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Mutant Genes hold Long Life Key November 15, 2009

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_46726409_f002179-chromosome-splThere is a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that prevents cells from ageing, researchers say.

Scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US say centenarian Ashkenazi Jews have this mutant gene. They found that 86 very old people and their children had higher levels of telomerase which protects the DNA. They say it may be possible to produce drugs that stimulate the enzyme.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team say they studied the Ashkenazi Jewish community because they are closely related so it is easier to identify disease causing genetic differences.

What We Say : “Have scientists REALLY found the key to long life? I think there are genes which lead to people living longer, and whether we’re meant to play around with them is another story altogether, but i cant help but feel, when this gene is discovered , the treatment will always cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It will initially be for the super rich.”

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Iron Found on Mercury November 5, 2009

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_46665162_398369main_presscon6_img4.5Mercury is even more of an “iron planet” than scientists had previously supposed.

Richer concentrations of iron and titanium have been seen on Mercury’s surface by Nasa’s Messenger probe. Previous Earth and spacecraft-based observations had detected only very low amounts of iron in the silicate minerals covering the innermost world. Because of its immense density, scientists have already assumed much of Mercury’s interior contains iron. Messenger sees the surface iron bound up in oxides with titanium. The mission’s principal investigator, Sean Solomon, said the new observations would keep theoreticians busy.

What We Say : ” This must have got pretty close to the sun in order to get these images. Mercury is the closest planet to our sun and fairly small. To get hi res images like this, it must have been a real heat resistant camera”.

Satellites Watch Vineyards November 4, 2009

Posted by mlmcored in Environmental.
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A number of English vineyards have signed up to make use of a satellite imaging service to boost harvests.

The satellite measures a vineyard’s reflectivity in a number of colours in the visible and infrared. The Oenoview system, first launched in France last year, analyses the images to determine vine leaf density, soil water content and grape bunch sizes. The English Wine Producers trade group said that wines made using the system could be available as early as 2011.

Oenoview was developed by the Institut Cooperatif du Vin in France along with Infoterra, a subsidiary of aerospace firm EADS Astrium. The system relies on the fact that reflectivity at different wavelengths can give information both about the vines’ foliage and the soil in which they are growing.

What We Say: “Satellites watching wine production? How pays for that sort of technology? Not your average farmer anyway.”

UK Faces “Blackouts” by 2016 September 11, 2009

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The government’s new energy adviser says the UK could face blackouts by 2016 because green energy is not coming on stream fast enough.

Ministers have previously denied that the UK is heading for an energy gap. But David MacKay, who takes up his post at the Department of Energy on 1 October, says that the public keep objecting to energy projects.This, he says, is creating a huge problem, which could turn out the lights.

What We Say : “News like this usually means a shift in taxes we pay. I predict that energy bills will keep rising to pay for the costs of getting more natural and green power plants online for deadlines later this century. It’ll be US who will pay for it.”

Mexican Hijack Ends September 9, 2009

Posted by mlmcored in World News.
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Mexican police have arrested at least six hijackers who seized a passenger jet flying from Cancun to Mexico City.

More than 100 passengers and crew on board the AeroMexico Boeing 737 were released unharmed, officials confirmed. Mexican media reported that the hijackers had threatened to blow the plane up unless they were allowed to speak to President Felipe Calderon. TV pictures showed the suspected hijackers being led away from the plane at Mexico City airport in handcuffs.

What We Say : “Hijacks arent that common these days, but it really says something for this airline’s security for this to have happened in the current anti- terrorism climate. Thankfully the days of muti hijacks in the 70s and 80s are long gone.”

Foiling Jet plot a Close thing September 8, 2009

Posted by mlmcored in Wars & Conflicts.
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_44998799_40f0b57f-1da2-41c9-89f5-9b3719cef9f4Security staff and police were racing against time when they foiled a plot to blow up airliners, experts have said.

Scotland Yard’s counter terrorism chief said the arrest of the three would-be bombers was “a relatively close thing”. The operation also had to be speeded up after alleged US pressure led to the arrest of a man linked to the trio. On Monday, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, Tanvir Hussain, 28, and Assad Sarwar, 29, were convicted of conspiring to activate bombs disguised as drinks.

What We Say ” SO glad these type of people get jailed. They are SO brainwashed and have no regard for life, themselves, women or children. Absolute evil and certainly not getting to any promised land at any stage of their lives or beyond. Justice seems to be working”.

Eating at Night adds Weight September 6, 2009

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_46310286_m245118-young_woman_craving_food_at_night-splLate-night snackers are more likely to gain weight, research suggests.

A team from Northwestern University, Illinois, found that when you eat, not just how you eat, could make a big difference. Scientists found that when mice ate at unusual hours, they put on twice as much weight, despite exercising and eating as much as others. The study, in the journal Obesity, is said to be the first to show directly that there is a “wrong” time to eat.

What We Say : “Ah..thats why im putting on weight then. This is no real surprise really. Experts have said this for years.”

One Giant Slip for Mankind September 5, 2009

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Two Bangladeshi newspapers have apologised after publishing an article taken from a satirical US website which claimed the Moon landings were faked.

The Daily Manab Zamin said US astronaut Neil Armstrong had shocked a news conference by saying he now knew it had been an “elaborate hoax”. Neither they nor the New Nation, which later picked up the story, realised the Onion was not a genuine news site. Both have now apologised to their readers for not checking the story.

What We Say : “I know there are many News websites out there (including this one), but they should take care to retrieve the actual news from proven websites. Cascading false info to the world can be easy in these times of the Internet, but i’m surprised at any news journalists falling for this.”

Forth Road Bridge, Scotland September 4, 2009

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The opening of the Forth Road Bridge exactly 45 years ago is being marked today.

When the road bridge opened in 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world outside America. The Forth Estuary Transport Authority ( FETA ) said the video offered rarely-seen views of the crossing.

FETA Vice-Convener Tony Martin said: “This video provides a fascinating snapshot of the Forth Road Bridge that has captured the imagination of everyone who has seen it. “The bridge is a Scottish icon, admired by bridge engineers worldwide for its elegant proportions and efficient design. “It’s a tribute to the bridge’s workforce and management that the structure has reached this milestone in such good condition, and that it continues to form such a reliable link in Scotland’s road network.” Seven people died building the bridge, which was official opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on 4 September 1964.

What We Say : “The bridge is rapidly approaching the end of it’s life already. The company i work for is involved in pricing the next bridge, which may adopt a more traditional design similar to the rail bridge. Very prestigious project.”

YouTube lifts music video block September 3, 2009

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YouTube has lifted a block on users viewing official music videos after the website reached an agreement with songwriters’ group PRS for Music.

In March, the service blocked thousands of music videos to UK users after failing to reach agreement over fees. YouTube, owned by Google, is paying an undisclosed lump sum to PRS, backdated until January and lasting until 2012. Adam Shaw from PRS for Music told the BBC that he was pleased that an agreement had finally been reached. “We have 60,000 song-writer and composer members and many of them don’t earn very much money at all – 90% of them earn less then £5,000 a year,” he said.

What We Say :”Yeah! A victory for users of Youtube. I was seeing many comments left of people boycoting videos with audio banned , saying they were going to cancel google services in retaliation. This is clearly heading off a revolution before it starts. Google , you done the right thing!

BP Discovers Giant New Oil Well September 2, 2009

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_45861146_007238261-1Oil giant BP has said it has made a “giant” new oil discovery in its fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP is currently the largest producer of oil and gas in that area, with net production equivalent to more than 400,000 barrels of oil a day. The company said it drilled the well, dubbed Tiber, to a total depth of about 35,055ft (10,685m), making it one of the deepest wells ever drilled.

Shares in BP rose 2.5% to £5.32 per share after the announcement. BP will now determine the well’s exact size and commercial potential. Its last discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, called Thunder Horse, is now considered one of its best future prospects. BP said the discovery would “support the continuing growth of our deepwater Gulf of Mexico business into the second half of the next decade”.

What We Say : “This is fantastic news. Extending oil saturation dates from the next few decades into the last part of this century should mean cheaper oil prices in the short term and a guaranteed source of fuel certainly through my lifetime!”

ebay reaches deal to sell Skype September 1, 2009

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_46298366_007689804-1Online auction site eBay has agreed to sell the majority of internet phone company Skype for about $2bn (£1.2bn).

Skype is to be majority-owned by a group of private investors, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and private equity firms.

EBay will keep a 35% stake in the firm, which it has been trying to sell for some time. It has said that Skype had “limited synergies” with it.The deal values Skype at $2.75bn. EBay bought Skype for $2.6bn in 2005. The new owners are Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures – which originally invested in Skype – as well as private equity firm Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

They will pay $1.9bn in cash, and give a $125m note to eBay, meaning that it promises to pay that amount on demand or at an agreed time.

What We Say : “£1.2billion is a LOT of money! Amazing to see how popular Skype has become over the last few years. So many millions of people use it each day, including myself. Add me : paulvev “

Superbug Screening August 31, 2009

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Every patient going to hospital for an operation in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area is to be screened for MRSA by the end of the year.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley is the first of the health board’s 10 acute hospitals to begin screening. The remaining nine will all follow suit between now and December. The aim of the screening programme is to identify and treat patients who have MRSA, thereby reducing the risk of it spreading. Other groups of patients who will be screened for the superbug include all elective and emergency admissions to care of the elderly, renal, dermatology and vascular surgical specialties.

What We Say : With my mum currently in hospital in Glasgow and having undergone a huge operation this week, this is something that i’m keen on happening as soon as possible. Every patient should be screened in the hospital to reduce the chance of infections.

Apple Denies Exploding iPhones August 30, 2009

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_46273031_-25A number of iPhones that reportedly “exploded” in France were not due to the battery overheating as had been suggested, Apple has said.

The firm said that all of the handsets they had seen with broken screens were caused by an “external force”.

Watchdogs had launched investigations after reports of iPhones that had exploded or cracked spontaneously. France’s top trade official is meeting with the financial director of Apple France to discuss the claims. Herve Novelli, secretary of state for trade and consumer affairs, said he would question Apple’s Michel Coulomb about the “causes of the implosion of these devices and eventual measures they could take,” according to AP.

Consumers in the UK, Holland and Sweden had reported similar problems.

What We Say : I’ve heard about this happening more and more these days. Something will need to be done as it’s starting to get into the media more and more also. If a product is unsafe it should be recalled.