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Nature

Tap Water Is OK To Drink, But Watch What You Put Up Your Nose

Neti-pot nose rinses have recently been reported to have caused the death of two persons in Louisiana.  The pots, used by many to drain their sinuses during colds, flu, or allergy flare-ups, convey salt water through the nostrils....

Chinese Medicinal Plants Garden is World's Largest According to Guinness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short) has roots that extend back thousands of years, with seeds in folk cures that were already old when ancient Chinese scholars first began writing them down. It's no wonder, then, that one of China's oldest official medicinal plants gardens has been declared by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest of its kind.

Japanese Scientists Listen to Oysters, Pick Up Pearls of Wisdom

Put a shell to your ear and you can hear the ocean. Japanese scientists have taken that concept to a higher level, inventing a device called the “kai-lingual” that can “hear” oysters commenting on their environment. Well shucks!

X Prize: Geneticists Compete To Duplicate Genomes Of Centenarians

The search is truly on for what makes people live past 100 years ... aside from eating right, exercising regularly, and having lots of social contact.  It's about their genomic makeup, and Archon Genomics is holding a big, as in 10 million dollars, prize for the first genetics team to develop the sequence of genes that can produce medical grade genomes from 100 centenarians.  Personalized medicine, here we come!

Polar Bear & Penguin Ice Cube Cups Raise Environmental Awareness While Cooling Your Drink

Global warming poses grave consequences for polar bears and penguins. Raise awareness of their plight while you raise your glass... cleverly chilled with global warming warning ice cubes from cups conceived by Japan's Atsuhiro Hayashi.

Recolo Time Lapse Digital Recorder Camera Speeds Up Your Life

Lights, camera, inaction! If you're one of those people who enjoys watching the grass grow, you've got entirely too much time on your hands... or, you've got the Recolo Interval Recorder from Japan's Compact Impact.

Heads Or Tails? Ritualistic Behaviors May Help You Succeed

Not everyone who engages in repetitive behavior suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  It may depend, says Professor David Eilam of Tel Aviv University (TAU), on whether it's a heads or tails activity.

Gamers Build AIDS Molecule That Eluded Scientists For 10 Years

In what is believed to be the first instance of electronic gamers reaching a scientific discovery before trained research scientists, University of Washington (UW) gamers did indeed produce a model of an enzyme in AIDS and other viruses that scientists have been trying to model for more than 10 years. This was not just an academic exercise to test the new UW Fold-it game; discovery of the AIDS molecule in question opens the door to a whole new line of retroviral drugs.

 

Round Dog Porta Potty Encourages Canine Circling Instincts

You may not have thought about this yourself, but dogs tend to circle around before they poop.  With that in mind, PupGear, one of the originators of indoor potties for dogs, has created a circular two-piece potty system it calls the Go Spot® Circular Dog Potty System.

Calling All College Students: The Biomimicry Institute Student Design Challenge

For the third year in a row, the Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit organication that promotes the study and imitation of designs found in nature, is sponsoring the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge.  This year the Challenge, which is open to college students world-wide, is to use biomimicry to design a solution that results in more efficient use of energy and ultimately reduces greenhouse gases.  No small feat, but the Institute provides students with plenty of resources on biomimicry....

 

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.