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Submission + - New nano particles shrink tumors in mice (

Taco Cowboy writes: MIT researchers have developed RNA-delivering nanoparticles that allow for rapid screening of new drug targets in mice and showed that nanoparticles that target a protein known as ID4 can shrink ovarian tumors.

The nanoparticle system, described in the Aug. 15 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, could relieve a significant bottleneck in cancer-drug development. Among those potential targets are many considered to be “undruggable,” meaning that the proteins don’t have any pockets where a traditional drug could bind to them.

The new nanoparticles, which deliver short strands of RNA that can shut off a particular gene, may help scientists go after those undruggable proteins.

Within the nanoparticles, strands of RNA are mixed with a protein that further helps them along their journey: When the particles enter a cell, they are encapsulated in membranes known as endosomes. The protein-RNA mixture can cross the endosomal membrane, allowing the particles to get into the cell’s main compartment and start breaking down mRNA.

In a study of mice with ovarian tumors, the researchers found that treatment with the RNAi nanoparticles eliminated most of the tumors.The researchers are now using the particles to test other potential targets for ovarian cancer as well as other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer.


Submission + - US court sides with gene patents ( 2

ananyo writes: "Gene patents have been upheld in a landmark case over two genes associated with hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer.
The lawsuit against Myriad Genetics, a diagnostic company, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, that holds patents on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, has bounced from court to court since 2010. In a 2-1 decision today, a federal appeals court reaffirmed their latest decision that genes represent patent-eligible matter. As noted before on slashdot, the case will have major implications for cancer researchers, patients and drug makers."

Submission + - Car insurer measuring driver safety with smartphone app to calculate premiums (

Qedward writes: Motorists are being invited to help develop a new driving app that could earn them a discount of "up to 20%" on their motor insurance.

British insurer Aviva is using smartphone technology to create individual driver profiles that will be used to calculate tailored pay-how-you-drive premiums.

The driver behavioural app, Aviva RateMyDrive, will monitor motorists taking part in the test for 200 miles, including acceleration, braking and cornering. This data is then turned into an individual score which helps determine the motorist’s premium, with "safer" drivers earning up to 20% off their deal.


Submission + - Independent labs to verify high-profile research papers (

ananyo writes: "Scientific publishers are backing an initiative to encourage authors of high-profile research papers to get their results replicated by independent labs. Validation studies will earn authors a certificate and a second publication, and will save other researchers from basing their work on faulty results.
The problem of irreproducible results has gained prominence in recent months. In March, a cancer researcher at Amgen pharmaceutical company reported that its scientists had repeated experiments in 53 'landmark' papers, but managed to confirm findings from only six of the studies. And last year, an internal survey at Bayer HealthCare found that inconsistencies between published findings and the company’s own results caused delays or cancellations in about two-thirds of projects.
Now, 'Reproducibility Initiative', a commercial online portal is offering authors the chance of getting their results validated (albeit for a price). Once the validation studies are complete, the original authors will have the option of publishing the results in the open access journal PLoS ONE, linked to the original publication."


Submission + - Bill Gates and his passion for reinventing the toilet ( 1

coondoggie writes: "It may come as a surprise to many people that iconic Bill Gates would take something as perhaps more iconic than he — the toilet — so seriously. But he certainly does and for good reason: Many people in the world don't have access to flush toilets and do not have access to basic sanitation services. Gates and his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this week held the "Reinvent the Toilet Fair," in Seattle, where the man who co-founded software giant Microsoft awarded prizes to teams that came up with the best notion for changing the world's toilet technology."

Submission + - Why You Should be Careful About Cloud Storage (

SmartAboutThings writes: "Why should we be careful about cloud storage? How about the fact that there is a big risk for you to lose your data for ever? Let's not forget what happened to Megaupload. And there are also laws that might affect your cloud provider and restrict you the access to your important files. We should be careful abou cloud storage because once it's in the cloud, it's no longer your own file."

Submission + - Samsung: Apple stole the iPad's design from a tablet it saw a decade earlier (

TheBoat writes: We’re starting to see a theme develop here. Now that it’s Samsung’s turn to present its case in the San Jose, California patent trial that regularly has the tech media abuzz, the company is taking an interesting approach. Rather than start out by arguing that its various Android smartphones and tablets do not copy Apple’s designs or infringe on its patents, Samsung is arguing that Apple’s IP is invalid to begin with. On Monday, Samsung argued that Apple’s pinch-to-zoom patent was stolen from Mitsubishi’s old Diamond Touch and on Tuesday evening, Samsung made a similar argument regarding the design of Apple’s iPad.

Samsung on Tuesday presented the jury with videotaped testimony from Roger Fidler, head of the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. In his testimony, Fidler stated that he began work on a tablet design in 1981. “Apple personnel were exposed to my tablet ideas and prototypes,” he testified, adding that Apple staff saw his designs in the mid-1990s.


Submission + - What Happens to Google Employees When They Die? 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Forbes Magazine reports that employee benefits of Google are among the best in the land—free haircuts, gourmet food, on-site doctors and high-tech “cleansing” toilets are among the most talked-about but the latest perk for Googlers extends into the afterlife. “This might sound ridiculous,” says Google's Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.” Should a US Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade. Even more surprising, a Google spokesperson confirms that there’s “no tenure requirement” for this benefit, meaning most of their 34 thousand Google employees qualify. "One of the things we realized recently was that one of the harshest but most reliable facts of life is that at some point most of us will be confronted with the death of our partners,” says Bock. “And it’s a horrible, difficult time no matter what, and every time we went through this as a company we tried to find ways to help the surviving spouse of the Googler who’d passed away.” Google gets a lot of press for its perks but Bock says it’s not about the money. "It turns out that the reason we’re doing these things for employees is not because it’s important to the business, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. When it comes down to it, it’s better to work for a company who cares about you than a company who doesn’t. And from a company standpoint, that makes it better to care than not to care.”"

Submission + - Rootbeer GPU Compiler allows almost any Java code to run on the GPU (

An anonymous reader writes: Today the source code to the Rootbeer GPU Compiler was released open source on github. This work allows for a developer to use almost and Java code on the GPU. It is free, open source and highly tested. Rootbeer is the most full featured translator to convert Java Bytecode to CUDA. It allows arbitrary graphs of objects to be serialized to the GPU and the GPU kernel to be written in Java.

Submission + - Apple offered expensive licensing option to Samsung in 2010 (

An anonymous reader writes: The treasure trove of documents from the ongoing Apple-Samsung dispute continue to flow on. The latest startling revelation touches on Apple and Samsung’s licensing discussions pre-litigation.

In October 2010, 6 months before Apple said “enough is enough” and initiated its lawsuit against Samsung, Apple offered Samsung a licensing deal for its patented technologies. As part of its offer, Apple said it was willing to offer Samsung a royalty rate of $30 per Android smartphone and $40 per Android tablet. Apple also indicated that it would wipe 20% off of its royalty asking price if Samsung was willing to cross license its own patents with Apple.

As part of its presentation, Apple explained: "Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype. Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to do this in advance. Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device."


Submission + - Researchers Invent Microparticles That Will Let You Live Without Breathing (

Diggester writes: A group of researchers led by Dr. John Kheir, from the Department of Cardiology at Boston Children's Hospital, developed microparticles that quickly oxygenate the bloodstream and allow a person to stay alive for 15 to 30 minutes without drawing a breath.
The concept of keeping a patient alive without breathing is not that new, however other attempts at this almost miraculous medicine have all but failed. The sheer determination to succeed in this endeavor came in 2006, when Dr. Kheir lost young patient after her lungs hemorrhaged during a case of pneumonia. That hemorrhaging led to brain damage and eventually death soon after because the good doctor couldn't was unable to keep her alive long enough to give her a heart-lung machine.


Submission + - Google Improving Search Quality, Lists 86 Changes to Search Algorithm (

hypnosec writes: Google has announced a list of changes, totaling 86 in numbers, for the month of June and July that it is going to release for its search algorithm most of which are meant to influence the quality of search results. On its Inside Search blog post, Google has listed 57 changes for the month of June, 22 changes for the month of July and 7 other changes. The changes that Google is making include 6 “Page Quality” changes that will try and bring out more high-quality and unique material from trusted source. Changes under project codenamed “Answers” will incorporate detection of natural language and will address things whereby people search for things like “What is the time in India?”, "When is Mother's Day?", "What is $500 in euros?", etc. Google has also worked on how relevant images are being showed in results. Adult content filtering is also a focus in the current list of changes under project codenamed “SafeSearch”.

Submission + - Kinect 2 sensor output image leaks (

rabok writes: If a Microsoft job posting can be believed we are set to get a new Xbox on store shelves by March 2014 at the latest. Regardless of when it does eventually arrive, it seems an image claiming to be the output of a Kinect 2 has hit the web by a user on twitter. Kinect 2 is expected to be much more accurate even able to see individual fingers, read lips, and gauge moods. This image seems to back up that improvement in both depth perception and the ability to distinguish individual fingers.

Submission + - University Receives $5 million Grant to Study Immortality

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "For millennia, humans have pondered their mortality and whether death is the end of existence or a gateway to an afterlife and millions of Americans have reported near-death or out-of-body experiences while adherents of the world’s major religions believe in an afterlife, from reincarnation to resurrection and immortality. Now the University of California at Riversdie reports that it has received a $5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation that will fund research on aspects of immortality, including near-death experiences and the impact of belief in an afterlife on human behavior. “People have been thinking about immortality throughout history. We have a deep human need to figure out what happens to us after death,” says John Martin Fischer, the principal investigator of The Immortality Project. “No one has taken a comprehensive and sustained look at immortality that brings together the science, theology and philosophy.” Fischer says he going to investigate two different kinds of immortality. One would be the possibility of living forever without ever dying. The main questions there are whether it’s technologically plausible or feasible for us, either by biological enhancement such as those described by Ray Kurzweil, or by some combination of biological enhancement and uploading our minds onto computers in the future. Second would be to investigate the full range of questions about Judeo, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and other Asian religions' conceptions of the afterlife to see if they’re theologically and philosophically consistent. "We’ll look at near death experiences both in western cultures and throughout the world and really look at what they’re all about and ask the question — do they indicate something about an afterlife or are they kind of just illusions that we’re hardwired into?""

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