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! ×

Comment Re:First time? (Score 1) 49

This is the first time Level 3 pathogens have been imaged in this way.

The Slashdot story isn't "we've determined the structure of a virus" - it's "we've got a new way of taking its picture."

If you'd like to interpret "we've got a new way of taking its picture" to mean "we're taking its picture in a new lab with slightly different equipment from all the other facilities around the world where X-ray diffraction studies of virus are done" then I would agree with you.

They have an automated BSL3-level end-station on a beam at Diamond, so that viral crystals of pathogens can be studied. Apart from it being new at Diamond, there is nothing "first time" about this arrangement.

Comment Re:First time? (Score 2) 49

The rules are changing - for the early structures I'm sure care was taken, but the current strict containment rules didn't exist. I can't imagine rocking up to the beamline with poliovirus in your cryostat would be regarded as appropriate behaviour any more... I know that in the past I have been prevented taking crystals of human rhinovirus to some facilities even though as a pathogen it's hardly BSL 3!

The only thing that the OP noted that was of interest was the Diamond now has an on-site BSL3 facility so that you can handle such pathogens within the current regulations.

Comment Re:First time? (Score 4, Informative) 49

The press release is horribly written.

On this we agree...

What they're doing that is genuinely novel, AFAIK, is crystallizing actual infectious virus in a biosafety level 3 facility. Usually crystallographers work with just the capsid or some other subset of viral proteins, which requires fewer (if any) special precautions.

No, we don't. Intact viral particles are the norm.

The native virus particles are typically studied by EM, which typically doesn't yield as high resolution as crystallography, but has the advantage of requiring much more portable and less expensive equipment than crystallography.

While there are lots of EM studies of viral particles, X-ray studies are much more common - 33 full EM models versus 317 diffraction structures. The page I linked in the first response to this article shows just a few of the picornavirus structures that have been determined by X-ray diffraction studies over the past several decades. There are other virus structures out there as well, with an excellent website for anyone interested being Viper.

Comment Re:First time? (Score 1) 49

The page is the summary, at the public repository for all biomolecular structures, of the viral capsid structures (determined by X-ray diffraction, just as in the OP linked story) for picornaviruses including polio and foot-and-mouth as well as less pathogenic virus such as rhinovrius. EV71 is just another picornavirus. If you'd taken the time to actually read anything on the page I linked you'd have noticed hyperlinks to the detailed structures for each virus, such as the PDB entry 2PLV for poliovirus whose structure was determined in 1989...

Submission + - What's up with VMware? (

Brandon Butler writes: "In some people's eyes, VMware has had a tough past couple of weeks.

In the last week of January, the company revealed through a financial filing its plans to lay off 900 employees and exit some business units. The same day, the company's revenues missed forecasts pontificated by financial analysts, causing the company's stock to plummeted 27%. To top it all off, the tech company's chief technology officer announced he's leaving VMware to pursue a venture capitalist career, less than six months after the company had a shakeup in the CEO role.

So, what's going on with VMware? Once the pre-eminent hypervisor company in a market it practically invented, analysts say a series of moves during the past 18 months have reset the dynamics of the market. VMware — which storage giant EMC owns a majority stake of — still holds a leading position, but Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor is quickly gaining momentum.

"There really isn't any reason to fear that something drastic is going to happen to VMware," says Stuart Miniman, who tracks the virtualization market for the Wikibon Project. "At the same time, it's not a bad time for customers to re-evaluate their choices, given the increasing maturity of other products on the market. vSphere is still a solid choice, but there are other options to consider, and some may be a more attractive price-point.""

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 223

So apparently everyone on slashdot is expected to be a developer? WTF

"Research" means a whole lot more than being 'a developer'.

I work for a biotech company as a Principal Research Scientist. I don't 'develop' stuff, I do research.

Comment Re:Really? higher amoung un-vaccinated eh? (Score 1) 1007

Reuters is your reference source for scientific news? Hmmmm... Anyway, there is an undoubted recent increase in pertussis cases amongst immunized children due to:

1) Shorter protection time than expected indicating boosters are required

(See: for example)


2) Emergent bacterial strains with modified surface antigens being selected due to evolutionary pressure (gasp!) from the acellular vaccine

(See: for example)

If you want to understand the science, go to the scientific literature. Not ''...

The Internet

Submission + - Hacktivist Sabu: Anonymous traitor or FBI martyr? (

techgeek0279 writes: "Hacktivism: a term coined about 14 years ago that now has more meaning than ever in the history of our world. Hacking of Indonesian government websites, the Mexican finance department website, the Pentagon website, the World Trade Organization web server, the World Economic Forum web server, the World Bank web server, Scientology websites, the CNN website, the European Climate Exchange website, Mastercard and Visa websites, the Department of Justice website, FBI and CIA databases, most recently the Vatican website and so many other illegal breaches by hacktivist organizations has led to the realization that cyber-security may very well be our nation’s number one threat today."

Submission + - Hipster Runoff hacked and archives destroyed. Why? (

derekmead writes: "Hipster Runoff, a site that's made a name for itself by making fun of the indie music industry, was apparently hacked this morning and is currently offline. In an interview, the guy behind the site said his backups and archives have been sabotaged, and that he suspects someone in music (band, industry type) was behind it. Still, who in the industry is so sensitive that they'd take the time to ax a one-man satire blog? Lana del Rey?"

Submission + - NASA, General Motors team to build robotic glove for human hands (

coondoggie writes: "NASA and General Motors today said they were developing a robotic glove humans can use to prevent or reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries. The Human Grasp Assist device, also known as the K-glove or Robo-Glove, resulted from GM and NASA's Robonaut 2 (R2) project, which sent the first human-like robot into space where it is now lives on the International Space Station."

Slashdot Top Deals

Disk crisis, please clean up!