Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

"Normal" Prions May Protect Myelin 81

thomst writes "Nature Neuroscience just published an online article about the function of 'normal' prions in protecting myelin, the substance that sheathes and protects sensory and motor nerves. The international study (which has 11 authors) concluded that 'normal' (i.e., not mis-folded) prions may form a protective coat around myelin. The researchers found that Prnp -/- mice (mice with the gene for prions knocked out) consistently developed progressive demyelination, inevitably leading to persistent polyneuropathy by 60 weeks of age. Their data suggest that damage to myelin sheaths cause normal prions to cleave, and the resulting prion fragments activate Schwann cells, which are known to play a part in myelin repair. This research might eventually lead to possible treatments for progressive polyneuropathies in humans, including those mediated by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and even diabetes."

Submission + - Napsterization of Textbooks? (

jyosim writes: "A site called Textbook Torrents is among the many sites popping up offering free downloads of expensive textbooks using BitTorrent or other peer-to-peer networks. With the average cost of textbooks going up every year, and with some books costing more than $100, some experts say that piracy will only increase."

Submission + - Amiga clone-OS MorphOS releases revision 2.0 (

downix writes: "For those that remember, MorphOS arose a few years back as an Amiga compatible operating system for Amiga systems with PowerPC accelerators and a few PowerPC motherboards. After years of work, the release of MorphOS 2.0 has finally come, an accomplishment for the very dedicated team of developers behind it. The release notes can be found here and there is a time limited demo for those of us with systems able to run the OS.

Will this bring back our favorite pre-Windows platform from the grave? Likely not, but it is a fun little system to play with and enjoy."


Submission + - New engine may double fuel efficiency

demachina writes: An Australian company, Revetec, has a new internal combustion engine design, the X4v2, which may double fuel efficiency. It is supposed to be "50% smaller, 50% lighter, has 50% lower emissions and is cheaper to manufacture" than a conventional engine with the same horsepower. It has four pistons in an X configuration pushing two counter rotating, multilobate cams. Though take this with a grain of salt and your mileage may vary :)

Submission + - Auto-replace feature bites right-wing web site

scheming daemons writes: The American Family Association's OneNewsNow website uses auto-replace to replace the word "gay" in AP articles with the word "homosexual". This created a problem this weekend when Tyson Gay won the 100 meters at the US Olympic track and field time trials. The AFA ended up running a story with the headline "Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials". It gets even more interesting than that when one reads the story:

Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.

His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999.

Homosexual didn't get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead. He slowed somewhat over the final 10 meters-nothing like the way-too-soon complete shutdown that almost cost him Saturday. Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: "A little fatigued."

Link to the story:


Submission + - Google to Offer Real-Time Stock Quotes (

Apro+im writes: Today, Google announced that Google Finance will report real-time prices on NASDAQ listed securities. While real-time stock price are not new, they are usually encumbered with subscriptions, legal agreements or pay software, making this one of the first (if not the first) free source for real-time quotes.

Submission + - MS and OLPC to put Windows on the XO ( 1

Apro+im writes: NYT is reporting that Microsoft and OLPC have come to an agreement to put Windows XP on the XO. According to the article:

After years of conflict, Microsoft and the computing and education project One Laptop Per Child, have reached an agreement that will put Windows on the organization's computers.
The first of the project's child-friendly XO laptops running Windows XP will be tested next month in limited trials in four or five countries, said James Utzschneider, manager of Microsoft's developing markets unit. He declined to name the countries, but said XO laptops running Windows would be generally available by September.

Slashdot Top Deals

Nothing is faster than the speed of light ... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.