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Comment: Chemistry vs Molecular Biology (Score 5, Informative) 74

Turing's theory was formulated in an era when physics and chemistry were the foundation components of biology. The problem he was trying to solve is: How is biological complexity achieved in terms of fundamental chemistry and physics? At the time, chemistry could explain how two poisonous chemicals, sodium and chlorine, could combine to produce a substance as benign as common table sale (NaCl). But nothing could explain how a single cell could develop into something as complex as a fish, or a mouse, or a human being.

In 1953, Crick and Watson published a paper in Nature that revealed the chemical structure of DNA. The discovery was a revolution in science because it changed biology from an amalgam of physics and chemistry into an information science. In DNA and RNA, a whole vocabulary of computing was encoded. Suddenly, the complexity of biological processes such as embryogenesis, heredity, and cancer could be understood in programmatic terms through the molecular language of DNA.

Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis doesn't mention DNA. As such, it is too simple to explain morphogenesis per se. Rather, his concept of intercellular reaction-diffusion may be applied to cell biology inter alia, but it isn't the big picture. Crick and Watson worked that out, thanks in no small part to Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins.

Comment: Pitfalls of Shipito (Score 5, Informative) 206

by wombatmobile (#45297075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Package Redirection Service For Shipping to Australia?

I've used a Shipito consolidation account for 5 months to send stuff to Brisbane. This is what I learned:

0. I pay $50/year for an account, which gives me an address in California (Suite 123456, 123 Something St., Sometown CA, 90250). When a package arrives for me, they list it on my web based UI with a photo of the package and shipping label.

1. The cheapest freight out to Australia available through Shipito is TNT, but the cost varies from $15/lb for 8lbs, down to $4/lb for 30 lbs.

2. The optimal weight package to consolidate and send off to Australia is 29.5 lbs. Shipito adds a $10 surcharge for heaviness if the package exceeds 30 lbs.

3. It is cheapest to minimise the number of small packages you send in to your Shipito account because they charge $4.50 per piece to consolidate each incoming package into the big box that they send to Australia. Their literature makes it seem like only $2.50, but really it is $4.50 because there is a handling fee and a consolidation fee for each item. So, if you want to order 10 books from Amazon, get them sent to your Shipito box in Caliornia as on shipment of 10 books and you will only have to pay $4.50 handling and consolidation fees. If, however, you let Amazon send you 10 individual packages of 1 book each, Shipito will charge you a total of $45.00 handling and consolidation to put the same 10 books in your big box that goes to Australia.

4. Watch your Shipito account like a hawk. If a package goes missing and you don't tell them within 10 days, too bad. You have no recourse.

5. A package can be delivered to Shipito by Amazon's courier, but Shipito might not ever credit it to your account, in which case you better read #4 again. Until the package is assigned to your account, it hasn't arrived.

6. Their customer service is not aleays good. However, once you have received a reply from a service agent, if you continue to send further enquiries directly to that agent's email address you may get better customer service than if you just use the forum or the general address.

7. Fill out the online customs declerations each time a package arrives. It makes it easier for you to calculate when to close off a consolidation because you can see when the value of all packages is getting close to $1000 or the weight close to 29.5 lbs. You need to send the consolidation before it is worth over $1000 to avoid being charged GST in Australia.

8. They do some annoying things like if you let the package overstay the maximum of 90 days in storage, they just remove it from your a/c without warning and say too bad. So be vigilant about their rules, and don't expect them to be as understanding as some other more mature businesses.

9. If you follow all the above guidelines, Shipito is a good service that will save you considerable amounts on freight, and enable you to buy stuff from US vendors who will only ship to a US address.

Comment: Quality of what? (Score 1) 617

by wombatmobile (#44853219) Attached to: How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business
The quality of the recording is only a technical aspect of the recorded work. The musicality (how good or enjoyable the music is) has a far bigger bearing on the quality of the listener's experience. We all want good music first, and clear sound second. Without the former, the latter doesn't please, but the converse is not true.

Comment: Re:Weaknesses (Score 1) 20

by wombatmobile (#41214037) Attached to: Researchers Engineer Light-Activated Skeletal Muscle

What is the point? Why do we need a copy of a human

They aren't trying to duplicate humans. They are trying to distill and reproduce essential aspects of biomotion e.g. skeletal muscle contraction. TFA is about a way to control the twitching of skeletal muscles without requiring a biological nervous system.

+ - New technique sequences ancient DNA 99.9%

Submitted by wombatmobile
wombatmobile (623057) writes "Ancient DNA has proven difficult to sequence or clone, because it is fragmentary, and most of it breaks down into single strands after it is extracted from bone.

However, a new technique developed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequences single stranded DNA. Scientists just announced they used the technique to fully sequence Denisovan DNA from a bone fragment found in a cave in Siberia. They're going to go back to sequence their library of hundreds of Neanderthal DNA specimens.

How long before they make Dolly Denisovan?"

Comment: New technique makes it all possible now (Score 5, Informative) 299

by wombatmobile (#41187333) Attached to: If Extinct Species Can Be Brought Back... Should We?

Ancient DNA has proven difficult to sequence or clone, because it is fragmentary, and most of it breaks down into single strands after it is extracted from bone.

However, a new technique developed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, sequences single stranded DNA. Scientists just announced they used the technique to fully sequence Denisovan DNA from a bone fragment found in a cave in Siberia. They're going to go back to sequence their library of hundreds of Neandertal DNA specimens.

How long before they make Dolly Denisovan?

Medicine

+ - University of Cape Town announces cure for Malaria->

Submitted by Diggester
Diggester (2492316) writes "Researchers at the University of Cape Town in South Africa have developed a pill that can wipe out malaria with a single dose. It's a development that could save millions of lives in Africa alone, not to mention the rest of the world. But there's a teensy weensy little hurdle that must first be overcome: human testing."
Link to Original Source
Patents

+ - BBC Interviews Apple vs Samsung Jury Foreman-> 1

Submitted by MrSteveSD
MrSteveSD (801820) writes "The BBC has published a long interview with Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman in the Apple vs Samsung case. He still seems to be sticking to a rather confused definition of what constitutes prior art.

I showed the jurors that the two methods in software were not the same, nor could they be interchangeable because the hardware that was involved between the old processor and the new processor — you couldn't load the new software methodology in the old system and expect that it was going to work."
Link to Original Source

Australia

+ - Bank Resists Refunding $12K To Skimming Victim-> 1

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Louay El-sayah is an Australian and a victim of a skimming attack — that is, the details of his ATM card were scanned and used to create a new card — and, over the course of six days, $12,000 was drained from his account with Commonwealth Bank via ATM withdrawls. Commonwealth was, shall we say, less than helpful in responding to the problem. They never alerted him to the series of withdrawls. They told him not to file a police report, then used the fact that he hadn't as a factor in denying his fraud claim. They told him he was a victim of skimming, then turned around claimed that it was impossible to tell from CCTV footage whether he was the one withrdrawing the money. It was only after he went public and the IDG News Service called the bank that Commonwealth agreed to refund his money."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Genome of Human Ancestor Mapped, There Might Be Other Undiscovered Ancestors Yet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers have managed to map an entire genome of a human ancestor and also suspect that there are more species that existed in the past that we have not yet found, particularly in Asia.
Researchers have managed to map an entire genome of a human ancestor. The ancestor is a member of the Denisovan group, a cousin of the Neanderthals. Researchers are hesitant to label them as a different species, choosing to call them instead a different group of humans. They also suspect that there are more species that existed in the past that we have not yet found, particularly in Asia."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Biodiesel From Sewage Sludge-> 1

Submitted by
MTorrice
MTorrice writes "Scientists have developed a way to convert lipids from sewage sludge into biodiesel. The low cost and high yield of the sludge process may make it economically feasible as a source of biofuel, the researchers say. Today, biofuel producers use lipids in vegetable oils to derive biodiesel, a mixture of fatty-acid-like molecules. Biodiesel is compatible with existing diesel engines, burns with less pollution than petroleum-derived diesel does, and comes from renewable resources. But current biodiesel feedstocks are expensive, limiting the fuel’s widespread use. The researchers from South Korea found that sewage sludge, the semisolid material left over from wastewater treatment, can yield 2,200 times more lipids than soybeans and costs 96% less to process. To turn the sludge lipids into biodiesel, the researchers heated them with methanol."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Cartography (Score 1) 365

Those are good questions, antdude. I would like to learn more about the cartographic practices that resulted in the map they carried.

I wonder what Earhart and Noonan knew or presumed about the chart's accuracy with respect to islands when they were leaving New Guinea?

I wonder what they made of what happened when they were talking about it afterwards on Gardner island?

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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