Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Gamers Good At Unreal Surgery

Unreal Surgery: Gamers score on laparoscopic surgery tests: "Laparoscopic surgery, in which instruments and cameras are inserted into patients via small incisions, has played a key role in the development of minimally invasive surgery. But the technique involves a distinct set of skills, including reconstructing a three-dimensional environment from a two-dimensional projection, and manipulating instruments indirectly. The parallels between that skill set and gaming have not escaped the medical community, as evidenced a study that will appear in the Archives of Surgery later today...."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mummy TV

Mummified body found in front of blaring TV - "NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Police called to a Long Island man's house discovered the mummified remains of the resident, dead for more than a year, sitting in front of a blaring television set.

The 70-year-old Hampton Bays, New York, resident, identified as Vincenzo Ricardo, appeared to have died of natural causes. Police said on Saturday his body was discovered on Thursday when they went to the house to investigate a report of a burst water pipe..."

Antarctica Lakes

Big lakes detected under Antarctica - "WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Lasers beamed from space have detected what researchers have long suspected: big sloshing lakes of water underneath Antarctic ice.

These lakes, some stretching across hundreds of square miles, fill and drain so dramatically that the movement can be seen by a satellite looking at the icy surface of the southern continent, glaciologists reported in Thursday's editions of the journal Science.

Global warming did not create these big pockets of water -- they lie beneath some 2,300 feet of compressed snow and ice, too deep to be affected by temperature changes on the surface -- but knowing how they behave is important to understanding the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheet, study author Helen Fricker said by telephone..."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

No Deep Impact

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Action plan for killer asteroids: "A draft UN treaty to determine what would have to be done if a giant asteroid was on a collision course with Earth is to be drawn up this year.

The document would set out global policies including who should be in charge of plans to deflect any object..."

"We Have The Technology..."

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Trials for 'bionic' eye implants: "A bionic eye implant that could help restore the sight of millions of blind people could be available to patients within two years.

US researchers have been given the go-ahead to implant the prototype device in 50 to 75 patients.

The Argus II system uses a spectacle-mounted camera to feed visual information to electrodes in the eye..."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Saving Indian Dolphins

Acoustic device may save India's river dolphins - "NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) -- Japanese technology to track and monitor the behavior of India's endangered Ganges River Dolphins using underwater acoustics will play a vital role in efforts to conserve the freshwater mammals, the WWF-India said.

The Gangetic cetaceans are one of only four species of dolphins in the world which inhabit rivers and lakes and are much less common than their marine counterparts, numbering only around 2,000 in India, according to the conservation group.

Over the last 25 years, their numbers have halved -- trapped in fishing nets, hunted for oil, dead from pollution or the construction of dams along the Ganges river which stretches from the northern Himalayas to India's east..."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Space Junk Danger

Space Junk: Orbiting Debris, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat - New York Times: "For decades, space experts have worried that a speeding bit of orbital debris might one day smash a large spacecraft into hundreds of pieces and start a chain reaction, a slow cascade of collisions that would expand for centuries, spreading chaos through the heavens..."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Space Slide Show

Space Slide Show - View Pictures from Space, Including Images from the Hubble Telescope & Space Shuttle - - "Cosmic light show
See a comet's flare, rings of light, astronauts at work and other highlights from January 2007. • SEE THE SLIDE SHOW"

Friday, February 02, 2007

Cancer Killer

Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers - health - 20 January 2007 - New Scientist: "IT SOUNDS almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their 'immortality'. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe. It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks..."

Don't Eat Orange Snow

The Raw Story | (eca 131) Russian officials say orange snow poses no threat: "Moscow (dpa) - Russian authorities said Friday that yellow and
orange snow that fell in a number of Siberian villages posed no
health hazards, though the cause was unclear, with officials blaming
mud from Kazakhstan and ecologists blaming fertilizer factories.
'According to preliminary results, no chemically dangerous, toxic
or radioactive substances have been found,' Viktor Beltsov, a
spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry, told Interfax.

The snow fell January 31, and details of its appearance in three
West Siberian regions - the industrial Omsk, Tomsk and Tyumen regions
- were made public Friday after residents of the remote areas
contacted health officials."