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Biotech

Printing Replacement Body Parts 101

Deep Penguin sends in a piece that appeared in The Economist a couple of weeks back about a developing technology to "print" body parts for transplant. "A US and an Australian company have developed the $200,000 machine, which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material. (The stem cells are harvested from a transplant patient's own fat and bone marrow, to avoid rejection down the line.) The companies are Organovo, from San Diego, specializing in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. The initial targets are skin, muscle, and 'short stretches of blood vessels,' which they hope to have available for human implantation within five years. Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process."
Image

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment Re:Well time means I drive myself (Score 1) 1137

My time is also valuable to me. That's why I take the train. Although my commute is about 15 minutes longer each way (45 minutes vs. 1 hour), I actually end up ahead, because 45 minutes of that hour I'm sitting on the train reading (which is not wasted time to me like sitting in the car listening to the radio is). Some people use audio-books, but I prefer to read.

Mozilla

New Firefox Project Could Mean Multi-Processor Support 300

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Mozilla Links "Mozilla has started a new project to make Firefox split in several processes at a time: one running the main user interface (chrome), and another or several others running the web content in each tab. Like Chrome or Internet Explorer 8 which have implemented this behavior to some degree, the main benefit would be the increase of stability: a single tab crash would not take down the whole session with it, as well as performance improvements in multiprocessor systems that are progressively becoming the norm. The project, which lacks a catchy name like other Mozilla projects (like TaskFox, Ubiquity, or Chocolate Factory) is coordinated by long time Mozillian, Benjamin Smedberg; and also integrated by Joe Drew, Jason Duell, Ben Turner, and Boris Zbarsky in the core team. According to the loose roadmap published, a simple implementation that works with a single tab (not sessions support, no secure connections, either on Linux or Windows, probably not even based on Firefox) should be reached around mid-July."
Power

Energy Secretary Chu Endorses "Clean Coal" 464

DesScorp writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Energy Secretary Steven Chu is endorsing 'clean coal' technology and research, and is taking a pragmatic approach to coal as an energy supply. '"It absolutely is worthwhile to invest in carbon capture and storage because we are not in a vacuum," Mr. Chu told reporters Tuesday following an appearance at an Energy Information Administration conference. "Even if the United States or Europe turns its back on coal, India and China will not," he said. Mr. Chu added that "quite frankly I doubt if the United States will turn its back on coal. We are generating over 50% of our electrical energy from coal."' The United States has the world's largest reserves of coal. Secretary Chu has reversed his positions on coal and nuclear power, previously opposing them, and once calling coal 'My worst nightmare.'"
Space

PG&E Makes Deal For Solar Power From Space 392

N!NJA writes "California's biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a startup company that plans to beam the power down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016. Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station in Fresno, PG&E said. From there, the energy would be converted into electricity and fed into PG&E's power grid."
Biotech

Submission + - Synthetic Biology for Natural Fuel (wired.com)

CoolBeans writes: Making ethanol is easy. Making enough ethanol to fill every gas tank in a developed country is tricky. The Department of Energy has promised $125 million to the Joint BioEnergy Institute, a team of six national labs and universities that will be run like a startup company. They intend to create new life forms that are optimized for alcohol production. The genes of crops that produce large amounts of cellulose will be tweaked to improve the yield per acre and increase drought and pest resistance. Microbes that produce sugar from cellulose and ethanol from sugar will be built for speed and efficiency.

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