Pigs to be bred for transplants

LORD Winston, the fertility expert and Labour peer, is to begin breeding genetically modified pigs in the hope of providing organs for transplant to humans, it was reported yesterday.

Scientists in London and California have begun experiments to find a solution to record waits for organ transplants. In Britain around 8,000 patients are on waiting lists.

“People needing a new heart or liver are waiting for someone else to die – usually a violent death in a traffic accident,” Lord Winston wrote in a Sunday newspaper.

Lord Winston, who heads the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology at London’s Hammersmith Hospital, expects the technique to provide a solution to the shortage of organs within ten years.

The scientists are introducing human genes into the animals to reduce the chances of the organs being rejected by patients’ bodies.

Read morePigs to be bred for transplants

Shoppers to use fingerprints or eye scans to pay for goods


Barclaycard has announced it is investing a seven-figure sum in “contactless payment” technology Photo: Getty Images

The futuristic systems, like those used by Tom Cruise in the science fiction film Minority Report, are being developed by scientists for Barclaycard.

The company has announced it is investing a seven-figure sum in “contactless payment” technology.

This allows customers to use everyday items they carry around with them – such as mobile phones, key fobs or even their eyes or fingerprints – to make payments.

It means shoppers will no longer have to rely on cards.

Barclaycard, which is part of Barclays, has already introduced a new-style cash machine in the United Arab Emirates enabling people to use their fingerprints to withdraw money and shoppers in the UK may soon be able to use the same technology.

Read moreShoppers to use fingerprints or eye scans to pay for goods

Air-purifying Church Windows Were Early Nanotechnology

ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2008) – Stained glass windows that are painted with gold purify the air when they are lit up by sunlight, a team of Queensland University of Technology experts have discovered.

Associate Professor Zhu Huai Yong, from QUT’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences said that glaziers in medieval forges were the first nanotechnologists who produced colours with gold nanoparticles of different sizes.

Read moreAir-purifying Church Windows Were Early Nanotechnology

Scientists get death threats over Large Hadron Collider

Scientists working on the world’s biggest machine are being besieged by phone calls and emails from people who fear the world will end next Wednesday, when the gigantic atom smasher starts up.

The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, where particles will begin to circulate around its 17 mile circumference tunnel next week, will recreate energies not seen since the universe was very young, when particles smash together at near the speed of light.


Hadron Collider: The final pieces slot into place

Such is the angst that the American Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has even had death threats, said Prof Brian Cox of Manchester University, adding: “Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a t—.”

The head of public relations, James Gillies, says he gets tearful phone calls, pleading for the £4.5 billion machine to stop.

Read moreScientists get death threats over Large Hadron Collider

Is Google Turning Into Big Brother?

The Debut of Chrome, Google’s New Browser, May Have Been Quiet for a Reason

While we’re transfixed by the presidential election, in the world of high tech another duel between two well-funded, take-no-quarter candidates has just emerged & and in the long run the impact on our daily lives may be nearly as great — and perhaps even sinister.

Read moreIs Google Turning Into Big Brother?

Massive floating generators, or ‘eco-rigs’, to provide power and food to Japan

Battered by soaring energy costs and aghast at dwindling fish stocks, Japanese scientists think they have found the answer: filling the seas with giant “eco-rigs” as powerful as nuclear power stations.

The project, which could result in village-sized platforms peppering the Japanese coastline within a decade, reflects a growing panic in the country over how it will meet its future resource needs.

The floating eco-rig generators which measure 1.2 miles by 0.5 miles (2km by 800m) are intended to harness the energy of the Sun and wind. They are each expected to produce about 300 megawatt hours of power.

Read moreMassive floating generators, or ‘eco-rigs’, to provide power and food to Japan

Environment: Solar plant yields water and crops from the desert

· Green energy glasshouses may transform arid areas
· Fresh water will end need to dig wells, say architects


The Sahara forest project will use seawater and solar power to grow food in greenhouses across the desert. Photograph: Exploration Architecture

Vast greenhouses that use sea water for crop cultivation could be combined with solar power plants to provide food, fresh water and clean energy in deserts, under an ambitious proposal from a team of architects and engineers.

The Sahara Forest Project, which is already running demonstration plants in Tenerife, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, envisages huge greenhouses with concentrated solar power (CSP), a technology that uses mirrors to focus the sun’s rays, creating steam to drive turbines to generate electricity.

The installations would turn deserts into lush patches of vegetation, according to its designers, and do away with the need to dig wells for fresh water, an activity that has depleted aquifers across the world.

Read moreEnvironment: Solar plant yields water and crops from the desert

Google to launch browser to compete with Microsoft

Chrome intensifies the battle between the tech giants and continues Web software’s drive to supersede the operating system.

SAN FRANCISCO — Bidding to dominate not only what people do on the Web but how they get from site to site, Google Inc. plans to release a browser today to compete with the likes of Internet Explorer and Firefox.

It’s yet another salvo in the company’s intensifying battle with Microsoft Corp., which last week released a beta, or test, version of Internet Explorer 8 that makes it easier to block ads from Google and others.

“This is the first truly serious threat that Microsoft has faced from a well-funded platform,” said technology analyst Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group.

Read moreGoogle to launch browser to compete with Microsoft

Legal bid to stop CERN atom smasher from ‘destroying the world’

The world’s biggest and most expensive scientific experiment has been hit by a last minute legal challenge, amid claims that the research could bring about the end of the world.


Opponents fear the machine may create a mini-black hole that could tear the earth apart Photo: PA

Critics of the Large Hadron Collider – a £4.4 billion machine due to be switched on in ten days time – have lodged a lawsuit at the European Court for Human Rights against the 20 countries, including the UK, that fund the project.

Read moreLegal bid to stop CERN atom smasher from ‘destroying the world’