Archive

Archive for June, 2012

World’s First GM Babies Born


Friday, 29 June 2012

‘The world’s first geneticallymodified humans have been created, it was revealed last night.

The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics. So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three ‘parents’.

Read more: World’s First GM Babies Born

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Evidence of Life On Mars Could Come from Martian Moon Phobos


ScienceDaily (June 29, 2012) — A mission to a Martian moon could return with alien life, according to experts at Purdue University, but don’t expect the invasion scenario presented by summer blockbusters like “Men in Black 3” or “Prometheus.”

The image shows the orbits of the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos and the spread of potential particle trajectories from an asteroid impact on Mars. (Credit: Purdue University image/courtesy of Loic Chappaz)
 

“We are talking little green microbes, not little green men,” said Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and physics and aerospace engineering at Purdue. “A sample from the moon Phobos, which is much easier to reach than the Red Planet itself, would almost surely contain Martian material blasted off from large asteroid impacts. If life on Mars exists or existed within the last 10 million years, a mission to Phobos could yield our first evidence of life beyond Earth.”

Read more : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120629015408.htm

Army Demonstrates a Weapon That Shoots Laser-Guided Lightning Bolts


By Clay Dillow Posted 06.28.2012

Over at Picatinny Arsenal, the research and development facility and proving ground for the U.S. Army’s weaponry, engineers are developing a device that shoots lighting bolts along a laser beam to annihilate its target. That’s right: lighting bolts shot down laser beams. This story could easily end right here and still be the coolest thing we’ve written today, but for the scientifically curious we’ll continue.

Texas Students Hijack a U.S. Government Drone in Midair

June 29, 2012 1 comment

By Colin Lecher Posted 06.28.2012

The U.S. government, understandably, doesn’t want its drone technology to fall out of the sky and into other peoples’ laps. But being able to hijack a drone and control it? That’s even worse. And a team of researchers has done it for 1,000 bucks.

The University of Texas at Austin team successfully nabbed the drone on a dare from the Department of Homeland Security. They managed to do it through spoofing, a technique where a signal from hackers pretends to be the same as one sent to the drone’s GPS.

A Step Toward Minute Factories That Produce Medicine Inside the Body


ScienceDaily (June 27, 2012) — Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs — but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. In an article in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, they describe engineering micro- and nano-sized capsules that contain the genetically coded instructions, plus the read-out gear and assembly line for protein synthesis that can be switched on with an external signal.

Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs — but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. (Credit: © Benicce / Fotolia)
 
Daniel Anderson and colleagues explain that development of nanoscale production units for protein-based drugs in the human body may provide a new approach for treating disease. These production units could be turned on when needed, producing medicines that cannot be taken orally or are toxic and would harm other parts of the body. Until now, researchers have only done this with live bacteria that were designed to make proteins at disease sites. But unlike bacterial systems, artificial ones are modular, and it is easier to modify them. That’s why Anderson’s group developed an artificial, remotely activated nanoparticle system containing DNA and the other “parts” necessary to make proteins, which are the workhorses of the human cell and are often used as drugs.
 
 

Merck Vaccine Fraud Exposed by Two Merck Virologists; Company Faked Mumps Vaccine Efficacy Results for Over a Decade, says Lawsuit


Thursday, 28 June 2012 07:31

‘According to two Merck scientists who filed a False Claims Act complaint in 2010 — a complaint which has just now been unsealed — vaccine manufacturer Merck knowingly falsified its mumps vaccine test data, spiked blood samples with animal antibodies, sold a vaccine that actually promoted mumps and measles outbreaks, and ripped off governments and consumers who bought the vaccine thinking it was “95% effective.”‘

Read more: Merck Vaccine Fraud Exposed by Two Merck Virologists; Company Faked Mumps Vaccine Efficacy Results for Over a Decade, says Lawsuit

Barclays Settles Regulators’ Claims Over Manipulation of Key Rates


By BEN PROTESS and MARK SCOTT
 
A branch of Barclays in London.Andy Rain/European Pressphoto AgencyA branch of Barclays in London.
 
Barclays has agreed to pay more than $450 million to resolve accusations that it attempted to manipulate key interest rates, the first settlement in a sprawling global investigation targeting many of the world’s biggest banks

The British bank struck a deal with regulators in Washington and London, as well as the Justice Department. The settlement is seen as the first in a series of potential cases against other major financial firms.

“When a bank acts in its own self-interest by attempting to manipulate these rates for profit, or by submitting false reports that result from senior management orders to lower submissions to guard the bank’s reputation, the integrity of benchmark interest rates is undermined,” said David Meister, the enforcement director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the American regulator involved in the Barclays case.

Read more : http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/barclays-said-to-settle-regulatory-claims-over-benchmark-manipulation/