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Comment: beta beta beta (Score 1, Offtopic) 144

by dciman (#46188699) Attached to: A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415

Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441

Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org (thanks Okian Warrior (537106))

Comment: Just a fancy dye for ATP (Score 1) 51

by dciman (#38668076) Attached to: Nanosensors Could Help Reduce Laboratory Animal Testing

This is just an example of a membrane permeable dye for ATP detection. They are just looking at cells grown in cell culture media....

While this is cool, it is far from a replacement for animal models. For example, this would be useless to test the immune system response to a pathogen. It wouldn't let you determine how a bacterial pathogen enters its host and disseminates through the body. It wouldn't let you see what blood stream levels are produced for a given oral dose of a drug.

Animal research sucks... but so does disease. No one does animal research because they enjoy it (well, OK maybe a few crazies out there).

Comment: science isn't always evil :) (Score 1) 754

by dciman (#38203792) Attached to: Paper On Super Flu Strain May Be Banned From Publication

They didn't specifically modify the virus if I understand the article correctly. They simply passaged it many times through a ferret host. Selective pressure caused the mutations leading the to increased transmission ability. The virus's DNA was then sequenced to find the mutations. All of them were known mutations found in nature, but just not in the same viral genome until that point. That knowledge is important for scientists working on infectious disease.

They didn't set out to introduce specific mutations in an attempt to make a super virus. While the result is somewhat similar, the means to the end are important here.
An analogy would be a lab constructing a strain of S. aureus that is vancomycin and methicillin resistant, vs reporting the seqeuce of genes responsible for a natural isolate found to show that phenotype.

Learning more about disease is the only way to prevent/treat it. Burying our heads in the sand and pretending that everything will be OK just isn't going to cut it.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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