Thursday, February 22, 2007

Science Trek | Feb 22, 2007

Scientists have shown that chimpanzees may have had their own "stone age"! Evidence shows that they were using stone tools and implements to crack open nuts around 4,300 years ago.


From chimpanzees to dolphins, animals seems to be in the news everywhere...the US Navy announced that dozens of dolphins and sea-lions could be used to patrol a military base which is vulnerable to attack from terrorist swimmers and scuba divers.

Johns Hopkins university researchers recently announced that they have disproved the long-standing theory that the spinal cord cannot repair itself. Human nerve stem cells transplanted into damaged spinal cords of rats have survived, grown and in some cases connected with the rats' own spinal cord.

In one of the biggest announcements in the world of computing, D-Wave announced that they have created quantum computer. Named "Orion", it is a 16 bit superconducting adiabatic quantum computer. For now, the computer seems to be performing slower than a single fast PC solving the same problem, but that won't remain the case for much longer if the company's ambitions plans pan out.

A lot happened on the information technology stage involving some of the biggest players in the field. Microsoft blasted IBM in an open letter, accusing the latter of deliberately blocking Microsoft's interoperability attempts in the open document format world.

Google was at the losing end of a legal battle in Belgium. A group of disgruntled Belgian newspapers who, oddly enough, did not like the free publicity from links in Google News, sued and won a case against Google for copyright infringement in their Google News service. Google now cannot link to news articles by the group or cache any of their articles.

Apple and Cisco have finally reached an agreement where they will share the use of the iPhone name. Cisco has held the copyright over the name since they bought Infogear in 2000 and had filed copyright infringement cases against Apple earlier this year when Apple released its iPhone.

In a blow to romantics and Shakespeare loyalists the world over, recent discoveries have shown that Cleopatra was no beauty! A coin dating from around 32 BC shows her with a pointed chin, thin lips and a sharp nose. Cleopatra has often been the benchmark for beauty the world over, even since Shakespeare wrote that she "beggr'd all description".


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