Scientists flooded the Grand Canyon on Sunday to restore beaches and save fish and plants that have been disappearing since sediment-free water began flowing from a man-made dam 40 years ago.
A torrent of gushing water raced down the Colorado River and into the canyon, carrying badly needed natural sediment with it, as four giant steel tubes at the base of Glen Canyon Dam were opened.
"The sediment, sand, mud and silt play an important role in the ecosystem," said Chip Groat, director for the U.S. Geological Survey.
Google Inc. locates almost anything on the Web within seconds, but finding the brainy engineers who program the company's lightning-quick search engine takes more time -- and a quirky bit of ingenuity.
As its rapidly growing business creates hundreds of new jobs, Google is trying to lure premier talent with offbeat tactics, including a computer-coding competition and a brain-twisting aptitude test that mixes geek humor with a daunting mathematical workout.
A Florida scientist has developed a "brain" in a glass dish that is capable of flying a virtual fighter plane and could enhance medical understanding of neural disorders such as epilepsy.
The "living computer" was grown from 25,000 neurons extracted from a rat's brain and arranged over a grid of 60 electrodes in a Petri dish.
The brain cells then started to reconnect themselves, forming microscopic interconnections, said Thomas DeMarse, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida.
A California biotechnology company has started taking orders for a hypoallergenic cat for pet lovers prone to allergies.
The genetically engineered feline, which is expected to be available from 2007, is the first in a planned series of lifestyle pets, Los Angeles-based Allerca said in a press release.
Allerca hopes to attract customers among the millions of people worldwide who suffer from cat allergies.
Up to 10 percent of the U.S. population alone are believed to be prone to symptoms that can affect the eyes, nose, ears, throat, lungs and skin.
The H5N1 bird flu, whose known human death toll has now reached 32, has made its first foray outside Asia. It turned up at Brussels airport last week in a pair of eagles smuggled from Thailand, and caused one human infection.
Belgian authorities say they have contained the threat, and are now analysing the virus. “We were very, very lucky,” says Rene Snacken, head of flu at Belgium’s Scientific Institute of Public Health in Brussels. “It could have been a bomb for Europe.”