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Space

Possible Habitable Planet Just 12 Light Years Away 420

Posted by Soulskill
from the dibs-on-the-oil dept.
sciencehabit writes "Astronomers have discovered what may be five planets orbiting Tau Ceti, the closest single star beyond our solar system whose temperature and luminosity nearly match the sun's. If the planets are there, one of them is about the right distance from the star to sport mild temperatures, oceans of liquid water, and even life (paper)."
Biotech

Artificial Jellyfish Built From Silicone and Rat Cells 61

Posted by timothy
from the all-natural-ingredients-right-on-the-label dept.
ananyo writes "Bioengineers have made an artificial jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat's heart. The synthetic creature, dubbed a medusoid, looks like a flower with eight petals. When placed in an electric field, it pulses and swims exactly like its living counterpart. The team now plans to build a medusoid using human heart cells. The researchers have filed a patent to use their design, or something similar, as a platform for testing drugs (abstract). 'You've got a heart drug?' says Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the work. 'You let me put it on my jellyfish, and I'll tell you if it can improve the pumping.'" The video that accompanies the text is at once beautiful and creepy.
Programming

New Analyst Report Calls Agile a Scam, Says It's An Easy Out For Lazy Devs 491

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-i-just-revamped-my-entire-lexicon dept.
msmoriarty writes "We recently got a copy of a new Voke analyst report on Agile, and the firm basically blasts the movement from top to bottom. Some highlights: 'The Agile movement is designed to sell services. ... Out of over 200 survey participants, we received only four detailed comments describing success with Agile.' 'Survey participants report that developers use the guise of Agile to avoid planning and to avoid creating documentation required for future maintenance. ... Be aware that the Agile movement might very well just be either a developer rebellion against unwanted tasks and schedules or just an opportunity to sell Agile services including certification and training.' So did the analysts just talk to the wrong 200 people?"
Medicine

Live Pictures From Inside Your Stomach 40

Posted by timothy
from the coming-soon-to-slashdot-tv dept.
Dupple writes "Our own stomachs may be something of a dark mystery to most of us, but new research is revealing the surprising ways in which our guts exert control over our mood and appetite. Not many of us get the chance to watch our own stomach's digestion in action. But along with an audience at London's Science Museum, I recently watched live pictures from my own stomach as the porridge I had eaten for breakfast was churned, broken up, exposed to acid and then pushed out into my small intestine as a creamy mush called chyme."
Businesses

Steve Ballmer: We Won't Be Out-Innovated By Apple Anymore 610

Posted by Soulskill
from the innovators-innovators-innovators dept.
An anonymous reader tips an article about comments from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer regarding Microsoft's attitude toward Apple. It seems Microsoft is tired of being behind the curve in most areas of the tech market, and will be trying very hard to prevent Apple and other companies from beating them to the punch in the future. From the article: "In a recent interview, Ballmer explained that the company had ceded innovations in hardware and software to Apple, but that the-times-they-are-a-'changin. 'We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,' Ballmer explained. 'Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.' ... An admirable goal, but it's fair to argue that attempting to innovate everywhere results in innovation nowhere. A big part of the reason Apple has been so successful is that they devote the bulk of their attention to only a few select market areas. By trying to innovate everywhere, so to speak, Microsoft runs the continued risk of spreading itself too thin and not really having a fundamental impact in any one market."
Space

Space Worms Live Long and Prosper 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the tell-him-about-the-worms dept.
astroengine writes "A microscopic worm used in experiments on the space station not only seems to enjoy living in a microgravity environment, it also appears to get a lifespan boost. This intriguing discovery was made by University of Nottingham scientists who have flown experiments carrying thousands of tiny Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to low-Earth orbit over the years. It turns out that this little worm has genes that resemble human genes and of particular interest are the ones that govern muscle aging. Seven C. elegans genes usually associated with muscle aging were suppressed when the worms were exposed to a microgravity environment. Also, it appears spaceflight suppresses the accumulation of toxic proteins that normally gets stored inside aging muscle. Could this have implications for understanding how human physiology adapts to space?"
Medicine

Human Stem Cell Transplants Successfully Reversed Diabetes In Mice 92

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-do-mice-get-all-the-good-treatments dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists successfully reversed diabetes in mice by transplanting mice human stem cells into mice in a discovery that may lead to way to finding a cure for a disease that affects 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. ... In an experiment designed to mimic human clinical conditions, researchers were able to wean diabetic mice off of insulin four months after the rodents were transplanted with human pancreatic stem cells (abstract). [They] were able to recreate the 'feedback loop' that enabled insulin levels to automatically rise or fall based on the rodents' blood glucose levels. Additionally, researchers found that the mice were able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels even after they were fed large quantities of sugar. After several months, researchers removed the transplanted cells from the mice and found that the cells had all the markings of normal insulin-producing pancreatic cells."
Space

New Mineral Found In Meteorite 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-call-it-unobtianium dept.
Virtucon writes "The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite. 'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed, meaning it can help scientists learn more about the conditions in the cloud of gas and dust that gave rise to our solar system.'"

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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