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Biotech

Malaysia Releases Genetically Modified Mosquitoes 140

Blessed_by_the_Cow writes "Apparently, Malaysian scientists have released 6,000 genetically modified male mosquitoes into the the wild. These bloodsuckers have been altered to have shorter lifespans. The basic idea behind it is to help slow down the spread of Dengue fever by killing off the mosquitoes faster."
Businesses

Sudden Demand For Logicians On Wall Street 525

An anonymous reader writes "In an unexpected development for the depressed market for mathematical logicians, Wall Street has begun quietly and aggressively recruiting proof theorists and recursion theorists for their expertise in applying ordinal notations and ordinal collapsing functions to high-frequency algorithmic trading. Ordinal notations, which specify sequences of ordinal numbers of ever increasing complexity, are being used by elite trading operations to parameterize families of trading strategies of breathtaking sophistication. The monetary advantage of the current strategy is rapidly exhausted after a lifetime of approximately four seconds — an eternity for a machine, but barely enough time for a human to begin to comprehend what happened. The algorithm then switches to another trading strategy of higher ordinal rank, and uses this for a few seconds on one or more electronic exchanges, and so on, while opponent algorithms attempt the same maneuvers, risking billions of dollars in the process."
Wireless Networking

A Wireless Hotspot For Your Car — Why Not? 135

nk497 writes "UK mobile operator 3 has unveiled a wireless hotspot for cars. It's essentially a repackaged version of their MiFi wireless router, which lets users create their own wireless hotspot using the 3G network. While drivers will hopefully steer away from using the web at the wheel, 3 predicts the mobile hotspot will let passengers entertain themselves as well as offer a hookup to email, music and traffic data."
Earth

Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste 344

separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"
Transportation

Gigantic Air Gun To Blast Cargo Into Orbit 384

Hugh Pickens writes: "The New Scientist reports that with a hat tip to Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon , physicist John Hunter has outlined the design of a gigantic gun that could slash the cost of putting cargo into orbit. At the Space Investment Summit in Boston last week, Hunter described the design for a 1.1-kilometer-long gun that he says could launch 450-kilogram payloads at 6 kilometers per second. A small rocket engine would then boost the projectile into low-Earth orbit. The gun would cost $500 million to build, says Hunter, but individual launch costs would be lower than current methods. 'We think it's at least a factor of 10 cheaper than anything else,' Hunter says. The gun is based on the SHARP (Super High Altitude Research Project) light gas gun Hunter helped to build in the 1990s while at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California. With a barrel 47 meters long, it used compressed hydrogen gas to fire projectiles weighing a few kilograms at speeds of up to 3 kilometers per second."
Biotech

Nanomedicine Kills Brain Cancer Cells 99

destinyland writes "Scientists from the University of Chicago and the US Department of Energy have developed the first nanoparticles that seek out and destroy GMB brain cancer cells. Nanoparticles killed up to 80% of the brain cancer cells after just five minutes of exposure to white light, showing the promise of nanomedicine — highly-specific intervention at the molecular scale. Because nanomedicine could repair brain cells or damaged nerve and muscle tissue, the NIH has established eight Nanomedicine Development Centers around the country for their Nanomedicine Roadmap Initiative. Researchers have also used gold nanospheres to search out and 'cook' skin cancer cells with light — 'It's basically like putting a cancer cell in hot water and boiling it to death,' says one researcher. And the NIH Roadmap ultimately predicts 'novel tiny sensors ... that search for, and destroy, infectious agents.'"
Medicine

Artificial Heart Recipient Has No Pulse 465

laggist writes "A heart patient in Singapore has been implanted with an artificial heart that pumps blood continuously, allowing her to live without a pulse. From the article: '... the petite Madam Salina, who suffers from end-stage heart failure, would not have been able to use the older and bulkier models because they can only be implanted in patients 1.7m or taller. The 30-year-old administrative assistant is the first recipient here to get a new artificial heart that pumps blood continuously, the reason why there are no beats on her wrist.'" The story is light on details, but an article from last year in MIT's Technology Review explains a bit more about how a pulse-less artificial heart works.
Biotech

Inside the New Science of Neuroengineering 83

palegray.net writes "Wired brings us a look into the world of neuroengineering, the science of hacking the brain to improve its function. Dr. Ed Boyden is the director of MIT's Neuroengineering and Neuromedia Lab, focusing on innovative methods of physically altering neuroanatomy for various purposes. As useful as discoveries in the field may be, the work certainly raises moral and ethical questions. From the article: '"If we surgically or electrically modify someone's personality... that raises many questions about personal identity, (of) who we are at our core," says Dr. Debra Matthews of The Berman Institute of Bioethics. "We place ourselves in the mind and therefore the brain. (Mood-altering surgery) feels like fundamentally modifying who a person is."'"
The Courts

Has Microsoft's Patent War Against Linux Begun? 644

Glyn Moody writes "Microsoft has filed a suit against TomTom, 'alleging that the in-car navigation company's devices violate eight of its patents — including three that relate to TomTom's implementation of the Linux kernel.' What's interesting is that the intellectual property lawyer behind the move, Horacio Gutierrez, has just been promoted to the rank of corporate vice president at Microsoft. Is this his way of announcing that he intends going on the attack against Linux?"
Science

Human Eye Could Detect Spooky Action At a Distance 255

KentuckyFC writes "The human eye is a good photon detector--it's sensitive enough to spot photons in handfuls. So what if you swapped a standard photon detector with a human eye in the ongoing experiments to measure spooky-action-at-a-distance? (That's the ability of entangled photons to influence each other, no matter how far apart they might be.) A team of physicists in Switzerland have worked out the details and say that in principle there is no reason why human eyes couldn't do this kind of experiment. That would be cool because it would ensure that the two human observers involved in the test would become entangled, albeit for a short period time. The team, led by Nic Gisin, a world leader on entanglement, says it is actively pursuing this goal (abstract) so we could have the first humans to experience entanglement within months."

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