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Comment Re:LOL - there is no such thing as 'vaccination'.. (Score 1) 118

Ebola is not an airborne virus. Therefore if you detect it early enough in the first people you can vaccinate those around them.

And if you read about Ebola's normal course, it would normally take about a week for things to get very bad for patients (bleeding and diarrhea ). Yes, the vaccine might not work and 2,000 some people may have gotten lucky, or it could work for 90% of them and 200 of them got lucky. This does seem like a promising step forward, if people can put aside their disbelief and cynicism, but then again this is slashdot.

Comment Re:Convenient (Score 2) 118

Really... is it that convenient or is it because cancer is caused by cell mutations and every cancer and victim has a slightly different mutation. And some people have been surviving Ebola, which means their bodies have created antibodies.

Cancer will probably take more than 100 years after this point to completely wipe out. With medicine these days we will probably see better treatments for it and more people will survive over time, but cancer will not be wiped out any time soon.

Comment Re:Sounds Great (Score 1) 66

Sorry I was in a hurry to type this, but I get two vials a month of Humalog. And that is what costs me that much money. And Humalog was first approved in 1996, so it should either have already ended its patent or be about to end its patent.

I am pretty sure the drug company's have more than made their initial investment back from the creation of these types of insulin.

I just want the ability that I lost, the ability to make my own insulin... so why not

Comment Sounds Great (Score 3, Informative) 66

As a type 1 diabetic I am all for this. Currently a vial (500 units) of insulin costs between $250 and $400 (before insurance). Since this was done originally in 1978, there shouldn't be a patent to worry about. And since diabetics need this to live, I really don't care too much about the profits of the drug manufacturer, when it probably costs them less than $5 to make a vial.

Comment Re:Maybe Not (Score 1) 107

Drones are saving large numbers of our soldiers as well as keeping innocents safe in conflicts. No longer need we bomb an entire city to kill one or two bad guys. That drone may have a human operator or be on auto pilot.
                      But my point is that smaller robots may well be of more vital importance than huge robots. We do not need to stomp down cities like Godzilla. But a small drone with a small grenade flying through a bedroom window can kill an enemy without killing thousands of innocents.
                      I do see that very large robots could get the public more aware and more eager to see high function robots and that might lead to better funding and training of engineers which is great. But in the end the tiny robot is what we really need the most. A self driving car may well have the "robotics" built into the dash board and look like any other car. The robot is essentially invisible. And the robot can actually be spread about in various nooks and crannies of a machine. We need not fixate on a robot that we can see as an entity in itself. Imagine a very simple robot such that each leg of a table adjusts so that the table is level and does not rock on its legs. The robotics could be concealed within the table legs and no one would suspect unless the table was moved and the legs needed to adjust themselves to the new place on the floor.

This is an interesting argument for more robots...

Now we just need you to prove that you aren't Skynet.

Comment Re:Math (Score 2) 236

Actually the survivability isn't completely known either. There is a good theory that I heard about the K–Pg Extinction which stated that surface temperatures reached about 700 degrees Fahrenheit about 2 to 8 hours after the impact. The theory is that the asteroid threw a ton of earth into the atmosphere, which all then began to fall back to the earth, which created the temperature change almost completely around the world. This explains the death of all insects, the death of all plankton and why all fossils stopped being found for about 10 million years after this occurred.

If this actually happened today, people could survive the impact, the temperature change (being underground previously allowed mammals to survive) , but the overall climate change that would happen for the next 5-10 years, would be very difficult to survive. All plants caught fire previously and that smoke along with the dust from the impact and the volcanic activity that would happen afterwards, would cast a cloud that would make it very difficult for anything to grow for quite a while after it. Not to mention the fact that the fires and lack of plants would severely deplete the oxygen levels around the world. Human survivability would depend on how prepared we were, but also how long the earth's surface is uninhabitable after the impact, if it is longer than 5 years, I don't see how we could survive.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 225

Plus, a lot of Slashdot's readers are American, and some of us are geeks who like -- wait for this -- football!

I am an American and I like football (and I am not a Patriots fan). But the science here is merely measuring PSI on footballs and testing it under different temperatures and pressures. This set of testing could have been done by a 13 year old. It is nothing new, nothing that technological or challenging and it most likely will have little to no impact on anything other than giving news stations and websites something to talk about for a few days. Oh the Patriots might get a fine, or possibly lose a draft pick.

And the summary has no mention of any specific science or technology here.

Comment Re:Ken Burns documentary a couple of weeks back (Score 1) 21

60 minutes had a story as well about a modified version of the polio virus being used to trigger an immune system response to the cancer cells. It seems (maybe I am just overly optimistic) that more progress is beginning to be made against cancer, since the introduction of chemo and radiation therapies.

Comment Re:Great article. (Score 3, Insightful) 215

Same goes for windmills, etc. Are they really better for the environment than, say, nuclear power?

Uranium has to be mined (most likely using similar circumstances) as well. Most everything that we use and dispose of has an environmental impact.

The real point of this is the fact that China doesn't have better environmental protection laws. The US had issues like this up until the states and the EPA began to regulate environmental impacts. The Cuyahoga River fire was a good example of why we began to clean up our act in the US.

But the reason that I quoted that line is because windmills, solar, nuclear and geothermal are good sources of electricity that our going to lower CO2 emissions and hopefully slow the human environmental impact on the world. All of these can cause a negative environmental impact, if done in an unregulated environment, but they can all hopefully improve the environment as well.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz