Bytes

 
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

burmese tragedy: A survey conducted by an international team of researchers shows that Irrawaddy dolphins -- a rare species -- may soon disappear from the Ayeyarwady river. Only nine sightings of the dolphins were recorded, compared with 14 documented during a 1998 survey. Numerous gill nets (that are dangerous for the dolphins) were also seen in areas known to be prime dolphin habitats.

nanopower: Researchers from Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Sciences have demonstrated that tiny electric currents can be generated whenever liquids like water are passed through very fine capillaries of carbon (nanotubes). The tubes act like mini-hydropower plants, converting mechanical energy into an electrical signal. The device is a millimetre long and can be used for powering pacemakers.

terminators: Termites are the ecofriendly enemies of polythene waste. Macrotermes herus -- a species of termites -- rapidly munch polythene bags, says Chris Kasamba, a researcher at Makerere University, Uganda. While setting up a forest nursery, he noticed that the termites were eating polythene bags intended to hold seedlings. He subsequently conducted an experiment and validated his observation.

dirtiest of all: Trams are the least 'green' form of transport, shows a study by researchers from RMIT University, Australia. During the study, conducted in Melbourne metropolitan area, the researchers found that trams emit 0.74 kilogramme (kg) of carbon dioxide per passenger for every kilometre (CO 2 /p/km). Buses showed the least impact, generating just 0.04 kg of CO 2 /p/km. Cars and trains rated equally at 0.25 kg of CO 2 /p/km and 0.23 kg CO 2 /p/km respectively.

networm: Worldwide internet traffic literally came to a standstill on January 25, 2003, after a fast-spreading computer worm clogged pipelines of the global network. Isolated network problems continued for a few days, even though the worst affects of the worm (called SQL Slammer) diminished in two days. Experts have found references to the Honker group (a Chinese hacker group) in Slammer's code.

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