GM sees "showdown" with Toyota on electric car
November 14, 2007 09:40 PM - Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - General Motors Corp is on track to road test its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid early next year and to produce the rechargeable car by late 2010, setting the stage for a "showdown" with Toyota Motor Corp., a senior GM executive on Wednesday.
Humans and Chimps Differ at Level of Gene Splicing
November 14, 2007 06:28 PM - University of Toronto
TORONTO, ON – Researchers are closer to understanding why humans differ so greatly from chimpanzees in the way they look, behave, think, and fight off disease, despite having genes that are nearly 99% identical.
And the New Potential Cancer Causing Agent Is... Nanotechnology!
November 14, 2007 06:11 PM - Robert, Environmental Graffiti
Nanotechnology, the science of working with or creating materials 1 nanometer(a billionth of a meter) large, holds amazing promise for the future, but some studies are suggesting some of these tiny particles can be added to the long list of items that cause cancer.
Nanotechnology has already led to improvements in products from golf clubs to beer bottles. In the future, scientists hope to be able to build tiny machines using nanotechnology that they believe could revolutionize the world.
Researchers Get Stem Cells From Cloned Monkeys
November 14, 2007 03:31 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. researchers have cloned monkeys and used the resulting embryos to get embryonic stem cells, an important step towards being able to do the same thing in humans, they reported on Wednesday.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov and colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University said they used skin cells from monkeys to create cloned embryos, and then extracted embryonic stem cells from these days-old embryos.
This had only been done in mice before, they reported in the journal Nature. Mitalipov had given sketchy details of his work at a conference in Australia in June, but the work has now been independently verified by another team of experts.
Turning the brain drain from threat to opportunity
November 14, 2007 08:29 AM - , SciDevNet
Europe's recent bid to attract more skilled workers underlines developing countries' need for greater – not less – investment in their intellectual capital.
Listen to any developing country leader talk about the difficulties of building a knowledge-based economy, and chances are high that the brain drain will top their complaints. What is the point in investing in training cadres of scientists and engineers, they argue, if they immediately leave for better-paid jobs in the developed world?
As we all know, plastic bags don't have a lot of fans among the world's eco-activists. When you're shopping at Whole Foods, you're shamed into picking paper every time, despite the evidence that plastic isn't really any worse for the world. (Really want to be green? Go with canvas instead.)
Honda: Solar Production Begins
November 14, 2007 08:05 AM - , Private Landowner Network
Though Honda has been mass producing solar cells since October, and has begun sales of them, the opening of Honda Soltec’s production facility in Kumamoto, Japan makes it official: Honda’s in the solar business.
As you’d expect from the cutting edge car company, the product is state of the art. Honda is using thin-film, copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) cell technology - a technology still trying to gain footing against tried and true silicon solar. But Honda says that overall, in the big picture, grand scheme of things, CIGS is greener than silicon solar. The company says CIGS use 50 percent less energy to manufacture, start to finish, than conventional silicon crystal solar cells.
As China's mega dam rises, so do strains and fear
November 14, 2007 08:03 AM - Chris Buckley -Reuters
The slopes of Chenjialing Village have shuddered and groaned lately, cracking and warping homes and fields, and making residents fear the banks of China's swelling Three Gorges Dam may hold deadly perils.
The vast hydro scheme is meant to subdue the Yangtze River, but as the water levels rise, parts of its shores have strained and cracked, dismaying scientists and officials and alarming villages such as Chenjialing in Badong County.
Flying Lemurs Are the Closest Relatives of Primates
November 14, 2007 07:51 AM - Penn State
While the human species is unquestionably a member of the primate group, the identity of the next closest group to primates within the entire class of living mammals has been hotly debated. Now, new molecular and genomic data gathered by a team including Webb Miller, a professor of biology and computer science and engineering at Penn State, has shown that the colugos -- nicknamed the flying lemurs -- is the closest group to the primates. A paper announcing the results will be published in the journal Science on Nov. 2. The team was led by William J. Murphy, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A & M University.
November 14, 2007 07:48 AM - NSF
The Yellowstone "supervolcano" rose at a record rate since mid-2004, likely because a Los Angeles-sized, pancake-shaped blob of molten rock was boiled up 6 miles beneath the slumbering giant, scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) report in the November 9 issue of the journal Science.
"There is no evidence of an imminent volcanic eruption or hydrothermal explosion, that's the bottom line," says seismologist Robert Smith, lead author of the study and a geophysicist at the University of Utah. "A lot of calderas [giant volcanic craters] worldwide go up and down over decades without erupting."