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Submission + - Cleaning Up Japan's Radioactive Mess with Blue Goo (popsci.com)

InfiniteZero writes: A clever technology is helping hazmat crews in Japan contain and clean up the contamination caused by the ongoing nuclear disaster there: a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that peels off of surfaces, taking microscopic particles like radiation and other contaminants with it. Known as DeconGel, Japanese authorities are using it inside and outside the exclusion zone on everything from pavement to buildings.
Canada

Submission + - Big Pharma Not Helping With Cancer Cure (southerntimesafrica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Three years ago,Evangelos Michelakis, a cancer researcher at the University of Alberta discovered that a common, nontoxic chemical known as DCA, short for dichloroacetate, seems to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. Recent trials on human subjects and use of the drug by Canadian physicians (DCA is already approved for other conditions in Canada) show dramatic results. However, the approval is languishing because, since the drug is not patented, no traditional pharma company will back it. Kickstarter anyone?
Supercomputing

Submission + - Watson To Be Tasked With Solving Medical Problems (komonews.com)

The Installer writes: "A doctor who is helping to prepare IBM's Watson computer system for work as a medical tool says such blog entries may be included in Watson's database.

Watson is best known for handily defeating the world's best "Jeopardy!" players on TV earlier this year. IBM says Watson, with its ability to understand plain language, can digest questions about a person's symptoms and medical history and quickly suggest diagnoses and treatments.

The company is still perhaps two years from marketing a medical Watson, and it says no prices have been established. But it envisions several uses, including a doctor simply speaking into a handheld device to get answers at a patient's bedside."

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FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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