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Comment: Bally Home System Circa 1979? (Score 1) 492

by obiquity (#33061182) Attached to: Our Video Game Heritage Is Rotting Away

I spent oh so many misspent hours playing with the Bally Professional Arcade system, also called the Bally Astrocade. It had a pistol grip joystick and the resolution and speed was so far superior to the much more popular Atari systems that came out later.

A great example of poor marketing and or timing, I guess. I have yet to meet anyone else who played this system 30 years later...

Biotech

First 'Malaria-Proof' Mosquito Created 261

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-a-really-good-egg-cream dept.
Gisg writes "The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically modified mosquitoes are immune to the malaria-causing parasite, a single-cell organism called Plasmodium. Riehle and his colleagues tested their genetically-altered mosquitoes by feeding them malaria-infested blood. Not even one mosquito became infected with the malaria parasite."
Science

Your Feces Is a Wonderland of Viruses 211

Posted by timothy
from the and-so-can-you dept.
sciencehabit writes "Thanks to an anlaysis of fecal samples from four sets of Missouri-born female identical twins and their mothers, researchers have concluded that human guts harbor viruses as unique as the people they inhabit; the viral lineup differs even between identical twins. Even more surprising? These viruses may be doing good work inside of us."

Comment: incorporate and/or collaborate (Score 4, Informative) 279

by obiquity (#32681234) Attached to: Best Way To Publish an "Indie" Research Paper?
Note, I am a career academic scientist.

Obviously, it should not matter if you are an individual or an institutional scientist and the science should stand on its own merits. Unfortunately, the signal to noise ratio of quality papers coming from non affiliated individual submitters is probably bad enough that most journal editors would rather not take the time or risk to send your work out for peer review. (Think of all the perpetual motion machine crackpots out there still). In most fields, peer review is a voluntary system of review for which reviewers are not compensated and requires substantial effort, so editors are loathe to ask volunteers to review a suspect manuscript fearing it will poison reviewers to subsequent inquires.

Practically though, one way to look more credible is to incorporate (this is inexpensive in most states) and submit it corresponding from the corporation. Another strategy is to find a co-author at a research institution. This may be difficult because academics in my department get a surprising number of calls like this from people who are usually either disturbed or obviously idiotic. But most academics I know will take these calls, especially the younger ones. They might be able to check your work from a different perspective and can certainly help with the arcane apects of manuscript preparation, tone and format.
Medicine

Cutting Umbilical Cord Early Eliminates Stem Cells 139

Posted by timothy
from the just-leave-it-on-a-few-years dept.
GeneralSoh writes "Delaying clamping the umbilical cord at birth may have far-reaching benefits for your baby, according to researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair — and should be delayed for at least a few minutes longer after birth. This new recommendation published in the most recent Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (14:3) notes that delaying clamping the umbilical cord allows more umbilical cord blood and crucial stem cells to transfer from mama to baby."

Comment: Look who supported the work (Score 1) 655

by obiquity (#18363583) Attached to: Genetically Modified Maize Is Toxic — Greenpeace
IAMB (I'm a molecular biologist) and I just read the paper online. Not a horrible study, but not terribly conclusive. Check the Acknowlegment:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/02648wu132m078 04/?p=9a49e2d215844a92a26a8eec3e8e4467&pi=0

"Acknowledgments We thank Anne-Laure Afchain for her help in statistical analyses, and the CRIIGEN scientific and administrative councils for expertise, and initiating judiciary actions by the former French minister of environment, Corinne Lepage, to obtain the data. We also thank Frederique Baudoin for secretarial assistance, and Dr. Brian John and Ian Panton for advising on the English revision of the manuscript. This work was supported by Greenpeace Germany who, in June 2005, won the Appeal Court action against Monsanto, who wanted to keep the data confidential. We acknowledge the French Ministry of Research and the member of Parliament François Grosdidier for a contract to study health assessments of GMOs, as well as the support of Carrefour Group, Quality, Responsibility and Risk Management."

Supported by Greenpeace...I love the organization, but there is a possible stigma of bias here. Like big tobacco funding studies scientists likely to do research that favors their cause....

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