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+ - Creating bacterial 'fight clubs' to discover new drugs->

Submitted by Science_afficionado
Science_afficionado writes: Vanderbilt chemists have shown that creating bacterial "fight clubs" is an effective way to discover natural biomolecules with the properties required for new drugs. They have demonstrated the method by using it to discover a new class of antibiotic with anti-cancer properties.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Fire danger (Score 1) 84 84

by magarity (#50015103) Attached to: My relationship to 4th of July noise:

I like fireworks as much as anyone and I don't mind if someones takes his chances with blowing his own hand off because he's had a few too many Bud Lights. What I mind is when it hasn't rained in months and all the fire danger alerts are Ultra Violet level but people are still shooting off sparkly rockets. Have a little sense, people!

Comment: It depends (Score 1) 78 78

by metamatic (#50014821) Attached to: To Learn (Or Not Learn) JQuery

If you are working on an existing project that has already chosen to use jQuery, then you should learn it.

Otherwise, I wouldn't bother. Just learn Vanilla JS, and skip jQuery. Your pages will be faster and better.

jQuery was a useful thing a few years ago, but now that browser standards compliance is so much better it's a big chunk of unnecessary code.

Comment: Re:If we're stuck with polls, how 'bout tech polls (Score 1) 84 84

by jdavidb (#50014449) Attached to: My relationship to 4th of July noise:

I'm becoming a bit of a fireworks nerd, actually. I grew up in the big city where firework sales were forbidden, and now I live in the country where you can buy them twice a year. We actually double up on fourth of July and get extras to save for the fifth of November and have a fun time then, as well.

I've gone so far as to research how to create my own fireworks, and I might actually give it a try some day.

Gunpowder is really the original world-transforming technologies.

Comment: Re:Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 0) 186 186

by mbkennel (#50013927) Attached to: Bill Gates Investing $2 Billion In Renewables
| On the other hand, $2bn in renewables will have a measurable effect.

But only incremental progress, not breakthrough, because you're profoundly limited by laws of thermodynamics & energy/entropy density.

There's no Moore's law for energy. Less is less, not more.

In the 1960's when microelectronic chips started, the state of the technology was many orders of magnitude away from the fundamental limits, i.e. the size of the atoms. There was tremendous unused headroom to grow into. {now those limits are starting to bite}.

In energy that wasn't the case and still isn't.

Comment: Re:you never hear of having USN nuclear problems (Score 1) 186 186

by mbkennel (#50013899) Attached to: Bill Gates Investing $2 Billion In Renewables
| It has never been possible for privately owned terrestrial nuclear power plants to make a profit. NOT EVER. This is an independently verifiable stone cold FACT

Sure, because it's competing against coal and gas which pass their externalities of wrecking the planetary ecosystem at zero cost to everybody else and their descendants.

If coal and gas had to sequester their output as much as nuclear, nuclear would obviously be cheapest because it's much easier to capture a small amount of solid waste instead of immense amounts of gas.

Comment: Re:Kids don't understand sparse arrays (Score 2) 112 112

I think the poster above clearly understood the problem domain, in that the most common uses for "sparse array" is a "sparse matrix" for numerical computations.

And moreover, as is the case, the problem domain of matrix computations is known to be deep and problem-dependent, with a wide variety of representations and solution categories.

| But by all means, go ahead and implement your own formats for each of the various types of sparse matrices you are likely to encounter. Then optimize operations for each. Then implement complex algebra (eigenvalues, svd, QR, the works). In the end, hope that your brand spanking new wheel has no corners and works for enough use cases to justify not employing a standardized wheel. A smarter person than me said something along the lines of premature optimization and evils, but I suppose it does not apply to your brand of genius.

I see an unjustified insult against the previous poster.

The various cases and solvers have already been implemented in many important software packages for different domains, and given the centrality of matrix operations in high performance computing, this is not a premature optimization but rather the essential, core implementation and algorithmic optimization flowing from the proper mathematical treatment of the problem.

And his point was not at all to re-do everything yourself, but to be aware that there are in fact many varieties of sparse matrices in various settings and that this is not just a software-abstraction problem but a key mathematical problem, and there is no simple over-arching software abstraction that works well universally. The post described well-established problem domains with high-quality solutions.

Simply being aware of this not-always obvious fact is an example of scientific maturity.

Comment: Copyright (Score 4, Interesting) 82 82

by jdavidb (#50013625) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Steve Jackson About Designing Games

Steve, I read that you consider yourself a "small-l libertarian." These days a lot of libertarians have come to oppose copyright law, or else favor severe reforms for it. As a publisher, game designer, and libertarian, how do you feel about the subject, and do you feel that these various roles are in tension with each other?

On a related note, in junior high school I bought GURPS Cyberpunk from a friend, only to later find out that that friend had shoplifted it from a bookstore. I've always regretted that. Do I owe you guys some money?

Comment: Cryonics (Score 1) 82 82

by jdavidb (#50013579) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Steve Jackson About Designing Games

Steve, thanks for many enjoyable hours spent gaming and reading your company's books about gaming. I wish I could ask you how to make more hours so that I could still play today!

I have read that at one time you had cryonics arrangements with Alcor Life Extension foundation. Is that still true today? Are you optimistic about your chances? Do you recommend other people follow suit?

Comment: If we only set a string precedent... (Score 2) 78 78

by argStyopa (#50012867) Attached to: When a Company Gets Sold, Your Data May Be Sold, Too

"..Because the site's privacy policy had promised never to sell or share members' personal details without their permission,..."

Sounds like we could charge the corporate officers with 2 million counts of fraud at least.

If we actually set a strong precedent of punishing site owners for their cavalier disregard for the promises made, I suspect this wouldn't be something we'd have much worry about.

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