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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 28 June 2009 at 11:34am

One In 25 Deaths Worldwide Attributable To Alcohol

ScienceDaily (June 27, 2009) — Research from Canada's own Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) featured in this week's edition of the Lancet shows that worldwide, 1 in 25 deaths are directly attributable to alcohol consumption. This rise since 2000 is mainly due to increases in the number of women drinking.

CAMH's Dr Jürgen Rehm and his colleagues found that alcohol-attributable disorders are among the most disabling disease categories within the global burden of disease, especially for men. And in contrast to other traditional risk factors for disease, the burden attributable to alcohol lies more with younger people than with the older population.

The study showed that Europe had a high proportion of deaths related to alcohol, with 1 in 10 deaths directly attributable (up to 15% in the former Soviet Union). Average alcohol consumption in Europe in the adult population is somewhat higher than in North America: 13 standard drinks per person per week (1 standard drink = 13.6 grams of pure ethanol and corresponds to a can of beer, one glass or wine and one shot of spirits) compared to North America's 10 to 11 standard drinks. The recent Canadian consumption rate is equivalent of almost 9 standard drinks per person per week age 15 plus, and has been going up, as has high risk drinking. Globally, the average is around 7 standard drinks per person per week (despite the fact that most of the adult population worldwide actually abstains from drinking alcohol).

Most of the deaths caused by alcohol were through injuries, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver cirrhosis.

 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090626102332.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 29 June 2009 at 9:54am

Massive European Solar Project Set for Launch

A German-led consortium wants to fund an international solar-energy plan to the tune of €400 billion. The idea is to gather solar heat in North Africa and send the electricity to Europe. If it works, it would be the largest green-energy project in the world.

An ambitious German-led project to supply Europe with solar energy from the deserts of North Africa will start with a meeting on July 13, an executive from the German insurance giant Munich Re told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday. The project involves a consortium of about 20 firms -- including Siemens, Deutsche Bank, and energy companies like RWE -- and will cost €400 billion ($555.3 billion

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,630699,00.html#ref=nlint

Desertec Solar Project 'an Encouraging Economic Sign'

With the planned Desertec project, Europe wants to build a giant solar power plant to convert the endless sun in the Sahara Desert into CO2-free electricity. The mega project isn't without its critics, but most German commentators are welcoming Tuesday's announcement that the ambitious solar plans may soon move forward.

The vision is an attractive one. Imagine a gigantic solar thermal power plant stretching across the deserts of North Africa, sending huge quantities of energy across the Mediterranean to Europe -- and emitting no CO2 in the process

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,630948,00.html#ref=nlint

Sounds like good news

 

Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 29 June 2009 at 11:21am

Sure does...seems like a very interesting project...Thank you Brother Tarek  

Round-the-world solar plane debut

 

Bertrand Piccard unveils his solar plane

Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard has unveiled a prototype of the solar-powered plane he hopes eventually to fly around the world.

The vehicle, spanning 61m but weighing just 1,500kg, will undergo trials to prove it can fly through the night.

Dr Piccard, who made history in 1999 by circling the globe non-stop in a balloon, says he wants to demonstrate the potential of renewable energies.

The final version of the plane will try first to cross the Atlantic in 2012.

It will be a risky endeavour. Only now is solar and battery technology becoming mature enough to sustain flight through the night - and then only in unmanned planes.

But Dr Piccard's Solar Impulse team has invested tremendous energy - and no little money - in trying to find what it believes is a breakthrough design.

"I love this type of vision where you set the goal and then you try to find a way to reach it, because this is challenging," he told BBC News.

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 Hand Stencils Through Time
 
Clusters of hand stencils dating back 2,500 years cover the walls of Argentina's Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) in Patagonia.

Prehistoric handprints and stencils span all continents and began appearing on rock walls around the world at least 30,000 years ago.

"Our hands are one of the features that make humans unique, something that links us all,"
Pennsylvania State University archaeologist Dean Snow said.

With support from the National Geographic Society's
Committee for Research and Exploration, he analyzed hand stencils at caves in Spain and France and found most of them were female. Before, Snow says, most scientists had incorrectly "assumed that it was a guy thing." (See pictures of cave handprints recently found to be female.)


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/cave-art-handprints-missions-pictures/
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 01 July 2009 at 12:19pm
FUTURE FARMS: High-Rise, Beach Pod, and Pyramids
 
 
The Pyramid Farm, designed by vertical farming guru Dickson Despommier at New York's Columbia University and Eric Ellingsen of the Illinois Institute of Technology, is one way to address the needs of a swelling population on a planet with finite farmland.

Design teams around the world have been rolling out concepts for futuristic skyscrapers that house farms instead of--or in addition to--people as a means of feeding city dwellers with locally-grown crops.

In addition to growing fruits and vegetables, the Pyramid Farm includes a heating and pressurization system that converts sewage into water and carbon to fuel machinery and lighting, according to Inhabitat.com.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/vertical-farm-towers/index.html


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A glimpse at Intel's futuristic gadgets

Wouldn't it be useful to have a gadget that immediately warned you when the information you just saw on the Internet or heard from a buddy might be baloney?

How about a gizmo that helps you remember the names of people you encounter whose faces you only vaguely recall? Or a personal robot with such a gentle touch it could fetch your reading glasses without leaving a scratch?

These are among more than three dozen futuristic concepts being explored by Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker Intel. Some might seem an odd fit for a company known for its sophisticated microprocessors, which serve as the brains of personal computers and other devices. But Intel's researchers, often working with universities, are constantly looking for innovative products or new uses for those it already sells.

"We want to be focused on breakthrough technologies," Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said during an unveiling of the research recently at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. "We believe our mission is to take risks and define the exceptional opportunities."

Here are a few of the ideas the company is working on:

• Dispute Finder: This experiment, recently being tried out at disputefinder.cs.berkeley.edu, is designed to enable Web surfers who install a browser extension to instantly know when a news article, blog or something else they are reading online is contradicted by other information.

Disputed snippets of text are automatically highlighted. When clicked on, these sections reveal contrary or supporting facts, which have been submitted by other Web users, similar to the way Wikipedia compiles its information. Users also can vote on the relative importance of the evidence, with the evidence receiving the most votes getting the most prominent display.

Robert Ennals, Intel's principal investigator for the idea, envisions people one day carrying mobile devices that can check the reliability of what others express verbally.

"The plan is to use voice-recognition software to automatically transcribe what is being heard into text" and then compare that with a copy of the dispute-finder database stored on the device, Ennals said. "We don't think that voice recognition is quite good enough to do this yet, but we hope that the technology will be good enough fairly soon."

He added that the mobile device might be designed to vibrate if it finds evidence contrary to what is said.

• Face recognition: If you often can't remember the names of people you've met and suddenly encounter again, Intel is working on something for you. It's a gadget you'd wear that would be equipped with a camera and a database full of images of your acquaintances.

That way, if you're at a party or other place and run into somebody whose name you can't recall, the gizmo would recognize their face and remind you who they are.

• Tour guide: Intel thinks mobile devices with visual-recognition capabilities also would prove useful to people who find themselves in unfamiliar places.

One version might contain information about the interior layout of buildings so it could direct a patient to a doctor's office in a large hospital, for example. Another might function like a vacation tour guide, said David Bormann, an Intel official exploring such ideas.

If you're visiting Paris and go to the Eiffel Tower, such a device would recognize the structure and provide interesting facts about it, he said. And if you point it at a bistro where you're considering having lunch, he added, the device might find reviews of the restaurant "so you can decide if you want to eat there."

• Gentle robots: To lessen the likelihood of robotic devices damaging objects they grab, Intel is experimenting with versions of the machines that are capable of electrolocation, an ability some fish have to detect things by bouncing electric fields off them.

The company, which has equipped a mechanical hand with that capability, says the technology gives robots the "nervous sense of reluctant touch" that human hands display when grasping something delicate.

Intel envisions robots one day fetching and doing all sorts of other tasks for people.

"The robotics industry today is at a point analogous to the personal computing industry of the early 1980s," the company says on its Web site. "In the next decade the number of personal robots deployed in unstructured environments like homes could grow dramatically."

Intel officials generally wouldn't speculate on how long it might take for these concepts to wind up on the market -- if ever. But a poster displayed at the event noted, "your kid's kid's kid won't think what we're doing is crazy at all."

http://www.physorg.com/news165689170.html


Edited by a well wisher - 02 July 2009 at 9:32am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote ruby Replybullet Posted: 02 July 2009 at 2:15pm
Originally posted by a well wisher

FUTURE FARMS: High-Rise, Beach Pod, and Pyramids
 
 
The Pyramid Farm, designed by vertical farming guru Dickson Despommier at New York's Columbia University and Eric Ellingsen of the Illinois Institute of Technology, is one way to address the needs of a swelling population on a planet with finite farmland.

Design teams around the world have been rolling out concepts for futuristic skyscrapers that house farms instead of--or in addition to--people as a means of feeding city dwellers with locally-grown crops.

In addition to growing fruits and vegetables, the Pyramid Farm includes a heating and pressurization system that converts sewage into water and carbon to fuel machinery and lighting, according to Inhabitat.com.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/vertical-farm-towers/index.html


 
 
Jazakallah khair for posting this one!!!
ALLAH IS ONE, LIKE HIM IS NONE
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Thank you Sister Ruby

Sun Dial Uses Mobile Phones To Alert Muslims To Prayer
 
Religious technology may seem like an oxymoron, but as more people obtain mobile phones, iPhones and other devices to help them manage their lives, it's only natural that many of them will be using their gadgets to help them enrich their spiritual life as well.
 
Sun Dial is a mobile application that uses images to alert users to the five daily prayers of Islam. (Credit: Susan Wyche)

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a mobile application known as Sun Dial, which alerts Muslim users when it's time to perform the five daily prayers known as salat. The device is currently being discussed this week at the human-computer interaction conference, CHI, in Boston.

"We have to understand religion because it's such a central part of peoples lives," explained Susan Wyche, doctoral candidate in the College of Computing and GVU Center at Georgia Tech.

Designing technological devices for religious use may be very different from designing devices for traditional uses in office settings.

"Efficiency and productivity tend to be driving forces when designing technology for offices, but these are not as central when designing applications for the home or religious settings. Why would you design a device that makes someone pray faster?," said Wyche.

Wyche, along with her research team, chose to focus on Islam for this study, partially because of the religion's popularity worldwide and partially because Muslims have historically used technology such as compasses and telescopes to help them determine the direction to face during prayer.

Working with seven focus groups, they determined that the greatest interest from the participants lay in prompting them when it was time to pray — not by using text, which some commercial applications use, but through imagery combined with audible alerts.

Sun Dial tells users that the time to pray is approaching by using an image of the sun lining up with a green circle. When the sun lines up with the circle, it's time to pray.

"Unlike similar systems, ours relies on graphics rather than text and graphs to communicate prayer times. Users drove this choice by telling us that tracking the sun was the most religiously valued method to determine prayer times."

Wyche and colleagues tested their application with Muslims from Georgia Tech and the greater Atlanta area for two weeks with favorable reaction. They're currently working on implementing a few design changes such as a digital clock and a vibration alert. Eventually, they plan on making the application available for download.

"Sun Dial provided more than functionality or a prompt to the prayer times; it also contributed to users' religious experience by reminding them they were part of a larger community. More broadly, carefully considering imagery is important when developing mobile phone applications, particularly ones that support personal and emotional activities, which may be sacred or secular."

 
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Why microbes are smarter than you thought
 
Escherichia coli bacteria genes mutate more rapidly when under stress - a last ditch attempt to evolve features that might help them survive
 

The vast majority of species on Earth are single-celled. Most of these languish in obscurity – many have never even been named – but some of the relatively few species that have been studied exhibit remarkable abilities.

Many of these are physical: some micro-organisms are amazingly strong; others can hibernate for hundreds of thousands of years or thrive in environments so extreme that they would kill off most other life forms in a flash.

But many bacteria and protists also exhibit behaviour that looks remarkably intelligent. This behaviour isn't the result of conscious thought – the sort you find in humans and other complex animals – because single-celled organisms don't have nervous systems, let alone brains.

A better explanation is that they're "biological computers" with internal machinery that can process information (see our review of Wetware: A Computer in Every Living Cell). Here are some of the most striking examples of this "intelligent" behaviour from the New Scientist archive.

Communication

Bacteria talk to each other with chemicals. They do so for a host of reasons, some of them hard to understand unless you are another bacterium (or a dedicated bacteriologist), but one of the most straightforward is demonstrated by Bacillus subtilis.

If B. subtilis individuals are growing in a food-poor area, they release chemicals into their surroundings. These essentially tell their neighbours: "There's not much food here, so clear off or we'll both starve."

In response to these chemical messages, the other bacteria set themselves up further away, completely changing the shape of the colony.

See The secret language of bacteria.

Decision-making

Many single-celled organisms can work out how many other bacteria of their own species, are in their vicinity – an ability known as "quorum sensing".

Each individual bacterium releases a small amount of a chemical into the surrounding area – a chemical that it can detect through receptors on its outer wall. If there are lots of other bacteria around, all releasing the same chemical, levels can reach a critical point and trigger a change in behaviour.

Pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria often use quorum sensing to decide when to launch an attack on their host. Once they have amassed in sufficient numbers to overwhelm the immune system, they collectively launch an assault on the body. Jamming their signals might provide us with a way to fight back.

See A billion bacteria brains are better than one.

City living

Not only can bacteria be talkative and co-operative, but they also form communities. When they do, the result is a biofilm, most familiar as the thin layers of slime that coat the insides of water pipes, or kitchen surfaces in student residences. They're also found in biological refuges, like the inner linings of human digestive systems – anywhere, in fact, where there is plenty of water.

Many different species live side by side in these "bacterial cities", munching one another's wastes, cooperating to exploit food sources, and safeguarding one another from external threats – such as antibiotics.

See Slime city.

Accelerated mutation

Many microbes can accelerate the rate at which their genes mutate. This allows them to obtain new abilities that may be helpful when conditions get tough. This is a risky strategy, since many of the new mutations will be harmful or even fatal and is, in effect, a last-ditch tactic when there's little left to lose.

Examples are legion: Escherichia coli mutates more rapidly when under stress (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1082240), and yeast has also been shown to perform the same trick (Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, DOI: 10.1080/10409230701507773).

During the early 1990s, researchers suggested that bacteria might have a way to "choose" mutations that would be particularly useful. This idea of directed mutation was extremely controversial, and by 2001 the evidence was stacked against it (Nature Reviews Genetics, DOI: 10.1038/35080556).

See Day of the mutators.

Navigation

It's common knowledge that many animals can navigate across vast distances, migrating birds and honeybees being among the best-known examples. But microbes are also pretty good at it.

The single-celled algae collectively called Chlamydomonas swim towards light, but only if it is of a wavelength that they can use for photosynthesis.

Similarly, some bacteria move according to the presence of chemicals in their environment – a behaviour called chemotaxis. E. coli, for example, move like sharks on the trail of blood if a few molecules of food are dropped into their environment.

Another group of bacteria align themselves to the Earth's magnetic field, allowing them to head directly north or south (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.170679). Known as magnetotactic bacteria, their special ability comes from specialised organelles loaded with magnetic crystals.

But perhaps the most striking feat of microbial navigation is performed by the slime mould Physarum polycephalum. This colony of amoeba-like organisms always finds the shortest route through a maze.

See Microbes on the move.

Learning and memory

When the amoeba Dictyostelium searches the surface of a Petri dish for food, it makes frequent turns. But it does not do so entirely randomly.

If it has just turned right, it is twice as likely to turn left as right on its next turn, and vice versa. In some way, it "remembers" which direction it last turned. Human sperm have the same ability.

E. coli goes one better. This bacterium spends part of its life cycle travelling through the human digestive system encountering different environments as it goes. In the course of its journey, it encounters the sugar lactose before it finds the related sugar, maltose. At its first taste of lactose, it switches on the biochemical machinery to digest it – but it also partially activates the machinery for maltose, so that it will be ready for a feast as soon as it is reached.

To show that this was not simply hard-wired, the researchers from Tel Aviv University grew E. coli for several months with lactose, but without maltose. They found that the bacteria gradually changed their behaviour, so that they no longer bothered to switch on the maltose-digesting system (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature08112).

Remarkable though these behaviours are, we have probably only scratched the surface of what single-celled organisms can do. With so many still entirely unknown to science, there must be plenty more surprises in store.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17390-why-microbes-are-smarter-than-you-thought.html?page=1



Edited by a well wisher - 04 July 2009 at 1:18pm
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Printable batteries
 
The small, thin battery comes out of the printer and can be applied to flexible substrates. Credit: Fraunhofer ENAS
 
 
 
For a long time, batteries were bulky and heavy. Now, a new cutting-edge battery is revolutionizing the field. It is thinner than a millimeter, lighter than a gram, and can be produced cost-effectively through a printing process.

In the past, it was necessary to race to the bank for every money transfer and every bank statement. Today, bank transactions can be easily carried out at home. Now where is that piece of paper again with the TAN numbers? In the future you can spare yourself the search for the number. Simply touch your EC card and a small integrated display shows the TAN number to be used. Just type in the number and off you go. This is made possible by a printable battery that can be produced cost-effectively on a large scale.

It was developed by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Baumann of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz together with colleagues from TU Chemnitz and Menippos GmbH. "Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each," states Dr. Andreas Willert, group manager at ENAS.

The characteristics of the battery differ significantly from those of conventional batteries. The printable version weighs less than one gram on the scales, is not even one millimeter thick and can therefore be integrated into bank cards, for example. The battery contains no mercury and is in this respect environmentally friendly. Its voltage is 1.5 V, which lies within the normal range.

By placing several batteries in a row, voltages of 3 V, 4.5 V and 6 V can also be achieved. The new type of battery is composed of different layers: a zinc anode and a manganese cathode, among others. Zinc and manganese react with one another and produce electricity. However, the anode and the cathode layer dissipate gradually during this chemical process. Therefore, the battery is suitable for applications which have a limited life span or a limited power requirement, for instance greeting cards.

The batteries are printed using a silk-screen printing method similar to that used for t-shirts and signs. A kind of rubber lip presses the printing paste through a screen onto the substrate. A template covers the areas that are not to be printed on. Through this process it is possible to apply comparatively large quantities of printing paste, and the individual layers are slightly thicker than a hair. The researchers have already produced the batteries on a laboratory scale. At the end of this year, the first products could possibly be finished.

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

 


Edited by a well wisher - 05 July 2009 at 2:41pm
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Earth appears as a pale, red dot

The spectra of Earth during the eclipse showed 'biological' molecules to appear strongest in the red part of the spectrum (Source: Gabriel Perez Diaz)

Scientists looking for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems might find it more productive to focus on pale red dots, rather than blue ones.

This is the conclusion of a team of astronomers from Spain and and the United States, which appears in a recent issue of Nature.

The astronomers observed the lunar eclipse of August 2008 from a simulated alien perspective. They discovered that several biologically relevant molecules, such as oxygen, water, carbon dioxide and methane, show up stronger than expected in longer, redder wavelengths of light.

"The Earth is often referred to as the pale blue dot, but in transmission, the pale blue dot becomes the pale red dot," says Enric Palle of Spain's Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias and colleagues.

The team used optical and near-infrared spectrographs attached to telescopes at the El Roque de los Muchachos observatory in the Canary Islands to observe the light reflected from the moon during the eclipse.

Transiting planet

With the Sun positioned behind Earth and the planet's shadow falling on the Moon, the light reflecting off the lunar surface back to Earth first passed through the planet's atmosphere. The effect is similar to the geometry observed when an extrasolar planet passes in front of its parent star, says Palle.

When a planet transits a star, part of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere where it interacts with the various atoms and molecules. Breaking down the light into its component wavelengths then gives scientists insight into the planet's composition.

Scientists have discovered more than 350 planets orbiting stars beyond the solar system, including at least 58 that transit their parent stars, relative to the perspective of Earth.

"We have a much better idea about what to do to find planets similar to our own where life may be thriving," says Associate Professor Eduardo Martin of the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

The spectra of Earth during the eclipse also revealed the presence of the planet's ionosphere, the layer of ionised gas that sits atop of the atmosphere. Scientists found a telltale sign of ionised calcium atoms, the sixth most abundant element on Earth.

Future investigations could reveal additional ionised elements, such as magnesium, which would appear in shorter wavelengths.

NASA is planning to attempt exoplanet spectroscopy with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future observatories.

"Our ... spectrum suggests that retrieving the major planetary signals might be easier than model calculations suggest," the authors conclude.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/06/29/2611298.htm

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New Portrait Of Omega Nebula's Glistening Watercolors

 
Three-colour composite image of the Omega Nebula (Messier 17), based on images obtained with the EMMI instrument on the ESO 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope at the La Silla Observatory. North is down and East is to the right in the image. It spans an angle equal to about one third the diameter of the Full Moon, corresponding to about 15 light-years at the distance of the Omega Nebula. (Credit: ESO)

ScienceDaily (July 8, 2009) — The Omega Nebula, sometimes called the Swan Nebula, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). An active star-forming region of gas and dust about 15 light-years across, the nebula has recently spawned a cluster of massive, hot stars. The intense light and strong winds from these hulking infants have carved remarkable filigree structures in the gas and dust.

When seen through a small telescope the nebula has a shape that reminds some observers of the final letter of the Greek alphabet, omega, while others see a swan with its distinctive long, curved neck. Yet other nicknames for this evocative cosmic landmark include the Horseshoe and the Lobster Nebula.

Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux discovered the nebula around 1745. The French comet hunter Charles Messier independently rediscovered it about twenty years later and included it as number 17 in his famous catalogue. In a small telescope, the Omega Nebula appears as an enigmatic ghostly bar of light set against the star fields of the Milky Way. Early observers were unsure whether this curiosity was really a cloud of gas or a remote cluster of stars too faint to be resolved. In 1866, William Huggins settled the debate when he confirmed the Omega Nebula to be a cloud of glowing gas, through the use of a new instrument, the astronomical spectrograph.

In recent years, astronomers have discovered that the Omega Nebula is one of the youngest and most massive star-forming regions in the Milky Way. Active star-birth started a few million years ago and continues through today. The brightly shining gas shown in this picture is just a blister erupting from the side of a much larger dark cloud of molecular gas. The dust that is so prominent in this picture comes from the remains of massive hot stars that have ended their brief lives and ejected material back into space, as well as the cosmic detritus from which future suns form.

The newly released image, obtained with the EMMI instrument attached to the ESO 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla, Chile, shows the central region of the Omega Nebula in exquisite detail. In 2000, another instrument on the NTT, called SOFI, captured another striking image of the nebula (ESO Press Photo 24a/00) in the near-infrared, giving astronomers a penetrating view through the obscuring dust, and clearly showing many previously hidden stars. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has also imaged small parts of this nebula (heic0305a and heic0206d) in fine detail.

At the left of the image a huge and strangely box-shaped cloud of dust covers the glowing gas. The fascinating palette of subtle colour shades across the image comes from the presence of different gases (mostly hydrogen, but also oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur) that are glowing under the fierce ultraviolet light radiated by the hot young stars.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094909.htm
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Ecological Model City Masdar: City Will Use Renewable Energy And Leave No Carbon Dioxide Or Waste

ScienceDaily (July 9, 2009) — The city of the future is currently being constructed on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. Masdar City shall be supplied exclusively with renewable energy and produce neither carbon dioxide nor waste.

Masdar City is to be constructed on an area of approximately 6 square kilometres, located about 30 kilometres east of the capital Abu Dhabi. It is designed to support a population of about 50,000. The planned carbon-neutral city is to be supplied entirely by renewable energy, using systematic recycling techniques it is to be nearly waste-free and will have significantly reduced water consumption. Thanks to an underground transportation system, it is to have car-free streets.

 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 10 July 2009 at 12:32pm

Humans Can Learn to "See" With Sound, Study Says

With just a click of the tongue, anyone can learn to "see" with their ears, according to a new study of human echolocation.

Several animals, such as bats, dolphins, whales, and some shrews, are known to use echolocation—sound waves bounced off nearby objects—to sense what's around them.

Inspired by a blind man who also navigates using sound, a team of Spanish scientists has found evidence that suggests most humans can learn to echolocate.

The team also confirmed that the so-called palate click—a sharp click made by depressing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth—is the most effective noise for people to use.

Sound Training

Daniel Kish, executive director of World Access for the Blind in Huntington Beach, California, was born blind. He taught himself to "see" using palate clicks when he was a small child.

Kish is able to mountain bike, hike in the wilderness, and play ball games without traditional aids.

(Related: "Mystery of 'Blindsight' Lets Some Blind People 'See.'")

To better understand Kish's skill, Juan Antonio Martínez and his colleagues at the University of Alcalá in Madrid trained ten sighted students to echolocate.

"It was very difficult to persuade some people to take part in the experiments, because most [of our] colleagues though that our idea was absurd," Martínez said.

The students were asked to close their eyes and make sounds until they could tell whether any objects were nearby.

After just a few days of training, the students had all acquired basic echolocation skills, the scientists report in the March/April 2009 issue of the journal Acta Acustica.

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