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Biotech

+ - Binding Metal to Biomaterial

Submitted by
Peter Mork
Peter Mork writes "According to the Washington Post, Seung-Mo Lee, a graduate student at the Max Planck Institute, has found a way to infuse spider silk with metals, such as titanium, aluminum and zinc. The result is three to ten times stronger than normal spider silk (which is already, pound for pound, stronger than steel).

The process involves breaking some of the hydrogen bonds in the amino acid chain. The reactive metals then form covalent bonds with the broken ends creating a denser, stronger compound.

Ironically, Lee thought he was demonstrating that soft materials would be destroyed by the process when he made the discovery. No mention is made regarding the feasibility of strengthening bone with adamantium."
Communications

+ - NPR Interviews FBI Director Robert Mueller

Submitted by
Peter Mork
Peter Mork writes "NPR recently interviewed the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller. It's interesting to hear his take on several issues.

On the topic of thoughtcrimes: "Having an idea may not be a criminal offense" (emphasis mine).

When asked about VoIP: "I'm not going to get into the details. I don't want to encourage people." This is the best endorsement of VoIP I've heard so far.

At least he was willing to go on record indicating that coercion (newspeak for torture) is not an effective technique (for the FBI) and that they wouldn't engage in coercion even if they thought a suspect had information regarding an imminent nuclear explosion."

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.

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