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TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Researchers Zero In On Protein That Destroys HIV 216

Julie188 writes with this excerpt from a Loyola University news release: "Using a $225,000 microscope, researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys. The finding could lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments that would knock out HIV in humans, said senior researcher Edward M. Campbell, PhD, of Loyola University Health System."

New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed 263

Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."

Submission + - Obama Plan Privatizes Astronaut Launchings (

couchslug writes: President Obama will end NASA’s return mission to the moon and turn to private companies to launch astronauts into space when he unveils his budget request to Congress next week, an administration official said Thursday.The shift would “put NASA on a more sustainable and ambitious path to the future,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But the changes have angered some members of Congress, particularly from Texas, the location of the Johnson Space Center, and Florida, the location of the Kennedy Space Center.
“My biggest fear is that this amounts to a slow death of our nation’s human space flight program,” Representative Bill Posey, Republican of Florida, said in a statement.


Submission + - Hydorgen fusion possible using lasers

chaosdivine69 writes: The BBC reports that a major hurdle to producing fusion energy using lasers has been swept aside, results in a new report show.

The controlled fusion of atoms — creating conditions like those in our Sun — has long been touted as a possible revolutionary energy source.However, there have been doubts about the use of powerful lasers for fusion energy because the "plasma" they create could interrupt the fusion.

An article in Science showed the plasma is far less a problem than expected.

Submission + - Laser Fusion Passes Major Hurdle (

chill writes: The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has performed their first controlled fusion experiments using all 192 lasers. While still not ramped up to full power, the first experiments proved very fruitful. The lasers create a lot of plasma in the target container and it was worried that the plasma would interfere with the ability of the target to absorb enough energy to ignite. These experiments show that not only does enough energy make it through, the plasma can be manipulated to increase the uniformity of compression. Ramping up of power is due to start in May.

Astrium Hopes To Test Grabbing Solar Energy From Orbit 144

goldaryn writes "Word from the BBC today is that Europe's biggest space company is seeking partners to help get a satellite-based solar power trial into orbit: 'EADS Astrium says the satellite system would collect the Sun's energy and transmit it to Earth via an infrared laser, to provide electricity. Space solar power has been talked about for more than 30 years as an attractive concept because it would be 'clean, inexhaustible, and available 24 hours a day.' However, there have always been question marks over its cost, efficiency and safety. But Astrium believes the technology is close to proving its maturity.'"

Rudolph the Cadmium-Nosed Reindeer 454

theodp writes "Barred from using lead in children's jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium in sparkling charm bracelets and shiny pendants being sold throughout the US, an AP investigation shows. Charms from 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' bracelets were measured at between 82 and 91 percent cadmium, and leached so much cadmium that they would have to be specially handled and disposed of under US environmental law if they were waste from manufacturing. Cadmium, a known carcinogen, can hinder brain development in the very young. 'There's nothing positive that you can say about this metal. It's a poison,' said the CDC's Bruce Fowler. On the CDC's priority list of 275 most hazardous substances in the environment, cadmium ranks No. 7. Jewelry industry veterans in China say cadmium has been used in domestic products there for years. Hey, at least it doesn't metabolize into GHB when the little tykes ingest it."

Submission + - Constitutionality of RIAA Damages Challenged (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, defendant has filed a motion for new trial, attacking, among other things, the constitutionality of the jury's $675,000 award as being violative of due process. In his 32-page brief (PDF), Tenenbaum argues that the award exceeded constitutional due process standards, both under the Court's 1919 decision in St. Louis Railway v. Williams, as well as under its more recent authorities State Farm v. Campbell and BMW v. Gore. Defendant also argues that the Court's application of fair use doctrine was incorrect, that statutory damages should not be imposed against music consumers, and that the Court erred in a key evidentiary ruling.

Submission + - Five more exoplanets discovered (

Arvisp writes: New trove of data from the telescope named Kepler has also turned up space oddities that make astronomers wonder what exactly they're looking at.
One of the five planets announced by William J. Borucki, the top scientist for the telescope, is so fluffy that "it has the density of Styrofoam,"


Submission + - Martian Ancient Lakes of Water Confirmed (

eldavojohn writes: Following recent announcements of subsurface water on the red planet, new satellite imagery has revealed definitive proof of ancient lakes of water on Mars. The problem is that the lakes are three billion years old. Scientists had suggested before that sublimation of water — the changing of water from ice directly to gas — had caused the depressions that resembled lakes. But new 3D satellite imagery of the sinuous channels connecting the lakes reveal that they could only have been lakes with connecting waterways like rivers and streams. The ancient history of Mars just became a whole lot more interesting.