“U” research says new black holes could exist

Both extremely large black holes found at the center of many galaxies and the small holes found on the outer reaches were found years ago. Now, University astronomers say there may be intermediate mass black holes that connect the two known sizes.

The researchers said that these intermediate entities may cause the emission of X-ray light seen from disks in galaxies because of their optical counterparts, according to a recent press release.

These holes are studied by examining the force they exert on surrounding objects and from the amount of light a material gives off before falling into the hole.

Using X-ray, researchers can study the relationship between black holes and the stars around them, which are slowly being engulfed by the hole. X-rays are emitted as the black hole pulls gas off the surface of these stars towards the center of the hole. The brightness of the X-ray light is proportional to the mass of the black hole.

“U” physicist finds source of famous rock formation

The polygonal shapes that form the Giant”s Causeway, a columnar rock formation in Northern Ireland, were formed by fractures in melting lava, according to a University physicist and his research partner.

The columns, which are made of basalt, originally formed from the lava as it cooled, not from the work of the famous giant, Finn McCool, as the Celts once believed.

University physicist Alberto Rojo and Eduardo Jagla, a physicist at Centro Atomico Briloche in Argentina, postulate that fractures formed at the surface of the cooling lava and continued downward.

The pattern of fractures that creates the least resistance results in a hexagonal shape, the shape of the formations as they stand.

Body piercing popular, but often dangerous

More than half of undergraduate students surveyed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic had some type of body piercing, and 17 percent suffered complications, according to a recent study.

The study also found that 23 percent of students had tattoos, though there were no medical complications.

Female students were most likely to choose navel piercing over other forms, including the ear (not including earlobes).

People with pierced body parts suffered the most from bacterial infections, followed by bleeding, injury or tearing to the site.

The study was conducted at Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y.

More caring doctors sought

New ways of training and assessing physicians may help to increase the competency and amount of more personal care given by doctors, according to researchers at the University of Rochester.

By examining the current definition of what makes a good doctor, researchers said they hope to increase qualities in doctors that patients look for, including trustworthiness, good judgment and communication.

Researchers will introduce skills to the medical school curriculum that emphasize teamwork, interpersonal relations, managing in unclear situations and clinical reasoning.

The University of Rochester”s School of Medicine already combined these ideas with old practices in their new curriculum, and comments on the changes were published in yesterday”s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter Lisa Hoffman.

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