Jun. 3rd, 2009

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Breathing batteries could store 10 times the energy - tech - 19 May 2009 - New Scientist

UK researchers have developed a lithium-ion battery that uses air and porous carbon, rather than lithium cobalt oxide, as a anode. The resulting battery has a higher energy density than traditional lithium batteries, potentially a ten-fold increase. The carbon anode allows air to react with lithium ions, making it more like a fuel cell than a battery. More work is required before the battery can be commercialized.

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Can airport technology halt a pandemic? - tech - 25 May 2009 - New Scientist

At a recent ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) meeting in Montreal, a spin-off company from Belgium presented an acoustic cough detector to detect people with persistent coughs, one of the symptoms of a flu. Once located, the people can be quietly escorted aside to be checked for the virus.  The system can distinguish between a person clearing their throat and an actual cough. In pigs it was able to detect infected swine "82 percent of the time within3 hours of infection."

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Alcohol makes autos more climate-friendly - tech - 30 May 2009 - New Scientist

Ford Motor Company revealed that a gasoline engine can be made 23 percent more efficient by injecting ethanol into the fuel mixture when the engine needs more power, such as on hills. This increases the compression ratio and suppresses premature ignition ("knocking") that results in loss of engine power. A 40 litre auxiliary tank would provide enough ethanol to last 30,000 km. They are currently testing the approach on different vehicles and reports that the new engine would add between $1100(US) and $1500(US) to the cost of a vehicle.
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Doctors see more cases of 'cellphone elbow'

The newest repetitive strain injury? Cell-phone elbow, caused by spending prolonged periods of time with your elbow flexed.

January 2010

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