843,362 articles

APEC forges deal on climate change (AP)

AP - Pacific Rim leaders agreed Saturday to curb global warming by improving energy use and expanding forests, laying out a plan they hope will influence future climate change talks but that critics dismissed as too...

Ecologists Get To The Bottom Of Why Bears Rub Trees

Ecologists have at last got to the bottom of why bears rub trees -- and it's not because they have itchy backs. Adult male grizzly bears use so-called "rub trees" as a way to communicate with each other while looking for breeding females, and that this behaviour could help reduce battles between the bears.

Extra Gene Copies Were Enough To Make Early Humans' Mouths Water

To think that world domination could have begun in the cheeks. That's one interpretation of a recent discovery which indicates that humans carry extra copies of the salivary amylase gene. Humans have many more copies of this gene than any of their ape relatives, the study found, and they use the copies to flood their mouths with amylase, an enzyme that digests starch. The finding bolsters the idea...

Females Promiscuous For The Sake Of Their Grandchildren

Female animals that mate with multiple partners may be doing so to ensure the optimum health of their grandchildren, according to researchers. Despite mating being a risky business for females -- not least with the threat of injury, sexually transmitted diseases and vulnerability to predators - polyandry (females taking multiple mates) is widespread in the animal kingdom.

Getting There Faster With Virtual Reality

Is the navigation system too complex? Does it distract the driver's attention from the traffic? To test electronic assistants, their developers have to build numerous prototypes -- an expensive and time-consuming business. Tests in a virtual world make prototypes unnecessary. The engineer stares intently at the display on the virtual dashboard. His task is to test the new driver assistance system...

Marburg Virus Identified In A Species Of Fruit Bat

The Marburg virus, like its fearsome cousin Ebola, belongs to the Filoviridae family. It carries the name of the German town where it was first detected in 1967, after a mysterious epidemic had hit employees of the Behring laboratory. The workers had been contaminated as they took organ samples from green monkeys imported from Uganda. Up to the end of the 20th Century, rare cases of violent...

Packaging Where Nothing Sticks

Shaking and tapping is often the only way to get the last drop of ketchup out of the bottle. But in future, even this final drop will slide out easily onto the barbecued steak -- thanks to a special coating on the packaging. We all know the problem with ketchup or mayonnaise: No matter how we shake or tap the bottle, some of the content refuses to come out. In some cases, up to 20 percent is left...

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. If the pressure in the eye is too high, nerve fibers die, resulting in visual field loss or blindness. Since increased intraocular...

Silicon As Smooth As Glass: Boon To Computer Chip And Solar Cell Manufacturing

Without silicon there would be no computer industry since most computer chips consist of this semiconductor material. The same is true for solar cells: They too are predominantly silicon-based. The monocrystals are cut in round slices approximately one millimeter thick, which experts call wafers. Their surfaces must be as smooth as glass; irregularities may only be a few nanometers wide, i.e. less...

Studying Evidence From Ice Age Lakes

During the last Ice Age, the ice dammed enormous lakes in Russia. The drainage system was reversed several times and the rivers flowed southwards. A group of geologists is now investigating what took place when the ice melted and the lakes released huge volumes of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean. "The ice-dammed lakes in Russia were larger than the largest lakes we know today," according to...

Using Evolution, Scientists Creates A Template For Many New Therapeutic Agents

By guiding an enzyme down a new evolutionary pathway, researchers have created a new form of an enzyme capable of producing a range of potential new therapeutic agents with anti-cancer and antibiotic properties. They describes a novel enzyme capable of changing the chemical properties of a variety of existing drugs and small molecules to make new agents to treat cancer and fight infection.


SATURDAY 8. SEPTEMBER 2007


Polar Bear Population Predicted To Dwindle WIth Retreating Ice

Future reduction of sea ice in the Arctic could result in a loss of 2/3 of the world's polar bear population within 50 years according to a series of studies just released by the U.S. Geological Survey. Polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform to hunt seals, their primary food. But sea ice is decreasing throughout their Arctic range due to climate change. Models used by the USGS team project a...

Teen Suicide Rate: Highest Increase In 15 Years

A new CDC report shows the largest one-year increase in youth suicide rate in 15 years. Suicide rates for 10-19 year-old females and 15-19 year-old males increased significantly in 2004 in the United States. An increase in the suicide rates for three gender-age groups accounts for the increase in the overall suicide rate, the report said. Rates rose for 10- to-14-year-old females, 15...

Typhoon moves away from Japan (AFP)

AFP - Typhoon Fitow moved out to the Sea of Okhotsk Saturday after cutting across Japan, leaving at least two dead and 82 others injured in torrential rains and violent winds, officials...

Supercomputing By Reservation Puts Petaflops At Researchers' Fingertips

Supercomputers keep growing ever faster, racing along at the blazing speed of nearly one petaflops -- 10 to the fifteenth, or one thousand trillion calculations per second -- equivalent to around 250 thousand of today's laptops. In contrast, the experience of a computational scientist can be anything but fast -- waiting hours or days in a queue for a job to run and yield precious results needed...