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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Strawberries protect the stomach from alcohol









The positive effects of strawberries are linked to their antioxidant capacity. Credit: Image courtesy of John Wardell

In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane. Published in the open access journal Plos One, the study may contribute to improving the treatment of stomach ulcers.

A team of Italian, Serbian and Spanish researchers has confirmed the protecting effect that strawberries have in a mammal stomach that has been damaged by alcohol. Scientists gave ethanol (ethyl alcohol) to laboratory rats and, according to the study published in the journal Plos One, have thus proved that the stomach mucous membrane of those that had previously eaten strawberry extract suffered less damage.

Sara Tulipani, researcher at the University of Barcelona (UB) and co-author of the study explains that "the positive effects of strawberries are not only linked to their antioxidant capacity and high content of phenolic compounds (anthocyans) but also to the fact that they activate the antioxidant defences and enzymes of the body."

The conclusions of the study state that a diet rich in strawberries can have a beneficial effect when it comes to preventing gastric illnesses that are related to the generation of free radicals or other reactive oxygen species. This fruit could slow down the formation of stomach ulcers in humans.

Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach mucous membrane is related to alcohol consumption but can also be caused by viral infections or by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as aspirin) or medication used to treat against the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Maurizio Battino, coordinator of the research group at the Marche Polytechnic University (UNIVPM, Italy) suggests that "in these cases, the consumption of strawberries during or after pathology could lessen stomach mucous membrane damage."

The team found less ulcerations in the stomachs of those rats which had eaten strawberry extract (40 milligrams/day per kilo of weight) for 10 days before being given alcohol.

Battino emphasises that "this study was not conceived as a way of mitigating the effects of getting drunk but rather as a way of discovering molecules in the stomach membrane that protect against the damaging effects of differing agents."

Treatments for ulcers and other gastric pathologies are currently in need of new protective medicines with antioxidant properties. The compounds found within strawberries could be the answer.

More information: José M. Alvarez-Suarez, Dragana Dekanski, Slavica Ristić, Nevena V. Radonjić, Nataša D. Petronijević, Francesca Giampieri, Paola Astolfi, Ana M. González-Paramás, Celestino Santos-Buelga, Sara Tulipani, José L. Quiles, Bruno Mezzetti, Maurizio Battino. "Strawberry Polyphenols Attenuate Ethanol-Induced Gastric Lesions in Rats by Activation of Antioxidant Enzymes and Attenuation of MDA Increase". Plos One 6 (10): e25878, October 2011. … pone.0025878

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thursday, Oct 06, 2011

Young woman mysteriously ages overnight

Nguyen Thi Phuong from Vietnam is only 26, but you would be forgiven for mistaking her as an old woman.

After suffering an allergic reaction in 2008 and taking a variety of medications prescribed for it, Phuong's skin on her face, neck and hands rapidly wrinkled and became saggy, giving her the appearance of a 70-year-old granny.

It all began when the young lady from Giong Trom district of Ben Tre province ate some seafood.

It made her face break out into an itchy rash so bad, that she used to scratch her face even in sleep, Phuong told Tuoi Tre, a major Vietnamese daily newspaper where the news first broke.

To alleviate the symptoms, she ate some medication her husband, Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, 34, bought her.

The medications did not work. She then visited a local doctor, who prescribed her pills for dermatitis.

However, the pills made her face swell up and hives erupt on her skin. She stopped taking them after a week, and turned to some traditional Chinese medicine practitioners in town.

She was given some medication that reduced the swelling, but also made her put on weight. However, the medication was expensive, costing VND30,000 (S$1.88) a day, and did not do much to improve her condition.

Phuong soon began wearing a face mask whenever she went out. After her husband quit his job in 2009 to take care of her, they ran out of money and she stopped taking all medications.

She then decided it as a fate decreed by God and the couple stopped trying to cure her condition, Phuong told local news outlets.

Amber Miller said she was happy but called it the "longest day of my life" after giving birth to a daughter following completing the Chicago Marathon

Instead of having a rest after completing the Chicago Marathon, pregnant Amber Miller gave birth.

Mrs Miller, who was nearly 39 weeks pregnant, said "it was the longest day of my life". She gave birth to a healthy 7.7lb (3.5kg) girl, June.

The marathon was the eighth for the 27-year-old, who already had one child. On her doctor's orders she ran half and walked half the distance.

"Lots of people were cheering me on: 'Go pregnant lady'," she said.

"For me, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I was running up until that point anyway," she told Associated Press news agency.

"I am crazy about running."

Because she half-walked the race, she finished the 26.2 mile (42.16km) course in 6:25 - slower than her usual pace.

"A few minutes after finishing, the contractions became stronger than normal and I understood what was going on," she said.

"When they became more regular, we had a sandwich and then we left for hospital," Mrs Miller added.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning a new programming language always is fun and there are many great books legally available for free online. Here’s a selection of 30 of them:

How to Desing Programs
Interpreting Lisp
Let Over Lambda
On Lisp
Practical Common Lisp
Programming in Emacs Lisp
Programming Languages. Application and Interpretation
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days
Visual LISP Developer’s Bible

Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in Ruby
Learn Ruby the Hard Way
Learn to Program
MacRuby: The Definitive Guide
Mr. Neighborly’s Humble Little Ruby Book
Programming Ruby
Read Ruby 1.9
Ruby Best Practices
Ruby on Rails Tutorial Book

Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Eloquent Javascript
jQuery Fundamentals
Mastering Node

Implementing functional languages: a tutorial
Learn You a Haskell for Great Good
Real World Haskell
The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths and Programming

Concurrent Programming in Erlang
Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good

Dive into Python
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist – Learning with Python
Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

Learn Python The Hard Way

Dynamic Web Development with Seaside
Pharo by Example
Squeak by Example

The Art of Assembly Language
Beginning Perl
Building Accessible Websites
The C Book
C# Yellow Book
Compiler Construction
Dive Into HTML 5
Higher-Order Perl
Impatient Perl
The Implementation of Functional Programming Languages (
An Introduction to R
Learn Prolog Now!
Learning Go
Objective-C 2.0 Essentials
Parsing Techniques Programming Scala
Smooth CoffeeScript
Type Theory and Functional Programming

If you find any more books comment below

Sunday, October 9, 2011
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Online Introduction to Artificial Intelligence is based on Stanford CS221, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. This class introduces students to the basics of Artificial Intelligence, which includes machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, robotics, and natural language processing.

The objective of this class is to teach you modern AI. You learn about the basic techniques and tricks of the trade, at the same level we teach our Stanford students. We also aspire to excite you about the field of AI. Whether you are a seasoned professional, a college student, or a curious high school student - everyone can participate.

This online class will make this material available to a worldwide audience. But rather than just watching lectures online, you will participate. You will do homework assignments, take exams, participate in discussions with other students, ask questions of the instructors, and also get a final score.

Basic and Advanced Tracks

This course is offered in two tracks. The advanced track is intended to be an undergraduate or early graduate level course, and you should plan on spending around ten hours a week or more on it. It will involve weekly homework assignments as well as a midterm exam and a final exam. In order to receive a statement of accomplishment for the advanced track you must take both the midterm and the final exam.

The basic track is for people interested in the material but who do not have time or would prefer not to do homework assignments and exams. You will be able to view the same lectures as the advanced track, and will have access to the homework assignments and exams after they have been completed by students in the advanced track but will not be scored on them. In order to receive a statement of accomplishment for the basic track you must stay active and continue to view material throughout the course.

You may switch between the tracks at any time, but be aware that while you are signed up for the basic track you will not have access to homework assignments or exams, and this will affect your score and eligibility if you decide to change back to the advanced track.


Introduction to Databases!


Machine Learning

Basic and Advanced Tracks

We offer the machine learning class in two tracks. The advanced track is intended to be an undergraduate or early graduate level course, and you should plan on spending around ten hours a week or more on it. It will involve watching video lectures, weekly review questions and programming exercises.

The basic track is for people interested in the material but who do not have the time or would prefer not to do the programming assignments. You will be able to access the same materials as the advanced track, including the programming assignments, but you will not be scored on them. You may switch between the tracks at any time.


While the courses, videos, and audio files below won't help you achieve a degree because they're not credited, you can still practice completing online assignments appropriately. Once you gain significant skills in any given subject, you might be able to translate those skills into credits for an undergraduate degree.


Archival materials are easier than ever to access now that most institutions have begun to digitize their materials. The University of Virginia Library, for example, has compiled the Jefferson Digital Archive based upon their internal collections and other resources. The following is a "short list" of archival materials, but you can find severalsearch engines and directories that will lead you to hundreds of regional and international archives and their online materials.

  1. American Memory — The Library of Congress provides extensive multimedia offerings on various topics through their American Memory Collection, including their outstanding Built in America project that showcases historical buildings through photographs.
  2. Fathom — This archive, provided by Columbia University, offers access to the complete range of free content developed for Fathom by its member institutions. The archives include online learning resources including lectures, articles, interviews, exhibits and seminars.
  3. Internet Archive — A digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form.
  4. National Archives — Provides primary source materials from NARA along with lesson plans for teaching with those sources.
  5. National Climatic Data Center — The NCDC, a division of NOAA, maintains climatic archives, including lists of storms in given counties, and records about global extremes, etc.
  6. North American Computing and Philosophy — Archival material from 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005 conferences.
  7. Open Society Archives — These archives and collections relate to the period after the second World War, mainly The Cold War, the history of the formerly communist countries, human rights, and war crimes.
  8. The Rosetta Project — A global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers building a publicly accessible online archive of all documented human languages.
  9. September 11 Digital Archive — This site uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the 9/11 attacks.
  10. U.S. Census Bureau — If you think the Census Bureau is all about numbers, you might be surprised to learn about their archived photographs, daily radio features, and more available through their Newsroom.

Broadcast Learning

Turning off the television has become a mantra. But, when it comes to educational TV, maybe too much isn't enough. The following broadcasting companies maintain Web sites that carry Podcasts, videos, and articles. Some sites maintain special sections expressly for students and teachers.

  1. ABC Australia — This site offers various educational categories, includingarchives and the Big Ideas Wisdom Interview Podcasts.
  2. BBC Learning — Online learning, support, and advice. This site offers internal and offsite links to a vast amount of materials.
  3. BBC Video Nation — Current news in many categories.
  4. Biography — The site holds videos to past interviews and biographies on people in topics that range from Black history to women's history.
  5. Book TV — This is the companion site to Book TV on C-Span2. The site holds some current interviews with authors, many past interviews, opinions, reviews, and featured programs through online video.
  6. CBC Archives — Relive Canadian history through thousands of available radio and television clips.
  7. Discovery — This channel is home to several different networks that focus on the military, animals, travel, etc. The Discovery site offers a "Video of the Day" from its home page, a separate online video section, and a Discover Education center where teachers can accumulate materials for K-12 teaching. It's impossible to list all their offerings here, so go discover!
  8. History Channel — Visit the Video Gallery for a selection on historical topics. Like the Discovery Channel, this network provides many opportunities for you to gain access to information and reference materials.
  9. NOVA — Watch current science shows or browse by category. PBS sponsors this channel.
  10. PBS — The Public Broadcasting Service brings great shows to television (other than Nova, listed above), and they also offer research capabilities, information, and Podcasts to their viewers online.
  11. Research Channel — Speakers, researchers and professors present revolutionary thoughts and discoveries. Use their Webstreams and an extensive video-on-demand library for research.
  12. TVO — Canada's largest educational broadcaster brings Podcasts, video, educational television, and a special program entitled, Learn with TVO for parents and teachers of K-12 students. For older learners, TVO offers "course connections" listed at bottom left on the home page.
  13. Weather Channel — You can learn about weather all over the world, but the Weather Channel also offers dynamic content based upon seasons and special conditions and a special multimedia and education section.

Directories & Searches

Some of the items below, like Google, are fairly familiar to most Web enthusiasts. Others, such as "Archives Made Easy" might come as a surprise. You can find just about anything you need for your research and learning through the following directories and search engines. You can also learn more about how to search the "invisible Web" to find resources for your projects. Plus, you can use our list of 119 resources beyond Google to find more authoritative guides. Each resource below leads to educational materials:

  1. A World of Ideas — This site catalogues video and audio lectures on academic topics according to discipline, theoretician and topic.
  2. Academic Blog Portal — This wiki serves as a portal of the "Invisible College" - the academic blogosphere full of serious scholarship and quirky, erudite commentary. Blogs are organized by discipline and by university.
  3. Archive Grid — Search through thousands of libraries, museums, and archives that have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid.
  4. Archives Made Easy — An on-line guide to archives around the globe that includes tips on how to navigate various repositories. Hosted by the International History department at the London School of Economics and Political Science
  5. British Academy Portal — The British Academy's directory of online resources in the humanities and social sciences.
  6. DMOZ — The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory for the Web.
  7. DOAJ — Directory of Open Access Journals covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  8. Economics Network — Economics Network of the UK's Higher Education Academy provides a range of services that support university teachers of economics in the UK. Their resources section carries many online directories to materials, notes, lectures, etc.
  9. Google Scholar — Search for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.
  10. Infomine — Search for databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
  11. Lecture Webcasts — A swicki (cross between a search and a wiki) for lecture Webcasts at the Internet TV Search Engine.
  12. Intute — A network of UK universities and partners created this free online search service with access to education and research resources.
  13. Librarian's Internet Index — Categorized index to Web sites.
  14. Merlot — Find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials.
  15. NetSerf — Links to all things Medieval.
  16. Open Courseware Finder — Find a course online through a search or with tags.
  17. Repositories of Primary Sources — The University of Idaho has compiled primary sources by international area. Dig deeper to discover the repository, where you can gain access to primary sources online.
  18. World Lecture Hall — Find a lecture - written, video, audio, or course notes. Search by topic or by area. Brought to you by the University of Texas at Austin.
  19. Voice of the Shuttle — A database that serves content dynamically on the Web for the arts and humanities.
  20. Windows Live Academic Search — Search for scholarly journal articles, conference proceedings, dissertations and academic books.
  21. Yahoo! Humanities Collection — Search for anything on the Web under the humanities heading.

eBooks & eTexts

You don't need to shell out big bucks for textbooks when most ancient texts and other public domain materials have been digitized. The following sources can help you save dollars while you learn. Some resources listed below may contain audio files rather than readable text and some sites may contain both text and audio files.

  1. Audio Books for Free — Free files when you choose MP3 files at tolerable quality. Higher quality audio available at inexpensive prices.
  2. Authorama — Completely free books from a variety of different authors in the public domain.
  3. Bartleby — Bartleby contains many classic American and English texts searchable by author, title, and genre.
  4. Economics Textbooks — A categorized list maintained by John Kane.
  5. Electronic Text Center — This University of Virginia collection features 70,000 electronic texts that range across many topics and languages.
  6. eMedicine — The original open access comprehensive medical textbook for all clinical fields with 10,000 contributors and 6,500 articles.
  7. European Literature — Electronic text collections in western European literature. Compiled by the University of Virginia Library.
  8. — Free online computer science and programmingbooks, textbooks, and lecture notes.
  9. Internet History Sourcebooks Project — This project was designed to provide easy access to primary sources and other teaching materials in a non-commercial environment. It was developed and is edited by Paul Halsall at Fordham University and is divided into Ancient, Medieval, and Modern history along with several "sourcebook" selections.
  10. Learn Out Loud — While many choices are free by membership only, Learn Out Loud also offers free audio and video.
  11. LibriVox — LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net.
  12. Literal Systems — A small but growing classic audio book collection.
  13. Making of America Books — A digital library of primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction.
  14. Many Books — Free eBooks for your PDA, iPod, or eBook reader.
  15. Manuscript Reading Room — The Library of Congress's Manuscript Division's current holdings, nearly forty million items contained in ten thousand separate collections, include some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American history and culture.
  16. Online Books Page — This project indexes online free books rather than hosts them, but it's an easy resource to use.
  17. Online Mathematics Textbooks — A list created by George Cain, School of Mathematics at Georgia Institute of Technology. You might also try the more comprehensive Textbooks in Mathematics compiled by Alex Stef.
  18. Oxford Text Archive — This site hosts arts and humanities literature, languages and linguistics texts that you can download in various formats.
  19. Perseus Digital Library — Tufts University's evolving digital library.
  20. Philosophy — Canonical texts necessary for basic philosophy.
  21. Project Gutenberg — The first producer of free electronic books, there are over 20,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog.
  22. Religion Online — More than 6,000 articles and chapters. Topics include Old and New Testament, Theology, Ethics, History and Sociology of Religion, Communication and Cultural Studies, Pastoral Care, Counseling, Homiletics, Worship, Missions and Religious Education.
  23. Text Archive — Internet Archive's open source text directory.
  24. WikiBooks — Since their founding in 2003, volunteers have written about 25,292 modules in a multitude of textbooks.
  25. World Public Library — This repository maintains a public access eBook and eDocument collection.


While most colleges won't allow citations from encyclopedias in your research papers, these resources can lead you in the right direction to find more information.

  1. Columbia Encyclopedia — Offered by Bartleby.
  2. Counterbalance Interactive Library — Offers new views on complex issues from science, ethics, philosophy, and religion.
  3. e-Podunk — Want to know information about a certain state, county, or city? e-Podunk maintains a site for this information and it's growing to include cemeteries, libraries, museums, and newspapers.
  4. Encyclopaedia Britannica — Free trial offer for full version, free access toconcise version.
  5. Encyclopedia Smithsonian — Each entry contains materials within the online Smithsonian and through other resources.
  6. Highbeam™ Encyclopedia — Search through more than 57,000 frequently updated articles from the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.
  7. InfoPlease — Information Please is part of Pearson Education, the largest educational publisher in the world.
  8. LoveToKnow 1911 — Based upon the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in 1911. While many of the science and health articles are obviously outdated, many of the biographical and historical articles and more complete and in-depth compared to materials available elsewhere.
  9. Microsoft Encarta — Gain access to 16,000 articles and more than 2,200 photos, illustrations, maps, charts, and tables for free, with ability to upgrade.
  10. Open-Site — Open-Site is edited by volunteer editors and accepts content submissions from the public to provide accurate information.
  11. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy — Each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field.
  12. Wikipedia — A multilingual, Web-based, free content encyclopedia project.
  13. World FactBook — Part of the Bartleby collection, this project provides the U.S. government’s complete geographical handbook, featuring 268 full-color maps and flags of all nations and geographical entities.

Open Courseware Collections - University

The list below contains courseware offered by various <="" a="" style="color: rgb(17, 141, 185); text-decoration: none; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial; outline-color: initial; ">. This list is by no means all-inclusive, so you might want to try a search for a specific college to see what you can find. The colleges below offer more than one course or, like "Berklee Shares", a broad perspective on one topic.

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  1. <="" a="" style="color: rgb(17, 141, 185); text-decoration: none; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial; outline-color: initial; ">Columbia University Interactive — A gateway to selected electronic learning resources developed at Columbia University.
  2. Berklee Shares — Free music lessons that you can download, share and trade with your friends and fellow musicians.
  3. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative — OLI courses are designed to support you to learn a subject at the introductory college level.
  4. Duke Law Center for the Public Domain — News, lectures, links to various other resources within the site and on the Web. Projects range from the arts to international law issues.
  5. Fulbright Economics Teaching Program — FETP is a resource for people who work or study in policy-related fields to increase their knowledge and explore new approaches to learning and curriculum development.
  6. Harvard Extension School — Course-related materials are supported by videotaped lectures.
  7. Gresham College — Find lectures in various topics that are also available as audio and video files.
  8. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — This project provides access to content of the School's most popular courses, from adolescent to refugee health.
  9. MIT — Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a wide variety of open courses from aeronautics and astronautics to writing and humanistic studies.
  10. Open University — Originating from the U.K., this collection ranges from arts and history to technology.
  11. Tufts University — Six separate schools, from dentistry to the School of Arts and Sciences.
  12. United Nations University — UNU promotes the idea of a Global Learning Space for science and technology.
  13. University of California, Irvine — This college offers the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) and a few other courses.
  14. University of Notre Dame — From Africana studies to theology, students can take advantage of options within numerous Notre Dame departments.
  15. University of Washington — This one is a bit tricky, as they offer free online courses through this link, but you can also find free materials through various departments outside this official online learning program.
  16. Utah State University — Available departments online range from anthropology to wildland resources.

Open Courseware Collections

The following courseware isn't always labeled as "open courseware," but they qualify because each site contains collections filled with lectures, visuals, audio, video and other educational materials. This list contains sites that aren't hosted or generated by universities.

  1. BBC Training & Development — The British Broadcasting Corporation brings training and online broadcast and new media courses online for anyone interested in media courses.
  2. Connexions — A place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. You can find 3993 reusable modules woven into 219 collections at Connexions.
  3. Digital History — An interactive, multimedia history of the United States from the Revolution to the present.
  4. Exploratorium — View Webcasts and visit the digital library. You'll find lectures, lessons, and more.
  5. Music Theory — This site is a compact set of lessons, trainers, and utilities compiled by Ricci Adams.
  6. NASA — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration maintains updated and archived materials and several modules. They also maintain the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where a researcher can find many materials including university lectures.
  7. National Geographic — While not as generous with online free videos as some sites, the work they offer is always stunning. They also offer aneducational resource for K-12.
  8. Nature — This international weekly journal's online resource provides Podcasts, streaming video, gateways and databases for all things in nature.
  9. Open Educational Resources — Internet Archives' collection of educational content including coursework, study guides, exercises, and recorded lectures.
  10. Smithsonian — Learn through online museum exhibits, recordings, research, and Journeys.
  11. Sofia — Content for eight courses is now available online for free through the Sofia open content initiative.
  12. W3Schools — Web-building tutorials, from basic HTML and XHTML to advanced XML, SQL, Database, Multimedia and WAP.
  13. Wikiversity — This project comprises a community for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities.

Podcasts - University

Georgia College & State University (see # below) was among the first of many campuses to put together an academic program using iPods when it launched a few pilot programs in 2002. Today, there are active iPod programs on many other campuses around the country. Therefore, the list below is limited when compared to how many campuses will take on this technology by this upcoming fall quarter/semester.

  1. Alleghany College — News and events, conferences, etc.
  2. American University — Podcast collections from this university's Washington College of Law.
  3. Apple + iPods @ GCSU — Georgia College & State University provides a virtual learning community, courseware, and technology advances through this site.
  4. Arizona State University — Lectures and speakers.
  5. Berkeley on iTunes — Listen to events about the arts, education, politics, science and technology - extensive collection..
  6. Buffalo State College — Lectures, forums, events, and more.
  7. Cambridge University — Popular science broadcasts, including Science Festival Podcasts presented by Carol Vorderman.
  8. Center for International Studies — University of Chicago's Chiasmos, a source for international events.
  9. Chicago GSB — Chicago University's Graduate School of Business thought leadership on current topics affecting companies and organizations around the globe.
  10. Classics Podcasts — Ever want to hear the news in Latin? Visit more links to readings of Latin and (ancient) Greek texts, brought to you by Bryn Mawr's Haverford College.
  11. College of DuPage Codcasts — Classes, lectures, arts & leisure, and special topics.
  12. College of St. Scholastica Podcasts — Visit the links on this page to find numerous course-specific lectures and speakers.
  13. Distance Learning Podcast — Western Kentucky University's Podcasts for students and teachers.
  14. Drexel CoAS Talks — Podcasts, Screencasts and Vodcasts(for video iPod) of talks or seminars in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University.
  15. Educator's Corner — The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series takes place every Wednesday during the academic quarters at Stanford University. Listen to archived materials.
  16. Front Row — Boston College offers free access through streaming media to tapes of cultural and scholarly events.
  17. Georgetown University Forum — A weekly radio program that highlights Georgetown University faculty's research and expertise.
  18. Harvard Business Online — A free Podcast featuring breakthrough ideas and commentary from leading thinkers in business and management.
  19. Havens Center — The University of Wisconsin-Madison's audios that are focused on the study of social structure and social change.
  20. Insead Podcasts — Knowledgecasts and Leadercasts from one of Europe's elite business programs.
  21. Johns Hopkins — Audio recordings from Johns Hopkins' faculty and alumni.
  22. Knowledge@Wharton — Podcast archive for news and lectures at the University of Pennsylvania.
  23. Lewis & Clark Law School — Events and speakers on law.
  24. London School of Economics — Podcasts of public lectures and events.
  25. Montclair State University — Interesting list from English department - mostly Noam Chomsky, but other lectures on Medieval literature to Vietnam War here as well. Some video.
  26. NOVA — Nova currently offers four different Podcasts.
  27. Perdue Boilercast — List of various Podcasts.
  28. Princeton University Channel — A collection of public affairs lectures, panels and events from academic institutions all over the world.
  29. Princeton University's Event Streaming Media — Special events, lectures, sports, etc.
  30. SAIS — The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., part of Johns Hopkins University, offers news and events.
  31. Southwest Tech's CourseCasts — Various course topics.
  32. Stanford on iTunes — Download faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports.
  33. Swarthmore College University Lectures — Lectures on various topics.
  34. Times-Online MBA Broadcasts — Ten of the world's leading business thinkers provide the latest thinking in economics, management, finance, strategy, and marketing.
  35. UCLA Bruincast — Course topic Podcasts.
  36. University of Arizona College of Law — Lectures and Seminars.
  37. University of Bath — "BathPods" from a public lecture series where leading names from the worlds of science, humanities, and engineering talk about the latest research in their field.
  38. University of British Columbia — UBC offers a wide variety of UBC-related digital content, from public lectures and talks to student-created music and more.
  39. University of Connecticut — Podcasts about general psychology.
  40. University of New South Wales — Podcast lectures that relate to health and fetal development.
  41. University of Nottingham — Browse through current issues, latest research and events.
  42. University of Oregon UO Channel — Interviews, documentaries, lectures.
  43. University of Virginia — Podcasts and Webcasts for news, events, and lectures.
  44. University of Warwick — Hear university experts comment on important issues, their research and events.
  45. University of Washington TV — This university project offers their "premiers" as Podcasts. You can also watch these shows as video.
  46. Vanderbilt University — Interviews, lectures, news, and events.
  47. Weber University — Lectures and speakers.
  48. Yale University — A diverse collection from Yale's many schools.
  49. York College Podcast Lectures — Current focus on philosophy and psychology from City University, New York (CUNY).

Podcasts - Other

This list of Podcasts are not hosted or generated by any school of higher learning. But, they contain collections that can turn your brain on to the world around you.

  1. Evolution 101 — Dr. Zachary Moore offers Podcasts along with other resources on this topic.
  2. Global Voices — Global Voices is an international, volunteer-led project that collects, summarizes, and gives context to some of the best self-published content found on blogs, Podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs from around the world, with a particular emphasis on countries outside of Europe and North America.
  3. Listening to Words — Find, listen to, and discuss free lectures from around the Web.
  4. Logically Critical — Don't be afraid to think. Visit this site, listen to the Podcasts, and agree to agree or disagree.
  5. Ludwig Von Mises Institute — Use the links on this page to gain access to Podcasts and video.
  6. Maria Lectrix — Six days a week of audiobooks - mystery, history, adventure, devotion - for people with Catholic tastes.
  7. NPR — National Public Radio offers several venues to learn about various topics through articles and Podcasts.
  8. Open Source — Christopher Lydon brings hot topics to online listening through Public Radio International (PRI).
  9. Neo-Latin Colloquia — Graduate students and faculty associated with the UK Institute for Latin Studies are creating a variety of materials for the renewed study and enjoyment of neo-Latin colloquia scholastica, texts that date primarily from the 16th century. This is housed at STOA, the Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities.
  10. Point of Inquiry — Point of Inquiry is the premiere Podcast from the Center for Inquiry, drawing on CFI’s relationship with the leading minds of the day including Nobel Prize-winning scientists, public intellectuals, social critics and thinkers, and renowned entertainers.
  11. Scientific American — Enjoy 60-second science Podcasts or longer interviews with leading scientists and journalists.
  12. The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe — A weekly Podcast talkshow produced by the New England Skeptical Society (NESS) in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) discussing the latest news and topics from the world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view.
  13. Shakespeare by Another Name — MP3 audio files that discuss some of the stories, themes and characters in the book, Shakespeare By Another Name.
  14. Sound of Young America — Public radio's "funniest, most fascinating interview program," available free on the air, on the Web or by Podcast.


Whether it's at the library, through videos, Podcasts, or online, research is easier when it's free. Plus, you can ease some headaches if you know how to take copious notes. Check out Fifty Ways to Take Notes to pave your way, and use the following list to forge ahead.

  1. Elements of Style — Visit Strunk & White at Bartleby.
  2. Episteme Links — Search for over 19,000 categorized links to philosophy resources on the Internet.
  3. HighWire Press — HighWire Press is a division of the Stanford University Libraries, which produces the online versions of high-impact, peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly content. Some sites are free to peruse through trial periods or through archived materials.
  4. In Other Words — A lexicon for the humanities. Learn the terminology of a new discipline and come to understand the generally accepted reference of terms.
  5. Internet Public Library — Search through online collections in numerous categories.
  6. LitSum — Free literature summaries and study guides.
  7. Mayo Clinic — This site contains databases for diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, and treatment decisions.
  8. SparkNotes — Free online study guides.
  9. U.S. Government Manual — The official handbook of the Federal Government.

Videos - University

The list of video collections below are either hosted or generated by a school of higher learning. Some resources also include Podcasts or other educational materials, so look around when you head to a specific site.

  1. Berkeley Multimedia Research Center — Six videos that mainly focus on the university's multimedia presentation capabilities. You'll also find a chemistry lecture.
  2. Butte College — Televised courses and events such as workshops, meetings, and conferences. All sent to you via streaming video.
  3. CalTech Today — "Streaming Theater" for science and technology, society and culture, and campus life.
  4. Carleton University Television (CUTV) — Two courses only: Introductory Chemistry, CHEM 1000 taught by 3M teaching award winner Robert Burk, and Natural History, BIOL 1902, taught by highly respect naturalist and wildlife photographer Michael Runtz.
  5. Case School of Law — Lecture series dating from 2001 to current year.
  6. Dartmouth Chance — Chance is a quantitative literacy course, and Dartmouth offers video lectures and more to help conduct your own Chance course.
  7. Duke University Multimedia — Classroom video archives produced in the Duke University Mathematics Department Multimedia Classroom.
  8. Georgetown University Webcasts — Current critical intellectual and social issues debated and discussed.
  9. Harvard@Home — The mission of Harvard@Home is to provide the Harvard community and the broader public with opportunities for rich in-depth exploration of a wealth of topics through Web-based video programs of the highest caliber.
  10. Harvard Law School — Events and lectures online.
  11. Homeric Odyssey and the Cultivation of Justice — If you want to get to know this classic in depth, this is where you need to go. Online text, video lectures, the works. Brought to you by Professor Gregory Nagy is the Francis Jones Professor of Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University.
  12. Kennedy School of Government Video Archive — From Harvard University.
  13. Landon Lecture Series — Gain live access on day of lecture or view archived lectures on public issues, thanks to Kansas State University.
  14. Mathematical Sciences Research Institute — MSRI streaming video lectures.
  15. MIT World Video Index — Search, or sort by title, date, or MIT host for videos on the sciences and arts.
  16. Oxford Internet University Webcasts — Live and on-demand Webcasts of prominent speakers from events and conferences organized or recorded by the Oxford Internet Institute.
  17. Princeton University's New Media Center — Student and faculty projects, including lectures, speakers, interviews, etc.
  18. Princeton University WebMedia — Includes events, lectures and a small selection of Podcasts.
  19. Rice University Webcasts — Live and archived events, speakers, and lectures at Rice.
  20. Rockefeller University — A small collection of Flash videos.
  21. St. Edward's University — Philosophy audio and video lectures.
  22. Stanford University Audio and Video — Selections from the Graduate School of Business.
  23. UC Berkeley Resources — Links to many resources online and at Berkeley. Some resources for students only, others open to the public.
  24. UCLA Webcasts — UCLA Instructional Media Production (IMP) provides live Webcasts of important and interesting campus events, archives them, and makes them available for on-demand viewing.
  25. University of California TV Video on Demand — Lectures, seminars, and talks on a variety of topics.
  26. University of Connecticut — A video lecture series from this university's School of Medicine.
  27. University of Texas at Dallas — UTDallas brings a list of online neuroscience lectures to the table.
  28. Webcast Berkeley — Courses and events offered by the University of California (UC) Berkeley. Also offered as Podcasts.

Video - Other

The following list contains collections that are not maintained by a school of higher learning. But many of these resources offer great opportunities to learn through videos that range from short-shorts to entire movies.

  1. 2007 Exploring Space Lectures — Brought to you via Smithsonian Institute.
  2. Atom Film Documentaries — Short film genre.
  3. Center for Economic Studies (CES) — Lecture series from 2001 forward.
  4. Cern Webcast Service — CERN lectures and seminars to universities, schools and to the general public.
  5. Exploratorium — This is a Webcast archive filled with selected videos that date back to 1996.
  6. Free Documentaries — Mostly political films.
  7. Free Movies and Documentaries — Videos embedded from other sites, but worth a look for various categories under documentaries, news items, etc.
  8. Free to Choose — TV series by economist Milton Friedman along with interviews.
  9. Google Video — Educational lecture options from Google. Search for other genres, like documentaries.
  10. Howard Hughes Medical Center Lectures — Gain access to information on everything from evolution to RNA.
  11. Indymedia — The San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center is a non-commercial, democratic collective of bay area independent media makers and media outlets. This site also serves as the local hub for the global Indymedia network, and offers archival materials as well.
  12. Lifesign — A short list of medical genre videos. It appears that this site, funded and maintained by the Department of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth, intends to grow.
  13. Link TV — Current perspectives on international news, current events, and diverse cultures, presenting issues not often covered in the U.S. media.
  14. Moving Image Archive — Internet Archive's collection of classic full-length movies, daily alternative news broadcasts, and user-uploaded videos of every genre. This is a mega-source.
  15. National Archive — Over 250 titles collected by the NASA Office of Public Affairs between 1962 and 1981.
  16. Nobel Prize Lectures — Provide a wealth of background to every Nobel Prize since 1901. You can find biographies, interviews, photos, articles, video clips, press releases, educational games and a great deal more information about the Nobel Laureates and their work.
  17. ScienceLive — Free popular science videos.
  18. The Royal Society — Video lectures on topics from biology and climate science to physics. They also maintain a short list of Podcasts.
  19. Vega Science Trust — The Vega Science Trust aims to create a broadcast platform for the science, engineering and technology (SET) communities. Learn from seminars, lectures, and more (they have four priceless archival recordings delivered by Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman at the University of Auckland, New Zealand).
  20. Webcasts — From the Library of Congress.
  21. WGBH Forum Network — The WGBH Forum Network is an audio and video streaming Website dedicated to curating and serving live and on-demand lectures given by some of the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders.

Video Directories & Searches

Finally, this is a short list of directories and search engines dedicated to free online videos.

  1. Ethics Videos on the Web — Compiled by Lawrence M. Hinman from the University of San Diego.
  2. Mathematics Videos — A list of online lectures and videos compiled by Jean-Marc Gulliet and hosted at New York University.
  3. Open Video Project — This repository provides video clips from a variety of sources, especially various video programs obtained from U.S. government agencies such as the National Records and Archives Administration and NASA.
  4. Web Lecture Archive Project (WLAP) — Browse through lectures by category, or conduct an advanced search.
Friday, October 7, 2011

Pectoral fin muscle formation in paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) utilises the fully derived mode of appendicular muscle formation and is not associated with an epithelial extension. (Credit: Cole et al., PLoS Biology, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001168)

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2011) — A study into the muscle development of several different fish has given insights into the genetic leap that set the scene for the evolution of hind legs in terrestrial animals. This innovation gave rise to the tetrapods -- four-legged creatures, and our distant ancestors -- that made the first small steps on land some 400 million years ago.

A team of Australian scientists led by Professor Peter Currie, of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, and Dr Nicolas Cole, of the University of Sydney, report their results October 4 in online, open access journalPLoS Biology.

Scientists have long known that ancient lungfish species are the ancestors of the tetrapods. These fish could survive on land, breathing air and using their pelvic fins to propel themselves. Australia is home to three species of the few remaining lungfish -- two marine species and one inhabiting Queensland's Mary River basin.

There are big gaps in our knowledge, however. Most conclusions have previously been drawn from fossil skeletons, but the muscles critical to locomotion cannot be preserved in the fossil record. The team used fish living today to trace the evolution of pelvic fin muscles to find out how the load-bearing hind limbs of the tetrapods evolved. They compared embryos of the descendants of species representing key turning points in vertebrate evolution to see if there were differences in pelvic fin muscle formation. They studied "primitive" cartilaginous fish -- Australia's bamboo shark and its cousin, the elephant shark -- as well as three bony fishes -- the Australian lungfish, the zebrafish and the American paddlefish. The bony fish and in particular the lungfish are the closest living relative of the tetrapods' most recent common ancestor with fish.

"We examined the way the different fish species generated the muscles of their pelvic fins, which are the evolutionary forerunners of the hind limbs," said Professor Currie, a developmental biologist. Currie and his team genetically engineered the fish to trace the migration of precursor muscle cells in early developmental stages as the animal's body took shape. These cells in the engineered fish were made to emit a red or green light, allowing the team to track the development of specific muscle groups. They found that the bony fish had a different mechanism of pelvic fin muscle formation from that of the cartilaginous fish, a mechanism that was a stepping stone to the evolution of tetrapod physiology.

"Humans are just modified fish," said Professor Currie. "The genome of fish is not vastly different from our own. We have shown that the mechanism of pelvic muscle formation in bony fish is transitional between that in sharks and in our tetrapod ancestors."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Robert Young leaves court. 6 Oct 2011

Robert Young said he didn't want to believe that Jeffrey Jarrett was dead

One of two men accused of driving around a US city with their friend's corpse in the back seat thought the dead man was just drunk, a court heard.

Robert Young said he "wanted to believe" that Jeffrey Jarrett had simply passed out.

Mr Young and Mark Rubinson visited bars and a strip club and withdrew cash using Mr Jarrett's card before reporting his death, Denver police say.

They face charges including identity theft and abuse of a corpse.

Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine how and when 43-year-old Mr Jarrett died.

"In my mind, I wanted to believe he was passed out," Mr Young, 43, told the court hearing.

"I didn't want to call 911 (emergency number). I didn't want to believe he was dead."

Police say the night on the town started when Mr Young went to Mr Jarrett's home on 27 August and found him unresponsive.

Instead of calling for help, Mr Young went to find Mr Rubinson, 25, it is alleged.

The pair then put the body in Mr Rubinson's car and went to two bars in Denver where they spent some time drinking while the corpse was left in the car, police records say.

Police say the men used Mr Jarrett's bank card to pay for the drinks.

Mr Young said he then realised Mr Jarrett was dead and the two men took his body back to his home and left it on a bed.

They then went to Shotgun Willie's, a strip club in nearby Glendale, where they withdrew $400 (£253) from Jarrett's account from a cash machine, police said.

Later the men later flagged down a police car and told officers they thought their friend was dead and where his body was, according to the police statement.

Mr Jarrett was pronounced dead at his home in Denver on 28 August.

Neither men face charges in connection with Mr Jarrett's death.

Mr Young was due to enter a plea on Thursday but his lawyer was granted an extension until 3 November.

The latest stats coming out of France's HADOPI "three strikes" (really three accusations) policy are really quite stunning. Most of the focus is on the fact that 60 ISP account holders have received their third strike, and now await to see if they'll be fined and/or kicked off the internet without ever having actually been convicted of copyright infringement. But, to me, the much more interesting numbers are the first and second strike numbers. An astounding 650,000 people have received "first strike" notices, with 44,000 of those receiving a second strike as well. Those are huge numbers. It makes you wonder, at what point do those in power begin to recognize that if so many people are engaging in this, there must be some sort of better solution.


Well its a law it has to be upheld right? even for the MPAA?

Strike 1: []
Strike 2: []
Strike 3: []


No more MPAA! They're offline forever! After all, the law is just and equal and fair and blind, right? And the MPAA -- the people who, let's face it, basically *wrote* this law -- should be held to the highest standard themselves. They, more than anyone else, cannot call it a youthful mistake, or a silly error in judgement, or ignorance or anything else... they have zero excuse and so accordingly they will be punished for their obvious and flagrant transgressions!

Right? ... right? guess not

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

IFO1 Chinese Farmer Builds and Flies Identified Flying Object  picture

UFOs are one thing, but identified flying objects, (IFOS) while not as mysterious and spine-tingling, are something else entirely.

In this case, effects are just as amazing, considering that the creator of this IFO is a farmer who built his Octocopter in his spare time, equipped with the barest of an education and no training of any kind either in mechanics or engineering.

Shu Mansheng, aged 46, has always been fascinated by aviation. In the past, he built two jet planes in his home, but both projects failed.

Shu has recently successfully completed a test flight in the 18-foot diameter flying saucer powered by eight motor-bike engines, which cost him £3,000 (about $US 5,000) to develop.

Shu is not a man who gives up easily, as this effort marked his second attempt to get his flying saucer off the ground.

Last month he managed to take off in the Octocopter but only for a few seconds.

This time, however, he reached a controlled height of six feet for more than 30 seconds.

IFO2 Chinese Farmer Builds and Flies Identified Flying Object  picture

Shu’s work is far from finished as he plans to further refine his Octocopter.

He has another even nobler noble mission as well, which touches upon what he has missed in his own life.

“My dream is to establish a special school where kids would be able to learn all sorts of things they don’t teach in ordinary schools,” Shu told the press

Of all the people in the world, Shu Mansheng is one of the few who probably understands how Orville and Wilbur Wright must have felt that momentous day back in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Go Shu, go!

Nobel laureates Perlmutter, Schmidt, and Riess

The three researchers' work has led to an expanding knowledge of our Universe


Three researchers behind the discovery that our Universe's expansion is accelerating have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics.

Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the US and Brian Schmidt of Australia will divide the prize.

The trio studied what are called Type 1a supernovae, determining that more distant objects seem to move faster.

Their observations suggest that not only is the Universe expanding, its expansion is relentlessly speeding up.

Prof Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded half the 10m Swedish krona (£940,000) prize, with Prof Schmidt of the Australian National University and Prof Riess of Johns Hopkins University's Space Telescope Science Institute sharing the other half.

'Weak knees'

Prof Schmidt spoke to the Nobel commitee from Australia during the ceremony.

"It feels like when my children were born," he said.

"I feel weak at the knees, very excited and somewhat amazed by the situation. It's been a pretty exciting last half hour."

The trio's findings form the basis of our current understanding of the Universe's origins, but raises a number of difficult questions.

In order to explain the rising expansion, cosmologists have suggested the existence of what is known as dark energy. Although its properties and nature remain mysterious, the predominant theory holds that dark energy makes up some three-quarters of the Universe.

But at the time the work was first being considered, no such exotic explanations were yet needed.

"It seemed like my favourite kind of job - a wonderful chance to ask something absolutely fundamental: the fate of the Universe and whether the Universe was infinite or not," Prof Perlmutter told BBC News.

Dark energy and dark matter mysteries

Dark matter distribution simulation


He led the Supernova Cosmology Project beginning in 1988, and Prof Schmidt and Prof Riess began work in 1994 on a similar project known as the High-z Supernova Search Team.

Their goal was to measure distant Type 1a supernovae - the brilliant ends of a particular kind of dense star known as a white dwarf.

Because their explosive ends are of roughly the same brightness, the amount of light observed from the supernovae on Earth should be an indication of their distance; slight shifts in their colour indicate how fast they are moving.

At the time, the competing teams expected to find that the more distant supernovae were slowing down, relative to those nearer - a decline of the expansion of the Universe that began with the Big Bang.

Instead, both teams found the same thing: distant supernovae were in fact speeding up, suggesting that the Universe is destined for an ever-increasing expansion.

Prof Perlmutter said the fact that the two teams were rivals was probably best to set the scene for a surprising outcome.

"It was fierce competition in those last four or five years of the work," he said.

"The two groups announced their results within just weeks of each other and they agreed so closely; that's one of the things that made it possible for the scientific community to accept the result so quickly."

That result in the end sparked a new epoch in cosmology, seeking to understand what is driving the expansion, and Prof Perlmutter is enthusiastic that such fundamental problems have been highlighted by the Nobel committee.

"It's an unusual opportunity, a chance for so many people to share in the excitement and the fun of the fact that we may be on to hints as to what the Universe is made out of. I guess the whole point of a prize like this is to be able to get that out into the community."

Commenting on the prize, Prof Sir Peter Knight, head of the UK's Institute of Physics, said: "The recipients of today's award are at the frontier of modern astrophysics and have triggered an enormous amount of research on dark energy."

"These researchers have opened our eyes to the true nature of our Universe," he added. "They are very well-deserved recipients."

The Nobel prizes have been given out annually since 1901, covering the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace.

Monday's award of the 2011 prize for physiology or medicine went to Bruce Beutler of the US, Jules Hoffmann from France and Ralph Steinman from Canada for their work on immunology.

This year's chemistry prize will be announced on Wednesday.

Wiola Nowicka's car wedged in driveway PolandWiola Nowicka's car wedged in the car park driveway (Picture: CEN)

Wiola Nowicka, 67, attempted to turn around in the car park's narrow driveway once she noticed the high prices she would have to pay.

Nowicka's bad sense of judgement resulted in the driveway being blocked for five hours, as her car was wedged between the driveway walls.

'I didn't mean to be a nuisance,' said Nowicka. 'After a few turns I couldn't go backwards or forwards any more.'

Engineers were able to get the car out from the tight space, with careful inch by inch precision.

Nowicka isn't the only driver over 50, to have misjudged at the wheel.

Earlier this year, an 86-year-old Californian woman crashed her car through the Rock N' Road cycling shop, narrowly missing customers.

Authorities discovered that the woman had hit the accelerator pedal by mistake, instead of the break.

Lucky no one was hurt in either of the incidents.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dendritic cell

Ralph Steinman was awarded for his discovery of the dendritic cell


Three scientists who "revolutionised" understanding of how the body fights infection have shared this year's Nobel prize for medicine.

Bruce Beutler, of the US, Jules Hoffmann from France and Ralph Steinman from Canada all shared the prize.

Profs Beutler and Hoffman discovered how the body's first line of defence was activated.

Prof Steinman discovered the dendritic cell, which helps defeat infection.

Twin defences

The immune system can be broadly divided into two parts: innate and adaptive.

The innate immune system is the immediate response and halts infection by destroying foreign microorganisms and triggering inflammation.

In 1996, Prof Hoffmann discovered that a gene called "Toll" was essential for kick starting the innate system in fruit flies. Without the gene, the flies could not "sense" and then fight bacterial infection.

An equivalent gene, Toll-like receptor, was found by Prof Beutler in 1998 in his study on mice.

More than a dozen Toll-like receptors have since been found in humans.

The adaptive immune system takes longer to activate, but clears the infection and can provide long lasting protection.

Prof Steinman discovered, in 1973, the dendritic cell. He showed that it can act as a bridge between the two immune systems, deciding whether to activate the adaptive system.

The Nobel prize committe said: "Together Bruce Beutler, Jules Hoffmann and Ralph Steinman have revoluntionised understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation.

"They have opened up new avenues for prevention and therapy."

Professor of clinical allergy research and panel member, Annika Scheynius, said: "We are definitely sure that these discoveries will lead to health improvement, mainly in the terms of new vaccines.

"Different types of vaccines that are targetting the dentritic cells, meaning that we can improve the health of patients with cancer, inflammatory diseases, auto-immune diseases, asthma."

Saturday, October 1, 2011
Spider's victim ... the body of tragic Voegel is taken away

Police broke in to Mark Voegel’s apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.

Neighbours alerted police after becoming alarmed by the stink.

And horrified officers were met by a nightmare scene.


Spider's victim ... the body of tragic Voegel is taken away

A police spokesman said: “It was like a horror movie. His corpse was over the sofa.

“Giant webs draped him, spiders were all over him. They were coming out of his nose and his mouth.

“There was everything there one could imagine in the world of reptiles.

“Larger pieces of flesh torn off by the lizards were scooped up and taken back to the webs of tarantulas and other bird-eating spiders.”

Hungry ... termites ate body

Hungry ... termites ate body

Loner Voegel, 30, never invited people back to his “jungle” home, a small apartment in the German city of Dortmund.
Police described it as a cross between a botanical garden and the butterfly breeding ground in the serial killer movie The Silence Of The Lambs.

One tarantula had built a nest the size of a swallow’s in a corner of the ceiling.

Voegel also had a boa constrictor and several poisonous frogs from South America.

Lair ... a cage is taken away<br><span class=greylight>Picture: JOCHEN ALTHOFF

Lair ... a cage is taken away

Spider expert and animal cruelty officer Gabi Bayer said he kept creatures “that should never be allowed in a private home”.

She said: “He had spiders so aggressive they are the equivalent of a pit-bull in the animal world.”

The reptiles were allowed to roam free in the flat.

The heating elements on two tanks containing spiders and their termite snacks had exploded and dislodged the metal tops allowing them to escape.

Danger ... he kept snakes

Danger ... he kept snakes

Voegel is thought to have been dead for between seven and 14 days.

A post-mortem will be carried out in the next few days. But authorities believe Bettina alone was responsible for Voegel’s death.

The challenge of Hawaii’s grueling Ironman Triathion course is a formidable goal for anyone, but for a tiny Japanese robot known as Evolta, it would seem to be an impossible task.

green evolta Toy Robot Prepares For Ironman Triathlon picture

But Evolta is no stranger to hardship as this Panasonic creation has already scaled the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, endured the Le Mans 24-hour circuit racetrack and has walked 310 miles from Tokyo to the old Japanese capital of Kyoto.

The hand-sized, green and white robot gets its stamina from three rechargeable batteries, which the robot bears on its back, and is fitted with three different bodies to accommodate the different physical challenges. These include: one mounted on a tiny bicycle, one in a round hoop with a supporting rear wheel and another mounted on a curved, fin-like blade.

Evolta will swim, bicycle and run its way through one of the world’s toughest triathlon routes, which commences on October 24 and will continue without stopping for seven days and nights.

“This is very tough even for a sportsman, but I think it is worth a challenge… Evolta’s height is just one-tenth of a grown man, so we figured out that it would take it 10 times more time. … I hope it will … succeed in the end,” said Tomotaka Takahashi, creator of Evolta.

The robot’s assignment is to swim, run and bike for approximately 143 miles. The time given to complete the task is one week or 168 hours, which is ten times longer than it would take a human of normal proportions.

Evolta’s creator had his own challenges as well. For one thing, he had to find away to make the tiny robot impervious to moisture and effectively protect it from mold. The batteries are slated to go on sale in late October. They have a long life and can be recharged up to 1,800 times via a recharger pad.

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