Science briefs – Oct. 26, 2010

Compiled By Jeremiah Schrock
Sun Star Reporter

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have created an alternative to petroleum-derived Styrofoam packaging using a combination milk protein and clay. According to the scientists, the cured and foam-like material is durable enough for commercial use and a third of it has been proven to biodegrade within a month’s time. The university reports that the material has potential uses in not only the food-industry but also as insulation, packaging and furniture.
Discovery News

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson has helped commercial space travel take a step closer to reality with the opening of the runway at the world’s first spaceport in New Mexico. Branson, whose Virgin group has underwritten the endeavor, also saw the event marked with a flyby of an aircraft carrying SpaceShip Two, a vehicle designed to take fee-paying tourists on trips to the edge of space and back.
BBC News

Burnt bones from three separate individuals were disinterred from a Pre-Roman Iron Age site in Sweden. After radiocarbon dating the remains, archaeologists discovered that the individuals were from different centuries, but could provide no reasonable explanation for why they had been buried together.
Aardvarchaeology

Google has admitted for the first time that its “Street View” cars accidentally collected more personal data than previously disclosed, including complete emails and passwords. The disclosure comes just days after Canada’s privacy watchdog said Google had collected complete emails and accused Google of violating the rights of thousands of Canadians. In response, a coalition of more than 30 state attorneys general in the United States has launched a joint probe into the affair.
– Yahoo! News

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