Sci/tech

Toyota to Halve Hybrid Price, Size for Next Prius
October 25, 2007 07:51 PM - Chang-Ran Kim, Reuters Asia Auto Correspondent

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will slash the price and size of its hybrid system by around half for the next-generation Prius model, and use a nickel-metal hydride battery instead of lithium-ion, a top executive said.

"When we went from the first-generation Prius to the second-generation, we did the same thing," Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto, in charge of Toyota's research and development, told reporters in Tokyo.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, has not publicly disclosed a timeframe for the introduction of the third-generation Prius model. Some media reports have speculated the planned late-2008 launch would be delayed because of concerns over the safety of lithium-ion batteries.

Agricultural soil erosion not adding to global warming
October 25, 2007 06:45 PM - University of California, Davis

Davis, California - Agricultural soil erosion is not a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, according to research published online today (October 25) in the journal Science. The study was carried out by an international team of researchers from UC Davis, the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and the University of Exeter in the U.K.  Carbon emissions are of great concern worldwide because they, and other greenhouse gases, trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere and are a major cause of global climate change.

 

Kettle Chips Wins Leeds Gold with Wind, Sod and More
October 25, 2007 03:18 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Beloit, Wisconsin - Wind turbines, native prairie grasses and biodiesel conversion won for Kettle Foods the presteigeous recognition for building the greenest food manufacturing plant in the U.S.. The U.S. Green Building Council today awarded the potato chip maker Gold level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The award recognizes Kettle's committment to minimizing the environmental footprint of its new factory in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Pittsburgh Paints Goes EcoGreen
October 25, 2007 01:33 PM -

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Paints, a global paint product manufacturer, today announced a major greening of it's product lines. The 2008-2009 season will see the introduction of a line of no VOC paints and a new color palette called "EcoEcho". Aside from being free of carcinogenic volotile organic compounds, the paints are pigmented to echo the growing interest in the ecological and environmental lifestyle choices and themes.

The paints, the company says, represent a cultural shift toward balance and authenticity as well as a quest for more organic and eco-friendly colors in the home. Part of the new line includes a thematic approach to colors called the 'Voice of Color' program. This approach to colors is based on the idea that every color has an emotional association and that individuals are drawn to different colors for reason inherently tied to their unique personalities. It's an ancient design notion, applied on a grand scale for the first time by a major paint manufacturer.

 

 

 

Study Reveals How the Brain Generates the Human Tendency for Optimism
October 25, 2007 08:51 AM - NYU

A neural network that may generate the human tendency to be optimistic has been identified by researchers at New York University. As humans, we expect to live longer and be more successful than average, and we underestimate our likelihood of getting a divorce or having cancer. The results, reported in the most recent issue of Nature, link the optimism bias to the same brain regions that show irregularities in depression.

Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Develops
October 25, 2007 08:24 AM - , Green Progress

Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, announced today it has signed an agreement with Ballard Power Systems to develop an on-board hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and lead-acid battery energy system for the forklift truck (or materials handling) market. Exide plans to meet all its hydrogen fuel cell needs in the forklift truck market over the next five years exclusively with Ballard fuel cells.

Chunks of Smashed Moon Detected in Saturn's Rings
October 25, 2007 08:19 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON  - Big chunks of a moon that was smashed long ago perhaps by a comet have been detected in Saturn's outermost ring, shedding light on the formation of the planet's grand ring system, scientists said on Wednesday.  A camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft spotted wakes ahead of and trailing behind these fragments, where other ring material has been affected by the gravitational forces exerted by the pieces, they said.

White House Accused Of Watering Down Climate Testimony To Congress
October 24, 2007 04:15 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House watered down climate change testimony to Congress - testimony by the head of the CDC -- the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The changes were made before the testimony was delivered, according to a watchdog group Both the CD and White House deny it.

The anti-nuclear group Physicians for Social Responsibility said White House officials had forced CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding to remove specific references about the effects of climate change from Tuesday's testimony to a Senate committee.

Food safety rules tightened after E. coli recall
October 23, 2007 06:20 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. food safety inspectors said Tuesday they will expand tests and recall infected meat more rapidly to combat E. coli contamination of meat products after the largest American manufacturer of hamburger patties went out of business this month.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a briefing the number of E. coli recalls climbed to 15 so far in 2007 compared to the five cases reported in all of 2005.

"We want the American consumer to know that FSIS has taken a number of aggressive actions ... associated with this pathogen and we are further expanding these efforts," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond.

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