Canadian researchers identify new prion protein
The scientists, led by Dr. David Westaway at the University of Alberta's Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, report that they have isolated a prion protein called Shadoo, which is found in the brain cells of mice, humans and probably other mammals.
The protein appears to protect neurons, they reported in an article in the Embo Journal (the acronym stands for the European Molecular Biology Organization). In mice infected with a prion disease, Shadoo starts to disappear, suggesting a lack of this protein contributes to the damage done by the disease, Westaway said in an interview from Edmonton.
He said there is no evidence Shadoo triggers disease itself, but that it may "aid and abet" the disease process.
Researchers tap summer
road heat for winter warmth
In England, researchers are using a paved road surface as a solar collector. It warms a water/glycol solution in a pipe array beneath the surface, and sends the heat to a roadside storage area, which can be as simple as a generous sub-surface layer of rocks. The rocks store the heat until itâ™s needed in the wintertime, when it is sent back to the piping beneath the roadâ™s running surface, warming it to help prevent accumulations of snow and ice.
The other British project is a new school where a paved playground acts as a solar collector which heats the fluid in a pipe system below the surface. The heat is then piped to a storage bed beneath the school.
And there are already rough sketches for a system under a shopping mall parking lot, with the energy collected used to heat the mall buildings.
Korky Koroluk is an Ottawa-based freelance writer
RevoPowerâ™s Gasoline-Powered Bicycle Wheel
The Wheelâ™s basic design.
RevoPower, a Denver-based company, is developing a 2-stroke engine-powered replacement front wheel for bicycles. The 25cc hub engine in the Wheel delivers 1hp (0.8 kW) peak power at 7,500 rpm and supports a top speed of 20 mph. Fuel economy is an estimated 200 mpg.
The Wheel meets CARB/EPA standards for small off-road engines, and features an idle-stop function that cuts off the engine at speeds below 5 mph. (Conversely, the rider needs to hit 5 mph before the engine will engage.) By stoping the engine at low speed or rest, RevoPower avoids the issue of idling emissions, as well as the problem of cooling the engine when the wheel is not rotating.
Swapping out a conventional bike wheel with the powered Wheel takes about 30 minutes. The Wheel will be available in 2007, and will cost about $400.
My car design uses four engine wheels like this .
The design of the Wheel, even though mechanically complex, has been engineered with the average person in mind for ease of use, intuitive operation, and installation.
At the right is a 3-dimensional view of the design.
Check out this Engine Wheel all in one design.