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  April 8, 2006

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Wires find path of least resistance  - Nature   Twenty years ago this month, two researchers discovered a class of materials that sparked dreams of electricity grids that would transmit power without any losses and trains that would levitate along friction-free tracks. Researchers now think they have overcome one of the key obstacles that has stopped these visions becoming a reality. They have shown how to fashion the high-temperature superconductors discovered in 1986 into the wires and cables that engineers need. High-temperature superconductors, usually made of copper oxides, conduct electricity without any resistance at temperatures around the point at which nitrogen becomes liquid: -196 °C. That might not sound very high, but other superconducting materials require much lower temperatures. In fact, relatively cheap cooling systems are sufficient to make high-temperature superconductors work. If these materials could be turned into wires, they could transmit energy without heating up, making them very efficient power cables. But the materials are brittle and have to be plastered on to more ductile ones to create wires. Now Amit Goyal and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have taken a step forwards.
Warming signs mount up in Antarctica - MSNBC  Signs of global warming are three times more apparent in Antarctica than across the rest of the planet, a new study shows. The scientists estimate that atmospheric temperatures over Antarctica in the winter have risen by about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) in the last 30 years, and the change is due in large part to greenhouse-gas emissions. “Greenhouse gases could be having a bigger impact in Antarctica than across the rest of the world, and we don't understand why," said John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey. Analyzing nearly continuous data collected from nine weather stations over the past 30 years, the researchers concluded that Antarctica's air is indeed heating up.   

The scramjet flies again  - C/Net  On Thursday, a small team from the University of Queensland launched its second rocket within a week to set the stage for faster, cheaper air travel. From its launch pad in Woomera, Australia, HyShot IV carried a scramjet engine over 190 miles skyward--the goal being to help the scramjet gain enough speed on its return to ignite for six seconds before a planned crash landing. It was hoped the engine would reach a a speed of Mach 8, eight times the speed of sound, or about 5,000 miles per hour. The launch tested a scramjet engine with an advanced fuel injector developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Credit: Chris Stacey, The University of Queensland. Scramjets, short for supersonic combustion ramjets, may someday launch satellites more cheaply--or even take passengers from London to Sydney in about two hours, proponents say. The test engines need a rocket boost as they will not ignite until reaching a speed of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. The engine sucks oxygen from the atmosphere to burn its hydrogen fuel. Scramjet engines are expected to be ready for commercial use in about 10 years.
    One of the more interesting aspects of this Australian student project is the way advances in science and technology are becoming global. In 2004, NASA successfully flew the Boeing-built X-43 scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) at speeds as high as 7,000 mph (11,200 Kph) as part of its Hyper X program aimed at validating scramjet technology. Now, Australian students are running their own successful scramjet program.

 

    

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Alzheimer's Disease:

Biosciences:
4/8/2006: WP: Two champion horses cloned - MSNBC
4/8/2006: Washington Post: Panda cub brings boom times to zoo
 - MSNBC

Climate, Environment:
4/8/2006: Warming signs mount up in Antarctica  - MSNBC 
4/8/2006: GM SUV spoofed by environmentalists  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Sumatra quake could rumble again - MSNBC
4/8/2006: Barren soil is starving Africans  - Nature
4/8/2006: Soil health crisis threatens Africa's food supply - New Scientist

Computers:
Devices
4/8/2006: A Printer to Make You Think Again - Business Week
4/8/2006: Major milestones for Apple, Palm  - C/Net
4/8/2006: A free weekend of Xbox Live Gold  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Canon PowerShot SD600 for $280  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Photos: Wristwatch windup  - C/Net
4/8/2006: FTC: Fewer M-rated video games sold to kids  - CNN
4/8/2006: Chemistry: the video game
  - Nature

Communications
4/8/2006: Nokia's (Slightly) Better Cell Phones
 - Business Week
4/8/2006: • YouTube: Way Beyond Home Videos
  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Gadgets: Rabbit router hops down the broadband trail
  - C/Net
4/8/2006: 'Kosher' phone merges technology, faith
 - Washington Post

Technology
4/8/2006: Processors: AMD gets into a corporate desktop, kinda  - C/Net

PC's
4/8/2006: Videos: Getting to the core of Apple  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Apple's finest flip-flops  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Video: Gateway NX100 ultraportable  - C/Net
4/8/2006: How much of Apple is Steve Jobs?  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Perspective: Where Apple fails  - C/Net

Internet
4/8/2006: • Keeping Up with the Googles - Business Week
4/8/2006: Too much ado about Net neutrality?
4/8/2006: Net neutrality showdown  - C/Net
4/8/2006: MySpace growth continues amid criticism  - C/Net
4/8/2006: A big yawn for Google's lobbying  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Microsoft to bring Hotmail onto the desktop  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Photos: Web e-mail on the desktop
  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Beware the Web on April Fools' Day
  - C/Net
4/8/2006: MySpace evicts 200,000 to clean up its act
 - New Scientist

Miscellaneous
4/8/2006: Seeking changes to the DMCA  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Yahoo: We need effective cybercrime laws  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Microsoft aims to take the desktop 'Live'  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Microsoft rivals say hear 'nothing new' in EU hearing  - C/Net

Energy:
4/8/2006: Battle over green energy base  - BBC
4/8/2006: The Road to Energy Independence - Business Week

Health:
Cardiovascular
4/8/2005:Inflammation may cause deadly blood clots - New Scientist

Cancer  
4/8/2006: Cancer chemical 'in soft drinks'  - BBC
4/8/2006: Cancer drug may end side effects  - BBC

Infectious
4/8/2006: Human trials for bird flu vaccine  - BBC
4/8/2006: Bird flu front-line: The prototype vaccine earmarked for Britain's 'key workers'  - BBC
4/8/2006: Infections 'can double Deep Vein Thrombosis risk'  - BBC

Non-Infectious
4/8/2006: Dose of salts Cystic fibrosis sufferer tells how sea water treatment works  - BBC

Miscellaneous
4/8/2006: More drug trial men sent home  - BBC
4/8/2006: Parents' rights: Are you allowed time off work if your child becomes ill?  - BBC
4/8/2006: Study challenges prayers for the sick  - Nature

History, Anthropology:

Miscellaneous:
4/8/2006: Shoeprint analysis to fight crime  - BBC
4/8/2006: Photos: Pixar goes to London  - C/Net
4/8/2006: U.S. sought data from more than search engines  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Drone aircraft may prowl U.S. skies  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Video: Silicon money political strategies  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Video: Oops! Chevy gets trashed in commercial contest  - C/Net
4/8/2006: H-1B visas hit roadblock in Congress  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Brin, Page, Schmidt to pull down a buck in 2006  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Yahoo: Yahoo may face suit over jailed Chinese journalist  - C/Net
4/8/2006: NASA HQ raided in kiddie porn probe  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Did Kodak try to cut costs at customers' expense?  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Best Buy tunes into HP televisions  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Shoebox-sized scanner can spot hidden drugs  - Nature

Neurosciences:
4/8/2006: 'Mind control' over muscle power  - BBC
4/8/2006: No casual sex - it's immoral, 'say nine out of 10 women'.  - BBC
4/8/2006: Prescribing of hyperactivity drugs is out of control - New Scientist

Physics and Astronomy:
4/8/2006: Hot Jupiters do not rule out alien Earths - New Scientist

Prolongevity

Robotics:

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Technology:
4/8/2006: The scramjet flies again   - C/Net
4/8/2006: Wires find path of least resistance  - Nature
4/8/2006: Quick-draw artists: But can digital stars have the same soul as hand-drawn cartoons?  - BBC
4/8/2006: Banks press ahead in quest to use new technology  - BBC
4/8/2006: Toshiba starts selling high-def DVD player - Business Week
4/8/2006: Worst tech of 2006 (so far)  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Photos: At Accenture, RFID and sensors are on track  - C/Net
4/8/2006: Nano-welding could join molecular devices - New Scientist
4/8/2006: Nanotech technology leaves the lab
 - MSNBC
4/8/2006: It's daylight science time
 - MSNBC

  



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