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First Self-Replicating Creature Spawned In Conway's Game of Life 241

Calopteryx writes "New Scientist has a story on a self-replicating entity which inhabits the mathematical universe known as the Game of Life. 'Dubbed Gemini, [Andrew Wade's] creature is made of two sets of identical structures, which sit at either end of the instruction tape. Each is a fraction of the size of the tape's length but, made up of two constructor arms and one "destructor," play a key role. Gemini's initial state contains three of these structures, plus a fourth that is incomplete. As the simulation progresses the incomplete structure begins to grow, while the structure at the start of the tape is demolished. The original Gemini continues to disassemble as the new one emerges, until after nearly 34 million generations, new life is born.'"
Operating Systems

Peppermint OS One Review 110

JimLynch writes "I've covered a lot of remastered versions of Ubuntu since DLR launched. But, every once in a while, I bump into one that is particularly interesting to review. Peppermint OS One is definitely in that category. Peppermint OS One is a web-centric Ubuntu remaster that passes up common desktop applications like OpenOffice.org in favor of web-based alternatives such as Google Docs. And it doesn't stop with office applications either; Peppermint OS One integrates video sites like YouTube and Hulu right into the desktop experience."

Crowdsourcing HIV Research 52

biolgeek writes "In recent years, HIV has been managed with a collection of therapies. However, the virus will likely evolve around these drugs, making it crucially important to get a better understanding of the virus itself. An important step in understanding the virus is to get a handle on its genetic blueprint. William Dampier of Drexler University is taking a novel approach to this research by crowdsourcing his problem. He is hosting a bioinformatics competition, which requires contestants to find markers in the HIV sequence that predict a change in the severity of the infection (as measured by viral load). So far the best entry comes from Fontanelles, an HIV research group, which has been able to predict a change in viral load with 66% accuracy."

Comment Re:Where do the hydrocarbons come from? (Score 1) 139

Our definition of life is biased as to what we have observed on this planet. So if we are looking for life that could sustain itself on our planet then the definition we use suffices. I for one, would rather not find a life form that can sustain itself on our planet due to all the documentaries / science fiction movies depicting our demise. Lets try to find life that has nothing to do with the life we know and endure on this planet and would die if it tried to live amongst us. Likewise, the aliens, don't want us to migrate to their neck of the woods either and be like a little brother wanting to tag along. The release of Avatar is happening galaxy wide simultaneously and they know what we intend to do. The good question is do you think that aliens somewhere else are watching Star Trek (original Series)? Would they think it was a documentary or understand its fictional content, all technological hurdles to translate and view aside... perhaps television earlier than that is like a repellant spray ... We just have to wait till they watch Star Trek and realize we've evolved a tad. They are probably affended by the all the cheesy scifi stuff.. or believe we kill aliens... ( What if it was thought to be real... how would they know fiction from reality? ) ...

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