November 18, 2010

Antimatter Captured (Briefly)!
Scientists claimed a breakthrough in solving one of the biggest riddles of physics, successfully trapping the first “anti-atom” that they hope will help them understand what happened to all of the antimatter created by the big bang. The international team of physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, managed to create an atom of anti-hydrogen and then hold onto it for long enough to demonstrate that it can be studied in the lab. (Associated Press)

Glimpsing Brain Tissue in Greater Detail
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have spent the past few years engineering a new imaging model, which they call array tomography, in conjunction with novel computational software, to stitch together image slices into a three-dimensional image that can be rotated, penetrated, and navigated. (Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, CNET News)

The Majority of Americans See Barack Obama’s Religious Beliefs as Different From Their Own
Sixteen percent of respondents said that President Obama’s views were somewhat different from their own, and 35 percent said his beliefs were very different. Only 40 percent believe that Obama has similar religious beliefs to their own, the poll found. (CNN)

Congratulations, National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation Winners
The medals represent the government’s highest honor for scientists, engineers, and inventors. President Obama said their achievements “stand as a testament to the ingenuity, to their zeal for discovery, and to the willingness to give of themselves and to sacrifice in order to expand the reach of human understanding. All of us have benefited from their work.” (Darlene Superville, Associated Press)

Findings From the Annual International Religious Freedom Report
China is one of eight nations designated a “country of particular concern” for religious freedom by the United States, along with Myanmar (also known as Burma), Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. (Richard Allen Greene, CNN)

Clarifying the Rules for Programs Run by Federally Funded Faith-Based Organizations
President Barack Obama signed an executive order making clear that religious organizations that receive federal money may maintain their religious character, but may not include explicitly religious activity as part of any taxpayer-funded program. (Laura Meckler, Washington Wire, The Wall Street Journal)

Reaching Out to Black and Asian Atheists
Alom Shaha: The atheist and skeptic movements are dominated by white men and I think this is a problem. (guardian.co.uk)

Encore for the “Rock Stars of Science”
They’re back again for GQ‘s December 2010 issue, and this time sponsor Geoffrey Beene has made a few changes. At 17 scientists and eight stars, the cast is larger. And among the researchers are four women, including Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn. (ScienceInsider)

Category: Field Notes

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