Sci/tech

Geoengineering Doesn't Work as Well as Natural Processes
May 20, 2010 09:20 AM - Quirin Schiermeier, Nature News

Blooms of algae created by pumping nutrients into the ocean can suck up at least ten times more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere than was previously thought. But the findings lend no support to controversial schemes to encourage such blooms in order to reduce global warming, the authors warn.

EPA Envirofacts
May 18, 2010 01:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts. The Envirofacts database is EPA’s single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility.

Easter Island Mysteries
May 14, 2010 02:55 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There are many mysteries about this small island in the southeast Pacific. The biggest ones are about the strange large statutes and how they were moved about and the second about how it all ended on this lonely island. Archaeologists have now disproved the fifty year old original theory underpinning our understanding of how the famous stone statues were moved around Easter Island. Fieldwork led by researchers at University College London and The University of Manchester, has shown the remote Pacific island’s ancient road system was primarily ceremonial and not solely built for transportation of the figures.

First Hole in North Pole Ice Drilled by Explorers
May 14, 2010 08:38 AM - Andrea Thompson

A group of Arctic explorers has made the grueling journey to the North Pole and drilled a hole in the ice to take the first ever sample of ocean water at the pole in an effort to better understand the impacts of climate change. The explorers, part of a group called the Catlin Arctic Survey, completed the sampling expedition after failing to last year, reported the Guardian. The team reached the geographic North Pole on May 12 after a 60-day trek across the frigid Arctic ice.

Philips Unveils World's First 60 Watt LED Bulb
May 13, 2010 12:01 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

Yesterday at the Lightfair International tradeshow in Las Vegas, Royal Philips Electronics unveiled its breakthrough EnduraLED light bulb. This bulb will be the world’s first LED replacement for the 60 watt incandescent light bulb, which represents about half of all domestic incandescent light bulbs sold on the market.

Laser Mapping
May 11, 2010 02:52 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Lasers, nasty space weapon or another tool? Equipped with a laser system, a plane collected highly precise images of New York city, its rooftops, trees, wetlands and much of what lies in between. In only four days, a twin engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of lidar (light detection and ranging) flew back and forth over the jungle of Belize and collected data surpassing the results of decades of torturous ground mapping. After three weeks of laboratory processing, the almost 10 hours of laser measurements showed topographic detail over an area of 80 square miles, notably settlement patterns of grand architecture and modest house mounds, roadways and agricultural terrace. Such a tool can quickly measure environmental areas of concern as well as urban areas.

Restless Plates in the Peruvian Andes
May 11, 2010 11:17 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

One of my articles last month was about the devastating earthquakes that have plagued many parts of the world this year, such as Haiti, Chile, China, and the Baja. These events cause catastrophic destruction, and are the result of the movement of tectonic plates. The Earth's crust is restless, constantly in motion, and earthquakes represent the most violent shifts. However, even when there are no earthquakes, the tectonic plates have the ability to creep unnoticeably. A scientist from California studied one of the largest subduction zones on Earth, The Central Peru Megathrust in the Peruvian Andes. Through his efforts, the truth behind this phenomenon was determined.

Science Closing in on Mystery of Age-Related Memory Loss, Says UAB Neurobiologist
May 11, 2010 08:38 AM - University of Alabama at Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The world's scientific community may be one step closer to understanding age-related memory loss, and to developing a drug that might help boost memory. In an editorial published May 7 in Science, J. David Sweatt, Ph.D., chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Neurobiology, says that drugs known as histone deacetylase inhibitors are showing great promise in stopping memory loss - and even in boosting the formation of memory in animal models.

Gaining Weight and Having Type 2 Diabetes
May 10, 2010 01:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Have you ever wondered how can you possibly gain so much weight when somebody else eats even more and gains less? Obviously, some of the answer is how much exercise one does. Another part of the answer is shown in the first study of its type by Australian researchers. Healthy people with a genetic predisposition to Type 2 diabetes gain more weight overeating over the short term than their non-genetically prone counterparts.

The Neanderthal in You
May 7, 2010 04:49 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Whatever happened to Neanderthal man and woman? Where did they go? After extracting ancient DNA from the 40,000 year old bones of Neanderthals, scientists have obtained a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, yielding important new insights into the evolution of modern humans. Among the findings, published in the May 7 issue of Science, is evidence that shortly after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, some of them interbred with Neanderthals, leaving bits of Neanderthal DNA sequences scattered through the genomes of present day non-Africans.

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