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Submission + - SPAM: Can Parents Sue If Their Kid Is Born With the 'Wrong' DNA?

randomErr writes: In a fascinating legal case out of Singapore, the country's Supreme Court ruled that this situation doesn't just constitute medical malpractice. The fertility clinic, the court recently ruled, must pay the parents 30% of upkeep costs for the child for a loss of 'genetic affinity.' In other words, the clinic must pay the parents' child support not only because they made a terrible medical mistake, but because the child didn't wind up with the right genes.

“It’s suggesting that the child itself has something wrong with it, genetically, and that it has monetary value attached to it,” Todd Kuiken, a senior research scholar with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University, told Gizmodo. “They attached damages to the genetic makeup of the child, rather than the mistake. That’s the part that makes it uncomfortable. This can take you in all sort of fucked up directions.”

Submission + - Second Opinion From Doctor Nets Different Diagnosis 88% Of Time, Study Finds (studyfinds.org) 3

schwit1 writes: When it comes to treating a serious illness, two brains are better than one. A new study finds that nearly 9 in 10 people who go for a second opinion after seeing a doctor are likely to leave with a refined or new diagnosis from what they were first told.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic examined 286 patient records of individuals who had decided to consult a second opinion, hoping to determine whether being referred to a second specialist impacted one's likelihood of receiving an accurate diagnosis.

The study, conducted using records of patients referred to the Mayo Clinic's General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period, ultimately found that when consulting a second opinion, the physician only confirmed the original diagnosis 12 percent of the time.

Among those with updated diagnoses, 66% received a refined or redefined diagnosis, while 21% were diagnosed with something completely different than what their first physician concluded.

Submission + - Wolves may be 're-domesticating' into dogs (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: It happened thousands of years ago, and it may be happening again: Wolves in various parts of the world may have started on the path to becoming dogs. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that the animals are increasingly dining on livestock and human garbage instead of their wild prey, inching closer and closer to the human world in some places. But given today’s industrialized societies, this closeness might also bring humans and wolves into more conflict, with disastrous consequences for both.

Submission + - SPAM: Soviet cover-up of nuclear fallout worse than Chernobyl

schwit1 writes: It was a nuclear disaster four times worse than Chernobyl in terms of the number of cases of acute radiation sickness, but Moscow’s complicity in covering up its effects on people’s health has remained secret until now.

We knew that in August 1956, fallout from a Soviet nuclear weapons test at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan engulfed the Kazakh industrial city of Ust-Kamenogorsk and put more than 600 people in hospital with radiation sickness, but the details have been sketchy.

After seeing a newly uncovered report, New Scientist can now reveal that a scientific expedition from Moscow in the aftermath of the hushed-up disaster uncovered widespread radioactive contamination and radiation sickness across the Kazakh steppes.

The scientists then tracked the consequences as nuclear bomb tests continued — without telling the people affected or the outside world.

The report by scientists from the Institute of Biophysics in Moscow was found in the archive of the Institute of Radiation Medicine and Ecology (IRME) in Semey, Kazakhstan. “For many years, this has been a secret,” says the institute’s director Kazbek Apsalikov, who found the report and passed it on to New Scientist.

More nuclear bomb tests were conducted at Semipalatinsk than anywhere else in the world during the 1950s and early 1960s. Western journalists have reported since the breakup of the Soviet Union on the apparent health effects on villagers downwind of the tests. And some recent studies have estimated radiation doses using proxies such as radioactivity in tooth enamel.

The newly revealed report, which outlines “the results of a radiological study of Semipalatinsk region” and is marked “top secret”, shows for the first time just how much Soviet scientists knew at the time about the human-health disaster and the extent of the cover-up.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - BBC ending shortwave transmissions from Thailand (ap.org)

MrCodswallop writes:

Last November, the BBC announced it would beam regular Korean-language broadcasts to North Korea, but it was not clear whether the loss of the Thai transmission site might affect those plans. The U.S.-government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia already target North Korea.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Help with amateur digital forensics 7

elocinanna writes: Long-time reader, first-time writer. My friend was abused as a child by a family member, including but not limited to the creation of illegal videos. There's reason to believe she wasn't the only one involved and also that he shared illegal materials with others.

The same friend will be visiting the abuser's house soon and will have access to his computers. We don't need to find evidence exactly, but just enough to make a tip-off to the police worthwhile. I've suggested she looks for file-sharing programmes and Onion browser as things which might suggest there's evidence hidden away somewhere, and try to access emails for forum accounts etc.

Given a day with such a person's computer, what would you search for? We know how to search for *.jpeg, but assuming he's careful, what else can we do? Thank you.

Submission + - Is Vodafone's new broadband service a man-in-the-middle attack? (vodafone.co.uk)

Duncan J Murray writes: Vodafone's recent entry into the competitive broadband ADSL and fibre market in the UK has been met with accusations that they are partaking in a man in a middle attack by providing certificates from contentcontrol.vodafone.co.uk. bored writes "Vodafone are performing a man-in-the-middle attack... Rather than subverting a wifi router, they have a proxy server which is intercepting your encrypted data requests, making the connection to the encrypted endpoint itself and getting you to send your requests to the Vodafone proxy server...."

Vodafone broadband also seems to be falling foul noscript's Application Boundary Enforcer designed to prevent DNS rebinding attacks, requiring system ABE rules to be disabled to access https addresses.

So far vodafone have responded by suggesting a security exception is created for each occurrence, and another reply from vodafone respond "I've double checked this with our Broadband team and this is how our routers are set up, we're unable to change any settings at our end."

Though we should not attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, is this unwittingly compromising the security of vodafone broadband users?

Submission + - Superbugs being treated with Brazilian Traditional Medicine (nature.com)

tomhath writes: A recently published study identifies the active compounds in fruits of the Brazilian Peppertree that help heal wounds while also blocking the ability of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to necrotize flesh. From the report:

One of the earliest written records concerning the use of S. terebinthifolia date back to 1648 when it was described by Dutch naturalist, Willem Piso, in his book Historia Naturalis Brasiliae... It is included in the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia and has served as a staple in Brazilian traditional medicine for its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory qualities in the treatment of wounds and ulcers as well as for urinary and respiratory infections. Bark extracts have demonstrated antibacterial activity against several pathogens, including S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Aspergillus species. Bark extracts were also found to be active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and were effective against peritonitis when injected into the abdominal cavity of rats...

Very little is known, however, regarding the chemistry and bioactivity of the fruits, which were used traditionally as topical poultices for infected wounds and ulcers. Furthermore, while many studies have focused on growth inhibitory, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties of this plant, none have examined its potential as a source of anti-virulence drugs.


Submission + - Ransomware may help a grandmother-killer escape justice (thedailybeast.com) 1

craighansen writes: This article from the Daily Beast suggests the possibility that the ransomware attack on DC police cameras may prevent the identification of the killer of 68-year-old Mrs. Vivian Marrow, who appears to have been killed by a stray bullet in when a gunman was chasing another person. At the time, DC police had 123 of 187 surveillance cameras disabled by a ransomware attack, which they were involved in countering without paying the ransom over a four-day period. Reportedly, two 50-year-old persons in Britain and Sweden have been arrested, and are out on bail, in connection with the ransomware attack, but no arrests have been made, nor suspects named, in the Morrow killing.

Submission + - Police and FAA Are Making It Impossible To Use Drones To Document Protests (vocativ.com)

schwit1 writes: Last November, an aerial drone flown by a member of the resistance camp opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline captured dramatic footage of riot police blasting crowds with water cannons as temperatures dipped below freezing, sending 17 of the camp’s occupants to the hospital with injuries and hypothermia.

The video quickly spread on social media, spurring global news coverage of the fight against the oil pipeline, which saw activists clash with police and security forces in tense standoffs last year. A few weeks later, the Army Corps of Engineers halted construction of the pipeline, which had encroached on Native American sacred lands and threatened water supplies near North Dakota’s Standing Rock reservation.

It was another example of how drones have become a crucial technology, allowing activists and journalists to document protests and hold police accountable for abuses. But as a new era of civil resistance dawns under the Trump administration, at the Standing Rock site and in anti-Trump demonstrations across the country, drone experts say police and government have made it unnecessarily difficult — sometimes impossible — for civilians to deploy drones at large protests.

Just a few days after the video from Standing Rock went viral, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave permission to local authorities to effectively ban all civilian drone flights in 4 mile radius above the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp and drill site. The same thing happened two years earlier, during the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri: Police were granted what is called a Temporary Flight Restriction, or TFR, which legally restricts airspace above a designated area to law enforcement and emergency aircraft. In Ferguson, the explicit goal was to stop news helicopters and drones from observing the Black Lives Matter protests, where cops were firing tear gas and menacing protesters with military vehicles and weapons.

Submission + - At-home brain-zapping treatment for depression may soon be mainstream (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: This isn't old-school brain zapping: It's not electroshock therapy, in which doctors flood a depressed patient's brain with some 900 milliamps of current to cause a seizure and something like a mood reset. This is tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation), which would let psychiatrists send their depressed patients home with a brain-zapping headband that sends perhaps 2 milliamps of current through specific portions of their brains. A doctor's prescription might call for the patient to do a 20-minute stimulation session daily for a few weeks, then less frequent maintenance sessions.

While tDCS is being investigated as a treatment for all sorts of neuropsychiatric disorders, many researchers and doctors think depression may be the killer app. A South Korean company called Ybrain thinks its consumer-friendly headband for depression will be the product that makes this treatment mainstream — first in Korea, then in Europe, then in the United States and around the world.

Submission + - Scientists create auto-focusing smart glasses that adjust to wearer's eyesight (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A team of engineers has developed a pair of eyeglasses that automatically adjust focal length based on what the wearer is looking at.

The so-called adaptive eyeglasses contain special liquid lenses and sensors that make them capable of focusing on both nearby and faraway objects, without the wearer having to switch frames.

The 'smart glasses' have been developed by a team of engineers at the University of Utah and could do away with the need for bifocals entirely. And, because the lenses continually adjust to the wearer's eyesight, there's no need to continually change prescriptions as eyesight deteriorates with age: all the wearer has to do is programme in their prescription using a smartphone companion app and they're set for life.

Submission + - Nicotine shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia (newatlas.com)

future guy writes: New Atlas reports, "A meta-analysis of worldwide studies conducted in 2005 definitively showed what many doctors had been anecdotally noting for decades. Schizophrenia patients were much more likely to become heavy smokers than than those in the general population. In fact some studies found over 80 percent of those diagnosed with schizophrenia were smokers. There were many social and psychological hypotheses proposed to explain this strange anomaly, but none were ever sufficient.
A new study published in Nature Medicine has not only revealed how smoking can normalize the impairments in brain activity associated with schizophrenia, but unlocks an entirely new field of drug research to combat the disease."

Submission + - France to review food whitener additive, titanium dioxide, for health risks (reuters.com)

Eloking writes: The French government has ordered a review of the safety of titanium dioxide as a food additive after a scientific study released on Friday found health effects in animals that consumed the substance.

Titanium dioxide is widely used in industry as a whitener, notably for paint. It is an ingredient in some foods such as sweets and known as additive E171.

France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and partners in a study on oral exposure to titanium dioxide had shown for the first time that E171 crosses the intestine wall in animals to reach other parts of the body, INRA said.

Submission + - Superbugs now Killing more Americans than Breast Cancer

randomErr writes: Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are now slaying more patients than breast cancer, according to a new statistics by the UK Sepsis Trust. The British Department of Health say about 5,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections The UK Sepsis Trust looked at the Department of Health’s own data to produce an estimate of 12,000 killed per year by superbugs. That’s more than twice as high as the current estimate.

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