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Comment: Monkeys don't get HIV, they get SIV or SHIV (Score 1) 96

I'm amazed that TFS says HIV as well as the first link. TFNA (The Fucking Nature Article) title is "AAV-expressed eCD4-Ig provides durable protection from multiple SHIV challenges". Wow, SHIV is right there in the title. Humans can be infected with "human immunodeficiency virus". Simians can be infected with "simian immunodeficiency virus".

Additionally, plenty of "monkeys" get SIV and don't become symptomatic because they're natural hosts. Rhesus macaques (as stated in the Nature article), however, are not natural hosts and do become symptomatic. Just using the over-arching term "monkey" is ridiculous for a "science" blog.

Comment: I've used both... (Score 1) 128

I've used my iPhone to track my steps as well as a FitBit to do so. I can agree from experience that they both track just as well as the other. The difference? My phone is much larger and is much more expensive to replace. I like that I don't have to bring my phone with me to track my activity when I'm out doing stuff (and no annoying calls). I also track my stats when playing ice hockey. What kind of fool would bring a phone for that?

They may be the same in terms of counting steps, but in terms of appropriateness in more situations the small, wrist based tracker wins.

The Quantum Experiment That Simulates a Time Machine 139

Posted by timothy
from the already-been-done dept.
KentuckyFC writes One of the extraordinary features of quantum mechanics is that one quantum system can simulate the behaviour of another that might otherwise be difficult to create. That's exactly what a group of physicists in Australia have done in creating a quantum system that simulates a quantum time machine. Back in the early 90s, physicists showed that a quantum particle could enter a region of spacetime that loops back on itself, known as a closed timelike curve, without creating grandfather-type paradoxes in which time travellers kill their grandfathers thereby ensuring they could never have existed to travel back in time in the first place. Nobody has ever built a quantum closed time-like curve but now they don't have to. The Australian team have simulated its behaviour by allowing two entangled photons to interfere with each other in a way that recreates the behaviour of a single photon interacting with an older version of itself. The results are in perfect agreement with predictions from the 1990s--there are no grandfather-type paradoxes. Interestingly, the results are entirely compatible with relativity, suggesting that this type of experiment might be an interesting way of reconciling it with quantum mechanics.

Comment: I live in Montgomery County, MD... (Score 4, Interesting) 784

My wife and I and our kids were just talking about TFA this morning. The reaction that I got from my kids (8 and 10) was something like "huh?". We live just a few doors from a park where all the neighborhood kids play together, unsupervised, when the weather is nice. I love being able to give them unsupervised play time! That's time when then can just be themselves and interact with their peers without adults there interfering. They get to explore and do all kinds of stuff.

My wife and I are even considering allowing our older child to take the Metro (public transit) to ballet by herself next year when she's in middle school.

It frustrates me that our parenting style is probably considered illegal and/or immoral by the county's standards. I'd say that obesity from spending too much time indoors in front of a screen instead of getting out there and mixing it up are greater dangers to our children.

Comment: Re:Then again, maybe it _is_ good news. (Score 2) 172

by VitrosChemistryAnaly (#48514279) Attached to: Study: HIV Becoming Less Deadly, Less Infectious

My question: how do you find these cases in adults? You can't ethically give someone a placebo for 5 years! Are these people who the point of infection can be narrowed down to an instance and who discover they have HIV 6+ years after the fact?

I'm not the clinician in my lab, but here's the way that I understand it works:
After a person tests positive for HIV, their CD4+ T-cell count is monitored. Once that count goes below a certain level they are placed on anti-retroviral therapy. Elite controllers are those whose CD4+ T-cell count never goes down and have nearly undetectable viral loads. For those who don't know, HIV tests actually test whether your body is making antibodies against HIV and don't directly measure viral load.

Comment: Re:Then again, maybe it _is_ good news. (Score 5, Interesting) 172

by VitrosChemistryAnaly (#48509453) Attached to: Study: HIV Becoming Less Deadly, Less Infectious
What we'd have then is a situation like SIV in which the virus doesn't cause disease in "natural" host organisms (such as chimpanzees) because the host can control virus replication. These people actually already exist and they're called "elite controllers". They are infected with HIV (for many, many years), but their immune system keeps the virus to almost undetectable levels. For them, HIV is harmless.

I work in immunology and the coevolution of host and virus to the point where it is harmless would be a Good Thing (TM).

Comment: On one hand... (Score 1) 571

by VitrosChemistryAnaly (#48149087) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project
...fusion power is exciting

On the other hand, I'm not excited about Lockheed Martin developing it.

With my third hand, did anyone else read in the article that nuclear submarines run on a fusion reactor that needs to be replaced on a yearly basis? I was under the impression that it was a fission reactor, so it really makes me doubt if the writer knows what he/she is talking about.

Comment: Re:BTW, this proves piracy is irrelevant for artis (Score 1) 610

This doesn't "prove" anything. You may believe that it illustrates a point that you're trying to make, but it supplies no proof of any kind.

That aside, I'm sure that music publishers and/or U2 are making plenty of money on this deal. It's "free" to iDevice users, not to Apple and nothing like sharing music with P2P.

Comment: Re:And better yet (Score 1) 359

by VitrosChemistryAnaly (#47825095) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

But the other thing about the TI-8x line is if you take a short amount of time you realize you can program the hell out of it. So if for example you're required to memorize formulas, just program them in.

This is exactly what I used to do with my TI81(?) back in 1993 when I was a senior in HS. I was one of the few kids in my class to realize that you could actually program your calculator. When it came time to learn a formula, I would write a program using that formula. Two birds killed with one stone: I had to understand the formula to write a program for it and simple math errors were largely avoided because I was just plugging in numbers and letting the program do the operations. I would do this for chemistry, physics and economics.

After some time, the teachers became aware that some students were just storing equations (not programs) in their calculators and would walk around to make sure that everyone cleared their calculator's memory prior to a test. The solution? You could make images and store them so I wrote a program that made it look like I had cleared my memory.

Fun times.


How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier 218

Posted by timothy
from the this-one-goes-to-11 dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "A scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison published an article in June revealing that he had taken genes from the deadly human 1918 Spanish Flu and inserted them into the H5N1 avian flu to make a new virus—one which was both far deadlier and far more capable of spreading than the original avian strain. In July it was revealed that the same scientist was conducting another study in which he genetically altered the 2009 strain of flu to enable it to evade immune responses, 'effectively making the human population defenseless against re-emergence.' In the U.S. alone, biosafety incidents involving pathogens happen more than twice per week. These 'gain-of-function' experiments are accidents waiting to happen, with the possibility of starting deadly pandemics that could kill millions. It isn't as if it hasn't happened before: in 2009, a group of Chinese scientists created a viral strain of flu virus that escaped the lab and created a pandemic, killing thousands of people. 'Against this backdrop, the growing use of gain-of-function approaches for research requires more careful examination. And the potential consequences keep getting more catastrophic.' This article explores the history of lab-created pandemics and outlines recommendations for a safer approach to this type of research."

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