Vaccine Protects Monkeys from HIV →
An experimental vaccine appears to give monkeys some protection against a version of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS. Scientists say the research gives big clues about the most essential elements needed to develop a successful HIV vaccine for humans. In the study, published today in the journal Nature, scientists gave rhesus monkeys a vaccine against SIV, the monkey version of HIV. The ...
Search and Rescue Bugs →
When it comes to search and rescue operations, developers are always coming up with innovative new ways to reach survivors. Breath-sniffing electro dogs, Gumby doing the robot limbo and a debris-swimming robot inspired by the sandfish lizard have all been recent prototypes designed to save the day.The latest project comes from a team of computer and electrical engineers from the University of...
Iphone Flashlight Saves Lost Hiker →
A Maryland man lost while hiking on New Year’s Eve is thanking modern technology for his rescue, MyFoxDC reports. Christopher Tkacik wasn’t alone out in the woods, he had his best friend and hiking companion with him, his dog named Boo. The pair are back home in Mount Airy, Md., safe and sound, rescued with the help of his smartphone by helicopter after being lost in the woods....
Bystanders Jump into Icy River to Save Children →
As many as 10 people jumped into an icy Utah river to help save three trapped children after a car plunged down a 10-foot embankment and flipped over, the state’s Highway Patrol said Sunday. The rescuers helped turn the Honda Accord upright in the Logan River, and one man shot out the car’s window with a handgun and cut a seat belt to help free the children after the Saturday...
Leftover Gift Wrap Could be Fuel of the Future →
Imperial College London researchers, Richard Murphy and Lei Wang, calculated that the estimated 1.5 billion cards and 83 square kilometers (20,500 acres) of wrapping paper thrown away by UK residents during the Christmas season could create 5-12 million liters (1.3-3.2 million gallons) of ethanol biofuel. With that much fuel, one of London’s iconic double-decker buses could travel 18...
New Species Discovered at Antarctic Hot Springs →
A “lost world” of sea creatures was discovered near Antarctica, British scientists announced Wednesday. Scientists doing their first exploring of deep-sea vents in the Antarctic said it was unlike anything found around other hydrothermal vents — a world populated by new species of anemones, predatory sea stars, and piles of hairy-chested yeti crabs. It was “almost like...
Lost Wedding Ring Found on Carrot 16 Years Later →
A Swedish woman has discovered her wedding ring on a carrot growing in her garden, 16 years after she lost it, says a newspaper. Lena Paahlsson had long ago lost hope of finding the ring, which she designed herself, reports Dagens Nyheter. The white-gold band, set with seven small diamonds, went missing in her kitchen in 1995, she told the paper. Although the ring no longer fits, she...
Teens Win $100,000 Siemens Foundation Prize →
The ultimate science fair was held earlier this month as the Siemens Foundation held its annual Math, Science & Technology competition. The competition’s goal is to find the best and brightest in high school scientists and award them scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Two seniors from Oak Ridge High School in Tennessee, Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain, won the top award in the...
Stolen Monkey Returned to Zoo →
Banana-Sam, a much-loved squirrel-monkey stolen from his enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, has been safely returned, officials said. The monkey was found Saturday night — a day after he disappeared from the zoo — at a park by a passer-by who spotted the primate in the bushes, the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement. The passer-by coaxed the monkey from the bushes...
Harbor Porpoises Return to SF Bay →
Harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) had been missing from San Francisco Bay since Word War II, but they’ve returned in increasing numbers in recent years. The marine mammals had been gone so long that the species may have collectively forgotten about the bay, Jonathan Stern, a cetacean researcher at San Francisco State University told NPR. During the war, San Francisco was a major...
Happy 2012! →
The Blog would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! May 2012 bring nothing but the best.
DIY Solar Panels Donated to Africa →
As the director of KnowYourPlanet, Mark Kragh’s day job is to resell solar panels to small businesses and hobbyists. But in February he will travel to Kenya to distribute specially-made kits he is giving away as charity, and to show local people how to make more. For many in Africa there is little access to electricity due to mains power shortages. Infrastructure has not kept pace with...
More Time in School Boosts IQ →
Spending more time at school may increase intelligence, according to a study of Norwegian men. The research, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggested that an extra year in the classroom could boost IQ by nearly four points. The authors said that extra schooling had a “sizeable effect” on IQ in early adulthood. (BBC.co.uk) Full Article
New Unscratchable Gold is Harder than Steel →
No doubt, gold is a beautiful and popular precious metal. But it’s also soft and tends to scratch easily. Making it more resilient requires mixing it with other metals, but that reduces its quality. Now a research team from the EPFL in Switzerland, with support from Swiss watchmaker Hublot, have created a very hard high-quality gold. And recently, they unveiled the shiny result. “What...
15 Yr. Old Sets 7 Peak Climbing Record →
A 15-year-old American has become the youngest person to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, completing the feat by summiting Antarctica’s Mount Vinson over the weekend. Jordan Romero, who last year at age 13 became the youngest person to climb the world’s tallest peak Mt. Everest, was descending to base camp Sunday after reaching the summit of Vinson...
HIV Trial is Breakthrough of 2011 →
A landmark clinical trial that showed HIV drugs can be as effective as condoms in preventing transmission of the virus that causes AIDS was declared Science magazine’s breakthrough of the year on Thursday. Other top achievements of 2011 included a Japanese spacecraft’s return to Earth with dust from an asteroid, progress toward a malaria vaccine and discoveries about modern...
College Student Wakes Up From Coma →
Sam Schmid was walking and speaking Friday at a Phoenix hospital. Dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, he was able to use a walker and talk in brief sentences. “Right now, I’m feeling all right … except for the rehabilitation, I’m feeling pretty good,” Schmid said. Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute say Schmid has a long recovery ahead of him to...
Egypt Bans Military Virginity Tests →
An Egyptian court on Tuesday ordered the country’s military rulers to stop the use of “virginity tests” on female detainees, a practice that has caused an uproar among activists and rights groups. The virginity test allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters, and the army...
Canine Blood Donors Help Save Other Dogs →
There’s a golden retriever, an English springer spaniel, a Doberman and a handful of mixed breeds. But several times a year, they all become blood hounds. The dogs are part of a program that gives the gift of life to an injured or sick animal. They are blood donors. As often as every seven weeks, the area dogs arrive at the Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown, roll up their paws and...
Electricity Helps Restore Indonesia's Coral Reefs →
A technique borrowed from the 1970s uses a weak electrical current to charge underwater metal structures. The electrolysis provokes a fast build-up of limestone, helping corals flourish. In the turquoise waters of Pemuteran off the north coast of Bali where the project was launched in 2000, a metal frame known as “the crab” is covered with huge corals in shimmering colors where...
Indonesian Girl Found Alive 7 Years After Tsunami →
A little girl thought to be killed in the tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004 is reportedly alive, well and back with her parents. Then only 8-years-old, the child, identified as Wati, was with her mother and siblings when the massive wave slammed into their village in Ujong Baroh on the island of Sumatra, the Indonesian state news agency Antara reported Thursday. Her mother, Yusniar, was...
Two Families Find Rare Matches for Four-Way Kidney... →
The math is miraculous: Two sets of families divided by two healthy kidneys equals two lives saved. Four people involved in an extraordinary kidney swap met for the first time at a New York hospital Thursday, exchanging hugs, laughs and heartfelt expressions of gratitude. It wasn’t easy. As part of a carefully choreographed procedure two weeks ago, Theresa donated a kidney to Michael Mullen,...
Pigeons are Math Whizzes →
Pigeons may be ubiquitous, but they’re also brainy, according to a new study that found these birds are on par with primates when it comes to numerical competence. The study, published in the latest issue of the journal Science, discovered that pigeons can discriminate against different amounts of number-like objects, order pairs, and learn abstract mathematical rules. Aside from...
Baby Polar Bear is a Global Star →
He may be only a month old, but one baby polar bear is a YouTube star. Siku, who was born last month at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park, is being hand-raised at the Danish zoo because his mother doesn’t make enough milk to feed him, according to reports. He’s captured admirers around the world. One video posted of him shows the cub napping, stretching out his arms and looking content with a...
Missing Student Aisha Khan Found Safe →
Aisha Khan, the 19-year-old Kansas college student missing for nearly a week has been found safe and unharmed, according to ABC News’ Kansas City affiliate KMBC. Overland Park Police Officer Brian Schnavel said that Khan was not abducted or held against her will, according to KMBC. Schnavel said no criminal act occurred. Police said they made contact with Khan by phone on Wednesday night...
Small Spanish Town Wins $940M in Christmas Lottery... →
Days before Christmas, a tiny town of 2,000 in cash-strapped Spain found itself richer by euro720 million ($940 million) Thursday after scooping the top prize in the nation’s famed Christmas lottery. Billed as the world’s richest, the lottery dishes out some euro2.52 billion ($3.29 billion) to winners across the nation. The top prize — dubbed “El Gordo” (The Fat One) —...
Efficiency House Plus Opens in Berlin →
The Federal Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, and the Federal Minister of Building, Dr Peter Ramsauer, today jointly opened the “Efficiency House Plus” in Berlin. The Federal Building Ministry’s showhouse combines energy efficiency and electric mobility. The house produces energy, which is then used to power its occupants’ electric vehicles. Next year, this scheme is to be...
Anti Poaching Efforts in Thailand Prove Promising →
Camera trap photo stills and video footage suggest that anti-poaching efforts in the forests of Thailand are paying off, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.The cameras, set up at several locations across Thailand’s Western Forest Complex over the last year, have captured tigers, Asian elephants, gaurs, sun bears, and many other species in off guard moments. Video footage ...
Man Gets New Thumb →
A man has praised surgeons after his missing thumb was replaced with one of his toes. Fisherman Donald Gunn lost his right thumb while at sea when his hand got caught in rope. Surgeons at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary used the second toe from the Caithness man’s left foot. He said: “The difference it has made to me already is unbelievable. I am delighted with the result and cannot thank...
Robots: The Future of Farming →
The future of farming lies not with genetically engineered seeds or super-fertilizers, instead it may come in new ways to plant, grow and harvest crops using robots instead of tractors. That’s according to an Iowa-based inventor who is basing his new bio-inspired autonomous robo-farmer on the swarming skills of insects, birds and fish. By integrating swarm technology with game theory...
Solar Cell Could be Cheaper than Fossil Fuels →
By harvesting waste heat, researchers from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have for the first time built a solar cell with an external quantum efficiency over 100 percent. The best result for the NREL solar cell was 114 percent. it means, says the team, that solar energy has a competitive future, making it possibly cheaper than energy from fossil or...
Virtual Senior Center Helps Queens Seniors... →
A group of Queens seniors celebrated the beginning of Chanukah by getting some high-tech face time with their friends from the comfort of home. The Selfhelp Austin Street Senior Center in Forest Hills broadcast its Chanukah festivities on Tuesday to home-bound seniors using a Google+ Hangouts program. “This is my Chanukah celebration,” said Milton Greidinger, 87, of Bayside, as he watched...
Happy Chanukah! →
Last night marked the start of Chanukah (Hanukkah), the Jewish Festival of Lights. Today is the first of 8 days of celebration. A Happy Chanukah to all celebrating!!
Teen with Epilepsy and Asperger's Starts Nonprofit... →
Though epilepsy and Asperger’s syndrome sometimes get in the way when Trenton Gilstrap socializes with his high school friends, his conditions haven’t interfered with his educational dreams, CNN reports. Trenton hopes to become a biomedical engineer and was recently accepted — on a full scholarship — to the University of Pittsburgh. While Trenton is satisfied with...
New Wind Harvesting System Uses Kites to Lower... →
Why tap a trickle, if you could tap a torrent? That’s the idea behind Italian company KiteGen’s new system for harvesting strong-blowing, high-altitude winds. Their system would fly tethered kites 2,624 feet into the air where they would harness winds that are, on average, six miles per hour faster than wind harnessed by stationary turbines on the ground. The kites would...
P.S. 48 Wins $50,000 for Music Program from Glee →
When it’s time for band practice, students at Public School 48 in Hunts Point have to sit on the floor, since there are no chairs or music stands. “They’re basic things we don’t have,” said Principal Roxanne Cardona. “Our piano is from the 1950’s and doesn’t even work. It’s really kinda sad.” That is, until now. The Spofford Ave. elementary school was one of three grand prize winners of...
Study Suggests Sunlight Stops Spread of Chickenpox →
Exposure to sunlight may help impede the spread of chickenpox, claim researchers. The University of London team found chickenpox less common in regions with high UV levels, reports the journal Virology. Sunlight may inactivate viruses on the skin, making it harder to pass on. UV light has long been known to inactivate viruses, and Dr Phil Rice, from St George’s, University of London, who...
Project for Awesome Campaign Takes Over Youtube →
http://www.projectforawesome.com/ In an effort to “decrease suck,” brothers Hank and John Green inspired YouTube-ers to flood the video-sharing site with feel-good shorts about their favorite charities and raise $64,000 in just two days. The fifth annual Project For Awesome campaign kicked off Saturday, and enabled participants to upload their homemade videos...
Pandas Get $4.5 Million for Christmas →
The National Zoo was given $4.5 million by a philanthropist on Monday to fund its giant panda program, which faces a lack of cubs produced by its two adults, the zoo said. The donation by David M. Rubenstein, founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, will allow the zoo to run the program for another five years, the zoo said in a statement....
Celebs Compete in Firefox Charity Challenege →
Mozilla Firefox has recruited 12 big-name celebs to compete in a one-month fundraising challenge and will grant the winner $25,000 to put toward a favorite cause. Zooey Deschanel, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand are a few of the stars who signed on for the challenge that kicked off Dec. 14 and concludes on Jan. 11. Each is raising funds on the Crowdrise platform and is offering...
200+ New Species Discovered in the Greater Mekong... →
A wildly-colored gecko, a fish that looks like a gherkin, and a monkey with an Elvis-like hairstyle are among the more than 200 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region last year, environmental group WWF said on Monday. The area’s diversity is so astonishing that a new species is found every two days, but regional cooperation and decision-making must take...
$2,000 Diamond Ring Donated at Florida Salvation... →
An anonymous donor dropped a diamond-and-sapphire ring worth $2,000 into a Salvation Army kettle in suburban Miami on Friday, the charity said on its Facebook page. The ring, tucked inside a $50 bill, was wrapped inside a note that read: “They need more than I. Do good! A Friend.” (Reuters.com) Full Article
70 Yr. Old Man Inspires Over 1,000 Volunteers →
The annual Rake&Bake, a Brookfield tradition that brings out the community in a singular show of charity, in numbers that seem unreal to those who don’t see it happen year after year, is the end result of one man and his family reaching out to their neighbors and making a tangible difference in their lives. Fourteen years ago, Brookfielder Peter Brady, now 70, along with five family...
Green Tires Made From Sugar →
Motorists were recently given some sweet news. The world’s first “green” tires may be hitting the road within the next few years and they’ll likely be made from sugar. Strained supplies and high prices for natural and synthetic rubber have caused tire companies to look for more renewable and sustainable sources for raw materials. Traditionally, petroleum has been used...
Florida Reef is Thriving Once Again →
The 35-foot long boat Lagniappe II plowed into a reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in August 2002. The boat’s owner paid $56,671.27 in a negotiated settlement to partially cover the costs he had incurred for the American public. The money partly covered the restoration of the 376 square-feet of living coral he damaged. NOAA went to work reattaching 473 corals, then...
LED Lights: Offering a Brighter Future →
A field trial of LED light fittings in social housing says the new technology can deliver huge energy savings, reduce costs and makes residents feel safer. The study, carried out by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), measured the performance of more than 4,250 LED light fittings installed at 35 sites. The EST said it carried out the trial because an increasing number of LED lights were now...
Sherlock Holmes Goes Green →
When it comes to green production, “Warner Bros. is extremely conscious about that and works with the physical production people to try and do as much as possible, making sure that everything that can be recycled is,” says Susan Downey, producer of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” which stars her husband, Robert Downey Jr. and opens Dec. 16. “Most movies...
Sony Demonstrates Paper Powered Battery →
Electronics giant Sony has demonstrated a battery that runs on shredded paper and produces water as a waste product. At the Eco-Products conference in Tokyo, Sony had a group of kids put paper in a solution of water mixed with enzymes that break down the cellulose and generate current. In the demo, it powered a small fan. Sony’s spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse that the mechanism is...
Anonymous Donor Pays Off Kmart Laway Accounts →
At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents. Before she left the store Tuesday evening, an Indianapolis woman in her mid-40s had paid the layaway orders...
Infant and Child Learning Center Brings Christmas... →
Sometimes it takes a lot of people to do a little thing for a lot of other people for whom it is a really big thing. The Infant and Child Learning Center’s annual Christmas party, being held today in the SUNY Downstate Medical School’s gym is one of those things. It’s a two-hour long affair for children 5-years old and younger featuring clowns, face painting, Christmas ornament making,...