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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 2 accepted (9 total, 22.22% accepted)

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Submission + - Scientists create artificial retina implant (sciencealert.com)

Baron_Yam writes: Some conditions causing vision loss are due to the retina itself failing while the retinal nerves remain intact. For such cases, scientists at the Italian Institute of Technology have developed an artificial retina that directly generates electrical impulses from light. In trials with rats the implant appears to restore vision at light levels of 4-5 lux or greater. While that's not as good as a healthy human eye, it is obviously far superior to being blind.

Human trials begin later this year and preliminary results are expected in 2018.

Submission + - NASA has proposed building an artificial magnetosphere for Mars. (phys.org)

Baron_Yam writes: Apparently it is no longer necessarily science fiction to consider terraforming the red planet in a human lifetime.

  NASA scientists have proposed putting a magnetic shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, diverting sufficient solar wind that the Martian atmosphere would thicken and heat the planet to the point of melting the ice caps and causing what remains of Martian water to pool on the surface. While not enough of a change to allow walking around without a space suit, this would make human exploration of the planet a much easier task.

Submission + - Ethicists debating CRISPR stop short of supporting human enhancement (washingtonpost.com)

Baron_Yam writes: From the Washington Post:

For some ethicists, that represents a slippery slope. At the conclusion of a gene-editing summit in Washington at the National Academy of Sciences in December 2015, scientists said that although some basic research could proceed, it would be irresponsible to use genetically modified germline cells for the purpose of establishing a pregnancy.

But the new report takes a slightly more permissive, forward-thinking position, saying that, if and when such interventions are proved safe — which could be in the near future — and if numerous criteria are met to ensure that such gene editing is regulated and limited, it could potentially be used to treat rare, serious diseases.

“We say proceed with all due caution, but we don’t prohibit germline, after considerable discussion and debate,” said Richard Hynes, an MIT biologist and one of the leaders of the new study. “We’re talking only about fixing diseases.”

Software

Submission + - Imaging PCs with Ghost on a USB Flash Drive 3

Baron_Yam writes: Imagine a large number of non-networked computers that see a lot of use and abuse and as a result need somewhat frequent reimaging.

At first, I used a custom hardware imager that involved opening the case and directly connecting to the HDD. Then I tried using Ghost and a bootable USB flash drive. VERY SLOW. I assumed it was the way the BIOS was handling USB, so I made a custom boot floppy using IOMEGA USB drivers. Very fast, but I need to disable the BIOS USB support and unplug a hub because they each cause the boot floppy's drivers to freeze up.

It turns out that DOS doesn't do a great job of handling I/O between IDE and a USB flash drive, and the conflicts result in a very slow transfer rate — imaging takes roughly 6x longer if I don't use the floppy method. Google, normally my friend, has endless forums where people have gotten about half as far as I have and just assumed it was the BIOS running in USB 1.1 only for some reason.

Little help? I'd love to tune the process to remove the need to unplug hardware and carry around a floppy disk.
Software

Submission + - Automatic logging of vehicle data from OBD-II

Baron_Yam writes: I've looked around and seen many utilities for displaying live data from an OBD-II source, or logging it. What I'm looking for, however, is the ability to log specific sensor data automatically without having to load a GUI... When I turn on the computer (running XP — sorry), I want it to immediately start logging to a directory of my choice.

If there is something out there that would take inputs from an electronic compass, combine them with the speedometer reading, and create a virtual GPS data stream for a mapping application as well, that would be ideal.

OK, so some of this might scare the tinfoil hat brigade, but it's for ME, not YOU!!!

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