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Comment hold your regenerating troll-horses (Score 2, Informative) 260

The wikipedia entry for p21 ( is somewhat misleading about its relationship with cancer. For a good review, see: Excerpt: "However, p21-null mice were found to be more susceptible to chemically induced tumours of the skin (Ref. 94) and colon (Ref. 95), and following irradiation they displayed increased tumourigenesis and metastases (Ref. 96). In addition, using different mouse strains, others have found that p21-null mice exhibit spontaneous tumour formation in the background of other genetic knockouts, such as Muc22/2 (lacking mucin 2) (Ref. 97) and Apc1638/2 (carrying a mutant allele of the adenomatosis polyposis coli gene) (Ref. 98). Furthermore, subsequent to the initial description of p21-null mice, investigators have found that p21-null mice bred on a 129Sv/ C57BL6 50:50 background did in fact develop spontaneous tumours at an average age of 16 months (Ref. 99). Collectively, these mouse studies demonstrated the importance of p21 in mediating the G1 checkpoint, and its ability to function as a tumour suppressor."

Comment autoimmunity could be a major side-effect (Score 4, Insightful) 175

If the exogenous antibodies end up hitting the wrong cells in some people, there could be major problems. Although I would expect that there would be some sort of pre-compatibility test to avoid major complications - but you can't realistically pre-test every cell type via biopsy.

How Do You Accurately Estimate Programming Time? 483

itwbennett writes "It can take a fairly stable team of programmers as long as six months to get to a point where they're estimating programming time fairly close to actuals, says Suvro Upadhyaya, a Senior Software Engineer at Oracle. Accurately estimating programming time is a process of defining limitations, he says. The programmers' experience, domain knowledge, and speed vs. quality all come into play, and it is highly dependent upon the culture of the team/organization. Upadhyaya uses Scrum to estimate programming time. How do you do it?"

Eight PHP IDEs Compared 206

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Rick Grehen provides an in-depth comparative review of eight PHP IDEs: ActiveState's Komodo IDE, CodeLobster PHP Edition, Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT), MPSoftware's phpDesigner, NetBeans IDE for PHP, NuSphere's PhpED, WaterProof's PHPEdit, and Zend Studio. 'All of these PHP toolkits offer strong support for the other languages and environments (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL database) that a PHP developer encounters. The key differences we discovered were in the tools they provide (HTML inspector, SQL management system) for various tasks, the quality of their documentation, and general ease-of-use,' Grehen writes.'"

Comment Re:Well duh? (Score 1) 313

I'd say there's an extreme bias in our current understanding of viruses because we only know about the ones that are blooming (lytic phase) during acute disease symptoms. We know very little about viruses that don't cause disease, or the viruses hiding around in latent form (say, non-blooming herpes) because there's no easy way to find them (even when we know their genomic sequence and have antibodies to tag their coats).

Comment Re:Well duh? (Score 0) 313

Yes - change "homosexual sex" to "non-procreative sex" and it's less controversial. What about just the human behavior of kissing? Perhaps it's a way of smelling each other's breath to check for disease signals, or sharing of pheromones, but I'm more inclined to think it's about virus transfer. I'd also presume that breast feeding might provide lateral transfer of beneficial genes via viruses that haven't "gone germline" yet. Viruses can also pass through the placenta to a fetus, and viruses can pass the blood-brain-barrier. It's possible that a beneficial virus could get passed around that actually changes human thought/behavior. A rabies infection makes a person hydrophobic, but rabies isn't exactly beneficial (except maybe to bats). Even more wacky - what if human rational consciousness is a function of one or many viruses that get transferred to embryos/fetuses/developing children? Perhaps over time some of those viruses have "gone germline" and are now HERVs. In that case God would not only be a viral meme, but also a molecular virus (or series of 'em) himself.

Comment R Bioconductor Cytoscape EGAN (Score 3, Informative) 113

Don't forget R/Bioconductor! Not only is R free/free, but there are thousands of available Bioconductor packages ready for out-of-the-box use. Also consider Cytoscape and or EGAN for graph visualization of established and experimental bio-knowledge. (full disclosure - I work on EGAN)

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