Sci/tech

UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
March 20, 2009 12:08 PM - Ben Hirschler, Reuters

Robot fish developed by British scientists are to be released into the sea off north Spain to detect pollution. If next year's trial of the first five robotic fish in the northern Spanish port of Gijon is successful, the team hopes they will be used in rivers, lakes and seas across the world.

Better food safety crucial for Africa
March 19, 2009 09:11 AM - SCIDEV

Africa must protect its food supplies from contamination by prioritising and investing in food production systems, says Ruth Oniang'o, editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Food Agriculture Nutrition and Development. January 2009 saw Kenya destroy US$8 million worth of maize — the country's staple food — after it was found to be contaminated with aflatoxin. But it seems the government agency concerned was more worried about recouping storage costs than righting its failures, says Oniang'o.

New Tool For Study Of Air Quality Developed
March 17, 2009 08:34 AM - AlphaGalileo

Air quality models have achieved a great degree of sophistication over the last few years thanks mainly to scientific and computational advances. These are tools that simulate the dynamics of the atmosphere and estimate the impact of particular sources of contamination such as industries or traffic on air quality so that plans and decisions can then be made according to the produced results.

Emergency Climate Science Summit Convenes in Copenhagen
March 12, 2009 11:09 AM - Triple Pundit

Politicians aren't listening, so climate scientists have convened an emergency meeting in Copenhagen over the next three days to collate the latest scientific findings so they can exert pressure on the negotiating teams that will meet in Copenhagen next December. The International Scientific Congress on Climate Change will feature keynotes by leading advocates for dramatic global warming policies, as well as a who's who of climate scientists.

Sea level rise could bust IPCC estimate
March 10, 2009 01:19 PM - New Scientist

Sea level rises could bust official estimates – that's the first big message to come from the climate change congress that kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark, today. Researchers, including John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, presented evidence that Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice fast, contributing to the annual sea-level rise. Recent data shows that waters have been rising by 3 millimetres a year since 1993.

UN agency targets clean technologies
March 6, 2009 09:35 AM - Financial Times

The intellectual property agency of the United Nations is to promote wider use of new technology to meet the global challenge of climate change. Francis Gurry, the Australian lawyer who took over the helm of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) in October, plans to take a new look at how the intellectual property system can ensure that patents are not a barrier to trade.

Solar Power For $2 A Day
March 4, 2009 09:53 AM - Forbes

BURLINGAME, CALIF.--Imagine a solar panel as affordable as a fancy new bicycle. A panel designed so simply that you can install one (or more) yourself, just outside your windows, in the course of an afternoon. That's the concept behind Oakland, Calif.-based Veranda Solar, a start-up founded last year by Capra J'neva and Emilie Fetscher, recent graduates of the product design program at Stanford University. J'neva and Fetscher dreamed up attractive, flower-shaped solar panels as part of their master's project at the design school. "We created a starter solar system that expands as your budget does," J'neva says.

Could Ford become a Leader in Fuel Efficiency?
March 4, 2009 08:13 AM - Triple Pundit

Last week, I wrote a piece about two recent reviews of the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Essentially, I wasquestioning the positive coverage, as most of it, in my opinion, seemed a bit lacking in substance. However, looking back, I realized I may have come off as a sort of Ford-basher. And that was not my intention.

Oceanic Seesaw Links Northern And Southern Hemisphere During Abrupt Climate Change During Last Ice Age
March 3, 2009 09:29 AM - Cardiff University

Very large and abrupt changes in temperature recorded over Greenland and across the North Atlantic during the last Ice Age were actually global in extent, according to an international team of researchers led by Cardiff University. New research, published in the journal Nature, supports the idea that changes in ocean circulation within the Atlantic played a central role in abrupt climate change on a global scale. Using a sediment core taken from the seafloor in the South Atlantic, the team were able to create a detailed reconstruction of ocean conditions in the South Atlantic during the final phases of the last ice age.

Ultimate In 'Green' Energy: Plants Inspire New Generation Of Solar Cells
March 3, 2009 08:49 AM - University of Southampton's Laboratories for Hybrid Optoelectronics

The ability of plants to turn sunlight into energy through photosynthesis has been successfully mimicked by scientists at the University of Southampton to produce a new generation of solar cells.

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