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Nature

Pandas Release Secrets Of Biomass Processing - In Their Poop

Giant pandas are still very rare, so it's not likely that their poop will be used as a substitute for gasolene, but the chemical analysis of panda poop has provided new information about the microbes that assist pandas in digesting some of the roughest roughage in nature - lignocellulose - and that information could certainly lead to a biofuel that is much more efficient than any biomass fuels that are being produced currently.

Yale Lab Succeeds In Giving New Life To Almost-Extinct Natural Alzheimer's Treatment

Chemists at Yale University have made the first commercially viable synthesization of huperzine A.  A natural enzyme inhibitor, huperzine A has been extracted from a Chinese moss, the Huperzia serrata plant, and it's been used to treat Alzheimer's disease in China.

Army of Stray Cats Battles Plague of Rats in Western China

Release the Army of Cats! Stray cats in and around the western Chinese city of Bole no longer have to “get their dinner from a garbage can” thanks to the area's booming population of rats.

Panoramic, Igloo-Like Tents: Kinda Cool, Kinda Weird, Kinda Ridiculous

An odd solution for tent camping that provides seamlessly integrated shelter.

Physicists Discover How To Suppress The Coffee-Ring Effect (Video)

... .A spur-of-the-moment experiment, cracking the secret of the 'coffee-ring effect,' captured the imaginations of sophisticated scientists, and voila!   They discovered a new technique for making inks and paints that will positively impact these technologies, enhance public appreciation of the techniques, and make them some money too.

 

Big Game Hunters Set Their Sights on China's Wildlife

International trophy hunters have formally applied to stalk Tibetan Gazelles and Himalayan Blue Sheep native to China's mountainous Qinghai province. If approved, it would be the first time in 5 years that sportsmen would be allowed to lock, load, and let the lead fly on Chinese soil.

Marine Scientists Discover New Chemosynthesis Process In "Mussel Power"

Maybe some day we will run our cars on mussel power....

 

China Releases 600 Million Bees to Battle Invasive American White Moths

It's China vs the USA, and the Chinese have resorted to biological warfare in an all-out effort to eradicate the foreign pests! Calm down, we're not at war, it's just China's annual parasitic wasp offensive against invasive moths.

Rare Earth Discoveries Show Promise For Eventual Brain Cancer Treatment

Natural metals are proving very effective identifiers of diseased tissue and are even used as treatment carriers in today's nanotherapies. These compounds are known as theranostic agents because of their ability to both diagnose and deliver treatment to a tumor or other diseased site.  Two Virginia universities have recently published the results of their theranostic discovery and its use for brain cancer treatment on animal models.

 

Cool Kids: Environmental Artists Put 193 Baby Cribs on Himalayan Ice

A very 'cool' environmental awareness art project at the foot of a fast-retreating glacier in the Himalayas involved nearly 200 baby cribs emblazoned with the flags of all the world's nations.

A Computer That Grows On You - Literally

It's hot, and food is getting more expensive. The solution? Buy a new computer, of course! Designer Omer Deutsch merges the fields of technology with biology, creating Seconday Growth, a computer that uses water to cool itself down while also providing an innovative way to increase your yield of fresh garden vegetables or decorative ivy. Perhaps a flowering wisteria would be nice?

Shared Island between China and Russia to Become Eco-Tourist Zone

The recent agreement between China and Russia officially demarcating their 2,670-mile (4,300 km) long shared border was highlighted by an environmentally-friendly bonus: the disputed island of Heixiazi will now be shared by the two neighboring nations and jointly developed as an eco-tourism travel destination.

Honey I'm Home! Beekeeper Battle is the Calm Before the Swarm

The thrill of victory, the sting of defeat? In one of the more unusual endurance contests out there, a pair of Chinese beekeepers competed to see who could carry the heaviest load of live bees.

Geothermal Power Gets Hot as Japan's Nuclear Plants are No Longer Cool

Old & busted: Japan's nuclear plants. New hotness: geothermal power plants! Proponents of sustainable, non-polluting geothermal energy see an opportunity to grab their place in the sun as Japan deals with fallout (so to speak) from the nuclear crisis centered on the Fukushima Daiiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

China's 'Bigfoot' Leaves Big Footprints in Chinese Cornfield

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti... and now, the Shennongjia Wildman? Said to inhabit a mountainous, heavily forested area in central China, this legendary red-haired creature has once again made the news by leaving what appear to be footprints in a Chinese farmer's field.

China's New Icebreaker Will Paint the Poles Red

If you thought China had cold feet when it comes to polar exploration, think again. The country's State Oceanic Administration has announced that the launch of a new icebreaker in 2013 will give China the ability to monitor both the arctic and the Antarctic environment at the same time.

Pets Age With Dignity And Plenty Of Technology In Japan

Voluntary euthanasia is legal in Japan and surveys have shown that the majority of Japanese people support it, especially in terminal cases.  But the focus and originality of assistive treatments and therapy available for aged cats and dogs in Japan suggest that Japanese pet owners do not readily accept euthanasia for their furry family members.

 


Scientists Find New Evidence To Support Plasticity In Aging Brain

Researchers have looked at various influences on brain structure through fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and have witnessed the change in size and shape in various parts of the brain influenced by certain emotions.  In a new study from Columbia University Medical Center, brain plasticity is demonstrated by the production of neurons and neural stem cells produced in the hippocampus.

Chinese Caterpillars Stop Cargo Train In its Tracks

Get lost, Godzilla. Keep quiet, Kung Fu Panda. When it comes to feats of strength formidable enough to impress Frank Costanza on Festivus, you've got to give it up to millions of Chinese caterpillars.

Gardening For Depression: Doctor's Prescription Needed

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) has been developing some novel strategies for its 62 million health care recipients.  One of the latest and most intriguing is in a trial phase now: treating clinical depression with gardening classes at a local nursery. The NHS will pay for an 8-week course of instruction, if you have a prescription from your GP (general practitioner).