alex_guy_CA writes: "Scientists have been investigating how to mimic spider silk for years. The seemingly delicate threads actually have a tensile strength five times greater than steel, and the possibilities for using a similar material in everything from buildings to bridges to cars and even clothing, are practically infinite. The only problem is, the stuff seems to be impossible to replicate. However, researchers have uncovered a key aspect in how spiders make silk, and they may be one step closer to man-made spider silk.
According to Science Daily, scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the University of Bayreuth have solved the question of how spiders form long, stable, elastic fibers from the proteins stored in their silk glands in seconds. The spider silk is comprised of protein chains linked with stable physical connections, and between these are unlinked areas that contribute to the elasticity — making the silk both strong and flexible. But the mystery behind the molecules are what allows them to be stored in close confinement inside the silk gland without linking up and clumping. The scientists were able to figure out the structure of a control element used in the formation of the spider silk, and now they may be able to soon replicate the way spiders form silk. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100512131511.htm"
Photographer writes: "The USOMB is seeking public comments on copyright enforcement.
The Federal Government is currently undertaking a landmark
effort to develop an intellectual property enforcement strategy
building on the immense knowledge and expertise of the agencies charged
with enforcing intellectual property rights. By committing to common
goals, the Government will more effectively and efficiently combat
intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the
Government, through the office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement
Coordinator (``IPEC''), invites public input and participation in
shaping an effective intellectual property enforcement strategy.
You can go here for the summary or just send an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org"
alex_guy_CA writes: "The US Trade Representative — who has been negotiating the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement without input from the American people or Congress — is seeking public submissions on how to conduct US foreign copyright policy. This means that Americans can file comments with the USTR asking for ACTA to be made public.
Under the Special 301 process the U.S.T.R. seeks input from U.S. copyright, trademark, and patent owners about whether policies and practices in foreign countries deny them adequate IP protection. The process has generally been used by IP holders to complain not only about lax enforcement in other countries, but also about limitations and exceptions in their laws that are beneficial to libraries, to education, to innovation, and to the public interest generally. The ability to comment in the Special 301 process is not limited to IP owners only. Any member of the public is free to file comments. If you believe in the importance of balanced copyright policies, file comments with the USTR and make your voice heard.
Comments can be filed electronically via http://www.regulations.gov/ docket number USTR-2010-0003. You have to include the term "2010 Special 301 Review" in the "Type Comment and Upload File" field. More information about the Special 301 process is available here. Deadline for filing is February 16 by 5 p.m."