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Healing Wounds With Diamonds

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the 14-carats-and-23-stiches dept.

Medicine 109

A team at Northwestern University, led by Dean Ho, has discovered that nanodiamonds are a wound's best friend. Insulin is very attracted to nanodiamonds and in addition to regulating blood sugar, insulin can accelerate the healing process and stave off infection in wound sites. Since the tiny diamond can be easily placed in a wound without causing further damage, this is an excellent way to get an increased amount of insulin there as well. From the article, "A substantial amount of insulin can be loaded onto the nanodiamonds, which have a high surface area. The nanodiamond-insulin clusters, by releasing insulin in alkaline wound areas, could accelerate the healing process and decrease the incidence of infection. Ho says this ability to release therapeutics from the nanodiamonds on demand represents an exciting strategy towards enhancing the specificity of wound treatment."

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109 comments

Off color joke... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854013)

I'm sure there's a darn funny off color joke in there about diamonds being a womans best friend... but I'm going to not open up any wounds.

Re:Off color joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854729)

The first phrase that came to my mind was, "Diamonds are a Ho's best friend!"

Re:Off color joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28855823)

Diamonds are a "wound-man"s best friend :)

insulin (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854019)

I've also heard that bodybuilders use insulin to lower their body fat and make them look leaner. Insulin sounds like a pretty sweet drug, and since it doesn't get you high, I think I should be able to get it without a prescription. And yet - I can't.

Re:insulin (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854285)

While it is true that bodybuilders do this - it is also true that it doesn't work.

In a non-diabetic person your body is capable of producing massive amounts of insulin on demand to cover sugar or other carbohydrates. If you want a rush of Insulin then eat a lot of sugar, if your body doesn't cover it keeping your blood-sugar under normal levels, then by definition you are diabetic. If you're a type 1 diabetic like me you already know why you wouldn't want to take Insulin unless you absolutely have to...

Re:insulin (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855829)

Hey, you don't have to have diabetes to enjoy hypoglycemia. There are other conditions that can lead to it. Unfortunately I don't like using the word since it seems to be popular right now. "Oh I'm hungry and feel a bit shaky, I must be hypoglycemic!"

True hypoglycemia, the kind that can be detected by measuring blood sugar, can be very unpleasant and even dangerous.

Having had the joy of experiencing that more than once I do not envy diabetics. It is not some miracle drug, it is part of your body's control systems. Too much or too little are both bad. Applying higher concentrations to specific areas such as wounds may be a good thing, but that doesn't mean increasing the amount in your bloodstream is good. Dosage and delivery matter, a lot.

Re:insulin (2, Interesting)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854337)

Your body already has the right balance of insulin. Periodically injecting it is an incredibly stupid if it's for the sake of vanity. You could end up in the hospital for hypoglycemia. In the long term, you could develop insulin resistance followed by Type II Diabetes.

Re:insulin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854521)

but if you end up totally buff and get to bang hot chicks, it was all worth it.

Re:insulin (4, Informative)

yabos (719499) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854725)

They don't use it to lower body fat. Insulin does one simple thing which is open your cells, both fat and muscle, to glucose. It does this by binding to the cell at the insulin receptor, which causes the cell's internal GLUT-4 protein to come from deep in the cell up to the surface. GLUT-4 opens the gateway for glucose to the cell which will often pull in other things(nutrients, water) along with it. Injecting insulin is not a good thing long term unless you are diabetic. Some body builders end up insulin resistant or diabetic by abusing it. Now the reason that they actually do it is because it's extremely good at what it does which is draw energy into your cells. Insulin is what we call an anabolic hormone and if combined with huge amounts of carbs(usually while on anabolic androgenic steroids as well), your muscles get a lot of glucose which gives you lots of energy, but also enhances growth and recovery if you are training the muscle.

Re:insulin (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859293)

causes the cell's internal GLUT-4 protein to come from deep in the cell. GLUT-4 opens the gateway for glucose to the cell which will often pull in other things

Oh my. If you change the 'G' in GLUT-4 to an 'S' (and make some other minor adjustments) those few sentences sound downright racy...

Re:insulin (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854877)

"I've also heard that bodybuilders use insulin to lower their body fat and make them look leaner. Insulin sounds like a pretty sweet drug, and since it doesn't get you high, I think I should be able to get it without a prescription. And yet - I can't."

I would suggest this [drano.com] as an alternative. You don't need a prescription or anything!!

Why? (2, Insightful)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854031)

The article leaves a lot to be desired. Can anyone explain why it is that insulin's attracted to diamonds, or more specifically, nanodiamonds?

Apart from the "insulin = women" comments we're sure to get, I'm seriously wondering why.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854485)

I suspect that since insulin is a key to sugar/fuel/energy entering a cell then maybe the damaged cells or the worker/recovery cells need more sugar during healing and therefore more insulin.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

cfa22 (1594513) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855687)

The insulin molecule has two patches on its surface that are predominantly hydrophobic (water-hating) that likely help it to stick to the pure-carbon surface of (nano)diamond. The "nano" bit just insures there is a large amount of surface area for insulin to stick to per unit mass of diamond. The investigators only showed that their nanodiamonds can suck up a lot of insulin; they are far from proving their insulin-loaded nanodiamonds are useful for wound-healing. The investigators only speculate that insulin would act as a growth hormone (generally thought to be its minor function; the major function being the transsystem signal for organism-wide glucose homeostasis). They point out the pH in a typical wound could approach 10.5, which would facilitate insulin release from nanodiamonds. (Such increases in alkalinity in beta cells, the pacreatic cells that produce insulin, are thought to trigger its release.) Unfortunately, it might also compromise insulin's ability to dock with its receptor, a necessary requirement for its function (either as a growth hormone or in glucose regulation). Directly injecting insulin into wounds speeds healing (sometimes by 50%) (Zhang et al, J. Surg. Res. 142:90 (2007) link [doi.org]), so it seems like the investigators have a plausible path to follow.

Re:Why? (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860393)

Well you see insulin is allot like women, they can make you weak and pass out into a deep peaceful sleep slumber, but not enough can cause hyperglycemic shock leading to coma and eventually death. Uncanny. On a side note, what's the cost of treatment? I'm assuming this won't be available on the NHS.

bling wound (3, Funny)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854039)

In other news...Debeers has just entered the Health care industry.

Re:bling wound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854287)

I believe the diamonds used are entirely synthetic. I'm afraid the only blood spilled over these diamonds will be your own, which, let's face it, kills the glamour.

Re:bling wound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28855167)

Why not, soon the government will be paying for everything.

the bad news: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854041)

obamacare won't cover it. Let's be honest: medicare/medidaid is going to be huge fucking problem in a few years due to 1) increased spending due to better (and more expensive) health care and 2) increased enrollment due to baby boomers.

The barack obama solution to lowering costs is to... increase the enrollment by giving uninsured (mostly illegal immigrants) "free" healthcare. WTF?

Re:the bad news: (1, Insightful)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854423)

The barack obama solution to lowering costs is to... increase the enrollment by giving uninsured (mostly illegal immigrants) "free" healthcare. WTF?

Those uninsured already get "free" healthcare at the emergency room. Turning someone away until a problem becomes an emergency is more expensive than providing preventative care.

Re:the bad news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854701)

That's not even the main reason why the OP is a big douche bag. There are 51 million people uninsured in the US. Is the original poster saying there are 51 million illegal immigrants in the US as well? Sorry, most uninsured are tax paying Americans. Hell, even illegal immigrants are paying taxes. Also, why are freeways the God given right of the OP and not universal health care? It's about time the US joined the rest of the industrialized world. To reiterate, the OP can go f*ck himself.

Re:the bad news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28860573)

shut the fuck up nigger.

Re:the bad news: (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854641)

Yeah but that's not really important for those of us that live on that small island you may have heard of called "the rest of the world" (you may have seen our flag... it's like yours, but on fire) ... that said, Obama's plans for your health service really don't sound as doom and gloom as your local press makes out, just as our politions plans for us and our health service don't seem as doom and gloom as our local press makes out. So chill out, I'm sure they go through the cost/benefit calculations with a lot more rigour than your gut instinct has.

Good luck (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854045)

Good luck getting your HMO to cover diamonds.

Re:Good luck (1, Troll)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854121)

What does the Harbour Master's Office have to do with this?

Re:Good luck (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854891)

Yeah. What is an HMO? I hear them referenced in American TV shows and commercials all the time. Is it some sort of not-quite-a-doctor, not-exactly-a-pharmacist health care professional or something?

Re:Good luck (3, Informative)

GiMP (10923) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855119)

HMO is "health maintenance organization". Remember, we do not have national medicine in the USA, we instead have medical insurance companies. There are two primary types of plans one can get, an HMO or a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), the difference is in which doctors you can see, how much you pay, and the process through which you must visit specialists.

Re:Good luck (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855965)

Well, have you ever tried getting a Harbour Master to pay for your nanodiamonds? It's damn near impossible. I've tried; all they do is look at you like you're out of your mind or something. They're tighter then a Health Maintenance Organization, even.

Re:Good luck (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860415)

Pretty much the only thing they'll pay for is somewhat-corny kids TV shows involving talking tugboats :D

Get out your wallets... (2, Funny)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854053)

Yay! Now when your GF wants a diamond all she has to is fall and scrape a knee...

Re:Get out your wallets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854709)

Depends on what she's doing when she scrapes her knee....

Re:Get out your wallets... (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854847)

What does the GeschäftsFührung have to do with this?

Re:Get out your wallets... (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854953)

Whether they feel bad enough about the little one on one "coaching" session in the private office to pay for the diamonds... Though she wouldn't need to scrape a knee if the boss was rich enough :D

Oh God... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854055)

Remember when Nelly and a bunch of other Rappers put little bandages on their faces? Now its going to come back... AS BLING...

Re:Oh God... (4, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855053)

Remember when Nelly and a bunch of other Rappers put little bandages on their faces

No. This is slashdot.

Re:Oh God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28861341)

A post on /. saying "This is slashdot" and it's 4, Informative.

Just what kind of drugs are these mods on?

Sparkly Vampires! (1)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854071)

So in the future, we'll all have superhuman healing abilities and sparkle like our skin is covered in millions of diamonds?

Stephanie Meyer: modern day prophet.

Re:Sparkly Vampires! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854265)

So in the future, we'll all have superhuman healing abilities and sparkle like our skin is covered in millions of diamonds?

Stephanie Meyer: modern day prophet.

Look on the bright side. Those of us that refuse to go for this will be almost guaranteed to be allowed to run around with stakes.

Stupid...tablet...trackpad...

Re:Sparkly Vampires! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28860283)

Ah yes, Stephanie Meyer, the first person to ever write about vampires.
Such an inspiring author of the highest quality.

We've known about Diamonds and healing for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854081)

Everyone knows you need a Diamond worth 100gp to raise dead. So how is this news?

Allright! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854099)

At last, I can bling out my internal wounds!

Not only physical wounds (2, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854137)

Diamonds often help to heal love's wounds as well.

Re:Not only physical wounds (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862433)

Diamonds often help to heal love's wounds as well.

It's not quite healing love's wounds so much as bribing your partner to forget the wounds.

Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854317)

I can imagine this being used on band-aids.

How expensive could this treatment be? (2, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854349)

How easy is it to make nano-diamonds anyways? I'm wondering if there's a cheap way to make graphite on the small scale to order themselves like a diamond for at least a short period of time.

Re:How expensive could this treatment be? (2, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855061)

There is a natural supply of nano-diamonds, and I can't imagine nano-diamonds being all that expensive to create.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presolar_grains [wikipedia.org]

The chemical vapor deposition method of producing synthetic diamonds should be able to create nano-diamonds pretty easy I would think.

Re:How expensive could this treatment be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28855467)

I remember a /. article from many moons ago about how scientists in Mexico made nanodiamonds from tequila. Seriously!

Sure this will cost more than can be afforded (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854407)

Big Pharma will price this so high that people that could really benefit from this will only be the rich.

Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (4, Funny)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854457)

Imagine what kind of Health insurance you would have to get for diamond treatment. You would have premiums of 10,000.00 a month.
.
Of course when we all have to go to Government run health care like Canada, we will have to wait in line for 3months for wound treatment and instead of nano-diamonds, we will have to make do with cubic zirconium dust covered in aspirin.
.
Thanks you scientists! It will end up being more effective to pray to Jesus to heal your wounds.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854683)

Why would health care cost increase? If excluding diamond treatment from insurance plans allows health care companies to make more money then it makes business sense not to cover diamond treatment, wouldn't it?

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854715)

Diamonds are priced high by a cartel on supply aren't they? So as long as the cartel gets higher volume sales they should reduce prices. Or we could invade them...

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854857)

There is no reason to use wild diamonds. Perfectly pure diamonds can be manufactured relatively cheaply. These are way better quality and way cheaper than you can find in the wild. Something the cartels don't want people to know about so they can set those artificial prices.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860803)

Mod Parent up! Debeers started the whole "you must have a Massive diamond ring if you want to marry her" thing in the 40s-50s with a Huge advertising campaign, while artificially constricting the supply. If you want Big industrial diamonds for cutting, you can have them made, you don't have to get them from Africa. Also, if you want a huge rock to impress your friends, you can get one made, for a fraction of the price.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28857023)

De Beers Consolidated controlled about 80% of production until a decade ago, now their market power is around 30%, and lots of competition for the remaining share. No cartel.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854809)

Is there any reason this method wouldn't work with (cheaper) synthetic diamonds?

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854853)

Oh, you mean go to Canada where the average level of satisfaction with their government run health care is higher than the US's free market health care? It may not be the absolute best care you can get but at least you won't be dead from not having any care or bankrupt from paying for care. And if you have the means, what's stopping you from paying for better care? The libertarians and conservatives of slashdot need to better inform themselves.

you must not read (1)

Iowan41 (1139959) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860337)

Or else are quite young. Pg 429-430 detail mandatory counseling to get the elderly to kill themselves. Other places tell of how the handicapped will be denied treatment, as will people with chronic illnesses. This program is only good as long as you are young and healthy. After that, they come for you. As to nano-diamonds, they are indeed 'easily' creatable synthetically.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855227)

Imagine what kind of Health insurance you would have to get for diamond treatment. You would have premiums of 10,000.00 a month.

Eh, I don't think so. Industrial-grade diamonds and artificially-created diamonds are not insanely expensive. It's only once you start going with "natural" jewelry-grade diamonds with good clarity/cut/carat that prices start going insane.

Artificially created diamonds are not fakes... they're still diamonds in every sense of the work (chemically and such).

So if you produced these things artificially, and bumped up serious production to meet healthcare needs, the price might actually come down to sane levels when compared with other treatments and medicines.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855423)

Considering that I have reasonably inexpensive cutting tools that are diamond tipped, I would have to guess that either synthetic diamond is relatively cheap and easy to make or that diamond is only prohibitively expensive and rare when in the form of large flawless stones.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855983)

Of course when we all have to go to Government run health care like Canada, we will have to wait in line for 3months for wound treatment and instead of nano-diamonds, we will have to make do with cubic zirconium dust covered in aspirin.

Somehow I doubt that the world's third largest producer of diamonds [www.cbc.ca] would have any trouble with that, even if it were a real issue.

Re:Way to Lower Health Care cost.... (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#28857081)

Of course when we all have to go to Government run health care like Canada, we will have to wait in line for 3months for wound treatment and instead of nano-diamonds, we will have to make do with cubic zirconium dust covered in aspirin.

Don't confuse "American Government Run Care" with "Canadian Government Run Care."

Our system has its problems, but prompt treatment of acute issues isn't one of them. Like any system run by humans we sometimes drop the ball on critical issues, but it is by no means the systematic chaos and inefficiency that a similar system run by the American government would produce.

This is one of the many errors that ideology leads one into: you start to think that the difference between two classes of collective organization (governments vs corporations) somehow magically trumps the far larger difference between specific organizations (the staid, boring, democratic, efficient Canadian government, and the flamboyant, obnoxious, imperial, inefficient American government.)

There's a cream with real diamonds in it (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854517)

You can actually smear diamonds on your face! And it's only $400 a tub! That's, like, what, like, a million diamonds for $400? A million bleeping diamonds!

Make you look nice, too: http://the-op.com/images/episode/202/tobias-glitter_sm.jpg [the-op.com]

Appalogies to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrested_Development_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]

Re:There's a cream with real diamonds in it (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854667)

You can actually smear diamonds on your face! And it's only $400 a tub! That's, like, what, like, a million diamonds for $400? A million bleeping diamonds!

Make you look nice, too:

I guess that's better than a pearl necklace....

This has been known for years (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854567)

Using a sufficiently large diamond, the emotional pain caused by one's infidelity discovered by one's wife can be cured. And, given the volatility of said wife, it can simultaneously work to prevent the physical pain of being hit with a lamp.

Re:This has been known for years (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#28854833)

Just ask Kobe Bryant. In fact, I believe the severity of infidelities can be directly measured by the cost of the bling required to shut the "injured party" up. Kobe committed a four million dollar fuckup... shouldn't Guiness give him at least an honorable mention?

Re:This has been known for years (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855851)

Being a female, I certainly would have to disagree with this. There is no diamond big enough in the world that would convince me to forgive a cheating husband. But a good Diamond Saw blade will take care of that situation real quick.

Why diamonds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28854643)

So if the point is to attract more insulin to the area using nano-diamonds, why not skip the whole diamond step and create an insulin oitment or topical application that essentially does the same thing?

How do you remove them afterwards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28855523)

Once the healing process was complete, how would one get these nano diamonds out of oneself? Do they remain in your skin attracting clusters of insulin in perpetuity? What happens when they enter your blood stream and travel to various organs?

Twilight Vampire Skin (1)

cdpage (1172729) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855759)

perhaps this explains the vampire skin in Twilight?

diamonds in/on there skin stop them burning up in the sun.... ;)

Re:Twilight Vampire Skin (2, Funny)

gt6062b (1548011) | more than 4 years ago | (#28856569)

Almost - until you realize that the vampires in Twilight ARE diamonds. They're tough to break They sparkle They're cold And the emotionally unstable lead female in the "story" will do anything for them.

Bond, you know the rest... (1)

paulo.ortolan (1367447) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855973)

Just remembered me that: "Diamonds are forever!" and ever! Imagine in a nuclear holocaust: Diamonds will survive...

Diamonds heal all wounds (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28855981)

I'm sure I can throw a rock and hit at least a dozen women who will swear on a stack of bibles that diamonds are capable of healing any and all wounds!

Pansement de diamant (1)

jet_silver (27654) | more than 4 years ago | (#28857685)

"A dressing of diamond" - it's a poem by a crazy French woman, who was jailed for anarchist agitation IIRC and wound up dying in jail. She had probably never thought of this; kind of sad.

It is a bit hard to believe ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28858473)

that there is no better way to administer insulin to a wound.

Nano-anything is likely to have side-effects. After all, the hourly death rates and admissions to ERs is related to the concentration of sub-micron particulates in the air.

Gives a whole new meaning... (1)

Kuxman (876286) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861643)

To the phrase: Blood Diamond Thank you, thank you... I'll be here all night

Effect on kidneys and blood vessels? (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 4 years ago | (#28863161)

I cannot help wonder what happens if these diamond particles get into your blood flow though. Even though they are stated to be "nano-size", any chance they might get stuck in the nephrons in the kidneys, or capillary blood vessels around the body? I mean, usually the stuff you get into your blood stream are macro-mo

Re:Effect on kidneys and blood vessels? (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 4 years ago | (#28863169)

Sorry, the half sentence my previous post finished with came due me continuing to type after clicking the preview button. When the preview came, I took it for granted the change was lost and decided to just go with my original post. Apparently the field was just hidden...
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