UNTIL TIME OF MEETING
SESSION OR NEWS BRIEFING
Contacts: Monica Amarelo or Ginger Pinholster
Prior to 13 February, 202-326-6440
As of 13 February, 303-228-8301
(AAAS Newsroom Headquarters, Colorado Convention Center, Denver)
Most news briefings will be held in the
Rooms C-110-112, Colorado Convention Center
**One news briefing will take place elsewhere, as noted, below**
**Other media events are listed at the end of the briefing schedule**
2003 AAAS ANNUAL MEETING – DENVER, CO
NEWS BRIEFING SCHEDULE
Note to reporters: The schedule is subject to change. Adjustments will be posted on EurekAlert! (www.eurekalert.org) and on the bulletin boards in the Newsroom Headquarters, C-101, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO.
Below the title of each news briefing, please find the time, date, session location and corresponding page numbers in the program. Sessions that occur before a corresponding news briefing are highlighted in bold.
THURSDAY, 13 February
How the Nose Knows a Rose—or a Mate (Tentative) How the Nose Knows: Neural Circuits for Chemical Detection
Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Room A205, Main Level, Convention Center, page S7
If you sniff a rose this Valentine's Day, your brain will recognize almost a
hundred signals from different odor molecules that collectively give the
flower its heady scent. New findings reveal how the brain accomplishes this feat, allowing humans and other mammals to distinguish the world's myriad smells. While humans presumably have no problem identifying the object of their affections, other mammals get help from a group of special odor molecules called pheromones. Surprising new results shed light on how the mouse brain is exquisitely tuned to recognize another mouse's cocktail of pheromones.
Lawrence C. Katz, Duke University: Odor Maps in the Brain
Although the annual probability of a large impact is extremely small, the consequences would be so catastrophic that it is prudent to assess the threat and prepare to deal with it. NASA completed the "Spaceguard Survey Report" nearly a decade ago, yet little is known about deflecting asteroids and comets on a trajectory to impact Earth. There are no current studies of deflection technology, no international agreements on how to respond if a threatening asteroid is found, no plans for civil defense in case an unexpected impact occurs. Given society's enormous, complex responses to the 9/11 terrorism, and the way both public and policy-makers respond to this most extreme example of a natural hazard of low probability but high consequences, we must understand societal goals.
Clark R. Chapman, Southwest Research Institute: Perspectives on the Impact Hazard in a Dangerous World
Courtesy of Lee Clarke.
Lee Clarke, Rutgers Univ.: Responding to Panic in a Global Impact Catastrophe
David Morrison, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center: Overview of the Impact Hazard
Geoff Sommer, Rand Corp.: Policy Frameworks for Impact Mitigation
A global infrasound network is recording what we can't see or hear--and researchers are listening more intently every day. While some of these listening stations were constructed to detect secret nuclear tests, the inaudible sound waves are telling scientists exciting stories about funneling tornadoes, erupting volcanoes and approaching objects from space. Speakers will discuss state-of-the-art tornado-detection stations and how the global infrasound monitoring system (IMS) can differentiate between clandestine nuclear tests and asteroids heading toward the Earth.
Photograph of a spatial filter for reducing wind-induced pressure fluctuations in the infrasonic frequency range. Courtesy of NOAA, ETL/ Alfred J. Bedard Jr.
Plot of azimuth of arrival of the infrasound as a function of time for a six-hour period starting at 0336 UTC. The arrows indicate the times of tornado observations with the tips of the arrows identifying the expected azimuth of arrival. Courtesy of NOAA, ETL/ Alfred J. Bedard Jr.
Summary of case study potential warning times. Courtesy of NOAA,ETL/Alfred J. Bedard Jr.
Doppler radar images of radial velocity and reflectivity at 0103:36 UTC, showing the evolving tornado (with the permission of J.Wurman).Courtesy of NOAA, ETL/Alfred J. Bedard Jr.
Photo of the tornado taken by police officer David Osborne and reproduced here with his permission. Courtesy of NOAA, ETL/Alfred J. Bedard Jr.
Conceptual view of vortex sound generation mechanisms.Courtesy of NOAA, ETL/ Alfred J. Bedard Jr.
Courtesy of Douglas Revelle.
Illustration of the complexity of the propagation of infrasonic waves from the Moravka bolide of May 6, 2000 over the Czech Republic. Courtesy of Douglas O. Revelle.
Alfred Bedard Jr., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA), Environmental Technology Laboratory: Geophysical Applications of Infrasound
Milton Garces, Univ. of Hawaii: Monitoring Volcanic Eruptions with Infrasound
Lev Ostrovsky, NOAA-Environmental Technology Laboratory: Physical Models for the Production of Infrasound
Douglas Revelle, Los Alamos National Laboratory: Bolide False Alarm Rate for the Global Infrasound Monitoring System
Within 50 years, Alzheimer's treatment will begin with an assessment of genetic susceptibility, and result in a prescription for drugs tailored to an individual's genetic make-up, suggests Rudolph Tanzi. He notes, however, that treatment of Alzheimer's could begin to change as early as five years from now. Tanzi and his colleagues recent found 12 promising sites for genes that confer vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease. Currently, medical practitioners diagnose Alzheimer's after eliminating other possible causes for symptoms such as short-term memory loss. An autopsy provides the only sure diagnosis of the condition that robs people of their ability to reason and think and affects more than 4 million people in the United States alone.
Rudolph Tanzi, Massachusetts General Hospital: Alzheimer's Disease: Gene, Pathways, and Therapies
Genomics—From Database to Bedside Toxicogenomics: At the Interface Between the Environment and the Genome
Friday, 10:30 a.m., Room A201, Main Level, Convention Center, page S3 The Promise of Pharmacogenomics in Medicine Friday, 2:30 p.m., Room A201, Main Level, Convention Center, page S3
Why are some people susceptible to certain diseases and not others? Every human being is unique, and so are the ways our genes respond to certain diseases and chemicals in the environment. Speakers will present their latest findings on
the clinical applications of gene and protein expression, as well as new information on genomics-based, customized patient care. Controversies surrounding the social, ethical, and legal implications of emerging databases are also slated for discussion.
William Evans, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Pharmacogenomics of
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Teri Klein, Stanford Univ.: Challenges for Biomedical Informatics and Pharmacogenomics
Emanual Petricoin, Food and Drug Administration: Use of Proteomics for Clinical Applications
Mark Rothstein, Univ. of Louisville School of Medicine: Ethical and Legal Implications of Pharmacogenomics
Why do some of us relish our veggies while others would sooner starve than eat a broccoli spear? How did indigenous peoples develop their knowledge of how to
eat a balanced diet? Speakers will discuss how the human diet has responded to evolutionary changes in the body, and how the use of dietary supplements was a common practice long before the advent of the vitamin pill. Our ability to taste may also have been influenced by the course of evolution, and new findings hint that taste preferences may be linked to risk for certain cancers and heart disease.
Nontaster. Courtesy of Linda Bartoshuk.
Supertaster. Courtesy of Linda Bartoshuk.
Courtesy of Timothy Johns.
Gums of the geun Commiphong that are widely chewed by the Maasai of East Africa contain phytochemicals that potentially mediate the high fat content of their diet. Courtesy of Timothy Johns.
Linda Bartoshuk, Yale Univ.: Why Can Humans Taste Bitter Substances and Taste Sensitivity Variation
Timothy Johns, McGill Univ.: Allelochemicals and Phytochemicals and the Evolution of Human Diets
Marrying Molecules and Man-made Materials Biotechnology Beyond Medicine
Friday, 2:30 p.m., Room A105, Main Level, Convention Center, page S49
Scientists are incorporating biological molecules into stronger, smaller and smarter materials for applications ranging from nanotechnology to missile defense. So-called "silicon biotechnology" uses proteins, genes, and molecular mechanisms to help direct the nanofabrication of silicon-based materials and other electronics materials. Self-assembling biological macromolecules can combine with inorganic components and create new scaffold-like structures used for organizing tiny inorganic particles. By harnessing naturally occurring mechanisms and shapes, we can create a range of high-performance composite materials that are useful in microelectronics, optoelectronics and energy.
Susan L. Lindquist, Whitehead Institute: Prions: From Disease to Nanoscale Material Design
Dan Morse, Univ. of California-Santa Barbara: Biotechnology Offers New Routes to Nanostructured Functional Inorganic Materials
Joel M. Schnur, Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering: Lipids for Electronic Composites
Greenhouse Effects on Other Planets Greenhouse Effects in Planetary Atmospheres
Friday, 2:30 p.m., Room A207, Main Level, Convention Center, page S37
The dramatic rise of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere has scientists exploring the evolution of atmospheres under the changing greenhouse. In contrast to Earth, Venus is devoid of water and sports a thick CO2 atmosphere with a surface pressure 90 times terrestrial and a surface temperature of roughly 720 K. The hot venusian temperatures result from greenhouse warming by the ample CO2. Might this "runaway greenhouse" offer lessons for climate change on Earth? Saturn's largest moon, Titan, sports an atmosphere that warms its surface through the greenhouse effect. Some models of early Mars postulate a warmer atmosphere blanketed in greenhouse gases. Scientists will describe greenhouse effects in different planetary contexts and compare them to the situation here on Earth.
Mark Bullock, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory: The Venus Greenhouse
James F. Kasting, Pennsylvania State Univ.: The Atmospheres of Early Mars and Early Earth
Christopher P. McKay, NASA/Ames Research Center: Titan's Methane Greenhouse and Organic Anti-greenhouse
Tom M.L. Wigley, Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research: Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere over Coming Centuries
Nighttime Light: Cancer, Car Accidents and the Milky Way Environmental Effects of Outdoor Lighting
Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Room A107, Main Level, Convention Center, page S13
Breast cancer, driving safety, and outdoor advertising may be linked by a condition that floods our lives: light. A neuroscientist, an astronomer and an engineer will join forces to discuss the hazards and health benefits of an illuminated world. While light pollution at night may lead to an increase in risk for breast cancer, a lack of light during the day has the power to depress the human spirit. The glare encountered while pulling into and out of a brightly-lit gas station at night can be more hazardous than walking down a dark alley alone. Speakers will also discuss the ways individuals, offices and communities can take responsibility for the lights in their lives.
Courtesy of International Dark Sky Association.
Courtesy of International Dark Sky Association.
Courtesy of International Dark Sky Association.
Courtesy of International Dark Sky Association.
Courtesy of International Dark Sky Association.
George Brainard, Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hospital: The Adverse Impacts of Night Lighting on Humans
Nancy Clanton, Clanton Engineering: The History, Present, and Future of Light Pollution Mitigation
David Crawford, International Dark-Sky Association: The Environmental Impacts of Light Pollution on the Nighttime Environment on Astronomy and the Night Sky
Does Infant Stress Spell Trouble Later? Developmental Effects of Deprived Caregiving
Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Room A105, Main Level, Convention Center, page S41 and The Effects of Early Experience on Brain and Brain Development
Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Room A205, Main Level, Convention Center, page S7
The effects of experiencing stress during infancy can stay with a child for years, new studies show. Related findings about the brain-related mechanisms responsible for these effects may provide leads for helping children with autism or who have experienced abuse, as well as the rapidly growing number of internationally adopted children who were once neglected in orphanages. The researchers have discovered that these adopted children face a distinct set of developmental challenges that can persist at least to adolescence, even when they are adopted into stable, nurturing households. Other results indicate that at least some of these challenges may be overcome.
What to Plant When the Fires Go Out Science, Ecosystem Management and the American West
Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Room A112, Main Level, Convention Center, page S23 and Re-vegetating the West: Folklore, Science, and Policy
Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Room A207, Main Level, Convention Center, page S24
Devastating fires roared across the western United States in 2002. What to do when the fires are gone and it's time to replant? U.S. government agencies spend millions of dollars re-planting native species of grasses and other plants to replace those destroyed by fire, but geneticists say that those plants are difficult to cultivate, and are unable to resist the predatory ways of pervasive non-native grass that were planted decades ago to halt erosion. This press briefing will
provide an overview of the history and causes of fire in the west, and lay out the controversies over what to plant where, once the flames have disappeared.
Richard Dunne, Wind River Seed Company: Seed Production of Native Species: Welcome to the Real World
Stephen Pyne, Arizona State Univ.: Culture of Fire & the American West
Kenneth P. Vogel, USDA-ARS and Univ. of Nebraska: Resolving the Issues in Re-vegetating the West with Science
Here Comes the Sun The Sun: Source of Life and Key to the Cosmos
Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Room A207, Main Level, Convention Center, page S38
In 1854, it was reported that sunspots undergo an 11-year cycle of activity, an observation that has held for almost 150 years. The Sun has just reached its maximum level of activity in an 11-year cycle, during which it has been monitored and investigated with unprecedented detail. In this briefing, researchers report on their studies of the Sun, including the magnetic fields that drive magnificent phenomena—from sunspots and solar flares to the dazzling display of the northern lights. These short-term events are superimposed on the more slowly evolving changes arising from the varying amount and strength of magnetic flux during the activity cycle. A steady breeze and occasional blasts of charged particles disrupt satellite and radio communication. The cause lies at the surface of the Sun and deep within its interior.
Judith Lean, E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research: The Changing Sun
Alan M. Title, Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research: The Sun's Mysterious Magnetic Fields
Juri Toomre, Univ. of Colorado-Boulder: Seismology of the Sun: Probing with Sound Waves
** NEWS BRIEFING – SPECIAL LOCATION – Saturday, 8:00 a.m.,
Marriott City Center, Denver Ballrooms 3 & 4.
(Note: This briefing will take place at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, during the AAAS Women & Minorities Breakfast, which runs from 7:00 until 9:00 a.m. Reporters who wish to have breakfast must RSVP to Senayt Assefa, email@example.com, as soon as possible.)
Like a modern-day Dr. Doolittle, neurobiologist Erich D. Jarvis—winner of the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award, the National Science Foundation's highest honor for a young scientist or engineer—seeks to understand animal "language." He's investigating what structures and molecular events in the brain give six groups of animals a capacity for vocal learning. Imitating the sounds we hear is a rare trait, shared only by certain birds (parrots, songbirds and hummingbirds) and a few mammals (bats, cetaceans in the whale/dolphin family and humans).
Studies by Jarvis and colleagues at Duke Univ. have revealed, for the first time, new information on the brain structures of vocal learning birds. Jarvis will discuss his ongoing research, which may ultimately help set the stage for precisely pinpointing language areas in the human brain-a first step toward understanding language loss associated with strokes, lesions or head injuries. Jarvis is also part of an international scientific team pushing to overturn the 100-year-old nomenclature now used to identify key parts of the avian brain.
Erich D. Jarvis, Duke Univ., Evolution of Vocal Learning.
Are allergen-free dinners from land and sea likely to wind up on our dinner plates anytime soon? Speaker Samuel B. Lehrer will share his predictions on the future of agrobiotechnology—and its potential promise for allergy-prone diners. In this emerging realm, agriculture takes a new twist, from merely increasing the world's food supply, to supplying vaccines and therapeutics, in a move away from dependency on blood serums as sources for medical treatments. Additional speakers will subject transgenic product containment, risk assessment, and the safety of new foods entering the food chain to scrutiny in this briefing.
Courtesy of Charles Arntzen.
Charles Arntzen, Arizona Univ.: When Agriculture and Medicine Merge: The Hopes, the Hurdles
John Howard, founder, Prodigene/independent consultant: Reconstructing the Medicine Cabinet: Edible Vaccines and Plant-Based Therapeutics
Samuel B. Lehrer, Tulane Univ.: Is Allergen-Free Food in Our Future?
"Good" Science, in Bad Hands—Persephone's Story Biosecurity—Science in the Balance
Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Room C201, Main Level, Convention Center, page S44
Aerosol delivery of medicines may promise better treatment of illnesses, but in the wrong hands, some observers fear, the same technology might help terrorists spread anthrax. Similarly, publication of the genomic sequence for a deadly virus can point a path toward new tools for battling illness, but such crucial information could be deadly, if used as a recipe for evil. The problem reminds some of Persephone, an innocent of Greek mythology who spent her time picking flowers, only to be captured by Hades after plucking the Narcissus blossom. How can society prevent "good" science from being hijacked by evil-doers—without stifling the "openness" that gives rise to life-changing discoveries? And, could otherwise beneficial research lead to the creation of unimaginably destructive pathogens—or, is society overreacting to potential dangers in the wake of the 9/11 attacks? This briefing promises a sneak peek at a new survey of the scientific community; an eye-opening assessment of potential risks; official comment from the president of the American Society for Microbiology; and review of various policy options—from government-regulated classification to self-governance.
Ronald M. Atlas, Univ. of Louisville; president, American Society for Microbiology: Balancing National Security with Biodefense Research and Publication
Christopher Davis, consultant (National Academy of Sciences Working Group of Biological Weapons)
Gigi Kwik, Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies: Biosecurity—Striking the Balance
John Steinbruner, Univ. of Maryland: Defining and Controlling Dangerous Pathogens
We are typically on the losing end when it comes to battling the elements: wrestling wintry conditions in the air and on land, abandoning homes in the midst of a ravaging wildfire, or standing by helplessly while hurricanes and landslides decimate entire areas. Now, with next-generation weather models and automated sensors, we have the tools to better predict these types of disasters. One scientist will discuss a new physics-based weather model that can accurately forecast the location and severity of icy areas in the sky, thus saving planes and reducing winter gridlock on the ground. Another researcher will present a new type of fire prediction model, in which a large-scale fire makes its own weather. And, we'll also see the beginning of an inter-agency collaboration of data and technology that the U.S. will use to help itself and other countries predict landslides resulting from hurricanes. We can't beat nature, but at least now we'll be better equipped to avoid its wrath.
Joseph Golden, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Reducing Fatalities from Landslide/Flood Disasters in Central America (next-gen weather service)
Robert C. Harriss, National Center for Atmospheric Research: Next-Generation Tools for Supporting Wildland Fire Prevention and Suppression
Marcia Politovich, National Center for Atmospheric Research: Icing Forecasts for Aviation & Ground Transportation: Making Focused Science Work for Users
Randall Updike, U.S. Geological Survey: C/O with Golden (earthquakes)
Coastal ecosystems have traditionally been a mystery—a "black box"— characterized by unimaginably complex, three-dimensional currents and shallow waters too hazardous for oceanographers to explore. Now, innovative new studies, including genetic mapping of marine populations, are revealing that near-shore underwater neighborhoods "are a lot smaller and cozier than we ever imagined," says Stephen R. Palumbi. Thus, speaker Robert Warner adds, "Action taken locally, in a particular area, can have a very strong effect" in protecting coastal ecosystems. New data reveals that many species stick close to home, or at least return to spawn, and don't always disperse forever, as scientists long believed. Such information may suggest a need to redraw ocean zoning lines, a question addressed by a forthcoming report, supported by studies of marine population dispersal patterns. By opening the black box of the near-shore underwater world, scientists hope to better assess the array of conservation options, from marine reserves to large-scale restoration.
Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State Univ.: Opening the Black Box—An Introduction
Margaret McManus, Univ. of California-Santa Cruz: Linking the Recruitment Dynamics of Temperate Reef Fish Populations to Coastal Physical Processes
Stephen R. Palumbi, Stanford Univ.: A Gene's View of Oceanography: Genetic Mapping of Hidden Population Boundaries in Barnacles
Robert Warner, Univ. of California-Santa Barbara: Opening the Black Box: Dispersal Scales and Connectivity Among Marine Populations
Hope for Epilepsy and Retinal Damage? Shining Light on Signal Transmission between Cells of the Nervous System
Sunday, 8:30 a.m., Room C207, Main Level, Convention Center, page S49
It's still an evolving technique, but scientists can now study rapid reactions, including those involved in signal transmissions between nerve cells, that take place within a millisecond or less. The method involves the light-induced release of transmitters that trigger a cell's response to external stimuli. Pinpointing these reactions opens up myriad possibilities for understanding neurological diseases and defects. In this briefing, one researcher will discuss work that identifies the compounds needed to fix the faulty receptor responsible for one form of epilepsy; another will discuss new methods that could be used to by-pass the light-detecting cells of a damaged retina.
Richard S. Givens, Univ. of Kansas: Development of Photoremoveable Protecting Groups for Investigations of Biological Reactions
George P. Hess, Cornell Univ.: Transient Kinetic Investigation of Neurotransmitter Receptor Inhibition. Mechanism-Based Drug Discovery
A promising model for teaching environmental science to Native American students has been developed by faculty at the Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham, WA. A journal article sketches out a new curriculum using Native American culture to explain scientific ideas, drawing in Native American elders to recount their observations about natural phenomena. At this press conference, Native American faculty will present their recently published results of NSF-funded efforts to increase the number of students completing the environmental science program.
Gigi Berardi, Western Washington University and Northwest Indian College: The Challenge to Understand Ecosystems Complexity and Scaling: Consequences for Education and Management
Phillip H. Duran, Northwest Indian College: The Circle of Life & the Indian Operator: Bringing Back the Future
Daniel Wildcat, Haskell Indian Nations Univ.: Schizophrenic Science: Spirit and Reason Reunite
Conquering the AIDS Crisis Social Science and HIV/AIDS: Understanding Behavior Change
Part I- Sunday, 8:30 a.m. and Part II – Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Room C201, Main Level, Convention Center, page S15
In the United States, the HIV epidemic has slowed from a period of rapid growth in the 1980's to a more stable epidemic since the mid-1990's (about 40,000 new infections per year). This change has been attributed to a reduction in high-risk behaviors. In other parts of the world the rate of new infections remains alarmingly high. Africa is the hardest-hit region, with an estimated 70 percent of the world's new infections. Russia, China, and India are now showing signs of a steep rise in infection rates with patterns "disturbingly similar" to those observed in Africa a decade ago. Unlike other large-scale epidemics like malaria and tuberculosis, HIV infection is largely preventable through behavior modification. Why are some people getting the message, changing their behaviors, and avoiding infection, while others face devastation? And what are the roles of socioeconomic status and culture?
Byron Barksdale, Cuba AIDS Project: HIV/AIDS Prevention Efforts in Cuba
David Holtgrave, Emory Univ., Rollins School of Public Health: Measuring Behavioral and Psycho-Social Factors in AIDS Research
Monica Ruiz, National Institute Allergy and Infectious Diseases: HIV Infection Trends and Problems with Cross-Cultural Comparisons
CANCELLED - European Science Policy–A Message from Top EU Scientist Achilleas Mitsos - Topical Lecture
Sunday, 12:30 p.m., Room A201, Main Level, Convention Center, page 8
This newsbriefing has been cancelled. Please attend the topical lecture at 12:30 p.m.
Dr. Mitsos will talk about the need for integrated Science Policy within the European Union. By 2010, Europe will become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. One bold objective is to increase spending to 3 percent of the European Union GDP for R & D. Europe is at the beginning of expanding its membership. Integration of research and education is becoming the centerpiece of this new architecture. At the same time, the European Research Area is open to the world to create new opportunities for scientific co-operation across the Atlantic.
Achilleas Mitsos, Director-General, Research Directorate-General, European Commission: Towards a Coherent European S&T Enterprise
White Vans, Alien Abduction and False Memory Remembering Traumatic Experiences in Childhood: Reliability and Limitations of Memory
Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Room C205, Main Level, Convention Center, page S8
Are you confident that everything you saw yesterday was real? You might want to think again. It turns out that our brains are frighteningly susceptible to suggestion. Scientists will demonstrate how the power of subliminal messages, suggestive remarks and a phenomenon known as sleep paralysis can trick our brains into forming false memories and hallucinations. One researcher will discuss the prevalence of witnesses who saw white vans in relation to the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks. Another presents evidence that alien abductees are merely victims of waking dreams called "sleep paralysis;" while a third will demonstrate how we can subliminally influence someone's perception of someone else by flashing a certain word before his or her image.
Elizabeth F. Loftus, Univ. of California-Irvine: Putting Memory Meat on the Bones of Belief
Richard McNally, Harvard Univ.: Remembering Trauma
Joel Weinberger, Adelphi Univ.: Conscious and Unconscious Elements in Remembering
The anthrax attacks on the U.S. mail supply system emphasized the need for advances in microbial forensics, as well as raised new questions and concerns. If the anthrax culprit was captured, would the evidence stand in court? In microbial forensics, small genetic variations between strains of a microorganism are used to make inferences about the origins of a particular isolate. But to be able to test this, we need to develop criteria for new molecular methods such as genome sequencing. This news briefing brings together a forensic scientist, doctor, and
microbiologists to discuss what needs to be done to sufficiently validate these molecular methods, and make them admissible in the courtroom.
Dr. Bruce Budowle, Federal Bureau of Investigation: Practical Implications of Microbial Forensics
Dr. Joseph Campos, Microbiology Laboratory and Laboratory Informatics, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children's National Medical Center: Testing Standards in the World of Microbial Forensics
Dr. Paul Keim, Northern Arizona Univ., Department of Biological Sciences: Characterizing Isolates of Bacillus Anthacis Used in Acts of Bioterrorism
Dr. Abigail Salyers, Professor of Microbiology, Univ. of Illinois: Microbial Forensics: An Overview
Society counts on complex and accurate climate models to make sense of the interactions between ocean, land, atmosphere and the cryosphere. A report from a senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) analyzes climate from 1870 to the present, and projects climate up until 2100, comparing two possible outcomes—one based on adherence to the Kyoto Protocol, and another based on "business as usual."
Warren M. Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research: Predicting the Climate of the 21st Century
Socially Responsive Robots Biologically Inspired Intelligent Robotics
Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Room A102, Main Level, Convention Center, page S49
Robots that look, talk and walk like humans are just about ready to enter society. Researchers will present a new 'social robot' that not only looks human, but also responds to human facial expressions and understands speech. Although the public response to Artificial Intelligence tends to be somewhat negative, these scientists hope ten years down the road, social robots will be a useful, integral part of our culture. It's conceivable that once robots are fully social adaptive, they could function as bank tellers or customer service representatives. And, with a growing population of elderly persons, researchers also envision robots serving as companions: reading aloud to, grocery shopping for, and driving those who are unable to perform these tasks themselves.
An android head and a robotic hand that are serving as biomimetic platforms for the development of artificial muscles ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The photo was made at JPL where the head was sculptured and instrumented by D. Hanson, University of Texas, Dallas, jointly with G. Pioggia, University of Pisa, Italy. The hand was made by G. Whiteley, Sheffield Hallam U., UK, and installed with actuators by G. Pioggia, University of Pisa, Italy, at JPL, Pasadena, CA Courtesy of Yoseph Bar-Cohen.
Two sociable robots developed at MIT. To the left is Kismet, an expressive face robot developed by Breazeal and her colleagues at the MIT Artificial Intelligence lab. To the right is Leonardo, an ongoing joint collaboration between the MIT Media lab and Stan Winston Studios. Images copyright MIT with permission of Cynthia Breazea.
Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscles. Because of their ability to act in the manner of biological muscles, electroactive polymers (EAPs) have earned the nickname "artificial muscles." JPL, in collaboration with research institutions throughout the world, is working to improve the understanding of the mechanisms that are responsible for the electroactive effect. We are also searching for ways to improve the performance of EAPs and find applications where their unique capabilities can be used. Demonstration material was provided by EAP research partner Osaka National Research Institute. Courtesy of David Hanson.
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab: Engineering Robotic Life
Cynthia Breazeal, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory: Psychology and Intelligence of Biomimetic Robots
David Hanson, Univ. of Texas-Dallas: Humanoid Machinery
The Future of the Fight Against Malaria Malaria, Mosquitoes, and Insect-Borne Disease
Monday, 8:30 a.m., Room C201, Main Level, Convention Center, page S42
In 2003 there will be several million deaths and hundreds of millions of cases of malaria in the world, according to speaker Stephen Hoffman of Sanaria. Hoffman and his colleagues will describe the arsenal of tools that may help eradicate the global scourge. Researchers are placing their faith in a variety of methods, from radical new vaccine possibilities, to old standbys such as bed nets and house-spraying.
Chris Curtis, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: Malaria Vector Control by Treated Bed Nets and House Spraying
Stephen Hoffman, Sanaria: Designing Malaria Vaccines
Fotis Kafatos, European Molecular Biology Laboratory: Comparative Genomics and the Future of Tropical Disease Research
Robert Ridley, International Center Cointrin: New Anti-Malarial Drugs Through Public-Private Partnership
The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) is a dedicated satellite mission mapping the global gravity field with unprecedented accuracy. The results will improve studies of general ocean circulation and ocean-atmosphere heat and mass exchange; polar ice mass change and ocean bottom currents; and the earth's interior. This new remote sensing capability involves two identical satellites orbiting, one behind the other, that provide accurate measurements of the global gravity field once every thirty days. Scientists will describe early data and the impact these results will have on global mapping and climate change investigations, as well as some unexpected uses for the technology, such as diamond discovery.
Charles W. Clark, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Edwin Van Leeuwen, BHP Billiton Minerals Technology: Airborne Gravity Gradiometry for Minerals and Hydrocarbon Exploration
Stephen Malys, National Imagery and Mapping Agency: Advancements in Geodesy, the Global Positioning System, and Gravity Mapping
Byron D. Tapley, Univ. of Texas-Austin: Findings from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
Males competing for females, as described by Darwin in his famous
"theory of sexual selection"—have traditionally been considered the norm. But, an emerging
school of thought suggests that gender and sexuality may be far more diverse than researchers
had previously assumed. Indeed, speaker Paul L. Vasey will present new findings on same-sex
sexuality in Japanese macaques, as well as people. With non-traditional gender and sexuality
now documented in hundreds of species, same-sex sexuality, masculined females and feminized
males should no longer be "pathologized"—or considered abnormal, says speaker Joan Roughgarden,
a pioneer in the field of evolutionary biology and author of the forthcoming book, Evolution's Rainbow.
Courtesy of Paul Vasey.
Patricia Adair Gowaty, Univ. of Georgia: Female Choice in Sexual Selection.
Joan Roughgarden, Stanford Univ.: Darwin's Sexual Selection Theory
Paul L. Vasey, Univ. of Lethbridge: Same-Sex Sexuality, Sexual Selection and Evolutionary History
Laser Interferometer Gravity-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Update Probing the Universe for Gravity Waves: A First Look with LIGO
Monday, 2:30 p.m., Room A102, Main Level, Convention Center, page S39
Albert Einstein revolutionized the concept of gravity by developing a new theory based on curvature of space-time, rather than a mysterious force between massive bodies. Yet despite decades of effort, this theory has not been successfully integrated into the framework of contemporary quantum physics. The Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO) is looking to detect gravitational waves from astrophysical sources and is a promising tool in which to construct a unified theory of gravity, as well as test the more remarkable predictions of general relativity. This new kind of observatory may reveal unprecedented views of astrophysical phenomena, creating a new way of viewing the Universe.
Barry Barish, California Institute of Technology: Gravity--Studying the Fabric of the Universe (Topical Lecture)
Albert Lazzarini, Califronia Institute of Technology: First Searches with the LIGO Interferometers--Preliminary Results from Science Run 1
David Shoemaker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The Future--How to Make a Next Generation LIGO
Rainer Weiss, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The LIGO Interferometers--How They Work and How Well They Work
Stressed Out—Science Seeks Relief Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Prevalence, Pathophysiology,
Prevention and Treatment
Monday, 2:30 p.m., Room A205, Main Level, Convention Center, page S45
Stress responses in the body help us survive and avoid trouble. But, chronic stress, over time, can weaken bones and suppress the immune system, degrade brain structures and trigger obesity. As fear of terrorism grows world-wide, scientists are exploring how best to predict and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Researchers ask for example—"Do some people have a faulty stress 'off' switch?'" Or, is the fast pace of modern life changing our fundamental physiology? What role does socioeconomic status play in chronic stress? Speaker Dennis S. Charney will share new brain-imaging data exploring whether neurobiological variations might make some people more susceptible than others to PTSD. Other hot topics slated for discussion include psychotherapeutical options, and two medications approved for treating PTSD, plus others now on the horizon.
Dennis S. Charney, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH: The Neurobiology of PTSD
Matthew Friedman, National Center for PTSD: The Psychopharmacology of PTSD: Approaches to Prevention and Treatment
Terrence Keane, National Center for PTSD: The Psychotherapy of PTSD
Bruce S. McEwen, Rockefeller Univ.: The Effects of Stress on Brain Structure and Function
In this briefing, researchers will lead a complete virtual tour of a ski resort: from the physical science of the slushy stuff on a warm day, to the advances in the technology of the skis dangling from chair lifts, to the artificial snow made on top of the mountain, to snowflake formation theory. And when ski season is over, scientists will talk about some of the commercial and environmental impacts of icy science.
Samuel C. Colbeck, US Army CRREL: Sliders on Snow with Comparisons for Skiing and Sledging
Bard Glenne, K2 Ski Corporation: The Design of Modern Skis and Snowboards and the Application for New Technologies
Charles Knight, National Center for Atmospheric Research: The Nucleation of Supercooled Water and the Formation of Atmospheric and Artificial Snow
John S. Wettlaufer, Yale Univ.: The Surface Physics of Ice as It Applies to Sliders and Possibly to Glacial and Ice Sheet Motion
Journalism, Science Literacy and Society Lawrence Krauss – Topical Lecture
Scientific Ignorance as a Way of Life: From Science Fiction in Washington to
Intelligent Design in the Classroom
Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Room A201, Main Level, Convention Center, page 8
Sometimes controversial, often humorous, but never boring, science literacy advocate Lawrence M. Krauss challenges journalists, policymakers, educators
and the public to eschew ignorance. From his views on U.S. climate-change policy to "intelligent design" in the classroom and even media reports of "aliens among us," Krauss covers the complex factors that contribute to scientific illiteracy. When his audience stops laughing, Krauss is likely to point to serious underlying issues: In the United States alone, 63 percent of all adults are unaware that the last dinosaur died before the first human arose, Krauss notes, while 50 percent don't know the Earth orbits the sun, and a host of other nations also are struggling with scientific ignorance.
Lawrence M. Krauss, Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Chair Physics Dept. Author: Physics of Star Trek, and Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom's Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond.
Lawrence M. Krauss, Case Western Reserve Univ.: Scientific Ignorance as a Way of Life: From Science Fiction in Washington to Intelligent Design in the Classroom
Rainforests, Dinosaurs and Denver's Drinking Water Kirk Johnson – Topical Lecture
Tropical Rainforests, Dinosaurs and Drinking Water: The Odd Urban Geology
of the Denver Basin
Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Room A207, Main Level, Convention Center, page 8
As much of the American West—including Denver, Colorado—struggles to maintain drinking water supplies, local scientist-celebrity Kirk Johnson of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is uncovering useful new information about his city's urban geology. Johnson's recent paper in Science described the surprising discovery of a 64.1-million-year-old rainforest that grew in the Denver Basin following the demise of the dinosaurs. Johnson's latest findings, expected to debut at the AAAS Annual Meeting, may help urban planners and researchers to better quantify and manage groundwater trapped in bedrock deep beneath Denver.
The Colorado Front Range as viewed across Highlands Ranch a community of nearly 80,000 people that is dependant on groundwater from the bedrock aquifers of the Denver Basin. Courtesy of Kirk Johnson for Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
The site of Denver International Airport as it looked 65.5 million years ago, just after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Painting by Donna Braginetz. Courtesy of Kirk Johnson for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
A 64.1 million year old, six-inch long leaf from a fossil rainforest located just south of Denver Colorado. Courtesy of Kirk Johnson for Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
A pair of 9 inch long Tyrannosaurus rex teeth from suburban Denver. Courtesy of Kirk Johnson for Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Kirk Johnson, Denver Museum of Nature & Science: Tropical Rainforests, Dinosaurs and Drinking Water: The Odd Urban Geology of the Denver Basin
In this news briefing, researchers discuss the promise and the challenges inherent in carbon sequestration methods from the point of view of U.S. Government scientists and a Columbia Univ. physicist questions the premise that current sequestration technology can have an impact on the projected consumption of fossil fuels. He suggests that a way must be found to capture 600 billion tons of carbon over the next 100 years, and proposes instead to create a "synthetic tree" that will pull carbon from the air and turn it into hard blocks by mixing it with magnesium silicate. The idea, he says, is to reduce emissions to "zero," in order to buy time to develop alternative sources of energy. "It's the interval that matters. We need 100 years to come up with solutions." A colleague at Massachusetts Institute of Technology argues that technological solutions for
sequestering carbon will not be made available until the cost of emitting carbon is raised above its current price—zero.
Howard Herzog, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Sequestration Economics
Klaus Lackner, Columbia Univ.: Engineered Sequestration and Advanced Power Technologies
Curt White, National Energy Technology Laboratory: Geologic Sequestration in Coal Seams
Biodiversity, Coral Bleaching and Climate Change Biodiversity Hotspots and Climate Change
Monday, 2:30 p.m., Room A108, Main Level, Convention Center, page S26
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts that the Earth will grow several degrees warmer over the next century. But, AAAS speaker Lee Hannah says, "Temperatures over land and coral reefs are likely to be higher, with a lot of regional variation." This year, El Niño may be giving us a glimpse of the future, as warmer water sweeps through the tropical Pacific, bleaching fragile coral reefs, killing marine life and reducing biodiversity, says Lara Hansen, who expects to present new data from work in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Other research, by Hannah and others, looks at the potential impacts of climate change, based on species range shifts, on hundreds of South African plant species—reportedly the largest number of endemic plants ever modeled. The new findings have policy implications because the United Nations' convention on climate change defines "dangerous interference" in the climate system, in part, as overly rapid change requiring large range shifts by species struggling to survive.
Mark Bush, Florida Institute of Technology
Lee Hannah, Conservation International: Developing regional and species-level assessments of climate change impacts on biodiversity in the Cape Floristic Region
Double the population of Bangladesh, decrease the arable land, and increase the variability of monsoon rains: welcome to a prediction for the earth after 100 years of global warming. Fifty percent of the world's current population, and a larger share in the future, resides in areas affected by monsoon weather patterns. Scientists are looking back in time to the paleoclimate record to gain insight on how future climate patterns including monsoon, El Niño/La Niña and Arctic
Oscillation will react to global warming. The predictions are startling and the global implications are great.
Amy Clement, Univ. of Miami: El Nino in the Past, Present and Future
Clara Deser, National Center for Atmospheric Research: The Arctic Oscillation in a Global Warming Environment
Peter Webster, Georgia Institute of Technology: The Monsoons in a Global Warming Environment
Yucca Mountain—File and Forget? Nuclear Waste—File and Forget?
Tuesday, 8:30 a.m., Room A207, Main Level, Convention Center, page S46
It's official: Twenty years and $4 billion worth of scientific study later, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is now slated to serve as the U.S. repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Because Yucca Mountain wastes "will be dangerous for much longer than recorded history," AAAS speaker Radford Byerly notes, researchers are scrambling to determine how best to build, seal and manage the highly controversial repository. What they're learning may guide engineers grappling with an array of other hazardous-waste facilities. Plans for Yucca Mountain continue to drive heated debate, even over how best to seal the repository: Some believe the facility can be safely abandoned once closure has been completed. Others propose an "adaptive staging" approach—a learn-as-you-go strategy designed to prevent failures. Speakers are expected to present institutional reliability data as it relates to Yucca Mountain. They're also likely to discuss a U.S. National Academy of Sciences report, and to present the pros and cons of various management scenarios.
Radford Byerly, Univ. of Colorado
Thomas Isaacs, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory: Make Haste Slowly: Staging
the Technical and Institutional Features of Repository Programs
Todd LaPorte, Univ. of California-Berkeley
Abraham Van Luik, U.S. Department of Energy, Yucca Mountain Project:
Challenges of Providing Long-Term Stewardship for a Yucca Mountain Repository