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Today’s Biggest Science News: Waste-to-Water, Smarts Through Plants, and Rat-Brain Scanners

March 15th, 2011 03:24 admin Leave a comment Go to comments
  • Clear thinking: The city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is taking a new approach to fresh water production: They’re harnessing the wasted heat from power plants to drive their water-desalination process, upping thermal efficiency from 43% to 90% in the process.
  • Food for thought: A new study suggests that merely surrounding yourself with indoor plants boosts your attention span.
  • A sensor that looks like a miniature breath mint may be a boon for cancer treatment: It’s so small that it can be implanted right into the body to sense tumor growth, allowing doctors to avoid invasive—and sometimes harmful—biopsies.
  • Rat researchers rejoice! Engineers have developed the first PET scanner that fits on rat noggins—which allows for experiments that had before never been possible.
  • Japan update: Radiation levels may have fallen Tuesday afternoon, but officials still fear a damaged reactor core. “It’s way past Three Mile Island already,†Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton, told the New York Times. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.â€

Image: flickr / slleong

Source: Today’s Biggest Science News: Waste-to-Water, Smarts Through Plants, and Rat-Brain Scanners

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