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Iraqi archaeologists have discovered a 1,400-year-old palace dating back to the pre-Islamic era in southern Iraq.
The most up to date Science News
Space Mirror Hits a Snag
A test of a controversial "space mirror" onboard Russia's Mir space station ended in failure last week. On February 4th, cosmonauts attempted to unfurl an 80-foot-diameter circular reflector from the docking bay of the Progress M40 spacecraft that carried it into orbit. The giant mirror, called Znamya 2.5, was supposed to bounce sunlight onto various far-northern cities just after sunset, temporarily bathing them in light 5 to 10 times brighter than the full moon. Russia's Space Regatta Consortium (SRC) hopes to launch a fleet of such mirrors into orbit, to shorten the long northern winters and to provide spotlight illumination during disaster relief efforts.Full story
Hot News on Climate
Global warming is considered a reality by most of the scientific community,
but skeptics point to the complex factors--including natural variables--that
affect climate. A new statistical analysis bolsters the evidence that the Earth
is growing warmer, and that humans are substantially to blame.
Global warming is considered a reality by most of the scientific community, but skeptics point to the complex factors--including natural variables--that affect climate. A new statistical analysis bolsters the evidence that the Earth is growing warmer, and that humans are substantially to blame.Full story
Click on the Picture a must read Report about ..! Deplated Uranuim Report
A stunning 20 percent of the total--failed to enroll in school this year in a country that once boasted literacy of 97 percent or more, the government says
Pupils linger in the school yard of Baghdad's Central High
under a painting of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with three dutiful young men in camouflage. In
Baghdad's classrooms of peeling paint, ramshackle desks and broken windows, students ponder one
thought: how to get out of Iraq..!
Korea Team Says Human Clone Test
SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) - A South Korean medical research team said Wednesday it has succeeded in cultivating a
human embryo using human cells in one of the first cloning experiments of its kind.
Researchers at the infertility clinic of Kyunghee University Hospital in Seoul said they had cultivated a human embryo in its early
stages using an unfertilized egg and a somatic cell -- those that make up most of the body -- donated by a woman in her 30s.
Lee Bo-yon, a researcher with the hospital's infertility clinic, said the human embryo in the Kyunghee University experiment was
last seen dividing into four cells before the operation was aborted.
``If implanted into a uterine wall of a carrier, we can assume that a human child would be formed and that it would have the
same gene characteristics as that of the donor,'' Lee told Reuters.
Lee said the research team would not attempt to take the cloning experiment further until there was a social, legal and moral
consensus to support it.
Lee said the experiment was, to his knowledge, one of the first to use only human cells in a cloning experiment.
``To our knowledge the Roslin Institute has already succeeded in this experiment, making us the second,'' Lee said, but added
that he had not been able to confirm that himself.
Lee said the experiment he conducted with his supervisor, Kim Sung-bo, used the same technique as that of Teruhiko
Wakayama of the University of Hawaii, which was conducted with mice.
In July, Wakayama and his supervisor, Ryuzo Yanagimachi, said they had produced 50 cloned mice from several different
The so-called Honolulu Technique is different from the technology used to create the now famous Dolly in 1996.
Dolly's makers at Scotland's Roslin Institute used an electric current to fuse a cell from a sheep's mammary gland with the egg
from another sheep that had the nucleus removed.
The Hawaiian researchers said they scraped the DNA material out of the nucleus from a mouse egg and injected the nucleus of
another mouse into it.
They then ``chemically activated,'' or tricked the egg, into acting like a newly fertilized egg and start growing.
The embryo was transferred into a surrogate mother, who gave birth to what the researchers believed were cloned mice.
They then cloned the clone, and cloned that clone, essentially making one mouse both grandmother and the identical twin of the
South Korea, like other countries, is grappling with the issue.
An official in the science ministry's research and development department said the ministry was waiting for the National
Assembly to pass legislation on human cloning.
Some Korean lawmakers have said they would support limiting the research and development budgets of state-supported
researchers if they continued cloning experiments.
French doctors say they are not surprised by the findings.
"The deodorant spray is for many among us a work tool at
least as important as a stethoscope," one GP from the
affluent Western suburbs of Paris told Le Figaro.
"Badly washed bodies, dirty underwear, I see them every
day - and moreover, most patients when they are going to
see their doctor make an effort at cleanliness. In the past
20 years I have seen some improvement but not what one
would expect." The situation is even more unpleasant for
emergency medical staff. The old adage about wearing
clean underwear in case one is run over appears not to
have registered in France, where hospitals confide that one
in three patients has failed to follow this advice.
While it is true that until relatively recently few homes were
equipped with a bathroom, the French can no longer cling to
the excuse of a lack of facilities.
Today, 96 per cent have a bath or shower, compared with
29 per cent in 1962.
According to experts, this national abhorrence of soap and
water is psychological. More than half of those surveyed
said they bathed dutifully rather than for any feelings of
pleasure or well-being.
Others believe the problem is rooted in history and the
Gallic tradition of applying scent to mask odours rather than
bathing to remove them.
From Jane's World Armies (1996)
Iraq's T-55s and other tanks are the mainstay of Baghdad's military capability There has been no military
equipment procurement from recognised sources since August 1990.
As a consequence of the 1990-91 Gulf conflict and resulting destruction of large amounts of equipment, the Iraqi armed
forces are in need of a complete range of modern equipment for all three services. Once UN sanctions end, this area will become an extremely attractive market for the majority of the world's defence manufacturers.
Tank and Anti-tank Capability A key element in the Iraqi defence manufacturing network is believed to be a factory established before the war to assemble the Soviet-designed T-72, the most sophisticated tank in Iraq's arsenal. The first Iraqi version of the T-72, called the `Lion of Babylon', came off the production line in 1989. Only a few of these indigenous tanks are presently in service but sources say that the factory is now providing the spare parts to keep Iraq's estimated 500 T-72s in operation. Iraq made sure that a sizeable quantity of such high-quality tanks survived the Gulf War, although hundreds were probably knocked out. The surviving T-72s, and much of the elite Republican Guard to which they were allocated, were moved well out of harm's way before the allies mounted their big push into Kuwait in February 1991. The survival of the T-72s, and of other lesser quality MBTs in the Iraqi arsenal, has helped to ensure that the ground forces are now the mainstay of Baghdad's military capability. (Apart from the T-72s, the other tanks in the inventory include T-62s and a smaller number of T-54s and T-55s). Estimates of the total number of MBTs in the army's arsenal vary, the latest US DoD estimate being in the region of 2,000. Even though this is a huge decrease from the pre-`Desert Storm' estimate of 5,800-7,000, it is still sufficient to give pause to any neighbouring Third World power contemplating a hostile incursion into Iraqi territory.
According to informed sources among Iraqi defectors, Iraqi elite units still get the best equipment. For instance, the good quality T-72s are assigned to the Republican Guard, while the tanks that are less effective or need spare parts are mostly assigned to the regular army. The Iraqi forces that seized Arbil at the end of August included elements of the Republican Guard,
equipped with T-72s. However, it would appear that even the Republican Guard has to be content with much smaller allocations of armour compared with pre-war levels. It has been estimated that each armoured division of the Republican Guard used to have around 500 MBTs and APCs and that this number has now shrunk to about 120.
Many analysts believe that Iraqi ground forces have retained a very strong capability in one particular area: anti-tank warfare. While the army lost large numbers of anti-tank weapons during the war, it is still believed to retain quantities of good equipment
- including MILAN man-portable guided missiles; HOT, AS-11s and AS-12s mounted on PAH-1 and SA.342 helicopters; and AT-2s mounted on Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. In addition, there is a range of weapons mounted on armoured vehicles,
including HOT, MILAN, AT-1, AT-3 and AT-4 guided missiles. The army still has several thousand 85 mm and 100 mm anti-tank guns and heavy recoilless rifles. It also retains a certain capability in the area of tube artillery, although it lost a lot of
equipment during the war. It has an estimated 150 self-propelled artillery weapons, ranging from 122 mm to 155 mm (in comparison with an estimated 500 before the war) and probably about 1,800 towed artillery weapons (105 mm to 155 mm)
compared with up to 5,000 before the war.
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