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Submission + - EPA: No Single Cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (

alphatel writes: Citing a wide range of symptoms, a federal report released today has concluded that no single event, pesticide or virus can be held responsible for CCD in North American bee colonies. Meanwhile, Europe has moved towards banning neocotinids for two years.

EPA's Jim Jones stated, “There are non-trivial costs to society if we get this wrong. There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.” May R. Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a participant in the study, said “There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.”

Submission + - Barnes & Noble Adds Google Play Store To the Nook (

An anonymous reader writes: When Barnes & Noble first released its Nook tablets, one of the big problems with the devices was that their custom version of Android only had access to the Barnes & Noble app store. They took the 'walled garden' approach and prevent users from accessing Google Play, which had a much larger selection of software, and many more options when it came to free apps. Now, the company is reversing that decision. A software update is being rolled out to give the devices access to Google Play. 'The bottom line: if something’s available for Android, it’s now available for Nook, assuming it’s compatible from a technical standpoint. Among other things, that means you'll be able to install Amazon’s Kindle app on a Nook and read books you've purchased from Amazon. For the first time, the notion of someone with a heavy investment in Kindle books buying a Nook doesn't sound completely impractical.' The company is gambling that the devices' increased utility will make up for the loss in app revenue. Either way, it's good news for Nook tablet owners.

Submission + - AI system invents new card games (for humans) (

jtogel writes: This New Scientist article describes our AI system that automatically generates card games. The article contains a description of a playable card game generated by our system. But card games are just the beginning... The card game generator is a part of a larger project to automatise all of game development using artificial intelligence methods — we're also working on level generation for a variety of different games, and on rule generation for simple arcade-like games.

Comment Re:About time... (Score 1) 100

Though it's sometimes true that drug patents come from universities (though certainly not the only source of drug patents), you have to be completely clueless about clinical trials to say that marketing costs are the only considerable expense. Let's say you get a 100 drug patents from university, you will refine purification and production methods for at least a few months and you might select 10 based on multiple criteria including in vitro toxicity for clinical studies. From those 10 drugs, maybe 2 or 3 will go to clinical trial phase 2b-3 and if you're really lucky, one will end up on the market. Clinical studies for safety and efficacy of drugs are VERY expensive and have low chances to yield a drug. This is in part why commercialised drugs are so expensive. That said, I certainly won't defend Big Pharma and say they are poor and need more support, but just keep in mind that there is a lot more to drug development than "freeloading" public university research.

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