EnOcean's Self-powered Wireless Technology Enables Intelligent Green Buildings
October 8, 2007 10:32 AM - , Green Progress
New Zealand's First National eDay Diverts Nearly 300 Tons of Computer Waste
October 8, 2007 10:30 AM - , Green Progress
NEW ZELAND - Kiwis cleared their homes of nearly 300 tonnes of old computer equipment and mobile phones this past weekend in New Zealand's first national eDay. The free drive-through event was held at the North Shore Events Centre and the TelstraClear Events Centre in Manukau, and in Wellington, Invercargill, Wanaka, Alexandra, Queenstown, Wanganui, Rotorua, Whakatane, Tauranga and Hamilton.
Affordable Solar Power On The Horizon
October 5, 2007 08:10 AM - University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK - Environmentally friendly solar panels may be an affordable alternative to conventional power sources within the next ten years, as a result of a new initiative launched this week.
The project, funded by the Carbon Trust, will be led by the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory in collaboration with The Technology Partnership.
Currently solar panels are made from silicon, which makes them expensive to manufacture and therefore cost prohibitive for many. However, new technology being researched at Cambridge uses plastic to create solar cells, a much more cost effective and energy efficient method.
Geologists Recover Rocks from San Andreas Fault
October 5, 2007 08:00 AM - NSF
CALIFORNIA - For the first time, geologists have extracted intact rock samples from two miles beneath the surface of the San Andreas Fault, the infamous rupture that runs 800 miles along the length of California. Never before have so-called "cores" from deep inside an actively moving tectonic boundary been available to study. Now, scientists hope to answer long-standing questions about the fault's composition and properties. Altogether, the geologists retrieved 135 feet of 4-inch diameter rock cores weighing roughly 1 ton. They were hauled to the surface through a borehole measuring more than 2.5 miles long.
Thousands of New Marine Microbes Discovered
October 5, 2007 07:45 AM - Reuters
CHICAGO - Scientists have uncovered thousands of marine microbes -- including never-before-seen bacteria -- thriving deep in the sea near cracks in the Earth's crust where warm fluids and cold sea water mix, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. Using new DNA sequencing techniques, the researchers have identified as many as 37,000 different kinds of bacteria huddled near two hydrothermal vents on an underwater volcano off the Oregon coast. "Many of these bacteria had never been reported before," said Julie Huber of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, whose study appears in the journal Science.
Japan to Start Test Sales of Ethanol-Mixed Gasoline
October 5, 2007 07:35 AM - Reuters
TOKYO - Japan will start next week the first test sales in a city of gasoline mixed with ethanol to meet Kyoto emissions targets, two months behind schedule due to difficulties in finding a petrol supplier outside the nation's major refiners. Project manager, the Osaka municipal government, said on Friday it would start selling on October 9 gasoline directly blended with up to 3 percent of ethanol (E3) at two pump stations in suburban areas at a price similar to regular gasoline.
Bird Flu Virus Mutating into Human-Unfriendly Form
October 4, 2007 08:37 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.
The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans," said Kawaoka, who led the study.
"The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus," Kawaoka said.
Bird Flu Virus "More Invasive Than Thought'
October 4, 2007 08:07 PM - Jia Hepeng, SciDevNet
BEIJING - The post mortems of two people who died after H5N1 infection have revealed that the virus infects more human organs than previously thought. The study was published in The Lancet. Lead author Gu Jiang, a professor at the School of Basic Medical Sciences of the Beijing-based Peking University, and colleagues studied post-mortem tissues of one man and one pregnant woman, and also tested the foetus of the woman.
India's Tsunami Warning Center Up And Running
October 4, 2007 07:49 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet
HYDERABAD - India's tsunami warning center in Hyderabad became operational this week, less than three years since the country's southern coast was devastated by the Asian tsunami.
The $314 million dollar center, located at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It receives data via satellite from six ocean buoys — four in the Bay of Bengal and two in the Arabian Sea — equipped with water pressure sensors to detect any rise in water levels. Six more back-up buoys will be ready in the next two months.
Study: Vitamin C Essential For Plant Growth
October 4, 2007 07:38 PM -
University of Exeter - Scientists from the University of Exeter and Shimane University in Japan have proved for the first time that vitamin C is essential for plant growth. This discovery could have implications for agriculture and for the production of vitamin C dietary supplements.The study, which is published in The Plant Journal, describes the newly-identified enzyme, GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase, which produces vitamin C, or ascorbate, in plants. Vitamin C is already known to be an antioxidant, which helps plants deal with stresses from drought to ozone and UV radiation, but until now it was not known that plants could not grow without it.