Friday, November 7, 2008

Achilles' Heel Of Pancreatic Cancer Discovered

ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2008) — UC Davis Cancer Center researchers have discovered a metabolic deficiency in pancreatic cancer cells that can be used to slow the progress of the deadliest of all cancers.

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by Thomas Ricker, posted Nov 7th 2008 at 6:26AM

If you haven't figured it out by now, Microsoft has two release dates for Windows 7early 2010 according to its corporate PR stooges and sometime around mid 2009 according to everyone else. The reason for the padding is a fairly transparent attempt to avoid the public opinion fiasco resulting from Vista's chronic delays. Now Ina Fried over at CNET has it from Microsoft Director, Doug Howe, that Windows 7 should be ready for general consumption by the 2009 holidays. According to Fried, Howe's WinHEC presentation covering Microsoft's Velocity program to improve PC quality seemed to imply a mid-year Win7 launch after a slide said that the Vista Velocity program would run through next spring and then continue with Windows 7. Afterward, in an apparent direct response to the launch date question, Howe told Fried, "Definitely the holiday focus is going to be on 7." Using the Vista launch as a guide, that would put the new OS in the hands of OEMs and big business IT staff by mid-year, about 3-months before consumers if Vista's timeline holds true. This also aligns nicely with Microsoft's stated plan to launch the public beta early next year followed by a hinted, single release candidate prior to release for manufacturing. So go ahead, just make it official already Microsoft. You had us at pre-Beta.

Bobby Kennedy to head EPA?

Robert F. Kenndy, Jr.Just who Barak Obama will choose to fill is cabinet is the talk of the town at the moment. There has been a lot of wild speculation but one of the hottest rumors is that he will tapRobert F. Kennedy Jr. to serve ashead of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bobby Kennedy is a real tree hugger. I remember listening to his shows onAir America Radio and he was even a little too liberal for me. If Obama were to choose him to fill this cabinet seat, it would be the first time that a real "greenie" would be in charge of protecting the environment which would please many of the liberal constituents. It would also please a few of the democrat big wigs like Ted Kennedy and Clinton.

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, currently heads Riverkeeper which advocates for a cleaner water supply in New York. He seems to be a good fit for the area of the government in charge of keeping our country's waters safe. We'll just have to wait and see what Obama decides to do.

[via: Matter Network]

House in a greenhouse - Would you move in?

Ever wanted to live in a greenhouse? Swedish architect Bengt Warne was ahead of the curve when he started designing the Naturhus (or Nature House) way back in 1976 as the idea is really starting to catch on. Originally intended to extend the summer growing season farther into the Scandinavian fall and winter, the "house within a greenhouse" idea works well for eco-living because it not only helps the family living inside to grow more of their own food but it also reduces energy use. 

What do you think? I think it's sounds like a great idea in theory, but in reality greenhouses are usually muggy and stifling places and the idea of living inside of one 24/7 is not appealing.

Purple genetically modified tomatoes are extra "good" and extra creepy

Purple genetically modified tomatoesThis story about genetically modified tomatoes rang all kinds of alarm bells for me. 

English scientists modified tomatoes by adding two snapdragon genes that make them able to express anthocyanin, the pigment that makes blackberries and cranberries -- and now these tomatoes -- purple.

Anthocyanins are also believed to help protect against all kinds of ailments, like cancer and heart disease, and it may reduce inflammation, obesity and diabetes. 

Wow, sounds like a naturally occurring wonder drug, and the scientists recommend that we should all eat lots of blackberries and cranberries, right? Wrong.

Rather than get people to change their eating habits, the researchers are trying to enhance the foods that people already eat. Like tomatoes. 

The part that really creeped me out is that they tested the efficacy of the genetically modified tomatoes on genetically modified mice. Sure, the mice lived longer, but what does that actually prove? It's all Frankenstein data!

Am I over reacting? Are genetically modfied foods just good science, or a dangerously over-engineered solution to our lazy diets? 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Smog of '48 was a killer

The small town of Donora, PAAs bad as pollution seems these days, since the industrial revolution we've managed to befoul the air in all kinds of ways. 

Back in 1948, a freak weather condition created a "air lid" over the mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, trapping the sulfuric acid, nitrogen dioxide and fluorine emitted by the local zinc and steel plants. A five day-long poisonous smog descended on the town, killing 20 people and making nearly half of the inhabitants sick.

The town was understandably reluctant to publicize this tragedy, but it received national coverage. The silver lining is that some of the first pollution laws were created because of the Donora smog, including the Clean Air Act of 1970.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the smog, the Donora Smog Museum was opened to display photographs, newspapers and studies about the smog. They are also collecting oral histories about the week, with the hope that we can learn from the lessons of the past to deal with our current pollution problems.

Microsoft Begs Hardware Makers To Take Support Seriously

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday November 05, @11:32PM

from the cry-me-a-river dept.
Banana ricotta pancakes writes"Microsoft has confirmed that there will be a widespread public beta of Windows 7 in early 2009, while urging device manufacturers to start immediate testing with its pre-beta release to avoid the widespread hardware compatibility problems that contributed so much to the negative perception of Vista. 'There is not another WinHEC planned before Windows 7 is released,' Microsoft has warned them. Better hope that testing goes well."

US Army To Push X-Files Tech Development

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday November 05, @08:20PM

from the the-truth-is-out-there dept.
The MilitaryUnited StatesTechnology
An anonymous reader writes"The US Army is ramping up the development of technology right out of the X-Files; 'making science fiction into reality' as Dr. John Parmentola — Director of their Research and Laboratory Management — puts it. The list of things currently in the works is amazing: regenerating body parts on 'nano-scaffolding,' telepathy through electronic impulses in the scalp, and self-aware virtual photorealistic soldiers that can be deployed in the battlefield through 'quantum ghost imaging.' To test these they want to use them into a massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft or Eve online."
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  • makelovenotwar
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  • iwanttobelieve
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2008 Sees Fifth Largest Ozone Hole

ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2008) — The ozone hole over Antarctica, which fluctuates in response to temperature and sunlight, grew to the size of North America in a one-day maximum in September that was the fifth largest on record, since NOAA satellite records began in 1979.

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Blizzard Sued By South Carolina Inmate

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday November 05, @01:46PM

from the they-don't-come-much-more-zany-than-this dept.
Role Playing (Games)It's funny.  Laugh.
Benjamin Duranske writes"Jonathan Lee Riches, an inmate in South Carolina famous for filing long, handwritten, rambling screeds against celebrities, politicians, and even buildings, has filed a third-party motion in Federal Court in Arizona in the MDY v. Blizzard botting case claiming that Blizzard's World of Warcraft 'caused Riches mind to live in a virtual universe, where Riches explored the landscape committing identity theft and fighting cybermonster rival hacker gangs. Riches was addicted to video games and lost touch with reality because of defendants. This caused Riches to commit fraud to buy defendants video games. Riches chose World of Warcraft over working a legit job, Riches mind became a living video game.'"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Neat Fountain

Ever get a tune stick in your head?

Have you ever had a tune stuck in your head and could not remember the name?  Check out this site.  It looks like it allows you to sing or him the tune and trys to figure out what you are singing.  Pretty Cool

Drug Mimics Low-cal Diet To Ward Off Weight Gain, Boost Running Endurance

ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2008) — A drug designed to specifically hit a protein linked to the life-extending benefits of a meager diet can essentially trick the body into believing food is scarce even when it isn't, suggests a new report in the November Cell Metabolism.

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Light Weight Hydrogen 'Tank' Could Fuel Hydrogen Economy

ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2008) — Dutch-sponsored researcher Robin Gremaud has shown that an alloy of the metals magnesium, titanium and nickel is excellent at absorbing hydrogen. This light alloy brings us a step closer to the everyday use of hydrogen as a source of fuel for powering vehicles. A hydrogen ‘tank’ using this alloy would have a relative weight that is sixty percent less than a battery pack.

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Microsoft Discontinues Windows 3.X

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday November 05, @01:49AM

from the an-application-has-expectedly-quit dept.
rugatero writes"The BBC reports that, as of last Saturday, Microsoft is no longer issuing licenses for the 18-year-old Windows 3.x. Many here may well be surprised to learn that anyone still has use for the antiquated software, but it seems to have found a home in a number of embedded systems — including cash registers and the in-flight entertainment systems on some long-haul passenger jets (Virgin and Qantas are cited). Considering Linux's credentials as an embedded OS, this news could very well indicate the possibility of more migrations in the pipeline."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monster comeback: Scientists want to clone a woolly mammoth

This isn't the first time I've vented on Green Daily about how much it sucks that stupid earlier generations killed off awesome animals like the buffalo -- or super animals. Now, scientists in Japan's Riken institute are working on a way to bring species, no matter how far gone -- even super beasts like the Woolly Mammoth. That's right, after producing a mouse from a cell that had been frozen for 16 years, scientists think they've got what it takes to clone a mammoth.

In order to complete the mission, scientists will have to successfully implant a mammoth nucleus into the egg of an elephant, then implant the egg into an elephant's uterus. Give it a few months, then --whammy! -- you've got the first woolly mammoth to walk the earth in about 3,700 years. Scientists think that the specimen would even be able to breed (based on the clone mouse). 

Doesn't it seem absurd that we might be able to successfully restore a species that has been extinct for thousands of years, yet when it comes to species on the planet today, we can hardly manage to keep them from hurdling to extinction?

Experimental Magnetic Shield Against Cosmic Rays

Posted by timothy on Tuesday November 04, @01:06PM

from the but-not-against-hyperbole dept.
stiller writes"British scientists from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have developed an experimental set-up in which a $20 magnet is used to deflect solar-wind-like radiation."Reader Dersaidin points out a slightly more enthusiastic article at Universe Today which emphasizes the possibilities of systems based on this phenomenon to protect astronauts during solar storms, writing"It's a good start. Hopefully, later versions will be able to protect spaceships from energy weapons. A beam from the LHC can melt a 500kg block of copper. Shields, check. Energy weapons, check. Now we just need a viable interstellar drive, and an energy source to power it all."

New Type Of Diesel Fuel Found In Patagonia Fungus

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2008) — A team led by a Montana State University professor has found a fungus that produces a new type of diesel fuel, which they say holds great promise. Calling the fungus' output "myco-diesel," Gary Strobel and his collaborators describe their initial observations in the November issue of Microbiology.

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Consuming Even Small Amounts Of Caffeine When Pregnant May Affect Growth Of Unborn Child

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2008) — Consuming caffeine at any time during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction (low birth weight), according to research published on the British Medical Journal website.

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Protect Your Vote: Avoid Election Machine Errors

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2008) — Of all the conceivable problems that could lead to a miscount Election Day, there's one possibility that voters can do something about – avoid making election machine-related errors, says a University of Maryland researcher who led a comprehensive study of voter problems using touch screen and paper-based machines.

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Precipitation Levels May Be Associated With Autism

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2008) — Children living in counties with higher levels of annual precipitation appear more likely to have higher prevalence rates of autism, according to a new report. The results raise the possibility that an environmental trigger for autism may be associated with precipitation and may affect genetically vulnerable children.

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Roads Bring Death And Fear To Forest Elephants

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2008) — Why did the elephant cross the road? It didn't according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Save the Elephants that says endangered forest elephants are avoiding roadways at all costs. The authors of the study believe that these highly intelligent animals now associate roads with danger – in this case poaching, which is rampant in Central Africa's Congo Basin.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Carbon nanotubes could be used in film-like flat speakers

by Darren Murph, posted Nov 4th 2008 at 5:20AM

Seriously, is there anything carbon nanotubes can't do? We've got shock absorbersflexible displays, atypically small eating utensils and now, film-like speakers. For times when NXT flat drivers simply aren't thin enough, a team of Chinese researchers have reportedly found a way to create sound from a thin sheet of carbon nanotubes. The film, which could be stretched and placed on PMPs, HDTVs or even clothing, can generate sound when "zapped with a varying electric current." Great, the perfect recipe for a new wave of Milli Vanilli copycats. A video of the tech can be seen after the jump.

[Via Physorg]

Anonymous Anger Rampant On the Web

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday November 03, @12:15PM

from the oh-now-this-too dept.
PrivacyThe Internet
the4thdimension writes"In a story that may bring out the "duh" in you, CNN is a story about how anonymous anger is rampant on the Internet. Citing various reasons, it attempts to explain why sites like MyBiggestComplaint and Just Rage exist and why anger via the web seems to be everywhere. Various reasons include: anonymity, lack of rules, and lack of immediate consequences. Whatever the reason, they describe that online anger has resulted in real-life violence and suggest methods for parents and teens to cope with e-aggression and to learn to be aware of it."I can't figure out what makes me angrier: my habit of anonymously trolling web forums, or my video game playing.