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Comment: Gender equality (Score 3, Insightful) 1142

by amstrad (#41695119) Attached to: Ask Richard Dawkins About Evolution, Religion, and Science Education

How serious of a problem do you think gender inequality is in the scientific academic world? What would you do to correct it?

Follow up:

You caught a lot of heat for the "Dear Muslima" episode last year. Do you feel you were misinterpreted or misrepresented? Is there anything you regret or would have said differently in retrospect?

Biotech

Biotech Report Says IP Spurs Innovation 126

Posted by timothy
from the complicated-incentives-and-disincentives dept.
ananyo writes "A report presented at the 2012 BIO International Convention in Boston, Massachusetts suggests that patents do not stifle progress when they occur at early phases of research, as some have suggested. Over the past decade, increases in patents have been matched by growth in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors in India, Brazil, Singapore and other countries with emerging economies. The strength of patent rights can be quantified in an index ranging from 0 (no patent rights) to 5 (very strong). Over time, the countries that U.S. biotech and pharmaceutical companies have invested in have moved up the IP barometer, the report (PDF) says."

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1, Informative) 167

by amstrad (#40154425) Attached to: Intelsat Signs Launch Contract With SpaceX
You're an idiot.

First, launch escape systems only work if activated prior to an explosion. It won't save the lives of astronauts after the fact, the abort has to be done prior to the catastrophic event.

Second, of course the the Space Shuttle had Launch abort system. It had "Abort to Landing Site", "Transoceanic Abort Landing", "Abort Once Around", and "Abort to Orbit". Only Abort to Orbit was used in the program (STS-51-F):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_abort_modes

Additionally, there was equipment and flight software for crew inflight bailout:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/reference/shutref/escape/inflight.html

This was not available during powered flight.

Comment: Re:OK, X-Rays are banned (Score 1) 225

by amstrad (#38058972) Attached to: EU Approves Unified Full Body Scanner Regulations
Do you have any evidence that it is harmful? Because I have not seen anything convincing. Let's look at some facts:
  1. - Frequencies used in security applications have a water penetration depth of on average 0.3mm. So any potential damage is limit to surface layers of skin.
  2. - A purely mathematical model suggests that photon energies involved have a potential to break bonds in the loaclized sites of the DNA helix which may interfer with RNA transcription. No practical experiments have been done to confirm this.
  3. - Probabilty of these photon interactions is extremely small due to the tiny photoelectric cross section of the bond sites.
  4. - You're body is exposed to orders of magnitude more radiation which is actually ionizing from cosmic and terestrial sources daily.

Comment: Stunt Island (Score 1) 172

by amstrad (#37481578) Attached to: An FPS Minus the Shooting
One of the best games of the early 90s was Disney's Stunt Island. You could either just play the game as a stunt pilot or better yet was the sandbox mode where you could set up stunts, perform and film them and then edit them with sound effects and music. It was an extremely creative game.
I believe it's available as abandonware now: http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/287/Stunt+Island.html

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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