Saturday, November 6, 2010

Language And Toolmaking Evolved Together, Say Researchers

Researchers say early humans were limited by brain power not manual dexterity when making stone age tools. Photograph: David Sillitoe/Guardian

From Popular Mechanics:

Evolutionary advance saw stone-age humans master the art of hand-toolmaking and paved the way for language to develop.

Stone-age humans mastered the art of elegant hand-toolmaking in an evolutionary advance that boosted their brain power and potentially paved the way for language, researchers say.

The design of stone tools changed dramatically in human pre-history, beginning more than two million years ago with sharp but primitive stone flakes, and culminating in exquisite, finely honed hand axes 500,000 years ago.

Read more ....

Europe Simulates Total Cyber War

From The BBC:

Essential web services have come under simulated attack as European nations test their cyber defences.

The first-ever cross-European simulation of an all out cyber attack was planned to test how well nations cope as the attacks slow connections.

The simulation steadily reduced access to critical services to gauge how nations react.

The exercise also tested how nations work together to avoid a complete shut-down of international links.

Read more ....

Google Limits Facebook Access to Gmail Contacts

From The Wall Street Journal:

Google Inc. is launching a salvo against Facebook Inc., saying it will no longer allow the social network to grab information about Google users' social and professional contacts in Gmail, Google's email service.

Google has always allowed Google users to transfer data, including their contacts, to other websites. Until now, new Facebook users could find out whether their contacts on Gmail also had Facebook accounts, simply by typing in their Gmail user name and password as part of the Facebook signup process.

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Are Holograms The Next Step For 3D Tech?

Holograms, once seen only in science-fiction movies, are swiftly becoming a reality. Newscom

From Christian Science Monitor:

3D TV sets and 3D movies are everywhere in 2010. 3D holograms could be next.

Forget regular old 3D movies, which have crowded the marketplace with alarming alacrity in recent months. Forget even 3D TV. How about a 3D hologram – a three-dimensional telepresence, of the kind once seen only in the most speculative of science-fiction flicks? The technology might be even closer than you think.

The current issue of the science journal Nature features an extensive report from a group of Arizona researchers who succeeded in creating a real-time image – one that can be viewed without glasses – from multiple angles. (Just like in "Star Wars"!) The image, the researchers said, is recorded using a battery of cameras:

Read more

Atlantic Current Backward During Ice Age

The Gulf Stream brings warm surface water northwards from the tropics to high latitudes, where it cools, sinks and flows southwards at depth. Changes in this Atlantic 'meridional overturning circulation' (MOC) would have profound implications for climate. Credit: National Oceanography Centre

From Cosmos:

SYDNEY: The Atlantic Ocean current, which may be affected by future climate change, today takes heat north to Europe but 10,000 years ago it was weaker and flowed in the opposite direction.

"[The opposite flow in the Atlantic Ocean] explains the presence of huge ice sheets in Europe and North America during that cold climatic period," said César Negre, an environmental scientist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain, and co-author of the letter in the British journal Nature.

Read more ....

In First Test Of Interstellar GPS, Team Uses Distant Pulsars To Determine Position In Space

Pulsar Positioning It beats rolling down the window and asking for directions. NASA

From Popular Science:

Global Positioning Systems work famously here on the home planet because we control all of the moving parts; put some satellites in the sky, equip a device with the proper hardware to communicate with them, and you can locate yourself just about anywhere. But how would we locate ourselves in deep space? For that kind of spatial location, a team of Italian researchers have devised a way to calculate one’s position in space using pulsars as interstellar navigation beacons.

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Cassini Camera Stops Shooting Snaps

From Wired Science:

NASA’s Cassini orbiter, the powerhouse producer of mind-blowing Saturn photos, unexpectedly put itself into “safe mode” at 7 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Nov. 2. Engineers still don’t know why.

The craft automatically triggers its safe-mode settings whenever something happens that requires attention from mission controllers on the ground. Since going into safe mode, Cassini has stopped collecting science data and sent back only data on engineering and spacecraft health.

That’s normal, said Cassini program manager Bob Mitchell in a press release.

Read more ....

Developments In Optometry Can Be Traced Back To The 1st Century AD


From The Telegraph:

The quest to correct and improve vision is one of man's oldest medical challenges.

For as long as people have had vision problems, efforts have been made to correct them.

But little progress was made beyond the development of glasses and contact lenses before the 20th century.

Read more ....

Spring Break-Ups: Graphic Of Facebook Updates Shows When People Are Most Likely To End A Relationship

The Facebook graphic shows most people break up at Spring Break or Christmas

From The Daily Mail:

If your relationship is rocky and it’s coming up to Christmas, beware: someone might be about to give you some bad news.

A designer who uses hard data to come up with interesting graphics and images has found which points in the year are the most popular for splitting up with partners.

David McCandless pulled information from 10,000 Facebook status updates which used the phrases ‘break up’ or ‘broken up’ and plotted them on a graph.

Read more ....

What Happened To That Superjumbo?

Down to earth, after a bang (Image: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

From New Scientist:

Debris rained down on the island of Batam yesterday morning after an engine appeared to explode on an Airbus A380 – the world's largest commercial airliner – flown by Qantas. The plane then dumped fuel for 2 hours and made an emergency landing.

Read more ....

Friday, November 5, 2010

7 Next-Gen Driving Technologies, Coming Soon To BMW

BMW's next-gen tech could change cars—for better or worse. Here, an iPhone app locates a parked vehicle by GPS from up to 1600 meters away.

From Popular Mechanics:

Fascinating or frightening? Wondrous or worrisome? BMW demonstrates tomorrow's driving innovations, beyond the self-parking car and everyday GPS system.

Munich, Germany—Tomorrow's automotive technology is usually tucked away in research labs—well out of public view. But every once in a while we're granted access to these top-secret incubators, as was the case when we recently paid a visit to BMW's headquarters in Munich.

Read more ....

Gravity Suit Mimics Earth's Pull For Astronauts

Photo: The suit is made of a fabric with carefully tailored stretchiness

From The BBC:

A stretchy suit that mimics the effects of the Earth's gravity has been developed in the US to spare astronauts the ill effects of long missions of weightlessness.

Returning astronauts have lower bone density and muscle mass and can even suffer separation of their vertebrae.

The suit is made of a fabric with carefully tailored stretchiness.

It creates more of a pull at its wearer's feet than at the shoulders, replicating gravity's pull on Earth.

Read more ....

Earth-Like Planets Common In Outer Space

The red dwarf star Gliese 581 is only 20 light years away from Earth, and a number of planets orbiting, including one in the middle of the star's habitable zone that is only three to four times the mass of Earth, with a diameter 1.2 to 1.4 times that of Earth. Credit: Lynette Cook/NASA

From Cosmos:

SYDNEY: Planet Earth is not so special after all; there's one orbiting roughly every one in four Sun-like stars, according to a five-year astronomy study.

The study, published in the journal Science, used Hawaii's twin 10-metre Keck telescopes to scan 166 sun-like stars within 80 million light years, or about 757 trillion kilometres.

Read more ....

Alcohol More Harmful Than Heroin, Cocaine

When the wider social effects were factored in, alcohol was deemed the most dangerous, followed by heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. Credit: iStockPhoto

From Cosmos/AFP:

LONDON: Alcohol is more harmful than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, a new study by British researchers said this week.

Scientists looked at the dangers to both the individual and to wider society and found that alcohol was the most dangerous substance, according to the study by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD).

Read more ....

LHC To Shift Gears This Month And Create Mini Big Bangs

A Simulated Black Hole Event in the LHC's ATLAS Detector If this is what a black hole looks like, imagine a Big Bang. CERN/ATLAS

From Popular Science:

The new round of experiments aim to find out what matter looked like at the dawn of time.

Smashing protons at high energies is fun and all, but researchers at the Large Hadron Collider are taking a vacation from their day-to-day proton smashing, and taking a trip back to the very origins of the universe. Starting this month and continuing for four weeks, the LHC will accelerate and then collide lead ions – that is, entire atomic nuclei – to create a series of miniature Big Bangs that will let researchers take a look at the quark-gluon plasma that existed just a fraction of a second after the universe was born.

Read more ....

‘Invisible’ Material Can Now Fool Your Eyes

From The Danger Room/Wired:

Don’t start picking out the pattern of your cloak, yet. But invisibility just became a whole lot more likely.

Tech journalists and military dreamers have talked about real-life invisibility cloaks for a while, and with good reason. With their specialized structures, so-called “metamaterials” can bend light around objects, making ‘em disappear.

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Eye Implant Allows The Blind To See Again

From The Telegraph:

An eye implant which has returned partial sight to three blind patients has been developed by scientists.

The device is being hailed as an "unprecedented advance" in visual aids, and could revolutionise the lives of 200,000 people who suffer from the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa.

The hereditary disease means that light receptors in the eye cease to function, impairing vision.

Read more

New York To Sydney In Just 2hrs 30mins: Nasa To Develop 'Hypersonic' Passenger Jets That Travel At Five Times The Speed Of Sound

From The Daily Mail:

NASA is planning to build hypersonic jets that will fly through the Earth’s atmosphere and slash flight times around the world to a few hours at most.

The US space agency wants to manufacture a craft that would travel at five times the speed of sound and bring in a new age of aircraft akin to a turbo-charged Concorde.

Travelling at such speed would reduce the flight time from New York to Sydney to around two-and-a-half hours, from the 21 hours it is now.

Read more

Daylight Saving Time 2010: Why And When It Ends

Turning back the clock in Frieburg, Germany, late last month.
Photograph by Patrick Seeger/dpa/Corbis

From National Geographic:

Why fall back? Should daylight savings be stopped? Get the facts—and a bit more.

With daylight saving time (also called daylight savings) coming to a close, clock confusion is once again ticking away: When exactly does daylight saving time end? Why do we fall back? Does it really save energy? Is it bad for your health? Get expert answers below.

When Does Daylight Savings End in 2010?

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Cloaking Effect In Atoms Baffles Scientists

Finding mysterious positron sources in the Milky Way (Image: Gerhard Hüdepohl/ESO)

From New Scientist:

Atoms called positronium inexplicably scatter off gas particles as if they were lone electrons, even though they contain an anti-electron as well. The finding hints that engineers could use the well-known scattering properties of electrons as a rule of thumb in designing future medical scanners that employ positronium. It could also help interpret puzzling astronomical observations.

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Space Shuttle Discovery: Launch Delayed To Nov. 30

From ABC News:

Final Flight for Discovery but Ship 'Not Going Out Easy'.

If the space shuttle Discovery had launched on schedule, she would now be in orbit, docked with the International Space Station, her six astronauts joining the six currently on board the station to unload 22,000 earth pounds of equipment.

But as has often happened in 30 years of shuttle flights, Discovery still sits on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center here in Florida, waiting as mission managers worked their way through a minor helium leak, a minor electrical problem and Florida's famously unpreditable weather.

Read more ....

Deep Impact Spacecraft Successfully Flies by Comet Hartley 2

This is an image of comet Hartley 2 taken on the closest flyby with the smaller of spacecrafts two telescopes (with cameras) on the University of Maryland-led EPOXI mission. (Credit: Credit: NASA/University of Maryland)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2010) — The University of Maryland-led EPOXI mission successfully flew by comet Hartley 2 at 10 a.m. EDT Nov. 3, 2010, and the spacecraft has begun returning images. Hartley 2 is the fifth comet nucleus visited by any spacecraft and the second one visited by the Deep Impact spacecraft.

Read more ....

How Earth May Owe Its Life To Comets

Hubble Space Telescope observations of comet 103P/Hartley 2, taken on Sept. 25, are helping in the planning for a Nov. 4 flyby of the comet by the Deep Impact eXtended Investigation (DIXI) on NASA's EPOXI spacecraft. Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab)

From Live Science:

Comets have inspired both awe and alarm since antiquity, "hairy stars" resembling fiery swords that to many were omens of doom. Nowadays, scientists have found evidence that comets not only may have taken life away through cataclysmic impacts, they may have helped provide life by supplying Earth with vital molecules such as water — possibilities they hope to learn more about from the encounter with Comet Hartley 2 tomorrow (Nov. 4).

Read more ....

Scientists May Have Discovered A Cure For The Common Cold (And Lots Of Other Viruses)

Virus Attack! Virus (purple) circulating in the bloodstream recognised by antibodies (yellow) of the immune system The Independent

From Popular Science:

Any immunology textbook will tell you that once a virus enters a cell, the only way to knock that virus out is to kill the entire cell. But a new study from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge has shown a way to kill a virus from within the cell, leaving the virus defeated and the cell victorious and intact. This could be huge--not just a cure for the common cold, but for all kinds of other viruses as well.

Read more ....

Outback Asteroid Strike Caused Huge Explosion And Left 80km Shock Zone, Studies Reveal

Satellite image showing an asteroid impact crater at Gosses Bluff in the Northern Territory. Source: Supplied

From The Australian:

EVIDENCE has been found of a massive asteroid impact near the Queensland-South Australia border more than 300 million years ago.

The asteroid, which produced a shock zone at least 80km wide, could be the second-largest asteroid ever found in Australia.

University of Queensland geothermal energy researcher Dr Tongu Uysal discovered the asteroid impact during his studies of the Cooper Basin, which is a large geothermal energy resource being developed on the border between Queensland and South Australia.

Read more ....

Three Questions: The Internet's Next Generation


From Voice of America:

Add this to the list of things you didn't know you had to worry about: the most commonly used version of the Internet is almost out of room.

The global organization that helps coordinate the allocation of Internet addresses is warning only about 200 million are left. That may sound like a lot, but the Number Resource Organization says more than 200 million addresses were assigned in just the last nine months.

Read more

The Other 'G' Spot

From Wall Street Journal:

At the beginning of the 20th century the British psychologist Charles Spearman "discovered" the idea of general intelligence. Spearman observed that students' grades in different subjects, and their scores on various tests, were all positively correlated. He then showed that this pattern could be explained mathematically by assuming that people vary in special abilities for the different tests as well as a single general ability—or "g"—that is used for all of them.

Read more ....

How One Company Games Google News

Note the second cluster of stories produced by a Google News search for "iTunes" yesterday afternoon. All of those Red Label News stories were basically the same: spammy SEO-keywords alongside Web ads. (Credit: Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET)

From CNET News:

Red Label News is not exactly a household name. But yesterday afternoon, it was one of the top news sources on Google News for stories about Apple's iTunes song previews.

How'd that happen? Red Label News, it appears, is a cleverly designed collection of links and headlines meant to game Google News rankings.

Read more ....

How To Use Google For Hacking

From Go Hacking:

Google serves almost 80 percent of all search queries on the Internet, proving itself as the most popular search engine. However Google makes it possible to reach not only the publicly available information resources, but also gives access to some of the most confidential information that should never have been revealed. In this post I will show how to use Google for exploiting security vulnerabilities within websites. The following are some of the hacks that can be accomplished using Google.

Read more ....

Putting Ice On Injuries Could Slow Healing

This discovery turns the conventional wisdom that swelling must be controlled in order to encourage healing and prevent pain Photo: CORBIS

From The Telegraph:

Slapping a packet of frozen peas on a black eye or a sprained ankle may prevent it getting better, new research suggests.

For years, people have been told to freeze torn, bruised or sprained muscles to reduce the swelling.

But now for the first time, researchers have found that it could slow down the healing as it prevents the release of a key repair hormone.

Read more ....

The Real Reason Women Outlive Men: It's All A Matter Of Breeding

From The Independent:

The reason women live longer than men – and why the final act of sex discrimination favours females over males – may at long last have a scientifically valid explanation.

Scientists believe we are close to understanding why men on average die younger than women. Life expectancy in Britain has risen steadily for both sexes over the past few decades and even though the gender gap has narrowed, women are still significantly more likely to live longer than men.

Read more

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Exoskeleton Helps the Paralysed Walk Again

From New Scientist:

Amanda Boxtel, a wheelchair user, is about to stand up. A skiing accident 18 years ago partially severed her spinal cord leaving her paralysed from the waist down. She slowly pushes herself out of the chair with crutches, teeters backward for a second, then leans forward – and takes a step. Soon she is walking around the warehouse in Berkeley, California, under her own direction.

Read more ....

Friday, October 8, 2010

'Living Dinosaurs' in Space: Galaxies in Today's Universe Thought to Have Existed Only In Distant Past

A simulation of a star forming galaxy similar to those observed. Cold gas (red) flowing onto a spiral galaxy feeds star formation. (Credit: Rob Crain, James Geach, the Virgo Consortium, Andy Green & Swinburne Astronomy Productions)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2010) — Using Australian telescopes, Swinburne University astronomy student Andy Green has found 'living dinosaurs' in space: galaxies in today's Universe that were thought to have existed only in the distant past.

The report of his finding -- Green's first scientific paper -- appears on the cover of the Oct. 7 issue of Nature.

Read more ....

What Farming Ants Can Teach Us About Bioenergy

A leaf-cutter ant foraging trail. These ants can form foraging trails in the rainforest that are hundreds of meters long containing thousands of workers. Credit: Jarrod Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

From Live Science:

What new methods will allow us to create biofuel from plants? Garret Suen, a computational microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) in the Department of Bacteriology is trying to find out. Suen is a post-doctoral researcher working in the lab of Cameron Currie and in January of 2011, he will be joining the faculty in the Department of Bacteriology and starting up his own lab and research program. Suen grew up in Toronto (before moving to Calgary for college), and being from Canada, he thoroughly enjoys Wisconsin winters. Suen’s current work at UW centers on how to convert cellulose found in plants into a fermentable sugar that can be used to make ethanol for fuel.

Read more ....

'Mini-Pompeii' Found In Norway

From Discovery News:

Norwegian archaeologists have unearthed a Neolithic “mini Pompeii” at a campsite near the North Sea, they announced this week.

Discovered at Hamresanden, not far from Kristiansand’s airport at Kjevik in southern Norway, the settlement has remained undisturbed for 5,500 years, buried under three feet of sand.

“We expected to find an 'ordinary' Scandinavian Stone Age site, badly preserved and small. Instead, we discovered a unique site, buried under a thick sand layer,” lead archaeologist Lars Sundström, of the Museum of Cultural History at the University in Oslo, told Discovery News.

Read more ....

Giant Moon Collision 'May Have Formed Saturn's Rings'

Saturn's rings are largely made up of icy chunks

From The BBC:

Saturn's rings may have formed when a large moon with an icy mantle and rocky core spiralled into the nascent planet.

A US scientist has suggested that the tidal forces ripped off some of the moon's mantle before the actual impact.

The theory could shed light on the rings' mainly water-ice composition that has puzzled researchers for decades.

The scientist announced her idea at a conference in Pasadena, US.

Read more ....

TechBytes: Amazon Apps Store

From ABC News:

Amazon is reportedly getting ready to open a new online application store. The Wall Street Journal reports that the apps would be for smartphones running Google's Android software. Google also has its own online store with about 80,000 apps. Apple's store has about 250,000 apps.

Read more ....

Could An 'Elixir Of Life' Really Increase Your Lifespan?

From New Scientist:

A chemical elixir can add 10 years to your life! According to the media, anyway. How much of the claim that an amino acid cocktail can boost longevity should be taken with a pinch of salt?

For starters, the study was carried out in mice. Giuseppe D'Antona at Pavia University in Italy and his colleagues added a cocktail of three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) - isoleucine, leucine and valine - to the feed of young nine-month-old mice.

Read more ....

Video: Apollo 11 Launch At 500 Frames Per Second

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Mark Gray on Vimeo.

Volcanoes Wiped out Neanderthals, New Study Suggests

The Semeru volcano in Indonesia. New research suggests that climate change following massive volcanic eruptions drove Neanderthals to extinction and cleared the way for modern humans to thrive in Europe and Asia. (Credit: iStockphoto)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — New research suggests that climate change following massive volcanic eruptions drove Neanderthals to extinction and cleared the way for modern humans to thrive in Europe and Asia.

The research, led by Liubov Vitaliena Golovanova and Vladimir Borisovich Doronichev of the ANO Laboratory of Prehistory in St. Petersburg, Russia, is reported in the October issue of Current Anthropology.

Read more ....

Comet May Not Have Rocked Stone Age World

From Live Science:

While most scientists agree that a large object from space likely crashed into Earth and led to the eventual demise of the dinosaurs, a new study takes aim at theories that suggest similar events spelled bad news for large animals and Stone Age hunters nearly 13,000 years ago.

For about three years, scientists have debated over what caused drastic climate changes and gaps in the archaeological record at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, a period of time spanning from about 1.8 million to 11,500 years ago.

Read more ....

Mars Probe To Solve 'Lost Atmosphere' Mystery

The disappearance of the ancient magnetic field may have triggered the loss of the Martian atmosphere, and NASA have just announced a mission to investigate. Credit: NASA

Mars Probe To Solve 'Lost Atmosphere' Mystery -- Cosmos/AFP

WASHINGTON: The U.S. space agency NASA announced it has given the green light to a mission to Mars aimed at investigating the mystery of how the ‘red planet’ lost its atmosphere.

NASA gave the approval for "the development and 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission," the agency said in a statement, noting that the project may also show Mars' history of supporting life.

Read more ....

The End Of The World As We Know It?

The universe began in a Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding at an ever accelerating rate ever since. iStockPhoto

From Discovery Magazine:

Save the date: Less than 3.7 billion years from now, the world is going to end, according to a new study.

A new study suggests the universe and everything in it could end within the Earth's lifespan -- less than 3.7 billion years from now -- and we won't know it when it happens.

But one expert says the result isn't valid because the researchers chose an arbitrary end point.

The universe began in a Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding at an ever accelerating rate ever since.

Read more ....

Soyuz Launches To Space Station

From The BBC:

A Soyuz capsule carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut has left Earth bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

Lift-off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan occurred at the scheduled time of 0510 (2310 GMT).

Alexander Kaleri, Oleg Skripochka and Scott Kelly are due to reach the orbiting platform on Saturday.

The men will complete a five-month tour of duty aboard the laboratory as part of the Expedition 25 and 26 crews.

Read more ....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Statue of King Tut's Grandfather Unearthed in Luxor

From Discover News:

Part of an ancient statue of King Amenhotep III, believed to be the grandfather of King Tutankhamun, has been unearthed, Egypt's Ministry of Culture announced on Saturday.

The 4-foot (1.3-meter) by 3-foot (0.95-meter) red granite statue depicts the Egyptian pharaoh in all his power. Amenhotep III wears the double crown of Egypt, which is decorated with a sacred asp, or uraeus, and is seated on a throne next to the Theban god Amun.

Read more ....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Powerful Supercomputer Peers Into The Origin Of Life

New research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains how a ribonucleic acid enzyme, or ribozyme (pictured), uses magnesium ions (seen as spheres) to accelerate a significant reaction in organic chemistry. (Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2010) — Supercomputer simulations at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are helping scientists unravel how nucleic acids could have contributed to the origins of life.

A research team led by Jeremy Smith, who directs ORNL's Center for Molecular Biophysics and holds a Governor's Chair at University of Tennessee, used molecular dynamics simulation to probe an organic chemical reaction that may have been important in the evolution of ribonucleic acids, or RNA, into early life forms.

Read more ....

Grain of Hope: Researchers Seek A Super-Rice

From Live Science:

Food scientists are furiously racing to come up with new rice varieties and growing techniques to meet the rising demand presented by a growing population in Asia.

To discuss the challenge, rice scientists and world officials met at a symposium in New York last week, where the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Asia Society jointly released a task force report, "Never an Empty Bowl: Sustaining Food Security in Asia."

Read more ....

Japan's Murata Girl Bot Unicycles On A Curved Balance Beam (Video)

From Popular Science:

Following in the footsteps of many robots we’ve seen who perform awesome but random feats, Japanese electronics company Murata has revealed an update of their Little Seiko humanoid robot for 2010. Murata Girl, as she is known, is 50 centimeters tall, weighs six kilograms and can unicycle backwards and forwards. Whereas in her previous iteration, she could only ride across a straight balance beam, she is now capable of navigating an S-curve as thin as 2.5 centimeters (only one centimeter wider than the tire of her unicycle)

Read more ....

Asteroid Lutetia Has Thick Blanket Of Debris

Photo: About 100km wide, Lutetia is the biggest asteroid yet visited by a spacecraft

From The BBC:

Lutetia, the giant asteroid visited by Europe's Rosetta probe in July, is covered in a thick blanket of dusty debris at least 600m (2,000ft) deep.

Aeons of impacts have pulverised the space rock to produce a shattered surface that in terms of texture is much like Earth's Moon, scientists say.

The finding is one of the first to emerge from the wealth of data gathered by Rosetta during its close flyby.

The details are being discussed this week at a conference in Pasadena, US.

Read more ....

New Chip Captures Hard-to-Find Tumor Cells

Image: Capturing cancer cells: A new microfluidics chip designed to isolate tumor cells from blood captures clusters of cancer cells, shown here, which may play a role in cancer’s spread. Credit: PNAS

From Technology Review:

The devices may one day help patients skip invasive and painful biopsies.

Technologies that analyze cancer cells that circulate through a patient's bloodstream could provide a less invasive way of monitoring cancer and selecting the best treatments. So Mehmet Toner and collaborators at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a microfluidics chip that effectively captures these rare cells, which make up just one in a billion cells in blood, in high enough numbers to analyze them for molecular markers. The device also isolated clusters of tumor cells for the first time, which may help shed light on cancer's ability to spread, or metastasize, from its initial birthplace.

Read more

RIM's PlayBook vs. Tomorrow's iPad

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is seen as a natural for the enterprise.

From Computer World:

The PlayBook might not easily displace the iPad in the enterprise.

Computerworld - RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, unveiled last week, is the latest entry in what has become a rapidly growing field of iPad competitors. But unlike most upcoming Android tablets -- the big exception being Cisco's Cius -- the PlayBook isn't meant to compete with the iPad in the consumer market. Despite its touted capabilities for multimedia, the PlayBook is primarily designed to be a business and enterprise tablet.

Read more ....

TechBytes: Google TV

From ABC News:

Google TV is a step closer to becoming a reality. The company announced that CNN, HBO and the NBA are on board to provide content, along with Netflix and Amazon's video store. Google TV aims to let viewers watch TV and surf the web on the same screen.

If you want to fly like an owl, you've got your big chance. A new video game is in stores, based on the animated movie "Legend of the Guardians, the Owls of Ga'hoole." Libe Goad of checked it out.

Read more ....

Signal Achievements In Army History (Photos)

In 1860, the man in the center of this photo, Albert Myer, became the first-ever signal officer of the U.S. Army. (He's seen here some months later during the Peninsula campaign of the Civil War.) While the government liked Myer's ideas on signaling well enough to establish the U.S. Army Signal Corps at that time, the early years of the undertaking faced any number of challenges--ungainly technology, bureaucratic infighting, lack of funding and staffing. But the seed was planted in those early days, and the Signal Corps has now been around for 150 years (making this year the sesquicentennial), at the forefront of technologies from the telegraph to radio, radar, and satellite communications. Photo by U.S. Army

CSN Editor: For more photos, go here.

Analyst: Competitors Can't Catch Up To iPad

Apple's iPad
(Credit: Apple)

From CNET:

A slew of upcoming iPad competitors won't be able to match Apple's tablet anytime soon, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore said in a recent note to investors.

"We believe Apple's lead in the tablet market will prove difficult to close by the onslaught of competing products coming over the next several quarters," Whitmore said Monday in a research note obtained by Fortune. "Ultimately, we expect the slew of upcoming competition to fall flat from a user-experience standpoint while struggling to materially undercut the iPad on price."

Read more ....

Stuck Mars Rover Gets New Mission

Spirit's right-front wheel, visible in this October 2009 image, has not worked since 2006. It is the least-stuck of the rover's six wheels at the current location, called "Troy." NASA/JPL-Caltech

From Discovery News:

NASA's Mars rover Spirit, trapped in sand, has a new mission in store if and when it wakes from hibernation.

No one would begrudge NASA's Mars rover Spirit -- six years into a mission pegged for 90 days, stuck in sand and lacking power to phone home -- retirement.

Instead, in the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, scientists are preparing a new round of studies uniquely suited for a stuck Mars lander.

Read more ....

Marine Life Census Charts Vast Undersea World

This new copepod, Ceratonotus steiningeri, was first discovered 5,400 metres deep in the Angola Basin in 2006. It was also collected in the southeastern Atlantic, as well as some 13,000 kilometres away in the central Pacific Ocean. Scientists are puzzled about how it achieved such widespread distribution and avoided detection for so long. Credit: Jan Michels

From Cosmos:

LONDON: Results of the first ever global marine life census have been unveiled, revealing a startling overview after a decade-long trawl through the murky depths.

The Census of Marine Life estimated there are more than one million species in the oceans, with at least three-quarters of them yet to be discovered.

The US $650-million international study discovered more than 6,000 potentially new species, and found some species considered rare were actually common.

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What Makes Us Age? Ticking of Cellular Clock Promotes Seismic Changes in Chromatin Landscape Associated With Aging

Each time a cell divides, the protective "caps" at the tip of chromosomes (red and green dots) erode a little bit further. As telomeres wear down, their DNA undergoes massive changes in the way it is packaged. These changes likely trigger what we call "aging." (Credit: Image: Courtesy of Dr. Jan Karlseder, Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2010) — Like cats, human cells have a finite number of lives: once they divide a certain number of times (thankfully, more than nine) they change shape, slow their pace, and eventually stop dividing -- a phenomenon called "cellular senescence."

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