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Submission + - Mini DNA replicator could benefit world's poor

bob_calder writes: "From New Scientist: A pocket-sized device that runs on two AA batteries and copies DNA as accurately as expensive lab equipment has been developed by researchers in the US. The device has no moving parts and costs just $10 to make. It runs polymerase chain reactions (PCRs), to generate billions of identical copies of a DNA strand, in as little as 20 minutes. This is much faster than the machines currently in use, which take several hours. Victor Ugaz of Texas A&M University Journal reference: Angewandte Chemie International Edition (DOI: 10.1002/anie.200700306)"

Feed Nanotechnology May Be Used To Regenerate Tissues, Organs (

Research at Northwestern University has shown that a combination of nanotechnology and biology may enable damaged tissues and organs to heal themselves. In a dramatic demonstration of what nanotechnology might achieve in regenerative medicine, paralyzed lab mice with spinal cord injuries have regained the ability to use their hind legs six weeks after a simple injection of a purpose-designed nanomaterial.
Linux Business

Submission + - OpenOffice + Linux = Crap

ramboando writes: Open Kernel Labs founder Professor Gernot Heiser had some blunt words for the OpenOffice community — the product isn't ready to compete with the big boys. In this story, he says: "If you want to be successful in open source it can't just be a 'me too' product. Anything that's not the best technology will not work ... enterprise is willing to pay for the best. OpenOffice is not the best ... it's the first thing that made me move from Linux to Mac," Heiser said. "Open source is creating the most pure Darwinist environment possible. It's brutal survival of the fittest," he said, surprising the crowd at CeBIT's Open Source Business session today. "Only the best software will be able to survive. Regardless of how free it is, enterprise will not use it unless it is better," Heiser added. Sun's Simon Phipps basically said he was talking crap.

Submission + - Harvard Law Prof Urges University to Fight RIAA

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Distinguished Harvard University Law School Professor Charles Nesson has called upon Harvard University to fight back against the RIAA and stand up for its students: "Students and faculty use the Internet to gather and share knowledge now more than ever....Yet "new deterrence and education initiatives" from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) threaten access to this vibrant resource. The RIAA has already requested that universities serve as conduits for more than 1,200 "pre-litigation letters." Seeking to outsource its enforcement costs, the RIAA asks universities to point fingers at their students, to filter their Internet access, and to pass along notices of claimed copyright infringement. But these responses distort the University's educational mission....... One can easily understand why the RIAA wants help from universities in facilitating its enforcement actions against students who download copyrighted music without paying for it. It is easier to litigate against change than to change with it. If the RIAA saw a better way to protect its existing business, it would not be threatening our students, forcing our librarians and administrators to be copyright police, and flooding our courts with lawsuits against relatively defenseless families without lawyers or ready means to pay. We can even understand the attraction of using lawsuits to shore up an aging business model rather than engaging with disruptive technologies and the risks that new business models entail...... But mere understanding is no reason for a university to voluntarily assist the RIAA with its threatening and abusive tactics. Instead, we should be assisting our students both by explaining the law and by resisting the subpoenas that the RIAA serves upon us. We should be deploying our clinical legal student training programs to defend our targeted students......""

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.