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Submission + - South Korea earmarks $1.05Bn for robot theme parks (

Phortune writes: PhysOrg Report: ' South Korea will spend about 1.05 billion dollars to build two robot theme parks as part of a drive to nurture the robotics industry as a new growth engine, officials said Thursday. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it would build the world's first robot theme park by the end of 2013 in Incheon, a port city west of Seoul. The government said it has set aside 784.5 billion won (559 million dollars) for the Incheon park, to be called "Robot Land." Construction would begin later this year, it added. The second theme park will be built in the southern industrial city of Masan although detailed plans have yet to be drawn up, it said. The two parks — requiring a total of 1.48 trillion won from local and central governments — will help create 18,000 jobs and boost the competitiveness of the robot industry, the ministry said. They will have research and development centres, amusement rides, stadiums where robots can compete in various events and exhibition and education facilities. South Korea considers robotics a key growth industry, particularly "service robots" that can clean homes and provide entertainment.'

Submission + - Fracture healing accelerated by cell injections (

Phortune writes: PhysOrg Report: 'Long bone fractures heal faster after injections of bone-building cells. Research published in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has shown that osteoblast cells cultured from a patient's own bone marrow can be injected into the fracture area and can speed the healing process. Dr Seok-Jung Kim from the Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul, coordinated a multi-centre, randomized clinical study of the osteoblast treatment. He said, "The cultured osteoblast injection group showed fracture healing acceleration of statistical significance, and there were no specific patient complications when using this treatment. Cultured osteoblast injection should therefore be considered as a successful treatment option for long-bone fracture".' TFA: The p-score is pretty convincing, but this is a fairly small study. Thoughts?

Comment Re:informed choice (Score 1) 807

Ah, you have raised an interesting point, Falcon - medicinal use of cannabis... I was talking specifically about people justifying their recreational use of the drug with quasi-scientific claims about improved memory. With regards to the medicinal use of cannabis as a pain-killer for people suffering from MS and other afflictions, for whom normal anaelgesics do not work: as long as the patients are advised of the potential long and short-term side-effects of the drug; the drug's distribution and use is properly controlled and regulated, I see no reason why it should not be made available on a prescription basis. My only fear is that some might find a way to abuse the system and gain access to the drug fraudulently.

Comment Re:Rats aren't people (Score 2, Insightful) 807

Moreover, the increase in potency of cannabis (due largely to intensive hydroponic growing methods, as well as selective breeding and interbreeding of various strains of cannabis) over the past few decades has lead to a marked increased incidence in the onset of psychosis in long-term users of the drug. I hardly think that a lifetime of suffering from psychosis, and the hideous side-effects of anti-psychotic drugs, is a worthwhile price to pay for a minor increase in long-term memory later in life, not to mention a piss-poor short-term memory in the meantime. If people knew the torture of living with schizophrenia then they wouldn't be so quick to jump on the "let's-all-smoke-cannabis-and-have-an-awesome-time" band-wagon. I've smoked weed too - it feels good, I know. Not good enough to be worth risking that...

Comment Re:the others are worse (Score 2, Informative) 139

Outside of the US, Tylenol is known as paracetamol; one of the metabolic intermediates of which is extremely toxic and since paracetamol is metabolised in the liver, it is there that it accumulates and has its toxic effect. The toxic dose of paracetamol varies among individuals because of the polymorphic nature of the genes for the enzymes involved and because of differing rates of metabolism of this toxic intermediate. That said, the fatal toxic dose for a given individual is fairly high compared to the 500-1000mg (4000mg max. daily) recommended dosage. It would be considerably lower for a developing foetus, however, I am unsure as to how much paracetamol would be able to cross the placental membrane into the foetus' bloodstream; or indeed if the foetus would be able to metabolise the paracetamol (and thus produce the toxic intermediate, NAPQI). Pregnant mothers should know better than to drink more than a small glass of wine, and certainly not in conjunction with any painkiller. Paracetamol is the lesser of many possible evils. I hope this clears matters up?

Comment Re:Gotta love the FDA (Score 3, Informative) 139

In fairness, aspirin is fairly hazardous for quite a few people because of, among other things, its blood thinning properties (e.g. bad for anyone on warfarin or other anti-coagulants); as well as for people with stomach ulcers, because of the irritation it can cause. There are so many other pain-killers available now, that are comparatively safe, that aspirin's use for its analgesic properties has all but died out in my country (UK). Like gad_zuki! said before me, lots of drugs are prohibited during pregnancy for myriad reasons. There are usually plenty of alternatives and the benefits seldom outweigh the risks for pregnant mothers.

Comment Re:Dead End, no sir... (Score 2, Informative) 81

I hate to be a pedant, especially in my first post, however, I feel that I must inform you that each of the carbon atoms in graphene (as in a single sheet of graphite) only form 3 covalent bonds with their neighbouring carbon atom. The fourth valency remains unbonded and the electron in question is delocalised across the system - giving graphene its conductive capaicity. I hope that this clears things up. This whole thing does sound exciting, though... Who know what the future holds for this technology?

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