Sci/tech

Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful
December 12, 2007 05:02 PM - UC Riverside, Newswire

Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, as reported in a news story days ago, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk – a potentially major concern for human health.

Canadian museum unveils long, long-lost dinosaur
December 12, 2007 05:02 PM - Claire Sibonney, Reuters

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Royal Ontario Museum unveiled the skeleton of a massive dinosaur on Wednesday that had been lost for decades -- in its own collection.

Satellite probes view auroral substorms, solar bowshock
December 12, 2007 04:55 PM - US Berkeley, Newswire

Berkeley, California -- Five satellites launched last February to probe magnetic storms around the Earth will move into prime observing position next month, but they already have produced important new information on the interactions between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field.

Cholesterol drugs may raise brain hemorrhage risk
December 12, 2007 04:33 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The use of cholesterol-lowering "statin" drugs, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin), may raise the risk of brain hemorrhage in patients who have experienced a recent stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), new research suggests. Still, this risk may be outweighed by the ability of these agents to lower the overall risk of a second stroke and other serious events, such as heart attack.

FDA says Merck recalls 12 lots of kids' vaccines
December 12, 2007 04:32 PM - Reuters

The company recalled 10 lots of its PedvaxHIB vaccine and two lots of its Comvax vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration said in a notice on its Web site. Both vaccines protect against a common cause of pneumonia, meningitis and upper respiratory infections. Comvax also prevents hepatitis

Scientists shed light on monster sea waves
December 12, 2007 01:59 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Ocean waves as tall as an eight-story building, once dismissed as maritime folklore, can be studied using waves of light, offering hope of predicting where these monsters may appear, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Oil-eating bugs may unlock clean energy from crude
December 12, 2007 01:21 PM - By Jeffrey Jones, Reuters

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A tiny oil-eating bug that lives deep underground may allow the world's oil industry to unlock energy trapped in trillions of barrels of heavy crude, which is costly and dirty to produce using today's methods.

Fuel cells help make noisy, hot generators a thing of the past
December 12, 2007 09:06 AM - DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Two core technologies developed at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - a fuel desulfurization system and a fuel reforming system - were instrumental in the demonstration of an electric power system operating on JP-8, a fuel commonly used in military operations.

Portable fuel cell power units are quieter, more efficient and have lower emissions than standard diesel generators, but are challenged when used with JP-8 fuel because of its sulfur content. The fuel desulfurization and reforming systems developed at PNNL reduce the sulfur content of JP-8 and generate a hydrogen stream compatible with an integrated fuel cell.

Study: Policy Trumps Technological Change in Beating Greenhouse Gas Emissions
December 12, 2007 08:53 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

A new study finds that policy changes, not technological advances, are necessary to stem the tide of rising greenhouse gas emissions. And the amount of climate-changing pollutants emitted could grow more quickly in the next 50 years than the last half-century, according to report authors Richard Eckaus of MIT and Ian Sue Wing of Boston University and MIT. “Technological change will not necessarily reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Energy taxes or a system on energy use and trade in emissions permits are necessary,” Eckaus says.

Solar water for Iraq
December 12, 2007 08:42 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Knowing the infrastructure would be broken - either through neglect or damage done in the invasion - the plan was to repair existing water, sewer and power systems, not to bring in expensive new equipment. The few days, weeks, months after initial hostilities ended the people of Iraq were expecting more than a patch job from the world’s richest country. Planeload after planeload of spanking new electric generators, truck after truck of bottled water might have won the hearts and minds early on. Our troops might be home by now.

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