FDA Approves Large Clinical Trial For Ecstasy As Relief For PTSD Patients

Slashdot - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 10:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first large-scale, phase 3 clinical trial of ecstasy in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the New York Times reported. The regulatory green-light follows six smaller-scale trials that showed remarkable success using the drug. In fact, some of the 130 PTSD patients involved in those trials say ecstasy -- or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) -- saved them from the devastating impacts of PTSD after more than a decade of seeing no improvement with the other treatment options available. Currently, the best of those established treatment options can only improve symptoms in 60 to 70 percent of PTSD patients, one expert noted. However, after one of the early MDMA studies, the drug had completely erased all traces of symptoms in two-thirds of PTSD patients. The new Phase 3 trial will involve at least 230 patients and is planned to start in 2017. Like the other trials, it is backed by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit created in 1985 to advocate for the medical benefits and use of psychedelic drugs, such as MDMA and marijuana. Also like the others, the new, larger trial will involve a limited number of MDMA treatments administered by professional psychotherapists as part of a therapy program. In previous trials, patients spent 12 weeks in a psychotherapy program, including three eight-hour sessions in which they took MDMA and talked through traumatic memories.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

The Brightest Planets in December's Night Sky: How to See them (and When)

Space.com - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 10:00am
Here's how to see all five naked-eye planets visible in December's night sky.
Categories: Science

Geminid and Ursid Meteors, Planets and a Comet In Dec. 2016 Skywatching | Video

Space.com - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 9:34am
Look for the Geminds on the evening of Dec. 13 into the next morning. Best viewing of the Ursids will be Dec 21-22. Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdu áková will be visible with binoculars and telescopes. Also, Mars and Neptune have a New Years Eve 'date.'
Categories: Science

SpaceX Could Return Falcon 9 Rocket to Flight Dec. 16

Space.com - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 9:25am
SpaceX may return to flight two weeks from now with a 10-satellite launch.
Categories: Science

Stellar 'Circle of Life' Captured in New NASA Photo

Space.com - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 8:50am
The life cycle of stars comes full circle in a new photo taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA), which may reveal new clues for studying star evolution.
Categories: Science

ULA Unveils Website That Lets You Price Out a Rocket 'Like Building a Car'

Slashdot - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 7:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: This morning, United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno unveiled a new website that allows satellite makers to figure out what it will really cost to launch a vehicle on one of ULA's rockets. It's like going to "Ford or Chevy and building your car," Bruno said, except in the end you wind up with a more than $100 million rocket that can take cargo to space. And just like checking out on Amazon, the website allows you to save your rocket and submit it to ULA to start the process of finalizing a launch contract. The site, called RocketBuilder.com, looks to be ULA's attempt to further infiltrate the commercial satellite market, after launching mostly government satellites and NASA missions for the past decade. Bruno says the site is meant to provide an "unprecedented level of transparency" to commercial customers about the true cost of launching a satellite with ULA. "The sticker price on the rocket is just the tip of the iceberg," Bruno said at a press conference this morning in Washington, DC. "There is a whole host of other costs." The site is supposed to give potential customers an idea of what those costs might be. Rocket Builder allows you to pick when you want to launch and what orbit you want your satellite to go to. And then, depending on its destination and how big the satellite is, the site will help you calculate the size of your payload fairing -- the nose cone that encases the satellite on the top of the rocket -- as well as how many additional boosters you're going to need for thrust. Customers even have the option of picking customizable "service options," which include adding an onboard video system to the rocket, or conducting "expanded mission rehearsals." There's even the option of purchasing a VIP experience, where you can invite 100 customers or investors to come watch the launch as a marketing tool.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Russian Space Cargo Ship Destroyed in Failed Launch, Debris Burns Up

Space.com - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 6:23am
A Russian Progress 65 cargo ship fell back to Earth in pieces after a catastrophic launch failure, Russian space agency officials said Dec. 1, 2016.
Categories: Science

Tracking large neural networks in the brain by making neurons glow

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 4:43am

A neuron glows with bioluminescent light produced by a new genetically engineered sensor. (credit: Johnson Lab, Vanderbilt University)

A new kind of bioluminescent sensor developed by Vanderbilt scientists causes individual brain cells to glow in the dark, giving neuroscientists a new tool to track what’s happening in large neural networks in the brain.

The sensor is a genetically modified form of luciferase, the enzyme that fireflies and other species use to produce light.

Traditional electrical techniques for recording the activity of neurons are limited to small numbers of neurons at a time. Instead, the new sensors use a new combination of optical techniques to record the activity of hundreds of neurons at the same time, according to Carl Johnson, Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences, who headed the effort.

The research is a spinoff of the team’s research in bioluminescence* in the green alga Chlamydomonas. Johnson and his colleagues realized that if they could combine luminescence with optogenetics (which uses light to control cells, particularly neurons), they could create a powerful new tool for studying brain activity.

To create the new sensor, Johnson and his collaborators first genetically modified a type of luciferase obtained from a luminescent species of shrimp so that it would light up when exposed to calcium ions (their level  pikes briefly when a neuron receives an impulse from one of its neighbors). Then they attached a virus that infects and genetically modifies neurons.

They tested their new calcium sensor with an optogenetic protein called channelrhodopsin that causes the calcium ion channels in the neuron’s outer membrane to open, flooding the cell with calcium. Using neurons grown in culture they found that the luminescent enzyme reacted visibly to the influx of calcium produced when the probe was stimulated by brief light flashes of visible light.


Vanderbilt University | Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

To determine how well their sensor works with larger numbers of neurons, they inserted it into brain slices from mouse hippocampus containing thousands of neurons. In this case, they flooded the slices with an increased concentration of potassium ions, which causes the cell’s ion channels to open. Again, they found that the sensor responded to the variations in calcium concentrations by brightening and dimming.


Vanderbilt University | Optical sensor illuminates activity of neural network

“We’ve shown that the approach works,” Johnson said. “Now we have to determine how sensitive it is. We have some indications that it is sensitive enough to detect the firing of individual neurons, but we have to run more tests to determine if it actually has this capability.”

The research is described in a paper published in the open-access journal Nature Communications on Oct. 27 and was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and a grant from the Vanderbilt Brain Institute.

* There have also been efforts in optical recording of neurons using fluorescence, but this requires a strong external light source which can cause the tissue to heat up and can interfere with some biological processes, particularly those that are light sensitive, Johnson explained. It would also interfere with the light used in optogenetics. In contrast, light in bioluminescence is produced by biochemical reactions (the light-emitting pigment luciferin and the enzyme luciferase).

Abstract of Coupling optogenetic stimulation with NanoLuc-based luminescence (BRET) Ca++ sensing

Optogenetic techniques allow intracellular manipulation of Ca++ by illumination of light-absorbing probe molecules such as channelrhodopsins and melanopsins. The consequences of optogenetic stimulation would optimally be recorded by non-invasive optical methods. However, most current optical methods for monitoring Ca++ levels are based on fluorescence excitation that can cause unwanted stimulation of the optogenetic probe and other undesirable effects such as tissue autofluorescence. Luminescence is an alternate optical technology that avoids the problems associated with fluorescence. Using a new bright luciferase, we here develop a genetically encoded Ca++ sensor that is ratiometric by virtue of bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET). This sensor has a large dynamic range and partners optimally with optogenetic probes. Ca++ fluxes that are elicited by brief pulses of light to cultured cells expressing melanopsin and to neurons-expressing channelrhodopsin are quantified and imaged with the BRET Ca++ sensor in darkness, thereby avoiding undesirable consequences of fluorescence irradiation.

Categories: Science

Google Earth's Timelapses Offer a 32-Year Look At Earth's Changing Surface

Slashdot - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 3:30am
Google has partnered with TIME to release an improved version of Google Earth Timelapse that provides animated satellite imagery covering the past 32 years, from 1984 to 2016. In 2013, Google and TIME launched Timelapse with a time-lapse from 1984 to 2012. However, this time around the project uses the higher-resolution maps introduced back in June to provide a look that's more detailed and more seamless than in the past. ZDNet reports: The 10-second snapshots of Earth from space over 32 years captures urban sprawl, deforestation and reforestation, receding glaciers, and major engineering feats, such as the Oresund Bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden, or the spread of the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada. Google Earth engine program manager, Chris Herwig says it created the new "annual mosaics" by stitching together 33 images of the Earth, each representing one year. Each image contains 3.95 trillion pixels, cherry-picked from an original set of three quadrillion pixels. "Using Google Earth Engine, we sifted through about three quadrillion pixels, that's three followed by 15 zeroes, from more than 5,000,000 satellite images," Herwig said. "We took the best of all those pixels to create 33 images of the entire planet, one for each year. We then encoded these new 3.95-terapixel global images into just over 25,000,000 overlapping multi-resolution video tiles, made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable time-lapses over space and time." The satellite images come from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and US Geological Survey. Since 2015, they also contain some data from the European Space Agency's Copernicus Program and its Sentinel-2A satellite.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

British Film Institute To Digitize 100,000 Old TV Shows Before They Disappear

Slashdot - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 1:40am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: Thousands of British TV programs are to be digitized before they are lost forever, the British Film Institute says. Anarchic children's show Tiswas and The Basil Brush Show are among the programs in line for preservation. The initiative was announced as part of the BFI's five-year strategy for 2017-2022. "Material from the 70s and early 80s is at risk," said Heather Stewart, the BFI's creative director. "It has a five or six-year shelf life and if we don't do something about it will just go, no matter how great the environment is we keep it in. "Our job is make sure that things are there in 200 years' time." The BFI has budgeted $14.3 million of Lottery funding towards its goal of making the UK's entire screen heritage digitally accessible. This includes an estimated 100,000 of the "most at-risk" British TV episodes and clips held on obsolete video formats. The list includes "early children's programming, little-seen dramas, regional programs and the beginnings of breakfast television." The issue for the BFI, Ms Stewart added, was also to do with freeing up storage space. "We have a whole vault which is wall-to-wall video. If we digitized it, it would be in a robot about the size of a wardrobe," she said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Twitters Says It Will Ban Trump If He Breaks Hate-Speech Rules

Slashdot - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 1:00am
Twitter has made a serious effort as of late to limit hate speech on its social media site, especially after Election Day where "biased graffiti, assaults and other incidents have been reported in the news." The company now faces President-elect Donald Trump, who has used Twitter for the past 18 months as a megaphone for his views and rants, which many would consider as "hate speech." According to the American Bar Association, hate speech is "speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits." Quartz reports: While Trump's deceptive tweets may not violate Twitter's rules against harassment, threats and "hateful conduct," Twitter is still keeping an eye on his account for more egregious offenses. This week, the company told Slate it would consider banning key government officials, even the president, if its rules against hate speech or other language were violated. "The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies," a spokesperson wrote. Twitter confirmed with Quartz that everyone, including government officials, were subject to the policy: "The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts," a spokesman wrote. Trump may not have crossed that line yet, but he hasn't exactly refrained from making incendiary claims. Most recently, he claimed that Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who allegedly carried out an attack injuring 11 students at Ohio State University, "should not have been in our country." Artan was a legal permanent U.S. resident, whose family had fled Somalia for Pakistan in 2007. He arrived in the States in 2014.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Electric current and antiobiotic kill multidrug-resistant bacteria in biofilms

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 12:44am

Washington State University researchers have successfully used a mild electric current to kill drug-resistant bacterial infections, a technology that may eventually be used to treat chronic wound infections. Red arrow indicates cell showing a stressed membrane. (credit: Washington State University)

A Washington State University research team has successfully used a mild electric current combined with an antibiotic to kill multidrug-resistant pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 bacteria in a lab-cultured biofilm.

These bacteria are responsible for chronic and serious infections in people with lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, and in chronic wounds. They also often cause pneumonia for people who are on ventilators and infections in burn victims.*

Schematic of experimental setup for the treatment of biofilm exposed to an e-scaffold, with an illustration of electrochemical production of hydrogen peroxide. The electrodes are connected to a potentiostat (600 mV source; not shown in figure). (credit: Sujala T. Sultana et al./Scientific Reports)

The researchers used an “e-scaffold” (electrochemical structure), a sort of electronic band-aid made out of conductive carbon fabric, which uses an electrical current to produce a low, constant concentration of hydrogen peroxide, an effective disinfectant, at the e-scaffold surface.

The hydrogen peroxide disrupts the biofilm (slime layer) matrix and damages the bacteria cell walls and DNA, which then allows better antibiotic penetration and efficacy against the bacteria. Bacteria that form biofilms are more difficult to kill because antibiotics only partially penetrate this protective layer. Subpopulations of “persister” cells survive treatment and are able to grow and multiply, resulting in chronic infections.

Tuning electrical stimulation to kill bacteria

Researchers have previously tried electrical stimulation, a method used to kill bacteria, for more than a century, but with limited results. In this study, the researchers determined the conditions necessary for the electrochemical reaction to produce hydrogen peroxide. The current has to be carefully controlled to assure the correct reaction at an exact rate to stop the bacteria from developing resistance, while not damaging surrounding tissue.**

The research to develop the e-scaffold actually came out of a failed attempt to improve fuel cells, according to research team leader Haluk Beyenal, the Paul Hohenschuh Distinguished Professor in WSU’s Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. When the researchers figured out they could only produce a small amount of electric current for their fuel cell cathode, they decided to see if they could use the process for a different purpose.

The technology may eventually be used to treat chronic wound infections, the researchers say. The researchers have filed a patent application and are working to commercialize the process. They hope to begin conducting clinical tests.

The work, reported in the online edition of npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, was supported by Beyenal’s National Science Foundation CAREER award.

* Bacterial resistance is a growing problem around the world. While antibiotics were a miracle drug of the 20th century, their widespread use has led to drug-resistant strains of bacteria. In the U.S., at least 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths are attributable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

** As the researchers note in the paper, alternative antimicrobial treatments such as silver or mannitol, or in combination with conventional antibiotics, have toxic side effects at adequately high concentrations, and at low concentrations they often decompose before completely eliminating biofilm communities. In addition, persister cells can regrow and form biofilms with potentially enhanced tolerance to antibiotics.

Abstract of Eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms and persister cells using an electrochemical scaffold and enhanced antibiotic susceptibility

Biofilms in chronic wounds are known to contain a persister subpopulation that exhibits enhanced multidrug tolerance and can quickly rebound after therapeutic treatment. The presence of these “persister cells” is partly responsible for the failure of antibiotic therapies and incomplete elimination of biofilms. Electrochemical methods combined with antibiotics have been suggested as an effective alternative for biofilm and persister cell elimination, yet the mechanism of action for improved antibiotic efficacy remains unclear. In this work, an electrochemical scaffold (e-scaffold) that electrochemically generates a constant concentration of H2O2 was investigated as a means of enhancing tobramycin susceptibility in pre-grown Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 biofilms and attacking persister cells. Results showed that the e-scaffold enhanced tobramycin susceptibility in P. aeruginosa PAO1 biofilms, which reached a maximum susceptibility at 40 µg/ml tobramycin, with complete elimination (7.8-log reduction vs control biofilm cells, P ≤ 0.001). Moreover, the e-scaffold eradicated persister cells in biofilms, leaving no viable cells (5-log reduction vs control persister cells, P ≤ 0.001). It was observed that the e-scaffold induced the intracellular formation of hydroxyl free radicals and improved membrane permeability in e-scaffold treated biofilm cells, which possibly enhanced antibiotic susceptibility and eradicated persister cells. These results demonstrate a promising advantage of the e-scaffold in the treatment of persistent biofilm infections.

Categories: Science

Firefox Zero-Day Can Be Used To Unmask Tor Browser Users

Slashdot - Thu, 01/12/2016 - 12:20am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Computerworld: A Firefox zero-day being used in the wild to target Tor users is using code that is nearly identical to what the FBI used in 2013 to unmask Tor-users. A Tor browser user notified the Tor mailing list of the newly discovered exploit, posting the exploit code to the mailing list via a Sigaint darknet email address. A short time later, Roger Dingledine, co-founder of the Tor Project Team, confirmed that the Firefox team had been notified, had "found the bug" and were "working on a patch." On Monday, Mozilla released a security update to close off a different critical vulnerability in Firefox. Dan Guido, CEO of TrailofBits, noted on Twitter, that "it's a garden variety use-after-free, not a heap overflow" and it's "not an advanced exploit." He added that the vulnerability is also present on the Mac OS, "but the exploit does not include support for targeting any operating system but Windows." Security researcher Joshua Yabut told Ars Technica that the exploit code is "100% effective for remote code execution on Windows systems." "The shellcode used is almost exactly the shellcode of the 2013 one," tweeted a security researcher going by TheWack0lian. He added, "When I first noticed the old shellcode was so similar, I had to double-check the dates to make sure I wasn't looking at a 3-year-old post." He's referring to the 2013 payload used by the FBI to deanonymize Tor-users visiting a child porn site. The attack allowed the FBI to tag Tor browser users who believed they were anonymous while visiting a "hidden" child porn site on Freedom Hosting; the exploit code forced the browser to send information such as MAC address, hostname and IP address to a third-party server with a public IP address; the feds could use that data to obtain users' identities via their ISPs.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Trump Appoints Third Net Neutrality Critic To FCC Advisory Team

Slashdot - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 11:40pm
Last week, President-elect Donald Trump appointed two new advisers to his transition team that will oversee his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda. Trump has added a third adviser today who, like the other two advisers, is a staunch opponent of net neutrality regulations. DSLReports adds: The incoming President chose Roslyn Layton, a visiting fellow at the broadband-industry-funded American Enterprise Institute, to help select the new FCC boss and guide the Trump administration on telecom policy. Layton joins Jeffrey Eisenach, a former Verizon consultant and vocal net neutrality critic, and Mark Jamison, a former Sprint lobbyist that has also fought tooth and nail against net neutrality; recently going so far as to argue he doesn't think telecom monopolies exist. Like Eisenach and Jamison, Layton has made a career out of fighting relentlessly against most of the FCC's more consumer-focused efforts, including net neutrality, consumer privacy rules, and increased competition in the residential broadband space. Back in October, Layton posted an article to the AEI blog proclaiming that the FCC's new privacy rules, which give consumers greater control over how their data is collected and sold, were somehow part of a "partisan endgame of corporate favoritism" that weren't necessary and only confused customers. Layton also has made it abundantly clear she supports zero rating, the practice of letting ISPs give their own (or high paying partners') content cap-exemption and therefore a competitive advantage in the market. She has similarly, again like Eisenach and Jamison, supported rolling back the FCC's classification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II, which would kill the existing net neutrality rules and greatly weaken the FCC's ability to protect consumers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Reddit To Crack Down On Abuse By Punishing Hundreds of 'Toxic Users'

Slashdot - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 11:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Social media website Reddit, known for its commitment to free speech, will crack down on online harassment by banning or suspending users who target others, starting with those who have directed abuse at Chief Executive Steve Huffman. Huffman said in an interview with Reuters that Reddit's content policy prohibits harassment, but that it had not been adequately enforced. "Personal message harassment is the most cut and dry," he said. "Right now we are in an interesting position where my inbox is full of them, it's easy to start with me." As well as combing through Huffman's inbox, Reddit will monitor user reports, add greater filtering capacity, and take a more proactive role in policing its platform rather than relying on community moderators. Reddit said it had identified hundreds of the "most toxic users" and will warn, ban or suspend them. It also plans to increase staff on its "trust and safety" team. On Reddit, a channel supporting the U.S. Republican party's presidential candidate Donald Trump, called r/The_Donald, featured racist and misogynistic comments, fake news and conspiracy theories about his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton, along with more mainstream expressions of support for Trump. Many of those supporting Trump were very active, voting up the r/The_Donald conversations so that they became prominent across Reddit, which is the 7th-most-visited U.S. internet site, according to web data firm Alexa. Last week, Reddit banned Pizzagate, a community devoted to a conspiracy theory, with no evidence to back it up, that links Clinton to a pedophile ring at a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor, after it posted personal information in violation of Reddit policy. Huffman then used his administrative privileges to redirect abuse he was receiving on a thread on r/The_Donald to the community's moderators -- making it look as if it was intended for them. Huffman said it was a prank, and that many Reddit users, including some Trump supporters, told him they thought it was funny, but it inflamed the situation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

No Man's Sky's Steam Page Didn't Mislead Gamers, Rules UK Ad Watchdog

Slashdot - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 10:20pm
Shortly after it officially launched in August on PlayStation and Windows, No Man's Sky -- the game that sees the protagonist explore space and experience uncertain places -- was accused of false advertising. Players felt that the pictures and videos used to promote the game on its Steam page didn't represent the sort of things players might expect to encounter in the game. Today, a UK advertising regulator has ruled the opposite -- the game didn't mislead gamers. Ars Technica reports: The complainants -- who had been part of a semi-organized campaign upset with the state of the game at release -- insisted that the screenshots on the storefront had seemed to promise various features that turned out to be absent from the final game. These included things like the appearance and behavior of animals, large in-game buildings, large-scale space combat, loading screens, a promised system wherein the different factions contested galactic territory, and general graphical polish. Hello Games' defense rested on the fact that No Man's Sky is procedurally generated, and that while players would not enjoy the exact experience shown in promotional images, they could reasonably expect to see similar things. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed, saying: "The summary description of the game made clear that it was procedurally generated, that the game universe was essentially infinite, and that the core premise was exploration. As such, we considered consumers would understand the images and videos to be representative of the type of content they would encounter during gameplay, but would not generally expect to see those specific creatures, landscapes, battles, and structures." It also ruled that the developers hadn't misled customers over graphics: "We understood the graphical output of the game would be affected by the specifications of each player's computer, and considered that consumers would generally be aware of this limitation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Seagate Introduces External Hard Drive That Automatically Backs Up To Amazon's Cloud

Slashdot - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 9:40pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Seagate and Amazon have partnered up on a $99 1TB external hard drive that automatically backs up everything stored on it to the cloud. The Seagate Duet drive's contents are cloned to Amazon Drive, so you can be pretty confident that your important stuff will be safe. Getting set up with the cloud backup process requires plugging in the drive, signing in with your Amazon account -- and that's pretty much it, from the sounds of it. Drag and drop files over, and you'll be able to access them from the web or Amazon's Drive app on smartphones and tablets. If you're new to the Drive service, Seagate claims you'll get a year of unlimited storage just for buying the hard drive, which normally costs $59.99 annually. Amazon's listing for the Duet (the only way to buy it right now) confirms as much, but there's some fine print: Offer is U.S.-only; Not valid for current Amazon Drive Unlimited Storage paid subscription customers; You've got to redeem the promo code within two months of buying the hard drive if you want the year's worth of unlimited cloud storage; If you return the Duet, Amazon says it will likely reduce your 12 months of unlimited Drive storage down to three, which beats taking it away altogether, I guess.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Uber Wants To Track Your Location Even When You're Not Using the App, Here's Why

Slashdot - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 9:00pm
With the most recent update to Uber's ride-hailing app, the company has begun requesting users if they are willing to share their location data with Uber app even while the app is not in use. The company says it plans to use the data gained to improve user experience -- including offering improved pick-up times and locations. From an article on Business Insider: In August the company moved away from using Google Maps for its service and began using its own mapping technology. Google's lack of accuracy in many non-Western countries led to increased friction between consumers and drivers. This means the company needs to boost the amount of location data it has. Location data could also be used to provide new channels of revenue for the digital platform. This could include serving ads of local businesses or recommending nearby places of interest to users. Mobile marketing, which relies on accurate location data is a rapidly growing industry and could serve as a revenue windfall for Uber in the years ahead as it faces increasing competition. In fact, revenue from location-targeted mobile ads is expected to grow at an annualized rate of almost 34% between 2014 and 2019, surpassing $18 billion, according to a forecast from BIA/Kelsey.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

New gene edited, fluorescently tagged human stem cell lines released

Science Daily - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 8:54pm
The Allen Institute for Cell Science has released the Allen Cell Collection: the first publicly available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged human induced pluripotent stem cells that target key cellular structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, these powerful tools are a crucial first step toward visualizing the dynamic organization of cells to better understand what makes human cells healthy and what goes wrong in disease.
Categories: Science

New strategy may drop cancer's guard

Science Daily - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 8:45pm
A drug used now to treat Type 2 diabetes may someday help beat breast and ovarian cancers, but not until researchers decode the complex interactions that in some cases help promote tumors, according to scientists.
Categories: Science