Tech

When Sweden's spent nuclear fuel is to be permanently stored, it will be protected by three different barriers. Even if all three barriers are damaged, the nuclear fuel will not dissolve into the groundwater, according to a new doctoral dissertation from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

Personal computers may soon save large amounts of energy by "sleep talking." Computer scientists at UC San Diego and Microsoft Research have created a plug-and-play hardware prototype for personal computers that induces a new energy saving state known as "sleep talking." Normally PCs can be in either awake mode—where they consume power even if they are not being used, or in a low power sleep mode—where they save substantial power but are essentially inactive and unresponsive to network traffic.

Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday 24 April: Radioembolisation with Yttrium-90 (Y-90) glass microspheres is a safe and effective treatment for patients with advanced HCC ± portal vein thrombosis, according to new research presented today at EASL 2009, the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Some European countries could make better provision for disabled children to allow them to participate in life on an equal basis with others, concludes a large study published on bmj.com today.

Participation, defined as involvement in life situations, is important for all children, but little is known about it in disabled children.

So a team of researchers set out to assess variations in the nature and rates of participation of 818 children with cerebral palsy aged 8-12 years in several European countries.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) gives physicians a safe and accurate tool for the diagnosis of appendicitis in pregnant patients without the increased risks of radiation to the patient and fetus, according to a study performed at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA. "Appendicitis is the most common cause of right lower quadrant pain in the pregnant patient that requires emergent surgical intervention. It occurs in approximately one in 1500 pregnancies," said Chris Ho, MD, lead author of the study.

Increased carotid artery wall thickness (CAWT), which can cause heart attack and stroke in many patients, is significantly related to diabetes and hypertension, according to a study performed at A.O.U. in Cagliari Sardegna, Italy (Chairman, Professor Giorgio Mallarini).

The Rosetta Stone allowed 19th century scholars to translate symbols left by an ancient civilization and thus decipher the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

But the symbols found on many other ancient artifacts remain a mystery, including those of a people that inhabited the Indus valley on the present-day border between Pakistan and India. Some experts question whether the symbols represent a language at all, or are merely pictograms that bear no relation to the language spoken by their creators.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Measurements made from the largest Greenland ice sample ever analyzed have confirmed that an unusual rise in atmospheric methane levels about 12,000 years ago was not the result of a catastrophic release of seafloor "hydrate deposits," as some scientists had feared.

The findings, to be published Friday in the journal Science, are good news for those who have worried that this unusual mechanism of releasing methane into the atmosphere might provide a serious reinforcement to global warming at some point in the future.

A trove of Benjamin Franklin letters has turned up in the British Library. Discovered by University of California, San Diego professor Alan Houston, the letters are copies of correspondence that hasn't been seen in more than 250 years.

All dating from the spring and summer of 1755, the 47 letters by, to and about Franklin are in the hand of one Thomas Birch, a contemporary of Franklin's who was a prodigious – almost inveterate – compiler and transcriber of historical documents.