SciTech Briefs

Stars produced by black holes

Black holes are known for their powerful destructive force, but now astronomers say the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy gave birth to new stars. The stars were formed by the gravity of the gas disk that
offset the black hole?s tidal force.

Source: Yahoo News

Is marijuana good for your brain?

An active compound found in marijuana and hashish was tested on embryonic and adult rats. Instead of harming the brain cells of the rats, it stimulated the growth of new neurons. This could
explain marijuana?s antidepressant properties. The experiment was done over a period of years in low doses, however, so this does not mean heavy users can sustain the habit and get healthier.

Source: Time

Cheaper solar power made from plastic

Scientists are trying to find ways to increase the use of solar energy. They are trying to create an organic photovoltaic cell that uses a more accessible material than silicon, like carbon. The photovoltaic cell is placed between conductive electrodes. An electrical imbalance is created when the sun forces the electrons from the cell onto the electrodes, which creates an electrical current.

Source: ABC

Katrina?s flood waters not so contaminated

Researchers thought that Hurricane Katrina?s floodwaters would be toxic due to the oil refineries and chemical plants that were destroyed. However, results show that this is not true. Even though large amounts of bacteria, arsenic, chromium, and lead were detected in water samples, many researchers were put at ease because the levels of chemical contamination weren?t as high as suspected.

Source: Time

Digital TV spreads

Congress is planning on having America make the switch to digital television broadcasts by 2009. This will give viewers at home a clearer picture and better sound. It will also free up valuable radio bandwidth. Congress says it will soon set a ?hard date? to require all broadcasters to terminate their current analog signal.

Source: MSN

Global warming threatens the world

Studies show that the Arctic ice sheet is shrinking faster than scientists have thought. If there is no ice to reflect the sunlight back into space, the temperature on Earth can?t be controlled. Instead, the dark waters will absorb the sunlight, increasing temperatures through the world. Higher temperatures can cause crop failures and droughts. Global warming is also known to be a major cause of hurricanes.

Source: Time

What is the future for scientific jobs?

What will the future hold for careers in science? The most popular fields are medical science, epidemiology, biochemistry, and biophysics. Those seeking jobs in other fields may be out of luck.

Source: Science Spectrum