Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:I hate to defend Monsanto somewhat, but (Score 1) 617

by Punchcardz (#39051399) Attached to: 300k Organic Farmers To Sue Monsanto For Seed Patent Claims
You can patent "life" (at least in the US in the form of organisms modified by humans). That ship has sailed a long time ago, see the US Supreme Court case Diamond v. Chakrabarty. You might make a MORAL case that you should not be able to patent things this way. Your statement however, is demonstrably wrong from a legal standpoint.

Comment: Re:Where does it all come from? (Score 2) 239

by Punchcardz (#38242252) Attached to: Genome Researchers Have Too Much Data
This is true, but doesn't really capture the types of experiments that are being done in many cases. Yes, your genome can be stored on a CD. However, next gen sequencing is usually done with a high degree of overlapping coverage, to catch any mistakes in the sequencing, which is still basically a biochemical process despite geting large text files as the end result. So any genome is sequenced multiple times: say 8x coverage as fairly standard. That is if you are interested in sequencing a single genome. If you are interested in sequencing all the mRNAs that tell you which genes are active in which tissue and cell type, expect that you need to do a similar amount of sequencing for each tissue and cell type in the human body. Now imagine doing that with different experimental conditions: disease states, environmental factors etc. Of course, on top of that, you will need replicates of each experimental condition in order to have statistical power to say anything meaningful. On top of that there is the sequencing that you can do to identify differences in the epigenome: how the DNA is marked with things like methyl-groups, how it is wrapped around histones, all of which we are finding has a huge functional difference. Having the a genome sequence is a lot like having the total word list of the english language. It is huge and powerful, but there is a lot more information you need before you can write Shakespeare.
Supercomputing

Homebrew Cray-1 140

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the when-i-was-a-child dept.
egil writes "Chris Fenton built his own fully functional 1/10 scale Cray-1 supercomputer. True to the original, it includes the couch-seat, but is also binary compatible with the original. Instead of the power-hungry ECL technology, however, the scale model is built around a Xilinx Spartan-3E 1600 development board. All software is available if you want to build one for your own living room. The largest obstacle in the project is to find original software."
Image

3 Drinks a Day Keeps the Doctor Away 470

Posted by samzenpus
from the drink-em-if-you-got-em dept.
Nzimmer911 writes "Heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers according to a 20 years study following 1,824 people. From the article: 'But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that - for reasons that aren't entirely clear - abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.'"
United States

Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices 545

Posted by Soulskill
from the prison-reform-step-by-step dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Graeme Wood writes in the Atlantic that increasingly GPS devices are looking like an appealing alternative to conventional incarceration, as it becomes ever clearer that traditional prison has become more or less synonymous with failed prison. 'By almost any metric, our practice of locking large numbers of people behind bars has proved at best ineffective and at worst a national disgrace,' writes Wood. But new devices such as ExacuTrack suggest a revolutionary possibility: that we might do away with the current, expensive array of guards and cells and fences, in favor of a regimen of close, constant surveillance on the outside and swift, certain punishment for any deviations from an established, legally unobjectionable routine. 'The potential upside is enormous. Not only might such a system save billions of dollars annually, it could theoretically produce far better outcomes, training convicts to become law-abiders rather than more-ruthless lawbreakers,' adds Wood. 'The ultimate result could be lower crime rates, at a reduced cost, and with considerably less inhumanity in the bargain.'"
Cellphones

Burning Man Goes Open Source For Cell Phones 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-meaning-to-the-term-hot-spot dept.
coondoggie passes along this excerpt from Network World: "Today I bring you a story that has it all: a solar-powered, low-cost, open source cellular network that's revolutionizing coverage in underprivileged and off-grid spots. It uses VoIP yet works with existing cell phones. It has pedigreed founders. Best of all, it is part of the sex, drugs and art collectively known as Burning Man. ... The technology starts with the 'they-said-it-couldn't-be-done' open source software, OpenBTS. OpenBTS is built on Linux and distributed via the AGPLv3 license. When used with a software-defined radio such as the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP), it presents a GSM air interface ("Um") to any standard GSM cell phone, with no modification whatsoever required of the phone. It uses open source Asterisk VoIP software as the PBX to connect calls, though it can be used with other soft switches, too. ... This is the third year its founders have decided to trial-by-fire the system by offering free cell phone service to the 50,000-ish attendees at Burning Man, which begins today in Black Rock City, Nevada. "

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

Working...