Science News

China says West should continue its 'key role' on climate change

Washington, Sept.22 : China has said that developed countries should continue to take the lead in reducing emissions in the post Kyoto Protocol period.

China's newly appointed special representative for climate change, Yui Qingtai, has said that the current international mechanism for tackling global warming after 2012 should define the obligations of developed countries.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, are key guiding instruments for addressing global warming.

Meteor crash in Peru causes mysterious illness

Washington, Sept.22 : A mysterious illness has hit a number of residents living near the Lake Titicara in Peru following the crashing of a rare kind of meteorite.

Peruvian researchers have confirmed the origins of the object after studying samples of it at a laboratory in Lima.

Residents, according to the National Geographic, have complained of headaches and nausea, spurring speculation that the explosion was a subterranean geyser eruption or a release of noxious gas from decayed matter underground.

Rapeseed biofuel ‘produces more greenhouse gas than oil or petrol’

Washington, Sept.22 : A renewable energy source designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is contributing more to global warming than fossil fuels, a study has suggested.

Measurements of emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save. Other biofuels, especially those likely to see greater use over the next decade, performed better than fossil fuels but the study raises serious questions about some of the most commonly produced varieties.

NASA Orbiter finds possible cave skylights on Mars

Washington, Sept.22: NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has reportedly discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano.

The find is likely to fuel interest in potential underground habitats and sparking searches for caverns elsewhere on the planet.

NASA Restarts Telescope Mission to Detect Black Holes

Washington, Sept.22: NASA has made a decision to restart an astronomy mission that will have greater capability than any existing instrument for detecting black holes in the local universe.

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NUSTAR), will expand understanding of the origins and destinies of stars and galaxies.

NASA had stopped the study effort on the NUSTAR mission in 2006 due to funding pressures within the Science Mission Directorate.

Lava flow could have buried signs of past water on Mars

London, Sept 21: Lava flow could have covered features on Mars that appear to have experienced catastrophic flooding, and this could make future landing missions for search of past water on the Red Planet more troublesome, according to a new NASA study.

The results follow the detailed examination for more than three months by the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the valley system called Athabasca Valles, which has long been interpreted as having been carved out by sudden, catastrophic flooding.

Evidence of star formation in gas tail extending outside parent galaxy

Washington, Sept 21: Astronomers have found evidence of star formation in a long gas tail extending well outside its parent galaxy.

Scientists say the discovery suggests that such “orphan” stars might be more prevalent than previously thought.

The team led by Ming Sun of Michigan State University, observed the comet like tail in X-ray light with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and in optical light with the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope in Chile.

Sun said the team found the feature extending more 200,000 light years.

ESA’s ‘Don Quijote’ to search for small, earth threatening asteroids

Paris, Sept 21 : The European Space Agency (ESA) has embarked on a ‘Don Quijote’ mission that would chart out the trajectory of small asteroids to see if these rocky bodies are in line with a collision with Earth in the future.

The Don Quijote mission is a project based in two phases.

The first phase will see a spacecraft rendezvous with an asteroid and go into orbit around it. It would monitor the asteroid for several months, precisely determining its position, shape, mass and gravity field.

Smart insulin nanostructures pass feasibility test on animal models

Washington, September 21 : A smart particle insulin release system that detects spikes in glucose and blood sugar levels, and releases insulin to counteract them has shown promising results in feasibility tests on animal models.

Researchers at The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston have announced the findings of the pre-clinical test in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.

New target to axe heart problems triggered by air pollutants

Washington, September 21: An animal study at Northwestern University in Chicago has shown how exposure to particulate matter leads to accelerated blood clotting and thrombosis, which can in turn cause heart attacks and stroke.

Particulates, chemical or biological agents that change the natural characteristics of the atmosphere, cause air pollution.

Drought would make Amazon more green, says study

Washington, Sept 21: Droughts would make the verdant Amazon rainforest even greener, a new study by a team of researchers from the University of Arizona, US, has revealed.

Several climate models have predicted that rising Earth temperatures will cause intense drought in the Amazon basin, eventually leading to the rainforest's collapse into grass-covered savannah, with only a sprinkling of trees.

Now, a new model that takes into account the widespread drought that hit the Amazon in 2005 has shown otherwise.

Poison gas phosgene present in significant quantities in atmosphere, says study

Washington, Sept 20 : Phosgene, put to devastating use during the First World War, is present in significant quantities in the atmosphere, a new study by a US-Canadian research team has revealed.

Phosgene was stockpiled in military arsenals well after the Second World War, but its continued presence in the atmosphere today is due to man-made chlorinated hydrocarbons used in the chemical industry.

New exoskeleton backpack lightens burden for soldiers, porters


Washington, Sept 20 : Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a device that would lighten the burden for soldiers and others who carry heavy packs and equipment.

Their invention, known as an exoskeleton, can support much of the weight of a heavy backpack and transfer that weight directly to the ground, effectively taking a load off the back of the person wearing the device.

Treasure trove of H. erectus fossils outside Africa could fill gaps in human evolution

London, Sept 20 : Palaeontologists have discovered a treasure trove of the oldest human skeletons outside Africa, a find they say may fill crucial gaps in the story of our evolution, and help improve our understanding of the biology of the 1.8 million year old hominins.

The work, led by researchers from the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, describes three-dozen fossils from the skeletons of four primitive Homo erectus individuals found in recent years at Dmanisi in Georgia, central Asia.

Study challenges commonly held theories on formation of Earth’s atmosphere

Earth Atmosphere
Washington, Sept 20 : Geochemists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have challenged the commonly held ideas about how gases are expelled from the Earth.

The team, lead by Prof E. Bruce Watson, has found strong evidence that argon atoms are tenaciously bound in the minerals of Earth’s mantle and move through these minerals at a much slower rate than previously thought.

Microwaves may help determine fat and salt content of supermarket food

Washington, September 20 : A new study conducted at two universities in Manchester has revealed that microwaves, which are used for zapping instant meals, can also be used to determine the fat and salt content of supermarket food.

Sing Kwei Ng, a student of PhD and one of the researchers behind the study, has won a top industry prize for his work to determine the amount of fat in beef.

NASA to Mend all Three Shuttle Fuel Tanks

Following the NASAdetection of cracked layers in the padding foam of all three shuttle fuel tanks, NASA said it will change the foam materials on its shuttle fuel tanks in order to evade similar debris abruption as happed on Endeavour’s launching.

NASA’s space shuttle program manager, Wayne Hale said that an X-ray examination of brackets on the shuttles’ external fuel tanks noticed the cracks that could possibly cause similar debris-shedding disruptions as that during shuttle Endeavour’s launch on Aug. 8.

Sunita Williams Selected ‘Person Of The Week’

A leading USSunita Williams television network selected Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams as 'Person of the Week' after she returned to Earth onboard shuttle Atlantis after a record 195-day stay in space.

On Saturday, the shuttle landed in safety at the Edwards Air Force Base in California after bad weather at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral pressured mission managers to leave out three landing efforts there.

After successful landing, NASA mission control congratulated Sunita and six other members of the Atlantis crew, and the ABC Television Network chose Sunita as ‘Person of the Week’.

Sunita Tests LOCAD-PTS

With the purposeSunita Williams of extending future exploratory journeys into space, the first major test on the Space Station is successfully completed by LOCAD-PTS. LOCAD-PTS (Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System) is a miniature biological laboratory which was launched December 9, 2006 and Saturday, March 31, 2007, was it’s scheduled to be opened.

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