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Highlights from major acoustical science and technology conference, Nov. 15-19

November 3, 2010 -- The latest discoveries and innovations in the field of acoustics (the "science of sound") will be presented this month at a major scientific conference in Cancun -- including better ways to power hearing aids, new technologies for monitoring fetal heartbeats, intriguing explorations of the origins of laughter and new insights into the social lives of dolphins.

The 2nd Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics, sponsored by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), the Mexican Institute of Acoustics (IMA), and the Iberoamerican Federation of Acoustics (FIA), takes place November 15-19. Research topics to be covered include architecture, animal communications, engineering, oceanography, medicine, music and psychology.

This press release is the second of a series highlighting newsworthy talks and presentations. Journalists may receive complimentary registration to this meeting using the information found at the end of this release. Reporters who cannot attend in person may cover the meeting remotely using ASA's World Wide Press Room, which will go live one week before the conference begins.


  1. The Origins of Laughter and Sighs
  2. Checking Fetal Health in the Womb
  3. Costal Dolphins Quieter than Thought
  4. Sounding Out Ruptured Livers
  5. Mayan Pyramid Chirps like a Bird
  6. Making Energy from Vibrations
  7. New Power Source for Hearing Aids
  8. Repelling Divers with the Sound of Their Breath
  9. Why Some Voices Sound More Attractive
  10. Acoustic Archaeology Reveals Mayan Political Grandstanding
  11. Reevaluating Oil Rig Noise

1) The Origins of Laughter and Sighs

Few things can stir up our emotions like the human voice -- from the joy that a peal of laughter brings to the terror of a scream.

But why we make certain sounds to express certain emotions is a puzzle that scientists are still working to solve. At the Max Planck

Contact: Jason S. Bardi
American Institute of Physics

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