Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Genetically Engineered Silkworms Spin Spider Silk 188

disco_tracy writes "Silkworms have been modified to produce spider silk, creating a fabric that could be used in everything from bulletproof clothing to artificial tendons." For some reason, this is far less revolting to me than the idea of spider silk being milked out of goats.

Comment Re:Oh yuck. (Score 2, Interesting) 147

Most power transformers are oil cooled. In every substation there are a few big ones, and there are many smaller ones on pole tops or on the ground in suburbs. They pump the oil through the transformer and into a radiator that may or may not be fan cooled. If you build it right, sometimes you dont even need a pump, you can just use the changing density of oil as it heats to have it move itself through the loop. Cooling computers would use the same principle. Oil is a good insulator. There is a certain amount of fire hazard, especially since an arc through the oil will break it down into gasses like acetylene and hydrogen. I'm sure on youtube there are some rather spectacular videos of transformer fires. However there are ways to mitigate the fire risk, and oil cooling is a rather old and well known technology. It has been used in the power industry for more than 50 years.

Comment Re:Utterly Stupid.... (Score 1) 218

Cant even buy incandescent bulbs over here anymore. Kind of upset me when I went shopping for replacements. Could only get the curly fluorescent bulbs at 5x the cost. I miss the good ole days with incandescent lights that didn't give off light that looks like it came from an arc welder.

Comment Re:Turn the key off or put the car in neutral..... (Score 1) 690

+1 I lost my power steering belt in South Dakota, and I didn't bother replacing it until Chicago (it was a Sunday and a lot of auto shops were closed). At freeway speeds there isn't much more effort required to steer, turning at a stop sign is quite a bit more difficult, but still do-able.

Comment Re:bleach is great but focus on antibiotics (Score 3, Informative) 293

It seems like people often confuse antibacterial agents with antibiotics. Antibiotics you have to use correctly in order to prevent breeding super germs. The point of an antibiotic is to kill the germ without hurting the person receiving the antibiotic. It generally takes a few days/weeks for the antibiotic to wipe out an infection. Antibacterial soaps and solutions will never create super-germs because they are the equivalent of a nuclear bomb to germs. These are never used internally because they will kill your body's cells as easily as they kill the bacteria. For countertops or handwashing they are perfect though because they are effective sanitizers. A few seconds/minutes is enough to kill the germs.

Comment Re:Spartan Giraffes (Score 1) 232

There are several thousand species of humans, but only 5 surviving species. And when we say 5 surviving species, we really mean 1 that has any significant numbers, 4 down to their last members.

According to wikipedia ( there is only one species of humans remaining, Homo Sapiens. The last species of humans besides homo sapiens died out about 12,000 years ago.

Comment Re:What happens when we eliminate malaria (Score 0) 178

This isn't a vaccine that is released "into the wild". Its just people using the medicine while being repeatedly bitten by malaria infested mosquitos. After a few months of this they gain immunity to malaria. Yea, it's a terrible idea to eliminate diseases like polio and malaria, which cause misery to millions of impoverished people through out the world. There are no upsides to keeping these diseases around. They aren't grand contributors to the ecosystem. They only cause destruction.

Comment Re:They're not even keeping the money... (Score 1) 406

Except the ISPs where I live make their money from selling bandwidth. If I wasn't allowed to P2P, I would have no need to have near the bandwidth I have now. P2P is just about the only reason to have over 2GB a month internet. It is in the ISP's best interest for P2P to continue.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.