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Security

Submission + - Bad grammar make good password, research say

An anonymous reader writes: NewScientist reports, "Along with birthdays, names of pets and ascending number sequences, add one more thing to the list of password no-nos: good grammar..." Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University seem to have developed a password cracking algorithm that targets grammatically correct passwords. Can bad grammar really make your password secure? This topic received attention in the media in UK and India recently...

Submission + - Computer-designed enzymes may help alleviate celiac disease (acs.org)

tbg58 writes: Computational protein design tools have allowed researchers to create enzymes that perform functions unknown in nature. Researchers have applied the technique to develop an enzyme specifically aimed at neutralizing the peptide alpha-gliadin contained in gluten, which triggers the autoimmune attack that causes celiac disease. The design of -Gliadin Endopeptidase began with the search for a naturally occurring endopeptidase with stability in an acidic-pH environment, the reproducing and modifying the naturally occurring enzyme to have the specific structure of the designer enzyme using recombinant-DNA modified strain of e. coli.

This development is only made possible by computational cataloguing and modeling of enzymes. The resulting enzyme, given the name KumaMax, shows eventual promise as an oral enzyme therapy for celiac disease taken prior to the ingestion of gluten-containing foods. It is attractive as a non-invasive oral therapeutic which can break down over 95% of the immunogenic peptide under physiologically relevant conditions.

Space

Submission + - Polaris Not So Close After all (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Last November, astronomer David Turner made headlines by claiming that one of the sky's best known objects—the North Star, Polaris—was actually 111 light-years closer than thought. If true, the finding might have forced researchers to rethink how they calculate distances in the cosmos as well as what they know about some aspects of stellar physics. But a new study argues that distance measurements of the familiar star made some 2 decades ago by the European Space Agency's venerable Hipparcos satellite are still spot on. Experts appear to agree.
Education

Hard-to-Read Fonts Improve Learning 175

arkenian writes "Difficult-to-read fonts make for better learning, according to scientists. The finding is about to be published in the international journal Cognition. Researchers at Princeton University employed volunteers to learn made-up information about different types of aliens — and found that those reading harder fonts recalled more when tested 15 minutes later. The article goes on to note a second test in a real school environment: 'Keen to see if their findings actually worked in practice, the Princeton University team then tested their results on 222 students aged between 15 and 18 at a secondary school in Chesterfield, Ohio.'... 'Students given the harder-to-read materials scored higher in their classroom assessments than those in the control group. This was the case across a range of subjects — from English, to Physics to History.'"

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