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Comment I'm saying it was Aliens (Score 1) 117

Red Dwarf stars are long lived stars, they can continue to exist for trillions of years, though this one is expected to be 6-10 billion years old. It is also expected that it has close crossings with our solar system every 100,000 years.

I posit to you two things.

1) Red dwarf stars may harbour hospitable planets, close to the star where it is warm. We are looking for life on Jupiter's moons, driven not by light but heat from Jupiter's tidal wave forces, so it is conceivable that life can eventually evolve on such planets.

2) In the theory of panspermia, it is possible that our planet was seeded by outside worlds, you have probably heard of mars meteorites being investigated for bringing potential lifeforms here for example. But this theory works in reverse as well, it is thought that Earth itself may be seeding the galaxy with life as by chance bacteria get blasted off the biosphere and carried away on solar winds.

3) After 6 billion years, or at some 60,000 encounters with our Oort cloud, is it totally inconceivable that there might be either some kind of transfer that has taken hold between the worlds of Sol and Scholz? Or that life, arising independently there, wouldn't be interested in coming here as their only opportunity to travel between the stars?

Comment Re:What patent? (Score 1) 179

How about an idea for fixing it as follows...

If you create a patent, you are responsible for finding infringements of the patent in products (as usual) and once you do, you can only claim a royalty of a maximum 90% of the revenue from the product less marginal costs from once the infringement was found, no previous damages or anything and the company is still allowed to continue production. This 90% however is divvied up between all patent holders who find infringements.

So that should cut patent troll revenue since litigation is expensive, and without the immediate lump sum payouts they are unlikely to undertake a loss-making exercise and simply have a stake in maintaining a useful endeavor of their patent. Furthermore, people who are creating products that they know violate a patent are free to slip in as many infringements as they please if they know their product is just going to be so good that they can survive on 10% of any profit it generates.

Comment Probably meant fabriate (Score 2) 163

The semi-important data would be in the NMR, the elemental analysis would be more of a formality to show they are working with what they said they were working with. I think that is reason to believe they would have worded it in such a way suggesting they needed a real NMR result but some pain in the but boring work they have an expected answer for is to be just made up. Obviously bad practice, probably doesn't have much bearing on the paper itself though, assuming their materials suppliers are trustworthy.

Comment Wakefield's Patent (Score 3, Insightful) 668

A lot of "antivaxxer" dolts trumpet Wakefield in that he's a victim of a hush-up and that he shall be exonerated. A good stick in the eye of these people is that Wakefield himself only sought to discredit MMR so that he could sell his own vaccine, they assume that he is anti-vaccine altogether like them. There are articles stating this but the patent iteself is difficult to find so they ignore that. Of course, once you present the actual patent material they will go on to disown him and yet in the same fell swoop continue using his "evidence". Sometimes you can't win...

For your convenience, here is one of Wakefield's actual patents

Comment Interactive tours and applications (Score 4, Interesting) 161

Some of my fondest memories as a child was firing up the old 486 and playing through the interactive quests and games in Encarta. Some of them were timelines and guided learning experiences, others were programs that simulated things like gravity and orbits, and I liked playing with some software that could model particle behavior based on your parameters to describe gas diffusion and so on.

My question is, will Wikipedia ever be able to flex any interactive multimedia muscle, and create a more interactive and guided experience for young learners? People may be willing to devote their time writing out separate articles in the pages of an encyclopedia, but I imagine attracting multimedia development would be difficult (unless you can find whoever has been wasting their time writing a plethora of useless apps for browsers and mobiles).

Comment CRU tool and getting 75 Hz out of an LCD (Score 1) 339

Not being able to see 60 Hz on an LCD is a myth, if the LCD can pull it off (many can!). I can easily tell whether a game with fast motion e.g. a First Person Shooter like BF3 or Counter Strike is running at 60 Hz or 75 Hz, particular when panning, and probably wouldn't be satisfied completely until the refresh rate gets to 85 Hz (that's when I stop noticing flicker on CRTs like many other people).

The myth arises because LCDs don't flicker, and because studies that showed people can't tell the difference are based on watching movies on celluloid where there is motion blur. Where there is no motion blur (or good motion blur) like in most games, an object such as a cursor moving acrross the screen appears to the eye as teleporting at discrete locations accross the screen based on the amount the cursor can move in between frames at a given speed - not a continuous motion.

I have managed to get 75 Hz out of my pretty ordinary Samsung BX2440 1080p monitor using this:Custom Resolution Utility

The reason 60 Hz is usually given as the top refresh rate for LCD monitors is more to do with the DVI standard than capability, so by sacrificing a few margin pixels many monitors will be able to handle a higher frequency within the bandwidth specifications of DVI.

Comment Terrible idea with today's tech. (Score 1) 353

Growth media is made out of a lot of different compounds, much of which is extracted from animals. For example, the media will be between 10 and 20 percent fetal calf serum. And the quantities of media needed will be huge, it will have to be changed out every week to grow and keep alive until harvesting and will probably take 2 weeks to grow to confluency.

So in effect this is going to be the world's most unvegetarian animal intensive hamburger.

Comment Not the revolution you are looking for. (Score 4, Insightful) 55

The printing of cells into organs using inkjet technology, and biological/artificial scaffolds is not new. Yes it's nice that they were able to start with just a particular scaffolding and a bunch of cells and turn it into an organ that functions, but this isn't the real challenge in regenerative tissue engineering.

The cells they chose were from the same type of organ from newborns, therefore there was a large number of stem cells in that particular mix which were already programmed to develop into a new kidney anyway.

The biggest problem is getting cells from your patient, then turning them into stem cells, and then setting them off with some sort of signal or series of signals to develop into a given tissue type. This avoids many host rejection problems and ethics considerations. It would also be useful in in-vitro lab work. For example, I am trying out scaffolds to see if I can get certain cell lines to differentiate into something that better resembles the functionality and complexity of lung tissue. If I could do that, we could reduce experimenting on animals to find out the effects of inhaling pollutants and so on.

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