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Comment Re:I call bullshit (Score 1) 233

amgen is a big company--they got $15.6 billion in revenue last year and spent $3.2 billion on research in 2011 according to their fact sheet. Presumably they have some money to spend to try to replicate published studies, or at least their main findings. I would think that replicating results would be part of their due diligence; if they're going to invest time, money, and resources developing a product based on the results of a research paper, they need to have some confidence that that investment is based on solid footing.

Comment Re:Sadly, the article makes no sense (Score 2, Interesting) 235

More importantly, since they've shown that they can apply this technique (it's not really specified, but I'm assuming it's whole genome sequencing) and applied it to one patient, there's nothing stopping them (except money) from applying this to other patients with the same condition. Maybe a different patient has 25,000 mutations, maybe another has 27,000, etc. Chances are these mutations are not all going to be affecting the same sequence positions in all the different patients. If they can find mutations that are more common than others or genes that are mutated more often than others, then they can perhaps discover new genes which, when mutated drive the development and progression of the tumor. If you can discover which genes are important you can perhaps design treatments for that.

That said, the title ought to be more like: "Scientists crack 'Entire Genetic Code' of one melanoma patient's tumor and one lung cancer patient's tumor. This is definitely a very impressive achievement in its own right, and the technology that has made this possible is pretty amazing, but it's a bit premature to say "we've cracked the genetic code of cancer" full stop.


(Useful) Stupid Regex Tricks? 516

careysb writes to mention that in the same vein as '*nix tricks' and 'VIM tricks', it would be nice to see one on regular expressions and the programs that use them. What amazingly cool tricks have people discovered with respect to regular expressions in everyday life as a developer or power user?"
PC Games (Games)

Evolutionary Scientists Test-Drive Spore, Gripe 252

ahab_2001 writes "The computer game Spore has been marketed partly as an experience that makes evolutionary biology come alive in a game setting. But does that claim hold water? To find out, John Bohannon, a correspondent for Science Magazine (writing as 'The Gonzo Scientist'), sat four card-carrying scientists, ranging from evolutionary biologist Niles Eldredge to JPL astrophysicist Miles Smith, down in front of a terminal to play the game. The upshot, says Bohannon: Spore flunks basic science, getting 'most of biology badly, needlessly, and often bizarrely wrong.'"

Feds Target "Mongols" Biker Club's Intellectual Property 393

couchslug writes in with a Reuters account of a Federal raid on a California-based motorcycle club, the Mongols, on charges "ranging from murder and robbery to extortion, money laundering, gun trafficking and drug dealing." The interesting twist is that the authorities are asking the courts to seize the IP of the biker club — specifically, their trademarked name "Mongols." "Federal agents and police in seven states arrested more than 60 members of the Mongols motorcycle gang on Tuesday in a sweep that also targeted for the first time an outlaw group's 'intellectual property,' prosecutors said. The arrests cap a three-year undercover investigation in which US agents posed as gang members and their girlfriends to infiltrate the group, even submitting to polygraph tests administered by the bikers ... [T]he name 'Mongols,' which appears on the gang's arm patch insignia, was trademarked by the group. The indictment seeks a court order outlawing further use of the name, which would allow any police officer 'who sees a Mongol wearing this patch ... to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back' ..."

Submission + - Diebold rebrands what noone wants.

Irvu writes: Diebold has apparently failed in their bid to sell their tainted elections systems unit. Unable to find a buyer the CEO of Diebold promised that the system will be run more "openly and independently." To prove that they are serious, they renamed it. Diebold Election Systems is now Premiere Election Solutions. They still sell GEMS, AccuVote OS and the ever-unpopular AccuVote-TSX which performed so disastrously in California's Top-to-Bottom Review under the same names. Apparently their rebranding effort only goes so far.

Submission + - NASA to Launch Magentic Storm Probes

eldavojohn writes: "The aurora borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) has long been known to be an effect resulting from the Sun's solar wind pushing particles into the earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. In light of the possible danger that these substorms could pose to astronauts & equipment, NASA is now planning a mission to track down these magnetic storms and disturbances. The program's not so catchy name of Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms has a slightly catchier acronym of THEMIS. From the article, "In order to scan the Earth's magnetic field and pinpoint the origin of substorms, THEMIS researchers plan to stagger their spacecraft in different orbits that range in altitude from 10 to 30 times the radius of the Earth (the planet's radius is about 3,962 miles, or 6,378 kilometers).""

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