Sci/tech

Israeli Researchers To Investigate Ocean Energy Source
August 27, 2007 03:48 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

University of Haifa, Israel - The University of Haifa in cooperation with Stanford University, is embarking on a unique, wide-ranging research effort to investigate energy production using a gas lying just below the sea floor, as an alternative to oil.

MIT aims for kinder, gentler scallop dredge
August 27, 2007 03:16 PM - MIT

The director of MIT Sea Grant's Center for Fisheries Engineering Research wants to build a better dredge-even though he's the first to admit that current dredges do a fine job of catching the creatures. What current dredges don't do, says Goudey, is take into consideration unintended consequences, such as damaging bottom habitat -- a concern since the 1986 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act introduced the issue of essential fish habitat.

European hot spots and fires identified from space
August 27, 2007 02:47 PM - European Space Agency

Hot spots across Southeastern Europe from 21 to 26 August have been detected with instruments aboard ESA satellites, which have been continuously surveying fires burning across the Earth’s surface for a decade. Working like thermometers in the sky, the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on ESA’s ERS-2 satellite and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on ESA’s Envisat satellite measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth's land surfaces.

Flying robot to aid China Antarctic expedition
August 27, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters

A robot that can fly "like a mini-helicopter" and a second that can glide across ice will aid Chinese scientists during an Antarctic expedition slated for October, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Using Life's Building Blocks to Control Nanoparticle Assembly
August 27, 2007 08:17 AM - Kendra Snyder - Brookhaven National Labs

Using DNA, the molecule that carries life's genetic instructions, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are studying how to control both the speed of nanoparticle assembly and the structure of its resulting nanoclusters. Learning how to control and tailor the assembly of nanoparticles, which have dimensions on the order of billionths of a meter, could potentially lead to applications ranging from more efficient energy generation and data storage to cell-targeted systems for drug delivery. Mathew Maye, a chemist in Brookhaven's newly opened Center for Functional Nanomaterials, will present the latest findings in this field at the 234th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

CU-Boulder signs $92 million contract for space weather instrument package
August 27, 2007 08:09 AM - University of Colorado at Boulder

The instrument package, which will be designed and built at CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, is slated to launch on future generations of NOAA satellites known as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES-R. Known as the Extreme Ultra Violet and X-Ray Irradiance Sensors, or EXIS, the LASP package will consist of an X-ray sensor to look at solar flares and an extreme UV sensor to monitor sunlight variation, both of which can disrupt communications and navigational accuracy of equipment and vehicles operating on land, sea and in the air and space.

Photon-transistors for the supercomputers of the future
August 27, 2007 07:49 AM - University of Copenhagen

Scientist from the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen and from Harvard University have worked out a new theory which describe how the necessary transistors for the quantum computers of the future may be created. The research has just been published in the scientific journal Nature Physics. Researchers dream of quantum computers. Incredibly fast super computers which can solve such extremely complicated tasks that it will revolutionise the application possibilities. But there are some serious difficulties. One of them is the transistors, which are the systems that process the signals.

When is a stem cell not really a stem cell?
August 27, 2007 07:40 AM - Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Working with embryonic mouse brains, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists seems to have discovered an almost-too-easy way to distinguish between �true� neural stem cells and similar, but less potent versions. Their finding, reported this week in Nature, could simplify the isolation of stem cells not only from brain but also other body tissues.

Scientists To Launch Polar Grid Research With Massive Computer Network
August 25, 2007 06:29 PM - Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Researchers from Indiana University create a cyberinfrastructure that will help scientists better understand the current and future state of polar ice sheets. The Polar Grid project will transform U.S. capabilities in ice sheet research. With this technology, it will be possible to collect, examine and analyze data -- and then use the results of such analysis to optimize data collection strategies -- all during the course of a single expedition. This will help scientists more quickly gain understanding about the potential impact of rising sea levels and how they relate to global climate change, a problem of urgent importance.

Low-Cost, High-Tech Way To Strengthen Deteriorating Bridges
August 24, 2007 06:36 PM - Ed Stiles, College of Engineering, University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona - A University of Arizona engineering professor has developed an easy, low-cost way to strengthen thousands of aging steel and concrete bridges across the country. The technology could have prevented Minnesota's IH-35W bridge collapse and could be used to repair tens of thousands of substandard bridges, says Professor Hamid Saadatmanesh, of UA's Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department.

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