Sci/tech

Samsung launches solar-powered phone
February 16, 2009 08:15 AM - Reuters

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Global number two mobile phone maker Samsung launched five new phones on Monday including a model made from recycled plastic with a solar panel on the back for charging.

High-tech and green lobbies have Obama's ear
February 12, 2009 09:48 AM - WBCSD

To rally support for his administration's economic recovery bill last week, President Barack Obama invited about a dozen chief executives, seven of them from technology and energy companies, to the Oval Office of the White House. Some of their industries' top lobbyists, meanwhile, gathered in another office where Jason Furman, a top White House economic adviser, delivered a private briefing for groups expected to benefit most from the stimulus bill.

Can algae save the world - again?
February 11, 2009 05:42 PM - Reuters

PLYMOUTH, England (Reuters) - Can algae save the world again? The microscopic green plants cleaned up the earth's atmosphere millions of years ago and scientists hope they can do it now by helping remove greenhouse gases and create new oil reserves. In the distant past, algae helped turn the earth's then inhospitable atmosphere into one that could support modern life through photosynthesis, which plants use to turn carbon dioxide and sunlight into sugars and oxygen.

China Offers Subsidies For Alternative Energy Vehicles
February 11, 2009 10:09 AM - China CSR

China's Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology have jointly issued a provisional measure on the management of government subsidies for energy-saving and alternative energy automobiles. The measure details the objective and standards related to the subsidies to be given to the buyers of such vehicles. It says that purchases battery powered buses which are powered more than 50% by electricity will receive a subsidy CNY600,000 per bus in subsidy, this is said to be the highest subsidy offered.

Innovation alone is not enough to secure food supplies
February 11, 2009 09:42 AM - SciDev.Net

Technical innovation must be matched by political will and social justice to ensure food security in the twenty first century, says Alex Evans. Policymakers should use the recent fall in food prices as an opportunity to create a long-term, global strategy, argues Evans.

Inner Workings Of Photosynthesis Revealed By Powerful New Laser Technique
February 7, 2009 09:35 AM - Imperial College London

Instant pictures showing how the sun's energy moves inside plants have been taken for the first time, according to research out February 6 in Physical Review Letters. The images unravel some of the inner workings of the most efficient solar energy process on earth - photosynthesis. Inside a photosynthetic protein, the sun's energy is efficiently guided across the molecule to drive a chemical reaction that stores energy as food and takes in carbon dioxide. Scientists would very much like to harness this process as they search for new energy solutions to replace fossil fuels. To do this, they need to understand this energy transport process in more detail.

Carbon catalyst could herald cut-price fuel cells
February 6, 2009 08:59 AM - New Scientist

Fuel cells have been hailed as saviours of the environment, because they can cleanly and efficiently turn hydrogen and other fuels into electricity. But so far this technology has been hobbled by the high cost of the platinum catalysts needed to make it work. Now a new type of fuel cell based on carbon nanotubes promises to be much cheaper, as well as more compact and more efficient.

Steep-Terrain Rover To Explore Other Planets, Help Back On Earth
February 6, 2009 08:48 AM - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and students at the California Institute of Technology have designed and tested a versatile, low-mass robot that can rappel off cliffs, travel nimbly over steep and rocky terrain, and explore deep craters. This prototype rover, called Axel, might help future robotic spacecraft better explore and investigate foreign worlds such as Mars. On Earth, Axel might assist in search-and-rescue operations.

U.N. chief says domestic politics undermine climate fight
February 5, 2009 09:16 AM - Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A climate deal at Copenhagen may not be possible unless politicians take tough decisions without worrying about winning elections and compulsions of their domestic politics, the U.N. Secretary-General said on Thursday. Ban Ki-moon said the situation had been compounded by the global financial downturn that was making it more difficult for the political leadership to take unpopular decisions.

Obama's energy secretary outlines dire climate change scenario
February 5, 2009 09:01 AM - The Guardian

Unless there is timely action on climate change, California's agricultural bounty could be reduced to a dust bowl and its cities disappear, Barack Obama's energy secretary said yesterday.

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