Cycling 12 Thursday, 8 October 2009 London Lite By Duncan Graham-rowe The week in numbers Lite bytes Science news in brief from around the world LABELS could be replaced by laser tattoos on fresh fruit and veg. Apparently labels tend to get stuck to each other, fall off or get washed off too easily. So scientists have developed a way of etching brand names and use-by dates into the skin of the product. Not only is it indelible but it doesnt harm the produce, sealing the skin as it etches. MILITARY researchers have turned a flying beetle into a remote-controlled cyborg drone by planting electrodes and a radio transmitter into its nervous system, and using a radio control link to make it take off, dive and turn on command. The long-term aim is for remote-controlled cyborgs to act as flying spies, or to perform tasks such as looking for survivors trapped in rubble. SciENtiStS in Nottingham have come up with a novel way to ensure we get our five-a-day -- make greens even healthier, so we only need one-a-day instead. Although greens are good for us they could be healthier, say the scientists. through selective breeding and better fertilisers they are now hoping to create new varieties of produce that contain more essential minerals that current crops. Shocking: gun culture study C umbersome and just a bit un- cool, electric bikes have never really caught on. The over- whelming majority of the 450,000 Londoners who cycle to work do so entirely under their own steam without battery-powered assistance. but could that be about to change? With the advent of sleek and increasingly power- ful e-bikes, its time to reassess the motor- pedal hybrid. With no number plate, e-bikes follow cycling, not scooting laws. You whizz along at up to 15mph (the legal e-bike speed limit) pay no tax, insurance or moT and chain up anywhere for free. At this weeks Cycle show (until 11 october, earls Court, cycleshow.co.uk), youll see plenty of examples of the slick new generation of e-bike among the pedal- powered products. so whether youre sick of escalating fuel or public transport prices, want to green up your act or simply feel the need to get a bit healthier without having to sweat buckets up those hills, maybe its time to get on your e-bike. Just make sure you dont forget to charge up the batteries -- although there are now several models that will even recharge as you coast downhill. Here we round up the very best e-bikes you can buy... FOR those who prefer a retro look, the LX 8-speed offers a good solid ride with an impressive pedal-free range of 40 miles and is perfect if you want a low-maintenance bike. Charge time is around four hours and its lithium-ion battery lets you cruise at up to 15mph. Pedal-free range 40 miles; charge time 4 hours; 999.99; electricbikesales.co.uk SMARTA LX 8-Speed WITH no apparent motor or batteries, the 13.6kg Capo comes with an unusual water bottle attached to the frame that is actually the battery pack in disguise. And on the handle- bars the only tell-tale sign is a red boost button that will give you up to 20 miles of extra oomph. simple yet brilliant. pedal-free range 20 miles; charge time 3 hours; 1,650; cytronex.com Science&technology CYTRoneX CAnnondALe CApo Electricbikessparkarevolution tohelpyourcommutetowork Just beetling along: a spy drone 201kilowatts is the amount of power produced by a new ion rocket engine tested this week. Developed by the texas-based Ad Astra Rocket company, these novel thrusters are four times more powerful than other ion engines, making them the mightiest ever built. they will be used to provide boosts to the orbit of the international Space Station but the technology could one day make it possible to reach Mars in just 39 days, as opposed to six months. 6,700miles per hour is the speed at which a giant air gun will fire objects into space. With a 47-metre-long barrel the aim is to slash the cost of getting spacecraft and supplies into orbit, says Quicklaunch the company developing the gun. $600m a year is the value of goods and services traded in the online virtual community Second Life, a figure which exceeds the GDP of 19 countries. But two virtual retailers are suing Second Life for failing to prevent other retailers from potentially stealing their virtual goods designs and infringing their intellectual property. 4.5times is the increase in your chances of being shot if you carry a gun, according to a study in the US. Although the link may seem obvious, the relationship between gun culture and violence has until now been poorly understood. But the new study also found that carrying a gun increased your chances of being killed by 4.2 times. 10m Swedish Kronor (800,000) is value of the Nobel Prize for Physics to be shared among three scientists for creating tiny semi- conductor light sensors called charge coupled devices, which are vital for digital cameras. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html