Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Scientific Findings...

Scientific discoveries are always fascinating and it is hard to choose the best of the bunch. But here is our top 10 countdown for 2009.

1. Eye-tooth surgery

The most exciting scientific breakthrough in 2009 was something you can really get your teeth into. Englishman Martin Jones is finally able to see again after doctors took a piece of his aptly named eye-tooth, placed a man-made lens into its core and implanted it under his eyelid. By cutting a hole in the new cornea, light was able to pass through. The procedure, called Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, has restored sight to over 600 people worldwide.

2. Is there life out there?

Space was at last grabbing headlines again this year, with traces of water found on the moon and Mars, but our search for extraterrestrial life also became a little bit more serious. The huge Kepler space telescope is taking pictures of planets as they pass in front of their home stars. Scientists hope this will identify likely sites for life in other solar systems. NASA officials are confident by 2011 they will detect Earth-size planets.

3. Adam and Eve: The first medical robot researchers

Scientists have given credit to a robot for a scientific discovery. Researchers at Aberystwyth and Cambridge universities got the robotic system, dubbed Adam, to carry out experiments to identify what are called orphan enzymes in baker's yeast. The team is also developing another robotic system called Eve. Eve will test drugs for malaria by hypothesising how drug molecules of various shapes would perform. Prof Ross King, who led the research at Aberystwyth University, said: "Ultimately we hope to have teams of human and robot scientists working together in laboratories."

4. Concrete solution to pollution

A British start-up company has created cement that absorbs CO2 from the air. Conventional Portland cement already accounts for 5% of global CO2 emissions. Novacem, however, is produced using magnesium oxide, which does not need to be heated to the same temperatures, thus reducing carbon emission and, at the same time, absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere immediately after production.

5. Mind mapping people's thoughts

Scientists at the University of California have modelled how images are represented in the brain by translating recorded patterns of neural activity into pictures. It is thought the research could someday lead to dream-readers and thought-controlled computers. "It's what you would actually use if you were going to build a functional brain-reading device," said neuroscientist Jack Gallant, one of the research leaders.

6. Penis replacement

Here's one for the boys. Researchers at the Wake Forest University's Institute of Regenerative Medicine have managed to engineer a fully functional replacement penis using tissue grown in a laboratory. The organs were made for rabbits, but the researchers at the lab, which has already implanted lab-grown bladders grown from the patient's own tissue into seven men, said the technology has "considerable potential for patients requiring penile construction."

7. Spray-on solar panels

The University of Texas hopes to bring us spray-on solar panels within the next three to five years. It is not a new idea but the team at Austin has developed a new process. Instead of using silicon, ‘inks' of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) have been developed. The sunlight-absorbing nanoparticles are 10,000 times thinner than a strand of hair. They could then be sprayed onto a substrate to make a panel and be on the market within three to five years.

8. Teleportation

A research team at the Australian National University has developed a technology that could one day be used for teleportation. It hinges on a new way to transmit data with light. The team can generate quantum entanglement in beams of light using only two parts. The main aim is to develop super fast computers, but theoretically the scientists said the method could be used for teleportation as well; but quite some time in the future.

9. Dinosaur extinction

A team of scientists from Russia, Austria, South Africa and Germany claim to have found the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs. The largest mass extinction in the history of the Earth could have been triggered by emissions from halogenated gases in salt lakes. Their theory is that the emissions could have changed the atmospheric composition so dramatically that vegetation was irretrievably damaged. As the plant eating dinosaurs died out, so too did the meat eaters.

10. Luscious lashes for the ladies

And here's one for the girls. Women may soon be able to stop relying on mascara. Biologists at L'Oreal's research laboratories in Paris have spent the last three years studying eyelashes and have now developed a gel that they claim extends the length of time individual eyelashes grow for before they fall out. This apparently leads to longer, thicker eyelashes. L'Oreal plans to market the gel as an over-the-counter cosmetic.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bendang Babes

Got this one from

TOKYO : Tokyo's most fashionable city girls have ventured into unfamiliar territory, crouching in muddy rice paddies to help make Japan's dying farms cool again - and now they can do it in style.

Shiho Fujita, a 24-year-old model, has led a group of kawaii (cute) 'gal farmers' to do their bit to revitalise rural Japan, where many farms have closed as their owners have aged and their children have run off to the cities.

Her biggest problem so far: she didn't like the clothes.

"Since there are no farm clothes I like, I have come up with the idea of designing cute ones myself," Fujita said.

Her new overalls, targeting girls in their 20s, are made from stretch denim to be comfortable in the field and, crucially, have pockets for their target group's key accessories, a mobile phone and an iPod.

Fujita, who has grown rice in northern Akita prefecture, also said she wants to design plastic gloves for girls with long fingernails, and new farm tools to make farming more accessible and fun for young city dwellers.

Japan, the world's second-largest economy, now imports 60 per cent of its food, and many worry about future food security if climate change rocks global food supplies or energy costs swing international grain prices.

The new overalls, made by leading Japanese jeans maker Edwin, will be available both for men and women from February for 13,000 yen (147 dollars).

Mudin, department mana incharge design farmers' garments?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TT Session Special 4 Dec 09


Jemput semua kengkawan ke TT Session pada 4 Dec 09, Jumaat ni pukul 8pm, di hotel UITM Shah Alam, di terrace area. Ramai tetamu yang jarang dapat jumpa akan hadir kali ni. Make sure bawak name card banyak-banyak.

Jumpa di sana!