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The Courts

Supreme Court: No Patents For Natural DNA Sequences 214

ColdWetDog writes "The ongoing story of Myriad Genetics versus the rest of the world has come to an end. In a 9-0 decision, the US Supreme Court has decided that human genes cannot be patented. From a brief Bloomberg article: 'Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said isolated DNA is a "product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated." At the same time, Thomas said synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA, or cDNA, can be patented because they require a significant amount of human manipulation to create.' Seems perfectly sane. Raw genes, the ones you find in nature are, wait for it — natural. Other bits of manipulated DNA / RNA / protein which take skill and time to create are potentially patentable. Oddly, Myriad Genetics stock actually rose on that information." Adds reader the eric conspiracy: "The result for Myriad is that they still have protection for their test, however the decision also allows researchers to work with the DNA sequences that are predecessors to the cDNA used in the test." Here's an AP report on the ruling, as carried by the Washington Post.

Submission + - Wi-Fi signals allow gesture recognition all through the home (washington.edu)

vinces99 writes: Forget to turn off the lights before leaving the apartment? No problem. Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air and your lights will power down. Want to change the song playing on your music system in the other room? Move your hand to the right and flip through the songs. University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality. They have shown it’s possible to leverage Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras. By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture.

Submission + - Changes to the Java Security Model

Orome1 writes: The upcoming security changes in Oracle Java address three long-standing issues with the Java security model. The most significant change is how signed applets are handled. In the past Oracle has suggested that all websites switch to signed applets, advice that contradicts recommendations by security experts, because signing an applet would also confer privileges to escape the sandbox. In fact, signed applets are the original method of escaping the Java sandbox, and have been abused by both attackers and security auditors for the last decade. Metasploit has a module specifically for this purpose. Oracle is changing this model so that signing an applet no longer confers sandbox escape privileges. This is a good thing for security.

Submission + - Gene Therapy May Protect Against Flu (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: In 2009, a global collaboration of scientists, public health agencies, and companies raced to make a vaccine against a pandemic influenza virus, but most of it wasn't ready until the pandemic had peaked. Now, researchers have come up with an alternative, faster strategy for when a pandemic influenza virus surfaces: Just squirt genes for the protective antibodies into people's noses. The method—which borrows ideas from both gene therapy and vaccination, but is neither—protects mice against a wide range of flu viruses in a new study.

Submission + - New Online Casinos are Open for Busniess in the United States

An anonymous reader writes: Legal changes happen over the course of many years, and in the US, online gambling has been shunned so completely that it has taken until 1/2 through 2013 to regulate it on a state level. Well.. apparently the wait is over! Check out http://casinobonusandfreechip.com/new-online-bonuses-trends/ and see the new environment of legal online gaming for Americans.

Submission + - Planetary Resources To Build Crowdfunded Public Space Telescope (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Planetary Resources, the company that set its sights on mining asteroids, has launched a campaign to raise $1M to crowdsource the world's first publicly accessible space telescope. In an interview, co-founder and co-chairman Peter Diamandis stated that the ARKYD 100 telescope is a means of "extending the optic nerve of humanity." The company hopes that the campaign, which is supported by Richard Branson, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Seth Green, will make an orbiting telescope available to the public to help schools and museums in their educational efforts to inspire great enthusiasm in space.

Submission + - Teenager's research wins Intel Science Fair, but might land her in patent suit (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Eesha Khare, an 18-year-old senior at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif., won both the first prize at the Intel Science Fair and the Project of the Year award for the senior division of the California State Science Fair with her research on supercapacitors. However, Karhl Retti, CEO of SolaRoad Technologies, says that while the research is commendable, it violates a patent for similar technology he filed in 2005.

Retti's patent involves work with nanocapacitors similar to those for which Intel and Google have recognized Khare, and is applied to electric-car technology that SolaRoad sells. Retti insists that he does not want to attack the young girl personally nor discredit her work — it's just that academic projects often get precedence over private industries without checking to see if they violate others' intellectual property. While he says he doesn't want to sue anyone over the research project, Retti says that if Khare's work goes commercial, he'd be forced to take legal action.

“I would never consciously hurt or cast aspersions on anybody. I just simply wanted to put somebody on notice that we already developed this technology,” Retti said in a phone interview with Network World. “I don’t want to hurt this girl’s feelings or anybody else’s. I’m just frustrated after trying to get Intel or Google to talk to us for decades, and they won’t even talk to me, but they’re jumping on this bandwagon.”

Submission + - Why Everyone Gets It Wrong About BYOD 6

snydeq writes: The Squeaky Wheel's Brian Katz offers a refreshingly simple take on the buzz around BYOD in business organizations these days: 'BYOD is only an issue because people refuse to realize that it's just about ownership — nothing more and nothing less.' A 'hidden issue' hiding in plain view, BYOD's ownership issue boils down to money and control. 'BYOD is pretty clear: It's bringing your own device. It isn't the company's device or your best friend's device. It's your device, and you own it. Because you own the device, you have certain rights to what is on the device and what you can do with the device. This is the crux of every issue that comes with BYOD programs.'

Submission + - Missile test creates huge expanding halo of light over Hawaii

The Bad Astronomer writes: A Minuteman III missile launch from California early Wednesday morning created a weird, expanding halo of light seen from the CFHT observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The third stage of the missile has ports that open and dump fuel into the near-vacuum. This cloud expands rapidly as a spherical shell, shock-exciting the air molecules and causing them to glow, creating the bizarre effect.

Submission + - Bob Metcalfe: I Was Terrified of IBM for 10 yrs But Ethernet Won Cause it's Open (enterprisenetworkingplanet.com) 1

darthcamaro writes: Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe drew a diagram on a piece of paper 40 years ago today that defined how Ethernet would work. In an event celebrating that milestone, Metcalfe today admitted that IBM's token ring networking system was his biggest fear for 10 yrs, but eventually it was outdone.

What IBM underestimated in their dominance was the power of an open standard," Metcalfe said. "In that old IBM, in its dark little heart it was not committed to open standards and its products were not interoperable."


Submission + - Close Approach of Asteroid (285263) 1998 QE2 (blogspot.it)

An anonymous reader writes: Asteroid 1998 QE2 has an estimated size of 1.3 km — 2.9 km (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=16.6). It was observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope by Trilling et al. (2010), who estimated that it has a diameter of 2.7 km and a dark optical albedo of 0.06. This asteroid will have a close approach with Earth at about 15.2 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0392 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 2059 UT on 2013 May 31 and it will reach the peak magnitude ~10.8 on May 31 around 2300 UT.

Submission + - Computer Model Explains High Blood Pressure (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: If you are not a medic then presumably you, like me, thought that we knew most of the basics of what causes high blood pressure as we age. It turns out that we really didn't and now a new computer model casts light on the real reason for high blood pressure.
What is known about BP control is that there are pressure sensors in the walls of the major arteries. These are supposed to provide the feedback that the heart needs to keep the BP within normal limits — the so called baroreflex. However, it is also known that as the body ages the feedback or control mechanism seems to fail and the BP rises.
"By use of empirically well-constrained computer models describing the coupled function of the baroreceptor reflex and mechanics of the circulatory system, we demonstrate quantitatively that arterial stiffening seems sufficient to explain age-related emergence of hypertension."
The evidence that the model accurately captures the behavior of the complete system is that it reproduces the results of major surveys of BP with age and it models the sensitivity of the system to the Valsalva maneuver in subjects of varying ages. The Valsalva maneuver increases the BP when the subject breaths out hard against a closed airway.
This could provide new routes to creating medication to lower BP in an aging population.
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1305/1305.0727.pdf

Submission + - A New Dawn - Google's Android IDE (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Yawn, not much happening at Google I/O this year. Well you can't expect it to be exciting every year. What! What's this — an official Android IDE! It can't be! Why isn't this headline news? OK, I admit I should probably get out more, but while Android Studio hasn't got the wow value of Glass for the general geek it should have a big wow value for any programmer thinking of working with Android.
It is a one package download that gets the beginner started with creating Android apps and has lots of editing and refactoring help. It also has a UI preview option that lets you see what your app looks like on a range of devices and lots more.
The main thing is that it promises to bring Android development into the same class as WP8 with Visual Studio and iOS with XCode.
This really is the way forward not only for Android and Java but all programming environments — More Tools!

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