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April 25, 2007, 9:24 PM CT

Length of Latest Carbon Nanotube Arrays

Length of Latest Carbon Nanotube Arrays
UC engineering scientists have developed a novel composite catalyst and optimal synthesis conditions for oriented growth of multi-wall CNT arrays. And right now they lead the world in synthesis of extremely long aligned carbon nanotube arrays.

UC's carbon nanotube arrays stack up.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are of great interest because of their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. Intense research has been undertaken to synthesize long aligned CNTs because of their potential applications in nanomedicine, aerospace, electronics and a number of other areas.

Particularly important is that long CNT arrays can be spun into fibers that are - in theory - significantly stronger and lighter than any existing fibers and are electrically conductive. Nanotube fibers are expected to engender revolutionary advances in the development of lightweight, high-strength materials and could potentially replace copper wire.

Years of effort by UC scientists Vesselin Shanov and Mark Schulz, co-directors of the University of Cincinnati Smart Materials Nanotechnology Laboratory, along with Yun YeoHeung and students, led to the invention of the method for growing long nanotube arrays. Employing this invention, the UC scientists (in conjunction with First Nano, a division of CVD Equipment Corporation of Ronkonkoma, New York) have produced extremely long CNT arrays (18 mm) on their EasyTube System using a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source

April 24, 2007, 10:58 PM CT

Supercomputer to Target Cellulose Bottleneck

Supercomputer to Target Cellulose Bottleneck
Termites and fungi already know how to digest cellulose, but the human process of producing ethanol from cellulose remains slow and expensive. The central bottleneck is the sluggish rate at which the cellulose enzyme complex breaks down tightly bound cellulose into sugars, which are then fermented into ethanol.

To help unlock the cellulose bottleneck, a team of researchers has conducted molecular simulations at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), based at UC San Diego. By using "virtual molecules," they have discovered key steps in the intricate dance in which the enzyme acts as a molecular machine -- attaching to bundles of cellulose, pulling up a single strand of sugar, and putting it onto a molecular conveyor belt where it is chopped into smaller sugar pieces.

"By learning how the cellulase enzyme complex breaks down cellulose we can develop protein engineering strategies to speed up this key reaction," said Mike Cleary, who is coordinating SDSC's role in the project. "This is important in making ethanol from plant biomass a realistic 'carbon neutral' alternative to the fossil petroleum used today for transportation fuels".

The results were published in the April 12 online edition of the Protein Engineering, Design and Selection journal, which also featured visualizations of the results on the cover.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source

April 23, 2007, 10:39 PM CT

Nanotechnology for treating spinal cord injuries

Nanotechnology for treating spinal cord injuries
Imagine a world where damaged organs in your bodykidneys, liver, heartcan be stimulated to heal themselves. Envision people tragically paralyzed whose injured spinal cords can be repaired. Think about individuals suffering from the debilitating effects of Parkinsons or Alzheimers relieved of their symptoms completely and permanently.

Dr. Samuel I. Stupp, director of the Institute of BioNanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University, is one of a new breed of researchers combining nanotechnology and biology to enable the body to heal itself -- and who are achieving amazing early results. Dr. Stupps work suggests that nanotechnology can be used to mobilize the bodys own healing abilities to repair or regenerate damaged cells.

In a dramatic demonstration of what nanotechnology might achieve in regenerative medicine, paralyzed lab mice with spinal cord injuries have regained the ability to walk using their hind limbs six weeks after a simple injection of a purpose-designed nanomaterial.

A video of Dr. Stupp discussing his groundbreaking research with collaborator John Kessler is available on April 24 at

"By injecting molecules that were designed to self-assemble into nanostructures in the spinal tissue, we have been able to rescue and regrow rapidly damaged neurons," said Dr. Stupp at an April 23 session hosted by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "The nanofibers thousands of times thinner than a human hair are the key to not only preventing the formation of harmful scar tissue which inhibits spinal cord healing, but to stimulating the body into regenerating lost or damaged cells".........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source

April 23, 2007, 10:25 PM CT

Managing Forests in Hurricane Impact Zones

Managing Forests in Hurricane Impact Zones
Forest Service researchers have developed an adaptive strategy to help natural resource managers in the southeastern United States both prepare for and respond to disturbance from major hurricanes. In an article published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, John Stanturf, Scott Goodrick, and Ken Outcalt from the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) unit in Athens, GA, report the results of a case study based on the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The past 10 hurricane seasons have been the most active on record, with climatologists predicting that heightened activity could continue for another 10 to 40 years. In early April, Colorado State University meteorologists predicted a very active 2007 hurricane season for the Atlantic coast, with 17 named storms, including 5 major Hurricanes. The analysis included a 74 percent probability of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. coast before the season ends on November 30.

"Coastal areas in the southern United States are adapted to disturbance from both fire and high wind," says Stanturf, project leader of the SRS disturbance ecology unit based in Athens, GA. "But those adaptations only go so far in the face of a major hurricane. Forest owners and natural resource managers need strategies to deal with hurricane damage to coastal forests".........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source

Wed, 18 Apr 2007 06:15:14 GMT

It's Open, Nau

It's Open, Nau

e-commerce site is now open for business.

Posted by: John      Read more     Source

Wed, 18 Apr 2007 06:14:22 GMT

UK Inflation Unexpectedly Hits 3.1%

UK Inflation Unexpectedly Hits 3.1%
The UK inflation rate surged unexpectedly to 3.1 percent in March, according to official figures. The unexpected acceleration of inflation has pushed the pound to $2 for the first time since September 1992 on increasing speculation interest rates will keep rising. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the official measure of inflation, shot up to 3.1 percent last month, more than 1 percent above the Government’s desired level for inflation. The cost of living has increased at its fastest rate for at least 10 years, compelling the Governor of the Bank of England to write a letter of explanation to the Chancellor for the first time.

This has also marked the first time in the history of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Bank’s rate-setting body created Gordon Brown 10 years back, that inflation has been more than 1 percent either ahead or behind the official target. However, according to the MPC rules, it means Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England has to write to Brown, to explain that why the inflation rate is so far removed from the Bank’s target and what actions are being taken to resolve it.

The inflation hike though it has been unexpectedly high but it has been remain on cards amid considerable expansion in London’s financial-services industry, surging house prices and consumer spending that have encouraged growth in the UK economy, Europe’s second-largest. The Bank of England had earlier indicated in February that it may have to raise rates once more this year to bring inflation back to target and now it becoming increasingly imminent that there could upward revision of interest rates in coming may.

According to the statistics office, an increase in the cost of food, non-alcoholic beverages and furniture and household goods pushed up inflation in March. Interestingly, eight of the nine categories which determine the index contributed to the higher rate, with the single downward contribution came from housing and household services.

The Bank of England has raised borrowing costs three times since August to 5.25 percent and now it is widely expected that it may raise them to 5.5 percent next month. In addition to it, considering the upward thrust of consumer prices and factory gate inflation also rising at a rapid rate beating the expectations, financial market is increasingly pricing in the prospect of British interest rates increasing to 5.75 percent this year.


Posted by: Balendu      Read more     Source

Wed, 18 Apr 2007 06:13:23 GMT

Top Gear Looking For Viewer Feedback

Top Gear Looking For Viewer Feedback
Jeremy Clarkson is looking for your input. And by "your", I mean of course, you who's out there surfing YouTube's vast array of video clips for all episodes Top Gear. For those rest of you who don't know, Top Gear is the world's best automotive TV program that airs in the UK and online.

Mr. Clarkson has again put into question the BBC's promise that Top Gear will appear for a tenth season. "Not unless someone from the Greenwich Observatory suddenly decides that we need a new month between May and June," JC said.

But right now Top Gear is looking for suggestions on what content viewers want to see in its next season - if and when that next season arrives.

Throw in your twclicking here.

[Source: Top Gear]

Posted by: Gunnar Heinrich      Read more     Source

Wed, 18 Apr 2007 06:10:16 GMT

Reuters Puts a Man in Cyberspace

Reuters Puts a Man in Cyberspace
Adam Pasick has been doing his thing, introducing himself to residents and interviewing entre-preneurs, yet when he finishes an interview he levitates for a moment, then flies over buildings.

You see, Pasick is Reuter's man in cyberspace. He's flying around Second Life, covering virgin territory for a reporter.

"The fact that it's in a virtual world doesn't change things as much as you'd think. It's not any different than when Reuters opens up a bureau in a part of the world that has a fast-growing economy that we weren't in before. The laws of supply and demand hold true, it has a currency exchange, people open businesses and get paid for goods and services."

The Times also reported that Second Life's economy totaled  $7.1 million in user-to-user transactions.

Posted by: John      Read more     Source

Wed, 18 Apr 2007 06:07:26 GMT

Geri Halliwell Authors Kids Storybooks

Geri Halliwell Authors Kids Storybooks
A former spice girl Geri Halliwell is working on a series of childrens books, due for release next year. She is also recording a theme song for the book series.

Geri has signed a six-book publishing deal with Macmillan to write the animated adventures of Ugenia Lavender, a bold and assertive 9-year-old girl who balances her school life with solving mysteries.

Geri, who says that C.S. Lewis and Enid Blyton are her favorite childhood authors, is these days working on a story, which is something like, Alice in Wonderland meets Raiders of the Lost Ark. The singer turned author said,

Ugenia is a very well-rounded human being. She’s flawed. She’s demanding. She can be a bit obnoxious, but equally she cares about the world she lives in.

Halliwell adds that writing book is not only a passion but a perfect job for her as she can be with her daughter Bluebell Madonna all the while.

Speaking about a Spice Girls reunion, Geri said,

We’ll see. At the moment this (writing project) is my absolute passion.

Each book will be released a month starting from May to October next year, with Halliwell’s new song included on CD. Macmillan will also release audio book versions with narration and several characters voiced by Halliwell.


Posted by: Nishtha      Read more     Source

April 17, 2007, 11:06 PM CT

Critical Step in Membrane Fusion

Critical Step in Membrane Fusion
Cells constantly swap cargo bound in vesicles, miniscule membrane-enclosed packages of proteins and other chemicals. Before the swap can take place, the vesicle membrane must fuse with another membrane, creating channels packages can pass through.

This process, known as membrane fusion, is fundamental to health and disease. It occurs at fertilization and is especially critical to keep hormones circulating and brain cells firing. Membrane fusion is also how HIV and other viruses infect cells.

But membrane fusion occurs in less than a millisecond, making it difficult to see precisely how it unfolds. Now Brown University biologist Gary Wessel and his laboratory team have seen and recorded a critical step in the process in a live cell.

Scientists in the Wessel lab are experts in fertilization; they used sea urchin eggs to study membrane fusion. In urchin eggs, thousands of membrane-bound vesicles are attached to the plasma membrane. Within seconds after fertilization, the contents of these vesicles are rapidly released. Prior research has shown that special proteins kept these vesicles tethered to the egg's membrane. What about the membranes? What do they look like before vesicle cargo is released?

Wessel and his collaborators discovered that the membranes of the egg and the vesicles are hemifused - a state where the membranes are shared but the contents remain separate. Using fluorescent dyes and a high-resolution microscope, the scientists show that hemifusion is surprisingly stable in live cells.........

Posted by: John      Read more         Source

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