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'Urban Mining' Could Reduce Reliance on Metal Imports

Thierry Van Kerckhoven has an eye for hidden value. The Belgian can look at a pile of shredded scrap metal from electronic devices and recognize what it is made of. Not only that, he can tell how much it's worth.

from Spiegel

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Memory Implant Gives Rats Sharper Recollection

Scientists have designed a brain implant that restored lost memory function and strengthened recall of new information in laboratory rats--a crucial first step in the development of so-called neuroprosthetic devices to repair deficits from dementia, stroke and other brain injuries in humans.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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Psychopharmacology in Crisis

Many people affected by mental illness are facing a bleak future as drug companies abandon research into the area and other funding providers fail to take up the slack, according to a new report.

from Nature News

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Satellite Images Capture Fish Fear

Coral reefs are fraught with danger for herbivores such as damselfish and tangs. Venturing out from the safety of the reef's colorful cracks and crevices to feed means risking being devoured by predators that patrol the warm waters. As a result, the small fish tend to stay close to the reef when grazing.

from The Scientist (Registration Required)

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Europeans Hope Their Low Frequency Array Will Complement US SETI

A scientific quest for life elsewhere in the universe is facing some down-to-earth problems. The SETI Institute in California, considered the world's premiere organization when it comes to scanning the skies for signs of extraterrestrial life, recently mothballed a powerful radio telescope it had been using to search for signals from alien civilizations. The effort has been put on hold due to a lack of money.

from PRI's The World

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In Asia, the Perils of Aborting Girls and Keeping Boys

In her trip through China's Suining County in Jiangsu province, journalist Mara Hvistendahl saw plenty of familiar signs of economic growth. But she also saw something at an elementary school that startled her: There were far more boys in the classrooms than girls.

from NPR

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Quantum-Dot Displays: Dotting the Eyes

Good as modern display screens are, they could be a lot better. Even the best liquid-crystal display (LCD) can produce only about a third of the range of colours which the human eye (in collaboration with the brain) can perceive. But that may soon change, with the deployment in screens of structures called quantum dots.

from the Economist

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Bid to Repair Great Lakes, One Marsh at a Time

Suamico, Wis. -- Shod in knee-high rubber boots, Jim Jolly sloshes through shin-deep water, searching for fish. This tangle of submerged grass "is kind of what they're looking for," says Mr. Jolly, a Brown County conservation official.

from the Christian Science Monitor

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