October 1, 2008 By Karen Stewartson
What's in the Water?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a Web-accessible database for water-quality assessments and total maximum daily pollutant loads.
The new site improves access to state and local data and increases county leaders' ability to make informed water-quality decisions, according to Carrie Clingan, National Association of Counties community service associate.
The site lets users view dynamic, continuously updated tables and charts that summarize state-reported information for the whole nation, for individual states and waters, and for the 10 EPA regions. -- National Association of Counties
Protecting Your Palate
European researchers developed a system for quickly spotting food-borne pathogens and contaminants in the field. A prototype of the new technology is designed to test food for campylobacter and salmonella -- the most common culprits of food poisoning -- in less than an hour. Researchers intend to test the device -- described as a "lab on a chip" -- in Danish poultry farms.
The technology is a product of the European Union-funded OptoCard project, an initiative to create chips that spot pathogens and contaminants in food and water supplies, as well as test human blood for cancer, hepatitis, AIDS and flu. The new test chip uses microelectromechanical systems, including sensors, fluid channels and optical components. -- Daily Tech
Tower of Power
Construction is expected to start soon on the rotating Dynamic Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which will use wind and solar power to generate more power than it consumes. Forty-eight wind turbines will be sandwiched between the tower's 59 independently rotating floors. Each turbine will create 0.3 megawatts of power, and the structure's roof will be covered by solar panels, adding to the overall power production.
The tower's designers say it will produce 10 times the energy it needs. A second Dynamic Tower is expected to be built in Moscow. -- Blorge.com
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