Sci/tech

Japan eyes technology upgrades to halve emissions
March 5, 2008 08:31 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan plans to focus on its efforts to improve 21 technologies to help the world halve greenhouse gases by 2050, a trade ministry official said on Wednesday. The technologies that need to be improved to combat global warming include coal-fired power generation, power generation using natural gas, solar power, vehicles powered by fuel cells or biofuels, and hydrogen-based steelmaking, the official said.

Indonesian fossils belonged to diet-poor dwarfs
March 5, 2008 07:29 AM - Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Small human-like skeletons found in a cave on a remote Indonesian island were actually human and their miniature features probably due to nutritional deficiency, some researchers in Australia say. Writing in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the scientists said these were more likely to be cretin offspring of normal mothers who suffered from iodine and other dietary deficiencies.

Daimler says fuel-saving tech won't hit profits
March 5, 2008 04:52 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Fuel-saving technology that Daimler AG is offering on its new vehicles will not erode the carmaker's profitability, research chief Thomas Weber told Reuters at the Geneva motor show. "We have to make sure that we keep an eye on the profit situation," he said in an interview.

How to Stop a Hurricane, Cow-Free Steak, and Other Amazing Scientific Innovations
March 4, 2008 09:14 AM - ,

Studying rice may not sound like the world's most exciting job. But think again: One plant biologist, Dr. Monty Jones, has made the study of rice his life's work – and as a result of his amazing innovations in the field, he's dramatically improved the lives of millions of farmers and the general population throughout West Africa.

On the Horizon and Here Today: LED Alternatives to Linear Fluorescents
March 4, 2008 09:08 AM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News

NATIONAL REPORT—In meeting rooms, back of house and other areas of your hotel, chances are great that you are using T-12 fluorescent lamps or the more efficient T-8s to illuminate large spaces. At least two companies—ilumisys, Inc. in Troy, Mich., and LEDdynamics, Inc. in Randolph, Vt.—are trying to replace these linear fluorescents with LED alternatives that are more energy efficient and safer for the environment. Fluorescent tubes include mercury and despite recycling efforts, 500 million to 600 million lamps end up in landfills each year. LED alternatives do not include mercury.

Aging Hybrids Rejuvenated?
March 3, 2008 09:20 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Both Toyota and Honda make excellent cars. The motors, the bodywork, the interiors, the transmissions, the electrical bits, all first rate. Sure, there are occasional problems, some expensive to fix, and sure, items wear out and have to be replaced, but both companies build cars that can be driven 150,000; 200,000 perhaps as much as 300,000 miles with a little love and care.

Body Heat…and Power
March 3, 2008 09:15 AM - , Triple Pundit

Concerns about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are instilling a new dynamism –and fueling something of a renaissance - in alternative energy research and development. It’s increasingly apparent even to lay observers like myself that there’s potential energy – in widely varying degrees and at widely varying scales – in natural processes all around us.

Amazing solar shingles inspiried by leaves
March 2, 2008 08:42 AM - ENN

While the future of solar technology seems to rest on nanotechnological innovation, these GROW panels by SMIT are fairly remarkable. Inspired by leaves, these tiny generators do one better than their biological counterparts, drawing power from the sun, but also capturing energy from the wind as they are jostled by the breeze.

Richard Branson's new push, biofuels; coconut oil fueled airliner
March 1, 2008 09:18 AM - , Triple Pundit

Richard Branson, the business man that makes headlines seemingly every week. This time, it is for a green cause, he made history by becoming the first commercial airliner owner to fuel a flight with a partial load of biofuels. The debatable point is this, it took the oil of 150,000 coconuts and some babassu palm oil to power only 20% of one of four fat tanks on one of his 747 Virgin Atlantic airliners. The headlined trip launched at Heathrow airport and touched down at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, making the mark on what some would claim could be a revolution in environmentally responsible aviation.

Physics lab completes world's largest jigsaw puzzle
March 1, 2008 09:05 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - A 100-tonne wheel, the last piece of an ambitious experiment that scientists hope will help unlock the secrets of the universe, was successfully lowered into an underground cavern on Friday. It is the final major element in the ATLAS particle detector, the largest of four detectors being hooked up to the world's most powerful particle accelerator which the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) hopes to start up around the middle of 2008.

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