Sci/tech

U.S. and China Continue to Increase Cooperation on Vehicle Efficiency
September 25, 2007 08:50 AM - Dept of Energy

Rare albino ratfish has eerie, silvery sheen
September 25, 2007 08:14 AM - University of Washington

A ghostly, mutant ratfish caught off Whidbey Island in Washington state is the only completely albino fish ever seen by both the curator of the University of Washington's 7.2 million-specimen fish collection and a fish and wildlife biologist with more than 20 years of sampling fish in Puget Sound. Powerful jaws and grinding teeth able to crack the shells of crabs and clams require caution by researchers and fishermen who handle them. Ratfish don't bite divers or swimmers in the water, Reum says, but they get snappish when brought on board.

Arctic science outpost a refuge from the world
September 24, 2007 07:34 AM - Dmitry Solovyov -Reuters

NORTHEASTERN STATION, Russia (Reuters) - When Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev died and the Communist propaganda machine organized a mass outpouring of grief, Sergei Zimov hardly noticed.Back in November 1982, the young scientist was roaming around local shops and warehouses looking for the nails he needed to finish building a scientific research station high above the Arctic Circle that he had founded two years earlier.

NOAA, Indonesia Launch More Tsunami, Climate Buoys
September 23, 2007 12:29 PM -

NOAA image of Richard W. Spinrad (right), director of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, standing beside the tsunami buoy that will be deployed in the Indian Ocean. September 19, 2007 — Representatives of the governments and scientific communities of the United States and Indonesia marked a historic moment today in Jakarta, Indonesia, as the two countries jointly launched tsunami and climate-monitoring ocean buoys in the region. The ship embarked from Jakarta today to launch the second buoy to warn of approaching tsunamis and four buoys to monitor climate.

Yes, The Internet Saves Energy
September 23, 2007 11:57 AM - Bruce Mulliken, Private Landowner Network

Recently, in this column, I said this, “I don’t think there’s been a study, and I can’t prove it, but I think the Internet is one of the greatest energy saving inventions ever created.”

Well, now there IS a study to back up my claim. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA (tm)) thinks the Internet saves energy too; and it’s substantial.

The just-released study commissioned by the CEA and conducted by TIAX LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts, shows that using electronics to telecommute saves the equivalent of 9 to 14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year – the same amount of energy used by roughly 1 million US households every year.

 

Marijuana Component Opens the Door for Virus That Causes Kaposi’s Sarcoma
September 21, 2007 06:04 PM -

PHILADELPHIA - The major active component of marijuana could enhance the ability of the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma to infect cells and multiply, according to a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School. According to the researchers, low doses of Δ-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), equivalent to that in the bloodstream of an average marijuana smoker, could be enough to facilitate infection of skin cells and could even coax these cells into malignancy.

While most people are not at risk from Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV), researchers say those with lowered immune systems, such as AIDS patients or transplant recipients, are more susceptible to developing the sarcoma as a result of infection. Their findings, reported in the August 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, offer cautionary evidence that those with weakened immune systems should speak with their doctors before using marijuana medicinally or recreationally.

 

And cut! Cambridge scientists film new nanoscale battle scene
September 21, 2007 05:52 PM - University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge scientists have, for the first time, been able to film the interaction between a bacterial enzyme and a DNA strand from an attacking virus. The real-time footage shows how the enzyme attaches itself to the DNA of a virus, in order to cut the DNA before the virus has the chance to infect the bacterium.

NASA spacecraft finds possible Mars caves
September 21, 2007 04:50 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An orbiting spacecraft has found evidence of what look like seven caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano, the space agency NASA said on Friday.

The Mars Odyssey spacecraft has sent back images of very dark, nearly circular features that appear to be openings to underground spaces.

"They are cooler than the surrounding surface in the day and warmer at night," said Glen Cushing of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Team and Northern Arizona University.

Amid Big Promises, Plans Proceed For First GMO Foodcrop Release In India
September 21, 2007 12:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

India - India is about to serve as host to a newly developed GMO eggplant, the first ever GMO foodcrop for India. The plant has been genetically modified to contain a pesticide that promoters hope will make it resistant to the fruit and shoot borer. Researchers admit, many questions about the new GMO food remain unanswered. No human trials have been conducted in the US or India. 

 

Environmental News 2.0: Online Communities fuel the Fight Against Global Warming
September 21, 2007 12:13 PM - Chris, Environmental Graffiti

Major online communities are becoming a huge force in making Global Warming a political priority. While there has been a lot of ink spilled about how online communities are changing the face of politics, the fact is that they really raise the profile of ordinary people’s concerns.  Well, people are concerned about Global Warming, because as Carlos showed us in Climate Tipping Points Get Scarier … there are only about 10 years left to get a handle on the problem and the political leadership in the United States and around the world will be hugely influential in whether we fix the problem and see us united for a more just and sustainable world or we scramble to adapt to a hugely changing world through adaptation efforts like billion-dollar levees and conflict over increasingly scarce resources.

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