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Category: Research News

Adventure Tourism

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve already had a taste: a family pilgrimage to Disneyland or a summer night at the state fair. You’ve felt the adrenaline surge as your roller coaster hurtled into that first loop, and you’ve sat gasping as it lurched to a halt. That hunger for excitement has made theme parks a $4 billion industry in the United States. But a growing number of people are no longer satisfied with the passive thrills these theme parks provide. A 1998 report from the Travel Industry Association of America shows that half of all adults in this...

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Chicken Defect Offers Clues to Human Vitiligo

To the untrained eye, Gisela Erf’s chickens look and act like any other members of their avian species, although they are among the less colorful of their kind. But that lack of color defines their value as a model for an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Erf, an associate professor of poultry science, studies a group of chickens that lose the pigment cells from their feathers and eyes within weeks after hatch, changing color from brown to white as they age. This pigment loss echoes a similar disorder in humans called vitiligo, an autoimmune problem that...

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It Came From L.A.

  SCENE I: The Questioning Yet another bizarre murder. Lured from their dank office at the FBI, agents Mulder and Scully arrive in the flat Florida sunlight of a town called Gibsonton. They watch as a man wearing a white tunic hammers an iron spike into his own chest and as another man—tattooed head-to-toe like a jigsaw puzzle—bites into a wriggling cockroach. Before the opening credits disappear, they’ve befriended Jim the Dogfaced Boy, also known as the Gibsonton sheriff. Clearly this will not be a typical case of protecting unwary townsfolk from the mysterious, the mutant, the deadly. On...

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Food for Thought

Childhood experiences can profoundly affect the rest of our lives. For some people, it was a specific person; for others, it was a memorable event. For Julie Carrier, associate professor of biological engineering, it was wheat bread. Carrier smiles as she recalls her mother, whose interest in nutrition led her to open the first health food store in her home town in 1968. While her mother focused on whole-food sources, for Carrier it all seemed to come down to wheat bread. “I think now of all of the wonderful breads that I had back then,” she laughs. “But everyone...

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World of Knowledge

  Researchers At the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies Work to Bring Geographic Information to Everyone. Imagine trying to gather information from a library where the information is stored in different buildings miles away from one another. After driving from one location to another, you discover that the information is also in different languages, and translating it all into the same language could take months–or years. Welcome to the world of digital spatial data–a wealth of information collected by various local, state and national agencies: Voting districts and census blocks; dams, harbors and springs; ditches and ferry crossings; boat...

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