Thursday, March 31, 2011

Plastic Made From Fruit Rivals Kevlar In Strength

Posted by samzenpus  

from the protecting-yourself-with-fresh-fruit dept.
jldailey618 writes"A group of scientists from Sao Paulo State University developed a way to use the nanocellulose fibers from bananas, pineapples, and other fruits to create incredibly strong, lightweight plastics. The plastic is up to four times stronger and 30 percent lighter than petroleum-based plastics, and it rivals Kevlar — the material used in bullet proof vests — in strength."

Why Russian Space Images Look Different From NASA's

Posted by samzenpus  

from the behind-the-iron-filter dept.
An anonymous reader writes"The Russians have published two amazing photos of Earth using their new Elektro-L satellite, in 30,000km high orbit around the equator. The quality is stunning, and they look quite different from NASA's Earth images. But why are they different? And are they better than NASA's?"

Fast-Recharge, Lithium-Ion Battery Could Be Perfect for Electric Cars

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2011) — The next-generation battery, like next-generation TV, may be 3-D, scientists reported on March 31 at the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Anaheim, California. They described a new lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, already available in a prototype version, with a three-dimensional interior architecture that could be perfect for the electric cars now appearing in auto dealer showrooms.

Tesla Sues BBC's Top Gear For Libel

Posted by samzenpus  

from the release-the-stig dept.
thecarchik writes"About two years ago BBC's Top Gear aired a test drive of the then relatively new Tesla Roadster. In the particular episode, Tesla Roadsters are depicted as suffering several critical 'breakdowns' during track driving. Host Jeremy Clarkson concludes the episode by saying that in the real world the Roadster 'doesn't seem to work.' Tesla claims that the breakdowns were staged, making most of Top Gear's remarks about the Roadster untrue. Tesla also states that it can prove Top Gear's tests were falsified due to the recordings of its cars' onboard data-loggers. What's Tesla asking for in the lawsuit? Tesla simply wants Top Gear to stop rebroadcasting the particular episode and to correct the record."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

54 Beneficial Compounds Discovered in Pure Maple Syrup

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2011) — University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram has discovered 34 new beneficial compounds in pure maple syrup and confirmed that 20 compounds discovered last year in preliminary research play a key role in human health.

A Woman's Blues Bring a Relationship Down

ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2011) — Depression erodes intimate relationships. A depressed person can be withdrawn, needy, or hostile -- and give little back.

Nuclear Crisis Stopped Time In Japan

Posted by timothy  

from the now-ramen-twists-the-other-way dept.
angry tapir writes"The problems at Japan's Fukushima-1 nuclear plant have had an unexpected impact on the country's ability to keep time: a transmitter that sends the national time signal to many thousands of clocks and watches has been forced offline making the timepieces a little less reliable than usual."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Flying Robot Bird Unveiled

Posted by samzenpus  

from the getting-the-robot-worm dept.
mikejuk writes"Festo, well known for their biologically inspired robots, have a new creation called SmartBird. It is amazing to watch and all the more amazing when you realize that it flaps its wings and all of the control is via a torsion drive which twists the wings during each flap. The whole thing depends on the constant intervention of the software to keep it under control."

Debut of the First Practical 'Artificial Leaf'

ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — Scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy -- development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking in Anaheim, California at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.

Walnuts Are Top Nut for Heart-Healthy Antioxidants

ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2011) — A new scientific study positions walnuts in the number one slot among a family of foods that lay claim to being among Mother Nature's most nearly perfect packaged foods: Tree and ground nuts. In a report given in Anaheim, California at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society on March 27, scientists presented an analysis showing that walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut.

Silicine might be the new graphene, now that it's been physically constructed

By Sean Hollister  posted Mar 28th 2011 6:29AM

Surely you've heard of graphene, the one-atom-thick layer of pencil lead that has the potential to change the world of computers, batteries and screens? You might want to familiarize yourself with the term "silicine," too. It's basically a version of graphene constructed out of silicon, which doesn't naturally align itself into the same eminently useful honeycomb shape -- but, given a little prod here and a layer of silver or ceramic compound there, can do much the same thing, and with better computing compatibility. First proposed around 2007, it's reportedly been produced twice now by two different teams, which gives physicists hope that it could actually be useful some day. For now, researchers need to figure out a way to easily produce it so detailed experiments can be performed -- from what we understand, the good ol' scotch tape method just won't do the job.

US Competitiveness Chief Immelt's GE Tax Bill: $0

Posted by samzenpus  

from the gaming-the-system dept.
theodp writes"'He understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy,' President Obama said of GE CEO Jeff Immelt, as he announced Immelt would chair the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. On Friday, the NY Times reported that one trick Immelt employs to keep GE competitive is paying no American tax bill. In fact, GE claimed a 2010 tax benefit of $3.2B on worldwide profits of $14.2B, $5.1B of which came from US operations. According to the NYT, GE's extraordinary tax-avoidance success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. GE's giant tax department is led by a former Treasury official whose 975-member team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the IRS and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress. GE's return to rock-bottom tax rates marks a dramatic reversal from the mid-80's when President Reagan reacted to corporate accounting gamesmanship and supported a change that closed loopholes and required GE to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5%. 'That GE can almost set its own tax rate shows how very much we need reform,' said Rep. Lloyd Doggett. 'Our tax system should encourage job creation and investment in America and end these tax incentives for exporting jobs and dodging responsibility for the cost of securing our country.'"