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Comment: Re:30,000 years old? (Score 4, Insightful) 121

by Mortiss (#46392191) Attached to: Scientists Revive a Giant 30,000 Year Old Virus From Ice
Well, these viruses may have found a relatively safe niche in a biosphere, where large genome is not a huge disadvantage and simply stayed that way. These giant viruses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimivirus) seem to have acquired a large number of metabolic genes from their hosts, which in case of human viruses would be very disadvantageous, since in this environment large = easier to detect and eradicate.

Comment: Please listen to the feedback! (Score 4, Insightful) 135

by Mortiss (#46179393) Attached to: Why Robot Trucks Could Be Headed To Afghanistan (And Everywhere Else)
I have been reading Slashdot since 2001, although mostly anonymously. Over the years, this site has exposed me to enormous wealth of knowledge outside my area of expertise. This was only possible thanks to the great community of people whose comments have expanded each post much beyond the scope of original submission. It is this community that makes this site and makes me come back here daily.

Now this community has clearly stated that proposed BETA changes are not wanted and even worse will drive many of the old users away from this site. Others have clearly outlined the faults of the new BETA and the effect it will have on commenting and moderation. This feedback should not be ignored.

Hence, please reconsider BETA or at least listen to the community feedback on how to improve it!

Comment: Re:Whatever... (Score 1) 85

by Mortiss (#39993963) Attached to: Researchers Generate Electricity From Viruses
You realize that lowering your blood sugar by whatever means will not cause you to loose weight? Rather, your body will have a more of a tendency to go into the "survival mode" where it will hold on to any of the fat that you have and as soon as you eat all nutrients will be stored for your own good. Not to mention feeling of fatigue and hunger caused by the low blood sugar.

Comment: Re:Viral Wars (Score 1) 754

by Mortiss (#38197644) Attached to: Paper On Super Flu Strain May Be Banned From Publication
This concept and its outcomes were nicely explored in the story "King of Pain" by Jacek Dukaj. (I think English translations of the Polish original are already available).

Basically, when every nut and terrorist is able to brew a super-plague, the outcome is dissolution of all forms of government, which simply must cave in to the demands or face genocide. This results in formations of small anarchy states. No larger govt. structures exist, since even if terrorists' demands are met, they become well known and hence they can become the targets themselves and the vicious cycle continues.

Comment: Too late (Score 5, Insightful) 754

by Mortiss (#38197526) Attached to: Paper On Super Flu Strain May Be Banned From Publication
"A genetic study showed that new virus strain presented five mutations, and all could be also observed in nature - but only separately, not all five combined."
With this sentence, they have practically gave it away already. All one has to do now is to scan the scientific literature for the appropriate five mutations that confer increased airborne transmissibility, perform site directed mutagenesis and voila.

They should follow the footsteps of Australian researches (who inserted IL4 gene into the mousepox creating a very lethal strain) and publish this anyway.

Comment: Re:HeLa (Score 3, Interesting) 43

by Mortiss (#38049402) Attached to: Plasma-Filled Bags Could Replace the Petri Dish
Not to mention, she can be regarded as a first truly genetically immortal human being in a sense of her cells (or whatever is left of her original DNA given that these cells have been passaged so many times). Someone here has once mentioned her mass if they put together all cells from all the labs in the world. I recall it was ranging into tonnes..

Comment: Re:And some people still wonder why... (Score 1) 673

by Mortiss (#35791712) Attached to: Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7

And some people still wonder why the public are opposed to nuclear power.

People oppose the nuclear power because they are fed over-exaggerated headlines by sensation seeking media. "We are facing the next Chernobyl! BOOM!!!" is going to generate many more views than "Humanitarian crisis in Japan caused by widespread flooding."

Comment: Ouch... (Score 1) 164

by Mortiss (#35420778) Attached to: AMD's New Flagship HD 6990 Tested
"the 6990 'punches all other GPUs in the nuts." ...and steals your wallet at the same time. Aside from the epeen factor, realistically which currently available games require such a hardware. AFAIK, all the currently released games (e.g. Bulletstorm) run comfortably on the Nvidia 260, 280 cards at the highest settings (1920x1080 resolution) So a simple question, why bother...

Comment: Badly written (Score 2) 180

by Mortiss (#34101286) Attached to: Breakthrough Portends Cure For the Common Cold
"...In any immunology textbook you will read that once a virus makes it into a cell, that is game over because the cell is now infected. At that point there is nothing the immune response can do other than kill that cell,..."

What a load of crap. Cells have a plenty of methods to fight virus infections. For example viral RNA silencing or interferon alpha/beta response. Moreover, killing of the infected cells is also a viable immune strategy.
So it is not a game over... In addition, where is the link to the original publication? (article or it didn't happen!)

Comment: I find that hard to believe... (Score 3, Insightful) 509

by Mortiss (#33161094) Attached to: Building the Zero-Fatality Car

As much as Id like to believe all these new and wonderful technologies, I wouldn't underestimate the ability of human beings to inflict a grevious harm on themeselves in the most creative ways. You may have the zero-fatality car but the guy plowing into you head first might not and the result would most likely be just as fatal. OTOH, every bit of safety counts.

Comment: And the news is... ? (Score 4, Interesting) 144

by Mortiss (#32853558) Attached to: Antibody Discovered To Boost HIV Vaccines

I fail to see the hype. There are plenty of great anti-HIV antibodies which are well described. These have a great cross-reactivity to many HIV strains and are directed against very conserved regions of envelope proteins. The trouble lies that no one so far has been able to find a way to produce them in a patient's body in large amounts. In addition, it is well known that Ab response is not really the way to go. Current HIV vaccines designs are moving towards inducing a innate immunity responses and also focus on T-cell not B-cell mediated immunity.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington

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