Obama to Appear on “Mythbusters”

December 7th, 2010

President Obama took a little break from his executive duties to issue a challenge to the hosts of the Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters,” a program where popular myths are either confirmed or debunked. Obama, a big fan of the show, tasks hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman with busting the myth of Archimedes’ solar ray. According to legend, back in 214 B.C. ancient Greek forces were able to set powerful invading Roman ships on fire by using just mirrors. The president wants to know if this really happened, so at his orders, Savage and Hyneman set out to recreate the supposed event. Check out the episode Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 9PM to see how it all turned out.

Watch the president announce his cameo appearance on the show during the White House Science Fair:

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Scientists Find Biggest Star Ever

July 23rd, 2010

Scientists at the European Southern Observatory’s Telescope in Chile have found what astrophysics experts are calling the biggest star ever.

The massive ball of burning gas, they’ve named R136a1, may have weighed 320 solar masses at one point, but it has slimmed down some as it constantly combusts.

CNN’s Ali Velshi described the star: if the earth were the size of a basketball, in comparison, the sun would be the size of a stadium; the massive new star discovered would be the size of Mt. Everest.

American scientists at the Hubble Space Telescope have also seen R136a1.

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National: Spelman Has a Thing For Science; General Motors Names its First Black Design Director

November 18th, 2008

Spelman has a thing for science. Atlanta’s Spelman College produces the most African-American graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees in science and engineering, according to the latest college stats. The small private liberal arts college for women with a student body of about 2,200, sent 150 Black students on to Ph.D. degrees in those traditionally male disciplines from 1997 to 2006, according to a survey by the National Science Foundation. That’s more than any other undergraduate program in the country except the much larger, coed Howard University, with 224. Howard, another historically Black institution, has about 7,000 undergraduates. As for the other Georgia institutions, Morehouse ranked fifth in the country with 99; Georgia Tech came in 48th with 32; and Emory didn’t make the top 50. “Spelman really shatters many of our ideas about women in science and math, and Black women in science and math in particular,” said Lily McNair, Spelman’s associate provost of research.

Crystal Windham

General Motors names its first Black design director. Just as the struggling auto industry seeks new capital to save its life, one of the big three picks a Black woman to head up its North American design division. Read more here.

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Health: Too Few Minorities Could Hurt Science; Women’s Birth Size Could Be Tied to Cancer Risk; Some Good News For Breast Cancer Survivors

October 1st, 2008


Too few minorities could hurt science. Women, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and that the result could hurt the nation as a whole, a Fortune 1000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) survey found. The findings of the study should alarm the next president of the United States, researchers said. Minorities could be the saving grace of America if this country is going to keep its place as the leader in the science and technology industry, the report noted. “What is most dramatic about this survey is the extent to which the Fortune executives speak with one unequivocal voice on these issues,” said Dr. Attila Molnar, president and CEO of Bayer Corporation. “Almost without exception, they overwhelmingly recognize this country’s great need to tap the potential of the entire [science and technology] talent pool, and the importance of doing so at every point on the development continuum beginning in elementary school with high-quality, hands-on, inquiry-based science education, on through college where … talent is refined and recruited, and then into the workplace where it must be further nurtured and encouraged.” Molnar and other executives believe that African Americans are being exposed to science at an early enough age to pique student’s interests. Chicago native Dr. Mae Jemison, who was also the first African-American woman to travel into outer space, agrees and said more has to be done to find talent in the Black community. The report further stated that diversifying the STEM talent pool is one solution to the problem of understaffing. Nearly 55 percent of the Fortune executives say their companies are experiencing a shortage of science and technology talent. Almost nine in 10, 89 percent, agree that bringing more women and minorities into science fields will help solve this issue. Moreover, diversity has other benefits for science and tech companies, according to the executives, including increasing innovation and the ability to be more competitive in the global marketplace.Women’s birth size could be tied to cancer risk. Women who are heavier and longer at birth are at increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life, British researchers report. In fact, as birth weight and length increases, so does the risk for breast cancer, according to the results of a study published in the Sept. 30 online edition of PLoS Medicine. “These researchers have documented in unequivocal terms that larger birth size is associated with increased breast cancer risk several decades later,” said Dr. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, the Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention at Harvard University School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology and author of an accompanying journal editorial. Birth size reflects, to a considerable extent, the effects of the environment within the womb on the fetus, Trichopoulos said. “To this day, they had not been sufficiently appreciated by the scientific community, because each individual study could not provide conclusive evidence. We are facing now a new reality: that breast cancer has its origins several decades before its clinical appearance,” he said. After gathering data from 32 studies on more than 600,000 women, 22,058 of whom had breast cancer, the researchers found that women who were heavier and longer at birth had increased risk for breast cancer as adults, HealthDay reported. An analysis of birth records, among these women, found that for every 17.6 ounces of birth weight, the risk for breast cancer increased 7 percent. After gathering data from 32 studies on more than 600,000 women, 22,058 of whom had breast cancer, the researchers found that women who were heavier and longer at birth had increased risk for breast cancer as adults, HealthDay reported. An analysis of birth records, among these women, found that for every 17.6 ounces of birth weight, the risk for breast cancer increased 7 percent. In addition, birth length and head circumference were also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. The strongest association between size at birth and an increased risk for breast cancer was seen for birth length, the researchers reported. “Recognition of early life influences are critical in the etiology of breast cancer and helps to explain why several adult life primary prevention practices – as distinct to secondary prevention ones focusing on early detection – have been of limited effectiveness,” Trichopoulos said.” Prevention of breast cancer needs to take into account the very long natural history of the disease,” he added. Some good news for breast cancer survivors. Vital Signs: As we embark on another Breast Cancer Awareness month, there’s at least some good news to report. There can be life, apparently a high-quality life, after breast cancer treatment, a new survivors report says. Vital Signs has more.

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