Science & Technology
Fri, 18 May 2007 13:38 CDT
Pellets made out of aluminum and gallium can produce pure hydrogen when water is poured on them, offering a possible alternative to gasoline-powered engines, U.S. scientists say.
Comment: Question is, how much energy is required to make pellets of aluminum and gallium? More or less than what comes out of it? Sounds at best like they're just shifting the process higher up the energy chain.
Fri, 18 May 2007 05:45 CDT
Have you considered that someone could be reading what's on your monitor from a few rooms away? It's unlikely, but possible, as work by Cambridge University computer security researcher Markus Kuhn shows.
A radio antenna and radio receiver - equipment totalling less than £1000 - is all you need. Kuhn managed to grab the image to the left [see article] through two intermediate offices and three plasterboard walls.
Comment: Note: this is a first......as far as we know..... for flat panel monitors and laptops CRT (cathode ray tube) eavedropping has been around for awhile now.
Fri, 18 May 2007 00:05 CDT
Down the centuries, bald men have resorted to a range of desperate measures to restore their lost hair. Today, however, the first real hope of effective treatments is reported by an American team arising from research that could also lead to scar free surgery.
|Evidence shows mice can regenerate hair follicles
Thu, 17 May 2007 14:12 CDT
Researchers have identified molecules in the atmosphere of one of Saturn's moons that are responsible for its smog-like haze.
|©NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
|Titan's murky atmosphere.
The findings, published in the 11 May 2007 issue of 'Science', were gathered using the Cassini spacecraft, cooperative mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.
The atmosphere of Titan is of great interest as it is the only one in the solar system remotely like that of Earth, containing a nitrogen-rich mix of gases.
Thu, 17 May 2007 09:48 CDT
"We converted the sequence of proteins into music and can get an auditory signal for every protein," said Jeffrey H. Miller, distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics, and a member of UCLA's Molecular Biology Institute. "Every protein will have its unique auditory signature because every protein has a unique sequence. You can hear the sequence of the protein."
"We assigned a chord to each amino acid," said Rie Takahashi, a UCLA research assistant and an award-winning, classically trained piano player. "We want to see if we can hear patterns within the music, as opposed to looking at the letters of an amino acid or protein sequence. We can listen to a protein, as opposed to just looking at it."
The building blocks of proteins are linear sequences of 20 different amino acids. Assigning one note for each amino acid therefore results in a 20-note scale.
"A 20-note scale is too large a range," Takahashi said. "You need a reduced scale, so we paired similar amino acids together and used chords and chord variations for each amino acid. We used each component of the music to indicate a specific characteristic of the protein. We are faithful in the conversion from the sequence to the music. The rhythm is dictated by the protein sequence."
Thu, 17 May 2007 07:32 CDT
The [British] government has announced a U-turn on its ban on the creation of human-animal embryos and has now proposed allowing them to be used to develop new treatments for incurable diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
The proposal in a new draft fertility bill published today would allow scientists to create three different types of hybrid embryos.
Comment: Shades of Dr. Moreau......?
Thu, 17 May 2007 06:16 CDT
Fruit flies have free will. Even when deprived of any sensory input to react to, the zigs and zags of their flight reveal an intrinsic, non-random - yet still unpredictable - decision-making capacity.
If evolution has furnished humans with a similar capacity, this could help resolve one of the long-standing puzzles of philosophy.
Science assumes that effects have causes, and that if we understand the causes well enough we can predict the effects. But if so, our experience of being free to make choices is an illusion, since we are in effect just sophisticated robots responding to stimuli. If our behaviour is unpredictable, this is only because random events prevent us from responding perfectly to our environment.
Tue, 15 May 2007 15:10 CDT
After 2½ months of repairs to its external fuel tank, space shuttle Atlantis returned to the launch pad Tuesday in anticipation of lifting off in early June on a construction mission to the international space station.
|The space shuttle Atlantis moves toward launch pad 39a at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Tuesday.
The 5.45-kilometre trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building aboard the massive crawler-transporter started just after 5 a.m. EDT and ended about noon.
It was the second trip to the launch pad that Atlantis has made this year. The shuttle was at the launch pad in late February when a freak hail storm shot hail the size of golf balls at the shuttle, making thousands of dings to insulation foam on the external fuel tank.
Thu, 10 May 2007 09:01 CDT
Move over Mr Jack Thompson, Louisiana State Representative Roy Burrell has upped the ante when it comes to mixing fact and fiction to make political capital.
In a column in The Shreveport Times (which Burrell likes to refer to as The Times) he speaks about U.S. federal judge, James Brady, over-turning Burrell's Jack Thompson-supported state law (HB 1381). The law would have enabled judges to rule on whether a video game was too violent to sell to children. HB 1381 was made law in Louisiana in June 2006, and over-turned as unconstitutional in November the same year.
Tue, 15 May 2007 12:50 CDT
Our solar system might get booted from the suburbs to the boondocks of our galaxy when the Milky Way merges with its neighbor Andromeda in a few billion years, scientists say.
New calculations by T.J. Cox and Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics show there is a small possibility that the Sun and its planets will be exiled to the outer reaches of the merged galaxy.
"You could say that we're being sent to a retirement home in the country," Cox said.
Their findings have been submitted for publication to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.