True Detective Recap: This Plot Is Getting Hard to Follow

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 10:39pm

This season's biggest problem: It insists on hitting the same bleak notes for each character, never offering a counterweight to despair.

The post True Detective Recap: This Plot Is Getting Hard to Follow appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

Watch the Pluto Flyby: How to See NASA Make History Online - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 10:35pm
Hold on to your butts. On Tuesday, NASA will give Pluto its first close-up since the dwarf planet's discovery 85 years ago, and you can follow it all online, but be warned: You'll have to rise early and stay up late.
Categories: Science

Apple Could Have Bailed Out Greece—Twice

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 10:23pm

How much cash does Apple have on hand? About as much as the value of Romania's GDP. And enough to bail Greece out---twice.

The post Apple Could Have Bailed Out Greece—Twice appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

"Happy Birthday" Hits Sour Notes When It Comes To Song's Free Use

Slashdot - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 10:20pm
vivaoporto writes: NPR reports that "Happy Birthday to You", one of the most recognized songs in the English language, is the subject of a class action complaint over the validity of its copyright. The publisher Warner/Chappell Music owns the copyright to the "Happy Birthday" song and anyone who wants to use the song must pay a licensing fee. How did Warner/Chappell get the rights? "This is where it gets complicated," says Jennifer Nelson. She is working on a documentary about the song and paid for the rights to use it. Now she's suing Warner/Chappell to get her money back, arguing it's part of the public domain. "I think it's going to set a precedent for this song and other songs that may be claimed to be under copyright, which aren't," says Newman. The Courthouse News Service have more information about the pending suit.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Twitter Says Star Wars Wasn’t the Most Popular Thing at Comic-Con

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 10:15pm

Twitter crunched the numbers following Comic-Con and found out what was the most popular.

The post Twitter Says Star Wars Wasn’t the Most Popular Thing at Comic-Con appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice

Kurzweil AI - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 10:08pm

The inverted V’s above are sensory hair bundles in the ear, each containing 50 to 100 microvilli tipped with TMC proteins. Gene therapy restores hearing by providing working copies of those proteins. (credit: Gwenaelle Geleoc & Artur Indzhykulian)

Patients with hearing loss will one day have their genome sequenced and their hearing restored by gene therapy, says Jeffrey Holt, PhD,  a scientist in the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School.

A proof-of-principle study published by the journal Science Translational Medicine takes a step in that direction, restoring hearing in deaf mice. Clinical trials of gene therapy for humans could be started within 5 to 10 years, Holt believes.

Holt, with first author Charles Askew and colleagues at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, focused on deafness caused by a gene called TMC1 — one of more than 70 different genes are known to cause deafness when mutated. TMC1 accounts for 4 to 8 percent of genetic deafness, and also encodes a protein that’s critical for hearing by helping to convert sound into electrical signals that travel to the brain.

To deliver the functioning TMC1 gene into the ear, the team inserted it into an engineered virus called adeno-associated virus 1, or AAV1, and added a promoter, a genetic sequence that turns the gene on only in certain sensory cells in the cochlea, known as hair cells.

“I heard that!” Rasbak/Wikimedia Commons

They then injected the engineered AAV1 into the inner ears of mutant, deaf mice modeling the more common recessive form of TMC1 deafness, which causes profound hearing loss in children from a very young age, usually by around 2 years. After the injection, the animals’ sensory hair cells began responding to sound and electrical activity began showing up in the auditory portion of their brainstems.

How it works

Holt’s team showed in 2013 that TMC1 and the related protein TMC2 are critical for hearing, ending a rigorous 30-year search by scientists. Sensory hair cells contain tiny projections called microvilli, each tipped with a channel formed by TMC1 and TMC2 proteins. Arriving sound waves wiggle the microvilli, causing the channels to open. That allows calcium to enter the cell, generating an electrical signal that travels to the brain and ultimately translates to hearing.

Although the channel is made up of either TMC1 or TMC2, a mutation in the TMC1 gene is sufficient to cause deafness. However, Holt’s study also showed that gene therapy with the TMC2 gene could compensate for loss of a functional TMC1, restoring hearing in the recessive deafness model and partial hearing in a mouse model of dominant TMC1 deafness, in which patients gradually go deaf beginning around 10 to 15 years of age.

Abstract of Tmc gene therapy restores auditory function in deaf mice

Genetic hearing loss accounts for up to 50% of prelingual deafness worldwide, yet there are no biologic treatments currently available. To investigate gene therapy as a potential biologic strategy for restoration of auditory function in patients with genetic hearing loss, we tested a gene augmentation approach in mouse models of genetic deafness. We focused on DFNB7/11 and DFNA36, which are autosomal recessive and dominant deafnesses, respectively, caused by mutations in transmembrane channel–like 1 (TMC1). Mice that carry targeted deletion of Tmc1 or a dominant Tmc1 point mutation, known as Beethoven, are good models for human DFNB7/11 and DFNA36. We screened several adeno-associated viral (AAV) serotypes and promoters and identified AAV2/1 and the chicken β-actin (Cba) promoter as an efficient combination for driving the expression of exogenous Tmc1 in inner hair cells in vivo. Exogenous Tmc1 or its closely related ortholog, Tmc2, were capable of restoring sensory transduction, auditory brainstem responses, and acoustic startle reflexes in otherwise deaf mice, suggesting that gene augmentation with Tmc1 or Tmc2 is well suited for further development as a strategy for restoration of auditory function in deaf patients who carry TMC1 mutations.

Categories: Science

Dear Idiots, Stop Leaking Comic-Con Trailers

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:56pm

Whoever pirated bootleg trailers for Suicide Squad, X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, and Deadpool is ruining it for everyone.

The post Dear Idiots, Stop Leaking Comic-Con Trailers appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

New Horizons' Pluto Fly-By Accurately Animated - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:52pm
A collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History and Sweden's Linkoping University animates NASA's New Horizons closest encounter with the Pluto-Charon system. The OpenSpace software used can be obtained here:
Categories: Science

IBM announces first 7nm node test chips

Kurzweil AI - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:43pm

7nm node test chips (credit: Darryl Bautista/IBM)

IBM Research has announced the semiconductor industry’s first 7nm (nanometer) node test chips, which could allow for chips with more than 20 billion transistors, IBM believes — a big step forward from today’s most advanced chips, made using 14nm technology.

IBM achieved the 7 nm node through a combination of new materials, tools and techniques, explained Mukesh Khare, VP, IBM Semiconductor Technology Research in a blog post. “In materials, we’re using silicon germanium for the first time in the channels on the chips that conduct electricity. We have employed a new type of lithography in the chip-making process, Extreme Ultraviolet, or EUV, which delivers order-of-magnitude improvements over today’s mainstream optical lithography.”

However, as future technology starts to hit the quantum wall, “there’s no clear path to extend the life of the silicon semiconductor further into the future,” he noted.  “The next major wave of progress, the 5 nm node, will be even more challenging than the 7 nm node has been.”

IBM 7nm node test chip closeup (credit: Darryl Bautista/IBM)

Meanwhile, industry experts consider 7nm technology crucial to meeting the anticipated demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computingmobile products and other emerging technologies, says IBM. Part of IBM’s $3 billion, five-year investment in chip R&D (announced in 2014), this accomplishment was the result of a  public-private partnership with New York State and joint development alliance with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Samsung, and equipment suppliers.

When will it be available in products? IBM “declined to speculate on when it might begin commercial manufacturing of this technology generation,” The New York Times reports. Intel’s public roadmap indicates that it’s also working on a 7 nanometer chip, Wired notes.

Categories: Science

Microsoft Temporarily Suspends Availability of Windows 10 Builds

Slashdot - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:35pm
Mark Wilson writes: If you haven't already downloaded Windows 10 build 10162 or 10166, you're now too late. Microsoft has suspended the availability of these two builds — previously available on the Slow and Fast rings respectively — in the run up to the big launch day in a couple of weeks' time. As we edge closer and closer to the RTM build of Windows 10, Microsoft is now asking Windows Insiders to stick with the build they currently have installed for the time being. Anyone who hasn't upgraded to these latest preview builds is out of luck. As well as disabling upgrading through Windows Update, Microsoft is also suspending ISOs and activation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Gene fuels age-related obesity and diabetes

Science Daily - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:22pm
Practically everyone gets fatter as they get older, but some people can blame their genes for the extra padding. Researchers have shown that two different mutations in a gene called ankyrin-B cause cells to suck up glucose faster than normal, fattening them up and eventually leading to the type of diabetes linked to obesity.
Categories: Science

Certain abnormal prenatal testing results and subsequent diagnosis of maternal cancer

Science Daily - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:22pm
In preliminary research, a small number of occult (hidden) malignancies were subsequently diagnosed among pregnant women whose noninvasive prenatal testing results showed chromosomal abnormalities but the fetal karyotype was subsequently shown to be normal, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Young adults who survive cancer hospitalized more often than the general population

Science Daily - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:22pm
Up to 20 years after people in the 20-44 age group are declared cancer-free, they still have more hospitalizations than the general public, new research has found.
Categories: Science

Stem cells provide lasting pain relief in mice

Science Daily - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:22pm
Researchers have identified a promising stem cell based-therapy to address the chronic pain that affects more than one-third of the US adult population. In mice, bone marrow stromal cells were found to provide lasting relief for chronic pain caused by nerve damage. The findings also may advance cell-based therapies in chronic pain conditions, lower back pain and spinal cord injuries.
Categories: Science

Aerosolized vaccine protects primates against Ebola

Science Daily - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:22pm
Scientists have developed an inhalable vaccine that protects primates against Ebola.
Categories: Science

Apple Doesn’t Sell All the Phones. But It Makes All the Money

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:13pm

Apple accounts for fewer than one in five smartphone sales worldwide. But when it comes to making money, it pretty much has the whole pie.

The post Apple Doesn’t Sell All the Phones. But It Makes All the Money appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

Here’s the Suicide Squad Trailer That Freaked Out Comic-Con

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 9:04pm

Warner Bros. has finally released an official version of the teaser that leaked online over the weekend.

The post Here’s the Suicide Squad Trailer That Freaked Out Comic-Con appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: If Public Transport Was Free, Would You Leave Your Car At Home?

Slashdot - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 8:52pm
dkatana writes: The Estonian capital launched a program of free public transport to encourage people to leave their cars at home. But they never did. When Tallinn launched the program ridership numbers did increase, but not by the 20% the city had projected. Instead, they grew by a modest 3%, and by people already using public transport. What happened is that more pedestrians and bike users started to use public transit instead of walking and cycling. But car users continue to drive to work. Do you think the same would hold true in the U.S. if a similar program was started?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Future Highways Could Be Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Wired News - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 8:16pm

The Dutch city Rotterdam is seriously considering a greener alternative to asphalt called Plastic Road.

The post Future Highways Could Be Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Science

Lung cancer patients who stop smoking live longer

Science Daily - Mon, 13/07/2015 - 8:15pm
Tobacco cessation provided significant survival benefit for lung cancer patients who quit smoking shortly before or after diagnosis, despite the severity of the disease.
Categories: Science