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  December 25, 2004

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Research Points To New Theory Driving Evolutionary Changes - SpaceDaily  The researchers found that in a dog gene involved in determining muzzle length, the number of times specific tandem repeat units were repeated could be used as a predictor of what the dog looked like - long muzzle or short. Mutations in tandem repeat sequences occur much more frequently than single point mutations - up to 100,000 times as often - and are much more likely to result in significant morphological changes, or changes in physical appearance, in an organism, said Dr. Fondon, an evolutionary biologist. Mutations in these repeat sequences are responsible for such incremental changes."  
Tired woman Infection link to heart attacks  - BBC  Infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia and cystitis raised the risk of a heart attack fivefold, and of a stroke threefold, for the period a patient was ill. The likelihood of having either then decreased gradually over the following weeks. He told the BBC News website: "After the age of 50, we all have some degree of furring up of the arteries, but most of the time it sits there fairly harmlessly. However, during infection stable deposits become unstable and may break off, causing the blockages that may lead to a heart attack or a stroke." "I would stress this is only a slight increase."  

Honda's Asimo robot

Humanoid robot learns how to run  - BBC  Left:  Asimo is now taller, fatter and faster.  The Japanese firm is a leader in developing two-legged robots and the new, improved Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) can now run, find his way around obstacles as well as interact with people. "The aim is to develop a robot that can help people in their daily lives," said a Honda spokesman. The "run" he is now capable of is perhaps not quite up to Olympic star Kelly Holmes' standard. At 3km/h, it is closer to a leisurely jog. Its makers claim that it is almost four times as fast as Sony's Qrio, which became the first robot to run last year. Asimo has improved in other ways too, increasing his walking speed, from 1.6km/h to 2.5km, growing 10cm to 130cm and putting on 2kg in weight. While he may not quite be ready for yoga, he does have more freedom of movement, being able to twist his hips and bend his wrists, thumbs and neck. Asimo can:  Recognize moving objects; Follow movements; Greet people;  Recognize and respond to 50 Japanese phrases;  Come when beckoned; and  Walk up and down stairs.  Robots can fulfil serious functions in society and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe predicts that the worldwide market for industrial robots will swell from 81,000 units in 2003 to 106,000 in 2007. Technology developed for Asimo could be used in the automobile industry as electronics increasingly take over.
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Alzheimer's Disease:

12/25/2004: UK 'wrong to reject EC fish plan'  - BBC
12/25/2004: Monkey vocal ability investigated
  - BBC
12/25/2004: Birds duck and dive like fighter planes - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Dog muzzles point to speedy evolution - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Global Bird Populations Face Dramatic Decline In Coming Decades, Study Predicts - Science Daily

Climate, Environment:
12/25/2004: NASA Tracks Impact Of Trees And Insects On Carbon Dioxide Levels - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: 'Eye in the sky' watches over air  - BBC
12/25/2004: Under threat: Road building may harm a unique Central American rainforest  - BBC
12/25/2004: Climate change issues clouded by ozone - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Post-Kyoto climate negotiations look troubled - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Bug 'batteries' send out pollution alert - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Bugs ravage North American forests - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Many Counties Failing Fine-Particle Air Rules - New Scientist
12/25/2004: U.S. Waters Down Global Commitment to Curb Greenhouse Gases - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Shutdown Of Circulation Pattern Could Be Disastrous, Researchers Say - Science Daily
12/25/2004: Saudi signs up for Kyoto agreement - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: Australia draws line with United States on global warming: report - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: Future climate talks set for May 2005 in Germany - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: Greenpeace disappointed by outcome of UN climate change conference - SpaceDaily

12/25/2004: Artists get musical with GameBoy blips, boops and beeps  - BBC
12/25/2004: Flash forward for the iPod?  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Flipping over QWERTY  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Best gadgets you can't buy  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Will Apple flash iPod rock market?  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Photos: iPods everywhere  - C/Net
12/25/2004: More Flash iPod Rumors
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: The Word on the Next iPod: Flash
  - C/Net

12/25/2004: Broadband in the UK gathers pace
  - BBC
12/25/2004: Year in review: Dawning of the broadband age
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: U.S. wireless lags behind much of developed world
  - CNN
12/25/2004: Russia's mobile giant signs up for i-mode
  - CNN

12/25/2004: Diamonds a chip's new best friend?  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Scientists seek diamond computer chip - MSNBC
12/25/2004: Micron ships 2-Gbit 90-nm NAND flash memory - Silicon Strategies

12/25/2004: Wal-Mart debuts $498 Linux laptop  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Commodore 64 reincarnated on a chip  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Images: Commodore 64 lives again  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Photos: A PC in the toaster- How mod!  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Apple's computers languish next to iPod - Seattle Times

12/25/2004: Hollywood campaign hits websites  - BBC
12/25/2004: Burn 'n' watch: Peer-to-peer's future in video and legal downloads  - BBC
12/25/2004: Doctor Who website escapes BBC online closures  - BBC
12/25/2004: Schoolboy quizzed over sex video  - BBC
12/25/2004: A Collective Net to Catch Phishers - Business Week
12/25/2004: Doing battle over spyware  - C/Net
12/25/2004: 1999 redux?
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Virtual Trade Tough Nut to Crack
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Hollywood campaign hits websites
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Hotmail dumps McAfee's antivirus for Trend Micro
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Google: We've fixed desktop search tool flaw
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: E-mail hoax hits home
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: ISP wins $1 billion in spam suit
  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Internet's power to unite us is arguable
 - Seattle Times

12/25/2004: Will Microsoft Wriggle Free Again? - Business Week
12/25/2004: Why the Grokster Case Matters - Business Week
12/25/2004: Group plans holiday spoiler for RIAA, studios  - C/Net

12/25/2004: Pliable solar cells are on a roll - New Scientist

12/25/2004: Infection link to heart attacks  - BBC
12/25/2004: Row rages over heart disease and the pill  - Nature
12/25/2004: Pfizer painkiller may triple heart attack risk - New Scientist
12/25/2004: NIH Halts Use Of COX-2 Inhibitor In Large Cancer Prevention Trial - Science Daily

12/25/2004: Prostate cancer treatment worry  - BBC
12/25/2004: European Study Highlights Persistent 3 Decade Increase In Childhood Cancer Incidence - Science Daily

12/25/2004: Cannibalism may have spread anthrax in hippos - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Innovative Metagenomics Strategy Used To Study Oral Microbes - Science Daily

12/25/2004: Safety scare over arthritis drug  - BBC
12/25/2004: Oxidants Link Obesity To Diabetes - Science Daily

12/25/2004: Deprivation link to tooth decay  - BBC
12/25/2004: Bone disease taken for abuse  - BBC
12/25/2004: Overexcited children: How to get to your youngsters to sleep on Christmas Eve  - BBC
12/25/2004: Reel life: How a film hopes to reduce prejudice against the disabled  - BBC
12/25/2004: Lotion 'good as drugs' for acne  - BBC
12/25/2004: Reducing Anti-rejection Meds After Transplant Shows Less Complications - Science Daily
12/25/2004: Solving The Mechanism Of Rett Syndrome - Science Daily
12/25/2004: Little Evidence To Link Mercury Fillings To Human Health Problems - Science Daily
12/25/2004: Why Do Workouts Work?
 - SpaceDaily

History, Anthropology:
12/25/2004: Looking for Amelia Earhart - MSNBC
12/25/2004: Ice-age musicians fashioned ivory flute  - Nature
12/25/2004: Study Resolves Doubt About Origin Of Earth's Oldest Rocks - SpaceDaily

12/25/2004: Sony denies plasma TV reports  - BBC
12/25/2004: Go Digital: Technology to combat terror, hi-tech firefighting systems and Lego robots  - BBC
12/25/2004: Human tragedy: 'I spent four months getting aid to the people of Darfur'  - BBC
12/25/2004: On the Internet, a web of dark alleys  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Global survey: Confidence of execs falls  - C/Net
12/25/2004: Man finds lost identity online  - C/Net
12/25/2004: US missile shield to miss 2004 deadline - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Speed dating and the rules of attraction - New Scientist
12/25/2004: US missile defence system test data withheld - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Bullying at work gains visibility - Seattle Times
12/25/2004: The Workplace Bullying & Trauma Institute - Seattle Times
12/25/2004: War simulator has the real feel - Seattle Times
12/25/2004: Army unveils new, ultra-real simulation - Seattle Times
12/25/2004: Ariane Rocket Puts Military Satellite Into Orbit - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: US Raises Concerns Over China Arms Sales With Israel: Pentagon - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: U.S. Allies Look At Missile Defense - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: Missile Test Failure Raises New Questions About System - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: Outside View- Iran Can't Be Bought Off - SpaceDaily

12/25/2004: 'Good progress' on mental health  - BBC
12/25/2004: Why people become hoarders  - BBC
12/25/2004: Early Learning Leaves Lasting Changes In Brain, Stanford Owl Study Shows - Science Daily

Physics and Astronomy:
12/25/2004: Supercool helium ions make their debut - PhysicsWeb
12/25/2004: Researchers Control Chemical Reactions One Molecule At A Time
 - SpaceDaily


12/25/2004: Humanoid robot learns how to run   - BBC

12/25/2004: Top of the class: Nasa's Mars rovers - 'biggest breakthrough' in science in 2004  - BBC
12/25/2004: Cassini sees changing weather on Titan
  - Nature
12/25/2004: Human spaceflight the key for new NASA boss
 - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Dione and Saturn Make For A Great Back Drop
 - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: New Step For The Soyuz Launches From French Guiana
 - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: China Will Launch More Spacecrafts Next Year
 - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: The Silence Of The Space Cadets
 - SpaceDaily
12/25/2004: Titan Weather: Storm Trackers
 - SpaceDaily

12/25/2004: Island rises from depths - MSNBC
12/25/2004: Anthropologists to beat gadget rage - New Scientist
12/25/2004: Nanotubes Glow, Even Within Biological Cells - Science Daily
12/25/2004: Nano World: Nanomaterials Buyers Beware - SpaceDaily


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