Along with annoyingly adhering to your TV screen and tabletops, dust can be a deadly material, exploding with enormously destructive force in places like coal mines, sugar refineries and grain silos. The explosive properties of normal dust are pretty well known, but what about non-traditional dust?
Five years after a 1999 car crash left Eric Ramsey a victim of locked-in syndrome--essentially a conscious mind trapped inside a completely unresponsive body, unable even to blink--he soon found himself on the cutting edge brain research. In an attempt to allow Ramsey to communicate with the outside world, scientists implanted a device in his brain linking it directly to a speech synthesizer. After years of practice, Ramsey could generate vowel sounds just by thinking of them.
Now, 36 months after Ramsey began the trial that partially reconnected his isolated mind to the rest of the world, the researchers who implanted the device in Ramsey's brain have revealed how they produced this nearly miraculous outcome.
Patients with alcohol in their blood are less likely to die from head injuries, according to a new study in Archives of Surgery, a JAMA/Archives journal.
The researchers found that the patients who tested positive for alcohol were less likely to die than patients who had no alcohol in their bloodstream. They were also generally younger and had less severe injuries. But patients who had drunk alcohol did suffer more medical complications during their stay in the hospital.
Surprising facts about the real-life science of crime scene investigations
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.27.2009 at 10:50 am 1 Comment
The legal profession has a term for the way juries regard forensic science--they call it the "CSI Effect." Juries expect to see nothing less than DNA matching for even the most minor infractions. If the forensic evidence isn't overwhelming, they will acquit, even in the face of reasonable doubt. Without question, the CSI and Law and Order franchises have reshaped the popular imagination by elevating science as the ultimate arbiter of truth. That, in and of itself, is good for science. What's dangerous about the proposition, however, are the standards and lengths to which the television shows hold the science they portray.
While it's undoubtedly important for people to know what's fact and what's fiction in crime scene investigation, here's a look into just what the present day facts of forensics science entail (we'll leave the fiction to the experts… in TV production, that is). In 2005, Congress tasked the National Academy of Sciences to survey the landscape of forensic science. The result, this past February, was a 255-page report. Here are a few of the surprising facts they found.