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December 16, 2010

FDA approves one-minute HIV test

Joe. My. God.: FDA Approves One-Minute HIV Test
“We believe the speed, accuracy, and unique technology of our 60-second HIV test will make the testing and early treatment of HIV/AIDS more efficient in all patient settings, including hospital emergency rooms and public health clinics,” said bioLytical Laboratories president Philip Bligh in a press release. “Additionally, our high-volume, automated manufacturing capability makes INSTI one of the most cost-effective solutions available for providers of HIV rapid testing.”

December 05, 2010

Group proposes replacing truck deliveries with a global network of hydraulic tubes

Foodtubes Proposes Underground ‘Physical Internet’ | eWEEK Europe UK
A group of academics is proposing a system of underground tunnels which could deliver food and other goods in all weathers with massive energy savings. The Foodtubes group wants to put goods in metal capsules 2m long, which are shifted through underground polyethylene tubes at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, directed by linear induction motors and routed by intelligent software to their destinations. The group, which includes an Oxford physics professor and logistics experts, wants L15 million to build a L5 mile test circuit, and believes the scheme could fund itself if used by large supermarkets and local councils, and could expand because it uses an open architecture.

Imagine a candy that prevents plaque from sticking to your teeth

Tooth decay to be a thing of the past? Enzyme responsible for dental plaque sticking to teeth deciphered
ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2010) — The Groningen professors Bauke Dijkstra and Lubbert Dijkhuizen have deciphered the structure and functional mechanism of the glucansucrase enzyme that is responsible for dental plaque sticking to teeth. This knowledge will stimulate the identification of substances that inhibit the enzyme. Just add that substance to toothpaste, or even sweets, and caries will be a thing of the past.

California man cures his Irritable Bowel Syndrome by infecting himself with parasitic worms

Have you listened to the Parasites episode of Radiolab? If not, it will BLOW YOUR MIND. Worm Eggs May Heal Ulcerative Colitis
The patient, who preferred to remain anonymous, was in his mid-30s when he was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis in 2003. He did not respond to steroid treatments, his condition progressed rapidly, and within a year his doctors told him that surgery to remove his colon or immune system-suppressing therapy were his only options. Instead, after reading about early trials involving the parasitic pig whipworm Trichuris suis, the patient decided to infect himself with parasitic whipworm found in humans. The main difference between the two worms is that the pig worm is eliminated from the body in just a few weeks, while the human version -- Trichuris trichiura -- makes its home in the large intestine for up to five years, Loke says. “This patient did a lot of research,” the investigator says. “He may be one of the smartest people I know. He was very aware of the risks.”

December 02, 2010

NASA finds bizarre arsenic-based bacteria in poisonous California lake

In the words of Joe Biden, "This is a big fucking deal." At first glance--which is all we have right now--this is the discovery of a lifeform that is fundamentally different from every other man, woman, fish, plant, fungus, virus, and bacteria on planet earth. NASA Discovers Life | techyum ::
At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon will announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same. But not this one. This one is completely different. Discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California, this bacteria is made of arsenic, something that was thought to be completely impossible. While she and other scientists theorized that this could be possible, this is the first discovery. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don’t have to be like planet Earth.

December 01, 2010

Irreducible Complexity cut down to size

Irreducible Complexity Cut Down to Size