NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, a key component of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. They discovered that an ice sample containing pyrimidine exposed to ultraviolet radiation under space-like conditions produces this essential ingredient of life.
Pyrimidine is a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen and is the basic structure for uracil, part of a genetic code found in ribonucleic acid (RNA). RNA is central to protein synthesis, but has many other roles.
"We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, a component of RNA, non-biologically in a laboratory under conditions found in space," said Michel Nuevo, research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "We are showing that these laboratory processes, which simulate occurrences in outer space, can make a fundamental building block used by living organisms on Earth."
Few terms have been as simultaneously hyped and reviled as "cloud computing," but there's definitely more to the phenomenon than just a buzzword and some vague talk of "efficiencies" and "agility." We've put together this short, simple introduction to cloud computing that you can send to your CIO the next time you catch him abusing "the cloud" at a meeting. There's a kind of supply-and-demand dynamic that applies to technical terms—when a few knowledgeable insiders are hoarding a word, it maintains its meaning, but when the masses get hold of it and abuse it, it's quickly emptied of value.
Arizona State University's spin off outfit Fluidic Energy plans to build a new battery with an energy density 11 times greater than that of lithium-ion batteries for just one-third the cost.
Fluidic Energy uses ionic liquids as its electrolyte, which could help it overcome some significant problems faced by previous metal-air batteries. Currently metal-air batteries have usually used water-based electrolytes, but due to water evaporation, the batteries tended to fail prematurely.
NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA - News) today reported revenue of $903.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 ended Oct. 25, 2009, up 16 percent from the previous quarter and up slightly from $897.7 million reported in the same period a year earlier.
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Intel that accuses it of paying computer makers rebates to illegally maintain its monopoly power, the newest among several such attacks that have dogged the chipmaker in recent years.
Most people know eBay Inc. for its online marketplace, where deals abound on everything from gadgets to antique furniture. But soon, eBay's biggest business will likely be PayPal, the online payments service that has been growing steadily even as the economy has stumbled.
EBay has spent much of the past two years trying to improve its faltering marketplace business, hoping to increase buyers' trust and clean up the look of its Web site. In the meantime, PayPal has thrived as more consumers and merchants use it to send money online.
Windows 7 has officially been a part of the worldwide mass market for more than a week and a half and now makes up more than 3.6 percent of all PCs tracked by research firm Net Applications.
Net Applications tracks OS usage statistics through information reported by internet browser software. On October 21, the day before the official launch, Windows 7 usage was at 1.89 per cent, according to Channel Register. By launch day, the number hit 1.99 per cent, constantly rising to 3.67 percent it hit on November 1.
Xerox on Tuesday announced a new silver ink (among other things) that it's calling, and apparently is, a breakthrough in printable electronics, a leading edge concept that's generated a lot of discussion but few actual products to date, largely because of the issues that Xerox's new technology addresses.
There may soon be a run on coconut futures. Vintage 2002 Indonesian coconut-shell charcoal is being used to help build what may become the first commercially viable Tokamak fusion power electrical generating facility near Cadarache in the south of France – about 38 miles from the Mediterranean. Tokamak (from the Russian for “toroidal chamber with magnetic coils”) is a type of magnetic confinement device for producing controlled thermonuclear fusion power. The coconut charcoal is an environmental sponge that “adsorbs” the helium and hydrogen byproducts of the thermonuclear fusion reaction.
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