Eco-Engineering, Learned From A Steam-Spitting Beetle
September 19, 2007 11:46 AM -

Leeds, UK - An amazing insect, which sprays its predators with toxic steam, has inspired research into a new generation of technology at the University of Leeds.

The research has resulted in the new µMist™ technology which has the potential to become the platform for the next generation of more effective and eco-friendly mist carrier systems. It has multiple potential applications – such as new nebulisers, needle-free injections, fire extinguishers and powerful fuel injection systems – all more efficient and environmentally-friendly than existing technologies.

The research funded initially by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and subsequently by Swedish Biomimetics 3000 ®, enabled the Leeds team, led by Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory Andy McIntosh to examine the mechanisms at work in the bombardier beetle.


Lonliness, A Molecule
September 19, 2007 11:34 AM - UCLA News

It is already known that a person's social environment can affect his or her health, with those who are socially isolated - that is, lonely - suffering from higher mortality than people who are not.

Now, in the first study of its kind, published in the current issue of the journal Genome Biology, UCLA researchers have identified a distinct pattern of gene expression in immune cells from people who experience chronically high levels of loneliness. The findings suggest that feelings of social isolation are linked to alterations in the activity of genes that drive inflammation, the first response of the immune system. The study provides a molecular framework for understanding why social factors are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections and cancer.

Scientists in first global study of 'poison' gas in the atmosphere
September 19, 2007 10:41 AM - University of York

It was used as a chemical weapon in the trenches in the First World War, but nearly a century later, new research by an international team of scientists has discovered that phosgene is present in significant quantities in the atmosphere.

Peruvians get sick from apparent meteorite crater
September 18, 2007 06:57 PM - Teresa Cespedes, Reuters

LIMA (Reuters) - Dozens of people living in a Peruvian town near Lake Titicaca reported vomiting and headaches after they went to look at a crater apparently left by a meteorite that crashed down over the weekend, health officials said on Tuesday.

After hearing a loud noise, people went to see what had happened and found a crater 65 feet wide and 22 feet deep on an uninhabited plateau near Carancas in the Puno region.

Experts from Peru's Geophysical Institute are on their way to the area 800 miles south of Lima to verify whether it was a meteorite.

"We've examined about 100 people who got near to the meteorite crater who have vomiting and headaches because of gasses coming out of there," Jorge Lopez, health director in Puno, told Reuters.


New Solar Plane Breaks Unmanned Plane Record
September 18, 2007 07:54 AM - Simmons, Environmental Graffiti

London - An unmanned solar-powered aircraft that soared for 54 hours more than 50,000 feet above New Mexico may hold the record for unmanned flight, defense research company QinetiQ announced Monday. The record is currently 30 hours, 24 minutes in a flight on July 23, the company said. The plane, the Zephyr UAV, may not hold the official record because officials did not see the actual flight.

A Little Frightening, a little good news on climate and energy.
September 17, 2007 05:47 PM - , Private Landowner Network

Sometimes the news makes you want to crawl under your bed and hide. Other times there’s great hope and I'm ready to dance and cheer. These related stories for the week beginning September 9, 2007:

As frightening as the news may be, there’s continued effort to take some action whether it’s in the court room or the shops and labs of the world’s technology developers. Whether this is all too late remains to be seen.


Mammoth dung, prehistoric goo may speed warming
September 17, 2007 07:39 AM - Dmitry Solovyov -Reuters

Sergei Zimov bends down, picks up a handful of treacly mud and holds it up to his nose. It smells like a cow pat, but he knows better.

"It smells like mammoth dung," he says.

New World Record For Solar Aircraft
September 16, 2007 11:57 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

QinetiQ's Zephyr UAV exceeds official world record for longest duration unmanned flight White Sands, NM - There's a new world record for unmanned flight, this one solar powered, set this week by what's called an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The craft exceeded the official world record time for the longest duration unmanned flight with a 54 hour flight achieved during trials at the US Military's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. A company called QinetiQ’s made the craft, which they call Zephyr High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE).

New Image-search tool speaks hundreds of languages
September 15, 2007 10:30 AM - Hannah Hickey , University of Washington

Seattle, WA - From the fall of the Tower of Babel to the Esperanto global language movement, many humans have dreamed of sharing a common tongue. Despite the Internet's promise of global communication, language barriers remain. Even pictures on the Web get lost in translation. "Images are universal, but image search is not," said Oren Etzioni, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. "A person who types his or her search in English won't find images tagged in Chinese, and a Dutch person won't find images tagged in English. We've created a collaborative tool that solves this problem."

New satellite to sharpen Google Earth
September 15, 2007 09:16 AM - Andrea Shalal-Esa, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - DigitalGlobe, provider of imagery for Google Inc's interactive mapping program Google Earth, said a new high-resolution satellite will boost the accuracy of its satellite images and flesh out its archive. The new spacecraft, dubbed WorldView I, is to be launched on Tuesday. Together with the company's existing Quickbird satellite, it will offer half-meter resolution and will be able to collect over 600,000 square kilometers of imagery each day, up from the current collection of that amount each week, Chief Executive Jill Smith told Reuters in a telephone interview.

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