A project seeking volunteers willing to release personal information is currently underway at Harvard University's medical school. The effort, led by Dr. George M. Church, professor of genetics and director of the Center for Computational Genetics, hopes to find 100,000 volunteers not only willing to publicly release their DNA, but also answer a pervasive and comprehensive set of personal medical and lifestyle history questionnaires. More than 5,000 people have already signed up. If this effort catches on and becomes wide sweeping, it may soon be possible to google whether or not someone has a genetic predisposition toward nearsightedness or liver failure, for example. Also, the warnings cited indicate this project might not be for everyone, and could even be potentially damaging to a person's quality of life.
NASA launched its Interstellar Boundary Explorer, short IBEX, into
high-altitude orbit above Earth to investigate and capture images of
processes taking place at the farthest reaches of the solar system – a
region where the solar system meets interstellar space - nine billion
miles from the sun. Extra: SLIDESHOW
Researchers at Ohio State University have accidentally discovered a new solar cell material capable of absorbing all of the sun's visible light energy. The material is comprised of a hybrid of plastics, molybdenum and titanium. The team discovered it not only fluoresces (as most solar cells do), but also phosphoresces. Electrons in a phosphorescent state remain at a place where they can be "siphoned off" as electricity over 7 million times longer than those generated in a fluorescent state.
Just days after the FTC was capable of getting an Illinois court to
close down the HerbalKing spam network, it was predicted that the spam
level might potentially decrease as a result. So, do we see less spam
in our email inboxes as a result?
Canada's McMaster University has received a stunning new piece of equipment - the world's most powerful electron microscope. John Preston, director of McMaster's Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research said, "The resolution of the Titan 80-300 Cubed microscope is remarkable, the equivalent of the Hubble Telescope looking at the atomic level instead of at stars and galaxies. With this microscope we can now easily identify atoms, measure their chemical state and even probe the electrons that bind them together."
Recently published photos of the third-generation 2010 Toyota Prius
have been confirmed by Toyota to be authentic. However, Toyota declined
to provide additional information about the new hybrid – information
that is likely to become available not until the unveiling of the car
at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.
NASA said it has encountered problems with the Hubble space telescope
following the transition from a malfunctioning control unit to a
redundant device earlier this week. Th eoperation of Hubble has been
suspended when another “anomaly” was detected.
Pricewatch – Our most recent watchlist of Blu-ray players reveals
dramatic price drops just in time for the Christmas shopping season.
Average U.S. retail prices for most mainstream Blu-ray players have
dropped at least 20% over the past 45 days and if you are patient, you
may find a name-brand player for just a few bucks more than you would
pay for a high-end upscaling DVD player. With movie prices dropping as
well, it appears that Blu-ray is positioned to gain much more traction
than it has right now. Is it too late?
ComScore’s most U.S. search engine Rankings for August 2008 suggest
that YouTube achieves a greater level of search traffic than Yahoo. If
you were to consider YouTube’s integrated search a regular search
engine, you would have to hand Google the top two spots for search
engine traffic. In combination, Google has about four times the search
traffic of Yahoo and more than ten times the search traffic of
Microsoft’s MSN sites.
Ah the wonderful world of Craigslist robberies took an interesting
turn this week as a Tigard Oregon man was beaten up and robbed by
people responding to his online ad. An unidentified man and women went
to the victim’s home at 10 PM on Tuesday night and then proceeded to
pistol whip the victim. The couple then stole the man’s wallet, mobile
phone and pickup truck that was parked in the garage.
When you think of garbage trucks… oh sorry… refuse
trucks, you think of big noisy and smelly vehicles, but Fresno is
trying to fix all that with its plug-in hybrid truck. Ok, so they
can’t get rid of the smell, but they sure can save on the noise. The
truck, named Heidi the Hybrid, is powered by electricity for the main
engine and compressed natural gas for the lift hydraulics. Heidi is so
silent that Fresno utility leadworker Raul Bombardly told us he has to
drive very carefully because people sometimes don’t hear the truck
NASA announced that it plans to fix the Hubble Telescope by remote
control this week. Officials hope that Hubble will be back online by
Analysis – Yesterday's refresh of Apple’s notebook family may feel like
yet another hyped, but underwhelming Apple upgrade event. There are
some who believe that Apple may be gambling away its Macbook empire and
there are those who are convinced that Apple is not about Macs anymore.
But then there are also those who think that the new Macbooks not only
hold their technological lead in the notebook market but also expands
the market potential for Mac notebooks. So, is the Macbook’s primetime
gone or still ahead? And why should Apple care?