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Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror 279 279

New research suggests that in addition to being one of history's cruelest conquerors, Genghis Khan may have been the greenest. It is estimated that the Mongol leader's invasions unintentionally scrubbed almost 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. From the article: "Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests. In other words, one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere." I guess everyone has their good points.

Comment: Create a permanent fund (Score 1) 255 255

What they should aim for is to establish a permanent fund to get revenue on the interest, in a manner of Nobel prize. And guys like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could make a better name for themselves and better contribution to the humanity by permanently funding Wikipedia than by what philantropic projects they fund now.
Medicine

Three Ground-Breaking Miniature Biosensors 18 18

kkleiner writes "Over the past few years, several research teams have developed increasingly smaller and cheaper biosensors with improved detection capabilities and faster turnaround times. Whether you are a doctor diagnosing patients in the rural areas of Africa or a Homeland Security agent working to thwart an act of bioterrorism, one of these little devices should be your sidekick."
Science

The Fruit Fly Drosophila Gets a New Name 136 136

G3ckoG33k writes "The name of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster will change to Sophophora melangaster. The reason is that scientists have by now discovered some 2,000 species of the genus and it is becoming unmanageably large. Unfortunately, the 'type species' (the reference point of the genus), Drosophila funebris, is rather unrelated to the D. melanogaster, and ends up in a distant part of the relationship tree. However, geneticists have, according to Google Scholar, more than 300,000 scientific articles describing innumerable aspects of the species, and will have to learn the new name as well as remember the old. As expected, the name change has created an emotional (and practical) stir all over media. While name changes are frequent in science, as they describe new knowledge about relationships between species, these changes rarely hit economically relevant species, and when they do, people get upset."
Space

Rogue Brown Dwarf Lurks In Our Cosmic Neighborhood 188 188

astroengine writes "The UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii has discovered a lone, cool brown dwarf called UGPSJ0722-05. As far as sub-stellar objects go, this is a strange one. For starters, it's the coolest brown dwarf ever discovered (and astronomers using the UKIRT should know; they are making a habit of finding cool brown dwarfs). Secondly, it's close. In fact, it's the closest brown dwarf to Earth, at a distance of only 10 light years. And thirdly, it has an odd spectroscopic signature, leading astronomers to think that this might be the discovery of a whole new class of brown dwarf."
Businesses

BlackBerry Maker To Buy QNX For RTOS & Dev. Suite 51 51

Freshly Exhumed writes "Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones, said on Friday it will buy QNX Software Systems, makers of Real-Time Operating Systems, for an undisclosed amount as it moves to boost integration of its devices with in-vehicle audio systems. QNX Neutrino is a Unix-like RTOS, and their Momentics development suite is for embedded applications for a wide variety of industries. While RIM has offered somewhat limited support of open source projects on its BlackBerry platform, the future of QNX's Foundry27 development project, which uses the Apache 2.0 license, has not yet been mentioned."
Cellphones

BlackBerry Bold Tops Radiation Ranking 189 189

geek4 writes with this excerpt from eWeek Europe: "Data from the Environmental Working Group places the BlackBerry Bold 9700 as the mobile device with the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation among popular smartphones. Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9700 scores the highest among popular smartphones for exposing users to the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation, according to the latest 2010 Environmental Working Group ranking. Following the Bold 9700 are the Motorola Droid, the LG Chocolate and Google's HTC Nexus One. The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules."

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