SciTech Briefs

World has 3.3 billion cell phones

According to Informa Research Services, there are now 3.3 billion cell phone subscriptions worldwide. This assessment of 3.3 billion subscriptions equals roughly half the world’s population.

The first networks were established in Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and Norway in 1981 using the Nordic Telephony System.

Mark Newman, head of research at Informa, stated, “For children growing up today the issue is not whether they will get a mobile phone, it’s a question of when.”

The study does not support the claim that one in every two people has a cell phone; rather, many people around the world have more than one cell phone.

Source: Reuters

Baking soda may help environment

While watching the Discovery Channel with his kids, Skyonic CEO Joe David Jones came up with the idea of saving the world by sequestering carbon using baking soda.

Jones developed a system called the Skymine system in which carbon dioxide produced by smoke stacks can be used to make baking soda. Should this system be implemented, it will be powered by waste heat from factories. The resulting baking soda will be pure enough to use in food.

The system has been developed on a larger scale by Luminant, one of the largest utility companies in the United States to use alternative energy. A test version of the Skymine system was installed in Fairfield, Texas.

Source: Popular Science

Students take course over phone

Rather than having to get out of bed early to attend class, Japanese students can now take a course about pyramids on the go.

When taking a course via cell phone, the course is streamed over the network as a video that comprises a PowerPoint presentation. The course includes text, images, and audio, and there is no educational fee.

Currently, Cyber University is offering a course on pyramids via cell phone, though it may offer more in the future. The course is available through the Sofbank phone carrier.

Sakuji Yoshimura, who heads Cyber University, stated, “Our duty as educators is to respond to the needs of people who want to learn.”

Source: Associated Press

CAT scans become quick and detailed

Philips has created a high-resolution device for performing CAT scans called the Brilliance CT that is 22 percent faster than other scanners.

Unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, the Brilliance CT has a ring that takes cross-sectional images of patients by rotating four times per second. A full-body scan can be performed under a minute and a picture of the heart in less than two heartbeats.

The Brilliance CT provides doctors with 3-D images of patients. These images can be rotated, allowing doctors to more easily detect problems with the body.

Patients are already taking advantage of this high-resolution scan at Metro Health in Cleveland, which is currently the only facility using the Brilliance CT.

Source: BBC