Science News Tidbits

Some Viruses Come Pre-Installed from PhysOrg.com
(AP) — From iPods to navigation systems, some of today’s hottest gadgets are landing on store shelves with some unwanted extras from the factory – pre-installed viruses that steal passwords, open doors for hackers and make computers spew spam.

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Grand Canyon Still Grand but Older

Coming upon the Grand Canyon long ago, an old prospector is supposed to have said in amazement, “Something awful happened here.”

The something appears to have started happening 17 million years ago, geologists concluded in a study in the journal Science on Friday. If correct, this is at least 11 million years earlier than previous estimates.

By dating mineral deposits inside caves up and down the canyon walls, the geologists said they determined the water levels over time as erosion carved out the mile-deep canyon as it is known today. They concluded that the canyon started from the west, then another formed from the east, and the two broke through and met as a single majestic rent in the earth some six million years ago.

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Successful manoeuvres position Jules Verne ATV for crucial tests from PhysOrg.com
Jules Verne ATV successfully performed two boosts today, bringing the spacecraft to an altitude of 303 km – half-way between the insertion orbit reached after last Sunday’s launch and the orbit of the International Space Station.

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Nigerian Patent Suit Still Dogs ‘One Laptop Per Child’ from PhysOrg.com
(AP) — A potential $20 million problem for the group behind the “$100 laptop” isn’t going away easily.

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Gross Anatomy Via Your Computer

Offering more depth (literally) than any anatomy textbook can deliver, the Visible Body is a Web-based 3-D interactive model of the human body available for free to students, educators and health and medical professionals. The software, developed by Newton, Mass.-based Argosy Publishing, visualizes the human body using sophisticated computer graphics to show how more than 1,700 anatomical structures–including major organs and systems–work together.

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