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19 March 2010

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Invisible star shooting comets at Earth? the researchers, as the star spins through the galaxy, its gravitational pull drags icy bodies out of the Oort Cloud - a vast sphere of rock and dust twice as far away as Nemesis. “These ‘snowballs’ are thrown towards Earth as comets, causing devastation similar to the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago,” the report said. John Matese of the University of Louisiana said most comets come from the same part of the Oort Cloud. “There is significant evidence that this concentration of comets could be caused by a companion to the London: In what sounds like a chilling script of a Hollywood science fiction, scientists have claimed that an invisible star, five times the size of Jupiter, might be lurking near our solar system, occasionally kicking deadly comets towards the Earth. According to scientists, the brown dwarf star is up to five times the size of Jupiter and could be

responsible for mass extinctions that occur on Earth every 26 million years. They believe that the star nicknamed Nemesis or ‘The Death Star” could be hidden beyond the edge of our solar system and only emits infrared light. It is believed to orbit our solar system at 25,000 times the distance of the Earth to the Sun, the scientists said. According to

Sun”, he said. Now, Nasa scientists believe they will be able to find Nemesis using a new heatseeking telescope that began scanning the skies in January. The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer - expected to find a thousand brown dwarf stars within 25 light years of the Sun - has already sent back a photo of a comet possibly dislodged from the Oort Cloud. Scientists got their first clue to the existence of Nemesis from the bizarre orbit of a dwarf planet called Sedna. Scientists believe its unusual, 12,000-year-long oval orbit could

Now, a PC that reads minds London: British scientists have developed a computer that can read human minds, a key breakthrough which they claim takes telepathy a step closer to reality. According to Eleanor Maguire of University College London and colleagues, the computer is able to decipher thought patterns and tell what people are thinking simply by scanning the brain. For the research, which focused on the hippocampus, an area at the centre of the brain that plays a crucial role in short term memory, the

Just a bottle of water can power your home With one bottle of drinking water and four hours of sunlight, an MIT scientist says he can produce 30 KWh of electricity - enough to power an entire household in the developing world. With three gallons of river water, Dan Nocera says he could satisfy the daily energy needs of a large American home. The key to these claims is a new, affordable catalyst that uses solar electricity to split water and generate hydrogen. reports physorg.com. Using the electricity generated from a 30-square-meter photovoltaic array, Nocera’s cobalt-phosphate catalyst converts water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen and oxygen. The process is similar to photosynthesis, except that in nature, plants

create energy in the form of sugars instead of hydrogen. The hydrogen produced through artificial photosynthesis can be stored in a tank and later used to produce electricity by being recombined with oxygen in a fuel cell, even when the sun isn’t shining. Alternatively, the hydrogen can be converted into a liquid fuel. “Almost all the solar energy is stored in water splitting”, Nocera said at the first-ever ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) conference last Tuesday.

Now, a digital master key for all locks London: Do you find keeping track of your keys a tedious job? Then here’s your dream invention. Experts have come up with a digital master key that’s going to make your life a lot easier. Computer giant Apple is set to revolutionize the traditional door key with introduction of a hi-tech alternative nicknamed the “iKey”. It means people can stop carrying around a bunch of keys, and instead use a single electronic device to unlock their car, front door and gain access to their office. The technology simply requires the users to enter a pin code and wave the device over an electronic pad fitted beside a door to open it. Apparently, a newly published patent application, filed with the US Patent Office, contains the details of the new technology. It is speculated that the next model of the iPhone will contain this feature. The application states:

be explained by a massive celestial body. Mike Brown, who found Sedna in 2003, said: “Sedna is an odd object - it shouldn’t be there. The only way to get on an eccentric orbit is to have some giant body kick you - so what is out there?” “I think the possibility that the Sun could harbour a companion of another sort is not a crazy idea,” said Davy Kirkpatrick at Nasa’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. “There might be a distant object in a more stable, more circular orbit that has gone unnoticed so far.”

“The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone. In a home, householders would need to install electronic, computer controlled locks to their doors. The iPhone would need to be registered with the locks so that they could communicate with each other. By rotating the iPhone near the electronic lock, consumers then select their pin numbers on a dial displayed on the screen, as if entering a combination on a safe. If the combination entered matched the one held by the electronic lock, the door would open. If not, an alarm could be sounded or alerts sent to the householder to indicate someone was attempting to gain unauthorised entry. For safety purpose, the device may be attributed with a feature to encrypt any information that passes between the

iPhone and the computercontrolled lock, preventing hackers from “listening in”. Leander Kahney, a consumer technology expert and author of a book and blog called the Cult of Mac, said there were rumours that Apple has been testing the technology. “If true, it’s a very big deal. As well as opening doors and unlocking your car, it could also turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying. He added: “You’d be able to pay for buses and trains, as well as your morning coffee and groceries in a jiffy, just by laying your iPhone on a special pad, and the price is electronically deducted from your account.

scientists carried out an experiment involving 10 volunteers. The subjects were shown three sevensecond films featuring different women carrying out an everyday task in a typical urban street such as posting a letter or drinking a cup of coffee from a paper cup. The volunteers were asked to memorise what they saw and then recall each one in turn whilst inside a magnetic resonance imaging scanner which records the brain activity by measuring changes in blood flow within the brain.


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