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Submission + - Richard Dawkins: Not Sure There Is No God (

smitty777 writes: Richard Dawkins, arguably the worlds most known atheist, admitted in a debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury that he was uncertain that a God does not exist. In this video, he admits to being an agnostic rather than an atheist. FTA: There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator. The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Prof Dawkins answered that he did. An incredulous Sir Anthony replied: “You are described as the world’s most famous atheist.”"

Dawkins has also been in the (virtual) papers lately for reports on how his family had amassed their fortunes in the 1700s.


Submission + - Researchers: Pigs Now Responsible For MRSA Superbug (

smitty777 writes: It was assumed that the rise of the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) occured due to the overuse of antibiotics in hospitals — a fact which is even mentioned on the CDC website. However, new reserch from Nothern Arizona University is pointing in a new direction: pigs. According to this research, the superbug made the jump from human to porcine farms where they are given a routine course of antibiotics.

FTA: "Price, the study's lead author, said the research was "like watching the birth of a superbug — it is simultaneously fascinating and disconcerting." He said that while this strain of MRSA was discovered less than a decade ago it appears to be spreading very quickly. "Our findings underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production," Price said. "Staph thrives in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Add antibiotics to that environment and you're going to create a public health problem.""


Submission + - Nigerian Scam Artists Taken for $33,000 (

smitty777 writes: An Australian woman who was being used by a group of Nigerian scam artists stole over $33,000 from the group who employed her. Her bank account was being used to funnel the cash from a dodgy internet car sales website. Irony aside, it makes one wonder how these folks ever got the nerve to go to the police with this matter. Those of you wondering, this article offers some answers to the question of why so many of these scams originate from this area.

Submission + - 2 Billion Bill Handed to Zuckerberg From The IRS? (

smitty777 writes: Due to Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg's move to exercise stock options, he may be facing a tax bill as high as 2 billion dollars. He currently owns some 400 million shares, but has the option to buy 120 million shares more at the rock bottom price of .06 cents each. FTA: "The type of options Zuckerberg holds are taxable as ordinary income when they're exercised, even if the shareholder hangs onto the shares and doesn't sell them. That means Zuckerberg will owe taxes on the difference between what he pays for his Facebook shares — 6 cents — and their market value the day he exercises the options."

Submission + - Mitsubishi Develops Ultra-high-speed Elevator Technology (

Zothecula writes: Due to the number of stairs that needed to be climbed to reach the top, buildings of over six storeys were a rarity until the 19th century when the development of passenger elevators — along with advances in building materials and techniques — enabled the construction of taller and taller buildings. As skyscrapers continue to reach ever higher, elevators are required to carry more people further, faster. Mitsubishi already has the first problem licked with the development of elevators able to carry 80 people at once. Now it has tackled speed with technologies that enable ultra-high-speed elevators to travel at more than 60 km/h (37 mph or 1,000 meters a minute).

Submission + - Alzheimer's Transmission Pathway Discovered (

smitty777 writes: Two separate studies by the Taub Institute and Harvard have discovered the pathway used by Alzheimer's Disease to spread throught the brain. The studies indicate it's not a virus, but a distorted protien called Tau which moves from cell to cell. This article further explains that "The latest discovery, proving the latter, may now offer scientists a way to move forward and develop a way to block tau’s spread in Alzheimer’s patients, said Karen Duff, a researcher at Columbia’s Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and co-author of one study published Wednesday in journal PLoS One.

“It’s enlightening for us because it now provides a whole other area for potential therapeutic impact,” said Duff. “It’s possible that you can identify the disease and intervene (with potential tau-blocking drugs) before the dementia actually sets in.”"

The Military

Submission + - Pentagon: 37,000 Pound Bomb Too Small (

smitty777 writes: According to the pentagon, the 37,000 precision guided Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bomb is just too small. Concerns around Iran's fortification of their nuclear program facilities has the DoD seeking from congress something not quite as subdued as the GBU-57, the largest non-nuke bomb operated by the USAF. This "smaller" was just recently won a prize for its abilit to cut through 60 feet of concrete. The upgrades will cost $82 million in addition to the $330 million already used so far to develop the system.

There is some interesting high speed camera footage of the GBU-57 in this video.


Submission + - Researchers predict major earthquake risk in Tokyo (

yumesbooms writes: Scientists at the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute have projected that there is a 70% chance that a M7.0 earthquake will occur directly beneath Tokyo within the next four years, and that there is a 98% chance that such an earthquake will occur within the next 30 years. According to another article by the Asashi Shinbun, the projection is based on the frequency of seismic events in the greater Tokyo area with magnitudes of over M3.0. Researchers say that after the 2009 Thoku earthquake, such seismic events have increased by a factor of about 5.5.

Comment Re:Um... (Score 1) 39

I think the operational phrase here is "if a sample could be taken". I'm assuming that since the military doesn't want folks to find out what the sequence is, they probably have their own secret strain of algae/moss/bamboo/whatever that's locked away in a lab somewhere. Swab it off the top of the bolt? I'm sure they thought of that.

According to this whitepaper, the DNA sequencing is "unequivocally uncopyable".

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