Sci/tech

Biological passport for pro cyclists taking shape
January 9, 2008 12:02 PM - Reuters

The creation of a biological passport for all professional riders is taking shape, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday. The UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced last October that they were planning to collect blood samples from all professional riders to create a medical profile that would then be compared to the data registered in doping tests.

Cadillac out to beat Lexus to zero-emission luxury
January 9, 2008 10:26 AM - Reuters

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - General Motors Corp, looking to regain momentum against Toyota Motor Corp, sees a chance to beat the Japanese automaker to market with the first zero-emission luxury car. GM seized the spotlight at a technology conference this week to show off a hydrogen- and battery-powered Cadillac concept car designed to run up to 100 miles per hour while emitting only water vapor.

LED Lights may light homes in less than 3 years
January 9, 2008 09:29 AM - University of Glasgow

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), already used in electrical equipment such as computers and mobile phones, are several times more energy efficient than standard light-bulbs. However, because of their structure and material, much of the light in standard LEDs becomes trapped, reducing the brightness of the light and making them unsuitable as the main lighting source in the home.

WEF warns 2008 uncertainties may hit climate efforts
January 9, 2008 03:16 AM - Reuters

An increased focus on turbulent financial markets and escalating geopolitical tensions in 2008 could prompt governments and firms to neglect less immediate risks like climate change, the World Economic Forum warned. That, it said on Wednesday, could make it even harder to deal with these critical longer-term issues in the future.

China rings out year of fluorescent green pigs
January 8, 2008 07:56 PM - Reuters

A fluorescent green Chinese pig has given birth to two piglets which share their mother's transgenic characteristic after she mated with an ordinary pig, state media said. The mother sow is one of the three fluorescent green pigs successfully bred by a research team in December 2006 after they injected fluorescent green protein into pig embryos.

Hubble Telescope upgrade on hold
January 8, 2008 03:39 PM - Reuters

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A long-delayed and nearly canceled upgrade to the Hubble Space Telescope will have to wait until NASA completes delivery of three modules to the International Space Station, officials said on Tuesday.

Corn... fuel... fire! U.S. corn subsidies promote Amazon deforestation
January 8, 2008 09:35 AM - Smithsonian Tropial Research Institute

Amazon deforestation and fires are being aggravated by US farm subsidies, claims STRI’s staff scientist William Laurance. According to Laurance, whose findings are reported this week in Science (December 14), a recent spike in Amazonian fires is being promoted by massive US subsidies that promote American corn production for ethanol. The ethanol is being blended with gasoline as an automobile fuel.

Scientists discover molecular basis of monarch butterfly migration
January 8, 2008 09:15 AM - Public Library of Science

Since its discovery, the annual migration of eastern North American monarch butterflies has captivated the human imagination and spirit. That millions of butterflies annually fly a few thousand miles to reach a cluster of pine groves in central Mexico comprising just 70 square miles is, for many, an awesome and mysterious occurrence. However, over the past two decades, scientists have begun to unveil the journey for what it is: a spectacular result of biology, driven by an intricate molecular mechanism in a tiny cluster of cells in the butterfly brain.

Fiat sees EU CO2 proposal upping prices: report
January 8, 2008 05:09 AM - Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) - Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the EU's proposed legislation to lower carbon dioxide emissions from cars would push up prices for buyers. The European Commission proposed in December tough legislation aimed at reducing CO2 emissions which would mean manufacturers failing to comply face steep fines.

Green woes greets India's new "People's Car"
January 8, 2008 01:23 AM - Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's "People's Car" has yet to be unveiled and the advertising campaign has not even begun, but some Indians are already raving about Tata Motor's new $2,500 car -- despite the fears of environmentalists. "I am really excited and definitely buying the cheapest car in the world as soon as they launch it," said Arindam Sapui, a rice trader in Burdwan, a small town in West Bengal in eastern India.

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