news 2011



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Health - Law - 16.12.2011
Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Improves Health in Gay Men
Us Stephanie Berger 212-305-4372 Email sb2247 [a] columbia (p) edu Gay men are able to lead healthier, less stress-filled lives when states offer legal protections to same-sex couples, according to a new study examining the effects of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. The study, "Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Health Care Use and Expenditures in Sexual Minority Men: A Quasi-Natural Experiment," is online in the American Journal of Public Health .

Law - 15.12.2011
Sharia operates within the legal system, new research shows
Sharia operates within the legal system, new research shows
The NSW Muslim community believes Islamic law is already accommodated in Australian society without legislative change and is not seeking to establish it as a separate legal system, according to the University of Sydney's Ghena Krayem. In the first empirical research project to be completed in Australia on sharia, or Islamic law, Krayem found that the NSW Muslim community wants Islamic principles integrated within the existing Australian legal system, not to create a rival legal system or special legislation to allow its recognition.

Law - Economics - 03.10.2011
Study casts doubt on sex offender notification laws
Oct. Study casts doubt on sex offender notification laws ANN ARBOR, Mich.—While evidence suggests that requiring convicted sex offenders to register with the police reduces the chances they'll re-offend, a recent paper co-authored by a University of Michigan law professor shows that publicizing sex offenders' identities may actually increase the chances they'll commit another sex crime.

Law - 03.10.2011
After 29 years, nine-spotted ladybugs found on Long Island
After 29 years, nine-spotted ladybugs found on Long Island
The nine-spotted ladybug, New York's official state insect, was feared to be extinct in this state until citizen scientists rallied to Cornell's call to help look for it. Several nine-spotted ladybugs were spotted by citizen scientists on Long Island this summer. "The nine-spotted ladybug was once one of the most common ladybugs in the United States, and it was so revered in New York for its role in suppressing pests that it was named the official state insect in 1989," said John Losey, associate professor of entomology at Cornell and director of the Lost Ladybug Project.

Law - Physics - 31.08.2011
From a flat mirror, designer light
From a flat mirror, designer light
Researchers at Harvard create bizarre optical phenomena, defying the laws of reflection and refraction Exploiting a novel technique called phase discontinuity, researchers at the Harvard School of En

Administration - Law - 26.08.2011
Gaps in Services for Sexual Assault Victims in Texas
A new study reveals significant gaps in services for sexual assault victims and calls for improvements, including additional funding. Increasing the availability of local sexual assault services and lessening emergency room wait times will lead to stronger cases for prosecution, the researchers said.

Physics - Law - 19.07.2011
Bristol physicists break 150-year-old law
Bristol physicists break 150-year-old law
A violation of one of the oldest empirical laws of physics has been observed by scientists at the University of Bristol. Their experiments on purple bronze, a metal with unique one-dimensional electronic properties, indicate that it breaks the Wiedemann-Franz Law. This historic discovery is described in a paper published today.

Law - Media - 17.07.2011
Face value
Study shows that low-information voters are most likely to be swayed by candidates' appearances. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The looks of political candidates are a key factor influencing voters, a phenomenon identified by a number of scholars in recent years. Now, a new study by MIT political scientists adds to this body of research by detailing which types of citizens are most influenced by candidate appearances, and why: The tendency is most prevalent among low-information voters who watch a lot of television.

Social Sciences - Law - 07.07.2011
Why Sexual Assault Kits Are Not Being Tested for Use as Possible Evidence
AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work researchers have been chosen by the U.S. Department of Justice to participate in a study to determine why rape kits are not being tested and used as possible evidence in sexual assault cases. Untested sexual assault evidence kits are being discovered in police evidence rooms all across the country having broad ramifications for the police and crime laboratories, for the courts and for the victims, say the researchers.

Law - Environment - 20.06.2011
UC San Diego Researchers Create Tool to Put the Lid on Solar Power Fluctuations
Solar Resource Assessment website Solar Power Variability Animation High Penetration Solar Portal How does the power output from solar panels fluctuate when the clouds roll in? And can researchers predict these fluctuations? UC San Diego Professor Jan Kleissl and Matthew Lave, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Jacobs School, have found the answer to these questions.

Pedagogy - Law - 16.06.2011
Shared parenting legislation not in the interests of children?
Shared parenting legislation not in the interests of children?
Proposed legislation to introduce and enforce a presumption of shared parenting time for separating couples is not in the interests of children, according to a briefing paper published by the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. The term 'shared parenting' has no legal status but generally refers to a child spending an equal amount of time with each parent.

Health - Law - 24.05.2011
Quality of nursing home care no protection against litigation
Providing high quality care in nursing homes does little to guard against risks of being sued, a new University of Melbourne study has found. The Melbourne Law School study found the risks of being sued differed only slightly between the highest and lowest quality nursing homes. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Relationship between Quality of Care and Negligence Litigation in Nursing Homes analysed negligence claims brought against 1465 nursing homes in the US between 1998 and 2006.

Law - Chemistry - 19.05.2011
How sensors can detect the crime-solving clues at our fingertips
A new approach to fingerprinting using sensor technology developed at the University of Sussex could soon be helping forensics teams date and identify prints left at a crime scene - by capturing their electrical imprint. Currently, traditional methods of fingerprinting don't allow forensics experts to differentiate between prints at a crime scene left before and after the crime has been committed, or to differentiate important or interesting prints from background "clutter" (ie very old fingerprints).

Physics - Law - 02.05.2011
Fruit flies 'swim' through air, using the same physics as fish, study shows
Fruit flies ’swim’ through air, using the same physics as fish, study shows
Like a fish paddles its pectoral fins to swim through water, flying insects use the same physics laws to "paddle" through the air, say Cornell physicists. Using high-speed videography and a precision algorithm for 3-D motion tracking, Cornell researchers have demonstrated that swimmers and flyers share similar force generation methods to propel themselves through water or air.

Law - 26.04.2011
False memories lack sensory and other details, study finds
To "tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth" is the maxim guiding legal testimony. But what if the witness recalls something that didn't really happen? Memory is notoriously fickle and can be influenced by many factors, including how questions are asked. We often remember general impressions but not exact details of an event and draw on that impression to fill in the gaps, sometimes creating memories we never experienced.

Physics - Law - 17.04.2011
Zoom-up star photos poke holes in century-old astronomical theory
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The hottest stars in the universe spin so fast that they get a bit squished at their poles and dimmer around their middle. The 90-year-old theory that predicts the extent of this "gravity darkening" phenomenon has major flaws, according to a new study led by University of Michigan astronomers.

Law - Mathematics - 28.03.2011
Demographics cloud optimism on black violent crime decrease
University Park, Pa. Optimism about studies that show a drop in the black percentage of crime may be dampened by demographic trends and statistical aberrations, according to a group of criminologists. The rise in the U.S. Hispanic population and the sharp jump in black violent crime during the late 1980s and early 1990s may skew statistics from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports and the National Crime Victimization Survey that appear to show a recent drop in black violence, said Darrell Steffensmeier, professor, sociology, and crime, law and justice, Penn State.

Law - 23.03.2011
Psychologists Find the Meaning of Aggression
AUSTIN, Texas — Bottling up emotions can make people more aggressive, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Minnesota that was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Army. The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science , could have important implications for reducing violence and helping people in professions such as law enforcement and the military better cope with long hours and stressful situations.

Law - 18.03.2011
Libya resolution endorses international responsibility
Libya resolution endorses international responsibility
The United Nations Security Council agreement to allow the immediate use of military force against Libya shows that it takes the 'responsibility to protect' seriously, according to an international law expert from The Australian National University. The UN Security Council this morning adopted Resolution 1972 with a vote of 10-0 in which five members abstained.

Law - 16.03.2011
Children's evidence cross-examined
Children’s evidence cross-examined
The complex question of how children should give evidence to court - particularly when it could be critical to convicting someone of child abuse - will be the subject of a University of Cambridge conference next month. The one-day conference, hosted by the University's Law Faculty, will bring together experts from various legal systems around the world, including some where mechanisms are already in place to prevent young children from having to go through the distressing experience of giving their evidence to full court during a trial.