Tool decreases superfluous lab testing, cuts health-care costs

Science Daily - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 9:22am
Physicians recognize that routine lab testing isn't necessary for all hospitalized patients. Now researchers have developed a tool, Value Driven Outcomes, to reduce superfluous lab testing. When integrated into a quality improvement initiative lab costs decreased by nearly 10 percent per visit. If applied to all inpatient visits, it was estimated the hospital could save over $1.5 million each year.
Categories: Science

Improvised naloxone nasal sprays lack evidence of absorption and effect

Science Daily - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 9:22am
Naloxone hydrochloride is a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a nasal naloxone product to replace those improvised kits.The authors of a new study point out that there isn't enough information available on improvised nasal naloxone kits to warrant this level of acceptance.
Categories: Science

Patent Troll VirnetX Awarded $626M In Damages From Apple

Slashdot - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 9:11am
Tackhead writes: Having won a $200M judgement against Microsoft in 2010, lost a $258M appeal against Cisco in 2013, and having beaten Apple for $368M in 2012, only to see the verdict overturned in 2014, patent troll VirnetX is back in the news, having been awarded $626M in damages arising from the 2012 Facetime patent infringement case against Apple.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

NASA Weighing Dual Launches of Europa Flyby Probe and Lander

Space.com - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 9:00am
Faced with a mandate to add a lander to a planned flyby mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, NASA is considering launching the two spacecraft separately.
Categories: Science

Today, Not Groundhog Day, Is Winter's Actual Midpoint

Space.com - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 8:51am
Each year, on Feb. 2, a groundhog and its shadow traditionally announce the midpoint of winter. But the middle of the season is actually on Feb. 4 (today). Here's why.
Categories: Science

The Restoration of Star Trek's USS Enterprise in Pictures

Space.com - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 8:01am
Just in time for Star Trek's 50th anniversary, the original U.S.S. Enterprise model used in The Original Series is undergoing extensive restoration at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
Categories: Science

The Original Starship Enterprise from 'Star Trek' Is Getting a Face-Lift

Space.com - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 8:00am
The voyages of "Star Trek's" USS Enterprise now include an extensive restoration at the hands of the National Air and Space Museum.
Categories: Science

Julian Assange May Surrender To British Police On Friday

Slashdot - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 6:22am
bestweasel writes: As reported by The Guardian and others, Julian Assange has announced via Wikileaks that: "Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal. ... However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Beyond the Liberator: A 3D-Printed Plastic 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol

Slashdot - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 3:40am
Profiled at Ars Technica is the (mostly) 3D-printed semi-auto pistol design from a West Virginia maker known as Derwood. The PLA-based design, which Derwood calls the Shuty MP-1, isn't quite all-plastic; like others that are roughly similar, it utilizes metal for a few parts that aren't practical in plastic. (Ars says just the barrel and springs, but it looks like metal is used for the guide rod and an internal plate, as well as for the screws that hold the whole thing together.) The core of the gun is a lower that bears a strong resemblance to an AR-15's, but the assembled gun looks to me more like a Skorpion submachine gun. Unlike Cody Wilson's single-shot Liberator pistol (mentioned here a few times before), the design files are not available for download -- at least not yet: "Not long," Derwood writes in a comment on a YouTube video of the pistol's assembly.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Storing Very Large Files On Amazon's Unlimited Cloud Photo Storage

Slashdot - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 12:57am
AmiMoJo writes: Last year Amazon started offering unlimited cloud storage for photos to customers who subscribed to its "Prime" service. Japanese user YDKK has developed a tool to store arbitrary data inside a .bmp file, which can then be uploaded to Amazon's service. A 1.44GB test image containing an executable file uploaded at over 250Mb/sec, far faster than typical cloud storage services that are rate limited and don't allow extremely large files.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Your Travel Nightmare Has Nothing on a Snowbound Chinese New Year

Wired News - Thu, 04/02/2016 - 12:35am

The human migration is already an annual traffic bonanza, but this weekend, several central and eastern provinces were hit with rare, heavy snowfall.

The post Your Travel Nightmare Has Nothing on a Snowbound Chinese New Year appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Link Rot Rx: 'Amber' Add-on For WordPress and Drupal

Slashdot - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:48pm
David Rothman writes: If you run a WordPress or Drupal site, you can now fight link rot with Amber, a new open source add-on from Harvard's Berkman Center. If links are dead, visitors can still summon up the pages as stored on your server or, if you prefer, outside ones such as the Internet Archive. TeleRead has the details, and the Amber site is here, with download information.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Modern microbial ecosystems provide window to early life on Earth

Science Daily - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:41pm
New research provides new insight into one of the world's most diverse and extensive ecosystems of living microbes. The study offers a new perspective on the growth and structure of rare, microbial reefs, called stromatolites, which are a window into the emergence and evolution of life on Earth.
Categories: Science

Genetic cause of rare allergy to vibration discovered

Science Daily - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:41pm
Scientists have identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibration, also known as vibratory urticaria. Running, hand clapping, towel drying or even taking a bumpy bus ride can cause temporary skin rashes in people with this rare disorder. By studying affected families, researchers discovered how vibration promotes the release of inflammatory chemicals from the immune system's mast cells, causing hives and other allergic symptoms.
Categories: Science

Preventive surgery for women at high risk of breast, ovarian cancer

Science Daily - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:41pm
A new article provides an in-depth look at the issues associated with the care of women in families with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome who have not yet developed cancer themselves.
Categories: Science

Russia Begins Work On a Lunar Lander

Slashdot - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:27pm
MarkWhittington writes: Whether and when Russia will try to send cosmonauts to the moon is an open question. The Putin government has heavily slashed spending on the Russian space program, a measure brought on by declining oil and gas revenues. But, as Popular Mechanics reports, Russian engineers have gone ahead and have started to design a lunar lander for the eventual Russian lunar surface effort. When money is going to be forthcoming for such a vehicle is unknown, though Russia could partner with another country with lunar ambitions, such as China or the European Union.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Everything We Learned From the New Ghostbusters Images

Wired News - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 11:05pm

We don't know a lot about Paul Feig's upcoming Ghostbusters movie, but these photos offer us a few clues.

The post Everything We Learned From the New Ghostbusters Images appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

New Hack Shrinks Docker Containers

Slashdot - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 10:46pm
destinyland writes: Promising "uber tiny Docker images for all the things," Iron.io has released a new library of base images for every major language optimized to be as small as possible by using only the required OS libraries and language dependencies. "By streamlining the cruft that is attached to the node images and installing only the essentials, they reduced the image from 644 MB to 29MB,"explains one technology reporter, noting this makes it quicker to download and distribute the image, and also more secure. "Less code/less programs in the container means less attack surface..." writes Travis Reeder, the co-founder of Iron.io, in a post on the company's blog. "Most people who start using Docker will use Docker's official repositories for their language of choice, but unfortunately if you use them, you'll end up with images the size of the Empire State Building..."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Former DoE Employee Ensnared By Secret-Selling Sting Pleads Guilty

Slashdot - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 10:06pm
mdsolar writes: A former Energy Department employee accused of attempting to infiltrate the agency's computer system to steal nuclear secrets and sell them to a foreign government pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge of attempting to damage protected government computers in an email "spear-phishing attack." Charles Harvey Eccleston, a former employee at the department and at the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), was arrested March 27 by Philippine authorities after an undercover FBI sting operation. Eccleston, 62, a U.S. citizen who had been living in the Philippines since 2011, was "terminated" from his job at the NRC in 2010, according to the Justice Department. In January 2015, the department said, he targeted more than 80 Energy Department employees in Washington at four national nuclear labs with emails containing what he thought were links to malicious websites that, if activated, could infect and damage computers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Future of drug delivery seen in a crystal ball

Kurzweil AI - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 9:48pm

Researchers have developed a way to grow crystals in a spherical shape — a possible future drug-delivery platform. (credit: Drexel University)

A Drexel University materials scientist has discovered a way to encapsulate medication to deliver it more effectively inside the body.

Until now, crystals have grown in rigid, structured formations (like the snowflake) — with a web of straight lines connecting to making a grid that grows into the crystalline flake.*

But the formation of a crystal is affected by the environment in which it forms. And Christopher Li, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering and head of the Soft Materials Lab in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, uses this workaround to engineer hollow crystal spheres. He recently reported his finding in Nature Communications (open access).

Introducing …. the “crystalsome”

Li was able to overcome crystal’s edge-forming tendencies by creating a tiny bubble of oil to encase water molecules. When the surfactant bubble was cooled to the appropriate temperature, the molecules inside began to crystalize. But rather than forming an angular web of connections, the molecules, instead, lined up along the interior of the oil bubble — crystallizing in a hollow, spherical shape.

Liposomes, composite structures made of phospholipids, can carry drugs to target tissues (Kosi Gramatikoff/Wikimedia Commons)

Early tests indicate that Li’s “crystalsome” (named for their similarity to liposomes — tiny bubbles with the same membrane as cells that are being explored for use as biological packages for delivering drug treatments) is a few hundred times stronger than liposomes, making them a sturdier option for medicine encapsulation.

Crystalsome fabriation process: 1) Emulsification; (2) quench to the crystallization temperature; and (3–5) different stages of crystal growth (credit: Wenda Wang et al./Nature Communications)

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Li’s team is now exploring ways to control the shape and strength of the spheres by making them out of various different molecules.

* Crystals form this way because their molecules are predisposed to align themselves in a way that links them via the strongest electrochemical bond available. If molecules are floating freely, as they are in a water vapor for example, they are able to follow this default course to connect with other molecules and, eventually, form a crystal — an ice crystal, or snowflake, in the case of water molecules.

Abstract of Highly robust crystalsome via directed polymer crystallization at curved liquid/liquid interface

Lipids and amphiphilic block copolymers spontaneously self-assemble in water to form a plethora of micelles and vesicles. They are typically fluidic in nature and often mechanically weak for applications such as drug delivery and gene therapeutics. Mechanical properties of polymeric materials could be improved by forming crystalline structures. However, most of the self-assembled micelles and vesicles have curved surfaces and precisely tuning crystallization within a nanoscale curved space is challenging, as the curved geometry is incommensurate with crystals having three-dimensional translational symmetry. Herein, we report using a miniemulsion crystallization method to grow nanosized, polymer single-crystal-like capsules. We coin the name crystalsome to describe this unique structure, because they are formed by polymer lamellar crystals and their structure mimics liposomes and polymersomes. Using poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) as the model polymer, we show that curved water/p-xylene interface formed by the miniemulsion process can guide the growth of PLLA single crystals. Crystalsomes with the size ranging from ~148 nm to over 1 μm have been formed. Atomic force microscopy measurement demonstrate a two to three orders of magnitude increase in bending modulus compared with conventional polymersomes. We envisage that this novel structure could shed light on investigating spherical crystallography and drug delivery.

Categories: Science