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Science

The Incredible Shrinking Genome 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-it's-cold-alright dept.
Shipud writes "Mammalian genomes have been shrinking for about 65 million years, roughly since the dinosaur extinction. Why? And why were ancient mammalian genomes three times larger than they are today? A new article in Genome Biology and Evolution tries to explain this bizarre finding, and why the genomes of mammals (but not of other living groups) are still shrinking. 'Once [the dinosaurs] were gone, mammals started to radiate, fill those niches, and a whole new level of competition arose. The selective advantage of not having a genome encumbered by potentially damaging mobile DNA elements has probably become critical at this "be ye fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein" stage. In effect, the genomes of mammals has been shrinking by removing mobile DNA elements, just after the KT boundary. And according to the model presented in this study, this process is still ongoing: mammalian genomes are not at an equilibrium size. Unlike flies, mammals are still cleaning up.'"

Comment: I'm Sorry, but Good Riddance (Score 1, Interesting) 233

by Obiwan Kenobi (#26346071) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's Journal Going Web-Only

"To those of us who enjoy reading such stuff away from the computer these are bad news, as there seems to be no other major technical programmers' magazines left standing."

This is another nostalgia-stuffed feel-good statement I see burrowed into our news stories from time to time as we shed the old and embrace the new. Me? I just don't give a damn. Let them die. I haven't purchased a magazine outside of an airport in this millennium and I don't know anyone else who has, either. There isn't one thing a magazine could tell me that I haven't read (and probably re-re-read) many times over.

Today we have our laptops, Kindles, RSS feeds, incredible PDAs, hell, my cell phone does more than first computer ever could, ten times over.

We don't need dead trees to get our information any longer. Call it the green economy shedding the skin of old media, call it putting the ole girl out to pasture, call it shooting an unneeded service in the face, whatever.

Just please don't give me this nostalgic wasn't-it-great-back-then crap about how you used to be so excited for the new issue to come in the mail. Rather, be excited about seeing your RSS feed updated. Shift your focus, enjoy your nostalgia, but put it into perspective.

PC Games (Games)

+ - Why do games still have levels?-> 1

Submitted by
a.d.venturer
a.d.venturer writes "Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), Shadow of the Colossus, the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever (and Dungeon Siege) have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play. Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Portal, Team Fortress 2), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Nethack, Angband)? Why do games still have levels?"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Do Not Call Registry gets wake-up call-> 2

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "If you signed up for the federal or your state's Do Not Call Registry a few years ago, you might want to thing about refreshing it. Pennsylvanians this week got a wake up call, so to speak from the state's Attorney General Tom Corbett who kicked off a public awareness campaign designed to remind people what many have forgotten or never knew — that the 2002 law set registrations to expire after five years. That is of course unless you want to start hearing from those telemarketers as you sit down to dinner. Corbett said about 2 million people signed up in the immediate aftermath of the law taking effect and those who do not act by Sept. 15 will have their numbers dropped from the registry on Nov. 1. The Pennsylvania action is a reminder that the National Do Not Call Registry has a five year life span as well. The Federal Trade Commission is set to being a nation campaign in Spring 2008 to remind all US citizens to refresh their federal Do Not Call Registry standing. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/18066"
Link to Original Source

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