Friday, 22 February 2013

How Do You Know When You’re Overdosing On Social Networks?

addicted to social networksSocial networks are captivating – there’s no doubt. The minds behind building the popular social media platforms of today knew exactly what they were doing and they saw it before any of us ever did. It’s a brilliant idea really – create a medium that allows people from all over the world to connect, share and collaborate like they never have been able to before in the history of the Earth. Incredible!
But an unforeseen (or potentially foreseen, but ignored) consequence is addiction. Social networks have been so good at “helping” us, but now they’re hindering us. From what you might ask? Well, ask your friends, family, parents, even children what they  And although it is often joked about, it isn’t a joking matter.

Diagnosing Your Condition

Just like anything, there are different levels of social media use. Some things are more severe than others. And, of course, something else that plays into it is how frequent these things occur and when they occur. Using social media isn’t bad – it is an incredible tool, but it can be easily overused. Here are some things that might indicate you are addicted and overusing social media.
NOTE: When reading through these, look at them collectively instead of individually. Also, these are not listed in importance – all of them are equally important.

Symptom #1: You Go Online For Productive Reasons, But Find Yourself On Social Networks Instead

Sometimes this happens intentionally due to temptation. However, other times it simply occurs out of habit. Do you do this? I do. All… the… time.
In fact, to address this problem, I did a Facebook Fast (which was actually a social media fast, but Facebook Fast is catchier), which meant I would refrain from using all social media and time-wasting websites for 30 days. The first day of my fast, I opened up my browser to do something productive and useful, but immediately typed in the address bar without realizing it. I abruptly closed out and refocused myself, but I was amazed at how much I really was conditioned to visiting Facebook. This is an example of unintentional use. But other times, long after the fast and still to this day I find myself intentionally going to Facebook despite the amount of work I have to do. I sometimes do this while I’m in the middle of something.

Symptom #2: You Use Your Smartphone For More Social Things Than Smart Things

The smartphone is incredible, but it also has, without a doubt, increased our social media consumption. I didn’t used to have one, as I talked about in my article about being portable without a smartphone, but since then I have gotten one through Republic Wireless and I must say – it’s an awesome tool. But they also bring about some negatives, such as allowing social media to be accessible at any time. At first, I installed the Twitter and Facebook apps (and other social apps) on my phone, but I’ve removed them for the reason that I’m already on them enough as is. Plus, they’ll still be there later when I get on my computer.
Do you find yourself constantly checking your social networks, even while you’re not on your computer? Probably. I’ve noticed just in my own personal News Feed that the activity via the Facebook mobile app has been increasing tremendously and is probably equal to the amount of activity via the Facebook page itself.

Symptom #3: A Constant Craving To Check Them, Despite Knowing There Are Zero Notifications

Have you ever done this? You scroll through the news feed, maybe like, comment on and/or retweet a few things, then you close it out. You start doing something, then five minutes later you find yourself back on again. MakeUseOf writers are in no way exempt from procrastination, and I’ve done this several times while writing up to this point in this article already.

Symptom #4: You Have More Services Connected Together Than You Can Count

One of the benefits of having social networking accounts is the benefit of easily logging into websites and services, like you do here on MakeUseOf. However, this can also be a negative thing if you begin to trust sketchy websites and applications that shouldn’t be trusted. Depending on the permissions, when you log into sites with your social accounts, they may be able to access information about you that you otherwise wouldn’t want. Of course, this gets back to your privacy settings, but the threat can still be there.

Symptom #5: You’re On Them First Thing Every Morning And Right Before Bed Every Night

addicted to social networks
Neither of these things are good for us. I think we’d all agree that starting your day out right is crucial to, well, having a good day. It’s so easy though to just lay in bed until noon (on a day that you don’t have to get up) and surf the Internet aimlessly, likely spending the majority of your time on social networks.
In addition, the same should be avoided before you go to sleep. This doesn’t just include social networks, but technology in general. It’s been proven that bright screens hinder sleep as your brain is being stimulated and tricked into thinking it’s still day – that’s why you don’t normally feel as tired. Also, it can easily eat up hours of needed sleep, causing you to wake up the next morning in a scramble to get to your job, class, etc. because you overslept because you didn’t get to sleep early enough because you were on… Facebook.

Symptom #6: You’re More Social Online WHILE With Friends, Than With The Friends Themselves

addicted to social networking
Whenever you hang out with your friends or family, do you often discover that you spend more time looking at your phones or laptops than at each other? Or worse, did that just make you realize that that’s what you’re doing and you’re not even conscious of it? Hopefully the second question didn’t happen to any of you, but I bet the first has, myself included. It’s sad isn’t it?
In addition, have you ever communicated via a social network with someone within seeing and/or hearing distance? Sometimes, yes, it’s funny to do. But it’s becoming more acceptable than it should be.
There’s a reason that we’ve covered the dangers of smartphones multiple times here at MakeUseOf:
Justin, also, recently shared his reasoning behind not owning one and not wanting to – it’s not just about money for him.

Symptom #7: You Share Everything

Sometimes I go in spurts where I just post a lot to my social accounts one day, but then go days without posting something (or very little). This applies to that as well, but more importantly, this is referring to you sharing every video you watch, every article you read, every photo you see, etc. This can get obnoxious and will definitely annoy people. Such tools, like the aptly named browser extension, Shareaholic, should be used in moderation or not at all by these types of people.
Instead, I recommend using Buffer.

Symptom #8: You Check-In To Your House

addicted to social networking
If you do this, right now I’m looking at you with the most dull expression on my face wondering why. The other day I mentioned my annoyance of this to the barista at a great coffee shop that I go to throughout the week and she responded saying she did that. I gave her that expression.
I honestly don’t get the point. And I don’t know if you’ve considered this, but if those check-ins are public, it doesn’t take much for people to figure out where you live. Now they have your name, photo and address (or at least nearby vicinity)? Do you want to be robbed?

Seeking Out Treatment

Now on to curing this disease. Granted, you don’t have to completely quit (although it may help if you did temporarily). You just have to develop the proper discipline. That is the key here – all of these others follow in the footsteps of that. So what do you have to do?
Develop the proper discipline!
NOTE: Some of these may coincidentally match up with the symptoms above, but that doesn’t mean it was intentional. If I’m referring to a specific symptom, I’ll tell you. Again, like I said in the first “note” at the beginning of this article, look at this list collectively – they should all (or at least most) be done to ensure true curing of social network overdosing.

Treatment #1: Recognition And Determination

addicted to social networking
After establishing that you need to be disciplined, you’ve probably already recognized that you have a problem. But I’m reiterating it anyway. Next, comes determination – how long are you going to last? Well, hopefully you create the right habits so that this is permanent and you don’t fall back into the same ruts and routine. I know – it’s very easy to do.

Treatment #2: Challenge Yourself With The 30-Day “Facebook Fast”

Again, this isn’t just Facebook, but all social networks and time-wasting websites that make you wonder where your day just went. This might be difficult for some, specifically people who have jobs that rely on social media or the Internet in general. So although this is best if you completely purge all activity, if you can have the discipline to hold yourself to only doing specific things and only spending a certain amount of time on these tempting, time-sucking sites, you may still be able to pull it off. But I warn you, if you already have this weakness, you’re going to really be put to the test. Again, like most of these things, I speak from experience, both from the past and current – unfortunately.

Treatment #3: Do Something With What You Learned From The Facebook Fast

The Facebook Fast won’t do you any good, should you simply return to your old habits. This is why I mentioned discipline and determination first. If those are in place before you start your Facebook Fast, or even if you start them during the fast, you will benefit much more from this sacrifice and can go back into social media with a whole new outlook.

Treatment #4: The Phone Stack

addicted to social networking sites
This idea has been going around the Internet quite a bit, so you may have already heard of it. The idea behind this is that while you’re eating with others at the table, you don’t check your phones – at all. Instead, you stack them in the middle and should someone check their phone, they are the one who pays the whole bill.
Here are the official rules:
  1. The game starts after everyone has ordered.
  2. Everybody places their phone on the table face down.
  3. The first person to flip over their phone loses the game.
  4. The loser of the game pays for the bill.
  5. If the bill comes before anyone has flipped over their phone everybody is declared a winner and pays for their own meal.
There are variations and additional options for this as well as some replies to some common objections.

Treatment #5: The One-Hour Rule

addicted to social networking sites
If you have a problem with checking social networks first thing every morning and last thing every night (Symptom #5), try shutting everything down – yes, your computer, phone, everything – a whole hour before you go to bed and not checking them for an hour after you wake up.
Alright, so perhaps texting or a phone call is the exception if it’s a special someone or close friend – I’m partial to that – but other than that, try this and see if it helps. Obviously you could easily combine this one and the Facebook Fast, but then continue this after you’ve completed it.

Treatment #6: Be Aware – Limit And Time Yourself

Simply being aware of how much time you’re spending on social networks can be a help in itself, but again, if you don’t care (aka aren’t determined and disciplined), it won’t matter. Those are key! Once you’ve recognized how much time you’re spending, experiment with how much time would be reasonable to spend on these sites instead.
There are a lot of helpful web apps and browser extensions for timing such as E.ggTimer and Tomato Timer, both of which I covered in 5 Web-Based Tools For Any Browser That Every Writer Should Use. In addition, another is SnapTimer, mentioned by Craig in The 2 Best Applications For Keeping A Time Limit On Yourself. Of course, there are many more than these three, but perhaps these will help you get started.
In addition, the article 5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online might be of some help.

Treatment #7: Revoke Site Permissions

addicted to social networking sites
In references to having too many apps and websites connected to your social network accounts (Symptom #4), revoking site permissions can be helpful in helping you be aware of how much you’re connecting to. The service MyPermissions is an excellent tool, allowing you to easily access many of the social network privacy and security pages. Also, when combined with IFTTT (If This Then That), it serves as a reminder to help you not forget to go over your social network permissions each month.

Treatment #8: Block Websites

addicted to social networks
Need some added motivation and discipline? There are tools to help prevent access – but these aren’t perfect and they shouldn’t be because then they’d be too controlling. We’ve covered many of them, including the well known Chrome extension, StayFocusd. Below are four articles that might be of some help:

Treatment #9: Follow Through

Just like I started with “discipline,” I’m ending this with “following through.” In the end, these are like the bread in a sandwich – they keep everything together. By following through, you ensure that all your efforts aren’t just for not, but that you’ll actually improve and grow from them.


Now that I’ve written this whole article, I realize something – I should follow my own advice. So you know what? I’m going to. I’m going to practice what I preach. However, I fall into the category mentioned earlier about people who use social media for their work – that’s the clincher and is what makes it so difficult to separate yourself. It’s like trying to go on a diet, but working at a cupcake shop, which just so happens to be your favorite food – doesn’t work too well. But that is where discipline, determination and following through come in. With those three things, anything can be accomplished.
Do you feel you’re overdosing on social networks? Have you tried to quit or limit yourself, even for a short period of time? How did that work for you? We’d love you to share any personal advice and experiences!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Buffering Against Alcohol

Using a new assembly method, scientists have combined multiple enzymes in a polymer nanocapsule to reduce blood alcohol levels and liver damage in drunken mice.

Illustration of an biomimetic enzyme nanocomplexYUNFENG LU, UCLAA nanocomplex of enzymes can lower blood alcohol levels and reduce liver damage in intoxicated mice, according to a study published today (February 17) in Nature Nanotechnology. The research, which employed a new technique to assemble and encapsulate multiple enzymes, suggests that tailored enzyme nanocomplexes could be built for a wide range of applications.
  “It’s a very elegant approach to positioning  enzymes in a controlled fashion, and it’s certainly a  step forward,” said Jan van Hest, a professor of bio- organic chemistry at Radboud University in  Nijmegen, Holland, who was not involved in the  study. “They show very nice results already, with  increased [enzyme] activity in living systems, and  it’s a very generic approach so it looks like it could  be extended [to other applications].”

    In eukaryotic cells, most enzymes do not roam freely within the cytosol. Instead, they are carefully positioned within subcellular organelles or closely paired with other enzymes. This proximity minimizes the diffusion of toxic intermediates and enhances the overall efficiency and specificity of reactions. Inspired by these close-knit gangs of complementary enzymes, researchers have tried to make similar complexes in the lab. But it has been difficult to control the number, size, and type of enzyme in a cluster, and to ensure the complex does not get broken down or thrown out of the body.
Now, a team led by Yunfeng Lu of the University of California, Los Angeles, has successfully demonstrated a new way to make stable enzyme clusters. To combine three different enzymes, the researchers attached substrates for each to the ends of a single-stranded DNA scaffold. When the scaffold and enzymes are mixed, the enzymes bind to their respective substrates on the scaffold. The researchers then coated the enzymes with a network of polymers, forming a thin, permeable shell that protects the complex. Finally, the DNA scaffold is removed, freeing up the enzymes’ binding sites so they can attach to new substrates and catalyze reactions.
“In enzyme position assembly, it’s quite difficult to have almost molecular level control, but if you want to get cascade catalysis it’s important,” said van Hest. “What they have done very smartly is to combine the positional control of using DNA scaffolds with the robustness of polymer encapsulation.”
Lu and colleagues first tested a complex of three enzymes designed to mediate consecutive reactions of sucrose and glucose in mice, and found that it displayed enhanced catalytic efficiency and stability. Next, they used the same method to construct a nanocomplex made up of alcohol oxidase (AOx) and catalase (Cat) to see if it could serve as a prophylactic for alcohol intoxication and prevent liver damage.
When they fed mice a diet of alcohol and the nanocomplex (AOx–Cat), they found that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was reduced by 10 percent at 45 minutes, by 32 percent after an hour and a half, and 37 percent after 3 hours, compared with significantly smaller reductions in mice fed alcohol and just one of the enzymes, with or without a polymer shell.
Furthermore, mice treated with AOx–Cat 30 minutes after intoxication had the lowest levels of alanine transaminase (ALT), an enzyme biomarker for liver damage. “We’ve shown that we can combine these two enzymes in a way to make them stable, and that in animal models the complex is active and reduces BAC and liver damage.”

But the alcohol oxidation process also produces another toxic intermediate called acetaldehyde, and there is currently no enzyme that can efficiently break this down. When such an enzyme is developed, however, it could be incorporated into a nanocomplex to create an even more effective antidote for alcohol consumption, Lu said. “I don’t see any major obstacles for this.”
Considering the vast library of enzymes available already, Lu is confident that this new method for creating enzyme nanocomplexes can be used for a wide range of applications. Indeed, he is already working with Kythera, a California-based biopharmaceutical company, to design a nanocomplex to eliminate the male hormone that causes hair loss.
Van Hest agreed. “At the moment, enzymes are combined in very crude manner,” he said. “If you want more control, this is certainly a nice way to do it.”
Y. Liu et al., “Biomimetic enzyme nanocomplexes and their use as antidotes and preventive measures for alcohol intoxication,” Nature Nanotechnology, doi: 10.1038/nnano.2012.264, 2013.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Facebook says it was hacked

Facebook said on Friday it had been the target of an unidentified hacker group, but it found no evidence that user data was compromised.
"Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack," the company said in a blog post posted on Friday afternoon, just before the three-day Presidents Day weekend. "The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised."

The social network, which says it has more than one billion active users worldwide, also said: "Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well."

Facebook declined to comment on the motive or origin of the attack.

A security expert at another company with knowledge of the matter said he was told the Facebook attack appeared to have originated in China.

The FBI declined to comment, while the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Facebook's announcement follows recent cyber attacks on other prominent websites. Twitter, the microblogging social network, said earlier this month it had been hacked and that about 250,000 user accounts were potentially compromised, with attackers gaining access to information, including user names and email addresses.

Newspaper websites, including those of The New York Times (NYT.N), The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have also been infiltrated. Those attacks were attributed by the news organizations to Chinese hackers targeting coverage of China.

While Facebook said no user data was compromised, the incident could raise consumer concerns about privacy and the vulnerability of personal information stored within the social network.

Facebook has made several privacy missteps over the years because of the way it handled user data and it settled a privacy investigation with federal regulators in 2011.

Facebook said it spotted a suspicious file and traced it back to an employee's laptop. After conducting a forensic examination of the laptop, Facebook said it identified a malicious file, then searched company-wide and identified "several other compromised employee laptops."

Another person briefed on the matter said the first Facebook employee had been infected via a website where coding strategies were discussed.

The company also said it identified a previously unseen attempt to bypass its built-in cyberdefenses and that new protections were added on February 1.

Because the attack used a third-party website, it might have been an early-stage attempt to penetrate as many companies as possible.

If they followed established patterns, the attackers would learn about the people and computer networks at all the infected companies. They could then use that data in more targeted attacks to steal source code and other intellectual property.

In its statement, Facebook said the attack was launched using a "zero-day," or previously unknown flaw in its software that exploited its Java built-in protections.

"Zero-day" attacks are rarely discovered and even more rarely disclosed. They are costly to launch and often suggest government sponsorship.

In January 2010, Google reported it had been penetrated via a "zero-day" flaw in an older version of the Internet Explorer Web browser. The attackers were seeking source code and were also interested in Chinese dissidents, and Google reduced its operations in the country as a result.

Attention to cybersecurity has ratcheted up since then and this week President Barack Obama issued an executive order seeking higher safety standards for critical infrastructure

How to Design Medical Devices for Rural India

To make nationwide healthcare a reality, we have to go to the village level with special emphasis on devices designed specifically for them, making healthcare not just something the economically privileged are entitled to. This article discusses the implications of medical devices targeting rural areas.

Medical devices intended for use in rural India have certain differences compared to those used almost everywhere else. In this article, we consider the inherent problems in India (rural India, to be specific) and elucidate design constraints and approaches to develop better infrastructure in the way of medical devices leading to a better rural healthcare system.

Over 70% of India's population lives in a rural setting. Hence, it goes without saying that providing adequate healthcare to this group is of paramount importance. In order for that, the ideal plan is to come up with a whole new healthcare delivery system.

Rural Health Issues
As mentioned before, rural India contains almost 70% of India's total population and more than half of it lives below the poverty line. They struggle for better and easier access to health care and services. The health issues faced by rural people are diverse and many; from severe malaria to diabetes, from an infected wound to cancer. Post-partum maternal morbidity is also one of the more serious(yet, oft neglected) problems in a resource-poor setting. Rural medical practitioners are highly sought after by people living in rural India as they more affordable and accessible than practitioners working in the formal public health care sector.

The major health issues in the rural sector can be grouped as follows.
- Preventable and curable diseases like cough, cold etc.
- Non-communicable diseases like hyper-tension, diabetes etc.
- Pregnancy along child-birth related issues like post-partum depression.
- Immunisation and child-health.
- Personal and Communal Hygiene.

Mr Sai Ram Mannar, Director at GreenOcean Research Labs says, “The traditional set-up which works very well in the urban areas will not work in a rural setting. There are challenges to look into and solutions to find out, all of which will take a determined and concise approach.”

Rural healthcare infrastructure in India
The rural healthcare system can be broadly classified (hierarchically) as follows
The ASHA worker is the most important cog in this wheel. ASHA stands for Accredited Social Health Activists and they are community health workers instituted by the Government of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) as part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

A list of their tasks include motivating women to give birth in hospitals, bringing children to immunization clinics, encouraging family planning (e.g. surgical sterilization), treating basic illness and injury with first aid, keeping demographic records, and improving village sanitation. But their most important contribution is to serve as a key communication mechanism between the healthcare system and rural populations.

As we move up the hierarchy, the system starts breaking down as the accessibility and the reach factors come into play and people living far away from the centres are at a disadvantage.

The point to note is that since the differences in the rural settings are a prime reason for the lack of penetration of the medical centres, the solutions (a.k.a the medical devices) should be designed keeping these factors in mind.

Design considerations for medical devices in rural India

1. Accuracy, Reliability and Durability
Accuracy, reliability, and durability are three of the most important design considerations. The specific end user of the product will determine the need accuracy for the product. Reliability and durability are generally much more important to the end consumer compared with accuracy. Due to a multitude of products which don’t have reliable warranties or products which have been donated with little or no support, reliability has become a major consideration in the purchase of a product.

2. Size and weight
Space comes at a premium in already scant medical throughout the world. Many patients are generally combined into one single room, which means that products should be as small and light as possible which can lead to an increased portability.

3. Materials
If medical devices are intended for production on a large scale, care must be taken to ensure that these materials will be available for distribution within the country.

4. Power requirements

Any devices which is electrical in nature, must take into account the power concerns throughout the country. Medical devices which operate on battery power are especially important in countries like India, which don't have assured power supply for an extended period. Not only should batteries be used as a means of electrically isolating the high voltage wall outlet, but also they are required to ensure that medical devices will continue to operated since in India, power can be sporadic at best.

5. Ease of manufacture
As many of the devices which will be designed will be ideally sold and manufactured in the same country, ease of manufacture should be taken into concern. The easier it is to manufacture a product the better.

6. Language issues
Language issues should be addressed for many countries within the developing world as multilingual countries are far more common as compared with developed countries. Specifically in India 29 languages are spoken by more than a million native speakers, 122 by more than 10,000.

7. Ruggedness
The device has to operate in rural India, a landscape which varies from arid deserts to cold mountains to swampy marshlands with humans living in all these conditions. Thus, the device has to be able to operate perfectly under all these conditions at an acceptable performance level.

8. Standards compliance
There is an age-old practice of skimping on quality when it comes to production in India. Since these products are for the poor people, there is a very good chance of foul-play with the same. But, as Mr Mannar says, “Yes, we are creating a device for India, specifically rural India, but that in no way means that we should create sub-standard non standards compliant devices just for the sake of it. We should look closely at the best standards available and ensure that the designers keep that in mind while designing.”

Thus, the above issue should be considered while a device is being designed for the rural setting. Of course, since in India, the rural areas are also varied depending on location, there might be some extra considerations to be kept in mind which would be mostly local in nature.

This article is based on the talk by Mr Sai Ram Mannar, Director at GreenOcean Research Labs at the Electronics Rocks 2012 conference in Bangalore.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Soursop Fruit - Natural Cancer Killer (10,000 times stronger than Chemo)

The Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer - 10,000 times stronger than Chemo.

A study published in the Journal of Natural Products, following a recent study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea stated that one chemical in Graviola was found to selectively kill colon cancer cells at “10,000 times the potency of (the commonly used chemotherapy drug) Adriamycin…”

Research shows that with extracts from this miraculous tree it now may be possible to:
* Attack cancer safely and effectively with an all-natural therapy that does not cause extreme nausea, weight loss and hair loss
* Protect your immune system and avoid deadly infections
* Feel stronger and healthier throughout the course of the treatment
* Boost your energy and improve your outlook on life

The source of this information is just as stunning: It comes from one of America's largest drug manufacturers, the fruit of over 20 laboratory tests conducted since the 1970?s! What those tests revealed was nothing short of mind numbing… Extracts from the tree were shown to:

* Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer.
* The tree compounds proved to be up to 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug!
* What's more, unlike chemotherapy, the compound extracted from the Graviola tree selectivelyhunts down and kills only cancer cells. It does not harm healthy cells!

Why are we not aware of this? It's because some big corporation want to make back their money spent on years of research by trying to make a synthetic version of it for sale.

The amazing anti-cancer properties of the Graviola tree have been extensively researched–so why haven't you heard anything about it? If Graviola extract is as half as promising as it appears to be–why doesn't every single oncologist at every major hospital insist on using it on all his or her patients?

The spine-chilling answer illustrates just how easily our health–and for many, our very lives(!)–are controlled by money and power.

Graviola–the plant that worked too well. One of America's biggest billion-dollar drug makers began a search for a cancer cure and their research centered on Graviola, a legendary healing tree from the Amazon Rainforest. Various parts of the Graviola tree–including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit and fruit-seeds–have been used for centuries by medicine men and native Indians in South America to treat heart disease, asthma, liver problems and arthritis. Going on very little documented scientific evidence, the company poured money and resources into testing the tree's anti-cancerous properties–and were shocked by the results. Graviola proved itself to be a cancer-killing dynamo.

But that's where the Graviola story nearly ended.

The company had one huge problem with the Graviola tree–it's completely natural, and so, under federal law, not patentable. There's no way to make serious profits from it.

It turns out the drug company invested nearly seven years trying to synthesize two of the Graviola tree's most powerful anti-cancer ingredients. If they could isolate and produce man-made clones of what makes the Graviola so potent, they'd be able to patent it and make their money back. Alas, they hit a brick wall. The original simply could not be replicated. There was no way the company could protect its profits–or even make back the millions it poured into research.

As the dream of huge profits evaporated, their testing on Graviola came to a screeching halt. Even worse, the company shelved the entire project and chose not to publish the findings of its research!

Luckily, however, there was one scientist from the Graviola research team whose conscience wouldn't let him see such atrocity committed. Risking his career, he contacted a company that's dedicated to harvesting medical plants from the Amazon Rainforest and blew the whistle.

The full Graviola Story–including where you can get it and how to use it–is included in Beyond Chemotherapy: New Cancer Killers, Safe as Mother's Milk, a Health Sciences Institute FREE special bonus report on natural substances that will effectively revolutionize the fight against cancer. This crucial report (along with five more FREE reports) is yours ABSOLUTELY FREE with a new membership to the Health Sciences Institute. It's just one example of how absolutely vital each report from the Institute can be to your life and those of your loved ones.

From breakthrough cancer and heart research and revolutionary Amazon Rainforest herbology to world-leading anti-aging research and nutritional medicine, every monthly Health Sciences Institute Member's Alert puts in your hands today cures the rest of America –including your own doctor (!)– is likely to find out only ten years from now.

Cell circuits remember their history

MIT engineers design new synthetic biology circuits that combine memory and logic.

Cell circuits remember their historyMIT engineers have created genetic circuits in bacterial cells that not only perform logic functions, but also remember the results, which are encoded in the cell’s DNA and passed on for dozens of generations.

The circuits, described in the Feb. 10 online edition of Nature Biotechnology, could be used as long-term environmental sensors, efficient controls for biomanufacturing, or to program stem cells to differentiate into other cell types.

“Almost all of the previous work in synthetic biology that we’re aware of has either focused on logic components or on memory modules that just encode memory. We think complex computation will involve combining both logic and memory, and that’s why we built this particular framework to do so,” says Timothy Lu, an MIT assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science and biological engineering and senior author of the Nature Biotechnology paper.

Lead author of the paper is MIT postdoc Piro Siuti. Undergraduate John Yazbek is also an author.

More than logic

Synthetic biologists use interchangeable genetic parts to design circuits that perform a specific function, such as detecting a chemical in the environment. In that type of circuit, the target chemical would generate a specific response, such as production of green fluorescent protein (GFP).

Circuits can also be designed for any type of Boolean logic function, such as AND gates and OR gates. Using those kinds of gates, circuits can detect multiple inputs. In most of the previously engineered cellular logic circuits, the end product is generated only as long as the original stimuli are present: Once they disappear, the circuit shuts off until another stimulus comes along.

Lu and his colleagues set out to design a circuit that would be irreversibly altered by the original stimulus, creating a permanent memory of the event. To do this, they drew on memory circuits that Lu and colleagues designed in 2009. Those circuits depend on enzymes known as recombinases, which can cut out stretches of DNA, flip them, or insert them. Sequential activation of those enzymes allows the circuits to count events happening inside a cell.

Lu designed the new circuits so that the memory function is built into the logic gate itself. With a typical cellular AND gate, the two necessary inputs activate proteins that together turn on expression of an output gene. However, in the new circuits, the inputs stably alter regions of DNA that control GFP production. These regions, known as promoters, recruit the cellular proteins responsible for transcribing the GFP gene into messenger RNA, which then directs protein assembly.

For example, in one circuit described in the paper, two DNA sequences called terminators are interposed between the promoter and the output gene (GFP, in this case). Each of these terminators inhibits the transcription of the output gene and can be flipped by a different recombinase enzyme, making the terminator inactive.

Each of the circuit’s two inputs turns on production of one of the recombinase enzymes needed to flip a terminator. In the absence of either input, GFP production is blocked. If both are present, both terminators are flipped, resulting in their inactivation and subsequent production of GFP.

Once the DNA terminator sequences are flipped, they can’t return to their original state — the memory of the logic gate activation is permanently stored in the DNA sequence. The sequence also gets passed on for at least 90 generations. Scientists wanting to read the cell’s history can either measure its GFP output, which will stay on continuously, or if the cell has died, they can retrieve the memory by sequencing its DNA.

Using this design strategy, the researchers can create all two-input logic gates and implement sequential logic systems. “It’s really easy to swap things in and out,” says Lu, who is also a member of MIT’s Synthetic Biology Center. “If you start off with a standard parts library, you can use a one-step reaction to assemble any kind of function that you want.”

Long-term memory

Such circuits could also be used to create a type of circuit known as a digital-to-analog converter. This kind of circuit takes digital inputs — for example, the presence or absence of single chemicals — and converts them to an analog output, which can be a range of values, such as continuous levels of gene expression.

For example, if the cell has two circuits, each of which expresses GFP at different levels when they are activated by their specific input, those inputs can produce four different analog output levels. Moreover, by measuring how much GFP is produced, the researchers can figure out which of the inputs were present.

That type of circuit could offer better control over the production of cells that generate biofuels, drugs or other useful compounds. Instead of creating circuits that are always on, or using promoters that need continuous inputs to control their output levels, scientists could transiently program the circuit to produce at a certain level. The cells and their progeny would always remember that level, without needing any more information.

Used as environmental sensors, such circuits could also provide very precise long-term memory. “You could have different digital signals you wanted to sense, and just have one analog output that summarizes everything that was happening inside,” Lu says.

This platform could also allow scientists to more accurately control the fate of stem cells as they develop into other cell types. Lu is now working on engineering cells to follow sequential development steps, depending on what kinds of inputs they receive from the environment.

Michael Jewett, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern University, says the new design represents a “huge advancement in DNA-encoded memory storage.”

“I anticipate that the innovations reported here will help to inspire larger synthetic biology efforts that push the limits of engineered biological systems,” says Jewett, who was not involved in the research.

The research was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The New Science of Healing (You can Heal any Disease)

Your body's ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe. As Louise Hay, New York Times Bestseller says “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.

The Revolution In Alternative Healing - Living Matrix: Film on the New Science of Healing brings you breakthroughs that will transform your understanding of how to get well and stay well. Now you can get an up-close look at the science of information as medicine. Leading researchers and health practitioners share their discoveries on the "miracle cures" traditional medicine can't explain.

“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.” -Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine

This video covers different kinds of natural treatment options and the influence of our emotions and mind on our body. It emphasizes self-responsibility and the role it plays on the journey to health. Through knowledge we can eliminate the cause of the disease, make choices and lifestyle changes that will catalyze our own healing processes.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas Edison

The Most Astonishing Health Disaster of the 20th Century

“If you think you have an incurable disease, if you think it yourself, you are right!” -Herman Koning MD, Medical Director of Medipoint

“Everyone should know that for over 100 years conventional medicine has seized control of the US health care system and as a result we have over 800,000 people who are killed by interacting with this system.” -Dr. Joseph Mercola

“The best doctor gives the least medicines.” -Benjamin Franklin

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease. -Hippocrates

Food Matters. We are What we Eat!

Every 35 days, your skin replaces itself. Your liver, about a month. Your body makes these new cells from the food you eat. What you eat literally becomes you. You have a choice in what you’re made of. You are what you eat!


“Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine, And Thy Medicine Be Thy Food.” -Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine

That is the message from the founding father of modern medicine echoed in this brave new documentary film brought to you by Producer-Directors James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch. 'Food Matters' is a hard hitting, fast paced look at our current state of health.

Despite the billions of dollars of funding and research into new so-called cures we continue to suffer from a raft of chronic ills and every day maladies. Patching up an over-toxic and over-indulgent population with a host of toxic therapies and nutrient sparse foods is definitely not helping the situation.

In a personal quest of discovery James & Laurentine together with a film crew and the editorial and production expertise of Enzo Tedeschi have set out on an independent mission to uncover the wholesome truth. The filmmakers have interviewed several world leaders in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.

'Food Matters' seeks to uncover the business of disease and at the same time explore the safe, cheap and effective use of nutrition and supplementation for preventing and often reversing the underlying causative aspects of the illness. With the premise of the film being: access to solid information helps people invariably make better choices for their health. The 'Food Matters' duo have independently funded the film from start to finish in order to remain as unbiased as possible, delivering a clear and concise message to the world. Food Matters.

Aspartame, used in over 6,000 products as an artificial sweetener, is a toxic substance that poses severe risks to public health. However, the general public may not be aware of just how deadly this sugar substitute can be.

Aspartame is highly addictive. It causes actual cravings for the toxin. Many find that they cannot stop using the product because of the severe withdrawal symptoms. It can impair the human immune system and has been directly linked to cancer. Aspartame is an excitotoxin that stimulates human cells reaction to the sweetener that does not actually contain any sweetness. Excitotoxins have been proven to create cancer growth and metastasis. This process feeds cancer cells.

Aspartic acid, also known as aspartate, acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain. It facilitates the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Excessive amounts of aspartate in your brain kills neurons by permitting the invasion of massive amounts of calcium into the cells. This influx generates extreme levels of free radicals that kill the cells. The neural cell damage is caused by unwarranted use of aspartate. This is why they are denoted as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or arouse the neural cells to death.

The video below tells the story of how Dr. Burzynski, and the patients his therapy has cured of what are normally terminal cancers, have fought the FDA and the big drug companies who have continually and systematically tried to discredit and punish a man who's only purpose in life has been to develop and perfect a life-giving and non-toxic cure for the disease of the 20th century.

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” ~Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb

Monday, 11 February 2013

Reversal of magnetic moment by an electrical voltage in a single material could lead to new low-power electronic devices

Switching magnetism. In the material studied the magnetic moment (M) and the electrical polarization (P) are coupled, so that negative electrical charges (-) accumulate near the magnetic southpole (S), and positive ones near the northpole (N). By applying an electric voltage (E), the direction of M and P can be reversed. Credit: 2012 Yusuke Tokunaga, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute

Researchers at the Advanced Science Institute at Wako, Japan, have discovered a material whose magnetic orientation can be fully switched by electric voltages. Such switchable materials have applications for magnetic data storage or novel electronic devices that use the electron's magnetic properties. As Yusuke Tokunaga from the research team explains, "Reversal of magnetization by a voltage enables ultra-low power consumption electronic devices because applying a voltage and not an electrical current means that such devices are free from Joule heating loss."

Many materials show magnetism and many also show electric polarization, where permanent electric dipole moments persist even when the external electrical voltage is turned off. However, only a few materials—known as multiferroics—show both these so-called ferroic properties simultaneously. In many multiferroics, these two properties are coupled so that the electric polarization can be changed around by switching the magnetic field. But from a practical perspective, for example in data storage, the opposite scenario of switching magnetism with an electrical voltage is more interesting. Until now, this type of coupling has not been observed in a material.

 An example of the first type of coupling is GdFeO3. This material has been shown previously to be multiferroic by the same research group, but changes in the electric field had only minor influences on magnetism. The related compound DyFeO3, on the other hand, is known to have a strong coupling between magnetism and electrical fields in principle, but it is not a multiferroic as it requires external magnetic fields to show this coupling. The researchers' aim was to try and unify these properties by synthesizing crystals of (Dy,Gd)FeO3, and indeed, some of the resulting compounds—including compounds where Tb was used instead of Gd—show the desired properties. Not only are they multiferroic, but for the first time they also show a complete reversal of magnetization by an electric field.

So far, the effect is limited to temperatures barely a few degrees above absolute zero. Extending the work to compounds that show this behavior at higher temperatures is an important next step, confirms Tokunaga. "For the practical application toward ultra-low power consumption devices we need to find new multiferroics that can operate at higher temperatures." With the insights gained on how to achieve magnetic switching, he believes this is highly possible.


US is target of massive cyber-espionage: report

Analyists at the US National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center in Arlington, VA, September 24, 2010. The US intelligence community has concluded that America is the target of a massive cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening its competitiveness, The Washington Post reported.               
The US intelligence community has concluded that America is the target of a massive cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening its competitiveness, The Washington Post reported.                                                           
Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said the conclusion is contained in the National Intelligence Estimate, a classified report that represents the consensus view of the US intelligence community.
The report identifies China as the country most aggressively seeking to penetrate the computer systems of US businesses and institutions to gain access to data that could be used for economic gain, the paper said.
 The document, according to the Post, identifies energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive companies as the most frequent targets of cyber-attacks. Outside experts have estimated the damage to the US economy in the tens of billions of dollars, the paper said.
The National Intelligence Estimate names three other countries—Russia, Israel and France—as having engaged in mining for economic intelligence but makes clear that cyber-espionage by those countries pales in comparison with China's effort, the paper notes.
The administration of President Barack Obama is trying to counter the electronic theft of trade secrets by lodging formal protests, expelling diplomatic personnel, imposing travel and visa restrictions, and complaining to the World Trade Organization, the Post said.

World’s 100 richest could end global poverty 4 times over

The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer

The world’s 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 – enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich.
“The richest 1 percent has increased its income by 60 percent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process,” while the income of the top 0.01 percent has seen even greater growth, a new Oxfam report said.
For example, the luxury goods market has seen double-digit growth every year since the crisis hit, the report stated. And while the world’s 100 richest people earned $240 billion last year, people in ”extreme poverty” lived on less than $1.25 a day.
Oxfam is a leading international philanthropy organization. Its new report, ‘The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt us All,’ argues that the extreme concentration of wealth actually hinders the world’s ability to reduce poverty.
The report was published before the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, and calls on world leaders to “end extreme wealth by 2025, and reverse the rapid increase in inequality seen in the majority of countries in the last 20 years.”
Oxfam’s report argues that extreme wealth is unethical, economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive.
The report proposes a new global deal to world leaders to curb extreme poverty to 1990s levels by:
- closing tax havens, yielding $189bn in additional tax revenues
- reversing regressive forms of taxation
- introducing a global minimum corporation tax rate
- boosting wages proportional to capital returns
- increasing investment in free public services
The problem is a global one, Oxfam said: ”In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10 percent now take home nearly 60 percent of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more [inequality] than at the end of apartheid.”
In the US, the richest 1 percent’s share of income has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20 percent, according to the report. For the top 0.01 percent, their share of national income quadrupled, reaching levels never seen before.
“We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true,” Executive Director of Oxfam International Jeremy Hobbs said.
Hobbs explained that concentration of wealth in the hands of the top few minimizes economic activity, making it harder for others to participate: “From tax havens to weak employment laws, the richest benefit from a global economic system which is rigged in their favor.”
The report highlights that even politics has become controlled by the super-wealthy, which leads to policies“benefitting the richest few and not the poor majority, even in democracies.”
“It is time our leaders reformed the system so that it works in the interests of the whole of humanity rather than a global elite,” the report said.
The four-day World Economic Forum will be held in Davos starting next Wednesday. World financial leaders will gather for an annual meeting that will focus on reviving the global economy, the eurozone crisis and the conflicts in Syria and Mali.

Cancer, Innovation and a Boy Named Jack

Innovation doesn’t care how old you are.

I’d like you to meet Jack Andraka. It’s a name you will be hearing a lot about–today, tomorrow and in the future.
Jack is a scientist and innovator. And his work on creating a simple test for the identification of pancreatic, lung and ovarian cancer is simply amazing.
Here are some of his facts:
  • -His test is 168 times faster than what is currently available.
  • -It’s 26,000 times less expensive. That’s not a typo.
  • -And it’s potentially almost 100% accurate.
Here’s what makes it even more astonishing:
  • -Jack is 15 years old.
So, I just had to speak with Jack. I tweeted him. His reply was swift and caught me off guard. ”That would be awesome! I get off school today at 2:15.” I had been caught up in the clinical implications and had forgotten that Jack was still a student.

Jack recognized that mesothelin is a key marker for certain cancers. To create his test, Jack mixed human mesothelin-specific antibodies with carbon nanotubes and coated strips of ordinary filter paper.

What resulted was a simple “dip-stick” tool similar to what a patient with diabetes might use to measure blood sugar.
But let’s hear the story directly from him:

–How did you first get interested in science and particularly cancer?
I was interested in science at an early age because my parents would never answer my questions but always helped me to discover or find out answers for myself. So I learned how to make hypotheses and test them without knowing I was ‘doing science’!
I became interested in cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer, after my ‘uncle’, a close family friend, died due to the disease. After researching about it, I discovered that 100 people die of pancreatic cancer every day and that although early detection is key to improved survival, there are no inexpensive, rapid and sensitive tests. I figured there had to be a better way.

–Who or what encouraged you to take this challenge on?
I really enjoy challenges and particularly enjoy looking for elegant and simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. I do a lot of math competitions and my math coaches always tell us that although you can use brute force to solve a problem that looks really complex you should think about other tools and figure out a more elegant way to solve it. My math heroes can reduce a really difficult proof to a few elegant lines.
So with that mindset I thought and thought about this new problem.

–Do people feel that your innovation is somehow less important because of your age?
I don’t think people feel my innovation is less important because of my age. They can see that it is a great idea. When I go to conferences I feel there is a subtle ‘age-ism” though because at the pre-talk meetings, it seems that people think I’m a speaker’s child tagging along but after I speak then I get to have the most amazing conversations. That’s why the internet is so great – people can’t see what age or race you are and I can have a great exchange of information.

–Was your discovery easy? Did the innovation come in a flash…then the details worked out?
I like to read a lot of journals and articles about different topics and then lie on the couch or take a walk and just let all the information settle. Then all of a sudden I can get an idea and connect some dots. Then it’s back to reading so I can fill in missing pieces. With this sensor I had put in a lot of time learning about nanoparticles for my previous research on the effects of bulk and nano metal oxides on marine and freshwater organisms. I felt that single walled carbon nano tubes were like the super heroes of material science and I wanted to work with them some more. Then when I was reading a paper about them in biology class, the teacher was explaining about antibodies. All of a sudden I made a connection and wondered what would happen if I dispersed single wall carbon nanotubes with an antibody to a protein over-expressed in pancreatic cancer. Then of course there was a lot of reading, learning and planning in front of me!

–How did your “rejections” help drive you? Or frustrate you?
I had visited ISEF when my brother was competing and talked to kids who mentioned they had done their work in a lab. It seemed so easy so I stalked the internet and found the names and professional emails of lots of professors in my area who were working on pancreatic cancer. Then I just figured I’d sit back and wait for the acceptances to roll in! Week after week I’d receive endless rejections. The most helpful one was actually from a researcher who took the time to point out every flaw and reason why my project was impossible. I began to despair!

–What is the role of mentors in helping you?

Finally, after 199 rejections, I received one email from Dr Maitra at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He invited me to come for a meeting. My mom drove me there and dropped me off. It was pretty exhilarating yet scary to walk in to the interview! Luckily I was really prepared and even had the cost and catalog numbers of the material I needed. He said it was like reading a grant proposal. I still had a great deal of basic lab routine to learn and I appreciate the time and patience of both Dr Maitra and Dr Chenna, the post- doc who supported me.

–What do you think about science as the driver of your fame?
I’m very surprised that people know about me. My original goal was to see if I could make a simple inexpensive sensor to detect pancreatic cancer because too many people were dying. I’m very happy that I’m known for science though because I enjoy sharing and learning about it so much. I hope kids feel ‘if Jack can do this, what can I do?’ and get inspired to take on big challenges in their own lives and communities.

–How has your world expanded from this innovation?
These past few months have been life changing. I’ve met so many of my heroes in math, science, and politics, including the Clintons when I spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative. I’ve traveled all over by myself and learned how to enjoy speaking and sharing my ideas with large audiences. One of my most world- expanding experiences came very quickly when I went to Singularity U in California. I met people who weren’t afraid of failure, but just used failure to say well that path didn’t work and moved on. I met people who were trying to improve the world for billions of people. They were starting businesses and thinking big and supporting each other. They told me about the Thiel Fellowship and opened my eyes to different ways of accomplishing goals. I’ve learned to look outside myself and my small community to the larger world and think about how I can help change the world for the better.

–What’s next for Jack?
I’m working on my next project but of course it isn’t coming easily! Professors still reject me from their labs saying that I don’t know enough, perhaps not even reading my proposal but just seeing ‘high school student’ on the proposal. But even great researchers still don’t always get accepted for every grant. Perseverance still counts! I’m trying to get a group of teens to work on the Tricorder X prize as ‘Generation Z’ and it’s difficult finding like-minded teens who can bring something to the table and who also have time in their over scheduled lives. I’m speaking at the Royal Society of Medicine in London and then at TED at Long Beach this month, talking with different biotech companies about producing my sensor and starting my first business. And of course there’s homework to be done!

Well done Jack!
One final thought about Mr. Andraka. I believe a more appropriate name for this post would be “Health, Innovation and a Man Named Jack”.

Albert Einstein - How I See the World

Albert Einstein navigated the twilight turf between consciousness and matter for much of his life. He argued that “Man” suffers from an “optical delusion of consciousness” as he “experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest.” His cure? “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious,” he said. “It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed.”

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” -Albert Einstein

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein

1. Follow Your Curiosity
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

2. Perseverance is Priceless
“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

3. Focus on the Present
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

4. The Imagination is Powerful
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

5. Make Mistakes
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

6. Live in the Moment
“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

7. Create Value
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

8. Don’t be repetitive
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

9. Knowledge Comes From Experience
“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

10. Learn the Rules and Then Play Better
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

 "Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” -Albert Einstein

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Researchers Make Long-Lasting Bubble Powered By Electricity

Researchers Make Long-Lasting Bubble Powered By Electricity

Ever thought of using electricity to blow a bubble? Out of question, right? Well, not for some physicists. It is a known fact that bubble pops as soon as it touches the floor, as the gravity pulls it down. A team of researchers managed to trap a bubble between two platinum electrodes, cranked up the voltage, as a result of which, the fluid reversed direction and actually flowed up, very much against the force of gravity.

And this new bubble could stay for hours and reportedly even change colours as the walls grew fatter. This has been published in the Physical Review Letters.
The very fact that a soap film in nanometers thick, it is believed that this experiment could actually assist scientists in creating a more efficient labs-on-chips, the mazes of nanotunnels that can diagnose disease based on the movements of a miniscule drop of blood, reports ScienceMags.

Well, let’s see how creatively this new technique is used. Till then, enjoy the thought that there can be a bubble that will not pop!
Meet The World's Most Powerful 570MP Camera 

Handsets with the Nokia Lumia PureView cameras may boast of an astounding count of 41 MP but a newly erected DEC (Dark Energy Camera) has somewhat shaken its reputation. To make things clear, this is not a camera phone that anybody can keep in his pocket but reportedly the most powerful sky-mapping machine. The DEC has captured and recorded light from 8 billion years ago.                 
 The newest achievement may well hold within the answers to one of biggest unsolved mysteries of Astrophysics, such as why the expansion of the universe is speeding up, as reported by NDTV.

At the international Dark Energy Survey collaboration, scientists briefed about the Dark Energy Camera, a product that took eight years of planning and construction by a joint team of engineers, scientists and technicians working across three continents. The first pictures of the Southern sky were shot by the 570MP camera on 12 September.

The Dark Energy Camera was developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. The gigantic camera is mounted on the Victor M. Blanco telescope at the National Science Foundation’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, which is the southern branch of the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). “The achievement of first light through the Dark Energy Camera begins a significant new era in our exploration of the Cosmic Frontier,” James Siegrist, DOE associate director of science for high-energy physics was quoted as saying.

The Dark Energy Camera is claimed to be the most powerful survey instrument of its kind, able to see light from over 1,00,000 galaxies up to 8 billion light-years away in each snapshot. The camera’s series of 62 charge-coupled devices has an unprecedented sensitivity to very red light.It also allows scientists from around the world to pursue investigations ranging from studies of asteroids in our own solar system to the understanding of the origins and the fate of the universe.

Scientists in the Dark Energy Survey collaboration will use the new camera to carry out the largest galaxy survey ever undertaken. The collected data will then be used to carry out probes on dark energy, studying galaxy clusters, supernovae, the large-scale clumping of galaxies and weak gravitational lensing. This will be the first time all four of these methods will be possible in a single experiment.
Comet Lemmon:
Comet Lemmon at about 92 million miles (0.99 AU) from Earth on January 28, 2013. The green color comes from the gases that make up its coma. (cyanogen and diatomic carbon)
 Comet Lemmon is on an elliptical orbit with a period of approximat...ely 11,000 years. This is its first visit to the inner solar system in a very long time. The comet is brightening as it approaches the sun; light curves suggest that it will reach 2nd or 3rd magnitude, similar to the stars in the Big Dipper, in late March when it approaches the sun at about the same distance as Venus (0.7 AU). (It is currently a 7th magnitude star)

Photo by an astronomer, Rolf Wahl Olsen from his backyard in Auckland, New Zealand
‘Spiderman‘ on phone: New security headache

'Spiderman','Chinaking'...These are not Hollywood blockbusters. Rather they are two software programmes related to cellular technology that are giving a headache to central security agencies.

These software programmes are believed to help in changing International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) of mobile phones manufactured in China.

The IMEI number is a 15-digit unique number of every mobile handset and comes handy forsecurity agencies in the event of cellular technology being used for any terror or criminal activity.

A case in this regard being handled by Madhya Pradesh Police rang alarm bell for the security agencies as they did not find any relevant law to handle those indulging in such crimes of changing the IMEI numbers and had approached the Department of Telecom for advice, official sources said today.

The DoT supported the decision of the MP Police in which it had slapped Sec 65 of Information Technology Act.

"Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroy, or alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer programme, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both," the Act says.

The government has already asked telecom operators not to register any mobile which has an incomplete IMEI number and even the Commerce and Industries Ministry has imposed a ban on any import of mobile handsets with such a defect.

The Union Home Ministry has asked the DoT to look for ways to block the softwares but the Telecom department expressed its inability to do so as the names kept changing as well as the domain thereby posing problems for the internet service providers to block them.