The Great Pulgoso writes: A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts have begun testing the Turtlenet a decentralized network created with the specific purpose of tracking the population of snapper turtles. By attaching a wi-fi enabled solar powered GPS system to a turtle, they can track his movements throughout the area where the sensor is. Should the turtle leave the area, it will transmit the information to other turtles nearby so that the turtle nearest to the receiver downloads everything to the server. Link to Original Source
mdsolar writes: "Renewable Energy Access is reporting that a consortium led by researchers at the University of Delaware has achieved 42.8% efficiency with a silicon solar cell. The method uses lower concentration (factor of 20 magnification) than the previous record holder Boeing-Spectrolab made cell (40.7% efficiency) so that it may have a broader range of applications since tolerances for pointing the device will be larger. They are now partnering with DuPont to build engineering and manufacturing prototypes under DARPA's Very High Efficiency Solar Cell program which supports work towards achieving 50% efficiency. It is expected that these cells can help improve the military battery logistics pipeline, providing "soldiers with more power at reduced weight." They expect to be in production in 2010. On a roof, such cells would require less than half the surface area to produce the same amount of power as today's standard solar panels. This might leave room for panels to power plugin hybrids for cases where roof area is too limited to do this with standard panels." Link to Original Source
MamaEri writes: "In a study by UCF professor Henry Daniell, he found that by genetically splicing insulin into Tobacco and Lettuce plants, these produce an insulin laced plant. Then he gave a freeze-dried powder of these plants to mice with diabetes. After 8 weeks the mice had normal sugar levels and were producing their own insulin." Link to Original Source
cakilmer writes: "I visited the Annual American Membrane Technology Association meeting in Las Vegas last week. These membranes support water desalination. 15 or 20 new plants are in planning stage to be built along coastal California. But there's no new water sources for the southwest. People are still streaming in and the big Hoover dam is half full and falling. What to do? The answer is to invest the money to collapse the cost of water desalination and transport so water in the western deserts is as cheap as water on the East Coast. Is this doable? You bet." Link to Original Source
Ant writes: "Reuters report that for the average person, popping vitamin C pills is unlikely to ward off the common cold or shorten its length or severity. However, for people exposed to short bouts of extreme physical exercise or cold temperatures, vitamin C may markedly reduce their risk of catching a cold...
Seen on Blue's News." Link to Original Source
Damien1972 writes: "Could peat swamp be worth more intact as a carbon offset than as palm oil plantations for their oil? Analysis shows that with an offfset of $6.75 per ton of carbon, Indonesian peat swamps are more valuable as carbon offsets than as oil palm plantations. Why does this matter? The destruction and degradation of peat swamps is estimated to release 2 billion tons of carbon — about 8 percent of global emissions — each year. Much of this destruction is caused by conversion for oil palm plantations which produce palm oil, increasingly used as a biofuel. Nevertheless, oil palm plantations are presently the best economic option for much of rural Indonesia. Carbon finance could change all this. Preliminary work suggests that carbon offsets through "avoided deforestation" mechanisms — whereby landowners and communities receive payments for preserving ecosystems that would otherwise be converted — could generate income that exceeds returns from oil palm plantations." Link to Original Source
unchiujar writes: The remarkable adhesive abilities of geckos and mussels have been combined to create a super-sticky material.
Unlike other adhesives inspired by the nimble reptiles, "geckel" can attach to both wet and dry surfaces, the team that developed the material says.
polycat writes: "After a frustrating set of July launch delays, a decision has been made by the Dawn Project to launch Dawn in its September / October launch window. Such a window is Dawn's last launch window for the next 15 years or so.
What, you haven't heard of Dawn?
You are not alone. NASA's Dawn mission to orbit the asteroids Vesta and Ceres has existed mostly out of the public eye, supported by a small, but dedicated group of scientists and engineers, of whom many live and work outside of the United States, because two of the three Dawn instruments were built by NASA's foreign partners. 'Out of the public eye' for Dawn also, at times, meant literally out, because Dawn was twice canceled by NASA.
Such a rocky road of mission development seems appropriate for Dawn, however, since its goal is to investigate the early dawn of solar system evolution, out of which the asteroids and their larger cousins, our rocky (terrestrial) planets formed." Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: In an experiment taking place along the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts, two otherwise unrelated groups of researchers are working together: Computer engineers like Garber who are testing a new wireless communication network and biologists like Jones who are tracking snapping turtles — a species they worry may be headed for decline as land development shrinks their habitat.
The idea behind the technology is to create a network of constantly moving devices that record and store information, transmit data from one device to another, then relay all the saved information to a central location while running on self-charging batteries. Link to Original Source
mdsolar writes: "MSNBC is reporting that the Oportunity Rover, planned to descend into Victoria Crater, may end up defunct owing to lack of power by the end of two large dust storms now blowing on Mars. 99% of sunlight is currently being blocked by dust in the atmosphere and managers are trying to figure out what more can
be shut down to save power. A complete battery discharge would end the mission because electonics would become too cold and break owing to thermal stress. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19622820" Link to Original Source
belligerent0001 writes: I would just like to reiterate my comments of the past regarding Greenland. Once again, Science, the same science that concludes that the end of the world is nye do to climate change, has concluded that Greenland was once forested and, well, uh... green. From the article. "Biologist Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen and an international team of colleagues discovered DNA from alder, spruce, pine and yew trees at the glacier's base as well as insects ranging from butterflies to spiders. This is the "first evidence for a forested southern Greenland," Willerslev says. And based on the tree species found, Greenland must have been warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) in summer and never colder than one degree F (-17 degrees C) in winter, much warmer than present conditions." Please note "...much warmer than present conditions." Link to Original Source