Login Form




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PDF Converter Pro 10 07 (With Pacth) Torrent


Does not convert .epub or .mobi so is almost useless for ebook conversion

PDF Converter Pro 10.07 

PDF Converter Pro 10.07| 48 MB

PDF Converter Pro can Quickly convert 149 file formats to pdf File Format. Including Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), Microsoft Excel (XLS, XLSX), Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Microsoft Visio (VSD), Microsoft Works (WDB, WPS, DOCX, XLSX), AutoCAD (DWG, DXF, DWF), CorelDraw (CDR), Corel Presentations (SHW), WordPerfect (WP5, WP6, WPD, WPF), WordStar (WS), DocuWorks (XDW), QuattroPro (WB1, WB2, WQ1), Rich Text Format (RTF),
Text Format (Txt), Hyper Text Markup Language (Htm, Html), Windows Bitmap (BMP), JPEG Compressed Image (JPG, JPEG, JP2) etc File Formats to PDF Formats. PDF Converter Pro is a multilingual software, including English, Chinese, German, French, Italian, Japanese and Very user-friendly interface and easy to use. Very quick in read speed and no quality is lost!

PDF Converter Pro Support 149 File Formats:

Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), Microsoft Excel (XLS, XLSX), Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Microsoft Visio (VSD), Microsoft Works (WDB, WPS, DOCX, XLSX), AutoCAD (DWG, DXF, DWF), CorelDraw (CDR), Corel Presentations (SHW), WordPerfect (WP5, WP6, WPD, WPF), WordStar (WS), DocuWorks (XDW), QuattroPro (WB1, WB2, WQ1), Rich Text Format (RTF), Text Format (Txt), Hyper Text Markup Language (Htm, Html), Windows Bitmap (BMP), JPEG Compressed Image (JPG, JPEG, JP2) etc 149 File Formats.

PDF Converter Pro Keywords:

DOC to PDF, DOCX to PDF, XLS to PDF, XLSX to PDF, PPT to PDF, PPTX to PDF, VSD to PDF, WDB to PDF, WPS to PDF, DOCX to PDF, XLSX to PDF, DWG to PDF, DXF to PDF, DWF to PDF, CDR to PDF, SHW to PDF, WP5 to PDF, WP6 to PDF, WPD to PDF, WPF to PDF, WS to PDF, XDW to PDF, WB1 to PDF, WB2 to PDF, WQ1 to PDF, RTF to PDF, Txt to PDF, Htm to PDF, Html to PDF, BMP to PDF, JPG to PDF, JPEG to PDF, JP2 to PDF, GIF to PDF, DCX to PDF, TIFF to PDF, TIF to PDF, PNG to PDF, PCX to PDF, PDF to PDF, PRT to PDF etc 149 File Formats.

How To Install

1. Install Application
2. Run & Apply Patch
3. Enjoy!

Thx AoRe Team for crack version 10.06

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Photo: Sian Kennedy

He was an ace fiber-optics executive by day. And a gun-toting, cop-impersonating defender of justice by night.
Photo: Sian Kennedy

U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez didn’t know what to make of the man standing in his courtroom for sentencing on September 7, 2010. Dave Sanders was a successful corporate sales executive—a widower who was raising his three young children in a suburb outside Sacramento, California. His shoes gleamed from the energetic polishing he’d given them that morning, and his buzz cut gave him the appearance of an earnest, middle-aged Boy Scout. But now the 43-year-old had confessed to operating a bizarre paramilitary vigilante squad that targeted people involved in Ponzi schemes. His team included a 365-pound US postal worker and a woman who looked like a PlayboyPlaymate; it was equal parts SWAT team and three-ring circus, and it had landed Sanders here, in a Sacramento courthouse, facing up to 11 years in prison.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This is how a 16-year-old's "apology" letter began after he robbed a family home.

The UK teen was forced to write to his victims in Leeds, but showed no remorse (or "remores") and wrote them a list of reasons why the whole debacle was their fault, The Sun reports.



Picture: Courtesy of Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Ultimate Electronics Books Collection
Language: English | PDF | Books Collection | 90 Ebooks| 1.52 GB

List on read more:
ACHA, E. (2002). Power Electronic Control in Electrical Systems.pdf
AGRAWAL, G. P. (2001). Applications of Nonlinear Fiber Optics.pdf
AGRAWAL, G. P. (2001). Nonlinear Fiber Optics (3rd ed.).pdf
AGRAWAL, K. C. (2001). Industrial Power Engineering and Applications Handbook.pdf
AKANSU, A. N. (2001). Multiresoluton Signal Decomposition – Transf.pdf
ANDERSON, H. (2003). Newnes PC Troubleshooting Pocket Book (2nd ed.).pdf
ARNOLD, K. (2001). Embedded Controller Hardware Design.pdf
BALL, S. R. (2001). Analog Interfacing to Embedded Microprocessors – Real World Design.pdf
BALL, S. R. (2002). Embedded Microprocessor Systems – Real World Design (3rd ed.).pdf
BANKMAN, I. N. (2000). Handbook of Medical Imaging Processing and Analysis.pdf
BECKER, P. C. (1997). Erbium-Dope Fiber Amplifiers – Fundamentals and Technology.pdf
BIGELOW, S. J. (2001). Understanding Telephone Electronics (4th ed.).pdf
BIRD, J. (2001). Electrical Circuit Theory and Technology (2nd ed.).pdf
BOVIK, A. (2000). Handbook of Image and Video Processing.pdf
BOWICK, C. (1997). RF Circuit Design.pdf
BRICE, R. (2003). Newnes Guide to Digital TV (2nd ed.).pdf
BROWN, G. (2001). Radio and Electronics Cookbook.pdf
BROWN, M. (1990). Practical Switching Power Supply Design.pdf
BROWN, M. (2001). Power Supply Cookbook (2nd ed.).pdf
BUCHANAN, W. (2000). Computer Busses – Design and Application.pdf
CARR, J. J. (2001). Antenna Toolkit (2nd ed.).pdf
CARR, J. J. (2002). RF Components and Circuits.pdf
CEVOLI, P. (2002). Embedded FreeBSD Cookbook.pdf
CIRSTEA, M. N. (2002). Neural and Fuzzy Logic Control of Drives and Power Systemsl.pdf
CLEIN, D. (1999). CMOS IC Layout – Concepts, Methodologies, and Tools.pdf
CRISP, J. (2001). Introduction to Fiber Optics (2nd ed.).pdf
CROMPTON, T. R. (2000). Battery Reference Book (3rd ed.).pdf
DA SILVA, E. (2001). High Frequency and Microwave Engineering.pdf
DECOURSEY, W. J. (2003). Statistics and Probability for Engineering With m!cr0S0ft© Excel.pdf
DECUSATIS, C. (2001). Fiber Optic Data Communication – Technological Trends and Advances.pdf
DECUSATIS, C. (2002). Handbook of Fiber Optic Data Communication (2nd ed.).pdf
DHAMEJA, S. (2001). Electric Vehicle Battery Systems.pdf
DHIR, A. (2004). The Digital Consumer Technology Handbook.pdf
DUARTE, F. J. (1995). Tunable Lasers Handbook.pdf
DUNCAN, B. (1996). High Performance Audio Power Amplifiers.pdf
DUTTA, A. K. (2002). WDM Technologies – Active Optical Components.pdf
DYE, N. (2000). Radio Frequency Transistors – Principles and Practical Applicat.pdf
EISENREICH, D. (2003). Designing Embedded Internet Devices.pdf
ELLIOT, B. (2002). Fiber Optic Cabling (2nd ed.).pdf
ELLIOTT, D. F. (1987) Handbook of Digital Signal Processing – Engineering Applications.pdf
ELLIS, G. (2002). Observers in Control Systems – A Practical Guide.pdf
FENG, G. (1999). Adaptive Control Systems.pdf
FISCHER-CRIPPS, A. C. (2002). Newnes Interfacing Companion.pdf
GANSSLE, J. G. (1999). The Art of Designing Embedded Systems.pdf
GIBSON J.D. Multimedia_Communications.pdf
Godara, Lal Chand – CRC Handbook of Antennas in Wireless Communications [2002].pdf
GRAF, R. F. (1999). Modern Dictionary of Electronics (7th ed.).pdf
HEATHCOTE, M. J. (1998). The J & P Transformer Book (12th ed.).pdf
HICKMAN, I. (1999). Analog Circuits Cookbook (2nd ed.).pdf
HICKMAN, I. (2002). Practical Radio-Frequency Handbook (3rd ed.).pdf
JACK, K. (2001). Video Demystified – A Handbook for the Digital Engineer (3rd ed.).pdf
JACK, K. (2002). Dictionary of Video and Television Technology.pdf
JENNINGS, D. (1995). Introduction to Medical Electronics Applications.pdf
KAMINOW, I. P. (1997). Optical Fiber Telecommunications III-A.pdf
KAMINOW, I. P. (1997). Optical Fiber Telecommunications III-B.pdf
KAMINOW, I. P. (2001). Optical Fiber Telecommunications IV-A.pdf
KAMINOW, I. P. (2001). Optical Fiber Telecommunications IV-B.pdf
KASHYAP, R. (1999). Fiber Bragg Gratings.pdf
KESTER, W. (2003). Mixed-Signal and DSP Design Techniques.pdf
KITCHEN, R. (2001). RF and Microwave Radiation Safety Handbook (2nd ed.).pdf
KOLAWOLE, M. O. (2002). Radar Systems, Peak Detection and Tracking.pdf
KUFFEL, E. (2000). High Voltage Engineering – Fundamentals (2nd ed.).pdf
LAUGHTON, M. A. (2002). Electrical Engineer’s Reference Book (16th ed.).pdf
LEE, N.-C. (2001) Reflow Soldering Processes and Troubleshootin.pdf
LEVEN, A. (2000). Telecommunications Circuits and Technology.pdf
LIPOVSKI, G. J. (1999). Introduction to Microcontrollers – Architecture.pdf
LIPOVSKI, G. J. (1999). Single- and Multi-Chip Microcontroller Interfacing.pdf
MALLAT, S. (1999). A Wavelet Tour of Signal Processing (2nd ed.).pdf
MANCINI, R. (2002). Op Amps for Everyone.pdf
MANDYAM, G. (2002). Third-Generation CDMA Systems for Enhanced Data Services.pdf
MARKVART, T. Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics – Fundamentals and Applications.pdf
MAXFIELD, C. (2002). Bebop to the Boolean Boogie (2nd ed.).pdf
MAZDA, F. (1997). Power Electronics Handbook (3rd ed.).pdf
MCMILLAN, A. (1998). Electrical Installations in Hazardous Areas.pdf
MIDDLETON, W. M. (2001). Reference Data for Engineers – 9th ed.pdf
NASSAR, C. (2000) Telecommunications Demystified.pdf
NIXON, M. S. (2002) Feature Extraction and Image Processing.pdf
PARR, E. A. (2003) Programmable Controllers – An Engineer’s Guide (3rd ed.).pdf
PEASE, R. A. (1991) Troubleshooting Analog Circuits .pdf
RASHID, M. H. (2001) Power Electronics Handbook.pdf
REZNIK, L. (1997) Fuzzy Controllers.pdf
RIBBENS, W. B. (1997) Understanding Automotive Electronics (5th ed.).pdf
SCHEIBER, S. F. (2001) Building a Successful Board-Test Strategy (2nd ed.).pdf
SCHMITT, R. (2002) Electromagnetics Explained .pdf
SEKKAT, Z. (2002). Photoreactive Organic Thin Films.pdf
SELF, D. (2002). Audio Power Amplifier Design Handbook (3rd ed.).pdf
SINCLAIR, I. R. (1998). Audio and Hi-Fi Handbook (3rd ed.).pdf
SINCLAIR, I. R. (2001). Sensors and Transducers (3rd ed.).pdf
SINGHAL, S. C. (2002). High Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells – Funda.pdf
SMITH, S. W. (2003) Digital Signal Processing – A Practical Guide for Engineers and Scientists.pdf
STRAUSS, R. (1998). SMT Soldering Handbook – Surface Mount Technology (2nd ed.).pdf
TERASHIMA, N. (2001). Intelligent Communication Systems.pdf
TERRELL, D. L. (1996). Op Amps – Design, Application, and Troubleshooting (2nd ed.).pdf
THEODORIDIS, S. (2002). Pattern Recognition (2nd ed.).pdf
TINDER, R. F. (2000). Engineering Digital Design (2nd ed.).pdf
TOOLEY, M. (2002). Newnes Data Communications Pocket Book (4th ed.).pdf
TRICKER, R. (2000). CE Conformity Marking and New Approach Directives.pdf
TRUNDLE, E. (2001). Newnes Guide to Television and Video Technology (3rd ed.).pdf
VAN SICKLE, T. (2001). Programming Microcontrollers in C (2nd ed.).pdf
VARTERESIAN, J. (2002). Fabricating Printed Circuit Boards.pdf
WANHAMMER, L. (1999). DSP Integrated Circuits.pdf
WARNE, D. F. (2000). Newnes Electrical Engineer’s Handbook.pdf
WILLIAMS, J. (1991). Analog Circuit Design – Art, Science, and Personalities.pdf
WILLIAMS, J. (1998). The Art and Science of Analog Circuit Design.pdf
WILLIAMS, T. (2001). EMC for Product Designers (3rd ed.).pdf
WINDER, S. (2002). Analog and Digital Filter Design (2nd ed.).pdf
WINDER, S. (2002). Newnes Radio and RF Engineering Pocket Book (3rd ed.).pdf
YU, F. T. S. (2001). Introduction to Information Optics.pdf

Cardiomyocytes damaged by a heart attack

What’s the News: Scientists are devoting countless research hours to treatments based on embryonic stem cells, differentiating these blank-slate cells from embryos into brain cells, light-sensing retinal cells, blood cells, and more to replace damaged or destroyed tissues in the body. Now, a new study in mice shows such that nature has arrived at just such a solution, too: When a pregnant mouse has a heart attack, her fetus donates some of its stem cells to help rebuild the damaged heart tissue.

How the Heck:

The researchers started with two lines of mice: normal mice and mice genetically engineered to express green fluorescent protein (GFP), which glows a distinctive green when exposed to blue light, in their cells. They mated normal female mice with GFP-producing male mice. This meant that half the resulting fetuses had the GFP gene, too, making their cells glow, too. Twelve days later—a little less than two-thirds of the way through a normal mouse pregnancy—the researchers gave half the pregnant mice heart attacks.

When the scientists examined the female mice’s heart tissue two weeks after the heart attacks, they found lots of glowing green tissue—cells that came from the fetus—in the mom’s heart. Mice who had heart attacks had eight times as many cells from the fetus in their hearts as mice who hadn’t had a heart attack did, meaning the high volume of fetal cells was a response to the heart attack.

What’s more, the embryo’s stem cells had differentiated into various types of heart tissue, including cardiomyocytes, the rhythmically contracting muscle cells that produce a heartbeat.

What’s the Context:

Doctors have observed that women who experience weakness of the heart during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth have better recovery rates than any other group of heart failure patients. This study suggests that fetal stem cells may help human mothers, as well as mice, recover from heart damage. It may also explain another curious clinical observation: The hearts of two women who suffered from severe heart weakness were later found to contain cells derived from the cells of a male fetus years after they gave birth to their sons.

The same thing seems to hold true for other organs. When pregnant women have damage in other organs, including the brain, lung, and liver, earlier studies have shown, fetal cells show up there, too.

The Future Holds: Since fetal stem cells can be readily isolated from the placenta, the researchers point out, they could provide a plentiful source of stem cells for treating heart damage.

Reference: Rina J. Kara et al. “Fetal Cells Traffic to Injured Maternal Myocardium and Undergo Cardiac Differentiation.”Circulation Research, published online November 14, 2011. DOI: 10.1161/​CIRCRESAHA.111.249037

Sunday, November 20, 2011


These biscuits are two layer of cookie dough, one of them chocolate, rolled and sliced into biscuits. To make two same sized, even sheets of cookie dough, I use the wax paper envelope trick, rolling the dough between folded wax paper to create a rectangular even shape.

500 gms Cake Flour
1 Large Egg
150 gms Butter
16 gms Coco Powder
1 1/2 Tablespoon Water
Wax paper

1. Cut the butter into pieces, and put into a mixture. Blend till soft.
2. Add the flour, egg and mix, add the water a little at a time, while mixing.
3. Don't over mix the dough, you just want it evenly mixed, if you over work the dough, the finished biscuits will be hard.
4. Split the mix into two equal portions, take one half out, and leave one half in the mixer.
5. Add the coco-powder to the mixer half and mix just until the coco powder is spread through the dough.
6. Take a piece of wax paper (about 12 inches by 24 inches, 30cms x 60 cms), fold it in half along the longest side, then fold over the edges 2 inches (5cms) on each open edge to form an envelope as shown below. Make up 4 of these envelopes, you will need two for chocolate dough and two for regular dough. The size needs to be correct for the quantities of the ingredients - it will give you the correct thickness dough.


7. Cut the chocolate dough in half, and place half inside the envelope, folding the edges back.
8. Turn the envelope so the folds face downwards and roll the mixture to the edges and corners and make it flat and even.
9. Cut the white dough in half, place half inside a different wax paper envelope. Fold the edges of this one back, place the envelope fold-side-down and roll this one, also to be even and rectangular.
10. When you open the envelope, peel off the paper from one side, now close it again, flip the envelope over and peel it off the other side. Do this for both white and chocolate doughs.
11. Open the envelopes, lay the chocolate dough onto the white dough, if you life it with the wax paper it is easier. At this point you should have a layer of wax paper at the bottom, then a layer of white cookie dough, then a layer of chocolate cookie dough.
12. Now it needs to be rolled like a swiss roll. Lift the edge of the wax paper and roll the dough. As you do, peel back the wax paper. (You don't want the wax paper in the roll!).
13. Once you've got a sausage of dough, wrap it in the wax paper, twists the ends to form a wax-paper wrapped sausage and place them in the freezer for 1 hour. This is to make it hard enough to slice.
14. Cut the biscuits into 1 cms thick cross sections (1/3rd of an inch), place on a greased baking sheet (or better still a non-stick silicone baking sheet) and bake in the middle of a medium oven, at 180 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes.

Womans brain while orgasming

What does a woman’s brain look like while she’s having an orgasm?

Apparently, its like a multi-layered, multicoloured abstract or neon sign that flashes on and off. Or so an animated video of a woman’s brain as she reaches orgasm using brain scan images reveals.

VIDEO: Watch a woman’s brain as she approaches, reaches and recovers from an orgasm.

It’s all part of research to understand how the brain and sexuality work, said Barry Komisaruk, a psychology professor at Rutgers University who presented the video at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington.

Nan Wise

“Her first post-graduate work at Rutgers University was in the field of neuroscience which she says is her "first love." While earning an M.S.W. in Social Work, she continued to read and study independently in neuroscience, a discipline which heavily influences her work, especially the creation of the Desire Curve. Then in 2007 she was invited by Dr. Barry Komisaruk and Dr. Beverly Whipple (co-authors of The Science of Orgasm) to be a co-investigator on their prestigious fMRI brain scan studies on orgasm and pain.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

According to a recent national survey, Canadians are passionate about bacon. When asked to choose between bacon and sex, more than four in 10 (43%) chose bacon! Maple Leaf commissioned this Angus Reid For the Love of Bacon survey to mark the launch of their newest product innovation, Maple LeafReclosable Bacon.


Dont have to choose no more thanks to bacon lube!


Monday, November 14, 2011


Jesus Lizard

Walking on water is so passé. Jesus knows riding a raptor is where it's at.
~ Professionally printed silkscreen
~ High-quality, 100% cotton tee.
~ Available in multiple colors
~ Ships within 2 business days
~ Designed and printed in the USA

Only$6.00 Or 10 For $50

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An anti-obesity drug that homes in on and destroys blood vessels that support fat reduced the weight of obese rhesus monkeys by 11 percent in one month. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center)

ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2011) — Obese rhesus monkeys lost on average 11 percent of their body weight after four weeks of treatment with an experimental drug that selectively destroys the blood supply of fat tissue, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports in Science Translational Medicine.

Body mass index (BMI) and abdominal circumference (waistline) also were reduced, while all three measures were unchanged in untreated control monkeys. Imaging studies also showed a substantial decrease in body fat among treated animals.

"Development of this compound for human use would provide a non-surgical way to actually reduce accumulated white fat, in contrast to current weight-loss drugs that attempt to control appetite or prevent absorption of dietary fat," said co-senior author Renata Pasqualini, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson's David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers.

Previous attempts to treat obesity have predominantly focused on drugs aimed at suppressing appetite or increasing metabolism, the researchers noted, but these efforts have been hampered by their toxic side-effects. The MD Anderson group designed a new drug, which includes a homing agent that binds to a protein on the surface of fat-supporting blood vessels and a synthetic peptide that triggers cell death. Their blood supply gone, fat cells are reabsorbed and metabolized.

"Obesity is a major risk factor for developing cancer, roughly the equivalent of tobacco use, and both are potentially reversible" said co-senior author Wadih Arap, M.D., Ph.D., also professor in the Koch Center. "Obese cancer patients do worse in surgery, with radiation or on chemotherapy -- worse by any measure."

Monkeys are spontaneously obese In earlier preclinical research, obese mice lost about 30 percent of their body weight with the drug, now called Adipotide. The drug acts on white adipose tissue, the scientific name for the unhealthy type of fat that accumulates under the skin and around the abdomen, and is a disease and mortality predictor.

"Most drugs against obesity fail in transition between rodents and primates," Pasqualini said. "All rodent models of obesity are faulty because their metabolism and central nervous system control of appetite and satiety are very different from primates, including humans. We're greatly encouraged to see substantial weight loss in a primate model of obesity that closely matches the human condition."

The rhesus monkeys in the current study were "spontaneously" obese, said study first author Kirstin Barnhart, D.V.M, Ph.D., a veterinary clinical pathologist at MD Anderson's Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research in Bastrop, Texas. No specific actions were taken to make them overweight; they became so by overeating the same foods provided to other monkeys in the colony and avoiding physical activity.

The wider problems of obesity This primate model also shares other physiological features associated with human obesity, such as metabolic syndrome, characterized by an increased resistance to insulin, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adipotide-treated monkeys showed marked improvements in insulin resistance -- using about 50 percent less insulin after treatment.

Arap, Pasqualini and colleagues are preparing for a clinical trial in which obese prostate cancer patients would receive daily injections of Adipotide for 28 consecutive days. "The question is, will their prostate cancer become better if we can reduce their body weight and the associated health risks," Arap said.

Some prostate cancer treatments, such as hormone therapy, cause weight gain. Greater weight can lead to arthritis, which in turn causes inactivity that leads to more weight gain, a cascade effect of co-morbidities, Arap said. Fat cells also secrete growth hormones that cancer cells thrive upon.

Overall and abdominal body fat levels drop, with reversible renal side effects Weight, BMI and abdominal circumference all continued to drop for three weeks after treatment ended before slowly beginning to reverse during the fourth week of the follow-up period.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was used to gauge abdominal body fat, thought to be the most dangerous area for humans to gain weight in terms of raising disease risk. Treated monkeys' abdominal fat levels fell by 27 percent during the study. Fat levels increased slightly in the control group.

Lean monkeys did not lose weight in a separate study to test for potential effects of the drug in non-obese animals, indicating that the drug's effect may be selective for obese subjects.

Monkeys in the studies remained bright and alert throughout, interacting with caretakers and demonstrating no signs of nausea or food avoidance. This is a potentially important finding since unpleasant side-effects have limited the use of approved drugs that reduce fat absorption in the intestines.

The principal side effects were noted in the kidneys. "The renal effect was dose-dependent, predictable and reversible," Barnhart noted.

Second drug developed via vascular ZIP codes This study is the second drug developed using a vascular mapping technique created by the Arap-Pasqualini lab. Blood vessels, they found, are more than a uniform and ubiquitous "pipeline" that serves the circulatory system, but differ depending on the organ or tissue that they support.

They have developed a way of screening peptides -- small bits of proteins -- to identify those that bind to specific vascular cells among the many possible "ZIP codes" present in a human vascular map. For blood vessels that support fat cells, the target protein is prohibitin, which they found in unusual abundance on the blood vessel cell surface.

"The same delivery system used in mice and monkeys was recently validated in human white fat, as reported recently by our group," Arap said.

An earlier drug, which uses a different molecular address to target the blood supply of prostate cancer, has been evaluated in a first-in-man clinical trial, just completed at MD Anderson. MD Anderson and some of its researchers, including Arap and Pasqualini, have equity positions in drug-development companies Alvos Therapeutics and Ablaris Therapeutics, which are subjected to certain restrictions under institutional policy. MD Anderson manages and monitors the terms of these arrangements in accordance with its conflict-of-interest policy.

This research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, AngelWorks, the Gillson-Longenbaugh Foundation, the Kleberg Foundation, the Marcus Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. 11/9/11

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, after generously giving shares to top talent in the company, last year began demanding that certain employees surrender some shares or be fired. Shayndi Raice has the story on Digits.

SAN FRANCISCO—Zynga Inc. Chief Executive Mark Pincus often gave shares rather than high salaries to his top talent as he built his online-game start-up.

But as Zynga grew into a multibillion-dollar company with hot games like "FarmVille" and "Mafia Wars," Mr. Pincus appears to have developed giver's remorse.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, at a company event last month, asked certain employees to surrender some restricted shares or face dismissal.

Early last year, as Mr. Pincus began preparing to take Zynga public, he and several other executives decided the company had doled out too many stock rights to certain people in its early days, say people familiar with the matter. The executives chose an unusual solution: They began demanding that certain employees surrender some shares or be fired.

Those shares matter as Zynga approaches an initial public offering, expected this year, that could value it at close to $20 billion and make holders of large blocks of stock wealthy.

Zynga's demand for the return of shares could expose the company to employment litigation—and, were the practice to catch on and spread, would erode a central pillar of Silicon Valley culture, in which start-ups with limited cash and a risk of failure dangle the possibility of stock riches in order to lure talent.

Built into that arrangement is the chance that founders will later wish they hadn't given away so much stock, and also that some very early employees will end up with bigger windfalls than latecomers who contribute more to the company. Many in Silicon Valley cite an early-hired Google Inc. cook whose stock was worth $20 million after the firm's 2004 IPO.

Zynga attempted to avoid such pitfalls. In meetings last year, Zynga executives said they didn't want a "Google chef" situation, said a person with knowledge of the discussions.

The result was a list compiled by top Zynga executives of employees whose job performance might not justify their large grants of restricted shares, which are shares that are doled out free but don't immediately "vest" and become saleable. Some employees Zynga reviewed had total grants worth tens of millions of dollars. Demands to return stock, however, applied only to portions of not-yet-vested share grants.

One list that Mr. Pincus kept, said people familiar with it, was known as his MIA list, for executives who did so little he considered them "missing in action."

Zynga declined to make Mr. Pincus available for an interview.

Andrew Trader, one of the first people Mr. Pincus brought in when he decided to found Zynga in 2007, eventually ended up on a broader list of people the CEO felt might have too much restricted stock, according to a person with knowledge of the list.

Mr. Trader—whose early duties, paradoxically, had included handing out shares to employees—left in March 2010, leaving behind some unvested shares but receiving a settlement, said people familiar with his situation. Mr. Trader didn't respond to requests for comment.

A person knowledgeable about another early hire's case said that during the first half of 2010, Mr. Pincus told this employee he had too many unvested shares and had to return a portion of them or Mr. Pincus would fire him. If so, he would lose all of the unvested stock.

Under investigation: Room-mates Rebecca Chandler, left, and Raven Larrabee, 20, have been arrested after a teenage boy told police he had been tortured during a satanic sex marathon

Two female room-mates have been arrested after a teenager told police that he had been tortured at knife-point during a two-day satanic sex marathon.

The 18-year-old victim told police officers in Milwaukee that he was tied up with duct tape and rope by the pair and cut more than 300 times.

The teenager had met Rebecca Chandler, 22, and Raven Larabee, 20, online and had taken a bus from Phoenix, Arizona, to meet the pair at the apartment they shared.

Under investigation: Room-mates Rebecca Chandler, left, and Raven Larrabee, 20, have been arrested after a teenage boy told police he had been tortured during a satanic sex marathon

But it appears that things may have gotten far more out of hand than he planned.

After leaving the flat on Sunday night he called the police from the street.

Officers were able to find the apartment where he had been simply by following the trail of blood.

He had a gruesome catalogue of injuries, including slash and puncture wounds on his neck, legs, arm and back.

It is not clear what had tempted the boy to the girls' apartment but it is believed he may have been lured by the promise of sex.


Discovered: Odd books including 'The Werewolf's Guide to Life' were found in the pair's apartment

According to a search warrant obtained by The Smoking Gun website, when police officers arrived at the apartment, Ms Chandler said: 'I think you are looking for me.'

The warrant claims that Ms Chandler told officers that the cutting between the pair and the teen started out as consensual  but 'got out of hand'.

It also says that she tried to put most of the blame on her 20-year-old room-mate.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, police also saw 'a large amount of blood on the floor and on bedding' .

They also found books including 'The Werewolf’s Guide to Life' 'The Necromantic Ritual Rule Book' and 'Intro to Sigilborne Spirits'.

The women, who have not been charged, are being held in custody on suspicion of reckless injury.

The incorrect mascot is on the far right

A Polish newspaper mistakenly identified "Pedobear", a notorious internet meme, as one of the mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The Gazeta Olsztynska published an image showing the bear alongside genuine Olympic mascots Quatchi, Sumi, Miga and Mukmuk to illustrate a feature about the Games.

It appears that the newspaper lifted the picture from Google Images, unaware that it had been created as a prank by Michael Barrick, a Canadian artist and graphic designer.

Pedobear, who is on the far right of the picture, was originally devised by members of the anarchic 4chan message board as a way of mocking users who expressed a sexual interest in young people.

Since then a tasteless internet trend – or meme – has emerged in which users insert the bear into other photos in a contest to create the most inappropriate composite image.

On his blog yesterday Mr Barrick wrote that online amusement about the newspaper's error had sparked a surge of interest in his artwork, and hinted that the financial burden of the Games on Canadian taxpayers was the motivation for his mischievous creation.

He wrote: "There seems to be a Tweet about this coming up every minute or two. The day before this started I was amused by the 27,000 hits I got in January. Yesterday alone I got 120,000 (with about one third coming from Poland) and today is looking like it will top that by at least double."

He added: "Maybe I'll just keep the money to help cover the price gouging, raised taxes, disappearing arts funding, and all the other "benefits" we Vancouverites are getting from the games that are kicking me in the back pocket."

The four genuine mascots of the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics were inspired by traditional native creatures.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

black rhino mother and baby

No wild black rhinos remain in West Africa, according to the latest global assessment of threatened species.


The Red List, drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has declared the subspecies extinct.

A subspecies of white rhino in central Africa is also listed as possibly extinct, the organisation says.

The annual update of the Red List now records more threatened species than ever before.

The IUCN reports that despite conservation efforts, 25% of the world's mammals are at risk of extinction. As part of its latest work it has reassessed several rhinoceros groups.

Poaching vulnerability

As well as declaring the western black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) extinct, it records the northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), a subspecies in central Africa, as being on the brink of extinction.

The last Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) outside Java is also believed to have disappeared.

Overall numbers of black and white rhinos have been rising, but some subspecies have been particularly vulnerable to poaching by criminal gangs who want to trade the animals' valuable horns.

Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, told BBC News: "They had the misfortune of occurring in places where we simply weren't able to get the necessary security in place.

"You've got to imagine an animal walking around with a gold horn; that's what you're looking at, that's the value and that's why you need incredibly high security."

Another focus for this year's list is Madagascar and its reptiles. The report found that 40% of terrestrial reptiles are threatened. But it also says that new areas have been designated for conservation.

przewalski's horse

Przewalski's horse has benefited from a breeding programme

That will help protect endangered species including Tarzan's chameleon (Calumma tarzan) and the limbless skink (Paracontias fasika).

Among the success stories identified in the latest annual update is the reintroduction of the Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus). Listed extinct in the wild in 1996, it was brought back after a captive breeding programme and the wild population is now thought to exceed 300.

Among the partner organisations involved in compiling the research for the list is the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

ZSL's Dr Monika Boehm said: "This Red List update very much shows us a mixed picture of what's happening to the world's species. There's some good news and some bad news.

"Unfortunately, the overall trend is still a decline in biodiversity. We still haven't achieved our conservation potential."


"The 50 million individuals who have downloaded 'Angry Birds' play roughly 200 million minutes of the game a day, which translates into 1.2 billion hours a year, more than ten times the 100 million hours spent creating Wikipedia over the entire life span of the online encyclopedia. Why is this seemly simple game so massively compelling? Charles L. Mauro performs a cognitive teardown of the user experience of Angry Birds and concludes that the game is engaging, in fact addictive, due to the carefully scripted expansion of the user's mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology. The birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user's mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased ... For example, why are tiny bananas suddenly strewn about in some play sequences and not in others? Why do the houses containing pigs shake ever so slightly at the beginning of each game play sequence? Why is the game's play space showing a cross section of underground rocks and dirt? One can spend a lot of time processing these little clues, consciously or subconsciously. 'Creating truly engaging software experiences is far more complex than one might assume, even in the simplest of computer games,' writes Mauro. 'You go Birds! Your success certainly makes others Angry and envious.'"

Nanoscale car

Just a couple of months after nanoengineers at Tufts University developed an 18-atom single-molecule electric motor, researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands have gone one better: They’ve made a car, and again using just a single molecule.

To create the vehicle, Tibor Kudernac and colleagues crafted a molecule with a long body and four “paddle” (wheel) features attached at each corner. The molecule was created with a bottom-up process, where each part of the molecule is gently slotted together. By applying tiny amounts of electricity with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to the finished vehicle, the wheels are forced to make a quarter turn. The wheels naturally take another quarter turn to restore equilibrium — and then the STM starts the process all over again.

The end result is very slow forward movement — six nanometers per 10 electric pulses — and the nanocar can only be controlled in a high-vacuum, near-absolute-zero temperatures as ambient energy results in the car moving around on its own. It is an electric vehicle made from just a (very tiny) handful of atoms, though — and yes, it could be used to carry tiny loads of cargo. According to one of the team members, Karl-Heinz Earnst, the next step is to “put some cars at the back and pull them along,” just like a train.

And what do you put in the cars? Pharmaceuticals, generally. The idea is that — one day, when near-freezing vacuums aren’t required — you could drive anti-cancer drugs to a tumor. The most significant part of this discovery, though, are the wheels — which are ultimately tiny motors. If we’re ever going to live in a world where nanobots are at our beck and call, we need tiny motors with infinitesimal power requirements — and that’s exactly what this tiny car is.

Read more at BBC or Nature

"A Cartography of the Anthropocene maps the various ways that global humanity connects and is interdependent. From the article: 'Using data gathered from US government agencies, anthropologist Felix Pharand-Deschenes has created a collection of maps that illustrate the various circulatory systems that connect humanity: cities, roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, cable Internet, airlines, and shipping lanes. The maps are remarkable cartographic documents of our current age, but also serve deeper research and educational purposes.'"

more pictures here

Global Transportation System

Rugby player who had stroke woke up gay and became hairdresser

Chris Birch retrained as a hairdresser and now lives with his partner Photo: Wales News Service / Splash News

7:29AM GMT 09 Nov 2011

Chris Birch, 26, suffered a stroke during during a freak training accident when he attempted a back flip and broke his neck.

But folllowing his recovery he quit his bank job to become a hairdresser, grew to hate sport, called off his engagement and started dating a man.

"I was gay when I woke up and I still am," he said. "It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different. I wasn't interested in women any more.

"I had never been attracted to a man before - I'd never even had any gay friends. But I didn't care about who I was before, I had to be true to my feelings."

Prior to the accident, Mr Birch was planning on settling down with his girlfriend and spent weekends playing sport and drinking with his mates.

Mr Birch, of Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, said: "Suddenly I hated every­ thing about my old life. I didn't get on with my friends, I hated sport and found my job boring.

"I started to take more pride in my appearance, bleached my hair and started working out. I went from a 19st skinhead, to a 11st preened man.

People I used to know barely recognised me and with my new look I became even more confident."

He retrained as a hairdresser and now lives with his partner Jack Powell, 19, above the salon he works in.

Two years ago it was reported that Alan Brown, from Malvern, Worcestershire, woke from a stroke to find he was able to paint and draw in incredible detail, despite no previous evidence of the skill.

The father of three said the experience must have 'flicked a switch' in the creative part of his brain.

And Mr Birch certainly has no regrets about his transformation. 'I'm nothing like the old Chris now but I wouldn't change a thing,' he said.

"I think I'm happier than ever, so I don't regret the accident.

Stroke Association spokesman Joe Korner said: "During recovery the brain makes new neural connections which can trigger things people weren't aware of, such as accent, language or perhaps a different sexuality."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Khan Academy announced on 04. Nov, 2011 that it has raised $5 million from the O’Sullivan Foundation (a foundation created by Irish engineer and investor Sean O’Sullivan). The money is earmarked for several initiatives: expanding the Khan Academy faculty, creating a content management system so that others can use the program’s learning analytics system, and building an actual brick-and-mortar school, beginning with a summer camp program.

The $5 million marks the latest in funding for the non-profit, which has received over $2 million in grants from the Gates Foundation and from Google.

Part of the lure of the Sal Khan narrative is this idea that he is single-handedly educating the world through his self-made YouTube videos. No doubt, you can point to page and video views to make a case about his impact.

Khan has long kept full control over the “instruction”, or rather the video creation — all the content has been created by him. That changed last month, as I reported here, when Khan Academy struck a partnership with SmartHistory, bringing on that organization’s Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker as art history instructors. The money from the O’Sullivan Foundation will be used in part to expand the Khan Academy further, to at least 5 full-time-equivalent teachers.

The O’Sullivan Foundation grant will also be used to build what’s described as “a crowd-sourced content management and curation system.” Details are sketchy on exactly what this entails, but the press release compares it to Wikipedia, saying it’s a “similar outlet for dedicated professionals to develop quality instructional content.” The system will also enable others to tap into some of the tools and analytics that Khan Academy is developing.

Khan Academy intern David Hu offered some great insight this week into what these analytics look like. In a blog post entitled, “How Khan Academy Is Using Machine Learning to Assess Student Mastery,” Hu detailed the efforts underway at Khan Academy to rethink how its model for student proficiency works. Currently, it relies on a “streak” — that is, students must get a certain number of questions right in a row in order to move on. Hu proposes an alternate approach to ascertaining whether or not a student has gained proficiency (defined as a 94% or greater likelihood of correctly answering the next question asked involving that skill) using a logical regression model. Hu hypothesizes that with this new proficiency model, learning outcomes should increase, in part by moving students off of problems that they’re good at more quickly.

With its current level of funding, no doubt Khan Academy has been able to attract some real super-star engineering talent to its team — a team that has remained fairly small. There are, I think, under 20 employees, including the recent SmartHistory additions. But it’s worth noting that while the engineering brainpower is sizable here, the number of teachers (past or present) on board is small.

“Teachers don’t scale,” I remember Sal Khan saying to me when I interviewed him last year. What can scale, he argues, is the infrastructure for content delivery. And that means you just need a handful of good lecturers’ record their lessons; the Internet will take care of the rest.

But online instruction clearly isn’t enough, and as “blended learning” becomes the latest buzzword — that is, a blend of offline and computer-mediated/online instruction — Khan Academy is now eyeing building its own school. The money from the O’Sullivan Foundation will go towards developing a “testbed for physical programs and K-12 curricula,” including an actual physical Khan Academy school. This will begin in June 2012 as a series of summer camps.

“The school of the future will not resemble the school of today,” Khan says. “In the past, the assembly-line, lecture-homework-exam model existed because that’s what was possible in the no-tech and low-tech classrooms of their day.” His team now have $5 million to take that lecture-homework-exam model into the high-tech classroom… or something.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


"Those pesky physicists are at it again; they want to build a laser so powerful that it will literally rip spacetime apart. Why? To prove the existence of virtual particles in the quantum vacuum, potentially unravel extra dimensions and possibly find the root of dark matter. The $1.6 billion Extreme Light Infrastructure Ultra-High Field Facility (known as ELI) will be built somewhere in Europe by the end of the decade and physicists are hoping the ten high-powered lasers — delivering 200 petawatts of power at a target for less than a trillionth of a second — will turn up some surprises about the very fabric of the Universe."

Hugefamily2 The World’s Largest Family: 181 Live in 100 Room House picturehouse2 The World’s Largest Family: 181 Live in 100 Room House picture

Meet the world’s largest family, who presides in Baktwang, India, and lives in a four-story house with 100 rooms.

The head of the family is Ziona Chana, a construction worker, and the 181 members of his family include: him, 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.

Ziona’s youngest child is five years old and the 67-year-old family head insists that he is blessed.

“I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world’s largest family,” he told the media.

There is a hierarchy of command reminiscent of military training at the family’s 100-room, four-story home.

First wife, Zathiangi, 71, organizes all the others when it comes to household chores. All of the wives in the family have to take turns sleeping in Ziona’s double bed, which has proven to be an extremely fertile sleeping place.

Ziona belongs to and is the leader of the Christian Chana sect, which includes some 4,000 followers and permits polygamy. His marriages seem to be almost noble, as many of his wives were formerly poor and orphaned village women.

Apart from the gargantuan task of doing the laundry, can you imagine mealtime at this household?

Credit: Illustration by Jorge Gonzalez/© Guillermo Rougier

Scrat, the fictional saber-toothed squirrel from the Ice Age films, may not be so fictional after all.

"Researchers have discovered the fossil remains of a 94-million-year-old squirrel-like critter with a long, narrow snout and a pair of curved saber-fangs that it would have likely used to pierce its insect prey. The creature, pieced together from skull fragments unearthed in Argentina and dubbed Cronopio dentiacutus, was not ancestral to us or any living mammal. Instead, it belonged to an extinct group called dryolestoids, a cadre of fuzzy mammals that scurried about in the shadow of long-necked dinosaurs."

Researchers have discovered the fossil remains of a 94-million-year-old squirrel-like critter with a long, narrow snout and a pair of curved saber-fangs that it would have likely used to pierce its insect prey. The creature, pieced together from skull fragments unearthed in Argentina and dubbed Cronopio dentiacutus, was not ancestral to us or any living mammal. Instead, researchers report online today in Nature, it belonged to an extinct group called dryolestoids, a cadre of fuzzy mammals that scurried about in the shadow of long-necked dinosaurs, as in the artist's impression above. The new discovery extends the known record of the dryolestoid mammals in South America back 60 million years from what was previously known. There were no acorns around at the time though, so Cronopio—like Scrat—would have had to do without them.

Gateway Games (1 to 1 1/2 hours playtime / Simple Rulesets)

Medium Weight Games (1 1/2 - 2 hours playtime / Intermediate Rulesets)

Heavy Games (2 - 3 hours playtime / Time to teach/learn 30 minutes)

Large Format Games (3+ hours / Extremely complex Rulesets)


My Top 5 Favorites

Board Game Geek's Top 100



Shameless cut copy paste from Redditor Kitanata

Using bacteria to reduce uranium to safe levels

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy

Researchers at Stanford and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using bacteria to reduce uranium to safe levels at sites such as this one in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where four unlined settling pits were built in 1951. Uranium-bearing wastes were piped in until 1983 and seeped into soils and groundwater. The site is now a parking lot.


While the Cold War ended decades ago, its legacy will live for centuries in toxic waste. In remote corners of the country from Tennessee to the Pacific Northwest, dozens of federal laboratories struggle to clean up contaminants left from 50 years of weapons programs. New results show a promising technique for cleaning up uranium from some of the most severely contaminated areas by harnessing the powers of microbes already in the soil.

"Toxic uranium is often found in groundwater at places where uranium was either mined or enriched to make weapons," said Craig Criddle, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. "This uranium-contaminated water can migrate into surface waters, where it becomes a threat to organisms and water supplies. Excavation of contaminated soil or pumping and treating the water are prohibitively expensive and lead to additional disposal issues. An alternative is to stimulate naturally occurring subsurface microorganisms that can convert the dissolved uranium into a solid form that is not susceptible to transport by water."

For the past six years, a research team at Stanford headed by Criddle has worked with a research team at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee headed by Phil Jardine, a soil chemist and distinguished research staff scientist there, to develop a possible solution to the problem. The group's strategy took groundwater that originally contained more than 1,000 times the drinking-water regulatory limit for uranium and brought concentrations down to the limit. The technique and its early results are described in a pair of papers to appear June 15 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a publication of the American Chemical Society. The papers were published online on May 13.

Funding for the $4.6 million, six-year project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE Environmental Remediation Sciences Program (ERSP) supports basic research on bioremediation—the use of living organisms to clean up toxic waste—and aims to devise a safe, cost-effective solution to the problem of uranium contamination. It also oversees the Stanford-ORNL project and other field research projects at Oak Ridge and other locations. Until the early 1980s, the Oak Ridge laboratory enriched uranium for use in bombs. Wastewater was dumped in four unlined settling pits. When production ceased, lab officials drained the ponds, filled them with dirt and paved a parking lot the size of four football fields to cover the site.

That site is now home to an ERSP Field Research Center—the first DOE field test site for development of the science and technology needed to understand and predict long-term impacts of contamination and to mitigate those effects at 120 sites in 36 U.S. states and territories. The quantities are enormous: more than 475 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater; 75 million cubic meters of contaminated sediments; and 3 million cubic meters of leaking buried waste. The overarching DOE cleanup program has a budget of $220 billion and a timeline of more than 70 years to develop and implement solutions. This is the largest remediation effort of its type, and possibly the largest environmental cleanup ever attempted, Criddle said.

Among the most common contaminants at DOE sites are radioactive metals. These have spread over areas miles wide, making it impractical to store the dirt in closed containers or build barriers to separate the groundwater from drinking water. Uranium sticks to soil, making it impossible to remove efficiently by pumping contaminated groundwater to the surface and treating it there (where its removal creates another disposal problem). But uranium also doesn't stick well enough to soil—over time, it dissolves into the water and can be transported in the groundwater to surface waters, where it is a threat to wildlife and water supplies. In humans, uranium causes kidney damage and cancer.

Extreme bioengineering

The extreme conditions at the field site called for a wide range of skills that could only be supplied by a large and diverse team. Members of the Stanford group are Criddle and Professors Peter Kitanidis and Scott Fendorf; senior research engineer Wei-Min Wu; consulting Professor Olaf Cirpka; postdoctoral researcher Jian Luo; administrative associate Julie Stevens; and doctoral students Mike Fienen, Margy Gentile, Matt Ginder-Vogel and Jennifer Nyman. Their partners at ORNL include Jardine and about one dozen other researchers and staff. The Stanford-ORNL team also worked with the consulting firm RETEC to design and construct the field system.

An important initial decision was where to work. The Stanford-ORNL team chose to set up camp less than 20 feet from the edge of the parking lot. They targeted groundwater 45 feet down because field measurements indicated that this water carried high levels of uranium from the ponds. But the uranium was not the only thing present in the water. They also discovered a witches' brew of contaminants—the acidic mixture that was leftover from disposal of sulfuric, nitric and hydrochloric acids; toxic heavy metals; and solvents. Dealing with this mixture presented formidable technical challenges for the team but also was an opportunity to develop a strategy that could cut off contamination of the groundwater at its source.

The Stanford-ORNL team members developed a staged approach and employed an unusual amount of engineering to ensure process control, Criddle said. First, they prepared a region of the subsurface for microbial activity. This was accomplished by drilling wells and establishing a recirculation loop: Groundwater containing contaminants that would interfere with the uranium conversion was sucked to the surface, treated to remove those substances, then reinjected. The pH of the recirculating water was then increased from 3.6, roughly the acidity of vinegar, to 6, a level conducive to microbial growth.

After adjusting pH, the researchers provided weekly additions of ethanol to the recirculating water for more than a year. The ethanol stimulated growth of subterranean microbial populations that converted the uranium into an immobile form. After treatment, high levels of uranium remained on the soil, but the groundwater contained almost no uranium. Analysis of the soil-bound uranium confirmed that it was largely converted into the immobile form.

Bacteria are back

Bioremediation was used in the 1980s to clean up toxic organics, mainly spills of fuels and solvents. Bacteria basically ate the fuels—chomping down long-chain hydrocarbons—or they "breathed" the solvents and created nontoxic forms.

"Microorganisms also 'breathe' metals like uranium, converting it into a form that is immobile because it does not appreciably dissolve in water," said Nyman, a doctoral student whose laboratory studies helped to guide operations in the field. After microbes convert the uranium, it's "just sitting there, like a rock," Criddle said. "In future studies, we hope to see how stable we can make that 'rock.' Ideally, it will remain in that form for thousands of years."

Hannah Hickey is a former News Service intern.

The Sawada Group at Kagawa University apparently wants to freak us out as they’ve developed a large robot mouth that can mimic human speech.

Led by Professor Sawada, the mouth and tongue of the robot are made out of several types of silicone rubber while the inside is comprised of plaster, which emulates the structure of the membranes and bones of the inner nose.

According to Sawada, “air is sent from [an air] pump, and goes through a section equivalent to the vocal cords, which vibrate. When that happens, resonance occurs in the parts that touch the mouth. So by moving the mouth, the robot changes the volume of air in the cavity and forms words.”

This is all well and good, but what’s the point? Well, the robot can apparently hear sounds and figure out what motions the mouth needs to make to make it sound more human. It can change pitch by manipulating airflow and can retain information in its brain to make more sounds.

"The most popular mobile game in history now has been downloaded more than 500,000,000 times, according to maker Rovio Mobile. Good thing the 300 million minutes of Angry Birds daily playing time around the world aren't being wasted or anything. Rovio chief executive Mikael Hed says: 'This is a fantastic landmark achievement for us, and we’re extremely delighted to see such an incredible amount of people enjoying our games. We remain committed to creating more fun experiences and bringing exceptional quality to Angry Birds Fans everywhere.'"

New Block

Enter Block content here...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam pharetra, tellus sit amet congue vulputate, nisi erat iaculis nibh, vitae feugiat sapien ante eget mauris.