“Smile you may be on nano web camera”


Cloth that can take your picture, sing to you and measure bodily functions.

This new optical fiber ten years in the making, is less than a millimeter in diameter. It is composed of layers of light-detecting materials woven together.

The future may hold clothes that are themselves sensitive microphones, for capturing speech or monitoring bodily functions, and tiny filaments that could measure blood flow in capillaries or pressure in the brain.
Besides their use as wearable microphones and biological sensors, other uses could include loose nets that monitor the flow of water in the ocean and large-area sonar imaging systems with much higher resolutions,

A fabric woven from acoustic fibers would provide the equivalent of millions of tiny acoustic sensors. This fiber will have application both for military safety wear and in medical arena.

These light-detecting fibers when woven into a web act as a flexible camera. Fabric composed of these fibers could be joined to a computer that could provide information on a small display screen attached to a visor, providing the soldier greater awareness of his surroundings  or doctors could easily monitor patient blood perfusion without moving them.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/BYl1W

Excerpts courtesy of   http://yhoo.it/bHycJP

Image courtesy of        http://bit.ly/aGim7A

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“The Solar Knight is saving endangered animals”


Stephen Gold of  San Francisco never dreamed of becoming the solar energy knight in shining armor for struggling nonprofits, but one conference he attended changed his life forever.

Making a difference one person or group at a time.

Learning that cheetah conservationist Rebecca Klein’s needed cheap sustainable energy to conduct her research in Botswana, Stephen decided to help.After all he had designed his own solar home.

Gold contacted Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) director Charles Knowles and volunteered to help.

After interviewing WCN-supported conservationists, Gold found six who were in great need of electricity.  They were using either diesel generators or antiquated solar electric systems, inadequate for their needs.

After three years,  his nonstop fund raising efforts from corporations and individuals, Gold amassed about $450,000 of solar equipment.
To date there are 8 different systems on-line in Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana. As of June 2009, 6 new systems are being put together for others in Mozambique, Tanzania, Mongolia and another for Kenya.

Now dubbed, the Solar Knight by Mother Nature  of NC,  his latest efforts will bring much needed solar power to help conserve another endangered species the Snow Leopard. The project will light up the Base camp Mongolia will continue to buzz with activity throughout the summer, including the assembly of a donated solar power unit that will provide more than 2,300 watts of power to the current and future work of the Long-term Ecological Study.

Special thanks to Stephen Gold and the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Solar Program.

Please help Stephen and the Wildlife Conservation Network continue this vital sustainable solar projects around the world.

Click here for solar support. or wildlifeconservationnetwork.org

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  www.wcnsolarproject.org

Excerpts courtesy of wildlifeconservationnetwork.org

Excerpts courtesy of  wildlifeconservationnetwork.org/snowleopard

Image 1. courtesy of   ethiopianwolf.org/solar%20panels.jpg

Image 2. courtesy of  blog.snowleopard.org

“Taking a pterodactyl’s temperature can be tricky”


Open wide Mr. mastedon or Ms. pterodactyl
Measuring the temperature of these ancient giants could take a thermometer of mega proportions.

Until now there was no way to determine the temperature of a long deceased animal. Lots of inferences were made about which animal was colder blooded or the . However which one might be colder than the other there was no way to tell. Using the conventional thermometer and stick it in its’ mouth or up the other end proved impossible.

Now

There an indirect way to measure an extinct animals temperature. How?
Chemistry my friend chemistry, by using a paleothermometer analyzing the rare isotopes in the animals’ bones, teeth, and eggshells.

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) reported in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week the first method for the indirect measurement of the body temperatures of large extinct vertebrates.
What are they using? Chemistry my friend chemistry, through the analysis of rare isotopes in the animals’ bones, teeth, and eggshells.

By analyzing the concentrations of two rare isotopes—carbon-13 (Carbon-13 (13C) is a natural, stable isotope of carbon and one of the environmental isotopes. It makes up about 1.1% of all natural carbon on Earth) and oxygen-18 (Oxygen-18 (18O) is a natural, stable isotope of oxygen and one of the environmental isotopes.). “These heavy isotopes like to bond, or clump together, and this clumping effect is dependent on temperature. ” says Caltech postdoctoral scholar Robert Eagle, the paper’s first author. “At very hot temperatures, the isotopes expand and there is greater distances between them so there is a more random distribution.  Less clumping occurs at high temperatures. At low temperatures, there is more clustering  or bonding.

When a animal is alive this bonding forms a crystalline lattice that makes up bioapatite. This mineral forms the lattice like pre-structure of the tooth enamel, eggshells, and other hard body parts. Once the bone or tooth enamel is formed  the isotopic composition is frozen in place and can be preserved for millions of years.

Using bioapitite may be the first indirect measurement of temperature used to compare different animal’s temperatures at the time the bone was formed. It will not tell the life history of the creature, so many mysteries still remain locked in the fossil remains of these ancient giants.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/d0kRbI

Excerpts courtesy of  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_13

Excerpts courtesy of  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_18

Image courtesy of  cst.cmich.edu/zoogems/bone-jawAss.JPG

“It walks on the stream bed under H2O for 6 minutes”


Just look at the beautiful design on this coat of armor.  (See picture below.) The Nine banded armadillo is a study in contrasts. They can hold their breath and walk under water for six minutes when they want to forage a river. They do this by swallowing air to blow up their intestine adding buoyancy to their bodies even with their heavy coats or armor.

Armadillo armor

Only one species has the nine-bands of plating and its numbers are increasing from Texas northward to Nebraska and as far west as Colorado. Occasional sightings have been made even farther up north, but the cold weather will eventually stop the spread of the armadillo.  It has body armor, but no large fat to insulate it from the cold. The nine plated armadillos do not tolerate cold weather. short periods of extreme cold are

Hunting both as a food source and agricultural pest, slash-and-burn farming and domestic dogs endanger these animals. Only the Nine-banded armadillo is increasing in number.  Its home range has expanded moving north in the United States from Texas to Nebraska and west to Colorado. Occasional sightings have been made even farther up north, but the cold weather will eventually stop the spread of the armadillo.  Armadillos do not have large fat reserves to help insulate their bodies; even relatively short periods of extreme cold are intolerable.

Nine-banded armadillo

Armadillos make rooting or snorting sounds as they move, this may help them find their food. It catches its food by pushing its worm shaped tongue far into insect nests and quickly eating whatever it can scoop up with its tongue.
Important in medical research

Armadillos like mangabey monkeys, rabbits, and mice, have been used in  leprosy research.  The leprosy bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae, grows well inside the low body temperature of the armadillo.  They are the only known non-human animal species that can contract the disease systemically.

The Armadillo Story by  JKFowler

Nature’s Crusaders has received a special story about meeting an armadillo. We thank JK Fowler for submitting it to us. Below is an excerpt from his story.

Armadillo

“Jeraldo wanted nothing more than to be an armadillo. He had seen them on their family’s trip from Mexico, through Texas to Oklahoma where their mother’s brother, Papillo, lived with his four dogs, two wives, Eline and Enerva, and three shotguns. Jeraldo’s mother had stopped at the first sighting between Austin and Round Rock and they all sat there, amazed at the armored creature as it used its extended claws to dig a hole ten times its size near the side of the road. His sister, Adalia, at only three years old, sat perplexed at the two foot long alien gracing their presence and not being able to hold it in any longer, screamed at the top of her lungs with roll upon roll of gleeful laughter.
“Look at how it moves,” his mother had said. “It knows that it is safe with us so it keeps digging as if we are not even here. But if it is scared, do you know what it does?” She had asked this with an upward cadence at the end of her question, turned completely around in the front seat to see her children’s faces. Seeing that her children did not know the answer, she quietly told them. “You see, if it gets too scared and it can’t run away, the little armadillo tucks its head and its legs into its shell, places its tail next to its head and pulls itself into the tightest ball you can imagine. That way, no one can get in and hurt it, you see?” Adalia had squealed with excitement. “Mami, I want to see the ball animal. Can we make it ball?” Her mother had said no, but not accepting that as a viable answer, Adalia had rolled down the window and thrown a plastic cube at it, smacking it right on the back of the shell. “Dios mio, Adalia!” her mother had yelled but the creature simply looked up, smelled the cube that had fallen to its side and continued digging. Jeraldo just shook his head, looked at the creature. Sensing something, the armadillo had paused, looked up from its ever-expanding hole, its nose covered in dirt and torn roots. For a full minute, it met Jeraldo’s eyes and they sat, watching each other, communicating child to creature,…”(Armadillo continued.)
Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillo

Excerpts courtesy of   http://jkfowler.com/2009/11/11/armadillo

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bnIfQq

Image courtesy of    http://bit.ly/dbVKAK

“Why must we save these endangered animals and forests?”


Our future as a species may be tied to saving these animals and forests from extinction.

Besides the beauty and the uniqueness of these ancient animals and forests, scientists are finding that
1. Leatherback turtle blood clots quickly so sharks can not detect their scent after being injured. This  may help scientists unravel clues to stem bleeding in humans. After surgery or injury, bleeding can cause death if not quickly stopped.

2. Cheetah’s are the fastest land animal. Their muscle protein structure may help understand their speed and help in muscle rehabilitation after an accident.

Cheetahs may run free in India

3. The naked mole rat is being studied for his longevity and extended family structure.

4. Leatherback turtles, the biggest species of turtle, can dive deeper than other turtles, leading experts to wonder how they regulate buoyancy. That and the shape of their shells could give clues to submarine or ship design.
5. Honey bee sting is used to decrease pain in joints from arthritis.
6. Frogs and lizards feet and a spider’s webs are being studied for their stickiness and its strength.
7. Tropical forests soak up greenhouse gases and are the treasure house for plants used to heal and a new source of income for poor nations.

Conserving endangered animals, sea life, the oceans, wetlands, forests and the air we breathe may take on such economic value that we will do whatever it takes to save them and us.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of   http://www.reuters.com

Images 1 and 3. courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library

Image 2. courtesy of   http://costaricanconservationnetwork.wordpress.com/leatherback.jpg

“Saving one baby has regrown these rainforests “


One humble man + one sick baby orangutan
Willie Smit could not forget the sick baby orangutan he saw during his walk at the market. That night he went back to the market area and heard a noise from the trash area and there was the baby orangutan. He took it home and that was the beginning of how the plight of this baby not only changed his life, but the lives of an entire community. By the way, it saved the rainforest and economy in this area as well. Go Willie!
This model with local modifications may transform the world.

The success -the Samboja Project. Please watch and save something in the area you live. Thanks Willie from Mother Nature and all of us for caring and acting to help.

Inspiring video for the ages! Thanks TED for inviting inspiring presenters and freely sharing their experience with all of us.

Resources

Video courtesy of youtube.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vfuCPFb8wk

Image courtesy of greenpeace.org greenpeace.org/sweden/bilder-och-media/bildspel-palmpolja

“Pure water from brackish and salt water made easier and cheaper”


Compact enough to be transported anywhere in the back of a van, and capable of generating 6,000 gallons of drinking water per day from the sea or 8,000 to 9,000 gallons per day from brackish groundwater. this new water desalination system can produce enough potable water daily for up to 6,000 to 12,000 people. The system also measures in real-time water pH, temperature, turbidity and salinity.

m3 water filtration desalination system

m3 water filtration desalination system

Alex Bartman (Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering graduate student) working with the Mini-Mobile-Modular (M3) Water Filtration and Desalination System. The M3 can process up to 12, 000 gallons of water per day. The system can be used for both brackish water and seawater desalination.

With access to clean water is no longer just an issue for the developing world, but increasing more an issue in the western US as well as other palacesaround the world California faces its worst drought in recorded history. According to state’s Department of Water Resources, supplies in major reservoirs and many groundwater basins are well below average.

Court-ordered restrictions on water deliveries have reduced supplies from the two largest water systems, and an outdated statewide water system can’t keep up with population growth.

With these critical issues looming large, researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science are working hard to help alleviate the state’s water deficit with their new mini-mobile-modular (M3) “smart” water desalination and filtration system. The M3 water desalination system provides an all-in-one mobile testing plant that can be used to test almost any water source

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of Terradaily.com/ResearchersAchieveMajorBreakthroughWithWaterDesalinationSyste

Image courtesy of   Gizmag.com/m3-desalination-system

“Spaceport America under construction in New Mexico”


Spaceport America catching the dreams and hopes for US private space industry

Ground has been broken for the construction of Spaceport America in Upham, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA  After getting their FAA license and securing funding, the 27 square mile development project has officially begun  for the world’s first commercial spaceport. Expected to be completed in 18 months, the facility will house Virgin Galactic’s space tourism business and other businesses working in the commercial space arena will find a home. The spaceport is designed to launch rockets for suborbital human flights.

Spaceport America

Spaceport America

Initially New Mexico’s cost of development is about 2  Steve Landeene, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, says that the costs will come down as more civilians are involved in projects in space developing new medicines and solar power in space. Initially New Mexico’s cost for development is $198 million.

Virgin Galactic is investing more than $300 million in developing a new space launch system that will operate from the site after it opens.

The spaceship hitches a ride up to around 50,000 feet attached to a specially designed carrier aircraft. When released from the aircraft, it is designed to hurtle into suborbital space powered by a rocket.

Work will now start on a suitably space-age terminal and hangar building deigned by Foster and Partners to blend in with the desert flora here, while housing rocket-based spacecraft and all the safety hazards that entails.

Spaceport America

Spaceport America

The facility will include a 3,000m (10,000-ft) runway long enough to ensure the safety of the planes  on the tarmac for the world’s largest planes. As the diagram of the facility shows solar technology is vital to keeping true to Branson’s green philosophy.

White Knight Two is expected to be the carrier craft for SpaceShip Two It will be unveiled at the Oshkosh airshow in Wisconsin in July.  SpaceShip. Two should begin test glides in December.

The location of the spaceport for its remote location. New Mexico brings other advantages. The state proudly boasts that it has about 350 days of sun each year, meaning that unlike NASA at Cape Canaveral, weather should not often affect launches, and the spaceport’s neighbor the White Sands missile testing range ensures the air space overhead is already a no-fly zone.

Target date for the first tourist flight of Virgin Galactic soon after the spaceport is completed. The inaugural flight should carry Sir Richard Branson, his family and spaceship designer Burt Rutan on a sub-orbital ride within two years. There is a waiting list of 300 civilians who are willing to pay about $200,000 for the privilege of experiencing six minutes of weightlessness during the two-hour flight.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of News.bbc.co.uki/science/nature

Excerpts courtesy of  Reuters.com/article/scienceNews

Image courtesy of  Travelblog.bcaa.com/spaceport-america

Image courtesy of Airport-technology.com/projects/spaceport

Image file courtesy of images.google.com/airport-technology.com/spaceportimages

“Rare Mexican salamander may help amputee regain limb use”


In its native habitat in Mexico City canals and backwaters, the rare axolotls are threatened by chemical run off from greenhouses on the banks of the city canals, waste water from surrounding neighborhoods and non-native fish species that compete with the salamander for food.

The rare axolotl

The rare Axolotl

The Axolotl is unusual in nature because it retains its larval form into adulthood. In fact, it becomes sexually mature in its larval form state. This adaptation prevents the Axolotl from living on land, and as a result, it can’t colonise new habitats. However, it has led to the axolotl being quite successful in its native habitat, at least until the arrival of man.

The Axolotl is carnivorous and but has teeth that look like small stumps or cones. It grips its food with these teeth, manoeuvering the prey into position before swallowing it whole.

Does the Axolotl hold the key to regeneration of human tissues?

Scientists are genetically modifying the Axolotl salamander tissues, which according to ancient mythology is a transformed Aztec god, in the hope its ability to regenerate body parts will one day help human amputees. This slippery skinned animal topped with frilly gills like a headdress, beady eyes and a drunken smile, is thriving in the protected environment of the lab where it reproduces easily. It can regrow injured limbs, jaws, skin, organs and parts of its brain and spinal chord when removed

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of Reuters.com/article/scienceNews

Excerpts courtesy of Axolotl.org/biology

Image courtesy of  kierstinpry.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/9-axolotl

“Robo Scientist makes scientific breakthrough”


Watch out researchers new robotic scientist found to be

quicker and cheaper for detailed sequencing work.

Robotic scientist

Robotic scientist

Meet Adam is, a prototypic robot, who holds great promise for making the details of tedious scientific research much speedier without losing accuracy. Adam makes the search for new drugs to combat diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis, also

known as snail fever, an infection caused by a type of parasitic worm in the tropics. and the sequencing of all those “zillions” of biochemical cell processes quicker and less costly (?-editor) than having a mere team of humans do the decoding of the genes.

For his claim to fame, using artificial intelligence Adam hypothesized that certain genes in baker’s yeast code for specific enzymes which catalyse (speeds up ) biochemical reactions in yeast. The robot then devised experiments to test these predictions, ran the experiments using laboratory robotics, interpreted the results and repeated the cycle.

Adam, is a computer system that fully automates the scientific process. It was created by scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).  It is thought to be the first robotic machine to have independently discovered new scientific knowledge.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of SpaceDaily.com London UK (SPX) May 07, 2009

Robot Scientist Becomes First Machine To Discover New Scientific Knowledg

Image courtesy of SpaceDAily.com

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