jestill writes: It seems that the Perl Monks database has been compromised through some kind of security hole on the server that hosts it. That would, of course, be bad enough. But it seems that the user passwords in that database were stored in plain text. So whoever got the database, got access to the passwords of every user. Some of those passwords (those belonging to the saints and the janitors) have been shared publically. And changing your password might not help as the original vulnerability hasn't been plugged yet so the same people could grab any password that you change it to.
jestill writes: It appears that US patent application #20090030925 'Clustering phylogenetic variation patterns' from Microsoft is an attempt to patent the study of evolutionary biology. The broadly written application attempts to patent the process that nearly every evolutionary biologist uses to reconstruct the tree of life. The prior art for phylogeny reconstruction is immense and is extremely well documented in the scientific literature. The applications of clustering and classification algorithms to the study of evolutionary relationships is certainly not new, and many open source programs that molecular biologist depend on make use of these approaches. Everything in biology ranging from the next wave of cancer and AIDs research to the study of relationships in Cichlid Fishes depends on these algorithms. Patenting such a core concept of basic biology could do great harm to a broad range of disciplines.