Science Press Releases


Public Release: 2-Sep-2008
Stanford’s ‘autonomous’ helicopters teach themselves to fly
Stanford computer scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that enables robotic helicopters to teach themselves to fly difficult stunts by watching other helicopters. The result is an autonomous helicopter than can perform a complete airshow of complex tricks on its own. The airshow is an important demonstration of “apprenticeship learning,” in which robots learn by observing an expert, rather than by having software engineers write instructions from scratch. Release: 2-Sep-2008

Cosmic connections: Imperial scientist locates the origin of cosmic dust
The origin of the microscopic meteorites that make up cosmic dust has been revealed for the first time in new research out today (Sept. 1, 2008)

Public Release: 2-Sep-2008
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Scientists develop new method to investigate origin of life
Scientists have developed a new computational method that they say will help them to understand how life began on Earth. The method has the potential to trace the evolutionary histories of proteins all the way back to either cells or viruses, thus settling the debate once and for all over which of these life forms came first.
Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program, Penn State Eberly College of Science, Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Searle Scholars Program

Public Release: 2-Sep-2008
Study: Teen suicide spike was no fluke
After 10 years of steady decline, researchers say a recent spike in the teen suicide rate is not a fluke and new prevention strategies need to be developed. The teen suicide rate jumped 18 percent from 2003-2004. That’s the largest one year change in 15 years. Now, the most recent stats available (2004-2005) show the numbers are still significantly higher, and experts are concerned this could be a new trend.

Public Release: 1-Sep-2008
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Hospitals provide formula sample packs while medical organizations encourage breastfeeding
A majority of US hospitals on the East coast distribute formula sample packs to new mothers, contrary to recommendations from most major medical organizations concerned about the potential for distributing these packs to reduce breastfeeding rates, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. However, the practice is changing significantly.

Public Release: 1-Sep-2008
Archives of General Psychiatry
Children of older fathers more likely to have bipolar disorder
Older age among fathers may be associated with an increased risk for bipolar disorder in their offspring, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Public Release: 1-Sep-2008
Brain imaging links chronic insomnia to reversible cognitive deficits without changes in behavior
A neuroimaging study in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Sleep is the first to find that cognitive processes related to verbal fluency are compromised in people with insomnia despite the absence of a behavioral deficit. These specific brain function alterations can be reversed, however, through non-pharmacological treatment with sleep therapy.


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