Sci/tech

China market may be breeding ground for deadly viruses
December 10, 2007 10:43 AM - By Joseph Chaney, Reuters

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - Scorpions scamper in bowls, water snakes coil in tanks and cats whine in cramped cages, waiting to be slaughtered, skinned and served for dinner.

French farmer to go on anti-GMO hunger strike
December 10, 2007 10:20 AM - Reuters

Speaking at the Millau Court of Justice in southern France, where his four-month jail sentence for trashing a GMO field in 2004 was commuted to a fine, Bove said he would start his unlimited strike on January 3, along with 10 to 15 other activists.

Scientists Discover How to Make Robots Bounce on Water
December 10, 2007 08:17 AM - , Environmental Graffiti

The way water striders walk on water was discovered years ago. The insect uses its long legs to help evenly distribute its tiny body weight. The weight is distributed over a large area so that the fragile skin formed by surface tension supports the bug on the water. However, the ability of water striders to jump onto water without sinking has baffled scientists, until now.

All UK homes could be wind powered by 2020: govt
December 9, 2007 07:36 PM - Reuters

Britain has some of the best wind conditions for generating carbon-free electricity in the world but high construction costs and a sluggish planning process has limited its growth.

Sex "switch" points way to smarter pest control
December 9, 2007 01:30 PM - By Ben Hirschler, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Turning off a sex "switch" triggered when female insects mate may be a smart and green way of controlling pests in future.

Britain plans big move towards wind power: paper
December 9, 2007 12:20 PM - Reuters

Britain's secretary of state for business, John Hutton, will announce on Monday that he will open up the seas around Britain to wind farms in a big renewable energy initiative and a reversal from a previous push towards nuclear power.

Grasscrete: Sustainable Urban Drainage Product
December 9, 2007 09:34 AM - Lexington Blood, Triple Pundit

Grasscrete, the green alternative to standard concrete surfaces for parking lots, driveways, and access roads for vehicles or fire trucks. The benefit to Grasscrete for businesses and developers is that it drains at about the same rate as would an ordinary lawn in the same location. The presence of concrete has little effect on the drainage; the soil and the slope are the controlling factors which makes it beneficial for erosion control as well.

EU may go easier on CO2 curbs for big cars: paper
December 8, 2007 10:29 AM - Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Commission may shift the burden of cutting average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions more onto small cars than heavier and more powerful models, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

The paper, which quoted an internal EU paper, said on Saturday the Commission was requiring manufacturers of the smaller models to cut CO2 emissions at a higher rate in order for the bloc to achieve its average target by 2012.

PETA boycotting Mars candy co. over animal cruelty
December 7, 2007 09:25 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for a boycott of M&Ms, Twix candy bars and other snack foods made by Mars Inc, claiming the company funds experiments that kill mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits.

"In violation of its own written policy, the candy company is currently funding a study at the University of California, San Francisco, that uses rats. The rats are force fed by having plastic tubes shoved down their throats, and they are then cut open and killed," PETA said in a statement.

Football field-sized kite powers latest heavy freight ship
December 7, 2007 09:12 AM -

A kite the size of a football field will provide most of the power for a German heavy freight ship set to launch in December.

The Beluga shipping company that owns the 140-metre 'Beluga' said it expects the kites to decrease fuel consumption by up to 50 percent in optimal cases as well as a cutback of the emission of greenhouse gases on sea by 10 to 20 percent. Interestingly, the ship will be hauling windmills from Esbjerg, Denmark to Houston, Texas.

The company that makes the kite for the German transport, SkySails, has made kites for large yachts but is targeting commercial ships with new, larger kites. And it has the ambitious goal of equipping 1,500 ships with kites by 2015.

The SkySails system

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