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+ - Closing in on synthetic life forms

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "The Washington Post is running an excellent story this morning, Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms, about the rapid development of synthetic genomics, the crafting of DNA to generate synthetic organisms with specific purposes. Examples of successful bug generation include a DuPont creature that generates a chemical used to manufacture synthetic fiber, and Craig Venter's efforts to engineer a range of fuel-generating microbes.

Unlike conventional biotechnology, in which scientists induce modest genetic changes in cells to make them serve industrial purposes, synthetic biology involves the large-scale rewriting of genetic codes to create metabolic machines with singular purposes.

"I see a cell as a chassis and power supply for the artificial systems we are putting together," said Tom Knight of MIT, who likes to compare the state of cell biology today to that of mechanical engineering in 1864. That is when the United States began to adopt standardized thread sizes for nuts and bolts, an advance that allowed the construction of complex devices from simple, interchangeable parts.

If biology is to morph into an engineering discipline, it is going to need similarly standardized parts, Knight said. So he and colleagues have started a collection of hundreds of interchangeable genetic components they call BioBricks, which students and others are already popping into cells like Lego pieces.

+ - Reality shifts consciousness->

Submitted by
realityshifter writes "Have you ever observed how pregnant women often have "a special glow," or that people in love actually "beam"? That's the aura radiating in a full and positive way! Have you wondered why some days are filled with love, synchronicity, and the manifestation of your intentions and your heart's desires, while others suffer from dissonance and conflict? If you've observed how some days feel happier, healthier and luckier than others, you've felt the effects of your biofield, or aura, in action."
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+ - Wikia busted purchasing FFXIClopedia for $200,000?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Final Fantasy XI (FFXI), Square-Enix's unique entry into the MMORPG
market, is not the most popular of the genre. Nonetheless, one of its
strengths lies in the broad community support that it inspires in its
fans. A number of unique metadata sites have sprung up around it,
including the groundbreaking FFXIAH (http://www.ffxiah.com) Auction
House tracking service.

One of the newer entries to this list is FFXIclopedia
(http://www.ffxiclopedia.org), an FFXI wiki. As with most wikis, the
content was provided principally by the users and the community. So
what happens when businesses notice such a grass-roots niche market?
Apparently, the answer is: a cover-up of misspent fund-raiser moneys,
and a sale of the content to Wikia for USD $200,000 in cash and stock
options. Source: http://euphidime.com/wp/?p=4"

+ - M$ vs TestDriven.Net->

Submitted by
MonkMonk writes "Jamie Cansdale, creator of TestDriven.Net, writes about his experience being bullied by Microsoft after creating an add-in for use with the Visual Studio Express Editions. Read the emails ( and here ), view the 'Cease and Desist' notice from M$ and decide for yourself — is Microsoft foolishly squandering the goodwill of developers everywhere?"
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Space Station Suffers Power Glitch 53

Posted by Hemos
from the bad-times-in-space dept.
TheSexican writes "As if the MRO's vision problems weren't enough, it seems that NASA has another problem on their hands as of late. " The problem itself has been solved; one of the solar power array went off line, and had to be repaired, but is back up and working.

+ - Girls of Engineering Calendar Released

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "The women in the "Girls of Engineering" calendar were accepted to the Downstate campus' nationally ranked engineering program, where students on average scored a 31 on the ACT college entrance exam and graduated in the top 12 percent of their high school classes. " This calendar has upset some people in the engineering community because they find it offensive. Does the slashdot community find a calendar with girls in engineering offensive?"

Mausoleum: The final and funniest folly of the rich. -- Ambrose Bierce