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  Science News
  February 20, 2006

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Alzheimer's risk 'is 80% genetic'  - BBC  Up to 80% of the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease is genetic US researchers looked at almost 400 sets of elderly twins, where at least one had Alzheimer's. It also found that genetic factors appeared to determine when a person developed the condition. Two-thirds of adults aged 65 years and older with dementia have Alzheimer's. The researchers estimated heritability - what proportion of risk for a disease across a population is genetic - for Alzheimer's to be between 58% and 79%. Where both twins had the disease, there was an average of 3.66 years difference in age at onset, and 8.12 years difference between 20 sets of fraternal twins. 
Cosmic Log: Space elevator’s next floor - MSNBC  Liftport Group, headquartered in Bremerton, Wash., said that high-altitude balloons lofted an instrument platform to a mile in altitude for six hours, with a carbon fiber-laced ribbon hanging down to the ground. A robotic lifter, measuring 5-foot-6 (170 centimeters) in length, grabbed onto the ribbon and pulled itself up to altitudes of more than 1,500 feet (460 meters), besting the previous record by 500 feet. The last time around, the ribbon was the weakest link in the chain. This time, the robotic lifter was the failure point: LiftPort's engineers installed nylon gears to cut down on the robot's weight, but when the robot approached the 1,500-foot point, "we started grinding down the gears," he said. Nevertheless, Laine said he was so happy with the test "that we're starting to design the 2-mile system now." In the meantime, Laine is gearing up for a test of a different type. In cooperation with the Mars Desert Research Station and a team from Georgia Tech, LiftPort will be setting up a balloon-borne, lifter-serviced communications platform that would relay signals during a simulated Mars mission in the Utah desert in late March and early April.   

Do bugs hold key to end oil addiction? - MSNBC  The key to kicking what President Bush calls the nation’s oil addiction could very well lie in termite guts, canvas-eating jungle bugs and other microbes genetically engineered to spew enzymes that turn waste into fuel. It may seem hard to believe that microscopic bugs usually viewed as destructive pests can be so productive. But scientists and several companies are working with the creatures to convert wood, corn stalks and other plant waste into sugars that are easily brewed into ethanol — essentially 199-proof moonshine that can be used to power automobiles and with hardly any of the emissions tied to global warming. “The technologies are out there to do this, but we need to convince the public this is real and not just a science project.”     
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Alzheimer's Disease:
2/20/2005: Alzheimer's risk 'is 80% genetic'  - BBC

2/20/2005: Cane toads leg it across Australia  - Nature
2/20/2005: Leggier cane toads step up efforts to conquer Australia
 - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Interview: Extinguishing red fire ants - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Protein Translation In Sperm - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Scientists Seek To Unwrap The Sweet Mystery Of The Sugar Coat On Bacteria - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Findings Advance Use Of Adult Stem Cells For Replacement Bone - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Researchers Release New Variety Of Asparagus - Science Daily
2/20/2005: The Egg Hunt Is On - SpaceDaily

Climate, Environment:
2/20/2005: Increased CO2 may cause plant life to raise rivers - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Snows Of Kilimanjaro Disappearing, Glacial Ice Loss Increasing - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Spring Migration Of Pink-footed Geese Under Threat - Science Daily
2/20/2005: 'Roof Of The World' Tells Tale Of Colliding Continents, Earth's Interior - Science Daily
2/20/2005: EU Kyoto consistency cited for UK pollution rejection ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: Singapore disputes Malaysian article on Causeway pollution ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: Kraft, US Surgical Caught Leaking Ozone Depleting Chemicals ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: Maryland Power Plants Linked to 700 Premature Deaths Per Year ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: EPA Approval of Particulate Air Pollution Plan a Valentine's Day Gift to Big Ag ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: Indian court summons top officials over river pollution ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: How green is my planet? ...  - Physics Org
2/20/2005: Climate change gets SETI-style simulations ... - FirstScience

2/20/2005: Shortage of Xbox 360s due to memory chips?  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Nintendo DS to watch TV, Opera  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Nintendo dual screen grows up  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Vodafone CEO says 3G handsets must get cheaper  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Cisco buys slice of China game maker  - C/Net
2/20/2005: PDAs show an afterlife  - C/Net
2/20/2005: U.N. Game Wins Hearts and Minds
  - Wired News
2/20/2005: Nintendo DS, the Web Browser
  - Wired News

2/20/2005: Perspective: BlackBerry dispute may keep going and going and...
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Mobile market to rise on back of 3G success
  - C/Net



2/20/2005: $100 laptop takes world stage  - C/Net
2/20/2005: $100 laptop expected in late 2006  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Looking for love in virtual places  - C/Net
2/20/2005: China touts recent piracy crackdown  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Lawmaker renews push against Net gambling  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Mozilla's Camino browser released  - C/Net

2/20/2005: What Microsoft wants from authentication  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Video: Gates on the end of passwords  - C/Net

2/20/2005: Do bugs hold key to end oil addiction? - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Trains the best way to carry US nuclear waste - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Biomass: Hope and Hype  - Technology Review 
2/20/2005: The Next Prius?  - Technology Review 
2/20/2005: Bush Budget Shows Solar Some Love  - Wired News
2/20/2005: RenewableEnergyStocks.com - New Featured Renewable Energy Company Legend Investment Corp, Focused on ... - FirstScience
2/20/2005: Online Renewable Energy Roundtable Discussion On Continued Growth Of Wind Industry ...
 - FirstScience

2/20/2005: Shovelling storm snow takes toll on the heart - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Men With Heart Disease May Be at Risk for Death With Blood Sugar in 'Normal' Range, Women at Lower Risk - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Study Shows Levitra May Protect The Heart - Science Daily

2/20/2005: Cancer deaths fall as US smokers quit - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Botox Could Help Target Resistant Tumors For Treatment - Science Daily

2/20/2005: Deadly bird flu found in northern Europe - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Bird Flu - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Copper Could Help Prevent The Spread Of Flu Infections - Science Daily
2/20/2005: New Infectious Agents Pose New Risks For People With Bleeding Disorders - Science Daily

2/20/2005: Editorial: Tobacco's burning shame - New Scientist

2/20/2005: Cannabis-inspired diet pill shows some success - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Interview: Bon appetit! - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Get ready for 24-hour living - New Scientist
2/20/2005: No such thing as zero risk - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Herbal Supplements, A Smoking Gun In Plastic Surgery - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Wisconsin Scientists Find A Way To Make Human Collagen In The Lab
2/20/2005: Indoor Pollution From Cooking On Wood Stoves Affects Women In Developing Countries - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Intensive Efforts Launched To Determine Genetic And Environmental Roots Of Common Diseases - Science Daily

History, Anthropology:
2/20/2005: Ohio board retreats from intelligent design - MSNBC
2/20/2005: In search of a second genesis - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Ohio changes its mind regarding evolution ...  - Physics Org

2/20/2005: MIT Media Lab co-founder steps down  - C/Net
2/20/2005: China, Congress and the tech industry  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Perspective: Dealing with China the wrong way  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Ex-Enron chief lied about Net unit, witness says  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Hurd gets high marks as he engineers turnaround at HP  - C/Net
2/20/2005: 10 best sci-fi films that never existed  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Survey: Consumers prefer TV, not PC, for Web video  - El. Engr. Times
2/20/2005: Cosmic Log: The science of pickup lines - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Theologian makes peace with science - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Disconnect in education priorities seen - MSNBC
2/20/2005: The Future of Science: A Conversation with Alan Lightman - Live Science
2/20/2005: Math and Science Education Not a Major Public Concern - Live Science
2/20/2005: SKorea Considering Buying US Patriot PAC-3 missiles - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Russia, France Sign Deal On Soyuz Missile Launches - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Coast to Coast AM Is No Wack Job  - Wired News
2/20/2005: Tech's China Policy a 'Disgrace'  - Wired News
2/20/2005: Tune In, Turn On, Veg Out  - Wired News
2/20/2005: A Truly Del.icio.us API  - Wired News
2/20/2005: In Defense of the Culture Clash  - Wired News
2/20/2005: Forget Tomorrow, Live for Today
  - Wired News

2/20/2005: Babies may have abstract sense of math - MSNBC

Physics and Astronomy:
2/20/2005: Stuttering stars found  - Nature
2/20/2005: Einstein's Theory 'Improved'?
 - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Potential Link Between Iron Meteorites And Earth "Building Blocks"
 - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Reproducing 'GEMS' In The Lab
 - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: New Kind of Cosmic Object Discovered ...
 - Nat'l. Geo. News
2/20/2005: Higgs Boson a-go-go ...
 - Nat'l. Geo. News
2/20/2005: Gamma-ray afterglow from galactic centre gas clouds reveals prehistoric particle accelerator ...
  - Physics Org
2/20/2005: Astronomers Find Metal-Rich Distant Galaxy ...
  - Physics Org
2/20/2005: Newly Forming Solar System Has Planets Running Backwards ...
  - Physics Org



2/20/2005: Cosmic Log: Space elevator’s next floor  - MSNBC
2/20/2005: Photo: Looking back at liftoff
  - C/Net
2/20/2005: Space-elevator tether climbs a mile high
 - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Strongest lightning storm on record strikes Saturn
 - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Astronomers Find Giant Lightning Storm At Saturn
 - Science Daily
2/20/2005: Spacewalk From Shenzhou
 - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Cassini Sees Giant Lightning Storm On Saturn
 - SpaceDaily
2/20/2005: Smooth Surface On Telesto
 - SpaceDaily

2/20/2005: Baby you can fly my car  - C/Net
2/20/2005: The current state of OLED research  - El. Engr. Times
2/20/2005: Nano movie making - New Scientist
2/20/2005: Viper vision - New Scientist
2/20/2005: U.S. Ski Suits Straight Out of Science Fiction - Live Science
2/20/2005: Hung Out to Dry ... and Iron  - Wired News



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