Sci/tech

New evidence on the role of climate in Neanderthal extinction
September 13, 2007 06:44 AM - University of Leeds

The mystery of what killed the Neanderthals has moved a step closer to resolution after an international study led by the University of Leeds has ruled out one of the competing theories — catastrophic climate change — as the most likely cause.

260 million-year-old reptiles from Russia possessed the first modern ears
September 12, 2007 07:51 AM - Public Library of Science

The discovery of the first anatomically modern ear in a group of 260 million-year-old fossil reptiles significantly pushes back the date of the origin of an advanced sense of hearing, and suggests the first known adaptations to living in the dark.

Carmakers turn "green" but is it a smokescreen?
September 12, 2007 07:46 AM - Erik Kirschbaum -Reuters

Green is the color at the Frankfurt International Motor Show as carmakers, with carmakers tripping over each other to make eyebrow-raising claims their vehicles are "clean" and environmentally friendly. But is it all just a giant green smoke screen?

Ford turns harmful fumes into electricity.
September 11, 2007 06:08 PM - Ford Motor Company

Ford is further advancing its commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing technology by installing the third generation of its patented Fumes-to-Fuel system at Oakville Assembly Plant. The industry-leading pollution-control system converts emissions from the plant’s paint shop into electricity to help power the plant. The Oakville system will launch with an internal combustion engine and after a year of testing and further development will migrate to a stationary large-scale fuel cell to enhance the system’s effectiveness.

America's parking lots contributing to pollution and warming.
September 11, 2007 05:14 PM - Purdue University

From suburban driveways to the sprawling lots that spring up around big retailers, Americans devote lots of space to parking spaces - a growing land-use trend that plays a role in heating up urban areas and adding to water pollution, according to a recent study.

Researchers To Study Ecological Genomics
September 11, 2007 05:03 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MANHATTAN -- A research geneticist at Kansas State University, will be taking a much closer look at the complex relationship between genes in a microscopic worm and a changing environment. "Global change" says Dr Michael Herman,"is making the environment sick, and we're using genomics to understand exactly what's going wrong." A big federal grant will allow him to continue his research on soil nematodes, a nearly microscopic organism, in the emerging field of ecological genomics. The money comes from a National Science Foundation grant, $622,000. With it, Dr Herman will further his research on soil nematodes, a nearly microscopic type of worm, in the emerging field of ecological genomics.

Brain Network Related To Intelligence Identified
September 11, 2007 04:35 PM - UC Irvine News

Irvine, California - A primary mystery puzzling neuroscientists -- where in the brain lies intelligence? -- just may have a unified answer. In a review of 37 imaging studies related to intelligence, including their own, Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine and Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico have uncovered evidence of a distinct neurobiology of human intelligence. Their Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) identifies a brain network related to intelligence, one that primarily involves areas in the frontal and the parietal lobes.

Green fleets, fat profits on display at Frankfurt show
September 11, 2007 03:18 PM - Erik Kirschbaum

Carmakers wasted no time trying to show off their new-found "green" credentials -- as well as their glittering profits -- at the start of the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) on Tuesday. Opening the world's biggest car show with raft of optimistic reports on improved earnings and greater fuel efficiency, executives from carmakers around the world were bubbling with confidence about their greener fleets and fatter profits.

Gifted Research Parrot Alex Found Dead
September 11, 2007 11:37 AM - Associated Press

A gifted parrot that could count to six, identify colors and even express frustration with repetitive scientific trials has died after 30 years of helping researchers better understand the avian brain. The death of Alex, an African Grey parrot, left scientists at Brandeis University feeling as if they'd lost a colleague.

Ecosystems At Risk When Estrogens Mix With Other Chemicals
September 11, 2007 11:11 AM - Dr. Ed Orlando and Wendy Hessler, Environmental Health News

New experiments reveal that the synthetic estrogen used by women for birth control causes wide ranging health effects in minnows, but that the effects were different from when the drug was tested alone compared with when it was mixed with wastewater effluent. The tests found that when the estrogen, called 17α-ethinylestradiol, showed up in the water along with municipal wastewater, it caused feminization of male fish, altered their DNA integrity, changed their immune cell numbers and the ability to breakdown pollutants.

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