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Submission + - SPAM: K-pop, Kimchi and Plastic Surgery

joechrome writes: Move over Silicone Valley, there’s more primping and preening going on in South Korea. When it comes to sheer numbers, figures show that Korea has the highest proportion of its population undergoing cosmetic surgery, according to a breakdown of the data by the Economist.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Goodbye Flappy Bird. Hello Genes In Space!

joechrome writes: Gaming enthusiasts across the world can now help researchers analyze vast volumes of genetic data from tumor samples. In March 2013, a team of scientists from Cancer Research UK, along with developers from Google, Amazon Web Services and Facebook has developed a new video game that helps diagnose and treat cancer more precisely.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Want to Prove How Dinosaurs Walked? Pin a Tail on a Chicken

Penguinisto writes: Researchers have recently gotten a cool idea: If you want to prove how a dinosaur walked, why not test the theory on today's birds? They decided to test things out by putting prosthetic tails on chicks to provide the same balance issues that a T-Rex (and similar bipedal dinosaurs) faced. The prosthetic tails were periodically replaced with larger versions as the chicks grew. The results were astonishing: After 12 weeks, the chickens' legs were measured, and were discovered to have decreased range-of-motion in the knees while their femurs grew longer... just like the T-Rex. You can also see a nifty video of how they did this.

Submission + - Can a Software PM With DoD Experience Get a Commercial Job? (indeed.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a software program manager with over 25 years of extensive experience on a variety of successful large and small software development projects. The projects and teams have used everything from waterfall to agile methodologies in both business-oriented applications on the enterprise and complex analysis applications for real-time, deployed systems. I have a PMP and always received high praise for my successes and made sure everyone on the team gets credit and support. Yet, with the ever-growing budget cutbacks I've been looking outside of government contracting for a position that is not reliant on congressional whims. (Yes, I'm aware that commercial market whims can be just as capricious.) From the many resumes submitted and the few interviews landed, I'm universally told that my experience is indeed very impressive, but sadly they cannot use me because I don't have commercial experience. I fail to see any difference in managing a quality development project/program/product — but who is missing something here, me or them?

Comment Re:Not Surprising (Score 1) 464

On the flip side you'd expect rich people to be really lazy, but that's not the case. Upper class/rich people have power and status dreams which drive them that middle class people don't have. Middle class people would like those things, but they often see them as fantasies, not really attainable.

That would be because, for most people in the "middle class" as it currently exists in the US, those "dreams" really are fantasies. When those people are something like a major injury or a cancer diagnosis away from being in that "poor" bracket, there are bigger things to worry about than vacationing in Dubai (to pull a "status and power dream" example). Employment certainly isn't secure these days.

At least, not for the "middle class." When you've inherited millions or billions (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars, a lot of those problems are a lot less problematic, and there's time to cultivate those "power and status dreams."

Comment Re:A triumph for her... (Score 1) 464

...How? Her family lost their home. They were supported (by that abysmally failing society...) for a short time until they found another.

Pretty much working exactly as it should.

Maybe keeping people in their homes would be a good way to start. Homeless shelters are a failsafe, a safety net. What you're saying would be the same as telling the tightrope walker not to worry about the performance, but just to dive off the the cable as soon as they got on it.

Nice proximate, quarantinable safety net, but solving the ultimate problems (like, say, medically induced bankruptcies and eventual foreclosures) might be a more effective role for the society.

Comment Re:I hope Intel avoids the obvious feel-good choic (Score 1) 464

She's a semifinalist. I hope Intel's judgement of her research isn't affect by the press coverage. It would suck for someone else's superior research to get shafted because he wasn't lucky enough to be appealing as a human-interest story.

Not coincidentally, that line gets spoken by people whose research really, truly does suck. Even if it doesn't, semifinalists don't exactly drop off the planet. The kid can grow his heart a few sizes that day.

Comment Re:How is this even... (Score 1) 464

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

Wait, you're complaining because we gave homeless people a place to live? What do you want, for them to live in Trump Tower and be fed caviar? Come on, what people need is enough to get back on their own two feet when life knocks them down. They don't need to have the world given to them.

I like how you have two settings on this -- no place to live vs. Trump Tower. Bullshit. No one's asking for these people to have the world given to them -- not the GP, anyway -- but that's how it's been framed all these years, because if it became more mainstream exactly how those people are getting blocked from getting enough to get on their own two feet, Occupy would've happened decades ago, to say the very least.

It is, indeed, very expensive to be poor.

Comment Re:How is this even... (Score 1) 464

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

Capitalism is an economic equivalent to Darwin's survival of the fittest. There are merits to this, despite the corruption.

Darwin actually never said anything about "survival of the fittest." That language was applied in interpretation later on. (Erroneously, actually. It tends to miss the point.)

Since you're likening inherited wealth to reproduction, let's call the family inheritance what it would be -- inbreeding. The long-term consequences of inbreeding have certainly been documented.

Comment Re:How is this even... (Score 1) 464

Uh, you realize that even in communist Russia, where it was a crime to be homeless, and housing was provided for free, there were still homeless people? Ending homelessness is not as easy as you think at first.

Which might be a fine point of discussion, up until the point where people use the notion of not absolutely ending homelessness as an excuse not to dedicate time and effort (not necessarily money) to reducing homelessness.

You might not be able to save everybody, but are you saving everyone that you reasonably could? By and large, we aren't.

Comment Re:Not according to the OECD (Score 1) 464

Sure, I could use more money sometimes, especially when something unexpected comes up like having to get my brakes fixed, but we get by just fine. This is all on 10k per person. I would practically be swimming in money at 30k/year per person. What do people possibly spend all of their money on?

Question of the age, I'd say.

Comment Re:Ok then let's hear it (Score 1) 464

I call it "Home Security". Just as Social Security is "earned" as a means for the elderly to be guaranteed a means to live when they are old, "Home Security" provides a means to guarantee that everyone who has worked sufficiently will have a home to live in, be it an apartment, house, or whatever. Okay, that idea isn't really perfect. The only reason Social Security works is because people have been brainwashed into believing that people earn it and they only believe that because it takes decades of work for any benefit to arrive; and even then, people still want to cut Social Security.

That would be because the "brainwashed" people have literally been paying into Social Security directly -- as an itemized paycheck deduction -- for as long as they've been employed. The date that it starts paying out doesn't have anything to do with it, at least not in the terms you're describing.

Comment Re:The USPS is *not* a traditional business (Score 2) 713

Amtrak has been at least as expensive as air flight for a sometime, and it hadn't provided much of a benefit to general public, much less the poor population, for a while now.

Citation needed. I'm guessing you haven't travelled by Amtrak over this span of time. I was traveling to western PA from FL last December for the holidays, and the round trip cost me $250. Flights would've easily cost me considerably more, because connections end up being cheaper through Amtrak than through United Airlines, which is the sole carrier at my hometown's airport. (This is even before we get into baggage fees!)

Last December's Snowpocalypse sent a considerable number of travelers to Amtrak -- I can attest to this, because the train south was packed to the gills with people who were stranded in New York and Philadelphia. This influx was in addition to that which already crowded trains -- often people who can't afford round trips by air, or for whom the length of the trip (maybe across the state) would make air travel impractical. I can remember making the trip across PA to NYC several times... and never, over all the trips I made over the years, did I travel on a train that didn't have a fairly significant number of people in each car. Amtrak gets a lot more use than most people give it credit for, which I imagine is part of the reason it doesn't do as well as it can, and its national route system is terribly sparse when you get beyond the NE corridor. Still, with what it has, it does fairly well.

Comment Re:Turning off Gene Therapy? (Score 1) 190

Someone who is more into biotech could probably do better than I could with this, but here goes...

1) You could. The problem is that the person wouldn't necessarily have been previously exposed to the antibody that would cause the reaction. Sensitization is a lot more likely once your body's been in contact with the stuff for a while. If someone had some sensitivity to the antibodies[1] before gene therapy even began, it's entirely possible that they've got bigger problems in front of them than getting vaccinated against HIV, and I have to ask why they're in this trial/program. (The sensitivity also could've cropped up a lot earlier than this procedure in such a case, to boot.)

2) Not necessarily a good idea at this stage of research and understanding. If gene therapy consists of pasting a gene somewhere into a chromosome, you've got to define (as best you can) where you're going to do the pasting, just so you can get your material (of variable length, depending on what you're trying to do) incorporated. Wherever it ends up and however you can narrow that down, you hope it works. Going in and messing with all of that to get rid of or change what you did in the first place is a little bit like blindfolding someone, spinning them three times, then holding them over a patient to make a surgical incision, leaving them blindfolded, spinning them three times again, and expecting them to both find and suture the original incision. Granted, there are markers and other means of identifying where genes are, but I don't think we're near the point that "turn off the original gene therapy" is considered any better than something way, way easier said than done.

[1] Antibodies are generally like screwdrivers with interchangeable bits. The handle and shaft don't change much, so a sensitivity to them seems very unlikely. As for the bits themselves? Hard to say. I don't know enough immunology to say one way or the other, but I'd think that the antibody itself wouldn't tend to be treated like an antigen. Of course, it probably depends quite a bit on the antibody in question.

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