Sci/tech

Plant Debris may be hazardous to global health
December 19, 2007 03:57 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new study looks at a poorly understood process with potentially critical consequences for climate change. Emma Sayer, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Jennifer Powers, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's department of ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Edmund Tanner, researcher at Cambridge University, published the findings of their long-term study on the effects of increased plant litter on soil carbon and nutrient cycling in the Dec. 12 edition of PLoS ONE.

Experts: Pricy Oil Will Push Renewable Fuels Development
December 19, 2007 03:02 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - researchers at the University of Minnesota has discovered a silver lining in the increasing cost of oil. Midwest experts in research, government, business and nonprofit sectors who attended the university’s E3 conference last month were surveyed on what they think will promote sustainable energy research within their geographic domain. Forty percent of the respondents said the cost of oil is the primary driver.

Researchers newest tool in fight against spread of HIV
December 19, 2007 01:52 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new Web-based software program is the latest tool University of Minnesota researchers are using to help fight the spread of HIV. A multidisciplinary team of researchers, are embarking on a clinical trial this month to test a software program that aims to reduce risk-taking behavior associated with the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Scientiosts find origin of “breathable” atmosphere half a billion years ago
December 19, 2007 12:46 PM - Ohio State University Newswire

COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Ohio State University geologists and their colleagues have uncovered evidence of when Earth may have first supported an oxygen-rich atmosphere similar to the one we breathe today. The study suggests that upheavals in the earth's crust initiated a kind of reverse-greenhouse effect 500 million years ago that cooled the world's oceans, spawned giant plankton blooms, and sent a burst of oxygen into the atmosphere. That oxygen may have helped trigger one of the largest growths of biodiversity in Earth's history.

A $15.8 Billion Organic Electronics Materials Market by 2015
December 19, 2007 12:29 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

GLEN ALLEN, Va. - The market for organic electronics materials will be worth $4.9 billion in 2012 surging to $15.8 billion in 2015, according to a new report from NanoMarkets, an industry analyst firm based here. The report, "Organic Harvest: Opportunities in Organic Electronic Materials" is the next in a series that analyzes the market for the semiconductors, conductors, dielectrics and substrates that will be used in the growing organic electronics industry. Details about the report can be found at www.nanomarkets.net. The firm has also released a blog entry that provides additional commentaries from the report at www.nanotopblog.com. Report summaries are available for members of the press upon request.

Hot Flashes: Soy Can Turn Down the Heat
December 19, 2007 11:28 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ST. LOUIS, - As baby boomer women age into their menopausal years, new research demonstrates that soy isoflavones may offer them dietary relief from hot flashes. Baby boomer women account for approximately 25 percent of the total female population in the United States and as the youngest members of this generation enter their early forties, an unprecedented number of women will experience symptoms of menopause over the next few years.

U.S. trails other countries in air traffic management
December 19, 2007 10:08 AM - Indiana University Newswire

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The United States lags behind other developed countries in the structure and financing of its air traffic control system. And its failure to adopt reforms may have serious consequences as air travel and air cargo continue to grow and the industry becomes an increasingly important part of the global economy. Those are among the findings of Managing the Skies: Public Policy, Organization and Financing of Air Navigation, a new book by Clinton V. Oster of Indiana University and John S. Strong of the College of William and Mary. It will be published in January by Ashgate Publishing in the United Kingdom.

Why Santa Claus is Chinese.
December 19, 2007 09:25 AM - Lester R. Brown

I know Santa Claus is Chinese because each Christmas morning after all the gifts are unwrapped and things settle down I systematically go through the presents to see where they are made. The results are almost always the same: roughly 70 percent are from China. After some research, it seems that my one-family survey is representative of the country as a whole. Let’s start with toys. Some 80 percent of the toys sold in the United States—from Barbie dolls to video games—are made in China. Talking toys that speak English learned the language from Chinese workers. Electronic goods—from Apple’s iPod to Microsoft’s Xbox—are made in China. Clothing—from the latest cashmere sweaters to gym suits—is also likely to have a “Made in China” label.

Green tea may cut prostate cancer risk: Japan study
December 19, 2007 09:03 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to a study by researchers at Japan's National Cancer Center. It said men who drank five or more cups a day might halve the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared with those who drank less than one cup a day. "This does not mean that people who drink green tea are guaranteed to have reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer," said Norie Kurahashi, a scientist who took part in the study.

Pakistan says no threat of bird flu pandemic
December 19, 2007 08:59 AM - Reuters

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan said on Wednesday there was no threat of a pandemic from bird flu, as World Health Organization experts visited the country's northwest which reported the first human death from the virus. Pakistani authorities confirmed at the weekend eight human bird flu cases, including the one death, that the WHO said were likely a combination of infections from poultry and limited person to person transmission due to close contact.

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