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David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2005

Indiana Science Monthly flag

Vol. 2, no. 6
March 10, 2005

Indiana Science Monthly is a selection of recent news stories about Indiana University scientists and their research. Comments or questions about this newsletter may be directed to David Bricker, Office of Media Relations (812-856-9035 or

February science news:
* IU researchers defend consumers from wireless attacks
* Planet formation theories do some coalescing of their own

* AAAS needs IU proposals for 2006 St. Louis

February science news

"Another notice isn't answer" (INFORMATICS)
USA Today
Feb. 28, 2005

EXCERPT: A California law requiring businesses to notify consumers when the security of their personal data is breached is a poor substitute for real action to address the scourge of identity theft.

* This column ran as an op-ed. Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research Director Fred Cate argues that "... if the California law were adopted nationally, like the boy who cried wolf, the flood of notices would soon teach consumers to ignore them. When real danger threatened, who would listen?" Cate is also a Distinguished Professor of Law.


"When the Line Between Science and Business Blurs" (BIOETHICS)
The Scientist
Vol. 19, iss. 4
Feb. 28, 2005

EXCERPT: In 2004, media reports and US congressional investigations revealed that dozens of intramural scientists and officials at the National Institutes of Heath had received substantial amounts of cash and stock options by consulting with drug and biotech companies, many of which had dealings with the agency. High-profile problems with prescription drugs such as Vioxx and the controversy over antidepressant use in adolescents suggested that clinical trials conducted at the nation's most respected universities and medical centers might not tell the whole story.

* Asked about an apparent increase in medicine-related conflicts of interest cases, IU Center for Bioethics Director Eric Meslin tells The Scientist reporter Ted Agres, "There is a new awareness and increased sensitivity by government and industry of the problem... It would be wrong to simply conclude there are more examples of unethical behavior."
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"IU and Crane naval base to develop homeland security technologies" (INFORMATICS)
Associated Press
Feb. 22, 2005

EXCERPT: Indiana University will use cutting-edge research in its new partnership with Crane naval base to develop technologies to be used for homeland security and by the military, a school official said.

* IU Vice President for Research and Information Technology Michael McRobbie recently announced a three-year plan supporting the Crane facility's preservation. He tells the Associated Press that university "... assets can be brought to bear on the problems that must be solved to protect our country from 21st-century security threats."


"Wireless networks open to stealth attacks" (INFORMATICS)
United Press International
Feb. 22, 2005

EXCERPT: Wireless networks could link up police on the streets, soldiers in the battlefield and rescue workers in disaster zones, but computer scientists warned they remain dangerously vulnerable to stealth attacks.

* Associate Professor of Informatics (IUB) Markus Jakobsson recently spoke at a press conference during the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting. Jakobsson tells UPI reporter Charles Choi, who attended the media event, "An attack might be a terrorist who wants to disconnect emergency crews from each other and make his physical attack more effective, or a criminal who wishes to disconnect members of police in their efforts to chase him..." Jakobsson is also an adjunct associate professor of computer science and associate director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research.

IU news tip


"Meshed theories could explain planet formation" (ASTRONOMY)
New Scientist
Feb. 17, 2005

EXCERPT: Astronomers meshed a 50-year-old idea with a planet formation model from the 1990s to create a new model of how planets are created in the gaseous discs surrounding young stars.

* A new theory of how planets form combines two competing theories. IUB Astronomy Chair Richard Durisen tells New Scientist reporter Kelly Young, "Maybe reality is just a little complicated and both things are happening at the same time."

IU press release:


"New School Of Thought" (INFORMATICS)
Week of Feb. 14, 2005

EXCERPT: Declining enrollment in traditional computer-science and computer-engineering courses is a legitimate concern, but not a cause for hand-wringing despair. The next generation of IT professionals may be better prepared than any preceding one to balance the demands of being both a businessperson and a technologist, thanks to a growing number of innovative programs at prestigious schools that combine IT studies with business courses and high-demand skills, such as game design.

* The article profiles IU School of Informatics graduate and local entrepreneur Josh Froelich. When asked what his school's graduates are uniquely equipped to do, Informatics Dean J. Michael Dunn tells InformationWeek reporter Elena Malykhina, "They're problem solvers who understand the broader context of learning and how it applies in a world beyond IT."


"The American Experience: Kinsey" (SOCIAL SCIENCE)
Feb. 14, 2005

EXCERPT: Narrator: Summer, 1953, the Korean War is ending. Francis Crick and James Watson decode the structure of DNA. But the biggest news event in America is the publication of a book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, otherwise known as the Kinsey report.

* The WGBH-produced documentary chronicled Alfred Kinsey's early work with gall wasps and... a few other things.


"Special Relativity Reconsidered" (PHYSICS)
Vol. 307, iss. 5711
Feb. 11, 2005

EXCERPT: At an age when most boys would rather chase girls, Albert Einstein daydreamed of chasing light. When he was about 16 years old, Einstein later recalled, he realized that if he ran fast enough to catch up to it, light should appear to him as a wavy pattern of electric and magnetic fields frozen in time. "However," Einstein observed, "something like that does not seem to exist!" Ten years later, that insight blossomed into the special theory of relativity, which forbade catching light, overturned ancient conceptions of time and space, and laid the cornerstone for modern physics. Now, however, some physicists wonder whether special relativity might be subtly--and perhaps beautifully--wrong.

* IUB physicist Alan Kostelecky is challenging a special relativity principle known as Lorentz symmetry. While reflecting on a body of recent research, Kostelecky tells Science reporter Adrian Cho, "Nature's beauty is more subtle than that perfect symmetry... For me it may make nature more beautiful if it is almost Lorentz symmetric."
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AAAS needs proposals for 2006 St. Louis
The annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will take place in St. Louis next February (2006). AAAS is currently soliciting proposals for symposia and panel participants. AAAS is most interested in "hot" areas of scientific research and science's most pressing social issues. In addition, each year AAAS selects a number of panel participants to take part in press conferences -- often when there's real news to announce. Hundreds of science reporters from dozens of countries regularly attend these meetings; participating in AAAS can be a great way to share your good work with the world. At this year's meeting in Washington, D.C., Markus Jakobsson and XiaoFeng Wang (Informatics) and Susan Herring (SLIS) participated to great effect.

Deadline: MONDAY, MAY 2, 2005

More information is here:


* * * * Do you have an important and/or interesting paper in press? A major event or presentation coming up? Please contact IU Office of Media Relations science writers David Bricker at 812-856-9035,, or Hal Kibbey at 812-855-0074,

Indiana Science Monthly is produced for internal use only. If you have received this eMail in error, or do not wish not to receive this monthly eMail, or if you have a news item for the next edition of ISM, please contact David Bricker at 812-856-9035,