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Comment Re:Every One (Score 2) 191

This is great timeing as it's not just the NYT that's discussing this. In the Febuary 18th issuse, Nature talks about an arxiv for biology called bioRxiv were biologist can post their pre-prints:

As a biologist frustrated with publication turnaround times, I took some time to encourage a collaborator to submit one of our manuscripts to bioRxiv this morning.

Comment Re:DARPA specs (Score 1) 102

It seems totally doable for a electrode array to do this if you can find a reason to convince the FDA of a need for higher density electrode arrays (the max is currently 256).

Manufactures like Imec are confident they can use photographic techniques and flexible circuit board technology to create a multi-electrode arrays (MEA) that meet the density requirements set in the BAA. The tricky part here is to ensure the final system is biologically compatible.

I was planning on applying to the grant using an optical approach but got delayed by an industry contact / didn't have time to vet other optical technologies before the abstract submission deadline. CRISPR-CAS9 editing is already in human trials for Parkinson's patients so getting FDA approval to use optogentic techniques to control human brains for extreme cases illnesses like quadriplegia and ALS could be doable in 4 years. And while readout of 100,000 neurons using optical methods and seems doable via implantable sensors, using optics for precise writing to 1 million neurons didn't seem possible in a fully implantable device without overheating the brain tissue, although it might be possible using a though skull fiber-optic technology. In any case, it's clear more development work would be needed in an optical approach vs an MEA based one.

Comment About time... (Score 3, Interesting) 25

This sort of thing has always been available for pharmaceutical manufacturing, but has been long overlooked on the research side. I've been at a few science research based engineering companies that collect this kind of data already, but don't do anything to analyse it unless something catastrophic happens. A software tool that could enable visualization of this data across experiments will extremely valuable as we remove technician to technician variation (via robotics) and a synthetic biology becomes more common place, and could prove as invaluable as well plate edge effect analysis already included in major bio-analysis software packages such as spotfire.

Submission + - Porn-Sniffing Dog Helped Bring Down Subway Star Jared Fogle (

schwit1 writes:

A rambunctious black Labrador named Bear — one of only five dogs in the nation trained to sniff out electronic data devices — played a key role in the arrest of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle on child-porn charges.

Bear's dog whisperer, Todd Jordan, gave NBC News a demonstration of how he works his magic, walking him through an apartment while repeatedly giving him the command "Seek!"

According to Bear's trainer, the dog was trained to smell the chemicals used in the manufacture of the devices, in this case a thumb drive. And it he substance of the article is true, it works as the dog found a thumb drive that otherwise eluded detection.

No, dogs cannot smell porn. Not kiddie porn. Not adult porn. Not lawful or unlawful porn. Not porn at all. A $5 footlong, sure, but pretty much anyone can smell that, not that they necessarily want to unless they've made millions off them.

The 2-year-old rescue pooch nosed out a thumb drive that humans had failed to find during a search of Fogle's Indiana house in July, several weeks before he agreed to plead guilty to having X-rated images of minors and paying to have sex with teenage girls.

The dog zeroed in on a kitchen drawer, which Jordan opened to reveal a device. "Good boy!" he told Bear, giving him a handful of food.

While the question of whether dogs can and should be used as a proxy for probable cause, whether to search directly or to obtain a warrant to search, is one of grave concerns, as it's fraught with substantial failings, plus its efficacy is little different than a coin toss, the âoeporn sniffing dogâ presents a very different picture.

Yet, apparently, dogs (Labradors in particular) can be trained to sniff out data storage devices. Whoda thunk?

Comment Re:Grants to Researchers vs Institutions (Score 1) 120

The issue with slashdot posters that don't RTFA before making complex arguments is that their argument is void when everything has already been clearly defined. FTFA:

“Principal investigators (PIs) on an NIH grant must contact NIH through their institution to seek prior approval for a change of institution. NIH grants are made to institutions, not to individuals. When a PI moves to another institution, the original grantee institution frequently agrees to relinquish the grant to the PIs new institution but NIH must approve this transfer. If the original grantee institution does not wish to relinquish the grant, they must seek NIH approval to appoint a new PI to the grant. NIH must assess whether the project can continue under the new scientific leadership at the original institution, and if so will approve a change in PI. If not, the grant is terminated.”

Comment RTFA: "Ownership" of Data (Score 2) 120

Why is everyone posting speculation instead of actually reading the article? The reporter did all the homework; the article clearly states that there was a data management plan and that the Institution is in charge of managing the data:

UCSD—not Aisen— “is contractually obligated by its agreements with the NIH and research partners to maintain and safeguard data from clinical studies conducted by ADCS. ”

Comment Re:Treat causes, not symptoms (Score 1) 233

p>If you really want to "get money out of politics," you need to (as much as possible) get politics out of the economy. (Ideologues will always lobby, and that's fine, because it's the crony capitalism and pay-to-play aspects that are most objectionable.) Which, of course, is not what many reformers want to do. Until they do, they are basically advocating spreading sugar around their picnic blanket, and then complaining about all the ants.

Check out Laurence Lessig's speech "We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim" . The premise is that there is no way to even start getting politics out of the economy (or any other sensible legislation) until we remove money from politics.

Comment FINALLY! - A touchpad configuration module (Score 1) 53

FTA: "A touchpad configuration module has been added" This is the one configuration took that has been missing from KDE since the upgrade from 3.5. The activities based power management is also a long awaited feature (turn off powersaving / sleep / hybernate when in presentation mode). Other than that the rest appears to be eye candy. Still waiting for automatic activity settings based on locally sensed wifi.... (I still need to manually change my external monitor setting every time I get into work / home).

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