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Patents

+ - White House responds to software patent petition->

Submitted by Chapium
Chapium (550445) writes "As part of the "We the People" series of petitions to provide feedback to the US government, the following petition was sent:

"... Under the patent office's current activity, patents have been come a way to stifle innovation and prevent competition rather than supporting innovation and competitive markets. They've become a tool of antitrust employed by large companies against small ones.

To return sanity to the software industry — one of the few industries still going strong in America — direct the patent office to cease issuing software patents and to void all previously issued software patents."

Here is the response."

Link to Original Source
United States

+ - FBI to Investigate CIA Tape Destruction

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that the FBI will be investigating the destruction of detainee interrogation tapes by CIA personnel. CIA Director Michael Hayden claimed the tapes were destroyed to protect the identities of CIA personnel and it is widely believed these tapes showed the use of torture by the CIA. The FBI will conduct the investigation under the direction of First Assistant US Attorney John Durham instead of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia who has been recused to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest."
Biotech

+ - Single human gene gives mice tri-color vision

Submitted by
maynard
maynard writes "Scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute working in collaboration have published a study in the peer reviewed journal Science showing that mice transgenetically altered with a single human gene are then able to see in full tri-color vision. Mice without this alteration are normally colorblind. The scientists speculate that even mammalian brains from animals that have never evolved color vision are flexible enough to interpret new color sense information with just a simple addition of new photoreceptors. Such a result is also indicated by a dominant X chromosome mutation that allows for quad-color vision in some women. From the article:

The experiments were designed to determine whether the brains of the genetically altered mice could efficiently process sensory information from the new photoreceptors in their eyes. Among mammals, this more complex type of color vision has only been observed in primates, and therefore the brains of mice did not need to evolve to make these discriminations.


The new abilities of the genetically engineered mice indicate that the mammalian brain possesses a flexibility that permits a nearly instantaneous upgrade in the complexity of color vision, say the study's senior authors, Gerald Jacobs and Jeremy Nathans.
"

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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