Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mitsubishi, Fuji to test electric vehicles in U.S.

NEW YORK — Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, the maker of Subaru vehicles, unveiled their plans Thursday to conduct city-road testing of their electric vehicles in the United States after this summer. Mitsubishi is set to launch street testing of its MiEV electric vehicle this fall, apparently in cooperation with several electric power companies in the U.S. West Coast.

Equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack, the Mitsubishi MiEV is capable of running 160 kilometers per charge. Fuji Heavy plans to carry out street testing of its R1e electric car for about three months from this summer, along with the New York Power Authority.


Monday, March 17, 2008

New chip detects biological terrorism

TOKYO — A three-party Japanese team announced Monday that it has jointly developed a DNA chip capable of swiftly detecting and identifying pathogenic agents in the event of a biological terrorist attack. The three-party team consists of the National Research Institute of Police Science, a National Police Agency organization, the state-run Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and Toshiba Corp.

The new DNA chip, which was developed by combining the pathogenic organism detection technologies of the research institute and the university with Toshiba's DNA detection technology, is capable of identifying about 20 pathogenic organisms including anthrax bacteria.

The new system only takes about an hour to identify more than one pathogenic organism used in a bioterrorism attack, much quicker than the several hours required by existing technologies for collection, analysis and identification of an agent.

On the new DNA chip, around 20 DNA elements are arrayed on a glass substrate measuring 35 millimeters long, 50 mm wide and 10 mm thick.

The DNA chip, which uses Toshiba's electric current-detection technology, identifies a pathogenic agent after a sample of the agent collected at an attack site is placed on it.The National Research Institute of Police Science said the new DNA chip will be helpful in preventing further contamination, providing appropriate treatment and arranging swift evacuations.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Toyota iQ boost Toyota's eco-credentials

Toyota iQ

Toyota iQ

Toyota has wasted no time in turning its tiny, eco-friendly iQ concept car into a production reality.

A finished prototype was unveiled at Geneva, just six months after the original iQ was shown at the 2007 Frankfurt show. And it'll be on sale before the end of the year, said Toyota Motor Europe senior vice-president Andrea Formica.

As short as a Smart, but wider, Formica said iQ was “the world's smallest four-seater passenger car. Its clever seating configuration takes three adults plus a child, in less than 3 metres.”

Carpages UK.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Japan to boost power generation from waste, end dumping in landfills

TOKYO — The Environment Ministry decided Monday to boost annual power generation from waste by 50% over the next five years through fiscal 2012 as well as abolish direct dumping into landfills as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ministry officials said.

By expanding waste power generation, the ministry aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels such as petroleum. Under the method, electricity can be produced with the heat from the incineration of waste, and no carbon dioxide will be newly emitted just for the power generation.