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Biotech

"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog 154

cylonlover writes "Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The 'Lazarus Project' team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog. The extinct frog in question is the Rheobatrachus silus, one of only two species of gastric-brooding frogs, or Platypus frogs, native to Queensland, Australia. Both species became extinct in the mid-1980s and were unique amongst frog species for the way in which they incubated their offspring."
Facebook

Facebook Invites Hackers To Attack Its Network 157

An anonymous reader writes "Nearly a year ago, Facebook introduced its bug bounty program, inviting security researchers to poke around the site, discover vulnerabilities that could compromise the integrity or privacy of Facebook user data, and then responsibly disclose them to the company. Still, when the social network's security team received a tip from a researcher about a vulnerability in the company's own network which would allow attackers to eavesdrop on internal communications, they made an unprecedented choice by broadened the scope of the bug bounty program and inviting researchers to search for other holes in the corporate network. Nobody expects malicious attackers to have a change of heart and hand over information about a vulnerability for a few thousand dollars when they could sell the stole information for much more. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Ryan McGeehan, the manager of Facebook's security-incident response unit, stated that if there's a million-dollar bug, they will pay it out."
Australia

Australian Billionaire Plans To Build Titanic II 289

SchrodingerZ writes "Just in time to miss the 100-year anniversary of the fatal voyage of the Titanic, Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced he has plans to recreate the Titanic, calling it Titanic II. 'It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,' says Palmer. He stated it was to be as close to the original as possible, with some modern adjustments. Its maiden voyage is set for 2016."
Earth

Pouring Water Into a Volcano To Generate Power 321

Hugh Pickens writes "Until recently, geothermal power systems have exploited only resources where naturally occurring heat, water, and rock permeability are sufficient to allow energy extraction. Now, geothermal energy developers plan use a new technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of the dormant Newberrry Volcano, located about 20 miles south of Bend, Oregon, in an effort to use the earth's heat to generate power. 'We know the heat is there,' says Susan Petty, president of AltaRock Energy, Inc. of Seattle. 'The big issue is can we circulate enough water through the system to make it economic.' Since natural cracks and pores do not allow economic flow rates, the permeability of the volcanic rock can be enhanced with EGS by pumping high-pressure cold water down an injection well into the rock, creating tiny fractures in the rock, a process known as hydroshearing. Then cold water is pumped down production wells into the reservoir, and the steam is drawn out. Natural geothermal resources only account for about 0.3 percent of U.S. electricity production, but a 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology report projected EGS could bump that to 10 percent within 50 years, at prices competitive with fossil-fuels. 'The important question we need to answer now,' says USGS geophysicist Colin Williams, 'is how geothermal fits into the renewable energy picture, and how EGS fits. How much it is going to cost, and how much is available.'"
Transportation

Rethinking Rail Travel: Boarding a Moving Train 357

PolygamousRanchKid tips this article about an idea for revolutionizing the rail system in the long-term: "The idea is to have a city-wide network of trams that travel in a loop and connect with a high-speed rail service. But instead of passengers having to get off the tram at a rail station and wait for the next HSR service to arrive, the moving tram would 'dock' with a moving train, allowing passengers to cross between tram and train without either vehicle ever stopping. 'The trams speed up and the high-speed train slows down and they join, so they dock at high speed,' explains Priestman. 'They stay docked for the same amount of time that it would stop at a station,' he adds. While Priestman admits that it will be some time before his vision could be implemented, he says the time has come to rethink how we travel. 'This idea is a far-future thought but wouldn't it be brilliant to just re-evaluate and just re-think the whole process?' he says."
Microsoft

Estimating Age With Kinect's 3D Camera To Filter Content 102

theodp writes "Hal in 2001: 'I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that [open the pod bay doors].' Kinect in 2011: 'I'm sorry, Dave Jr. I'm afraid I can't do that [tune in to the Spice Channel].' A Microsoft patent filing made public this week proposes to restrict access to TV, movies and video games by using a 3D depth camera to estimate viewers' ages based upon the dimensions and proportions of a person's body, such as head width to shoulder width, and torso length to overall height. For adults with short arms or other seemingly childlike proportions, settings can be overridden by someone with an administrator password."

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