The most valuable card you carry in your wallet one day may not be that gold credit card, the ATM card or your health insurance identification - but your driver's license.
WASHINGTON - Face-recognition technology, now being lined up for use in airports, might be capable of finding Osama bin Laden if he showed up at a U.S. airport to catch a flight. But critics say there's no high-tech quick fix that can ferret out the ordinary terrorist from the ranks of millions of Americans on the move - and error rates on the machines are so great it's just as likely to be the innocent traveler who trips off the alarm.
It's colorless, odorless and so practically tasteless that one company boasts it offers "nothing." The alternative is available free practically everywhere. But bottled water has become the boom marketing success of the last decade, with consumers eagerly shelling out more per gallon for designer bottles filled with water than they are spending for a gallon of gasoline.
While a lot of Internet dot-coms are dot-gones, the high-tech industry says that the new economy continued to grow and add jobs last year, but at the slowest rate in five years. The survey conducted by AeA, formerly the American Electronics Association, and the NASDAQ stock exchange, said high-tech companies added almost 240,000 jobs last year, and now account for about 5 percent of U.S. employment. The industry says online retail is suffering but high-tech manufacturing and export is still booming.
Scientists using DNA fingerprinting have proven that drug-resistant "superbugs" are escaping from hog farms into nearby water supplies and becoming part of bacteria that normally operate in the food chain. Researchers say the findings prove that drug-resistant microbes developed in U.S. farm animals can spread in the environment - and potentially to humans, where they cause resistance to drugs.
The milk industry has spent millions of dollars creating the image of a healthy, wholesome beverage for young and old. But how safe really is that pasteurized glass of milk? Preliminary results from an 18-month-long British study has raised troubling new questions by discovering that at least one hardy pathogen survived the pasteurization processes, and was cultured from 2.1 percent of off-the-shelf milk tested.
The number of surfers downloading music from the Internet has doubled to 6 million a day in the last year - and it's not just kids leeching pop music over free sites like Napster. Surveys by the Pew Internet and American Life Project show the number of American adults looking for music files online increased in all age brackets over the last year, with almost a quarter of those aged 30 to 49 with Internet access reporting they have downloaded music files. It's largely a male hobby, the surveys show.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Agriculture Department says it has the ability to produce only "several million" doses of vaccine to deal with any foot-and-mouth outbreak that could infect some of the estimated 200 million cattle, hogs and sheep in the United States. A debate has broken out in expert circles over how scarce supplies of the vaccine should be used. Current federal plans call for using the vaccine only after an outbreak occurs, and then only as a control mechanism to establish a "fence ring" around an infected region.
Only half of the states have emergency plans to deal with exotic animal disease disasters like the foot-and-mouth virus, which recent exercises between the United States, Canada and Mexico showed could spread rapidly before it is detected and quarantines are imposed.
Microbiologists say the strain of foot-and-mouth disease ravaging livestock in the European Union appears to be a far more virulent form of the virus than they have seen before. The United Nations, which tracks outbreaks of the disease, says the foot-and-mouth strain - dubbed Type O PanAsia - was first reported in Cambodia in January 2000. It has infected thousands of animals in 14 countries, including some, such as South Korea, Japan, England and France, that have been free of the disease for several decades.