NCBI ROFL: For some reason, med students don’t want to show their genitals in class. | Discoblog

Don’t want to show fellow students my naughty bits: medical students’ anxieties about peer examination of intimate body regions at six schools across UK, Australasia and Far-East Asia. “BACKGROUND: Although recent quantitative research suggests that medical students are reluctant to engage in peer physical examination (PPE) of intimate body regions, we do not know why. AIM: This article explores first-year medical students’ anxieties about PPE of intimate body regions at six schools. METHODS: Using the Examining Fellow Students (EFS) questionnaire, we collected qualitative data from students in five countries (UK; Australia; New Zealand; Japan; Hong Kong) between 2005 and 2007. RESULTS: Our framework analysis of 617 (78.7%) students’ qualitative comments yielded three themes: present and future benefits of PPE; possible barriers to PPE; and student stipulations for successful PPE. This article focuses on several sub-themes relating to students’ anxieties about PPE of intimate body regions and their associated sexual, gender, cultural and religious concerns. By exploring students’ euphemisms about intimate areas, our findings reveal further insights into the relationship between students’ anxieties, gender and culture. CONCLUSION: First-year students are anxious about examining intimate body regions, so a staged approach starting with manikins is recommended. Further qualitative research is needed employing interviews …


Whitesides Departs, Winterton Replaced

Administrator Bolden Announces Key Leadership Changes

“Administrator Charlie Bolden on Friday announced two changes in his leadership team at Headquarters in Washington. David Radzanowski was selected as the agency’s new chief of staff, and James Stofan was named as the acting associate administrator for Education. Radzanowski, who was NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Program Integration in the Space Operations Mission Directorate, succeeds George Whitesides, who is returning to private industry. Dr. Joyce Winterton will move to the Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate as a senior advisor developing student flight programs and other education initiatives.”

Piezoelectric Promise: Charge a Touch-Screen by Poking It With Your Finger | 80beats

piezoelectricImagine a day in the future when you can charge your cell phone using your sneakers, or charge a touch-screen device merely by rolling up the flexible screen. New devices that take advantage of the piezoelectric effect–the tendency of some materials to generate an electrical potential when they’re mechanically stressed–are taking us one step closer to that reality.

Ville Kaajakari of the Louisiana Tech University harnessed this effect by developing a tiny generator that can be embedded in a shoe sole. The tiny smart device is part of “MEMS” or “micro electro mechanical systems,” which combine computer chips with micro-components to generate electricity [EarthTechling]. Each time the sneaker-wearer goes for a stroll, the compression action would power up the circuits in the generator and produce tiny bits of usable voltage. “This technology could benefit, for example, hikers that need emergency location devices or beacons,” said Kaajakari. “For more general use, you can use it to power portable devices without wasteful batteries” [Clean Technica].

For now, the amount of energy produced is very small, but the generator could theoretically be used to power sensors, GPS units or portable devices that don’t require a large amount of energy [Clean Technica]. The scientist hopes that the technology can be developed further to charge common devices like mobile phones.

Meanwhile, Samsung and a research team from Korea have figured out a way to harvest energy from touch-screens.

In a paper published this month in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers describe how they combined flexible, transparent electrodes with an energy-scavenging material to produce a thin film. Their experimental device sandwiches piezoelectric nanorods between highly conductive graphene electrodes on top of flexible plastic sheets [Technology Review]. This film can be used in touch screens of common mobile devices, wherein pressing the screen would generate about 20 nanowatts per square centimeter–that is, enough power to help run part of the device. On the flexible touch-screen the researchers developed, you could help charge the batteries just by rolling up the screen.

Scientists hope that the power produced by the touch-screen should one day be enough to toss our batteries into the bin. Study coauthor Sang-Woo Kim added: “The flexibility and rollability of the nano-generators gives us unique application areas such as wireless power sources for future foldable, stretchable, and wearable electronics systems” [Technology Review].

Related Content:
80beats: New “Nanogenerator” Could Power Your iPod With Your Own Movements
80beats: The World’s Smallest Motor Could Propel a Medical “Microbot” Through Arteries
80beats: Rubbery Computer Screens Can Be Bent, Folded, and Even Crumpled
80beats: Nanotubes Could Provide the Key to Flexible Electronics
Discoblog: Can Chatting on Your Cell Phone Cause It to Recharge? Researcher Says Yes

Image: LTU


Counter with Printer Option Needed

I need a preset counter to count pulses from Banner LX6 MFG pt # 02676. The operator would like to enter a preset number of units that pass through the opposing through beams and turn off the belt (currently 24 vdc speed variable speed controller) and print out a 2" X 3" or close to that label when

Turn a Man Into Mush With a Nasal Spray of Pure Oxytocin | Discoblog

Who ever thought that couples could bond over nasal spray? But new research shows that a nasal spray containing the “love hormone” oxytocin helped make regular guys more empathetic and less gruff. Oxytocin is the hormone that strengthens the bond between nursing moms and their babies, and it’s also involved in pair bonding, love, and sex. The spray was tested on a group of 48 healthy males–half received a spritz of the nose spray at the start of the experiment and the other half received a placebo. The researchers then showed their test subjects emotion-inducing photos like a bawling child, a girl hugging her cat, and a grieving man. Finally, they asked the guys to express how they felt. The placebo group men reacted normally to the soppy pictures; which is to say they were either mildly uncomfortable or stoic. Whereas the group that had used the nasal spray were markedly more empathetic. The Register reports:
“The males under test achieved levels [of emotion] which would normally only be expected in women,” says a statement from Bonn University, indicating that they had cooed or even blubbed at the sight of the affecting images.
The study’s findings, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, suggest one …


In Search of a Rotatable Mount for Wood Utility Poles

Looking for a rotating corrosion resistant mount or mounts that could attach to a wood utility pole. Purpose is to allow a 47" x 24" x 14" Hoffman enclosure that utilizes a pole mount kit with steel bands to attach to wood utility pole (with diameter ranging from 11" to 13") and allow an operator to

When America was post-colonial | Gene Expression

Below I stated:

…until the late 20th century the majority of the ancestry of the white population of the republic descended from those who were counted in the 1790 census.

A commenter questioned the assertion. The commenter was right to question it. My source was a 1992 paper that estimated that only in 1990 did the proportion of American ancestry which derived from those who arrived after the 1790 census exceeding 50%. In other words, if you ran the ancestors of all Americans back to 1790, a majority of that set would have been counted in the 1790 census (so people of mixed ancestry would contribute to the two components are weighted by their ancestry).

The major issue here is that there is a difference between whites, and non-whites, especially before mass Asian and Latin American immigration post-1965, when white vs. non-white ~ white vs. black. Almost all the ancestors of black Americans who were black were already resident in the United States in 1790. A few years ago I read up on the history of American slavery and was surprised how genuinely indigenous the black American, slave and free, population was by the late 18th century (English speaking and Christian). There was an obvious reason why Southern slave-holders went along with the ban on importation of slaves which was due to kick in in the early decades of the republic: American blacks, unlike slave populations elsewhere in the New World, had endogenous natural increase. This explains part of the relative paucity of African aspects in their culture in relation to the blacks of Haiti or Brazil, where African-born individuals were still very substantial numerically at emancipation because of high attrition rates (it is sometimes asserted that the majority of blacks liberated during the Haitian Revolution were born in Africa. Likely a hyperbole, but it gets across the strength of connection).

In any case, to estimate the white proportion attributable to 1790, I have to correct for the black proportion within the total. As an approximation I think it’s acceptable to simply attribute blacks as a whole to the proportion which had ancestors here in 1790 in full. I suspect a greater proportion of the black ancestry which post-dates 1790 would come from the white component of their heritage which simply isn’t of notice in American society for various reasons in any case (Henry Louis Gates Jr. is more white than he is black in terms of ancestry, but he’s the doyen of Africana Studies). So, assuming that blacks contribute to the 1790 and before component in full, I estimate that between 1910 and 1920 the majority of the ancestry of the white population shifted from 1790 and before, to after. Specifically, in 1910 51% of the ancestry could be traced to 1790 and before among whites, and in 1920 49%. In 1950 it was 47% 1790 and before. So I should have said early 20th century, not late. I wouldn’t be surprised though if the balance has started to shift in recent years, as many “white ethnic” groups (Jews, Italians, Irish, etc.) are more heavily concentrated in urban areas, while the most fertile white community in the United States, the Mormons of Utah, are also the most Old Stock Yankee in ancestry (I am aware that many Mormons are descended from European immigrants who converted in Europe and made the journey after conversion, but Mormons are still far more Old Stock Yankee than any group outside of interior New England).

Upcoming Space Policy Events

Meeting of Space Organizations, 5 May 2010

“This meeting will enable private organizations and associations with a stake in the outcome of this discussion to better understand the current NASA program and its implications for science and technology, and to exchange views on the value of establishing an ongoing coalition of space related organizations.”

Challenges and Opportunities at the Dawn of a New Decade, 18 May 2010

“Conference attendees will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and participate in educational sessions including “The Vital Role of Aerospace Assets in National Security,” “The Future of Human Space Flight,” and “Air Transportation Modernization.”

Keith’s note: Given the immense interest in NASA’s new policy directions, and the tens of thousands of jobs directly (and adversely) affected, one would hope that these discussions would be streamed live. All it takes to do this is a laptop and a USTREAM.TV account. Otherwise, the only folks who’ll be participating (or benefiting) from these discussions will be the usual suspects and space policy wonks known to frequent Washington, DC

Oil Spill: Bracing for Impact: Special Report

From Discovery News – Top Stories:

Since an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico more than a week ago, teams have been preparing for what has happened today: the first oil-laden waves have hit the Gulf shore. Preparations are aiming to make the best of a bad situation.