Sci/tech

New faraway sensors warn of emerging hurricane's strength
September 6, 2007 05:01 PM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

A new study supported by NASA and the U.S. Office of Naval Research takes forecasters one step further to improving their ability to predict just how powerful an oncoming storm may become by using highly-sensitive sensors located thousands of miles from the storm to detect lightning outbreaks within a hurricane’s most dangerous area.

Find Source Of Dark Energy Experts Advise NASA
September 6, 2007 04:35 PM - UC Berkeley News

Dark energy is a mysterious force that pushes the universe outward against gravity's tendency toward collapse, and scientists have been eager to launch a satellite to probe the cosmos for the source of this expansion. Now a blue-ribbon panel has recommended that a dark matter mission be NASA's top priority and has narrowed the number of possible dark matter missions to three, including a joint LBNL/UC Berkeley probe called SNAP.

Dinosaurs:Height Or Flight?
September 6, 2007 04:09 PM - North Carolina State University

Paleontologists have long theorized that miniaturization was one of the last stages in the long series of changes required in order for dinosaurs to make the evolutionary “leap” to take flight and so become what we call birds. New evidence from a tiny Mongolian dinosaur, however, may leave some current theories about the evolution of flight up in the air.

Solar Plant Planned In California Desert
September 6, 2007 02:21 PM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - BrightSource Energy Inc, a private solar energy company, said on Thursday it filed for a construction permit from the California Energy Commission to build a 400-megawatt solar power plant in the Mojave Desert. The project would cover between 3,000 and 3,500 acres near the Nevada border about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas and use solar thermal technology to generate electricity at two 100 MW plants and one 200 MW plant.

Norway says cars neither "green" nor "clean"
September 6, 2007 12:16 PM - Alister Doyle -Reuters

No car can be "green," "clean" or "environmentally friendly," according to some of the world's strictest advertising guidelines set to enter into force in Norway next month. "Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others," Bente Oeverli, a senior official at the office of the state-run Consumer Ombudsman, told Reuters on Thursday.

Distant space collision meant doom for dinosaurs
September 6, 2007 08:16 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A collision 160 million years ago of two asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter sent many big rock chunks hurtling toward Earth, including the one that zapped the dinosaurs, scientists said on Wednesday. Their research offered an explanation for the cause of one of the most momentous events in the history of life on Earth -- a six-mile-wide (10-km-wide) meteorite striking Mexico's Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago.

Carmakers Switching to Electric Motors
September 6, 2007 07:07 AM - Tom Krisher - Associated Press

Beneath your car's hood, there are belts hooked to the engine, running the power steering, air conditioning and other items that drag on the engine and cut gas mileage. But as fuel efficiency becomes paramount with high gas prices and pending government regulations, automakers across the world are trying to get rid of as many belts as they can, switching them to electric motors.

Dangerous technology -- Mobiles should be kept away from hospital beds
September 6, 2007 07:04 AM - BioMed Central

Mobile phones should come no closer than one meter to hospital beds and equipment, according Dutch research published in the online open access journal, Critical Care. Scientists demonstrated that incidents of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from second and third generation mobile phones occurred at a mere three-centimeter distance.

This is your city -- how will you power it?
September 6, 2007 06:49 AM - Reuters

If you ran a city, what energy source would you use -- cheap coal, or costly but environmentally friendly solar power? As oil prices near record highs, U.S. energy major Chevron is inviting people to deal with a potential future energy supply crunch in an online game called Energyville, which uses real data and scenarios to power a city until 2030.

Studying Seabird Diet Through Genetic Analysis Of Faeces From Macaroni Penguins
September 5, 2007 06:49 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

AUSTRALIA University of Tasmania - Scientists are trying a new way of tracking what penguins are eating, examining their droppings with DNA analysis. Usually, finding out what a seabird is eating relies on the analysis of stomach-content remains obtained through stomach flushing.

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