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Submission + - Widespread issues with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (

tbg58 writes: Users of Google Apps for Business who use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GASMO) are reporting widespread issues since Google deployed an updated version (3.3.x) of the sync utility designed to accommodate Microsoft Office Outlook 2013. Previous versions of GASMO did not support Outlook 2013. The most frequently reported issues are being caught in an access authorization loop, Outlook repeatedly going into offline mode. Although nothing about the issue has been published in the news, issues are widespread, as a visit to the GASMO Google Group (link included) shows.

Submission + - Computer-Designed Enzymes may provide help for Celiac Disease ( 2

tbg58 writes: An article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society describes how researchers used computers to modify the structure of a naturally-existing enzyme to target the immunogenic peptide implicated in celiac disease.

"The application of computational protein design tools has been demonstrated to introduce functional properties beyond those obtained by natural evolution, such as producing enzymes that perform functions not found in nature, altered specificity of proteins for their binding partners, and the de novo design of fold topologies"

Researchers report the use of computational protein design to engineer an endopeptidase with the desired traits for an oral enzyme therapy (OET) for celiac disease which not only targets the desired peptide, but is also resistant to digestive proteases and the acidic environment of the digestive system.

Submission + - Sri Lankan Meteroite claimed to contain fossilized extraterrestrial diatoms ( 1

tbg58 writes: An article in the January 10 issue of the Journal of Cosmology reports the discovery of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite which fell in Sri Lanka in December of last year. The article includes micrographs of structures in the meteorite which resemble fossilized diatoms. If verified, the significance of this find is historic.

Submission + - Computer-designed enzymes may help alleviate celiac disease (

tbg58 writes: Computational protein design tools have allowed researchers to create enzymes that perform functions unknown in nature. Researchers have applied the technique to develop an enzyme specifically aimed at neutralizing the peptide alpha-gliadin contained in gluten, which triggers the autoimmune attack that causes celiac disease. The design of -Gliadin Endopeptidase began with the search for a naturally occurring endopeptidase with stability in an acidic-pH environment, the reproducing and modifying the naturally occurring enzyme to have the specific structure of the designer enzyme using recombinant-DNA modified strain of e. coli.

This development is only made possible by computational cataloguing and modeling of enzymes. The resulting enzyme, given the name KumaMax, shows eventual promise as an oral enzyme therapy for celiac disease taken prior to the ingestion of gluten-containing foods. It is attractive as a non-invasive oral therapeutic which can break down over 95% of the immunogenic peptide under physiologically relevant conditions.

Submission + - Newsday's Paywall - 35 Subscribers in 90 Days (

tbg58 writes: After three months of deciding its readers should pay for content, the paywalled website of Newsday has garnered a total of 35 subscribers at the rate of $5 per week. The current owners, who bought Newsday for some $650 million have a total of $9,100 annual revenue (at $5 per week per subscriber) to report for the first quarter of paywalling.

This should be of interest to other media companies and conglomerates like the New York Times and Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp. The slightly-less-than-spectacular financial performance of the paywall as a web monetization strategy appears to vindicate the adherents of newer business models in the age of digital media.


Submission + - Google Announces Vast Online Storage for Cheap (

tbg58 writes: Google Software Engineer Elvin Lee reports that Google is offering vast amounts of online storage — 16TB of online storage are available for only $4096 per year from the Googleplex. This is good news. The bad news is the only interfaces to the storage appear to be Gmail, Picasa, and Blogger. So I am wondering whether to expect a stampede of really, really heavy email users, extraordinarily enthusiastic photographers and fantastically prolific bloggers ponying up for 16TB of online storage for less than $5k per year.
Now if Google made the legendary GDrive available as an interface to this storage — THAT would be real news.

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