Enn Original News
The Caveman Multi-Tasker
December 10, 2010 01:19 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
Contrary to public opinion, multi-tasking is not a modern phenomenon. This uniquely human skill was around long before the era of electronic distractions. According to a study from Monica L. Smith, anthropologist at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), it is multi-tasking itself that makes us human.
December 9, 2010 05:59 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Dark matter in cosmological terms is matter that is inferred to exist from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation, but is undetectable by emitted or scattered electromagnetic radiation. Its existence was hypothesized to account for discrepancies between measurements of the mass of galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the entire universe made through dynamical and general relativistic means, and measurements based on the mass of the visible luminous matter these objects contain: stars and the gas and dust of the interstellar and intergalactic media. It is very mysterious stuff that cannot be seen, seems to exist and has a profound effect on the universe,. Cosmologists have come up with a new way to solve their problems as to what and why it is. They are inviting scientists, including those from totally unrelated fields, to participate in a grand competition. The idea is to spur outside interest in one of cosmology's trickiest problems -- measuring the invisible dark matter and dark energy that permeate our universe. The results will help in the development of new space missions, designed to answer fundamental questions about the history and fate of our universe.
December 9, 2010 05:31 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
It is a buzz word nowadays. Green is good. there is green chemistry, green products, and green foods. How much green is good and how much is just lip service is another matter. Green is more that that the product is sustainable or based on recycled materials in this case. Researchers found that more than 8 out of 10 restaurant patrons surveyed in Columbus, Ohio said they would be willing to pay more to dine at green restaurants. More than 7 out of 10 said it was good for restaurants to protect the environment. The only problem is that very few restaurants market themselves as green or environmentally friendly, said Jay Kandampully, co-author of the study and professor of consumer sciences at Ohio State University.
December 8, 2010 07:02 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Which is better to be? Wild and free or tame and domesticated? That has always been an interesting philosophical question. Professor Mark Viney and colleagues at the University of Bristol compared the immune function of wild mice who have to find their own food with that of mice bred in captivity who have all food and lodging provided for them. The study found that, by most measures, the wild mice had a greater immune function. It also found that the immune function was substantially more variable among the wild mice.
The Universal Influenza Vaccine
December 7, 2010 10:19 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Every year, people line up to get flu vaccines at pharmacies and doctor’s offices because the flu develops new strains, requiring the vaccines to be updated. What if there was a single flu vaccine you could take to last for decades against any flu virus strain? Such a thing would make yearly trips to get vaccinated obsolete and save tons of money in medical costs. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) believe this is possible.
The Europe Electric Grid
December 7, 2010 09:39 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Ten European countries, including Norway, have agreed to develop an offshore electricity grid at the North Sea, in a bold move that promoters say will give Europe the possibility of tapping into an even bigger source of energy than the Middle East's oil capacity. Ministers from all the ten 'North Seas Countries' signed of a 'Memorandum of Understanding' on December 3 to develop an offshore electricity grid seen as a major step forward for a single European market for electricity.
Top Solar Sources in the US and North America
December 6, 2010 02:49 PM - Andy Soos. ENN
Ideally a location for the generation of solar power should have a relatively high level of solar insolation (ability to generate a significant amount of solar energy), a fairly large amount of economic activity to result from solar energy being deployed, a reasonably low cost of energy installation, higher than average current prices for electricity, and the potential for electricity production through solar power that would offset large amounts of carbon emissions. In other words it better be sunny and near major cities or factories. In the US Hawaii, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma are in the top 10 state locations according to Professor Matt Croucher from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University whose report (The Optimal Deployment of Solar Index)provides a ranking. What is reasonably in common is that all of these states are about at the same latitude. Mexico is also a solar energy opportunity without parallel, according to a report from Greentech Media (via Rhone Resch’s Twitter post). The report, Solar Energy Sector, was prepared by Mexico’s energy department, SENER, formally known as the Mexican Secretaría de Energía. One of the other prime areas in the world is the Sahara Desert. Again the major thing in common is latitude and availability and angle of the sun relative to the world.
Vitamin B1 as Treatment for Diabetes
December 6, 2010 09:08 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
A new study from the University of Bristol published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology shows that a dietary supplement of B1 vitamins can potentially prevent heart disease for people with diabetes. Half of all people with diabetes succumb to cardiovascular disease and it is the leading cause of death for diabetes patients.
Prehistoric Reptilian Diversity Caused by Rainforest Collapse
December 3, 2010 09:48 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
At 300 million years ago, global warming brought about an abrupt collapse of tropical rainforests. According to a new study, it is now believed that this event spawned the evolutionary burst of reptiles. It gave rise to the dinosaurs, which dominated the globe for over 150 million years.
Peak Oil, Then Coal
December 2, 2010 06:42 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
When will production of oil and coal peak? After the peak, production will decline because supplies are being depleted and no new sources are to be found. Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used. Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that either the peak has already occurred, that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly. The most recent edition of the respected science journal Nature contemplates the end of cheap coal with an analysis of the decline of global coal supplies by Post Carbon Institute Fellows David Fridley and Richard Heinberg. The estimates for global peak coal production vary wildly. Many coal associations suggest the peak could occur in 200 years or more, while scholarly estimates predict the peak to occur as early as 2010. Research in 2009 by the University of Newcastle in Australia concluded that global coal production could peak sometime between 2010 and 2048.