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Biotech

Fully Functional Bioengineered Tooth Grown In a Mouse 264

A couple of weeks back the Wall Street Journal reported on the first organ grown in vivo from stem cells — a tooth in the mouth of a mouse. Reader cdrpsab spotted the news on the MedGadget blog; the research had been reported earlier in the PNAS. From the WSJ: "The researchers at the Tokyo University of Science created a set of cells that contained genetic instructions to build a tooth, and then implanted this 'tooth germ' into the mouse's empty tooth socket. The tooth grew out of the socket and through the gums, as a natural tooth would. Once the engineered tooth matured, after 11 weeks, it had a similar shape, hardness and response to pain or stress as a natural tooth, and worked equally well for chewing. The researchers suggested that using similar techniques in humans could restore function to patients with organ failure."
Government

Obama Edicts Boost FOIA and .gov Websites 400

Ian Lamont writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the National Security Archive are praising President Obama's executive orders to make the federal government more open. Yesterday, Obama issued two memos and one executive order instructing government agencies to err on the side of making information public and not to look for reasons to legally withhold it. The moves are expected to make it easier for people to file Freedom of Information Act requests, and should also boost the amount of information that agencies place on their websites. The general counsel for the National Security Archive (an NGO that publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act) even predicts that agencies will use blogs to share information. Obama's directives reverse a 2001 memo from former US Attorney General John Ashcroft instructing federal agencies to generally withhold information from citizens filing FOIA requests."
Communications

Adobe Releases Preview of 64-bit Flash For Linux 329

Rinisari writes "Finally, the day has come. Adobe has released a pre-release version of the 64-bit Flash player. It is available at the Adobe Labs Flash Player 10 download site immediately. Where are the Windows and Mac versions? 'Release of this alpha version of 64-bit Flash Player on Linux is the first step in delivering upon Adobe's commitment to make Flash Player native 64-bit across platforms. We chose Linux as our initial platform in response to numerous requests in our public Flash Player bug and issue management system and the fact that Linux distributions do not ship with a 32-bit browser or a comprehensive 32-bit emulation layer by default. Until this pre-release, use of 32-bit Flash Player on Linux has required the use of a plugin wrapper, which prevents full compatibility with 64-bit browsers. With this pre-release, Flash Player 10 is now a full native participant on 64-bit Linux distributions.' Windows and Mac OS X 64-bit versions will follow, and the final versions all will be released simultaneously. Tamarin, the JIT compiler in Flash, is now capable of producing 64-bit code and nspluginwrapper is no longer required. There are, however, no plans to release a debugger version of the 64-bit plugin."
Games

Review: Gears of War 2 193

The original Gears of War was one of the most popular games of 2006, helping to solidify the Xbox 360's place in the console market. Since then, it's sold about 5 million copies. When word leaked out that a sequel was in the works, many wondered if Epic Games could reach the bar set by the first game. As it turns out, they could. Gears of War 2 will feel very familiar to those who have played its predecessor. Games often have a way of reinventing themselves as sequels come and go, but Epic stuck to the basics of what had already worked so well, and simply set about improving, polishing, and fleshing out the Gears world as much as they could. Read on for the rest of the review.
United States

Barack Obama Wins US Presidency 3709

Last night, around 11pm, all the major networks announced that Senator Barack Obama had won the election. Soon after, Senator McCain conceded. There were no crazy partisan court hearings, just a simple election. This is your chance to talk about it and what it means for the future of our nation.
Operating Systems

Linux Supports More Devices Than Any Other OS 272

Linux Blog recommends an interview up on the O'Reilly site with Greg Kroah-Hartman, long-time Linux kernel hacker and the current Linux kernel maintainer for the USB driver core. He updates the free Linux driver program announced almost two years ago, which has really caught traction now with more than 300 developers volunteering. The interviewer begins by asking about Kroah-Hartman's claim that the Linux kernel now supports more devices than any other operating system ever has. "[One factor is] the ease of writing drivers; Linux drivers are at normally one-third smaller than Windows drivers or other operating system drivers. We have all the examples there, so it's trivial to write a new one if you have new hardware, usually because you can copy the code and go. We maintain them... forever, so the old ones don't disappear and we run on every single processor out there. I mean Linux is 80% of the world's top 500 super computers right now and we're also the number one embedded operating system today. We've got both sides of the market because it's — yeah it's pretty amazing. I don't know why, but we're doing something right."
It's funny.  Laugh.

XKCD Improving the Internet ... Yet Again 204

netbuzz writes "Comic creator Randall Monroe suggested in a recent xkcd strip that YouTube comments would be better — or, more precisely, less idiotic — if only those posting them were forced to hear their words read aloud first. Well, YouTube has gone and made this "audio preview" a reality, albeit an optional one. And, it's not the first time that xkcd has contributed to the betterment of the Internet, as those who are familiar with last year's "Internet census" and its use of a Hilbert curve may remember."

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