A Weed-Powered Passenger Jet

No! Not that weed, jatropha, a plant that is not a food crop and can be grown in marginal agricultural land.

Air New Zealand is planning on flying a Boeing 747 with a mixture of equal parts biofuel made from jatropha  and conventional fuel running in one of the engines.

Unlike many other biofuels, UOP’s jatropha jet fuel can replace conventional fuel without requiring changes to existing engines. Indeed, by several measures, the fuel is better than conventional jet fuel. It has a lower freezing point and can be exposed to higher temperatures onboard a plane without degrading. It also contains slightly more energy than conventional jet fuel, so a plane powered by jatropha could travel farther. 

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Fully Viable Stem Cells from Adults

No embryo required.  So say the researchers at Harvard Medical School. They are claiming to have developed a method that will produced stem cells from adults that are “potent” as embryonic stem cells.

This method has a benifit over embryonic stem cells.  These adult stem cells could be grown from a patients own tissue.  This would allow them to be transplanted without triggering immune rejection.

This method also avoids the ethical issues many have with harvesting embryonic stem cells.