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Earth

Mapping a Monster Volcano 105

bmahersciwriter (2955569) writes In one of the biggest-ever seismology deployments at an active volcano, researchers are peppering Mount St Helens in Washington state with equipment to study the intricate system of chambers and pipes that fed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. This month, they plan to set off 24 explosions — each equivalent to a magnitude-2 earthquake — around around the slumbering beast in an effort to map the its interior with unprecedented depth and clarity.
Security

High Security Animal Disease Lab Faces Uncertain Future 105

Dupple writes in with a story about the uncertain future of a proposed bio lab in the heart of cattle country. "Plans to build one of the world's most secure laboratories in the heart of rural America have run into difficulties. The National Bio and Agro defense facility (NBAF) would be the first US lab able to research diseases like foot and mouth in large animals. But reviews have raised worries about virus escapes in the middle of cattle country. For over fifty years the United States has carried out research on dangerous animal diseases at Plum Island, just off the coast of New York. However after 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security raised concerns about the suitability of the location and its vulnerability to terrorist attack."
Transportation

Scientists Build Wireless Bicycle Brakes 213

itwbennett writes "Computer scientists at a German university have built a set of brakes controlled using a small motor for a braking mechanism and a wireless signaling device to tell it when to brake and how hard. 'Making a popular set of bike brakes wasn't really the point of the project,' says blogger Kevin Fogarty. 'The project was to find out how to make the wireless connections between two components of a system that has to operate in real time – with milliseconds of difference between success and failure (PDF) – more reliable than systems that are normally connected by a wire.'"

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