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Submission + - Game Engine Behind 'Star Wars Battlefront', 'Battlefield, and More is VR-capable (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: EA DICE is well known for Frostbite, the company's proprietary game engine which powers the amazing visuals of 'Star Wars Battlefront' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGyaR2sSBkA) and other huge franchises like 'Battlefield' and 'Mirror's Edge'. Now it's confirmed that the engine has been adapted for virtual reality. The upcoming 'Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission' on PlayStation VR is indeed built on Frostbite, rather than ready-made VR engines like Unreal Engine or Unity, as some had suspected. Road to VR suggests the adaptation of Frostbite for VR means more Triple-A VR content to come from EA.

Submission + - Water Plume 'Unequivocally' Detected at Dwarf Planet Ceres (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: Astronomers analyzing data from the now defunct Herschel infrared space observatory have made a huge discovery deep inside the asteroid belt. Dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body in the region, is generating plumes of water vapor. “This is the first time water vapor has been unequivocally detected on Ceres or any other object in the asteroid belt and provides proof that Ceres has an icy surface and an atmosphere,” said Michael Küppers of the European Space Agency in Spain and lead author of a paper published today (Jan. 22) in the journal Nature.
Medicine

Submission + - Swine Flu Killing Obese People (bloomberg.com)

Philip K Dickhead writes: "From the Super-Size-Me Dept: Bloomberg is reporting that the World Health Organization discovered a single, surprising characteristic that's emerged among swine flu victims who become severely ill: They are all fat. Infected people with a body mass index greater than 40 suffer respiratory complications that are harder to treat and can be fatal. The virus appears to be on a collision course with the obesity epidemic. WHO officials are gathering statistics to confirm and understand this development. "It's very likely that if we went back retrospectively and looked at people who did poorly during seasonal flu, what would shake out is that obesity would be one of the risks," Fat cells secrete chemicals that cause chronic, low-level inflammation that can hamper the body's immune response and narrow the airways, says Tim Armstrong, a doctor working in the WHO's chronic diseases department in Geneva."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft HDPhoto Gets JPEG Nod to become JPEG XR (techluver.com)

Tech.Luver writes: "The multiple countries participating in the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the JPEG standard, have approved an effort to make Microsoft's HD Photo format a standard called JPEG XR, said Bill Crow, who has led Microsoft's HD Photo effort and who just took over the company's Microsoft Live Labs Seadragon imaging project. XR stands for "extended range," a reference to the format's ability to show a wider and finer range of tonal gradations and a richer color palette. ( http://techluver.com/2007/11/02/microsofts-hd-photo-gets-nod-from-jpeg-to-become-jpeg-xr/ )"
Biotech

Journal Journal: Scientists discover protein cue that allows limb regrowth in newts

Agence France Presse (AFP) reports "Scientists have discovered a protein's molecular signal that apparently plays a key role in allowing newts -- which are amphibians -- to regrow severed limbs, a report in the journal Science said Friday. The protein called nAG, produced by nerve and skin cells, apparently plays a key role in stimulating blastema cells, the undifferentiated cells from which a new organ or limb can grow, Kumar and

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