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Submission + - Nanotechnology to stop banknote fraud (

bennyboy64 writes: "A multi-million dollar nanotechnology tool to be launched in Australia next March could yield new anti-counterfeiting technology. Monash researcher Matteo Altissimo said Monash were in discussions about using the tool for improving banknote fraud prevention, but could not name the researchers or organisations involved due to non-disclosure agreements. The etching device will be housed in Monash University's upcoming Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN), which will pay 1.5 million Euros (USD$2.2m) for the machine and an additional estimated $30,000 per year for related utilities. One example of EBL-related anti-counterfeit technology is Exelgram, which was developed by CSIRO in the 1990s and has been used in Hungrarian, Estonian and New Zealand bank notes, Ukranian visas and American Express travellers' cheques."

Submission + - Alabama Wages War Against the Perfect Weed

pickens writes: "Hugh Pickens writes:

Dan Berry writes in the NY Times that the State of Alabama is spending millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to combat Cogongrass aka the killer weed, the weed from another continent, and the perfect weed, a weed that "evokes those old science-fiction movies in which clueless citizens ignore reports of an alien invasion." Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is considered one of the 10 worst weeds in the world. "It can take over fields and forests, ruining crops, destroying native plants, upsetting the ecosystem," writes Berry. "It is very difficult to kill. It burns extremely hot. And its serrated leaves and grainy composition mean that animals with even the most indiscriminate palates — goats, for example — say no thanks." Alabama's overall strategy is to draw a line across the state at Highway 80 and eradicate everything north of it then, in phases, to try to control it south but the weed is so resilient that you can't kill it with one application of herbicide but have to return several months later and do it again. "People think this is just a grass," says forester Stephen Pecot. "They don't understand that cogongrass can replace an entire ecosystem." Left unchecked, Pecot says "it could spread all the way to Michigan.""

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