Sci/tech

The Largest Solar Electric System in New England
December 13, 2007 09:30 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

DAYVILLE, Conn. - Furthering its commitment to Environmentally Responsible Initiatives, United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) along with Solar Works, Inc. and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), today held a dedication ceremony for the installation of the largest solar electric system in New England. The 550-kilowatt STC solar photovoltaic system from SCHOTT Solar, installed at the Company's state-of- the-art distribution facility in Dayville, CT, is expected to generate approximately 600,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, enough to power more than 67 average New England homes for one year. The system output will avoid over 14 million pounds (over 6,350 metric tons) of carbon dioxide over the 25-year life of the system.

 

Progress declared in Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts
December 13, 2007 09:08 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -  Pennsylvania's combination of mandatory requirements and environmental stewardship has led to sizeable reductions in nutrient and sediment pollution to the Chesapeake Bay since 2004.

The Governor Rendell also announced that Pennsylvania will use its strengths in agriculture and alternative energy development to push for important federal farm legislation and technological breakthroughs in producing biofuels.

Ingredient in human semen may enhance HIV infection
December 13, 2007 06:12 PM - Reuters

They said naturally occurring prostatic acidic phosphatase or PAP, an enzyme produced by the prostate, can form tiny fibers called amyloid fibrils that can capture bits of the human immunodeficiency virus and usher it into cells.

Lice from fish farms threaten Canadian wild salmon
December 13, 2007 05:13 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Infestations of sea lice at salmon farms on Canada's west coast are threatening local wild pink salmon populations and could result in their extinction in another four years, Canadian researchers said on Thursday.

Spacewalkers to inspect station for meteorite strike
December 13, 2007 05:07 PM - By Irene Klotz, Reuters

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Two astronauts on the International Space Station will make a spacewalk next week to find out if a micro-meteorite strike damaged a critical part of the outpost's power system, officials said on Thursday.

Quake early warning system predicts shaking, averts casulties
December 13, 2007 04:54 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY -- A California earthquake early warning system now being tested accurately predicted the ground shaking in San Francisco a few seconds before the city felt the Oct. 30, 2007, magnitude 5.4 quake near San Jose, according to a statewide team of seismologists.

Active early warning systems already created in places like Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey automatically stop elevators at the nearest floor, halt trains, isolate hazardous chemical systems and machinery and move people to a safer location or position.

Scientists discover genetic switch for circadian rhythms
December 13, 2007 04:48 PM - University of California, Irvine Newswire

Irvine, California — University of California, Irvine researchers have identified the chemical switch that triggers the genetic mechanism regulating our internal body clock. The finding, which uncovers the most specific information about the body’s circadian rhythms to date, identifies a precise target for new pharmaceuticals that can treat sleep disorders and a host of related ailments. The study appears in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.  Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, found that a single amino acid activates the genes that regulate circadian rhythms. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and Sassone-Corsi was surprised to find that only a single amino acid activates the body-clock mechanism because of the complex genes involved.

Scientists uncover how plants invaded the land, learned to survive heat, drought
December 13, 2007 04:21 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

Berkeley -- Some 400 million years ago, on a lifeless lakeshore lapped by waves, floating algae learned to survive in the open air and launched an invasion that transformed the Earth into a green paradise. The secrets of these first steps onto land are now being revealed thanks to the sequencing of a modern descendent of these first land dwellers, a dainty moss called Physcomitrella patens that sprouts on recently exposed shorelines, quickly fruits, and then dies.

 

Scientists unlock secret of emerging chikungunya virus's spread
December 13, 2007 03:54 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

University of Texas  -  A simple protein change in the chikungunya virus enables it to adapt to new mosquito hosts and spread to more regions, new research shows. Studies at the US-based University of Texas Medical Branch have found that a single amino acid change in the protein of the virus's outer shell helps it adapt to a new mosquito host, Aedes albopictus. The findings were published last in PLoS Pathogens.

Indonesian man dies from bird flu
December 13, 2007 03:44 PM - Reuters

Runizar Roesin, head of the bird flu centre in Jakarta, told Reuters the 47-year-old man from Tangerang died on Thursday evening.

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