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UK Researchers Developing Influenza-Resistant Birds 54

New submitter ravensmith0821 writes: UK researchers are working on disease-resistant chickens, adding a gene to eggs before they hatch that renders the bird less susceptible to avian influenza. Reuters reports: "Their research, which has been backed by the UK government and top chicken companies, could potentially prevent repeats of this year's wipeout: 48 million chickens and turkeys killed because of the disease since December in the United States alone. But these promising chickens - injected with a fluorescent protein to distinguish them from normal birds in experiments - won't likely gatecrash their way into poultry production any time soon. Health regulators around the world have yet to approve any animals bred as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for use in food because of long-standing safety and environmental concerns."

OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week 379

New submitter CrAlt (3208) writes with this news snipped from BSD news stalwart "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls. ... All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week.'" You can check out the stats, in progress.

NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote 127

An anonymous reader writes "NASA, in collaboration with ILC and Philadelphia University, has designed three different cover layers for its new spacesuit prototype, Z-2. NASA will let the public decide which of the three designs will actually be built. Voting is open through April 15, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Here are brief descriptions of the three designs: 'The "Biomimicry" design draws from an environment with many parallels to the harshness of space: the world's oceans. Mirroring the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures found at incredible depths, and the scaly skin of fish and reptiles found across the globe, this design reflects the qualities that protect some of Earth's toughest creatures. ... "Technology" pays homage to spacesuit achievements of the past while incorporating subtle elements of the future. By using Luminex wire and light-emitting patches, this design puts a new spin on spacewalking standards such as ways to identify crew members. ... "Trends in Society" is based off of just that: being reflective of what every day clothes may look like in the not too distant future. This suit uses electroluminescent wire and a bright color scheme to mimic the appearance of sportswear and the emerging world of wearable technologies.'"
The Military

Apple Mobile Devices Cleared For Use On US Military Networks 94

puddingebola writes with this excerpt from a Bloomberg report: "The Pentagon cleared Apple Inc. (AAPL) devices for use on its networks, setting the stage for the maker of iPhones and iPads to compete with Samsung Electronics Co. and BlackBerry for military sales. The Defense Department said in a statement [Friday] that it has approved the use of Cupertino, California-based Apple's products running a version of the iOS 6 mobile platform. The decision eventually may spur a three-way fight for a market long dominated by Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry.'" Also, Apple devices are best for uploading viruses to alien craft.

Gnome Goes JavaScript 387

mikejuk writes "Much to most programmers' shock and dismay Gnome has made JavaScript its main language for apps. It will still support other languages and it still supports C for libraries, but for apps it is JavaScript that rules. JavaScript seems to be a good choice for Gnome 3, as the shell UI is written in the language. It is also consistent with the use of JavaScript in WinRT, Chrome Apps, and FirefoxOS apps, and generally the rise of web apps. As you might expect, the initial reactions are of horror at the idea that JavaScript has been selected rather than the favorite language of the commenter. There is a great deal of ignorance about (and prejudice against) JavaScript, which is often regarded as an incomplete toy language rather than the elegant and sparse language that it actually is."

Ford System Will Warn, Correct Lane-Drifting Drivers 469

PolygamousRanchKid writes "Ford says its new Fusion, which will debut at the North American International Auto Show in a couple weeks, will be the first mainstream midsize sedan in North America to offer a lane departure system. Lane departure systems are aimed at warning drivers, especially drowsy ones, if their vehicles wander out of their lane. A digital camera mounted on the windshield ahead of the rear-view mirror keeps a watch. The system not only causes the steering wheel to vibrate if it senses an unintentional lane departure, it will also steer the car back into the right lane. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes occur every year as a result of drowsy drivers, leading to 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses." I'd just like to know how hard the AI will fight if it misinterprets a driver's intentional lane change.

Officials Agree On Global Nuclear Stress Tests 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Government ministers and officials from the European Union countries who met to discuss atomic energy safety have agreed to carry out stress tests on nuclear reactors to test their capacity to withstand major incidents like the earthquake and tsunami that rocked the Fukushima plant in March. 'The accident at Fukushima in Japan has affected us all,' says French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. 'It quickly became apparent there is a need to learn lessons from the accident and to improve and raise our standards and ways of cooperating on nuclear safety.' The stress tests will be performed on Europe's 143 working reactors and other atomic installations. 'You have to move the safety envelope,' says Roger Mattson, former leader of the US task force that investigated the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, and an organizer of the group issuing the letter. 'You have to take these severe accidents into account and do more to prevent the very low-probability events.'"

Just Months After Jeopardy!, Watson Wows Doctors 291

kkleiner writes "Following its resounding victory on Jeopardy!, IBM's Watson has been working hard to learn as much about medicine as it can with a steady diet of medical textbooks and healthcare journals. In a recent demonstration to the Associated Press, Watson showed a promising ability to diagnose patients. The demonstration was a success, and it is the hope of IBM and many medical professionals that in the coming years Watson will lend doctors a helping hand as they perform their daily rounds."
It's funny.  Laugh.

DHS Official Considered Shock Collars For Air Travelers 673

"The Washington Times is reporting that the DHS wants to replace your boarding pass with a GPS-enabled shock bracelet. Plans for the device include subduing passengers remotely as well as onboard interrogation. There's even a promotional video." Perhaps Paul Ruwaldt (the official named in this story) has been watching "The Coneheads" a bit too much, or not actually flying enough. Expressing interest is not quite the same as ordering mass quantities, but it's scary enough.

First DNA Molecule Constructed from Mostly Synthetic Components 188

ScienceDaily is reporting that Japanese chemists have created the world's first DNA molecule comprised of almost entirely artificial components. The breakthrough could lead to advances in both medicine and technology, possibly utilizing the massive storage capacity of DNA. "In the new study, Masahiko Inouye and colleagues point out that scientists have tried for years to develop artificial versions of DNA in order to extend its amazing information storage capabilities. As the genetic blueprint of all life forms, DNA uses the same set of four basic building blocks, known as bases, to code for a variety of proteins used in cell functioning and development. Until now, scientists have only been able to craft DNA molecules with one or a few artificial parts, including certain bases."

First Genetically Modified Human Embryo Under Review 509

Wired is reporting that Cornell University researchers genetically modified a human embryo in 2007, but have only recently been gaining publicity as their work is being reviewed. "The research raises a number of thorny ethical questions. Though adding a fluorescent protein was merely a proof-of-principle step, scientists say that modified embryos could be used to research human diseases. They say embryos wouldn't be allowed to develop for more than a few weeks, much less implanted in a woman and brought to term."

eBay to Drop Negative Feedback on Buyers 505

Trip Ericson writes "ArsTechnica is reporting that eBay plans to drop negative feedback on buyers. It's just one of a number of changes eBay will be making in the near future. 'eBay's data shows that sellers are eight times more likely to retaliate in kind against negative feedback, a figure that has grown dramatically over the years. In an attempt to mollify sellers, eBay will initiate a handful of seller protections to offset the inability to speak ill of a buyer. Negative and neutral feedback will be removed if a buyer bails on a transaction or if the buyer has his or her account suspended. Buyers will have less time to leave feedback, and won't be able to do so until three days after the auction ends. eBay is also pledging to step up monitoring and enforcement of its policies around buyers who behave very badly.'"

Three Parents Contribute to Experimental Human Embryo 136

gihan_ripper writes "It sounds like the storyline from a cheesy film, but a human embryo has been created using the genetic material from one man and two women. A team from Newcastle University, England, developed the technique in the hope that it could be used to prevent diseases caused by faulty mitochondria. Their experiment started with two ingredients: first, a left over (and 'severely abnormal') embryo from an IVF treatment; second, a donor egg from another woman. The donor egg has all but the mitochondrial DNA removed, then a nucleus from the embryo is inserted into the egg. Effectively, this results in a mitochondria transplant. 'While any baby born through this method would have genetic elements from three people, the nuclear DNA that influences appearance and other characteristics would not come from the woman providing the donor egg. However, the team only have permission to carry out the lab experiments and as yet this would not be allowed to be offered as a treatment.'"

2 pints = 1 Cavort