Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:No, it's not reasonable (Score 1) 131

You realise that Kosovo fought a particularly bloody war of independence against Serbia in the 1990s after the breakup of Yugoslavia and, after a period of protectionism under UN administration, declared independence from Serbia in 2008 - that independence is recognised by 109 UN members, so it is not a pseudo-state, it is a state by recognition, and Serbia would most definitely want Kosovo back if it were to be allowed...

Comment Re:They don't answer the only question we care abo (Score 5, Informative) 175

The cytosine methylation signal along a strand of DNA is theoretically heritable, even though it has nothing to do with the actual sequence of bases.

There are vast stretches of junk DNA in the genome, some with old genes for ancient viruses or parasitic sequences like transposons, and the way the cell keeps those parts of DNA away from cell machinery is by methylating the cytosine residues. The methyl groups prevent RNA polymerase from transcribing the DNA and therefore it gets silenced.

When a cell divides, the methyl groups are only on the original strand; the new complimentary strand doesn't have any. The methylation signal has to be actively transcribed from one strand to another; an enzyme runs up the DNA feeling for methylated cytosine residues. When it finds some, it starts methylating any cytosine residues that might be nearby on the opposite strand, to make sure the troublesome regions all stay commented out. That's why it's heritable.

Comment Re:Epipen cost: $30, regulatory costs: $30 mil+ (Score 1) 326

Ya know, we got on fine without epipens so long as people had the notion that they were at least somewhat responsible for dealing with their own shit. Naturally a market where epipens are much more profitable prefers that people are too helpless to use a needle and syringe.

As to diverting to drug users -- anyone can order bulk needles/syringes from any veterinary supply house, and they are cheap, around $20/100 (and if you buy Monoject brand, they can last for years -- I actually have some over 40 years old and still good). You can also get boxfuls of the tiny ones for insulin OTC at Costco and probably elsewhere (I believe in every state but New York, which requires a Certificate of Need).

As to shelf life, as I said I used to keep epi on hand (when I lived in rattlesnake and nasty-bees country and frequently had to dose a bitten/stung dog) but I found from direct experience that the stale date was to be believed; a month or so later the stuff was no good, and it was stored in a dark fridge. Because of that it wound up mostly wasted, and I gave it up in favor of keeping atropine on hand, which for the purpose works about as well -- and keeps a lot longer. (The current bottle is stale-dated 1991 and still works as good as new.)

Manufacturing processes vary a lot, tho. I haven't read up on epi but I have on LT4, and there the shelf life varies from 6 months to 3 years depending on the tablet binder -- but I have seen some that was no good right off the shelf (the reference brand, no less), and another that was still good 25 years later (and a B-rated generic at that). If that mfgr did the testing on that latter batch... well, the results wouldn't reflect anyone else's product, let alone typical reality. May also depend on the mfgr'ing fail rate (again, dunno about epi, but for LT4 the recall rate is ~50%).

I wonder how many "needs a 2nd dose" were actually cases where the potency had silently and prematurely faded. AFAIK there's no good way to test that with a dose in the field, other than "it didn't work". With some drugs (eg. oxytocin) you can use it a long time after the stale date, you just have to double or triple the dosage to account for lost potency.

Comment Re:so unbelievable its posted twice (Score 2) 181

This story is a couple of hours after the allegation story, if that story was updated with the denial and explanation now, there would be near zero discussion on the denial and explanation while the outrage about the allegation would stand in full.

That is why something as big as this is due two separate stories when the allegation and denial are that far apart - now go discuss the new "information" on the topic, does it change any viewpoints from the last story? Lets watch and find out.

Comment Re:Epipen cost: $30, regulatory costs: $30 mil+ (Score 1) 326

Why go to all that bother? single-use needle-and-syringes are available anywhere for about 30 cents each. If your life depends on it, you can bloody well take five minutes to learn how to use it.

Also, yes, epi DOES go bad -- I used to keep it on hand, and I found it rather reliably goes bad about a month after the stale date. It may not change color either.

Comment Re:Epipen cost: $30, regulatory costs: $30 mil+ (Score 1) 326

If "getting the wrong dose" is a problem, provide syringes only in the correct size for a single dose. After that, as you say any idiot can learn to do it. And if someone's life depends on it, well, if they're unwilling to learn something so manifestly simple, maybe they have different problems.

Further, veterinary epinephrine is the same damn thing. It's about 50 cents per cc at 1:1000. (Obey the stale date, it does not keep well.) Goes to show what the stuff actually costs.

Comment North Korea is in the nineties (Score 1) 138

Hey Dan, ready for that public hanging of political prisoners? I'm just finishing up here with my new kayaking friends.

Kayaking friends on your computer?

Dan: Yeah, I just got North Korea online.

Sounds great. Listen, I can't go to the public executions today.


First my kids have to go to the library to read books on how great Our Leader is. Then I have to stand on a street corner and yell revolutionary slogans at complete strangers. And I have to contact my mother; she's making kayaks in a slave labor camp and gets executed tomorrow.

Hey, we can take care of all that before we go.

Yeah, right!

No, with North Korea online!

North Korea online can do all that?

How about sending your mother some nice flowers?

Slashdot Top Deals

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.