Taco Cowboy writes: MIT researchers have developed RNA-delivering nanoparticles that allow for rapid screening of new drug targets in mice and showed that nanoparticles that target a protein known as ID4 can shrink ovarian tumors.
The nanoparticle system, described in the Aug. 15 online edition of Science Translational Medicine, could relieve a significant bottleneck in cancer-drug development. Among those potential targets are many considered to be “undruggable,” meaning that the proteins don’t have any pockets where a traditional drug could bind to them.
The new nanoparticles, which deliver short strands of RNA that can shut off a particular gene, may help scientists go after those undruggable proteins.
Within the nanoparticles, strands of RNA are mixed with a protein that further helps them along their journey: When the particles enter a cell, they are encapsulated in membranes known as endosomes. The protein-RNA mixture can cross the endosomal membrane, allowing the particles to get into the cell’s main compartment and start breaking down mRNA.
In a study of mice with ovarian tumors, the researchers found that treatment with the RNAi nanoparticles eliminated most of the tumors.The researchers are now using the particles to test other potential targets for ovarian cancer as well as other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer.
Taco Cowboy writes: Yet another exciting project for DIY geeks !!
Modi-Corp, a Japanese company, has just unveiled a new electric car that you can actually build yourself
Not to be confused with Toyota "Prius", the DIY electric car from Modi-Corp is called "PIUS"
The MODI-Corp PIUS is a single-seat electric car that will be released next spring in Japan.
The company hopes that the Pius kits can be used as educational tools, expecting to sell them to universities and mechanical schools with the opportunity to have customizable parts embedded in the EV for testing.
Taco Cowboy writes: The world we live in is changing rapidly, as we speak.
A few years ago, the author of TFA had to have the headlights on his car repaired. Knowing how easy it was to change a light bulb in his previous cars, the author first tried to do it himself, only to realized that he needed a trained professional
When the author showed up at a local repair shop for assistance, the car mechanic took a quick look and immediately informed that he was not able to help.
The car was really nothing fancy, but it is a late generation model
The mechanic explained that the car has “smart lights” that anticipate the flow of the road ahead and he did not have the software necessary to calibrate the car’s headlights.
When enquired about the mechanic's approach to hiring and training, he confirmed that knowledge of computers and software are absolutely a must-have for his employees today.
In addition to keeping up with day-to-day responsibilities and deliverables, we need to start including research and learning as part and parcel of our regular working behaviors.
The author claims that anything less–such as attempting to stay in one’s comfort zones or sticking to tried and true or routine systems and software–risks being left behind the ever sweeping wave of innovation and technology.
Therefore, I wish to ask all Slashdot readers, how prepared are you to face the future?
Taco Cowboy writes: De Beers' ad slogan "A diamond is forever" may need some upgrading for someone has created a quantum computer inside a diamond
A team that includes scientists from USC has built a quantum computer in a diamond, in order to protect it against "decoherence" — noise that prevents the computer from functioning properly
The team's diamond quantum computer system featured two quantum bits (called "qubits"), made of subatomic particles
Like all diamonds, the diamond used by the researchers has impurities — things other than carbon. The more impurities in a diamond, the less attractive it is as a piece of jewelry, because it makes the crystal appear cloudy. The team, however, utilized the impurities themselves.
A rogue nitrogen nucleus became the first qubit. In a second flaw sat an electron, which became the second qubit. To put it more accurately, the "spin" of each of these subatomic particles was used as the qubit.
Taco Cowboy writes: LED lighting are generally considered as efficient, but typical LEDs on the market today only have internal quantum efficiency of 30-40%.
Meaning: For every watt of power pumped into the LED, only 30%-40% turns into light, while the rest (60%-70%) becomes heat.
And because of that, LED light manufacturers had to attach all kinds of heat sink to draw away all those excess heat.
A new LED material has been found to transform 90% of the power that it received into light.
NGK Insulators Ltd developed what it claims is a gallium nitride (GaN) wafer capable of doubling the luminous efficiency of LED light source.
The new GaN wafer can realize twice as high a luminous efficiency as existing LED light sources (200lm/W). And it can reduce power consumption by 50%, and in the meantime, extend the product life of the LED device, by reducing heat generation and reduce the sizes of lighting apparatuses, the company said.
Taco Cowboy writes: Four new species of brilliantly hued freshwater river crabs have been identified, Christine Dell’Amore reported in National Geographic News.
The crab's brilliant hues may simply help the species recognize its brethren, said study author Hendrik Freitag, of the Senckenberg Museum of Zoology in Dresden, Germany.
The crabs are between one inch (2.5 centimeters) to 2 inches (5.3 centimeters) wide. Only one other species, I. unicorn, was known in the genus, having been found in 1992.
Scientists aren’t sure why the animals are so brightly colored, although they suspect it may help them recognize each other. Interestingly, dominant males of the species take on a red color, in contrast to the purple of females and less dominant males.
Taco Cowboy writes: Thomson Reuters indexes scientific papers from 10,500 journals worldwide, analysed the performance of four emerging markets countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China, over the past 30 years.
China’s growth had put it in second place to the US – and if it continues on its trajectory it will be the largest producer of scientific knowledge by 2020.
The figures show not only the expansion of Chinese science but also a very powerful performance by Brazil, much slower growth in India and relative decline in Russia.
Brazil has also been building up a formidable research effort, particularly in agricultural and life sciences. In 1981 its output of scientific papers was one-seventh that of India; by 2008 it had almost caught up with India.
Taco Cowboy writes: Bruce Charlton, the editor of Medical Hypotheses, a very well respected medical publication, will be sacked next Tueday, 11, May, 2010, for publishing two papers on Aids that are deemed controversial.
- One paper by Marco Ruggiero's group at the University of Florence, (doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.002) teased the Italian health ministry that its policies made it seem as if the department did not believe that HIV was the cause of Aids.
- The other paper, by Peter Duesberg's group at University of California, Berkeley (doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.024), argued that HIV was not a sufficient cause of Aids.
Mr. Charlton is adamant that he has not erred on the publication of the two papers. He cites the intent of the publication "Medical Hypotheses" as it was established with the express intent of allowing ideas outside the mainstream to be aired so that they could be debated openly.
Hence, the question arises: Should oppossing views be allowed to be heard, or should they all be silenced by the politically correct majority?
As this touches on the ethics on not only medical research but on all other aspects of higher studies, it would be beneficial of the readers of Slashdot be given a chance to debate and at least think over this particular conundrum.