A lot of the climate change debate may focus on how to cut carbon dioxide emissions to prevent global temperature rise, but many nations are already struggling with the consequences of local climate change--rising sea levels, water shortages and agricultural problems. Now the European Union has promised over $10 billion over the next three years for a "fast start" fund to help the poorest nations adapt to climate change.
By Katharine GammonPosted 12.10.2009 at 4:55 pm 0 Comments
About 20 percent of watermelons are left to rot in the field because they’re too blemished to sell in stores. Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found that the unused fruit left on a harvested acre could produce about 24 gallons of bioethanol—fuel that could be poured back into farm equipment or sold on the open market, all without competing for land with food crops. This year, the group plans to start work on a mobile machine that could go from field to field harvesting castaway melons and turning them into fuel.
Saturn's north pole holds something even more strange than a globe-trotting Santa Claus -- a giant hexagon shape within the planet's atmosphere. Now NASA's Cassini spacecraft has imaged the whole hexagonal pattern in visible light for the first time.
It seems like every few weeks someone claims to have built the newest and most revolutionary prosthetic hand, and while breakthroughs on that front are amazing, what about all the partial-hand amputees, those that have only lost a finger or two, or perhaps a thumb? UK firm Touch Bionics has introduced a system geared directly toward those that, though missing a digit or four, still have working muscle and tendon in their hands. These bionic fingers let their wearers--a 1.2-million-strong group that, until now, has been largely ignored--regain the ability to type, use a fork and knife and more.
A bizarre spiraling light show over Norway has raised speculations ranging from a Russian rocket test to an odd meteoric display. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute remains unsure of the phenomenon's origins, but astronomers have said that it does not appear connected to the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.
While some viruses attack the lungs, and others the blood, HIV attacks the only system that could put up a fight: the immune system itself. The immune system mounts some defense, but after HIV launches its surprise attack, the body simply can't produce enough killer T blood cells to take out the virus.
Now, thanks to researchers at UCLA, it's payback time for the blood cells. A team of scientists have plucked T-cells out of someone infected with HIV, and used them as a template for creating an army of HIV-fighting immune cells out of stem cells. Essentially a genetic vaccine, this technique could be used to copy T-cells designed to fight any virus, opening up the possibility of universal vaccination via stem cell implantation.