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Submission + - New nano particles shrink tumors in mice (

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.


Submission + - Prehistoric Sperm Cache found (

Taco Cowboy writes: Scientists found a large batch of prehistoric ostracods, from between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago, in the Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania

After careful study, the paleontologists concluded that between five to ten percent of the fossils showed some evidence of sperm.

It was determined that the sperm was actually present in both the male and female of the species. The poor little things died either while mating or immediately afterward.

Pix of the prehistoric sperms are at

Additional info at


Submission + - Built It Yourself Electric Vehicle ( 1

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.

Other links as follows —


Submission + - Jobs that require technological skills - 77% in 10 years (

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 fact, research done by International Data Corporation ( ) predicts that the percentage of all jobs requiring some technology skills will grow from 50% today to 77% in the next decade.

In fact, they estimate that 60% of the jobs that will exist in 10 years do not even exist today.

How is this applied to the IT professionals involving in hardware designing / software programming field ?

On another blog (,1-268.html ) the author believes that learning how to learn, and keeping your learning skills sharp and pointy, is the best hope for ongoing employment, career growth and advancement.

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?


Submission + - Quantum Computer Inside a Diamond (

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.


Submission + - Super efficient LED that reaches 90% luminous efficiency ( 5

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.


Submission + - Ancient Viruses Thriving in our DNA ! (

Taco Cowboy writes: The more we dwell into the DNA, the more amazing stuffs we are discovering

A study shows how extensively viruses from as far back as the dinosaur era still thrive in our genetic material.

The scientists investigated the genomes of 38 mammals including humans, mice, rats, elephants and dolphins.

One of the viruses was found to have invaded the genome of a common ancestor around 100 million years ago with its remnants discovered in almost every mammal in the study.

Another infected an early primate with the result that it was found in apes, humans and other primates as well.

The work established that many of these viruses lost the ability to transfer from one cell to another.

Instead they evolved to stay within their host cell where they have profilerated very effectively — spending their entire life cycle within the cell.

There are other reports of similar finding. For example:

8 Percent of Human Genome Was Inserted By Virus, and May Cause Schizophrenia

Bornaviruses, a type of RNA virus that causes disease in horses and sheep, first inserted their genetic material into ancestral human DNA at least 40 million years ago


Submission + - Crabs that glow (

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.

More info :


Submission + - 64-fold growth for scientific research for past 3 decades (

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.


Submission + - Higgins Boson Sighted, finally ! (

Taco Cowboy writes: BBC has just broke the news that the super illusive "Higgins Boson" sub-atomic particles were "sighted" twice, in two different experiments !

According to BBC radio news, they said that this Higgins Boson thingie is the one which provides the "mass" to matter.


Submission + - Is it right to publish opposing view? ( 3

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.

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