Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sea Squirt Offers Hope for Alzheimer's Sufferers

ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2010) — Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 27 million people worldwide. It is the most common form of age-related dementia, possibly the most feared disease of old age. There is no cure, and the available drugs only help to relieve symptoms without slowing progression of the disease. One of the characteristic changes in the brains of Alzheimer's patients is the accumulation of plaques and tangles; currently, the best hope for curing or at least slowing the disease lies in developing drugs that target this buildup. Some drugs are already in clinical trials, but there is still a pressing need for more research, and for more and better drugs directed against both known and novel targets.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chilean Quake Likely Shifted Earth’s Axis, NASA Scientist Says

By Alex Morales

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- The earthquake that killed more than 700 people in Chile on Feb. 27 probably shifted the Earth’s axis and shortened the day, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist said.

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DIY: Build Your Own 40 Display Setup

Posted on Mar 2, 10 08:39 AM PDT

DIY: Build Your Own 40 Display Setup

If you think you’ve got one of the coolest monitor setups in town, you’ll want to take a look at this jaw-dropping 40-monitor setup. While the initial idea was to set up 60 monitors, consisting of a mix of 19-inch and 24-inch monitors, but in the end the maker settled for 40 units of 24-inch monitors. 6 computers power the whole setup, and they’re powered by Intel’s Core i7 975 processors, 24GB of DDR3 memory, two SLC SSDs in RAID0 configuration, not to mention some NVIDIA NVS 420s and NVIDIA 9800GTs. In case you’re wondering what this is all for, it’s supposedly used for “intraday trading and development”, but you would be forgiven for thinking that it was the brain of a robot planning to take over planet Earth, after all, why would you see such a cool setup for mundane tasks, right?

An Exercise To Model a "Solar Radiation Katrina"

Posted by kdawson on Monday March 01, @08:17AM
from the transformer-fires dept.
Hugh Pickens writes in with an update on the warnings we discussed a year back about the dangers of a "solar Katrina." Now NPR is reporting on a tabletop exercise mounted in Boulder, Colorado by government workers attempting to model the effects of a worst-case solar electromagnetic storm." exercise held in Boulder, Colorado, has investigated what might happen if the Earth were struck by a solar storm as intense as the huge storms that occurred in 1921 and 1859— a sort of solar Katrina — and researchers found that the impact is likely to be far worse than in previous solar storms because of our growing dependence on satellites and other electronic devices that are vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation. 'In many ways, the impact of a major solar storm resembles that of a hurricane or an earthquake,' says FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, except that a solar Katrina would cause damage in a much larger area — power could be knocked out almost simultaneously in countries from Sweden to Canada and the US. In the exercise, the first sign of trouble came when radiation began disrupting radio signals and GPS devices, says Tom Bogdan, who directs the Space Weather Prediction Center. Ten or 20 minutes later electrically charged particles 'basically took out' most of the commercial satellites that transmit telephone conversations, TV shows, and huge amounts of data we depend on in our daily lives. But the worst damage came nearly a day later, when the solar storm began to induce electrical currents in high voltage power lines strong enough to destroy transformers around the globe, leaving millions of people in northern latitudes without power."