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Seattle team wins $900,000 in Space Elevator Games

For the first time since the contest was started four years ago, a team has won the $900,000 prize to demonstrate a vehicle that is able to climb a 1-kilometre-long cable (suspended from a helicopter), powered only by a ground-based laser. Two other finalists, one from the US and the other from Canada were unable to complete the climb.
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'Look Ma, No Parachute!' Lunar Lander Floats on Electric-blue Jets

NASA's prototype lunar lander. The blue colour is due to ice crystals forming in the air as a result of the stream of cold compressed air.

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Technology Review: Personal Rapid Transit Startup

A Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system is being built for Heathrow airport as a primary source of transportation. The system consists of battery-powered "pods" that each hold 4 to 6 people. Once inside, you punch in your destination and the car follows a track to the destination.

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STRANGE VEHICLES OF PRE-WAR GERMANY & THE THIRD REICH (1928-1945)


A variety of strange vehicles including the German Ball Tank (Yes, a tank shaped like a ball) and the proposed walking tank (think scout walker), both shown above.
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Sky Commuter concept car. The one shown here is the last remaining prototype from a company that went belly-up in the 80s. Their big problem was that the craft could only manage 10 feet of lift before becoming unstable. If can get on eBay quickly, you might be able to snag it for $62,600(US).
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The Tank Wheelchair shows that the term "mobility challenged" can be a misnomer. Fully cushioned seats gives a smooth ride while the powerful electric motor can pull this baby up inclines of 10 degrees. It's only capable of a top speed of 5 mph, but is limited by only the most extreme driving conditions. Available in January for $15,600(US).
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The Hyper-sub is a submersible powerboat. Specifically, in surface mode it's a powerboat, but it can be made to slowly descend for sub mode. The link has a video but it only shows the craft sinking and resurfacing.  
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The sQuba is billed as the world's first car that is capable of driving both on land and under water. The vehicle is rated for depths of up to 10 metres. An onboard SCUBA system allows the driver to avoid the embarrassing situation of drowning at the wheel. Just the thing to use as a stocking stuffer... provided you have a really big stocking.
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Physics Org
Beyond a 'speed limit' on mutations, species risk extinction - Harvard University scientists have identified a virtual "speed limit" on the rate of molecular evolution in organisms, and the magic number appears to be 6 mutations per genome per generation -- a level beyond which species run the strong risk of extinction as their genomes lose stability.
Are women being scared away from math, science, and engineering fields? - Have you ever felt outnumbered? Like there are just not that many people like you around? We’ve all felt outnumbered in one situation or another and walking into a situation in which you sense the possibility of being ostracized or isolated can be quite threatening. One group that may experience this kind of threat is women who participate in math, science, and engineering (MSE) settings- settings in which the gender ratio is approximately 3 men to every 1 woman. Mary Murphy argues that the organization of Math, Science and Engineering environments themselves plays a significant role in contributing to this gap. Murphy contends that situational cues (i.e. being outnumbered) may contribute to a decrease in women’s performance expectations, as well as their actual performance.
Negativity is contagious, study finds - Though we may not care to admit it, what other people think about something can affect what we think about it. This is how critics become influential and why our parents’ opinions about our life choices continue to matter, long after we’ve moved out. But what kind of opinions have the most effect" An important new study in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that negative opinions cause the greatest attitude shifts, not just from good to bad, but also from bad to worse.
New plastic is strong as steel, transparent - By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that's as strong as steel but lighter and transparent. (see also: Mother-of-pearl inspires super-strong plastic)
Scientific American
How Do Artists Portray Exoplanets They've Never Seen? - Stargazers have yet to lay eyes on any of the nearly 240 planets detected outside our solar system. These so-called exoplanets are too faint for current telescopes to distinguish from the stars they orbit*; instead astronomers rely on indirect methods to infer their existence. Yet popular news accounts, supplied by space agency press services, overflow with bold, almost photo-realistic images of distant worlds.
washingtonpost.com - Technology
Online Videos May Be Conduits for Viruses - Online videos aren't just for bloopers and rants _ some might also be conduits for malicious code that can infect your computer. As anti-spam technology improves, hackers are finding new vehicles to deliver their malicious code. And some could be embedded in online video players, according to a report on Internet threats.
Physics Org
Software 'Chipper' Speeds Debugging - Computer scientists at UC Davis have developed a technique to speed up program debugging by automatically "chipping" the software into smaller pieces so that bugs can be isolated more easily.
Driverless Truck Lurches Out of Lab - Oshkosh Truck chief engineer John Beck programs a mission route into TerraMax, a military-vehicle prototype that can navigate traffic and avoid obstacles without a driver, at a test track near the company. During a recent test on property owned by manufacturer Oshkosh Truck Co., TerraMax barreled down a dusty road with its driver seat empty. It stopped at a four-way intersection and waited as staged traffic resolved before obediently lurching on its way. If the Defense Department gets its way, vehicles like TerraMax - about as long as a typical sport utility vehicle and almost twice as high - could represent the future of transportation for the military's ground forces.
ABC News: Technology & Science
Blind People: Hybrid Cars Pose Hazard - Gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the status symbol for the environmentally conscientious, are coming under attack from a constituency that doesn't drive: the blind. Because hybrids make virtually no noise at slower speeds when they run solely on electric power, blind people say they pose a hazard to those who rely on their ears to determine whether it's safe to cross the street or walk through a parking lot. Officials with the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind are quick to point out that they're not advocating a return to gas guzzlers. They'd just like the fuel-efficient hybrids to make some noise.
Can Creativity Survive in Hollywood? - Researchers at Vanderbilt University concluded a couple of years ago that creative persons are likely to live somewhere between normalcy and schizophrenia. They may be socially awkward, adept at finding new uses for old tools, but they are not sick. The researchers even gave the condition a name: schizo-type. But, that's on an individual level. Can personal creativity survive large-scale collaboration? Is it possible for a bunch of highly creative people, working together on a single project, to produce a product that is more creative than the sum of its parts?
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SPACE.com
Space Makes Bacteria More Dangerous - A germ that causes food poisoning and other illnesses can be three times more dangerous in space than on the ground, an experiment has shown. The researchers' experiment revealed that a genetic switch called "Hfq," which may control more than 160 genes in S. typhimurium, turns on in space and causes S. typhimurium to become three times more virulent than on the Earth's surface.
Hubble Telescope to Star in Warner Bros.' IMAX 3D Film - An IMAX 3D camera will be on-board the space shuttle when it launches its final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008. The large-format film will use the footage taken by the STS-125 crew to share the "life story" of the orbiting observatory.
'Space Mail' Experiment Fails to Deliver Goods - In an experiment combining elements of a package delivery service, the sport of kite surfing and a REALLY big fishing reel, Russian and European engineers on Tuesday sought to pioneer a technology that could be used in the future to retrieve cargo from space. The experiment involving a 19-mile, super-strength tether hit a glitch, however, when the line failed to unwind fully, but Russian Mission Control said it hopes to salvage the test by recalculating the landing capsule's orbit. (see also: Dropping a line from space

Physics Org
Giant ocean-based pipes could curb global warming: scientists - Two of Britain's best known scientists proposed Wednesday to curb global warming by sowing the world's oceans with thousands, perhaps millions, of giant vertical pipes 100-to-200 meters deep. Free-floating or tethered pipes with one-way flaps some 10 metres in diameter, they conjecture, would increase the mixing of nutrient-rich waters below the surface with the warmer -- and relatively barren -- waters at the ocean's surface. (see also: Giant Ocean Tubes Proposed as Global Warming Fix)
Research team says extraterrestrial impact to blame for Ice Age extinctions - What caused the extinction of mammoths and the decline of Stone Age people about 13,000 years ago remains hotly debated. A team of international researchers, including two Northern Arizona University geologists, reports evidence that a comet or low-density object barreling toward Earth exploded in the upper atmosphere and triggered a devastating swath of destruction that wiped out most of the large animals, their habitat and humans of that period.

news@nature
Birds may 'see' magnetic north - Previous work has suggested that the Earth's magnetic field might act on the sensitivity of a migratory bird's eye, so that sight might be involved in finding magnetic north. Now researchers have firmed that up with evidence that molecules in the eyes of migratory birds are connected to the part of the brain that guides their direction of flight.
Tiny RNAs, big problems - Researchers have implicated a tiny RNA molecule in the invasive spread of breast cancer — the factor responsible for most deaths from the disease. If the molecule can be confirmed as a key player in cancer migration, and targeted by drugs, the find may lead to a new preventative measure against the deadly spreading of tumours.

ABC News: Technology & Science
Do You Stare at Hotties? Blame Science - The fixation on a beautiful face happens so quickly that it's involuntary, meaning the poor bloke who's about to get clobbered by his wife for checking out another woman, or vice versa, had no control over that initial impulse to stare at someone else. But, that excuse expires very quickly, say, in about 100 milliseconds. After that, consciousness should take over. So, this research isn't going to get anybody off the hook.

Reuters: Science
Scientists get DNA from moldy old mammoth hair - Scientists who pulled DNA from the hair shafts of 13 Siberian woolly mammoths said on Thursday it may be possible to mine museums for genetic information about ancient and even extinct species. They were able to sequence a DNA sample taken from mammoth hair that had been "in somebody's drawer for 200 years," and one that was at least 50,000 years old, the international team of researchers said.

BBC News | Technology | World Edition
Town tries out Cybercar concept - A driverless car which is controlled by computer and uses lasers to avoid obstacles is being demonstrated in a Northamptonshire town. Cybercars are designed for short trips at low speed in an urban environment and need only a very light track to operate.
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Physics Org
Breakup event in the main asteroid belt likely caused dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago - A joint U.S.-Czech team from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Charles University in Prague suggests that the parent object of asteroid (298) Baptistina disrupted when it was hit by another large asteroid, creating numerous large fragments that would later create the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula as well as the prominent Tycho crater found on the Moon.
Hot Ice to Lubricate Artificial Joints - A recent simulation has shown that thin layers of ice could persist on specially treated diamond coatings at temperatures well above body temperature, which could make ice-coated-diamond films an ideal coating for artificial heart valves, joint replacements, and wear-resistant prosthetics.
Discovery may help defang viruses - Researchers may be able to tinker with a single amino acid of an enzyme that helps viruses multiply to render them harmless, according to molecular biologists who say the discovery could pave the way for a fast and cheap method of making vaccines.
Pressure sensors in the eye - Sensors can monitor production processes, unmask tiny cracks in aircraft hulls, and determine the amount of laundry in a washing machine. In future, they will also be used in the human body and raise the alarm in the event of high pressure in the eye, bladder or brain.
Right breakfast bread keeps blood sugar in check all day - If you eat the right grains for breakfast, such as whole-grain barley or rye, the regulation of your blood sugar is facilitated after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was previously not known that certain whole-grain products have this effect all day. This is due to a combination of low GI (glycemic index) and certain type of indigestible carbohydrates that occur in certain grain products.
Texas Startup Says It Has Batteries Beat - An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline. EEStor's secret ingredient is a material sandwiched between thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other. Charged particles stick to the metal sheets and move quickly across EEStor's proprietary material. The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.

news@nature
Schizophrenia genes 'favoured by evolution' - The genes that underpin schizophrenia may have been favoured by natural selection, according to a survey of human and primate genetic sequences. The discovery suggests that genes linked to the debilitating brain condition conferred some advantage that allowed them to persist in the population — although it is far from clear what this advantage might have been.

Technology Review Feed - Tech Review Top Stories
Is a Virus Behind the Honeybee Plague? - Scientists have identified a likely culprit underlying the massive and mysterious plague that has killed off tens of millions of bees in the United States over the past year. By sequencing the DNA of every microbe inhabiting the bees, researchers have pinpointed a novel virus strongly linked to infected hives. The findings could help beekeepers protect their colonies. The research also suggests an effective new method for identifying infectious pathogens, be they from bees or humans.
Animation for the Masses - Computer-generated effects are becoming increasingly more realistic on the big screen, but these animations generally take hours to render. Now, Adobe Systems, the company famous for tools like Photoshop and Acrobat Reader, is developing software that could bring the power of a Hollywood animation studio to the average computer and let users render high-quality graphics in real time. Such software could be useful for displaying ever-more-realistic computer games on PCs and for allowing the average computer user to design complex and lifelike animations.
The Invisible Hearing Aid - Hearing aids help millions of people, but many resist them because they think wearing one carries a social stigma. Hearing aids also have serious lifestyle limitations: the hearing impaired can't wear them while showering or swimming, and most models are hard to wear while sleeping. Now, a new kind of hearing aid that aims to overcome these problems is in clinical trials. It's invisible and waterproof because all of its circuitry--including its battery and microphone--is in the user's head.
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I tried to post this last night before the power went down on LJ's servers.

New Scientist Tech - Nanotechnology
Nanotubes strengthen artificial muscles - BEST known as the ultra-strong material that might one day form the cables of a "space elevator" capable of raising people into Earth orbit, carbon nanotubes also have a springy side. The discovery that nanotubes keep bouncing back after being compressed repeatedly means this exotic form of carbon may be just the thing to give artificial muscles some extra strength


New Scientist - Energy and Fuels
Exfoliation produces lighter, cheaper solar cells - An ultra-thin solar cell that could provide a cheaper, lighter alternative to existing devices has been created by researchers in the US. James Zahler from Aonex Technologies, together with colleagues from Harry Atwater's group at the California Institute of Technology and researchers at EMCORE PhotoVoltaics made the device by replacing the relatively thick semiconductor substrate normally used in solar cells with a thin "wafer-bonded" substrate. This means the new device is considerable cheaper and lighter than conventional solar cells.


New Scientist - Genetics
Genetic variation may lower HIV load by 90% - A small genetic mutation in the section of human DNA that codes for immune proteins appears able to reduce the amount of HIV in the body by an average of 90%, new research suggests. Scientists say the finding points to new ways in which vaccines might one day help boost immune protection against the virus


Technology Review Feed - Biotech Top Stories
A Better Brain Scanner - New brain scanners promise to deliver images of higher resolution than any now available from a commercial instrument. By using multiple sensors placed close to the head, the device can generate accurate images in less time, which could ultimately aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as Alzheimer's and epilepsy. Medical imaging giant Siemens is developing a commercial version of the technology.
Saving Neurons and Memories - Scientists have shown that a gene called SIRT1 and a plant compound found in red wine called resveratrol can protect against neuron degeneration in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The researchers demonstrated that activating SIRT1 and injecting resveratrol, which have both been previously associated with life-span extension in lower organisms, can also prevent cognitive problems in the mice.


National Geographic News
Queen Bees "Brainwash" Workers With Chemicals - A new study suggests the domineering matriarch regulates her daughters' brain activity to ensure her own survival. One of the parts of the pheromone is homovanillyl alcohol (HVA). It interacts with a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is found in the brains of insects and animals. In a mechanism that's still not understood, the pheromone may be able to block dopamine and prevent the young worker bees from avoiding negative stimuli. Worker bees - which surround and dote on the queen - are all female, and drone bees are male.


ABC News: Technology
Parents Steal Children's Identities - On paper, Randy Waldron Jr. was $2.5 million in debt and a convicted felon. He owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to credit card companies, owed back taxes to the state of Florida, and had liens and civil actions against him. In reality, Waldron was a 17-year-old high school junior living in New Hampshire, who in 1998 couldn't get a student loan for college or a credit card because his Social Security number had been stolen when he was just 1 year old. Making matters worse, the man who stole Waldron's identity was his father.
Jetson-Like Flying Car in Production - Moller International, a company founded by a UC Davis professor devoted to developing a flying car, announced in a statement recently that it has begun production for its "Jetsons-like M200G Volantor, a small airborne, two passenger, saucer-shaped vehicle that is designed to take off and land vertically."


Physics Org
Scientists work to create nanogenerator - U.S. scientists are developing a nanogenerator -- a tiny device that produces electricity from flowing blood, pulsating blood vessels, or a beating heart.


BBC News | Science/Nature | World Edition
Antique engines inspire nano chip - The blueprint for a tiny, ultra-robust mechanical computer has been outlined by US researchers. The energy-efficient nano computer is inspired by ideas about computing first put forward nearly 200 years ago. Chips based on the design could be used in places, such as car engines, where silicon can be too delicate.
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Physics Org
Throttling Back to the Moon - Accelerating from 0 to 60 then slowing down for a stop light is no problem for an ordinary automobile. But if you were piloting a rocketship, it wouldn't be so easy. Most rocket engines are designed to burn full-on (liftoff!) or full-off (coasting through space) with no in-between. And that can be a problem--namely, how do you land this thing?
Coming Soon, Safer Cigarettes? - The federal agency charged with keeping food and drugs from harming people may soon be asked to take a consumer product that kills more than 400,000 people a year and make it safer.
Case closed: MIT gumshoes solve 'throbbing' oil mystery - Hey kids! Try this at home. Pour clean water onto a small plate. Wait for all the ripples to stop. Then mix a small amount of mineral oil with an even smaller amount of detergent. Squeeze a tiny drop of that mixture onto the water and watch in amazement as the oil appears to pump like a beating heart.
Flavonoids in orange juice make it a healthy drink, despite the sugar - Orange juice, despite its high caloric load of sugars, appears to be a healthy food for diabetics due to its mother lode of flavonoids, a study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown. The study appeared in the June 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.


SPACE.com
Slimming Down Future Spacesuits - Skintight spacesuits may give future astronauts a more flexible - not to mention stylish - way to explore the moon and Mars. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are edging closer to a spaceworthy astronaut garment that replaces the bulky traits of current, gas-pressurized versions with flexibility and mobility. Dubbed BioSuit, the spacesuit design relies on mechanical counter pressure rather than the stiff pressurized vessels employed by astronauts in space today.


ABC News: Technology
Iran's New Game: `Rescue Nuke Scientist' - An Iranian hard-line student group unveiled a new video game Monday that simulates an attempt to rescue two Iranian nuclear experts kidnapped by the U.S. military and held in Iraq and Israel.


Reuters: Science
Weight training can help with heart trouble: AHA - While conventional wisdom once held that people with heart disease should not pump iron, a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association says some resistance training can be good for them.


BBC News | Science/Nature | World Edition
Energy use 'drove human walking' - Humans evolved to walk upright because it uses less energy than travelling on all fours, according to researchers.
Milestone for unique bionic hand - A highly functional bionic hand which was invented by a Scottish NHS worker has gone on the market.


New Scientist Tech - Weapons Technology
Taser unveils long-range and 'scatter' weapons -Two new electric stun weapons unveiled this week suggest that their use may shift from law enforcement to the battlefield. Some critics, however, worry that this could lead to such weapons being used more indiscriminately. US company Taser International demonstrated a shotgun-fired projectile capable of stunning a target and a weapon capable of firing six individual shock darts at a time at an event held in Chicago, US, on Monday.
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Physics Org
Life elsewhere in Solar System could be different from life as we know it - The search for life elsewhere in the solar system and beyond should include efforts to detect what scientists sometimes refer to as "weird" life -- that is, life with an alternative biochemistry to that of life on Earth -- says a new report from the National Research Council. The committee that wrote the report found that the fundamental requirements for life as we generally know it -- a liquid water biosolvent, carbon-based metabolism, molecular system capable of evolution, and the ability to exchange energy with the environment -- are not the only ways to support phenomena recognized as life. "Our investigation made clear that life is possible in forms different than those on Earth," said committee chair John Baross, professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Researchers working on a way to make snack foods with extra fiber -Trying to get more fiber in your diet? Munching on cookies or tortillas probably doesn't come to mind. But a Kansas State University researcher is experimenting with ways to add fiber to the foods we love without changing what we like about our favorite snacks. Sajid Alavi is an assistant professor of grain science and industry at K-State's College of Agriculture. His expertise is in extrusion processing, which is used to make products from cheese puffs to pet food. Alavi is researching how this process can be used to make fiber-enriched flour taste like the kind used in most cookies and tortillas so that manufacturers can make a more healthful snacking alternative that consumers want to eat.
Original or fake? - Even for art historians, it can be difficult to distinguish original works of art from fakes. Research scientists now screen the pictures with infrared radiation. This shows up the watermarks of the paper mills, which allows them to date the works without risk of damage. Screening paintings (left picture) with infrared light reveals the watermarks (right picture) of the paper mills. These enable works to be dated and examined for authenticity without risk of damage.


Transmaterial
Active Protection System - Dow Corning's Active Protection System is a "smart" textile that remains soft and flexible until it is struck by high-impact force, in which case the material instantly stiffens to help protect against injury. When the collision has passed, the material immediately becomes flexible again.


PopSci.com
The Jet Kayak - Heading straight for a rock wall along New Zealand's Waimakariri River Gorge wouldn't normally faze Shaun Baker. But this was a new experience even for the world-record-holding waterfall jumper—this time his kayak had an engine in it, skipping him like a stone at more than 30 mph. Finally he backed off the throttle just enough to steer himself parallel to the wall and avert disaster, before gunning it back up to full speed.


Science Blog




Turn off TV to teach toddlers new words - Toddlers learn their first words better from people than from Teletubbies, according to new research at Wake Forest University. The study was published in the June 21 issue of Media Psychology. Children younger than 22 months may be entertained, but they do not learn words from the television program, said Marina Krcmar, associate professor of communication at Wake Forest and author of the study.
Juries wrong 1-in-8 times? - Juries across the country make decisions every day on the fate of defendants, ideally leading to prison sentences that fit the crime for the guilty and release for the innocent. Yet a new Northwestern University study shows that juries in criminal cases many times are getting it wrong. In a set of 271 cases from four areas, juries gave wrong verdicts in at least one out of eight cases, according to “Estimating the Accuracy of Jury Verdicts,” a paper by a Northwestern University statistician that is being published in the July issue of Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.
Using fat to kill cancer - Researchers in Slovakia have been able to derive mesenchymal stem cells from human adipose, or fat, tissue and engineer them into “suicide genes” that seek out and destroy tumors like tiny homing missiles. This gene therapy approach is a novel way to attack small tumor metastases that evade current detection techniques and treatments, the researchers conclude in the July 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Inhaling from just 1 cigarette can lead to nicotine addiction - A new study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine shows that 10 percent of youth who become hooked on cigarettes are addicted within two days of first inhaling from a cigarette, and 25 percent are addicted within a month. The study found that adolescents who smoke even just a few cigarettes per month suffer withdrawal symptoms when deprived of nicotine, a startling finding that is contrary to long-held beliefs that only people with established smoking habits of at least five cigarettes per day experience such symptoms.
Engineered Blood Vessels Function like Native Tissue - Blood vessels that have been tissue-engineered from bone marrow adult stem cells may in the future serve as a patient's own source of new blood vessels following a coronary bypass or other procedures that require vessel replacement, according to new research from the University at Buffalo Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
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From PopSci.com
INVENTION AWARDS Six Strokes of Genius - After a lifetime of making racecars go faster, Bruce Crower's new engine uses steam to squeeze more mileage from gas
INVENTION AWARDS A Shocking New Weapon - A muscle-numbing magic wand protects cops and citizens, Jedi-style
INVENTION AWARDS A Chopper Shield - Firing massive Kevlar and steel nets at inbound rocket-propelled grenades could save helicopters in combat
INVENTION AWARDS The New Velcro - A stronger, better grip without the incessant ripping sound. Has a long-standing dream finally been realized?
INVENTION AWARDS A Big Ball of Connectivity - An antenna that blows up like a balloon brings satellite communications anywhere, anytime
INVENTION AWARDS A New Breed of Mouse - Give your mouse the finger to control your computer in three dimensions
INVENTION AWARDS The Flying Belt - Rappel up a wall at an astonishing 10 feet per second with the Atlas Powered Rope Ascender
FROM THE ARCHIVE Amazing Motor-Drive Hoop May be Car of the Future - Circular logic was the wave of the future three quarters of a century ago
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New Scientist - Energy and Fuels
Roll up for better hydrogen fuel storage -The thorny problem of how to store hydrogen fuel safely for future vehicles and portable gadgets could be solved by simply storing it in nanoscopic scrolls of carbon. Scientists in Greece say they have found a way to make so-called "carbon nanoscrolls" store more hydrogen than any other material.
Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil - A US company is taking plastics recycling to another level – turning them back into the oil they were made from, and gas. All that is needed, claims Global Resource Corporation (GRC), is a finely tuned microwave and – hey presto! – a mix of materials that were made from oil can be reduced back to oil and combustible gas (and a few leftovers).


ABC News: Technology
The Clash Between Religion and Science -Here's one reason why the war between science and religion cannot be resolved. Most scientists do not believe in God. That's one of the findings in a huge study of leading scientists at the 21 top-rated research universities in the United States.
Like Liposuction, Without the Surgery - Scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center have found a natural chemical in mice that seems to control the formation of fat. While the scientists have many more years of work ahead of them, they said the same chemicals may very well work in humans.
Taser, IRobot Team Up to Arm Robots - RoboCops and robot soldiers got a little closer to reality Thursday as a maker of floor-cleaning automatons teamed up with a stun-gun manufacturer to arm track-wheeled 'bots for police and the Pentagon.
Hope This Makes You Mad - Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have found that in some cases, a little anger can actually sharpen our ability to analyze data carefully and make the right decisions.
Amphibious Vehicles: Elite's Ultimate Mode of Transport - The Aquada, a combination sports car and speedboat, will debut in the United States in the early part of 2009 to the tune of $85,000. Currently, it sells overseas for more than $200,000 since entering the U.K. market in 2003.
A Face Worth a Thousand Angry Words - In the last decade tattooing, once the realm of sailors and bikers, has become much more mainstream in the United States. It's not at all unusual to walk down the street and see the occasional butterfly on an ankle, a koi on the lower back or a Celtic band around a bicep. But tattoo experts say it's a different kind of person who wants his or her entire face inked.

January 2010

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