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Comment Re:Upsetting the Apple Cart (Score 1) 371

Submitting your test platform to new and extensive quality controls, running double-blind tests, hiring additional quality control personnel... none of this is free. To "prove" that a test is reliable to the FDA costs lots of money. This is (one of the reasons) why it's estimated that it costs 1 billion dollars to develop a new drug.

Comment Re:Upsetting the Apple Cart (Score 1) 371

If you're saying that only a fully verified test is allowable, then you're saying that low cost test are illegal. It is not possible for a company to sell such a comprehensive test for such a low cost. I for one am willing to take a chance that some of the results might be wrong (but probably aren't) in exchange for a very low cost.

Comment Re:Democracy? (Score 2) 371

Nobody is forcing you to submit your samples to 23andMe. Of course there should be standards for police DNA evidence labs. But 23andMe is basically an entertaining service that also provides some health information. Why shouldn't consenting adults be allowed to submit their DNA to it? Especially when there is no health hazard at all (unlike "radium water").

Comment Petition on Whitihouse.gov is already up (Score 1) 371

I have no affiliation to 23andMe except as a satisfied customer. I have found 23andMe's services very useful and low cost to me, and hope that they are not destroyed by this FDA action. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/overrule-fdas-decision-bar-23andme-selling-their-potentially-life-saving-diagnostic-kits/96BRCYNB

Comment Price point (Score 1) 392

I can see that a ChromeBook for $400 or less makes a lot of sense and would interest a lot of people. It's a nice extra computer for the living room or for a vacation. But at over $1000 I wonder what the market will be? It's too expensive to be just a toy and it's not powerful enough to be used as your only machine.

Comment Re:tsa blowing taxpayer money for no benefit (Score 1) 119

Rightly or wrongly, many things are mandated by the government and sometimes even made monopolistic (seatbelts, vaccines, safety testing, etc.). There is nothing wrong with companies profiting from filling such needs.
What is wrong is the loss of freedom that comes from the naked scanners (and the fact that they're ineffective, possibly dangerous, and were awarded to a government insider).

Submission + - Cyanide-producing GM grass linked to Texas cattle deaths (cbsnews.com)

Peristaltic writes: Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are trying to determine if an unexpected mutation in a popular GM grass, Tifton 85, is responsible for the sudden deaths of a small herd of cattle in Elgin, Texas three weeks ago. The grass has been used for grazing since 1992 without incident, however after a severe drought last year in Texas, the grass started producing cyanide in sufficient quantities to kill a small herd of cattle in Elgin, Texas. Testing has found the cyanide-producing grass in nearby fields as well.

This latest incident once again highlights the debate regarding the benefits vs. the risks of using gmo in agriculture


Submission + - Sexy Female Scientist Video Draws Fire (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A new video released by the The European Commission--ostensibly aimed at getting girls interested in science--is drawing widespred condemnation from around the web for its depiction of female scientists as sexy models strutting into the frame in high heels and short skirts. A male scientist watching them from behind his microscope doesn't seem to mind that none of them are wearing safe lab attire—he just pops his glasses on for a better look. The rest of the video is a mish-mash of heels, nail polish, lipstick, and sexily smoldering Erlenmeyer flasks, arbitrarily punctuated by girly giggles.

Comment Re:The mistake was the airport chosen... (Score 1) 36

No, it's been going on at many airports: "Similar audio-video equipment has been operating at other Canadian airports and ports of entry for "many years," according to the CBSA" ( http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Toews+orders+airport+eavesdropping+pending+privacy+review/6807247/story.html )

Submission + - Remotly recording conversations at Canadian airports (edmontonjournal.com)

Jazari writes: Careful what you say when traveling, since the authorities will soon be able to zoom in on your conversations and record them for an indefinite amount of time. The story is about Canada, but I see no reason to think that this capability will not soon be installed in most places (if it's not already).

Submission + - Japan restarts two of their 50 nuclear reactors (go.com) 1

Darth_brooks writes: "Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the restart of two idle nuclear reactors Saturday, amid split public response. The Japanese government is trying to fill a summer power shortfall. According to the article, the two reactors supply power to the Kansai region near Osaka, where local officials were predicting a 15% shortfall in power capacity during July and August."

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