May 19, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
Wow – tho’ eco-friendly is not pocket-friendly?!
To get an idea of what goes into making an eco-house – pls check out Alanocu’s clip linked below:
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Eco-house in Cotswold sells for a world record 7.2m

Orchid House, an eco-house in a Cotswold nature reserve, will
take three years to build


An innovative eco-friendly home in a Cotswold nature reserve has
been sold for a world record 7.2 million for a country

The ‘thoroughly modern manor house’, modelled on a bee
orchid found on the reserve, was sold off-plan last week to an
anonymous buyer.

The size of an average semi, the cost works out at 3,000
per square foot.

The country home has been sold for a world record of 7.2m
to an anonymous buyer


Brad Pitt has looked at the plans for Orchid House, while Kylie
Minogue has stayed at the estate.

It is hoped the home will produce more energy than it uses, with
an underground heat pump and geothermal heating

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Microsoft Touch Wall demonstration!

May 19, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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TechCrunch’s Demo of Microsoft TouchWall

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New technology detects lying when calling in sick

May 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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The technology offers the prospect that someone phoning in for a sickie on Monday morning will speak not to a sympathetic secretary, but to a computer set up to check whether their voice is steady and reliable.

One trial in Harrow, North London, saved the borough 420,000 in false benefit claims.

The Harrow system, developed by Capita and Digilog UK, is called Voice Risk Analysis. It is designed to make thousands of checks on a voice during a call.

If it picks up changes in a caller’s voice that suggest they are under pressure – as is likely to happen if they are lying – it gives prompts to the operator, secretary or manager taking the call.

They can then encourage the caller to change their mind about being sick.

Lawrence Knowles, managing director of software and outsourcing firm Midland HR said that the system would soon be a useful tool in reducing sickness absence.

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Jurassic Park gets (a bit more) plausible

May 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
Functioning gene of extinct animal gives hope for studying long-lost species.
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The extinct Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus ) has been resurrected — or at least part of its DNA has — in a mouse.

tasmanian tiger
The last Tasmanian tiger died in an Australian zoo in 1936.PLoS
Typically of Australia’s weird and wonderful animals, the Tasmanian tiger, also called the thylacine, wasn’t actually a tiger. It looked like a dog, but was in fact a marsupial, complete with a pouch for rearing its young.

By resurrecting part of its genetic sequence in a mouse, researchers have found a way to study how the species evolved, in the hope of learning its place in the tree of life. The technique could also be applied to other extinct animals.

This is the first time DNA from an extinct animal has been shown to perform its intended function in a living animal.
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I, computer!

May 19, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
it’s alive…
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How many flips does it take to get these pancakes sorted? A colony of E. coli may be able to sort it out.

Scientists have built the first living computer and tasked
it with solving an important problem: flipping pancakes.

Researchers genetically engineered the bacterium E. coli
to coax its DNA into computing a classic mathematical puzzle known as the
burned pancake problem. Molecules of DNA have the natural ability to store and
process information, and scientists have been performing computations with bare
DNA molecules in lab dishes since the mid-1990s. But the new research, reported
online in the Journal of Biological
, is the first to do DNA computation in living cells.

“Imagine having the parallel processing power of a million
computers all in the space of a drop of water,” says Karmella Haynes, a
biologist at Davidson College in North
Carolina. “It’s possible to do that because cells are
so tiny and DNA is so tiny.”

New Artificial Cornea Could Restore Vision For Millions Worldwide

May 19, 2008 at 11:10 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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An improved artificial cornea, which could restore the vision of more than 10
million people worldwide who are blind due to diseased corneas, finally is
moving toward reality, scientists in California conclude in a new analysis of
research on the topic.
disease or injury to the cornea — the clear tissue covering the front of the
eye — is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Although treated in
developed countries with transplants from donors, cornea transplants are
unavailable in many parts of the world due to shortages of donors or to cultural
or religious barriers.

The report describes new materials that already have made limited-use artificial corneas available, partially fulfilling a medical dream that dates to 1771. More advanced materials, including polymer hydrogels similar to those used to make soft contact lenses, promise to so closely imitate human donor corneas that “these devices could eliminate the need for donor corneas altogether,” the article notes.

Brain Twist Pyramid Puzzle

May 19, 2008 at 12:19 am | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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It may be way too early on Monday morning to get you pondering the inner
workings of your IQ and EQ, but nevertheless here’s this new gizmo from our
favorites Brando.
It’s a puzzle supposedly designed to improve both of those measures of
intelligence, working in a sort-of, but not quite, Rubik’s Cube kind of way. The
idea is that as you twist and wiggle the the cone-like wings of the puzzle,
trying to match up the colors on each face, you’re working on your right brain
(with spatial reasoning and mental imagery) and your left brain (strong
nonverbal logic). Both halves of my brain are currently stalled and
needing a coffee, but then maybe a spin with this toy would perk me up just as
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