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Tesla Would Be Proud: Wireless Charging For Electric Cars Gets Closer To Reality 176

curtwoodward writes "For some reason, we're still plugging in electric-powered devices like a bunch of savages. But technology developed at MIT could soon make that a thing of the past, at least for hybrid cars. A small Boston-area company, WiTricity, is a key part of Toyota's growing experiment with wireless charging tech---something the world's largest car maker says it will start seriously testing in the U.S., Japan and Europe next year. The system works by converting AC to a higher frequency and voltage and sending it to a receiver that resonates at the same frequency, making it possible to transfer the power safely via magnetic field. Intel and Foxconn are also investors, and you might see them license the tech soon as well."

Comment Type 2 diabetes distinction not so clear (Score 4, Informative) 92

Genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for Type 2 diabetes suggest a much larger footprint for islet cell dysfunction in T2D than previously thought. While the "insulin resistance" paradigm still works, we've had to adapt our model to include the more disordered insulin secretion indicated by these results. This is why unbiased and hypothesis-free research methods like GWAS are so powerful -- they aren't dependent on our preconceived notions of how things "should" be. A nice review reference: Herder et al. Eur J Clin Invest. 2011;41(6):679-92.

Comment Personalized medicine = "the cloud" (Score 1) 216

The term "personalized medicine" is a buzzword. We've been targeting specific environmental things in specific people for a long time now. It turns out it is hard to get people to get in shape, control their blood pressure, and quit their bad habits. Genetics is as personal as it gets, so that has become the new holy grail. Genetics offers the ability to identify new risk factors and improve understanding of the underlying disease. Many of the identified common and even rare variants in disease don't lead to therapies, but they do tell us about the pathobiology, which may in turn lead to new discoveries and/or therapies. We would love to study gene-environment interactions, but there are major power issues when trying to do studies like this in sporadic, complex disease like heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and the like. We're still trying to develop large enough sample databases and robust analytic techniques that allow us to study the interplay between millions of genetic variants and the often difficult to quantify or report environmental exposures that may act in concert in additive or even multiplicative ways.

MS Buying Yahoo? Bad Idea, Even At a Discount 141

jfruhlinger writes "Nearly four years ago, Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo, but eventually withdrew the offer in the face of resistance from Yahoo's leadership. This week rumors resurfaced that Microsoft was once again bidding on the struggling Internet pioneer, this time for significantly less money. But even at a discount, it might be a pretty bad idea for Microsoft to get involved in the unfocused, money-losing Yahoo."

Comment sequence != expression (Score 1) 123

The use of terms for sequence data and expression data are not interchangeable. The U133 microarray is for RNA, yes RNA, expression data. RNA microarrays quantify the fold change difference in expression between different subjects. DNA microarrays identify polymorphisms or repeats or the like. While arrays like the U133 rely on sequence level data to create the array, this is not the same as saying that sequence-level data is contaminated. Bottom line, the fact that this is not the cover article for Nature|Genetics this month tells you a lot of the story. Unless you are some sort of conspiracy theorist, or want to get swept up in the usual slashdot "sky is falling" imperative.
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Ask Slashdot: How To Monitor Your Own Bandwidth Usage? 319

Vrtigo1 writes "With many ISPs either already using bandwidth caps or talking about them, I was wondering how other Slashdot readers are keeping tabs on how much data is being transferred through their home Internet connections. None of the consumer routers I've used seem to make this information easily accessible. I'd like some way to see exactly how much data has been sent and received by the WAN port facing my ISP's modem so I can compare the numbers I get with the numbers they give me. I don't want to pay for their modem firmware updates and other network management traffic, so I'd like to see how the two numbers line up."

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan