Friday, July 30, 2010

UN Recognizes Access to Clean Water as a Human Right

Access to clean, safe drinking water is now an official basic human right everywhere in the world, like the rights to life, health, food and adequate housing. The water rights resolution was approved late Wednesday by the United Nations General Assembly, not unanimously, but without opposition.
This decision,Let us Hope, will be fruitful for the world and countries like India.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scientists Tap Into Antarctic Octopus Venom for Developing Drugs

 Researchers have collected venom from octopuses in Antarctica for the first time, significantly advancing our understanding of the properties of venom as a potential resource for drug development.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Astronomy Without A Telescope – Our Ageing Universe

It all started so full of promise. All at once, our universe burst upon the scene, but much of that initial burst quickly dissipated into background neutrinos and photons – and ever since, pretty much everything our universe has ever done has just dissipated more energy. So, despite the occasional enthusiastic outburst of supernovae and other celestial extravagances, it's becoming increasingly apparent that our universe is getting on a bit....

Could shaking batteries power gadgets?

What if you could recharge batteries simply by shaking them? Japan's Brother Industries thinks its prototype rechargeable batteries could shake up the gadget market.The juice is enough to power a remote control. By leaving the battery in a remote control and shaking it, the cell will be recharged. It's unclear how long (or vigorously) you'd have to shake it, but I doubt it would require shaking your fist at the TV for an entire episode of your most hated show.
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China questions review of controversial carbon program

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

India develops world's cheapest ‘laptop’

In a move that will change classroom education across the country, the ministry of human resource development unveiled a low-cost touch-screen computing device with a price tag of Rs 1,500 or $35. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled the low-cost computing device that is designed for students, saying his department had started talks with global manufacturers to start mass production.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

June Global Temperatures Warmest on Record

Last month's combined global land and ocean surface temperature made it the warmest June on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. The global temperature also broke the records for April-June and January-June time periods.
The monthly analysis from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville is based on temperature records going back to 1880.
Each of the 10 warmest average global temperatures recorded since 1880 have occurred in the last 15 years. The warmest year-to-date on record, through June, was 1998, and 2010 is warmer so far, NOAA's climate scientists said.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Reuters reported that "at least 37 people died and another 86 were missing after landslides and flooding in northwestern Shaanxi province and southwestern Sichuan since late last week." Millions had to be evacuated from their homes as dikes strain against the water's weight.

The image here shows the swollen Three Gorges Reservoir in Yichang, China, which filled up at a startling rate of 66,500 cubic meters (218,176 cubic feet) per second on Monday. That's the highest level ever recorded.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Google Energy buys wind power in first deal

Google Energy has signed a deal to purchase 114 megawatts of energy from a wind farm in Iowa, marking the first deal done by Google's energy subsidiary. The deal is significant in that it's the first done by Google Energy, a subsidiary created in December last year. When news of Google Energy came out, there was a great deal of speculation as to why Google, which is active in renewable energy and efficiency, would want to operate a wholly-owned subsidiary.

U.S. Invests $455 Million in Pakistani Water and Energy Projects

The United States is assisting Pakistan to develop its renewable energy and water resources. Projects include dams for hydropower, flood control and drinking water; natural gas, wind and biomass developments; solar installations at schools; and a smart grid for the business capital of Karachi.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Google Juice

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Mayan King's Tomb Discovered in Guatemala

A well-preserved tomb of an ancient Mayan king has been discovered in Guatemala by a team of archaeologists led by Brown University's Stephen Houston. The tomb is packed with carvings, ceramics, textiles, and the bones of six children, who may have been sacrificed at the time of the king's death.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

New tool to accurately map earthquake risk

Australia researchers are squeezing more information out of seismic waves to accurately map earthquakes and predict areas at highest risk. The findings were presented at the Australian Earth Sciences Convention in Canberra. 

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Insulin Signaling Key to Caste Development in Bees

The study, which appeared in the June 30 online edition of Biology Letters, shows that a key protein in the insulin signaling pathway plays a strong role in caste development among bees.

A female bee can become either a worker or a queen. Queen bees are larger and live longer than workers. Queen bees are also fertile while workers are essentially sterile. A queen has only one role -- to lay eggs -- while workers tend the hive, care for the queen and larvae, and forage for food.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

First Philippines Typhoon of 2010 Proves Deadly

At least 20 people have lost their lives and 57 others are missing following the first typhoon to strike the Philippines this year.

Typhoon Conson hit on July 13, knocking out power for more than 40 million people on the main island of Luzon, closing roads and bridges, and destroying hundreds of homes in coastal areas, the Philippines National Disaster Coordinating Council reports.

Houses knocked flat by Typhoon Basyang (Photo by Biboy3)
The storm, known locally as Typhoon Basyang, is moving in a northwesterly direction and is expected to hit Laoag City on the northwest coast of Luzon island tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Deepwater Shark Diets Include Other Sharks

Deepwater sharks eat everything from commercial fishing vessel discards to other sharks.
Scavenging human discards can both benefit and hurt sharks, since some may become entangled in nets.One of the most extensive studies on the diets of deepwater sharks reveals these toothy animals may eat everything from discards tossed off commercial fishing vessels to other sharks.

The study, published in the journal Deep Sea Research, is the first such major investigation to utilize DNA sequencing and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) to identify prey found in the stomachs of deepwater sharks. Shark edibles are usually too digested or fragmented, but collected DNA can be matched to animals recorded in the database.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

High Above the Earth, Satellites Track Melting Ice

The surest sign of a warming Earth is the steady melting of its ice zones, from disappearing sea ice in the Arctic to shrinking glaciers worldwide. Now, scientists are using increasingly sophisticated satellite technology to measure the extent, thickness, and height of ice, assembling an essential picture of a planet in transition.

WWF hunts for Tiger Ambassadors

If you are young, a natural leader and people listen to you, keen on wildlife and nature conservation, dreaming of embarking on an unforgettable journey to tiger land, willing to tell others how important it is to save this magnificent species - The tigers You could be lucky enough to be chosen as a “WWF Tiger Ambassador” at Youth Tiger Summit(YTS). We are seeking two talented, progressive-minded youths who are willing to devote their time, energy and ideas on raising awareness of the problems and ways to save the tiger. The trip will be sponsored by WWF-India.  

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Climate Change Means More Heatwaves, Premature Deaths, Scientists Warn

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Solar Impulse completes first solar-powered night flight

A giant glider-like aircraft has completed the first night flight propelled only by solar energy.

Solar Impulse, whose wingspan is the same as an Airbus A340, flew 26 hours and 9 minutes, powered only by solar energy stored during the day. It was also the longest and highest flight in the history of solar aviation, organizers said.

Bertrand Piccard, the Swiss president of the project, best known for completing the first round-the-world flight in a hot air balloon in 1999, said the success of the flight showed the potential of renewable energies and clean technology.
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Heat Waves Could Be Commonplace in the US by 2039

Exceptionally long heat waves and other hot events could become commonplace in the United States in the next 30 years, according to a new study by Stanford University climate scientists.
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Ancient Britons Were Earliest North Europeans

 A University College London archaeologist is part of a team who have unearthed the earliest evidence of human occupation in Britain.Their findings demonstrate that ancient humans occupied Britain over 800,000 years ago, marking the first known settlement in northern Europe -- far earlier than previously thought.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Computer Simulations Show Oil Reaching Up the Atlantic Coastline and Toward Europe

The possible spread of the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon rig over the course of one year was studied in a series of computer simulations by a team of researchers from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The simulations suggest that the coastlines near the Carolinas, Georgia, and Northern Florida could see the effects of the oil spill as early as October 2010, while the main branch of the subtropical gyre is likely to transport the oil film towards Europe, although strongly diluted.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dinosaurs Nestled Up to Geysers, Hot Springs to Incubate Eggs

In the Cretaceous period over a hundred million years ago, Argentina's Sanagasta Valley was alive with hydrothermal activity, much like Yellowstone National Park or Iceland are today. Tunnels of near-boiling, mineral-rich water crisscrossed the subsurface , and explosive geysers pockmarked the landscape. Doesn't seem like a very inviting place to raise a family.

But researchers found some 80 clutches of fossilized eggs in the area, many of them containing a dozen or more eggs each. Even more strange, the nests were almost exclusively found within 10 feet of a geyser or hot spring. It seems that far from avoiding the hydrothermal features, dinosaurs were purposefully laying eggs near them as a way to keep them incubated during their 1-2 month long gestation.
Gerald Grellet-Tinner of the Field Museum in Chicago and Lucas Fiorelli of CRILAR in Argentina published their findings in the journal Nature Communications
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Monday, July 5, 2010

First Images Received From Gemany,s TanDEM-X Satellite

Germany’s new radar satellite, TanDEM-X, launched from Kazakhstan on Monday, has returned its first images of Earth.

The spacecraft was created to make the most precise 3D map of the Earth’s surface.
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UK To Move to Year-Round Daylight Saving Time?

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AMU discloses presence of radioactive source on campus

The existence of a radioactive source in the Aligarh Muslim University Physics Department which has not been in use for decades and has been lying locked up in a room has been disclosed by Physics Department chairman Prof. Mohammed Zafar in a letter to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board on Saturday.

Gene Regulating Human Brain Development Identified

With more than 100 billion neurons and billions of other specialized cells, the human brain is a marvel of nature. It is the organ that makes people unique.Now,in an interesting discovery,writing in the journal Cell Stem Cell (July 1, 2010), a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified a single gene that seems to be a master regulator of human brain development, guiding undifferentiated stem cells down tightly defined pathways to becoming all of the many types of cells that make up the brain.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Coolest Stars:Brown Dwarfs

Astronomers have uncovered what appear to be 14 of the coldest stars known in our universe. These failed stars, called brown dwarfs, are so cold and faint that they'd be impossible to see with current visible-light telescopes. Spitzer's infrared vision was able to pick out their feeble glow, much as a firefighter uses infrared goggles to find hot spots buried underneath a dark forest floor.
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New US satellite to monitor debris in Earth orbit

A new U.S. Air Force satellite,SBSS will provide the first full-time, space-based surveillance of hundreds of satellites and thousands of pieces of debris that could crash into American and allied assets circling the Earth.

If all goes as planned, the Space-Based Space Surveillance satellite, scheduled for a July 8 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., will have an unobstructed, around-the-clock view of the increasingly heavy traffic in Earth orbit — something the Air Force doesn't have now.

Currently, the Air Force relies on a ground-based network of radar and optical telescopes around the globe to monitor about 1,000 active satellites and 20,000 pieces of debris. The telescopes can be used only on clear nights, and not all radar stations are powerful enough to detect satellites in deep space orbit, about 22,000 miles from Earth.

Extinction of Woolly Mammoth May Have Been Caused by Human Predators

 A new analysis of the extinction of woolly mammoths and other large mammals more than 10,000 years ago suggests that they may have fallen victim to the same type of "trophic cascade" of ecosystem disruption that scientists say is being caused today by the global decline of predators such as wolves, cougars, and sharks. The cascading events were originally begun by human disruption of ecosystems, a new study concludes, but around 15,000 years ago the problem was not the loss of a key predator, but the addition of one -- human hunters with spears.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sea Turtles and Gulf oil burns

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Photographer Blogger Dodges Volcanic Blitzkrieg in South Pacific: Big Pics

 Last month, British volcano photographer and Discovery News guest blogger Richard Roscoe ventured to the southern Pacific Island state of Vanuatu to get spectacular images of Yasur volcano, just as it was starting to boil over. The following is his account of photographing its eruption while dodging red-hot lava bombs, ash clouds, and volcanic lightning.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Genetic Reason of Human Exceptional Longevity Discovered

While environment and family history are factors in healthy aging, genetic variants play a critical and complex role in conferring exceptional longevity, according to a new study by a team of researchers from the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine and the Boston Medical Center.

Tibetan Adaptation to High Altitude Occurred in Less Than 3,000 Years

 Tibetans have mutations in numerous genes related to how the body uses oxygen. A comparison of the genomes of 50 Tibetans and 40 Han Chinese shows that ethnic Tibetans split off from the Han less than 3,000 years ago and since then rapidly evolved a unique ability to thrive at high altitudes and low oxygen levels.

Google says China partially blocks search service

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ensuring Seafood Safety in the Gulf of Mexico

Wildlife and Habitat Conservation News:

China approves 18 domestic firms for online mapping

BEIJING - Authorities have approved 18 domestic companies to provide Internet mapping services in the country, with a number of applications from foreign vendors still being considered.

The domestic companies were selected out of about 30 applicants and the list of approved providers is expected to be announced soon, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) told China Daily.
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New Smell Drives Evolution of New Moth Species

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Basalt Rock Formations:volcanic activity at its finest

Svartifoss is located in Skaftafell National Park in the south of Iceland. It means “Black Falls” as the waterfall flows some 80 feet down over dark lava columns that were formed inside a lava flow which cooled extremely slowly, giving rise to crystallization.
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Three Beautiful Islands

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