Robotic bugs, instant water and placid pigs

There are several free events at the American Association for Advancement of Science conference in San Francisco this week. Here's a list of free events at AAAS.

Meanwhile, there's hot news out of snowbound Troy, N.Y. Renssalaer researchers say they've found a way to make instant drinking water. They convert salt water using nanotube membranes

. At Purdue, they're building quieter cows. Their goal is to breed noncompetitive animals. And if it works for livestock, let's move down the food chain to politicians and warlords.

How hot was it in 2006? NASA's data shows it was the fifth hottest year on record. Since 1880 the five hot ones in order: 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006. We may be needing that Renssalaer water.

At MIT, they still have hope for nuclear fusion. More than a Nobel Prize in physics is at stake here. There's hope this could be an energy source for the future.

And my favorite is a new flying mini-robot in France. This little gadget mirrors the behavior of flying insects. So if you aren't satisfied with nature's bugs and bees there may be a robotic bug in your future.

Time for me to buzz off for now.

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