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The Fruit Fly Drosophila Gets a New Name 136

G3ckoG33k writes "The name of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster will change to Sophophora melangaster. The reason is that scientists have by now discovered some 2,000 species of the genus and it is becoming unmanageably large. Unfortunately, the 'type species' (the reference point of the genus), Drosophila funebris, is rather unrelated to the D. melanogaster, and ends up in a distant part of the relationship tree. However, geneticists have, according to Google Scholar, more than 300,000 scientific articles describing innumerable aspects of the species, and will have to learn the new name as well as remember the old. As expected, the name change has created an emotional (and practical) stir all over media. While name changes are frequent in science, as they describe new knowledge about relationships between species, these changes rarely hit economically relevant species, and when they do, people get upset."

5-Axis Robot Carves Metal Like Butter 277

kkleiner sends along an amazing video of what robot-controlled machining is coming to. "Industrial robots are getting precise enough that they're less like dumb machines and more like automated sculptors producing artwork. Case in point: Daishin's Seki 5-axis mill. The Japanese company celebrated its 50th anniversary last year by using this machine to carve ... a full-scale motorcycle helmet out of one piece of aluminum. No breaks, no joints, the 5-Axis mill simply pivots and rotates to carve metal at some absurd angles. Every cut is guided by sophisticated 3-D design software (Openmind’s HyperMill)."

World's Smallest Superconductor Discovered 72

arcticstoat writes "One of the barriers to the development of nanoscale electronics has potentially been eliminated, as scientists have discovered the world's smallest superconductor. Made up of four pairs of molecules, and measuring just 0.87nm, the superconductor could potentially be used as a nanoscale interconnect in electronic devices, but without the heat and power dissipation problems associated with standard metal conductors."

Comment Re:And I question their claims. (Score 1) 1154

The previous poster was sponsored by Acme Cola. We are proud to be the soda of choice "for no good reason(*)!" *Warning: Acme Cola may cause overweight, heart burn, upset stomac, cancer, stupidity, infertility, improved fertility with greater chance of stupid children, increased gas prises due to use of corn starch that could be used to create fuel, curling of mouthcorners, spasmic laughter and insanity.

Submission + - 1-Click Lawyers Want Their Beauty Sleep

theodp writes: "For a rate of $245-$465+ per hour (PDF), most Slashdotters would be chomping at the bit to start work at 6 a.m. Not so the lawyers at Fenwick & West, who are defending a threat against Amazon's 1-Click patent. Not only are Amazon's SF-based attorneys unwilling to travel to D.C. for the September 13th Appeal Hearing they requested, they've asked the USPTO to move the Hearing time from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST), lest they be forced to endure what a F&W Partner characterized as the 'undue hardship' of being ready at 6:00 a.m. (PST). Just another way Amazon's making good on CEO Jeff Bezos' pledge of making 'less work for the overworked Patent and Trademark Office.'"

Submission + - Massive Intel Price Drop In Late July

mrneutron2004 writes: "It looks like those crazy Japanese guys that love ticking off Intel, HKEPC have ran across data on Intel's upcoming July 22 price drop. OEM Quantity pricing of Q6600 Kentsfield Quad Core will apparently be $266. We're saving our pennies for a few of these. If you thought AMD was under pressure now, wait till July. el-price-drop-in-late-july.html?Itemid=60"

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