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+ - Sloppy biosafety procedures found at federal disease center

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: An investigation of a federal center for studying dangerous diseases in primates has found serious biosafety procedure violations.

Concerns arose at the center in Covington, Louisiana, after two rhesus macaques became ill in late November with melioidosis, a disease caused by the tropical bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Agriculture investigators traced the strain infecting the primates to a vaccine research lab working with mice. Last month, as the investigation continued, CDC suspended the primate center’s 10 or so research projects involving B. pseudomallei and other select agents (a list of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and toxins that are tightly regulated). Meanwhile, a report in USA Today suggested the bacterium might have contaminated the center’s soil or water.

In addition, workers “frequently entered the select agent lab without appropriate protective clothing,” the release says. No center staff has shown signs of illness. On 12 March, however, Tulane announced that blood tests have found that one worker has low levels of antibodies to the bacterium, suggesting possible exposure at the center, according to ABC News.

Is there any area of government expertise that isn’t screwing up royally these days?

+ - SimCity's Empire Has Fallen and Skylines Is Picking Up the Pieces->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi writes: Mariina Hallikainen, CEO of small Finnish game developer Colossal Order, is having a good day. When I call her, it's only been a few hours since she learned that Colossal Order's SimCity-like game, Cities: Skylines, has sold more than half a million copies in its first week. The first 250,000 of those were sold in the first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling game its publisher Paradox Interactive has ever released.

The irony here doesn't escape Hallikainen. Only a week before Skylines was released, game publisher Electronic Arts announced that it was shutting down SimCity developer Maxis' studio in Emeryville, which it acquired in 1997.

"I feel so bad about Maxis closing down," Hallikainen said. "The older SimCitys were really the inspiration for us to even consider making a city builder."

At the same time, Hallikainen admits SimCity's mistakes were Colossal Order's opportunity. "If SimCity was a huge success, which is what we expected, I don't know if Skylines would have ever happened," she said, explaining that it would have been a harder pitch to sell to Paradox if the new SimCity dominated the market.

Link to Original Source

+ - A bioinic model is born: Swarovksi-encrusted prosthetic a statement in fashion->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel writes: From gold-plated hearing aids, neon walking sticks, and sparkling blade prosthetics to 3D printed arm casts, people with disabilities are no longer waiting for health services to catch up – they are dragging their medical devices into the future on their own. At London's Wearable Tech Show, Kate Mandeville unveiled her new Swarovski-crystal-adorned prosthetic — showing how prosthetics can make a statement in fashion and personality.
Link to Original Source

+ - Moonlighting: 6 month hunt for extra work

Submitted by rraylion
rraylion writes: Hello dotters, I graduated from a university, got my CS degree, am in my career job, and it's okay, but i need to broaden my skills, and need more money. So I figured hey, I create things for a living that as a skill a lot of people need. So I started looking for something to moonlight on as a side job. And I can't find anything... at all. I tried the code4money sites and those look unreputable, I look at telecommute sites and those look worse, which is scary. I would love to find a company, or a few companies that just need a few projects done and don't mind someone working part time in off hours. I wouldn't even expect a lot in terms of compensation, this is skill building, but I bring real experience to the table. Is this a unicorn I am seeking or is there a demand for this out there... if so where do I find it. I do MVC in .Net, C, java, SQL, javascript, a lil python — the usual you know. I can pick up anything and run with it. What am I missing, and where do I find it?

+ - Mars One finalist accuses the company of fraud

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: One of the finalists in the one-way-to-Mars competition by the company Mars One has now accused the company of fraud.

Most egregiously, many media outlets continue to report that Mars One received applications from 200,000 people who would be happy to die on another planet?—?when the number it actually received was 2,761.

As [finalist Joseph] Roche observed the process from an insider’s perspective, his concerns increased. Chief among them: that some leading contenders for the mission had bought their way into that position, and are being encouraged to “donate” any appearance fees back to Mars One?—?which seemed to him very strange for an outfit that needs billions of dollars to complete its objective. “When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points,” Roche explained to me in an email. “You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them.”

There’s more at the link. Essentially, the whole operation has apparently devolved into a petty scam to milk money from the finalists themselves.

+ - We must settle consumer fears about the Security of Things-> 1

Submitted by irl_4795
irl_4795 writes: The Internet of Things (IoT) is already revolutionising consumers’ lives. Smart meters and thermostats are reducing energy bills, and wearable tech is helping to make us healthier. But for IoT to truly take off, Sean Lorenz at LogMeIn believes the industry needs to allay consumer fears about security.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:No, they don't cause weight gain (Score 1) 294

by DragonIV (#47940509) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance
Thanks, good reading material. I'm apparently fairly inept at searching for medical papers. Good thing I went into programming after my physics degree. :) Agreed on more review--but of course, now they're coming after sugar. They'll have to pry my cookies from my cold, dead fingers. Which, according to them, will be next Tuesday or something like that.

Comment: Re:No, they don't cause weight gain (Score 1) 294

by DragonIV (#47939735) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance
What you linked to isn't a lab study, it's a thought exercise paper which assumes based on previously conducted study that there is a link, so it is discussing the possible hows and whys. That kind of fits my argument that there is much churning based on the first study, though I'm not going to rule out that there aren't other actual data studies that have also shown the link. I just haven't found one.

Comment: No, they don't cause weight gain (Score 4, Insightful) 294

by DragonIV (#47935585) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance
That weight gain claim stems from a study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health back in 2008. It was refuted the very next year in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, who found all sorts of problems with the study and the conclusions drawn by it. The glucose intolerance angle could be interesting, and have ramifications, but it was one study. After some more review, and more studies, we might be able to draw some real conclusions, but not right now.

Comment: Re:No Magic Bullets (Score 1) 635

by DragonIV (#43202457) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?
I bet it varies quite a bit from one person to the next. I don't really have a major issue with carbs and satiation. My issue was simply this--I was a skinny ass kid growing up, and trained myself to eat more to be able to get stronger & bigger to compete at the college level in hockey. Mission accomplished, but after college came a desk job, and it turns out it's far easier to turn on a larger appetite than turn it off one you don't need it anymore.

Fast forward almost two decades, and while my vitals are excellent even today, there's no question that staying at that original weight of mine was not likely to end well. It had also become painfully obvious to me that if I planned to continue to play hockey in beer leagues against 20-somethings, I wasn't going to do that in this shape. :)

Decided to go the exercise route first, and surprise--running long distances again drove my appetite way down. Combine a run that chews up about a kcal 3x a week, and significantly less intake, and presto, the weight is coming off. The nice thing here is that this doesn't feel like a diet. I even ended up skipping two weeks of exercise at one point--and while I didn't lose any weight during that time, I also didn't gain any back. That right there is a victory in my book--one that has been elusive for much of the past 20 years.

Good to see you've also found a way that works for you, Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Comment: Re:No Magic Bullets (Score 1) 635

by DragonIV (#43182557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?
I'm not saying that you're eating crap, literally. I'm saying if you're eating something in unlimited fashion, it has no caloric uptake to your body, and as such, probably pretty limited value to it, too. The point of eating is to consume calories for your body to use for work. Eating stuff that doesn't stick is kind of a waste of effort. :)

Comment: Re:No Magic Bullets (Score 1) 635

by DragonIV (#43181613) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?
If you only eat crap your body doesn't digest, or has next to no calories, congratulations, you can lose lots of weight without portion control. If you eat calorie dense food that your body happily absorbs, carbs or not, with no portion control, then you gain lots of weight. This isn't rocket science, but there is some pretty basic conservation of energy stuff going on here.
I'm not saying you cannot lose weight on a low carb diet. I am saying that if you don't fix the primary issue of ingesting more calories than you exert, you cannot lose weight. Carbs are a calorie dense food, so limiting your intake of them isn't a bad approach, but it's far from the only approach.

Comment: Re:No Magic Bullets (Score 2) 635

by DragonIV (#43175159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?
Ah yes, the fad diet advice. Losing weight is fairly scientific--if you ingest more calories than you spend, you gain weight. To lose it, you have to do the other direction. As for energy--I don't have energy issues. People with energy issues don't run fifteen miles a week. Blood pressure and cholesterol? Both were excellent even before I began this program. There isn't much room for them to get better. I'm not trying to lose weight to be healthy (though it's a nice side benefit)--I'm losing weight and gaining strength to keep up with these 20-somethings in my hockey league. :)

Comment: Re:No Magic Bullets (Score 5, Informative) 635

by DragonIV (#43173753) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?
Exactly right. I'm 5'10", and was tipping the scales around 225lbs with a diet and lifestyle like the submitter. Here's what worked for me:

1. Ditched high calorie drinks (soda/juices) and limited snacking. Mornings, I switched to eating a single bowl of cheerios or two shredded wheat biscuits or a banana. Lunch is simple, sandwich, less than 400 cal. Dinner--I rarely eat out, and eating at home I have stopped eating dessert and eat smaller portions at dinner, with no second helpings.
2. Exercise. I run M/W/F for 60 minutes in the morning before work. Tu/Th, I do weigh training (pull ups, push ups, sit ups, other simple stuff), which takes me about 45 minutes. Google Evil Cyber's beginner workout if you want details.

In three months, I've dropped to 207lbs. I'd probably be lighter if I could break myself of *#!*$"&!! cookies, but one needs to be reasonable. My hope is to be below 200 by the end of May, and down to 190 by the end of the summer. You pretty much just have to build on your success, and if you fall off the horse by missing a few days in a row, get back on as soon as you can...but don't beat yourself up about it.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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