Culture

LaCie has announced it has boosted the capacity of its d2 SAFE Hard Drive to 1TB in a compact 2 x 6 x 7in casing.

The d2 SAFE hard drive is designed to keep intruders away from private data, and comes equipped with a biometric sensor, 128-bit AES hardware encryption technology, and chain lock port for maximum protection against unauthorized use.

CERN Director General Robert Aymar announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will start up in May 2008 despite the fact that a low-energy run originally scheduled for this year has been dropped due to delays, coupled with the failure in March of a pressure test in one of the machine’s components.

In that instance, a magnet assembly known as the inner triplet, provided to CERN as part of the contribution of the US to the LHC project, failed a pressure test. A repair has been identified and is currently being implemented.

Laboratory measurements of a high-pressure mineral believed to exist deep within the Earth show that the mineral may not, as geophysicists hoped, have the right properties to explain a mysterious layer lying just above the planet’s core.

A team of scientists, led by Sébastien Merkel, of the University of California, Berkeley, made the first laboratory study of the deformation properties of a high-pressure silicate mineral named post-perovskite.

A hundred years since Russian microbiologist Elie Metschnikow first discovered the invertebrate immune system, scientists are only just beginning to understand its complexity. Presenting their findings at a recent European Science Foundation (ESF) conference, scientists showed that invertebrates have evolved elaborate ways to fight disease.

We deal with ice every day. Yet we don't all there is to know about it. Now Dr Angelos Michaelides and Professor Karina Morgenstern say they have made a breakthrough in understanding how ice works.

Dr Michaelides said, “We are all familiar with the freezing of water. It features prominently in our daily lives, from fridge freezers to winter snow. Despite all this, the question of how individual water molecules come together and give birth to ice crystals remains mysterious.”

A report from the UN Environment Programme says government subsidies, fears about global warming and high oil prices have led to an investment boom in the green energy and energy efficiency businesses.

The report says investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006. As well, the renewable energy sector’s growth “although still volatile ... is showing no sign of abating.”

Neanderthal man was not as stupid as has been made out says a new study published by a University of Leicester archaeologist.

In fact Neanderthals were far removed from their stereotypical image and were innovators, says Dr Terry Hopkinson of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in a paper published in Antiquity.

Archaeologists from Tübingen report they have found parts of five figurines from the Ice Age at Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany. The figurines were carved from ivory and are of woolly mammoths, date to 35,000 years ago and count among the oldest and most impressive examples of figurative artworks from the Ice Age.

New study finds the key to understanding the global spread of AIDS is the size of the infected prostitute community around the world.

In new academic research published today in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal PLoS ONE, male circumcision is found to be much less important as a deterrent to the global AIDS pandemic than previously thought. The author, John R. Talbott, has conducted statistical empirical research across 77 countries of the world and has uncovered some surprising results.

"Nothing there," is what Case Western Reserve University physicists concluded about black holes after spending a year working on complex formulas to calculate the formation of new black holes. In nearly 13 printed pages with a host of calculations, the research may solve the information loss paradox that has perplexed physicists for the past 40 years.

"It's complicated and very complex," noted Case physicists Tanmay Vachaspati, Dejan Stojkovic and Lawrence M. Krauss, regarding both the general problem and their particular approach to try to solve it.

The report says investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006. As well, the renewable energy sector's growth "although still volatile ... is showing no sign of abating."

The report offers a host of reasons behind and insights into the world's newest gold rush, which saw investors pour $71 billion into companies and new sector opportunities in 2006, a 43% jump from 2005 (and up 158% over the last two years. The trend continues in 2007 with experts predicting investments of $85 billion this year).

What happens if you deprive a group of 7 and 8 year olds of computers, television and games consoles for two weeks?

Psychologist and head of the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, Professor Barrie Gunter, has been working with the BBC Panorama team to find out.

Children who have at least one parent who smokes have 5.5 times higher levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, in their urine, according to a University of Leicester led study published online.

Having a mother that smokes was found to have the biggest independent effect on cotinine in the urine – quadrupling it. Having a smoking father doubled the amount of cotinine, one of chemicals produced when the body breaks down nicotine from inhaled smoke to get rid of it.

New studies show that iron, the principal constituent of the innermost parts of the earth’s core, becomes unusually ‘soft’ at the extreme pressures and temperatures that prevail there. The findings enhance our possibility of understanding the innermost parts of the earth and how earthquakes occur.

For the first time, a text has been found in Old Persian language that shows the written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.

The text is inscribed on a damaged clay tablet from the Persepolis Fortification Archive, now at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. The tablet is an administrative record of the payout of at least 600 quarts of an as-yet unidentified commodity at five villages near Persepolis in about 500 B.C.