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news lite

some news items are of interest, but not rated by abelard as convincing or significant enough for placement in abelard’s main news archives. Such items may be found here.

New translation, the Magna Carta


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news lite

 

platypussies makes sex complicated

“In most mammals, including humans, sex is decided by the X and Y chromosomes: two Xs create a female, while XY creates a male. In birds, the system is similar: ZW makes for a female, while ZZ makes for a male.

“But in platypuses, XXXXXXXXXX creates a female, while XYXYXYXYXY creates a male. In other words, rather than a single chromosome pair, platypuses have a set of ten-chromosomes that determine their sex.”

“ But this links the two systems together and raises the issue of whether the ancestral mammal had a sex chromosome system similar to birds," says Grützner.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#platypus


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micro diesel turbos to replace batteries....development

“By spinning a tiny magnet above a mesh of interleaved coils etched into a wafer, David Arnold and Mark Allen of the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, have built the first silicon-compatible device capable of converting mechanical energy - produced by a rotating microturbine - into usable amounts of electrical energy.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#micro_diesel_turbine

removing junk dna shows little change in organism

“[...] Edward Rubin's team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California has shown that deleting large sections of non-coding DNA from mice appears not to affect their development, longevity or reproduction.

“The team created mice with more than a million base pairs of non-coding DNA missing - equivalent to about 1% of their genome. The animals' organs looked perfectly normal. And of more than 100 tests done on the mice tissues to assess gene activity, only two showed changes [...]”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#dna_mouse

large windmill arrays could effect local climate conditions

Work based on modelling a 10,000 (100 x 100) mills array at 1 km spacing (windmill size not stated in this report).

Near Artajona, Northern Spain: a  mere row of windmills. Image credit: abelard.org
Near Artajona, Northern Spain: a mere row of windmills.

“Averaged over an entire day, the wind speed at ground level would go up about 0.6 m/s and the temperature would jump 0.7°C.

“Turbulence caused by the rotating blades would shunt some of the high-speed winds typically found 100 m off the ground down to Earth's surface, says Roy. Those surface winds would boost evaporation of soil moisture by as much as 0.3 millimeter per day.”

Heavens knows why people complain about windmills – even up close, they are no noisier than a rustling copse, and they are rather pretty.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#windmills

dreaming of 5-inch terabyte+ discs
using polarised light to increase data density.

“Using the technique, the researchers think it should be possible to create disks capable of holding 250 gigabytes in a single layer. This is enough to store 118 hours of video, which could allow every episode of long-running television shows to be put on one disk. Using a four-layer disk would mean a terabyte could be stored.”

“The most advanced optical storage disks available today use a technology known as Blu-ray and can hold roughly 100 gigabytes of data. Blu-ray makes use of blue light instead of red, which has a smaller wavelength and can therefore read smaller areas of a disk's surface.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#terabyte

looting and anarchy in iraq

“ "More than 100 Sumerian cities have been destroyed by the looters since the beginning of the war," says Hamadani, who was appointed at the war's end by the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq. "It's a disaster that all we are keeping watch on but about which we can do little. We are incapable of stopping the looting. We are five archaeologists, some hundred guards and, occasionally, a couple of policemen - and they are a million armed looters, backed by their tribes and the dealers." ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#iraq_looting

the sea is slowly rising

“ WARM WATER takes up more space than cold water does. That simple fact of physics, utterly inexorable, is one of the two or three most important pieces of information humans will have to grapple with in this century. And the people who get to grapple with it first are in places like Tuvalu, where suddenly the spring high tides are washing across the island of Funafuti, eroding foundations and salt-poisoning crops in the fields. Tuvalu is the canary in the miner's cage, and instead of choking it's drowning. Tuvaluans have begun to work out plans for evacuating the population over the course of the next decades as the sea rises.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0410.php#sea_level

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