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Comment: Re:Geography also a factor (Score 1) 551

by infaustus (#37491544) Attached to: Your State University Doesn't Want You
It is not true that out-of-state students have an easier time getting into VA schools, at least not the good ones (UVA and WM.) They have much higher SAT scores and better GPAs because out of state enrollment is restricted to 1/3 of students. It's also not terribly difficult to get in from NoVA. Most of the people I know who got rejected and used that excuse were not the bright, even if they thought their weighted 4.0+ GPAs made them perfect candidates.

Comment: Re:not my field.... (Score 3, Informative) 249

by infaustus (#37475892) Attached to: What You Eat Affects Your Genes
DNA is transcripted into RNA which is translated into proteins, which are the main structural components of life. MicroRNA binds to the RNA transcripts, preventing them from being translated into proteins. The article title is misleading because we usually consider DNA to be our genes, and MicroRNA affects gene expression rather than genes themselves. RNA interference, including interference by MicroRNA was discovered decades ago but no one has studied interference by foreign RNA in food. It's mostly been studied in the context of viruses or transgenic cells.

Comment: Re:Not convinced. (Score 2) 464

by infaustus (#37144708) Attached to: American Grant Writing: Race Matters
If you read TFA article, you will see that the p-value's are given as less than .001. That means there is a .1% chance of getting results this extreme if grants are given on a race-neutral basis, assuming their model is otherwise correct. It seems unlikely this statistic is due to random chance. I have an alternate explanation for the data. Affirmative action means that degrees from and jobs at prestigious universities will overstate the aptitude of minorities, so these variables are not sufficient for the regression.

Comment: Re:Humanities - you're wrong (Score 1) 913

by infaustus (#36569168) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements?
I find your attribution of Santayana's quote to Hegel amusing. Hegel is the source of a great retort: "The only lesson we learn from history is that we don't learn from history." The liberal arts portion of my education has been about as useful as a peacock's tail. It lets me impress people and make ostentatious displays, but that just attests to how silly our society is. I enjoyed some of the liberal arts classes, but if my parents had not been paid for them and I had to support myself I would surely have resented them.

Comment: Re:F1RST P0ST! (Score 1) 61

by infaustus (#34363086) Attached to: German Scientists Create Bose-Einstein Condensate Using Photons
I think this was pretty firmly considered impossible - there is a problem in my stat mech textbook (Kittel and Kromer, Thermal Physics) as follows: 7.7) Photon condensation. Consider a science fiction universe in which the number of photons N is constant, at a concentration of 10^20 cm^-3. The number of thermally excited photons we assume is given by the result of Problem 4.1, which is Ne=2.404V(tau^3)/(pi^2hbar^3c^3). Find the critical temperature in K below which Ne N. The excess N - Ne will be in the photon mode of lowest frequency; the excess might be described as a photon condensate in which there is a large concentration of photons in the lowest mode. In reality there is no such principle that the total number of photons be constant, hence there is no photon condensate.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin