Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vietnam’s RS satellite model completed

Vietnamese engineers have completed the technical model of the country’s first remote sensing satellite, a local newswire reported. The Pico-Dragon satellite is expected to be launched between 2010 and 2011 along with other countries, Pham Anh Tuan – deputy head of Space Technology Institute (STI) told Vietnamnet.The launching of the satellite, whose functions include taking high-resolution photographs of natural resources, aiding weather forecasts and monitoring phenomenon like storms, will be a test of Vietnam’s ability to make its own satellites, Tuan said.Made by STI in cooperation with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Pico-Dragon weighs less than two kilograms with 10x10x10 centimeter dimensions and will have a life expectancy of around six months.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Floodgates Might Not Save Venice

The construction of mobile floodgates aims to safeguard the 1,300-year-old island city of Venice. It's an ambitious engineering project, but some scientists say it may not be sufficient to protect Venice from rising sea levels due to climate change.

Venice rose from mudflats in the middle of a lagoon which forms the largest wetland in the Mediterranean. One of the world's most endangered cities, it has been subject to increasing flooding due to sinking land — but also to rising sea levels.

It's known as "aqua alta" — high water — and it brings city life to a standstill for several hours. Big boats can't go under low-hanging bridges, and water seeps into buildings through the sewage system. Venetians have not lived on the ground floor for decades.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Arctic Ice Third-smallest on Record

 The range of ocean remaining frozen over the northern polar region reached its minimum extent for 2009 on September 12, when it covered 1.97 million square miles (5.1 million square km), and now appears to be growing again as the Arctic starts its annual cool-down, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported. ..
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Using waste to recover waste uranium

 Using bacteria and inositol phosphate, a chemical analogue of a cheap waste material from plants, researchers at Birmingham University have recovered uranium from the polluted waters from uranium mines. The same technology can also be used to clean up nuclear waste. Professor Lynne Macaskie, , presented the group's work to the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Did early humans evolve in Europe, not Africa?

Received wisdom that modern humans emerged in Africa then dispersed across the rest of the globe is being challenged by skulls found in Dmanisi, a site in Georgia to the south of Russia.Analysis of the skulls suggests that instead, small numbers of very early ancestors of modern-day humans may have migrated to Europe, where they evolved into Homo erectus, the immediate predecessor of modern Homo sapiens.Then, Homo erectus filed back into Africa before eventually making the crucial transition to Homo sapiens.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Seed variety loss seen hampering climate response

Farmers in developing countries are losing traditional varieties because of growing corporate control of the seeds they plant, hampering their ability to cope with climate change, a London-based think tank said on Monday.

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said in a report that the diversity of traditional seed varieties is falling fast and this means valuable traits such as drought and pest resistance could be lost forever.

The report was issued ahead of the World Seed Conference which opens on Tuesday at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Schwarzenegger to Obama cabinet: Water... please!

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has demanded that President Barack Obama's cabinet rethink federal policy that would divert water from parched farms and cities to threatened fish, his administration said on Wednesday.

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