ApharmdB writes "DNA & RNA are the basic building blocks of life. But could there be alternatives? Scientists have created HNA, CeNA, LNA, ANA, FANA and TNA in the lab. That is allowing for exploration of numerous questions such as 'What is the origin of DNA & RNA?' The journal article can be found here." Link to Original Source top
ApharmdB writes "Despite making a big stink that he would veto the bill, Obama has changed his tune and decided to sign the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which contains provisions allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens arrested on American soil. With his planned signing of the bill into law, the only hope left is the courts." Link to Original Source top
Testing the media-A bad science reporting honeypot
ApharmdB writes "Slashdot commentators love them some "correlation!=causation". We also frequently gripe about the poor quality of science reporting by the media. A Guardian blogger from the mathematics department at Queen Mary, University of London has made a honeypot press release to see how bad it can get. (Or maybe to have some fun trolling the media?) The statistic used is the strong link between the number of mobile phone masts in an area and the number of live births. Of course, there is no causal link because they are both instead based on a 3rd variable, the local population size. Slashdot readers can keep on eye on news sources over the weekend to see just how much traction the story gets and watch the train wreck in real-time!" Link to Original Source top
ApharmdB writes "Multiple projects have looked to convert waste plastic back into oil as discussed on Slashdot before here and here. But now the Blest Co. has got a device that fits on a table top. How well do these systems really work? Why haven't they been embraced heavily and employed widely?" Link to Original Source top
ApharmdB writes "Beneath a glacier in Antarctica, scientists have discovered a community of microbes growing in frigid pools of salty water. It's a particularly tough environment, with no light, no oxygen, and extremely cold temperatures. But the microbes appear to live — and thrive — off a combination of iron and sulfur, according to a new study. The result of that strange metabolism is a brilliant red streak of cascading ice called Blood Falls." top
ApharmdB writes "The internet phenomenon known as rickrolling has led to Rick Astley being nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award for "Best Act Ever". He is in competition with U2, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. So with 2 of the 3 other competitors also not really belonging, could he actually win?" top
ApharmdB writes "The plan for a spent nuclear fuel repository at Yucca mountain has been thrown for a loop. The believed known location of a nearby fault line was wrong and it has now been found to run directly under a storage pad in the planned facility. The state of Nevada has long opposed the project on geologic instability grounds (no pun intended), so what will this mean for the future of the facility?"