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Science

Submission + - GM Wheat May Permanently Alter Human Genome, Spark Early Death Read more: http: (naturalsociety.com)

Cinnaman writes: Experts say that the GM wheat currently in development by an Australian governmental research agency could, if ingested, shut down certain genes, leading to premature death or risk thereof to multiple generations.

The GM wheat developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) using public funds is engineered to turn off genes permanently. The organization’s intent to turn off wheat genes, however, could affect human and animal genes.

“Through ingestion, these molecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes,” says Professor Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety. His report was published in Digital Journal.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/gm-wheat-permanently-alter-human-genome/#ixzz2AJdbXfD6

Science

Submission + - The bleeding edge of self-healing skin-like materials (bbc.com)

concealment writes: "Nancy Sottos, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been developing a novel approach that borrows from human physiology. Inspired by human skin, Sottos creates plastics that “bleed” when cut and can heal themselves over and over again. Her work is paving the way for new materials that can respond and react to all sorts of environmental stresses. At a mundane level, this could cut down on costly maintenance and inspections, but perhaps more importantly it could also help prevent catastrophic – and potentially deadly — failures.

When made-made structures fail, they often do so spectacularly—with, say, a bridge collapsing under the weight of rush hour traffic. But such dramatic breakdowns often have much smaller, humbler beginnings. “When a material fails, oftentimes it’s not a big catastrophic event that starts it,” Sottos says. “In most materials, a damage event starts at a very small crack.” The crack grows slowly, unnoticed, untilbam! Bridge collapse. “The goal of a self healing material is to try to prevent that,” Sottos says, “to keep those small cracks from growing.”"

Security

Submission + - Father of SSH says security is 'getting worse' (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Tatu Ylonen has garnered fame in technology circles as the inventor of Secure Shell (SSH), the widely used protocol to protect data communications. The CEO of SSH Communications Security — whose crypto-based technology invented in 1995 continues to be used in hundreds of millions of computers, routers and servers — recently spoke with Network World on a variety of security topics, including the disappearance of consumer privacy and the plight of SSL. (At the Black Hat Conference this week, his company is also announcing CryptoAuditor.)
Education

College Application Inflation — Marketing Meets Admissions 256

gollum123 sends this quote from the Chronicle of Higher Education: "The numbers keep rising, the superlatives keep glowing. Each year, selective colleges promote their application totals, along with the virtues of their applicants. For this fall's freshman class, the statistics reached remarkable levels. Stanford received a record 32,022 applications from students it called 'simply amazing,' and accepted 7 percent of them. Brown saw an unprecedented 30,135 applicants, who left the admissions staff 'deeply impressed and at times awed.' Nine percent were admitted. Such announcements tell a story in which colleges get better — and students get more amazing — every year. In reality, the narrative is far more complex, and the implications far less sunny for students as well as colleges caught up in the cruel cycle of selectivity. To some degree, the increases are inevitable: the college-bound population has grown, and so, too, has the number of applications students file, thanks in part to online technology. But wherever it is raining applications, colleges have helped seed the clouds — by recruiting widely and aggressively for ever more applicants. Many colleges have made applying as simple as updating a Facebook page. Some deans and guidance counselors complain that it's too easy. They question the ethics of intense recruitment by colleges that reject the overwhelming majority of applicants. Today's application inflation is a cause and symptom of the uncertainty in admissions."
Businesses

Submission + - Starting an OPEN commercial project? (letexa.com)

mha writes: "There are two types of projects on the web:

1) Those that are or want to be commercial successes for a closed group of people (founders and investors). Examples are Google, and Slashdot.
2) Then there are many thousands tiny webprojects by one or a few individuals.

We have seen it IS possible to build something really useful and commercially successful as a big open group of users, for example Linux, Apache, Debian.

What disturbs me is that COMMERCIAL success of such projects is left to corporations. Should it not be possible to build such projects to INCLUDE the money-making, and not just the product-making?

All projects I see are either type 1) or 2). Now, if instead of contributing for nothing one could have free (as in open source, not necessarily as in free beer) projects intended to also make money, wouldn't that at least be worth an attempt?

I started a project (http://letexa.com/) for multimedia content. However, doing it alone wasn't the intention and doesn't get me anywhere. I would also be just as glad to help with some other project. The problem is, I would like to see the "web 2.0" and "Open source" ideas extended, and not limited to "you work for free", which right now no one seems to do?

So what do you think? How could WE go about starting such a project? Or would anyone be willing to share mine, or have me join theirs?"

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