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Ohio Prison Shows Pirated Movies To Inmates

drunken_boxer777 Could have been... (186 comments)

Steve Buscemi did an interview about a location shoot at a prison. He remarked that the warden even gave permission for some of the inmates to be extras. Steve said that the prisoners were all excited to meet him and they all told him that Con Air was there favorite movie, Garland Greene was their favorite character, and that Con Air was shown fairly often on movie night. He expressed his disbelief that they'd ever show that in a prison.

about 4 months ago

XPrize Pulls Plug On $10 Million Genomics Competition

drunken_boxer777 Cancelled because winning was a possibility? (36 comments)

According to the TFA, the prize was cancelled because advances in technology have enabled teams to actually win. Hmm...

1. Hold contest to motivate scientists to achieve technological leaps
2. Cancel contest when winning is inevitable
3. Profit!

1 year,21 days

Open Source Mapping Software Shows Every Traffic Death On Earth

drunken_boxer777 Nigeria: 33.7 deaths / 100k (322 comments)

From TFA:

In a surprising number of countries, not knowing how to drive is no hindrance to obtaining a driver’s license or getting behind the wheel. In Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Commission only recently made it compulsory for new drivers to take driving lessons and pass a test before obtaining a license; in the past you could simply buy a license.

The free market at work!

1 year,27 days

Uncle Sam Finally Wants To Hear From Us On Digital Copyright Law?

drunken_boxer777 Re:Suggestion List (183 comments)

Exactly. If a life saving drug can only have 20 years of patent protection, why would a mashup novel of Jane Austen and zombie pulp be entitled to 70+ years of copyright protection? Is it because the life saving drug is essential to the general well-being of society and the novel is not? If so, then the novel does not need such lengthy protection since it clearly is not as important.

*I realize we are comparing patents and copyright, but I don't see a reason not to look broadly when determining what a reasonable length of protection is for a creation, whether a technological invention or a created work.

1 year,29 days

Hollywood's Love of Analytics Couldn't Prevent Six Massive Blockbuster Flops

drunken_boxer777 Re:Better plots? (1029 comments)

It bombed because William Randolph Hearst, who Kane was based on, was irate over the movie. He was able to keep it out of a large number of theaters.

Source: The Criterion Collection edition of Citizen Kane has an amazing documentary about the movie.

about a year ago

Industrious Dad Finds the Genetic Culprit To His Daughters Mysterious Disease

drunken_boxer777 Re:wait, what? (204 comments)

This has been possible for decades. Short and simplified answer to "how":

1. Put the gene of interest (e.g., Bea's variant) into mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) in place of the "normal" (wild type) allele.*
2. Make a female mouse super-ovulate and harvest eggs.
3. Transfer nucleus of engineered mESCs into denucleated eggs.
4. Allow re-nucleated eggs to undergo initial cleavage events in vitro. (These are effectively clones, but with one genetic change.)
5. Take best developing clones and implant into pseudo-pregnant female, ala IVF.
6. Profit!

*In the case of a knock-in (adding or replacing a gene), you need to use vectors that will insert in place of an existing "normal" gene, "knocking in" a mutant or variant. In the case of a knock out, you can either make a copy that doesn't transcribe into mRNA or just use the flanking DNA sequences without the gene you want to remove.

about a year ago

Industrious Dad Finds the Genetic Culprit To His Daughters Mysterious Disease

drunken_boxer777 Re:Origin (204 comments)

The "anti-science, reactionary attitude" must be a part of human nature. Early examples include Icarus, Prometheus, the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, etc. We seems to love cautionary tales, and somehow an achievement or advancement based on science or engineering (sometimes indistinguishable from magic) is at the heart of many of them. They stem from asking, "What if someone could do this, or have this power?" For some reason, thoughts turn negative such that the outcome must be bad, because it can't always be good. Right?

As for the the heroes relying more on strength than intellect, that is interesting. Perhaps nerds like them because they think, "I am already smart, so if I were strong as well I'd be a real hero." Or maybe, they think about how bigger stronger bullies use strength, against which their intellect usually does little good, and project that in a role-reversing fashion.

Anyway, you raise interesting points about archetypes in literature spanning millenia.

about a year ago

Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood

drunken_boxer777 Re:Half life of DNA is 521 years... (190 comments)

The half life of all DNA is 521 years. What kind of 2-bit "scientists" are these that think they can clone an animal that died 10,000 years ago?

If you read your own reference, you will see that the researchers believe they could recover sequences as old as 1.5 million years. Granted, "sequence" is not the same as "genome", but "10,000 years" is not the same as "500,000 years" (current record). So this seems reasonable to carry out.

Remember, in this case a half life denotes whole vs. broken sequences. You don't need unbroken DNA to sequence it. Remember, one of the first things they will do with the fragmented DNA is create a library, so they will have a renewable supply of every recoverable fragment.

about a year ago

Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood

drunken_boxer777 Hunting for science! (190 comments)

There is obviously some money for the research, and a zoo would bring in enough revenue to help offset research costs, but how much do you think someone might bid to be the first person in 10,000 years to hunt and kill a woolly mammoth? $20M? $50M? That would go a long way in funding further research. Even better: to do so with stone age weapons.

The contract could stipulate that the researchers still own the carcass, and therefore could profit from auctioning the hide or the ivory. Of course, it would be a long time after cloning until such an endeavor was even worthwhile.

about a year ago

Transfusions Reverse Aging Effects On Hearts In Mice

drunken_boxer777 6 years? Not really. (130 comments)

Human applications are expected within six years.

Ha ha ha no. Sure, perhaps 6 years until the first Phase II clinical trials report safety and proof of concept efficacy. But 6 years until you can go to a clinic and have this done? No way. Drug development takes about a decade.

But this does sound like an interesting approach.

about a year ago

BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying

drunken_boxer777 Cmdr Taco, is that you? (564 comments)

Did he hire Cmdr Taco to perform his market research?

about a year ago

House Judiciary Chairman Plans Comprehensive Review of US Copyright Law

drunken_boxer777 Re:What does "comprehensive" mean? (142 comments)

What he is saying is that they will review all of copyright law, from infringement to fair use, to length of copyright and ownership. All aspects will be reviewed, within the context of modern technology.

There is no direct mention of what he believes or what he might recommend for revisions.

about a year ago

Coelacanth Genome Sequenced

drunken_boxer777 Re:How do they measure that? (82 comments)

I don't know how strong your biology, specifically genetics, background is, but they do explain how they established the rate of change (the second paragraph under the heading "The slowly evolving coelacanth"). I will try to keep my explanation of that second paragraph succinct and simplified, so it might not satisfy your curiosity. But, you can also consult the methods, which are in a linked PDF document (bottom of page 8, through to page 10).

Due to random copying errors during DNA replication, a base pair substitution can occur in a gene. The rate at which these substitutions occurs in a population is relatively fixed, and low. These mutations accumulate over time in a population. If you compare the sequence differences between two species you can estimate how long ago they diverged based on the mutation rate.

The authors compared the degree of difference between the coelacanth genome and the genomes of three cartilaginous fishes. They did the same for the lungfish, chicken, and mammalian genomes. Now look at Figure 1. The ancestor of the coelacanth, lungfish, chicken, and mammals diverged from the ancestor of the cartilaginous fishes at the same time. Therefore, if the coelacanth et al. genomes evolved at the same rate, the degree of difference from the genomes of the cartilaginous fishes should be the same. It is not: the rate of divergence is lower for the coelacanth.

about a year ago

TSA Says Screening Drinks Purchased Inside Airport Terminal Is Nothing New

drunken_boxer777 Re:non-toxic? (427 comments)

I wholeheartedly agree.

I also look at it this way: Politicians, and certainly quite a few of our citizens, are willing to send troops and national guardsmen overseas to fight and die, willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom. However, why can't the citizenry do the same (potentially sacrifice their lives through fewer security measures at airports) in exchange for freedom (no invasion of privacy by backscatter, TSA, restrictions on liquids, etc)?

about 2 years ago

ACLU Questions Privacy of License Plate Scanners

drunken_boxer777 Re:Where is the line? (246 comments)

Reminds me of "The Adventure of the Red Headed League". Any chance you lived above a bank? :)

more than 2 years ago

FDA Wins Right To Regulate Adult Stem-Cell Treatments

drunken_boxer777 Re:It's about time (216 comments)

Good point. Stem cell biology is complex, and not just because I, or a legitimate authority, says so. But some people don't want to believe that is the case, or think they are knowledgeable enough to review all the information and decide for themselves.

I think the same mentality is at play with nuclear power plants. People think they have enough information to make an informed decision about whether a reactor should be built in their neighborhood, but that is not likely to be the case.

I don't think people should blindly submit to the authority of scientists or experts, but any well-educated person knows when they don't know enough.

As an aside, don't get me started on the anti-vaccine crowd. Sadly, ironically, and for our benefit, their genes don't always get passed on more than a generation.

more than 2 years ago

FDA Wins Right To Regulate Adult Stem-Cell Treatments

drunken_boxer777 Re:It's about time (216 comments)

Hmm. I am going to have to dig through some of the citations in that Wikipedia article. I am a bit skeptical, but need to see the science behind it to know how legit it is. Unfortunately, much of what I saw in the article seemed more like results from case studies rather than randomized trials.

Thanks for the background.

more than 2 years ago

FDA Wins Right To Regulate Adult Stem-Cell Treatments

drunken_boxer777 Re:It's about time (216 comments)

a very high potential of actually rebuilding the cartilage

Citation needed.

I have a PhD in developmental biology (closely related to stem cell biology). I effectively work in the pharmaceutical industry. If it had been demonstrated that simply extracting, concentrating, and injecting stem cells actually rebuilt cartilage, you would see many legit biotech companies running this through the regulatory process as fast as possible. But you don't.

Also, if you talk to any physician, FDA staffer, or pharma worker, you will realize there is a necessity to balance efficacy versus safety. Any treatment for a lethal condition is granted far more leeway in safety profile and adverse events by the FDA, physicians, and patients than a non-lethal condition. Joint pain is non-lethal. Untested therapies, like stem cell therapy, are unwarranted in treating joint pain: the unknown potential for serious problem (cancer) is not offset by the upside of successful treatment. In cancer, you have compassionate use programs that allow drugs to be used on types of cancer they've never been tested in. Why? Because the upside (living) outweighs all the horrible side effects these drugs typically have.

Don't get me wrong, opioids are a real problem. Joint pain can be debilitating. But is curing it worth risking cancer or some unknown serious adverse event? Well, to reasonably answer that question we need to conduct clinical trials to determine the efficacy of the treatment and the type, severity, and frequency of adverse events.

But until there is any scientific proof that this procedure works, it is best if the average person does not have access to it.

*I am very hopeful about the promise of stem cells, but believe they should be tested properly.

more than 2 years ago

FDA Wins Right To Regulate Adult Stem-Cell Treatments

drunken_boxer777 It's about time (216 comments)

But perhaps it is too little too late. There are dozens, if not hundrends of these clinics set up outside the US. Many are in Asia or islands in the Caribbean/Atlantic. Who knows how many people have been defrauded.

On the other hand, some of these shops might have reason to believe that stem cells only need to be extracted and applied to do their work. Jenner's small pox "vaccine" was just ground up scabs that he rubbed into a cut that he made in the patient's arm. Ridiculously crude by today's standards. But it worked. So perhaps (in their minds) some of these stem cell treatments could have merit.

But I don't think that is likely the case. Applied stem cell biology is quite complex, particularly since the body tries to keep stem cells from becoming cancer. In humans, it is more of an issue because we reproduce relatively later in life and rear our young for far longer than most animals. In other creatures, like newts, it is less of an issue and they can regenerate entire limbs.

Nearly all of these companies are probably well aware of how unlikely it is their treatment will help anyone, but can't say no to the truckloads of money. They don't want to perform the science that will lead to stem cell cures, and go after the crude "Jenner" method. The problem is that medical science has advanced significantly since the 18th century and conditions like joint pain don't exactly warrant unproven treatments in the same way that certain cancers might.

I, for one, look forward to the FDA shutting these operations down.

more than 2 years ago

Fighting the iCrime Wave

drunken_boxer777 Re:Bullshit statistic (170 comments)

Even though crime in NYC is down, it's not a matter of victims carrying more valuables: thieves are targeting iPhones. For at least the past two years, the NYPD has publicly stated that thieves are targeting iPhones. These aren't random; they wait and watch. When someone walks by talking on an iPhone they charge at them from behind, knock them over, grab the dropped phone and run. I know someone who had this happen in broad daylight. I saw it happen to someone in broad daylight.

I think it was two years ago that the NYPD advised people to keep their phones hidden and replace the iconic white earbuds. You can imagine how that went over with the fanboys.

more than 2 years ago



Human stem cells used to heal mouse brains

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  about a year ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a method to guide human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation to heal damaged mouse brains. Not only were the hESC-derived neurons capable of forming synaptic connections, they were able to correct memory and learning deficits. The article has a paywall (abstract here), but a well-written summary can be found here.

Cue the Pinky and the Brain jokes..."

Twitter valued at $1 Billion

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

drunken_boxer777 writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that a proposed $100 million investment puts the value of Twitter at $1 billion. Despite the fact that Twitter has "yet to generate more than a trickle of revenue", this investment will allow the company "more time to figure out its business model". Given that many users are one-tweet wonders, does Twitter stand a chance at an actual revenue stream, ala Facebook, or without a coherent business plan will it go the way of MySpace?"
Link to Original Source

How a Team of Geeks Cracked the Spy Trade

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  about 5 years ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "The Wall Street Journal has a fairly lengthy and interesting article on a small tech company that is making the CIA, Pentagon, and FBI take notice:

One of the latest entrants into the government spy-services marketplace, Palantir Technologies has designed what many intelligence analysts say is the most effective tool to date to investigate terrorist networks. The software's main advance is a user-friendly search tool that can scan multiple data sources at once, something previous search tools couldn't do. That means an analyst who is following a tip about a planned terror attack, for example, can more quickly and easily unearth connections among suspects, money transfers, phone calls and previous attacks around the globe.

And yes, their company name is a reference to what you think it is."
Link to Original Source


Non-invasive Brain Surgery

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  about 5 years ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "

A team of researchers working at the MR-Center of the University Children's Hospital in Zürich has completed a pilot study using transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat 10 patients with neuropathic pain. "This research demonstrates that transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound can be used non-invasively to produce small thermal ablations with extreme precision and accuracy deep in the brain," comments Neal Kassell, M.D. The preliminary results in these patients are consistent with conventional therapy — radiofrequency ablation — which is an invasive procedure and involves making an incision in the scalp, drilling a hole in the skull, inserting an electrode through normal brain tissue into the thalamus, and using radiofrequency to create the lesion.

I'm pretty sure I've seen this on Star Trek..."
Link to Original Source


'Owning' Digital Books

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "The Wall Street Journal has a story today about what it means to 'own' an e-book. While there is nothing new here (except perhaps quotes from industry and the EFF), it is nice to see this problem being reported in more mainstream media.

Buying electronic books on the Internet is easy — but so is taking them away. That became clear last week when Inc. used its wireless technology to reach into customers' Kindle e-readers and deleted some e-books written by George Orwell. Amazon, which returned the cost of the e-books, said it made the move when it realized that the publisher didn't have the proper rights to sell the book in the U.S. That didn't satisfy Antoine J. Bruguier, a 28-year-old engineer in Milpitas Calif., who was stunned to find his copy of "Nineteen Eighty Four" missing from his Kindle.

Note: Unfortunately, subscription required to view the article. Maybe, in light of the problems with e-books and electronic content, it's worth reading a paper copy?"
Link to Original Source


Six men endure 105-day Mars flight simulator

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "

[S]ix men emerged from a metal hatch after 105 days of isolation in a mock spacecraft, still smiling after testing the stresses that space travelers may face on the journey to Mars. They had no television or Internet and their only link to the outside world was communications with the experiment's controllers — who also monitored them via TV cameras — and an internal e-mail system. Communications with the outside world had 20-minute delays to imitate a real space flight.


Link to Original Source

Supreme Court won't hear case on DVR storage

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "The Supreme Court will not hear arguments as to whether Cablevision Systems Corp's remote-storage DVR violates copyright laws.

Hollywood studios and television networks lost their bid Monday for the Supreme Court to block the use of a new digital video recorder system that could make it cheaper and easier for viewers to record shows and watch them when they want, without commercials.

Here's to everything on-demand!"
Link to Original Source


Watson claims blacks not as intellectual as whites

drunken_boxer777 drunken_boxer777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "In a book to be published next week and in a recent speech in London, James Watson (who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for medicine for the discovery of the structure of DNA) expressed the idea that blacks do not share "equal powers of reason" with whites:

"There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so."
From the article:

[H]e said Western policies towards African countries were wrongly based on an assumption that black people were as clever as their white counterparts when "testing" suggested the contrary. He claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade.
Having known people with firsthand experience of Dr. Watson's 'conduct', it will be interesting to see whether this incident will be enough to warrant his resignation from Cold Spring Harbor."

Link to Original Source


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