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Medicine

Submission + - Proteins behind mad-cow disease help brain to develop (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "Prions are best known as the infectious agents that cause ‘mad cow’ disease and the human versions of it, such as variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease. But as slashdot noted in 2010, the proteins also have at least one known useful function, in the cells that insulate nerves, and are suspected to have more. Now researchers have provided the first direct evidence that the proteins play an important role in neurons themselves.
The team reports that prions are involved in developmental plasticity, the process by which the structure and function of neurons in the growing brain is shaped by experience, and also crucial for learning and memory."

Submission + - CNN/Money Reporter Drives Tesla - Confirms Company's Claims (cnn.com)

karlnyberg writes: "Putting to rest the conflict between Tesla's Elon Musk and New York Times Reporter John Broder, CNN/Money's Peter Valdes-Dapena drives DC to Boston (primarily to test the SuperCharger network):

As he says in the money quote and byline of the article:

In the end, I made it — and it wasn't that hard.

As for the Supercharger network? Turns out that works, too."

Space

Submission + - Theory of cometary panspermia gaining weight (buckingham.ac.uk)

Carpespain writes: Fossil diatoms (a kind of phytoplankton) have been discovered in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka on 29 December 2012. The new data provides
strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.

Sci-Fi

Submission + - German Laser Destroys Targets More Than 1Km Away (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: "A German company has brought us one step closer to the kinds of shootouts only seen in Sci-Fi films. Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Defense recently tested a 50kW, high-energy laser at their proving ground facility in Switzerland. First, the system sliced through a 15mm- (~0.6 inches) thick steel girder from a kilometer away. Then, from a distance of two kilometers, it shot down a handful of drones as they nose-dived toward the surface at 50 meters per second."
Data Storage

Submission + - Kingston Announces World's First 1TB Thumb Drive (techgage.com) 2

Deathspawner writes: "If there's one thing that each CES can bring, it's a handful or products that manage to drop jaws everywhere. Kingston's latest flash drive series, DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0, manages to be one of those. It's aimed at folks who actually need mass storage on the go at speeds that mechanical hard drives cannot offer. Available soon will be a 512GB model, followed by the 1TB later this quarter. The drive features read speeds of 240MB/s and write speeds of 160MB/s — not quite desktop SSD speeds, but much faster than a mechanical hard drive, and with vastly reduced latencies due to it being flash storage. Not surprisingly, pricing has not yet been discussed."

Submission + - Giant Squid Caught on Film (discovery.com)

Edgewood_Dirk writes: "From the Article: "Scientists and broadcasters have captured footage of an elusive giant squid, up to eight meters (26 feet) long that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.""

Technology

Submission + - "Superjet" Variable Cycle Jet Engine Could Power Future Fighter Aircraft (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: GE Aviation is developing a revolutionary new jet engine that aims to combine the best traits of turbojet and turbofan engines, delivering supersonic speed capability and fuel efficiency in one package. GE's ADVENT designs are based on new manufacturing technologies like 3-D printing of intricate cooling components and super-strong but lightweight ceramic matrix composites. These allow the manufacture of highly efficient jet engines operating at temperatures above the melting point of steel.
Programming

Submission + - C Beats Java As Number One Language (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Every January it is traditional to compare the state of the languages as indicated by the TIOBE index. So what's up and what's down this year? There have been headlines that C# is the language of the year, but this is based on a new language index. What the TIOBE index shows is that Java is no longer number one as it has been beaten by C — yes C not C++ or even Objective C. TIOBE name Objective C as the language of the year but because it has grown most in popularity but this is mainly because of the growth of iOS — it is hardly used for anything else. No without a doubt the language of the year should be C for deposing Java.

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