Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech

Prehistoric Gene Reawakened To Battle HIV 360

Posted by kdawson
from the learning-from-our-distant-cousins dept.
Linuss points out research published in PLoS Biology that demonstrates the reawakening of latent human cells' ability to manufacture an HIV defense. A group of scientists led by Nitya Venkataraman began with the knowledge that Old World monkeys have a built-in immunity to HIV: a protein that can prevent HIV from entering cell walls and starting an infection. They examined the human genome for any evidence of a latent gene that could manufacture such a protein, and found the capability in a stretch of what has been dismissively termed "junk DNA." "In this work, we reveal that, upon correction of the premature termination codon in theta-defensin pseudogenes, human myeloid cells produce cyclic, antiviral peptides (which we have termed 'retrocyclins'), indicating that the cells retain the intact machinery to make cyclic peptides. Furthermore, we exploited the ability of aminoglycoside antibiotics to read-through the premature termination codon within retrocyclin transcripts to produce functional peptides that are active against HIV-1. Given that the endogenous production of retrocyclins could also be restored in human cervicovaginal tissues, we propose that aminoglycoside-based topical microbicides might be useful in preventing sexual transmission of HIV-1."
Government

+ - Spectrum Auction Fraud Alleged-> 1

Submitted by
eweekhickins
eweekhickins writes "A public interest group is saying that a consulting firm hired to help the government hand over the D-block spectrum may have acted improperly and discouraged potential bidders by suggesting that any winning bid would have to pay $50 million in annual fees, in addition to the auction price. Any wonder the D-block didn't meet the reserve price?"
Link to Original Source
Patents

+ - IBM Trying to Patent Restaurant Waits

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "If all goes IBM's way, it'll soon constitute patent infringement if Bennigan's gives you a free lunch for being inconvenienced by a long wait for your meal. Big Blue is seeking a patent for its Method and Structure for Automated Crediting to Customers for Waiting, the purported 'invention' of three IBM Researchers, which IBM notes 'could be implemented completely devoid of computerization or automation of any kind.' Can we count on IBM to withdraw this patent claim, Bob, or will Big Blue weasel out of its patent reform pledge again?"
Biotech

Natural Selection Can Act on Human Culture 239

Posted by Zonk
from the people-are-people-so-why-should-it-be dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Scientists at Stanford University have shown for the first time that the process of natural selection can act on human cultures as well as on genes. The team studied reports of canoe designs from 11 Oceanic island cultures, evaluating 96 functional features that could contribute to the seaworthiness of the vessels. Statistical test results showed clearly that the functional canoe design elements changed more slowly over time, indicating that natural selection could be weeding out inferior new designs. Authors of the study said their results speak directly to urgent social and environmental problems. 'People have learned how to avoid natural selection in the short term through unsustainable approaches such as inequity and excess consumption. But this is not going to work in the long term,' said Deborah S. Rogers, a research fellow at Stanford."
Privacy

+ - The iPhone Meets the Fourth Amendment-> 3

Submitted by background image
background image (1001510) writes "According to Alan M Gershowitz, the doctrine of "search incident to arrest" may allow devices such as mobile phones, pdas and laptops to be thoroughly searched without either probable cause or warrants, and incriminating evidence found in such searches may be used against you whether or not it is germane to the reason for the original arrest.

Imagine that police arrest an individual for a simple traffic infraction, such as running a stop sign. Under the search incident to arrest doctrine, officers are entitled to search the body of the person they are arresting to ensure that he does not have any weapons or will not destroy any evidence. The search incident to an arrest is automatic and allows officers to open containers on the person, even if there is no probable cause to believe there is anything illegal inside of those containers. What happens, however, when the arrestee is carrying an iPhone in his pocket? May the police search the iPhone's call history, cell phone contacts, emails, pictures, movies, calendar entries and, perhaps most significantly, the browsing history from recent internet use? Under longstanding Supreme Court precedent decided well before handheld technology was even contemplated, the answer appears to be yes.
"

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - AT&T Ping of Death 1

Submitted by rhinokitty
rhinokitty (962485) writes "No links, but here is a conversation with an AT&T Representative this evening:

Me: "Do you know anything about the ping of death?"

Customer service representative: "Basically they do it as a line test. They do it automatically to make sure you are getting the quality of service you deserve. Usually they do it in the middle of the night.""
PC Games (Games)

+ - Why do games still have levels?-> 1

Submitted by
a.d.venturer
a.d.venturer writes "Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), Shadow of the Colossus, the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever (and Dungeon Siege) have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play. Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Portal, Team Fortress 2), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Nethack, Angband)? Why do games still have levels?"
Link to Original Source

The Register: Flash: Public Wi-Fi even more insecure than previously thought->

From feed by registerfeed
How to gain permanent access to Gmail accounts

Black Hat Users of Yahoo! Mail, MySpace and just about every Web 2.0 service take note: If you access those services using public Wi-Fi, Rob Graham can probably gain unlimited access to your account - even if you logged in using the secure sockets layer protocol.


Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - Rev. Al Sharpton to Campaign for Linux->

Submitted by
Snarky Comment Withheld
Snarky Comment Withheld writes "Rev. Al Sharpton has said that he will now campaign in favor of Linux, because he views it as a way to help end the "digital divide." In his own words, "Corporate America has to learn that it needs to support everyone in America, and not just those who can afford to spend $400 on Microsoft Office. By supporting free software, we can keep hope alive in America.""
Link to Original Source

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

Working...