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1,500-Ship Fleet Proposed To Fight Climate Change 692

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to UK and US researchers, it should be possible to fight the global warming effects associated with an increase of dioxide levels by using autonomous cloud-seeding ships to spray salt water into the air. This project would require the deployment of a worldwide fleet of 1,500 unmanned ships to cool the Earth even if the level of carbon dioxide doubled. These 300-tonne ships 'would be powered by the wind, but would not use conventional sails. Instead they would be fitted with a number of 20 m-high, 2.5 m-diameter cylinders known as Flettner rotors. The researchers estimate that such ships would cost between £1m and £2m each. This translates to a US$2.65 to 5.3 billion total cost for the ships only."

Appeals Court Rules US Can Block Mad Cow Testing 455

fahrbot-bot tips a story of mad cow disease, a private meat packer that wants to test all of its beef for the disease, and the USDA, which controls access to the test kits and just won an appeals court ruling that the government has the authority to block testing above and beyond the 1% the agency performs. Creekstone Farms Premium Beef sought to test 100% of its beef, in order to reassure its export markets, especially Japan and South Korea, that its beef is safe. Large meat packers opposed any such private testing, because they feared they would be forced into 100% testing and would have to raise prices. The appeals court ruled, 2 to 1, that under a 1913 law, test kits that are used only after an animal is killed still constitute "diagnosis" and "treatment" — this for a disease that has no treatment and is 100% fatal — and therefore fall under the USDA's authority to regulate.

UK Approves Human-Pig Embryo Stem-Cell Harvest 139

An anonymous reader writes "British biologists have received government approval to create the world's first human stem cells from hybrid embryos, part pig, part human. The Warwick Medical School team, led by Justin St. John of the Clinical Sciences Research Institute, was granted the country's third animal-human embryo license from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which goes into effect today (July 1)." The above link requires (free) registration; the Telegraph's coverage does not.

China Vows to Stop the Rain 214

Since the Olympic stadium doesn't have a roof, the Beijing Meteorological Bureau has been given the task of making sure the games remain dry. According to Zhang Qian, head of weather manipulation (best title to have on a business card ever) at the bureau, they've had success with light rain but heavy rain remains tough to control. I see a hurricane cannon in some lucky country's future.

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