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+ - Nerve Cells Made From Blood Cells

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson writes: From the beats-turning-water-into-wine dept

The CBC is reporting that Canadian scientists are turning blood stem cells into nerve cells

The new technique involves extracting stem cells from blood — ones that normally have the potential to become red blood cells or various kinds of white blood cells involved in fighting off pathogens. The blood stem cells are converted over about a month into neural stem cells.

These neural stem cells are then manipulated in the lab to give rise to several types of nerve cells, including those that make up the peripheral nervous system throughout the arms, legs and the rest of the body.

His lab hopes to further develop the blood-generated neural stem cells into motor and other kinds of neurons that could conceivably one day be transplanted into patients to restore healthy brain cells as a treatment for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Lou Gehrig's disease, as well as retinal nerve cells to treat people who are losing their sight due to age-related macular degeneration,

+ - Oculus Founder Hit With Lawsuit->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Palmer Luckey, founder of VR headset-maker Oculus, has been sued by a company accusing him of taking their confidential information and passing it off as his own. Total Recall Technologies, based in Hawaii, claims it hired Luckey in 2011 to build a head-mounted display. Part of that employment involved Luckey signing a confidentiality agreement. In August, 2012, Luckey launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift headset, and Facebook bought his company last year for $2 billion. TRT is seeking compensatory and punitive damages (PDF).
Link to Original Source

+ - Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson writes: From the "have-it-your-way dept"

Reuters is reporting that Ireland citizens voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriages. While it's also legal in 19 other countries, Ireland was the first to decide this by putting the question to the citizens.

"This has really touched a nerve in Ireland," Equality Minister Aodhan O'Riordain said at the main count center in Dublin. "It's a very strong message to every LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) young person in Ireland and every LGBT young person in the world."

Observers say that the loss of moral authority of the Catholic church after a series of sex scandals was a strong contributing factor, with priests limiting their appeals to the people sitting in their pews. In contrast, the Yes side dominated social media.

Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 1074

by BarbaraHudson (#49750371) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

When it's "invested" in ponzi schemes like the liar loans of the last financial bubble, who got hurt? Not the banks, that's for sure. When high frequency traders got caught manipulating the markets, who got hurt? Not them - the $6 billion fine was nothing compared to what they scammed.

Funny how they always seem to have a few "get out of jail" cards in their pocket (we normally call them "senators" and "congressmen.")

Comment: Re: News for nerds (Score 1) 850

by BarbaraHudson (#49750225) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US
Provide proof that we live in a moral universe. The universe is also not a person. It has no sense of right and wrong - it just is.

Also, how is doing bad things to people who do bad things moral? The definition of "bad things" has changed over time. Inter-racial marriage is no longer a "bad thing". Same-sex couples is no longer a "bad thing." A society where there are no class divisions is no longer a "bad thing." Same-sex marriage and child adoption are not longer "bad things" - to the contrary, children raised by same-sex couples are exposed to far less domestic violence. Divorce is not longer a "bad thing."

If there were a universal standard, we certainly haven't found it. After all, the xians who hold up the bible as such a standard like to forget that it condones genocide, racism, slavery, child beating, polygamy, etc. That's the thing about "universal standards" - there are so many different ones.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1074

by BarbaraHudson (#49750159) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour
Permanent subsidies don't work. All they do is end up subsidizing the business, since the employer isn't paying the full cost. And in this climate, they've already eliminated pretty much every job they can, so if the choice is paying a higher wage or the work just not getting done, they'll find a way to pay. Prices might go up 1 cent per item at the retail level to achieve a (barely) living wage.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1074

by BarbaraHudson (#49750085) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

So again, why should taxpayers subsidize companies that pay below-poverty-level wages? If the business needs the job done, they'll pay the minimum. It's not like they haven't cut back on non-essential personnel at the lower levels. So if they say "we're not paying $15 to stock shelves" the shelves just don't get stocked. Once the shelves are bare, they'll find it's worth $15 to get those shelves re-stocked. Or they can do it themselves.

Just eliminating pennies and the stupidity of $6.99, $3.98, and $0.99 price nonsense is enough for most stores to pay the extra. And if the local "convenience store" can't survive under those conditions, tough - they're a rip-off anyway.

All great discoveries are made by mistake. -- Young