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Submission + - Israeli vulture suspected of spying returned

red crab writes: BBC reports that a griffon vulture with GPS tracking device attached to its leg that was part of conservation program of Tel Aviv University was captured in Lebanon after it was suspected to be a Israeli spy. UN Liaison forces helped secure the release of the bird after holding talks with Lebanese and Israeli ofcials. Here's the link to the news.

Comment Re:Modi is accused of dissing a certain religion (Score 1) 80

It has nothing to do w/ it. Most faculty lecturers are Leftists, and today, in the absence of the Soviet Union, they've decided to switch loyalties from Communism to Islam. Modi's inaction in 2002 ensured that Muslims in his state never torched another train again. That's what they hate about him - that he showed that Muslims can be stopped in their tracks (pun intended) if the will is there..

So you approve of street justice then. Let all Muslims be torched because a couple of them killed some Hindus. Isn't a government is supposed to protect all its citizens, irrespective of their race, religion. color and all etc; or is that just a school textbook stuff?

Submission + - SPAM: How and Why a Mosquito Bites You

pedroquez writes: By Dr. Mercola

Mosquitoes are one of the few annoyances of summer. To be fair, they do serve a purpose in the environment. Mosquito larvae are a popular snack for fish and other aquatic creatures while adult mosquitoes provide food for birds, bats, and spiders.

Male mosquitoes donâ(TM)t bite humans, but rather feed off flower nectar. Female mosquitoes are the ones that require meals of blood in order to develop and lay eggs.

Their bites are at best an itchy nuisance and, at worst, can transmit serious diseases like malaria, yellow fever, dengue, encephalitis, chikungunya, and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes can even spread Lyme disease!

In certain parts of the world, a child dies every minute from mosquito-transmitted malaria. No wonder mosquitoes have been described as the âoeworldâ(TM)s deadliest animalâ¦â1

How and Why Mosquitoes Bite

Female mosquitoes feed on human blood, but not for their own nutritional purposes. They need the protein and other components in the blood to produce their eggs.

The mosquito has a mouthpart called a proboscis, which is like a hypodermic needle. She uses it to pierce your skin and probe around a bit until she finds a capillary to suck the blood from.

She also injects some of her own saliva, which stops the blood from coagulating but is also the point at which she can transmit diseases directly into your bloodstream.2

She then sucks the blood out and into her abdomen, where it becomes digested and used to produce eggs. In the video below, you can see a close-up view of an Anopheles gambiae mosquito feeding on a capillary (donâ(TM)t watch if youâ(TM)re squeamish).3

Some People May Be âInvisibleâ(TM) to Mosquitoes

Certain compounds emitted through sweat and produced by bacteria on human skin are irresistible to mosquitoes. Lactic acid, for instance, which is commonly found in human sweat, attracted about 90 percent of the mosquitoes in one test.

However, when other naturally occurring chemical compounds, such as 1-methylpiperazine, were released, they blocked the mosquitoesâ(TM) sense of smell so effectively that the mosquitoes were oblivious to a human hand nearby.

According to a presentation given at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society by Ulrich Bernier, Ph.D., a chemist at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Mosquito and Fly Research Unit. Bernier explained:4

âoeIf you put your hand in a cage of mosquitoes where we have released some of these inhibitors, almost all just sit on the back wall and don't even recognize that the hand is in there. We call that anosmia or hyposmia, the inability to sense smells or a reduced ability to sense smells.â

Certain people seem to secrete more of these natural substances than others, making them essentially invisible to mosquitoes. Insect sprays containing 1-methylpiperzine are in the works, but so far scientists havenâ(TM)t been able to figure out how to keep the substance from evaporating off of the skin, as naturally occurs over time.

Why Do Some People Get Bitten More Than Others?

New research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) suggests how attractive you are to mosquitoes may be genetically based, in particular related to your genesâ(TM) control over your body odor.5

In a study using twins, either identical or fraternal, the identical twins, who are genetically identical, experienced a similar number of mosquito bites while non-identical twins had a larger disparity.6

Itâ(TM)s been suggested that 85 percent of your susceptibility to mosquito bites may be due to genetics, but there are other factors as well. For instance, movement and heat attract mosquitoes, and mosquito bites are more common among:7 People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface People who produce excess amounts of uric acid People who give off more carbon dioxide, including pregnant women and those who are larger or overweight People with Type O blood8 People who are exercising, as this increases sweat, heat, lactic acid, and movement, all factors that lure in mosquitoes Beer drinkers (for reasons that remain a mystery, drinking alcohol stimulates mosquito attraction)9

DEET-Containing Insect Repellents Are Better Off Avoided

Conventional insect repellents typically contain DEET, a chemical that smells unpleasant to mosquitoes so they stay away. The trouble is some mosquitoes have developed resistance, making DEET less effective than it used to be. And, this chemical is linked to a number of very serious side effects.

DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is used in more than 230 different products â" in concentrations of up to an astounding 100 percent. If a chemical melts plastic or fishing line, it's not wise to apply it to your skin â" and that is exactly what DEET does.

Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia spent 30 years researching the effects of pesticides. He discovered that prolonged exposure to DEET may impair cell function in parts of your brain â" demonstrated in the lab by death and behavioral changes in rats with frequent or prolonged DEET use.

Children are particularly at risk for subtle brain changes because their skin more readily absorbs chemicals in the environment and chemicals more potently affect their developing nervous systems. Other potential side effects DEET exposure include: Memory loss Headache Muscle weakness and fatigue Shortness of breath Muscle and joint pain Tremors

Are There Any Natural Mosquito Repellents?

You can avoid many bites by staying inside around dawn and dusk, which is when mosquitoes are most active. If you must be out during those times, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, and socks (some mosquitoes are more attracted to dark clothing and can bite through tight-fitting clothes). Mosquitoes are also thicker in shrubby areas and near standing water.

As mentioned, body temperature and skin chemicals like lactic acid also attract mosquitoes, which explains why youâ(TM)re more likely to be âoeeaten aliveâ when youâ(TM)re sweaty, such as during or after exercise, so trying to stay as cool and dry as you can may help to some degree.

Some experts also recommend supplementing with one vitamin B1 tablet a day from April through October, and then adding 100 mg of B1 to a B100 Complex daily during the mosquito season to make you less attractive to mosquitoes. Regularly consuming garlic may also help protect against both mosquito bites, as may the following natural insect repellents:

  • Cinnamon leaf oil (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET10)
  • Clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil
  • Wash with citronella soap, and then put some 100% pure citronella essential oil mixed with a carrier oil, like olive oil or coconut oil, on your skin. Java Citronella is considered the highest quality citronella on the market
  • Catnip oil (according to one study, this oil is 10 times more effective than DEET11)

How to Make Your Backyard Less Hospitable to Mosquitoes

If mosquitoes are an issue in your own backyard, there are some steps you can take to encourage them to live elsewhere. Draining standing water, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires, bird baths, childrenâ(TM)s toys, and so on, is important. This is where mosquitoes breed, so if you eliminate standing water youâ(TM)ll eliminate many mosquitoes.

Planting marigolds around your yard also works as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance that bugs do not like. This is a great way to ward off mosquitoes without using chemical insecticides. A simple house fan could also help keep mosquitoes at bay if youâ(TM)re having a get-together in your backyard or, for a longer-term solution, try installing a bat house (bats are voracious consumers of insects, especially mosquitoes).

Itâ(TM)s best to avoid using bug zappers in your yard, as these may actually attract more mosquitoes while killing beneficial insects. Insect foggers designed to clear insects out of your backyard should also be avoided, as they require the use of strong, potentially harmful, pesticides and donâ(TM)t offer lasting protection. Even those clip-on repellents and fans that are widely sold are best avoided, as they contain even more toxic ingredients than repellents that can be applied to your skin, and they pose an inhalation hazard.12

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The boom in mini stomachs, brains, kidneys and more

red crab writes: A recent report at says that using carefully timed chemical cues, researchers around the world have produced three-dimensional structures that resemble tissue from the eye, gut, liver, kidney, pancreas, prostate, lung, stomach and breast. These bits of tissue, called organoids because they mimic some of the structure and function of real organs, are furthering knowledge of human development, serving as disease models and drug-screening platforms, and might eventually be used to rescue damaged organs.

“It doesn't require any super-sophisticated bioengineering,” says Jürgen Knoblich, at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna “We just let the cells do what they want to do, and they make a brain.”

These organoids, may prove to be a powerful tool in personalized medicine. Researchers have been successful in creating organoids from affected organs of patient and then apply potential drug on those to test the drug's effectiveness “It's a black-and-white assay,” says Hans Clevers, a stem-cell researcher at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, "one that could prove quicker and cheaper than trying drugs in people to see whether they work".

Submission + - The Internet of Compromised Things (

An anonymous reader writes: Jeff Atwood has a post about a security threat that's become more prevalent every day: spreading malware through a compromised router. "Router malware is the ultimate man-in-the-middle attack. For all meaningful traffic sent through a compromised router that isn't HTTPS encrypted, it is 100% game over." He links to a thorough technical analysis of how even HTTPS encrypted traffic can be subverted. Atwood provides a list of suggestions for keeping your router safe that probably won't be any surprise to people reading this site, and he further recommends only browsing on an unknown router if encryption is available. What I'm curious about are the long-term implications — is there a way forward to re-establish trust in our router infrastructure? What can the open source community do to speed this along?

Submission + - No Immunity For Cops Who Sent A SWAT Team To A 68-Year-Old Woman's House (

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, we covered the story of Louise Milan, a 68-year-old grandmother whose house was raided by a SWAT team (accompanied by a news crew) searching for someone who had made alleged threats against police officers over the internet. Part of the probable cause submitted for the warrant was Milan's IP address.

But the police made no attempt to verify whether any resident of Milan's house made the threats and ignored the fact that the IP address was linked to an open WiFi connection.

Submission + - Congressional Black Caucus Begs Apple for its 'Trade Secret' Racial Data

theodp writes: In Silicon Valley this week with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to turn up the heat on the tech industry to hire more African Americans, Rep. Barbara Lee called on Apple and other holdouts among the nation's tech companies to release federal data on the diversity of their work forces. "If they believe in inclusion," said Lee, "they have to release the data so the public knows that they are being transparent and that they are committed to doing the right thing." Apple has refused to make public the EEO-1 data that it routinely supplies to the U.S. Dept. of Labor on the demographics of their workers. In the absence of the race and gender data, which Apple and others historically argued were 'trade secrets' that were not subject to release Freedom of Information requests, tech companies were free to make unchecked claims about their Black employee ranks (Google's 2007 Congressional testimony) until recent disclosures revealed otherwise, and the National Science Foundation was even convinced to redirect NSF grant money specifically earmarked for getting African American boys into the computer science pipeline to a PR campaign for high school girls of all colors and economic backgrounds.

Submission + - Dr. Frances Kelsey, who saved American babies from thalidomide, dies at 101 (

circletimessquare writes: Plenty of regulations are bad (some because big business corrupts them, aka regulatory capture) but the simple truth is modern society cannot function without effective government regulation. It keeps are food safe, our rivers clean, and our economy healthy. Passing away at age 101 Friday was a woman who personified this lesson. In 1960 the F.D.A. (which some prominent politicians today want to weaken, because it interferes with their donor's profits) tasked her with evaluating a drug used in Europe for treating morning sickness. She noticed something troubling, and asked the manufacturer William S. Merrell Co. for more data. "Thus began a fateful test of wills. Merrell responded. Dr. Kelsey wanted more. Merrell complained to Dr. Kelsey’s bosses, calling her a petty bureaucrat. She persisted. On it went. But by late 1961, the terrible evidence was pouring in. The drug — better known by its generic name, thalidomide — was causing thousands of babies in Europe, Britain, Canada and the Middle East to be born with flipperlike arms and legs and other defects." Without Dr. Kelsey's scientific and regulatory persistence in the face of mindless greed, thousands of Americans would have suffered a horrible fate.

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