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Salt-based solar thermal power plant takes shape in Nevada

The notorious Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant near Tonopah, Nevada passed another milestone this month, as workers finished placing receiver panels on top of a 540-foot tower that forms the centerpiece of the facility. Crescent Dunes is based on molten salt thermal technology and we say notorious…  …

Majority of Republicans feel America should address climate change

The analysis of environmental polls and surveys conducted in the US often focus on the political split between Democrats and Republicans. Unsurprisingly, really, given the public divide between the two parties and the almost Messianic qualities attributed to any one particular candidate, qualities…  …

Archeological dig in remote Turkmenistan reveals rare advanced civilization and Bronze Age treasures

Over four millennia ago, the fortress town of Gonur-Tepe might have been a rare advanced civilisation before it was buried for centuries under the dust of the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan. After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologists in the last century, Gonur-Tepe, once home to thousands of…

Cthulhu fhtagn! Indescribably terrifying microbes named for H.P. Lovecraft’s monsters

This incomprehensibly horrifying scanning electron microscope image shows Cthulhu macrofasciculumque, a symbiotic protist that resides in the hindgut of a termite. The scale bar is 10 micrometers. (PLOS ONE) Suckling unnamable ichor as they slither through the viscous, shrieking madness of the intestinal…  …

Zoo to build power plant that uses panda poop to produce electricity

Not content with housing a pair of celebrity pandas that attract hordes of avid onlookers, a zoo in France has decided to put their droppings to good use by recycling them into gas and electricity. Yuan Zi and Huan Huan — “Chubby” and “Happy” in Chinese — arrived at Beauval…

UN urges strict hygiene to prevent worldwide spread of China’s deadly H7N9 virus

The United Nations on Friday presented a list of recommendations, including a strict hygiene culture and keeping different breeds of animals apart, to try to curb the spreading of the H7N9 flu virus which has killed six people in China. “With the virus harder to detect, good biosecurity measures become…

New face-sized tarantula discovered in trees in Sri Lanka

Wired reports on what may be a new species of tarantula in Northern Sri Lanka, and it’s unlikely to be appearing on the island nation’s tourism materials any time soon. Writer Nadia Drake describes the tree-dwelling Poecilotheria rajaei  as “about the size of your face” – the human face apparently…  …

U.S. health authorities in bird flu vaccine effort

US health authorities are liaising with domestic and international partners to develop a vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu virus that has killed five people in China. With the number of confirmed infection cases climbing to 14, authorities in Shanghai have begun the mass slaughter of poultry at a market…

Biofuel breakthrough turns virtually any plant into hydrogen

Researchers at Virginia Tech announced Thursday that their latest breakthrough in hydrogen extraction technology could lead to widespread adoption of the substance as a fuel due to its ease of availability in virtually all plant matter, a reservoir previously impossible to tap. The new process, described by a study in…

‘Extinct’ turtle species actually never existed, scientists say

A Seychelles freshwater turtle species declared extinct after decades of futile searches, in fact never existed, scientists said Thursday. While Man has the extinction of several turtle and tortoise species on his conscience, DNA evidence has now cleared him of exterminating Pelusios seychellensis, a team from Germany and Austria wrote…

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