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Submission + - Oldest human genome reveals when our ancestors had sex with Neandertals ( 1

sciencehabit writes: DNA recovered from a femur bone in Siberia belongs to a man who lived 45,000 years ago, according to a new study. His DNA was so well preserved that scientists were able to sequence his entire genome, making his the oldest complete modern human genome on record. Like present-day Europeans and Asians, the man has about 2% Neandertal DNA. But his Neandertal genes are clumped together in long strings, as opposed to chopped up into fragments, indicating that he lived not long after the two groups swapped genetic material. The man likely lived 7000 to 13,000 years after modern humans and Neandertals mated, dating the mixing to 52,000 to 58,000 years ago, the researchers conclude. That’s a much smaller window than the previous best estimate of 37,000 to 86,000 years ago.

Submission + - Australian physicists build reversible tractor beam (

An anonymous reader writes: Physicists at Australian National University have developed a tiny tractor beam that improves in several ways upon previous attempts. First, it operates on scales which, while still tiny, are higher than in earlier experiments. The beam can move particles up to 200 microns in diameter, and it can do so over a distance of 20 cm. "Unlike previous techniques, which used photon momentum to impart motion, the ANU tractor beam relies on the energy of the laser heating up the particles and the air around them. The ANU team demonstrated the effect on gold-coated hollow glass particles. The particles are trapped in the dark center of the beam. Energy from the laser hits the particle and travels across its surface, where it is absorbed creating hotspots on the surface. Air particles colliding with the hotspots heat up and shoot away from the surface, which causes the particle to recoil, in the opposite direction. To manipulate the particle, the team move the position of the hotspot by carefully controlling the polarization of the laser beam.
The Internet

EU Telecom Deal Finished — No Three Strikes 109

a_n_d_e_r_s writes "The battle was hard, but the final text of the agreement ensures that people in the EU are not disconnected from the Internet without a chance to get a fair and impartial hearing beforehand. The important part is: 'Accordingly, these measures may only be taken with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. A prior fair and impartial procedure shall be guaranteed, including the right to be heard of the person or persons concerned, subject to the need for appropriate conditions and procedural arrangements in duly substantiated cases of urgency in conformity with European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The right to an effective and timely judicial review shall be guaranteed.' This means that if someone is accused of copyright infringement, they can't just be disconnected from Internet. It lets the accused get a chance to disagree and take it to court first. The urgency clause means that a computer can be disconnected if it is part of an ongoing DDoS attack. Next, this has to be implemented into the EU nations' own laws, so the final ruling on how this will be implemented is not out yet. But, overall, it looks like a great success in stopping informal three-strikes disconnections."

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania