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Privacy

+ - 15000 protest against data retention, in Berlin->

Submitted by jonas
jonas (666) writes "http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/96385 reports a demonstration, mainly organized by http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/, that was held against the upcoming telecommunicatons data retention in Germany. 15,000 people protested against a law, that, once passed, will require telecommunications providers to keep all connection and location data for all subscribers for 6 months and will allow the government unrestricted access. The government claims this to be neccessary to protect Germans against terrorism. Many people fear the degredation of ther civil rights, of which there is one that assures the privacy of telecomunication. This civil rights movement gains momentum, with only 200 protesters a year ago, and 2000 this spring."
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Biotech

+ - Female Sharks Can Reproduce Alone

Submitted by
mikesd81
mikesd81 writes "The Washington Post has an article about a team of American and Irish researchers that have discovered that some female sharks can reproduce without having sex, the first time that scientists have found the unusual capacity in such an ancient vertebrate species.

Their report concludes that sharks can reproduce asexually through the process known as parthenogenesis(the growth and development of an embryo or seed without fertilization by a male). Scientists started investigating after a female hammerhead shark was mysteriously born at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in a tank that housed 3 female sharks. It was originally thought one had stored sperm from a male shark before fertilizing an egg. However, baby shark's genetic makeup perfectly matched one of the females in the tank, with no sign of a male parent."
Space

+ - Scientists discover radiation-eating fungi

Submitted by
amigoro
amigoro writes "Scientists have discovered that fungi are able to eat radiation, and since ionizing radiation is prevalent in outer space, astronauts might be able to rely on fungi as an inexhaustible food source on long missions or for colonizing other planets. Just as the pigment chlorophyll converts sunlight into chemical energy that allows green plants to live and grow, our research suggests that melanin can use a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum — ionizing radiation — to benefit the fungi containing it, the researchers explain."

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