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Showing posts from 2007

New Hopes After Comma

Man woken from virtual coma after six years By Roger Highfield, Science Editor Last Updated: 7:38pm BST 01/08/2007 Audio : How it works | Mum: 'My boy came back' Mother's plea: `Don't give up hope' A man who spent six years unable to talk, eat or walk as a result of severe brain damage has made a remarkable recovery thanks to a revolutionary implant of electrodes deep in his brain. The American man can now use words and gestures The 38-year-old had been written off by one doctor as a vegetable but he is now able to talk, laugh, drink, chew and carry out simple tasks such as brushing his teeth. The man had been left in a “minimally conscious state” after being beaten up and robbed. He was unable to speak audibly and could only communicate by a nod, or tiny eye or finger movements. He was also unable to chew or swallow, and had to be fed through a tube. His eyes mostly remained shut. But after two electrodes delivered pulses of electricity to arouse his brain, he ca

Asphalt Bacteria

Bizarre Asphalt Bacteria Found in Los Angeles 14. May 2007 CaribJournal-Sci [ Staff Writer ] Environmental scientists at the University of California-Riverside have discovered that the Rancho La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, Calif., house hundreds of new species of bacteria with unusual properties, allowing the bacteria to survive and grow in heavy oil and natural asphalt. Trapped in soil that was mixed with heavy oil nearly 28,000 years ago, the bacteria are uniquely adapted to the pits’ oil and natural asphalt, and contain three previously undiscovered classes of enzymes that can naturally break down petroleum products, the researchers report. “We were surprised to find these bacteria because asphalt is an extreme and hostile environment for life to survive,” said Jong-Shik Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Sciences, who initiated the study. “It’s clear, however, that these living organisms can survive in heavy oil mixtures containing ma

Many dieters 'finish up heavier'

Dieting is unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss and may put a person's health at risk, a study says. US researchers found people typically lose between 5% and 10% of their weight during the first six months of a diet. But the review of 31 previous studies, by the University of California, said up to two-thirds put more weight on than they had lost within five years. Repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to heart disease and stroke, the American Psychologist journal reported. Lead researcher Traci Mann said: "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. "Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people. "We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all. "Their weight would have been pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear of losing weight and gaining it all back." And she added some diet studies relied on partic

engadget: paper-based storage system

College student creates paper-based storage system (no, not that kind) Posted Nov 25th 2006 10:41AM by Donald Melanson Filed under: Storage 24-year-old Sainul Abideen thinks he's come up with an alternative to CDs and other data storage options that'll allow for greater storage capacities and be cheaper and biodegradable to boot, using a fancy printing technique he's devised to cram loads of data onto a plain old sheet of paper. The trick is to first convert the data into a so-called "Rainbow Format," which is made up of various geometric shapes that can be densely printed onto a sheet of paper; that can then be read by a computer or other device using a Rainbow Card Reader. From the sound of it, the system appears to be somewhat similar to QR Codes and other newfangled bar code-type technologies currently in use in parts of the world other than here, but Abideen's "Rainbow Versitile Disc" can apparently store far more amounts of data than those -- b


The Not-So Chosen One: Heroes saves viewers from lackluster TV season Shaun Boutwell Issue date: 3/15/07 Section: Entertainment 03/15/07 - As March signifies the end of winter sweeps, most faithful television viewers are now left with a couple weeks of reruns until their shows' remaining episodes start airing in mid-April. Luckily for me, a few of the shows I watch religiously, such as 24 and Battlestar Galactica (don't laugh), are running their last arc of episodes without any of those frustrating breaks. Unfortunately, however, both series have been surprisingly lackluster or predictable as of late. I still have hope they will return to their former glory, but I digress. After a three-month hiatus, Lost is airing without interruption, but even this show isn't without its problems. Imagine a hot girl in college that constantly flirts with the entire male campus population but never puts out. That's the equivalent of Lost; it takes so long to satisfy fans with answers t