Sci/tech

Peru mountain glaciers 'receding rapidly'
July 29, 2008 12:00 PM - , SciDevNet

Climate change-induced glacier melts have cost northern Peru's mountains 26 per cent of their surface area in the last 33 years, satellite images have confirmed.

GE partners with Abu Dhabi sovereign fund to boost cleantech in Middle East, Africa

The United Arab Emirates' bid to build the world's first zero-waste, zero-carbon city will receive a major financial boost from General Electric Co., company Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said today.

Air show's new buzzword: Sustainability

Manufacturers are trying to bolster their green credentials by playing down the importance of speed and lauding initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of flying, as well as the cost.

Security becomes main cost in UK GMO crop trials
July 28, 2008 10:09 AM - Reuters

Security has become by far the largest cost for field trials of genetically modified crops in Britain as researchers seek to protect sites against vandalism, a British scientist said on Monday.

African scientists to trial GM tobacco to smoke out landmines
July 28, 2008 10:05 AM - , SciDevNet

South African researchers are working on a genetically engineered tobacco plant that turns red near land mines — offering a potentially cheap way to clear post-conflict zones.

Chinese Take 50% Of All Cars Off Beijing Roads To Improve Air Quality For Olympics
July 28, 2008 09:18 AM - , Triple Pundit

Scientists will study this for years to come; China has ordered 50% of all cars off the roads off Beijing to make sure air quality is okay for the upcoming Olympics. The measures might be perhaps the world's most measurable traffic pollution reduction effort ever. What's more, they've launched an airquality forecast tool online.

BMW Mini Electric Cars Coming to U.S. in Summer 2009
July 28, 2008 08:52 AM - , Low Impact Living

BMW has announced plans to sell all-electric versions of its popular Mini car in the U.S., starting from summer 2009. Speaking on Tuesday, Mini USA Vice President, Jim McDowell, said that the company is still deciding whether to sell or lease the vehicles. He remained tight-lipped over exactly where in the country the cars will be available, and declined to comment on other aspects, such as range, power, charging time and price. He also said that speculation that Mini will sell 500 EVs in California next year was premature, since no exact plans have yet been finalised. Mini will apparently make a further announcement later this year, possibly to coincide with the Los Angeles Auto Show.

New material could help stretch a gallon of gas
July 26, 2008 08:58 AM - Reuters

A new, highly efficient material that converts heat into electricity may one day help cars get the most out of a gallon of gas, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. Only about 25 percent of the energy produced by a typical gasoline engine is used to move the vehicle or run accessories like the radio or windshield wipers, they said. Much of the rest escapes through the exhaust pipe.

Commercially Engineered Bees Spread Disease to Wild Bees
July 25, 2008 11:22 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

WASHINGTON - Disease spread to wild bees from commercially bred bees used for pollination in agriculture greenhouses may be playing a role in the mysterious decline in North American bee populations, researchers said on Tuesday. Bees pollinate numerous crops, and scientists have been expressing alarm over their falling numbers in recent years in North America. Experts warn the bee disappearance eventually could harm agriculture and the food supply.

UK Government Officially Okays Wave Power Technology
July 25, 2008 11:01 AM - , Triple Pundit

Wave power generation is relatively new in the world. In Europe, a Scottish company operates a few large scale projects off the Portuguese coast since 2007 and the UK government has just okayed a different type of wave power project to be moored on its coastal waters. There's little activity in the US as yet on the wave power scene. So what are the advantages and what are considered challenges?

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