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Syria ready with bio-terror if U.S. hits Iran

March 6, 2007

Jill Bellamy-Dekker, an American biodefense analyst living in Europe, says if the U.S. invades Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions, Syria is ready to respond with biological weapons, using a variation of smallpox.

She referenced an April 2000 article published by Syrian defense minister General Mustafa Talas, titled “Biological (Germ) Warfare: A New and Effective Method in Modern Warfare.”

Time Change a ‘Mini-Y2K’ in Tech Terms

March 6, 2007

The daylight saving time change takes effect March 11–three weeks earlier. Many companies are scrambling to reset BlackBerry e-mail devices, desktop PCs and data-center computers used to automate payrolls, purchasing and manufacturing.

For the roughly 7,000 public companies in the United States, Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst at Forrester Research estimates, the total cost of making computer fixes to deal with the daylight saving time shift is more than $350… read more

New Graphene Transistors Show Promise

March 6, 2007

Researchers at the University of Manchester have announced a single-electron transistor made out of graphene, a single sheet of graphite only one atom thick.

The researchers’ device, which is the first single-electron transistor to operate at room temperature, offers evidence that graphene is a promising alternative to silicon.

When most metals are shrunk to the size of quantum dots–about two to three nanometers wide–they become fragile and move… read more

GREEN VALLEY

March 6, 2007

Green tech, also known as clean tech, is Silicon Valley’s latest incarnation.

Some of the technologies involved are unproven but have immense promise. They inlude thin-film solar, higher-efficiency solar, cellulosic ethanol, algal biofuels, and fuel cells small enough to power mobile phones and large enough to light buildings.

The ‘new age’ of super materials

March 6, 2007

Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC).

Cheap Nano Solar Cells

March 5, 2007

Researchers at University of Notre Dame have demonstrated a way to significantly improve the efficiency of solar cells by adding single-walled carbon nanotubes to a film made of titanium-dioxide nanoparticles.

The method doubles the efficiency of converting ultraviolet light into electrons when compared with the performance of the nanoparticles alone. The solar cells could be used to make hydrogen for fuel cells directly from water or for producing electricity.

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says

March 5, 2007

Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet’s recent climate changes have a natural — and not a human-induced cause — according to one scientist’s controversial theory.

Darwin’s God

March 5, 2007

In the world of evolutionary biology, the question is not whether God exists but why we believe in him. Is belief a helpful adaptation or an evolutionary accident?

Nanorod coating makes least reflective material ever

March 5, 2007

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have found that depositing an array of angled silicon-dioxide nanorods on a surface boosts the efficiency of silicon solar cells, by allowing them to absorb more light energy.

The coating could also reduce reflective losses in devices like LEDs and improve photographic lenses and mirrors that selectively reflect specific wavelengths.

How common viruses can turn cells cancerous

March 5, 2007

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers have found evidence for how certain viruses can trigger specific cancers.

During tumor development, the chromosomes of affected cells often become wildly rearranged. They found that cell fusion appears to be the cause.

Whole-Grain Cereals Reduce Heart Risks: Study

March 5, 2007

Eating whole-grain breakfast cereals seven or more times per week was associated with a lower (28 percent) risk of heart failure, according to an analysis of the observational Physicians’ Health Study.

Researchers presented findings of the study at the American Heart Association’s 47th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. The study is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Heart, Lung,… read more

What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2189?

March 5, 2007

A new fictional children’s book, “21st Century Kids” by Shannon Vyff (Warren Publishing, March 2007), explores the idea that two children, killed in a car accident, are cryonically preserved and reanimated in the year 2189.

Vyff’s own children were the inspiration for the main characters in the book and served as sounding boards. They are also featured along with Vyff in an upcoming Barbara Walter’s Special, “How… read more

Europe to unplug from common light bulbs

March 5, 2007

The world’s three largest light bulb makers said they will push European consumers to switch to energy-saving compact fluorescent lamp bulbs in a bid to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

CFLs are three times as efficient as traditional bulbs and last much longer. They estimated that if all inefficient traditional incandescent bulbs sold in Europe were to be replaced with more efficient bulbs, the continent would need 27 fewer power… read more

Microscope discerns atoms of different elements

March 5, 2007

The chemical identity of individual atoms on a surface can now be determined using an atomic force microscope.

Scientists can now look at a mixed material and pick out individual atoms of different elements. The advance will allow researchers to understand the structural make-up of complex materials and help them design new ones with unusual properties.

Virtual-Reality Video Game Helps Link Depression To Specific Brain Area

March 2, 2007

Scientists are using a virtual-reality, three-dimensional video game that challenges spatial memory as a new tool for assessing the link between depression and the hippocampus, the brain’s memory hub.

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