Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New Drug To Reduce The Risk Of HIV Infection

The HIV 1 virus shown under a microscope. The US FDA has approved a drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Photograph: Institut Pasteur/AFP/Getty Images

US FDA Approves First Drug Shown To Reduce Risk Of HIV Infection -- The Guardian

Pill potentially offers powerful weapon in battle against Aids, but support group labels move 'completely reckless'

A daily pill to protect people at risk of HIV from infection has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potentially offering a new and powerful weapon in the battle against Aids.

The pill, Truvada, will be available in the US to people at extreme risk of HIV because their partners are infected. But at $14,000 (£9,000) a year, it will be expensive – even though far cheaper than a lifetime of treatment after infection – and those without health insurance are unlikely to get it.

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My Comment: This drug is not going to be cheap.

Making Food Better Through Science

Can Science Make Food Taste Better? -- The Telegraph

Is seafood best by the sea? Do pheromones make chocolate even sweeter? And why is the food industry so keen to know the answers?

A few years ago, a trainee chef from Boston, Massachusetts, called Molly Birnbaum went for an early-morning jog. She ran past an apartment block; she can remember the smell of laundry coming out of the air vents. Then she ran across a road. But she never got to the other side; a car smashed into her. When the car’s windscreen made contact with her head, Birnbaum’s brain smacked against the side of her skull, destroying her sense of smell. That laundry would be one of the last things she would smell for years.

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My Comment: I never realized that so much that goes into flavour is smell .... but it does.

A Look At The Decay Of Detroit Through A Modified Quadrocopter With An HD Camera

Magnificent Decay: Detroit by Drone -- Autopia

Urban ruin porn has gotten so ubiquitous it’s morphed into a dedicated genre, and no other city seems to garner the attention of amateur shooters cataloging a metropolis’ decline more than Detroit. But how do you take it to the next level? Cue the drones.

YouTube user Tretch5000 took to the skies to show the beauty and blight of one of the U.S.’ former industrial hubs, flying his modified quadrocopter with an HD camera over abandoned homes and factories, the majestic Michigan Central Station and the lush grounds of Belle Isle nestled within the Detroit river.

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Here Comes The New 'And Armed' Tiny Drones

Armed Quadrotors Are Coming -- Popular Mechanics

For now, tiny drones carrying guns are just the stuff of video games. But U.S. military researchers are building such sinister devices in their labs.

A camouflage quadrotor armed with a machine gun zips around a test range, destroying targets and setting dummies ablaze.

By now, most of the nearly 11 million people who've seen the YouTube video know it's a fake. There's no armed Russian quadrotor drone; the video is a bit of CGI trickery, a viral advertisement for the next Call of Duty game. But real-life weaponized quadrotors may be a lot closer than you think, thanks to a project undertaken by Marine Corps Maj. Derek Snyder at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

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My Comment: I know that the above video is a fake .... used to market a video game .... but it gives a good idea on what can happen on future battle fields.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Bio-Retina Implant That Could Give Laser-Powered Sight To The Blind

Instant Eye, Kevin Hand

Bio-Retina Implant Could Give Laser-Powered Sight To The Blind -- Popular Science

A new bionic eye implant could allow blind people to recognize faces, watch TV and even read. Nano Retina’s Bio-Retina is one of two recent attempts to help patients with age-related macular degeneration, which affects 1.5 million people in the U.S. Although a similar implant, Second Sight’s Argus II, has been on the market in Europe since last year, it requires a four-hour operation under full anesthesia because it includes an antenna to receive power and images from an external apparatus. The Bio-Retina implant is smaller because it doesn’t have an antenna. Instead, the implant captures images directly in the eye, and a laser powers the implant remotely. Because of Bio-Retina’s compact size, an ophthalmologist can insert it through a small incision in the eye in 30 minutes—potentially more appropriate for seniors. The Bio-Retina will generate a 576-pixel grayscale image. And clinical trials could begin as soon as next year.

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My Comment: It will be a few years before this becomes available .... and if things worked out as planned.

Korea Militarizes Samsung's Smartphone Apps

Korea Militarizes Samsung Smartphone Apps -- Tech Eye

Invade the North? There's an app for that

South Korea has been developing battlefield applications for Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S and other Android-based smartphones.

According to the Korea Times, nine apps have been completed with more coming.

The big idea is that the Koreans want to use smartphones in military operations and since it has a big smartphone maker close it thought it would use it.

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My Comment: Expect even more apps with a military concept in the near future.

Biggest Laser Pulse Fired In Human History Could Power New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor

The future of energy? NIF Director Edward Moses said. 'It is fully operational, and scientists are taking important steps toward the quest for clean fusion energy.'

'Step Towards Clean Energy': Biggest Laser Pulse Fired In Human History Could Power New Kind Of Nuclear Reactor - And Solve Energy Crisis Forever -- Daily Mail

* 'Shaped pulse' of energy generated 500 trillion watts of peak power
* 1,000 times more than the whole United States uses at any given moment
* Array of 192 lasers aims for 'laser fusion' - a 'Holy Grail' of clean energy
* Facility aims to ignite controleld version of reaction found in heart of stars, and in hydrogen bombs

The most energetic laser shot in mankind's history was fired at the stadium-sized National Ignition Facility in California this month.

On July 5, an array of 192 lasers filed a pulse of ultraviolet laser light that deliver generated 500 trillion watts of peak power - 1,000 times more than the whole of the U.S. uses at any given time.

The pulse is a historic moment for the 'fusion' facility, which aims to generate power using a nuclear fusion reaction - similar to what happens in hydrogen bombs.

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My Comment: They still have a long way to go before anything practical comes from this research.

Ever Heard The Sound Of A Nuclear Bomb Going Off?

The sound of the largest man-made explosion: A cinematographer films an atomic mushroom cloud on July 19, 1957 in Yucca Flat, Colorado

Ever Heard The Sound Of A Nuclear Bomb Going Off? Historian Unveils One Of The Few Surviving Audio Recordings Of Blast From 1950's Nevada Tests -- Daily Mail

They are surely the most horrifying offshoot of modern technology - nuclear warheads which can smite hundreds of thousands of people dead within seconds, and leave lasting scars on a landscape for generations.

And while most of us will have seen archive footage of nuclear explosions before, one thing we are unlikely to have heard is their sound.

For, according to one expert, most films we see of a nuclear blast use stock 'explosion' sound effects for the bang - and audio footage is few and far between.

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My Comment: It sounds like hell.

Aerographite, The Lightest Material Ever Created

Video: Aerographite, Tthe Lightest Material Ever Created -- Popular Science

We've been impressed in the past by aerogel, a lattice-like solid that's almost entirely made of air but can support weight and also has tremendous insulating properties. Then last year an ultralight metal caught our eye, weighing in at 99.99 percent air, which leaves 0.01 percent solid.

Now we are excited to meet aerographite, a sponge grown of carbon nanotubes that's the least dense solid ever: a cubic centimeter of it weighs just two ten-thousandths of a gram.

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Women Now Outperform Men On IQ Tests

Brainier Than The Male -- The Telegraph

Telegraph View: Women now outperform men on IQ tests. But were they always cleverer, just keeping quiet about it?

It was only a little over a century ago that it first occurred to psychologists to measure people’s brainpower. Since then, men have consistently outscored women – until now.

For the first time, women are doing better at IQ tests than the male of the species. According to the American academic James Flynn, the doyen of IQ measurers, the scores of both sexes have been rising since the turn of the last century, but women’s have risen faster.

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My Comment: The women in my life are not surprised by this result.

Silicon Valley Exposed: Map To The Tech Stars’ Homes!

CSN Editor: The map can only be viewed at Vanity Magazine's site. The link is here.

The Original Logos Of Tech Companies Were 'Awful'

The Original Logos of Tech Companies Were All Terrible -- Gizmodo

A lot of the giant technology brands and companies you know and love today didn't look anything like they do now when they first started. Just look at their original logos: almost always butt ugly, but slowly grew into what they are now. Here are the humblest beginnings for all to see:

The fine folks at Stock Logos compared famous logos with their original forms, and it's hilarious to see how unrecognizable they all are now. They're universally awful. Who gave the okay on some of these? Were they made as a joke? See for yourself below.

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My Comment:
The RCA Victor logo is OK.

Too Many Memories Cause Amnesia?

Image: Muharrem Oner/iStockphoto

Memories Clutter Brain In Amnesia -- Science News

Complex patterns slow down object recognition in patients with disorder.

In a paradoxical twist, people with amnesia can get bogged down by too many memories. Unwanted, irrelevant information crowds in and prevents amnesiac patients from recognizing objects, scientists report in the July 12 Neuron. The finding suggests that amnesia isn’t strictly a memory problem, and may even point out ways to help people with the disorder live more normally.

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My Comment: I can identify with this story.

Creeped Out By Robots? This Might Be Why (Video)