Sci/tech

What are you looking at? Japan scientists find out
December 18, 2008 10:29 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese researchers have reproduced images of things people were looking at by analyzing brain scans, opening the way for people to communicate directly from their mind. They hope their study, published in the U.S. journal Neuron, will lead to helping people with speech problems or doctors studying mental disorders, although there are privacy issues if it gets to the stage where someone can read a sleeping person's dreams.

Tiny Saturn Moon ID'd As Good Candidate For Alien Life
December 17, 2008 10:58 AM - Wired News

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus may be one of the best candidates for extraterrestrial life in our solar system. Scientists for the first time have gathered comprehensive evidence suggesting Enceladus may have all the necessary ingredients to harbor life in the ocean beneath its icy crust.

Baby fish in polluted San Francisco estuary waters are stunted and deformed
December 9, 2008 09:32 AM - University of California - Davis

Striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary are contaminated before birth with a toxic mix of pesticides, industrial chemicals and flame retardants that their mothers acquire from estuary waters and food sources and pass on to their eggs, say UC Davis researchers. Using new analytical techniques, the researchers found that offspring of estuary fish had underdeveloped brains, inadequate energy supplies and dysfunctional livers. They grew slower and were smaller than offspring of hatchery fish raised in clean water.

America's Addiction Fuels Desire For Coffee Ground Biodiesel
December 9, 2008 09:03 AM - , Low Impact Living

Researchers are reporting they have successfully made a high quality biodiesel from spent coffee grounds. They estimate that the coffee ground biodiesel industry could generate as much as $8,000,000 in profits annually using waste from US Starbucks stores alone.

Scottish climate bill could set global example
December 9, 2008 08:58 AM - WWF

Edinburgh, Scotland: The newly published Scottish Climate Change Bill has the potential to become a world leading piece of legislation if it receives cross-party backing from Scottish MPs, according to WWF-Scotland. The targets in the bill include a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a cut of 80 per cent by 2050. It also sets out measures to tackle shipping and aviation emissions, as well as emissions from all six greenhouse gases, not just carbon dioxide.

Electric scooters give Fairfax police a silent edge
December 9, 2008 08:51 AM - ASH Institute

Fairfax's version of the stealth fighter is black, nearly silent and runs on batteries. The police department's two new electric scooters - vehicles that look like a cross between a skateboard and a mountain bike - will give officers greater mobility and flexibility, said inventor Rob Fruechtenicht, a Fairfax resident.

IBM, Harvard want your PC for solar power study
December 8, 2008 08:54 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientists at Harvard University and IBM are hoping to harness the power of a million idle computers to develop a new, cheaper form of solar power that could revolutionize the green energy world. Researchers have launched the project using IBM's World Community Grid, which taps into volunteers' computers across the globe to run calculations on a myriad of compounds -- potentially shortening a project that could take 22 years to just two years.

Newest Source of Biofuel: Fungus
December 5, 2008 10:00 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Researchers claim that the fungus, Gliocladium roseum, has the ability to produce a plethora of unique combinations of hydrogen and carbon molecules unlike any organism in the world, and the product is remarkably similar to the diesel we use to fuel our cars. And, according to a recently published issue of Microbiology, scientists are currently working to develop its fuel producing potential. So, someday, we might be filling up our cars tanks with hydrocarbons derived from fungus instead of fossil fuel!

The Fusion Hybrid Is Ford's Escape Route
December 5, 2008 09:25 AM - Jason Sattler, Wires News

The Big Three were late to the hybrid party, but they're finally getting into the swing of things with cars like the 39-mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid, a car that should make Toyota nervous and might just help Ford escape the apocalypse in Detroit.

EU approves genetically modified soybean for import
December 4, 2008 09:24 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has authorized imports of a genetically modified (GM) soybean type for sale across its 27 national markets for the next 10 years, the European Commission said on Thursday. Developed and marketed by Monsanto, the soybean is destined for use in food and animal feed, not for growing. It is a second-generation GM product known by its code number MON 89788 and commercially as Roundup RReady2Yield.

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