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Saturday, May 14, 2005

No blood for blood?

Posted by: Hammer / 7:50 AM

Fuel cells might be an important commercial power source this century. For now, the technology is too expensive to replace regular old batteries. There are fantastic hopes of hydrogen fuel cell cars, zipping quietly around with zero emissions. Fuel cells come in all sizes -- huge stationary devices to power buildings, smaller devices to power cars, and little tiny devices to power implants. It's these devices that can now, apparently, run on blood:
A Japanese research team has developed a fuel cell that runs on blood without using toxic substances, opening the way for use in artificial hearts and other organs.

The biological fuel cell uses glucose, a sugar in blood, with a non-toxic substance used to draw electrons from glucose, said the team led by Matsuhiko Nishizawa, bio-engineering professor at the graduate school of state-run Tohoku University....

The newly developed cell in the size of a tiny coin is able to generate 0.2 milliwatts of electricity, enough to power a device that measures blood sugar level and transmits data elsewhere, the group said.

Science is cool. I think we should do more of it. Pennsylvanians, of course, disagree:
On opposite sides of town, two billboards for competing slates of school board candidates illustrate the deep divide here over the teaching of evolution and the origin of life.

One sign shouts, "It's time for a new school board in Dover!" The other describes the seven sitting board members as "the INTELLIGENT choice" — a reference to the board's decision last fall to require the mention of "intelligent design" in class.

In what is believed to be a first in the United States, the school board voted 6-3 in October to require that ninth-grade students be told about intelligent design when they learn about evolution in biology class. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex, it must have been created by some kind of guiding force.

Know what? There are lots of things in this world that are too complex for me to understand. From the NFL salary cap to the ending of Lost Highway to, well, human females from age 3 on up. For as blessed as we might be by their presence, I'm not ready to see God's hand working the levers of of every process I don't understand.

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