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The Potential of Geothermal Power 397

EskimoJoe wrote with a link to an AP article about progress in the development of geothermal energy. A Swiss company is competing with another in Australia to be the first to commercially develop a geothermal power plant. The concept is simple to understand: earth's core heat transforms water into steam, which in turn causes a turbine to revolve. The potential, though, is enormous. "Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment. A study released this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. It said an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S."

Brain Electrodes Help Injured Man To Speak Again 88

An anonymous reader writes "A man beaten and left for dead has recovered the power of speech thanks to the use of electrodes to stimulate brain activity. 'Experts called the results encouraging but cautioned that the experimental treatment must be tried in more patients before its value can be assessed. The researchers are already proceeding with a larger study. Before the electrodes were implanted, the man was in what doctors call a "minimally conscious state." That means he showed only occasional awareness of himself and his environment. In a coma or vegetative state, by contrast, patients show no outward signs of awareness.'"

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.