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Pain-Free Animals Could Take Suffering Out of Farming 429

Philosopher Adam Shriver suggested that genetically engineering cows to feel no pain could be an acceptable alternative to eliminating factory farming in a paper published in Neuroscience. Work by neuroscientist Zhou-Feng Chen at Washington University may turn Shriver's suggestion a reality. Chen has been working on identifying the genes that control "affective" pain, the unpleasantness part of a painful sensation. He has managed to isolate a gene called P311, and has found that mice who do not have P311 don't have negative associations with pain, although they do react negatively to heat and pressure. This could end much of the concern about cruel farming practices, but unfortunately still leaves my design for the fiery hamburger punch in the unethical column.

Comment Re:slow data (Score 1) 551

Odd. I live in upstate NY (Greene County) and have excellent 3G service everywhere I go. Even hiking in the Catskills I was hard pressed to find an area without decent coverage. Maybe it's the cell towers on top of the ski slopes?

Comment I call shenanigans (Score 5, Interesting) 278

""Despite his growing affinity for the machine, he left school at 17 to become a hairdresser, a career cut short by a friend's insistence that there was better money, and he was better suited, to a career in IT."" I find it highly unlikely that an Aspie would ever become a hair dresser, an incredibly social job. Anybody who has every had any kind of contact with a true Aspie knows they avoid social situations like the plague. I call shenanigans.

14-Year-Old Boy Smote By Meteorite 435

eldavojohn writes "Winning the lottery requires incredible luck and one in a million odds. So does getting hit by a falling space rock. A 14-year-old German boy was granted a three-inch scar by the gods. A pea-sized meteorite smote young Gerrit Blank's hand before leaving a foot-sized crater on the road. The boy's account: 'At first I just saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand. Then a split second after that there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder. The noise that came after the flash of light was so loud that my ears were ringing for hours afterwards. When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road.' Curiously, the rock was magnetic, and tests were done to verify it is extraterrestrial. The Telegraph notes the only other recorded event of a meteorite striking a person was 'in November 1954 when a grapefruit-sized fragment crashed through the roof of a house, bounced off furniture and landed on a sleeping woman.' lists a few more anomalies and we discussed the probability of these things downing aircraft recently."

Submission + - Boy Hit by Meteorite (

dieselpawn writes: "Apparently the sky is falling...

"Gerrit Blank was on his way to school when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky.

The white-hot meteorite bounced off the schoolboy's hand and hit the ground so hard it left a foot-long crater in the tarmac — as well as a three-inch scar on his hand.

Gerrit, 14, said: "At first I just saw a large ball of light and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand."

I don't know about you, but after seeing a massive fireball heading straight toward me I would probably move out of the way."


Submission + - SPAM: A refrigerator inside your laptop? 1

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Even if the semiconductor industry is working on it, computer chips are big energy spenders. And new cooling systems will be needed in the future. Purdue University engineers think they have a solution. They've developed a miniature refrigeration system small enough to fit inside laptops. Unlike conventional cooling systems, which use fans to cool chips down to ambient temperature, these small refrigerators will cool them below surrounding temperatures. It is an interesting idea to get compressors instead of fans in our laptops, but these tiny fridges are still more expensive than fans. Anyway, read more for additional references, including a picture of the Purdue's miniature refrigeration system."

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