Sci/tech

Sony, others to step up fight against global warming
February 15, 2008 09:13 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony, Nokia and 10 other global corporations said all necessary action should be taken to put a halt to global warming, and pledged they would step up their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a "Tokyo Declaration" issued on Friday by the dozen companies partnering with conservation group WWF for emission reductions, they said they will expand the scope of their activities by involving their business partners and customers.

Green Mobile Phone: Stylish and Sustainable
February 15, 2008 07:23 AM - , Green Pages

Nokia has unveiled ReMade, a revolutionary mobile phone made of 100% recycled materials. The idea behind the “remade” concept was to see if it was possible to create a device made from nothing new. It has been designed using recycled materials that avoid the need for natural resources, reduce landfill, and allow for more energy efficient production.

Middle East collaborates on seismic mapping
February 14, 2008 09:17 AM - , SciDevNet

Earth scientists from Israel, Jordan and Palestine have formed a research partnership to map seismic activity in the region. The collaboration began last month (January), according to lead scientist Hillel Gilles Wust-Bloch from the Minerva Dead Sea Research Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and the team are due to have a meeting next week (21 February).

Biofuel Crops Increase Carbon Emissions
February 12, 2008 11:25 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The conversion of forests and grasslands into fields for the plants offsets the benefit of using the fuel, researchers find. Greenhouse-gas output overall would rise instead of fall The rush to grow biofuel crops -- widely embraced as part of the solution to global warming -- is actually increasing greenhouse gas emissions rather than reducing them, according to two studies published Thursday in the journal Science.

High Speed Rail Advances Globally, Crawls in the U.S.
February 12, 2008 10:50 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Somewhere deep in the pages of President Bush’s proposed 2009, $3.1 trillion budget is a 40 percent cut in Amtrak funding. A cut so deep that the quasi-government interstate passenger rail service could screech to a halt. The lame duck’s plan is to give Amtrak $800 million. Nearly on the same day that the President unveiled his budget Alstom, of France, unveiled its latest high speed train, the AGV (Automotrice y Grande Vitesse) ) a next generation replacement for the TGV (Train y Grande Vitesse). The company already has orders: 35 trains, with an option of 10 more to Italian rail operator NTV

Germany harmonises development and research
February 12, 2008 10:47 AM - , SciDevNet

[BERLIN] The German research and international development ministries have signed an agreement to coordinate their activities and streamline their approach to research for development. The state secretaries for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) finalised the agreement last month (25 January).

Russia warns of new arms race without space ban
February 12, 2008 10:35 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia proposed a treaty on Tuesday to ban the deployment of weapons in outer space, warning that their development could lead to a new arms race and a repeat of the Cold War. The draft treaty, also backed by China at a U.N.-sponsored forum, would prohibit the deployment of weapons in space and the use or threat of force against satellites or other spacecraft, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Fake malaria drugs made in China
February 12, 2008 10:31 AM - ENN

A unique collaborative study between scientists, public health workers and police has led to the arrest of alleged traders of fake anti-malarial drugs in China. The epidemiological investigation, involving teams from across the globe and published in this week's PLoS Medicine, highlights the growing threat posed by fake pharmaceuticals and the complexities of tracking down those responsible for their manufacture.

Insects ravaged more plants in ancient hot period
February 12, 2008 09:46 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insects ate more plants, and did more kinds of damage to them, during an ancient hot period that offers hints of what might happen this century if global warming forecasts hold true, scientists reported on Monday. Earth warmed by about 9 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 5,000 years at the end of the Paleocene Era, some 55 million years ago, sending hordes of hungry insects from the tropics and subtropics into the temperate zone, where the climate was suddenly warm enough for them to survive.

Invention: Flexible wings
February 11, 2008 09:47 AM - New Scientist

Micro air vehicles with wingspans of less than 20 centimetres are of huge interest at the moment because they can easily carry small payloads such as cameras and microphones over battlefields, disaster zones, and other areas of interest.

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