Fabbing components, parallel processing with rats, and synthetic neurons.

Life being what it is these days, I haven't had much time to write any real posts here. If I'm not working I'm at home studying because I'm back on the "get letters after my name" trail, and if I'm not studying or in class I'm helping get family moved out and set up on the west coast. Or I'm at the gym because I'm fighting alongside my essential vanity by trying to lose weight; people tell me that I look good these days but there's a fine line between looking healthy and needing new clothes. So there you have …

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Replacing teeth and white blood cells, and a wi-fi enabled pacemaker.

I realize that some of these stories are kind of old, but in my defense I work a lot.


Scientists at the Tokyo University of Science announced earlier this month that they had grown a replacement tooth for an adult lab mouse. While this doesn’t sound like much given that rodent teeth grow continually through the creature’s life, they accomplished this task by engineering mouse cells to grow teeth and transplanting them into the socket of an extracted tooth. The tooth grown was fully functional, and seemed to have all of the nerve connections, structural integrity, and usability …

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Getting down to the wire.

Time's getting down to the wire and there's no escaping it. The wedding is now two solid months away and Lyssa and I are scrambling to get our plans in motion. Last week the invitations came back from the printer, the directory of local hotels came back from Kinko's (I'll mirror them here to make it easier), and the custom printed stamps that my mother had made up for were put to use. Last week, parts of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were spent writing names and addresses, stuffing envelopes, and sticking things together. I spent a goodly amount of Friday …

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Explosive post queue flush in three.. two.. one....

As one might expect, it's been a busy couple of days (a week, really), which has kept me from being able to post anything. I got back from Philly around 1700 EST5EDT last Friday, and I've been offline pretty much the entire weekend because I've been too tired to do much of anything. After I got back, Lyssa made a wonderful hot dinner (all the more special because temperatures in the tri-state area have been averaging in the mid-twenties Fahrenheit), and then we decided to get together with some friendly faces to hang out for the evening. To that end …

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Genetically modified cells reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease in rats.

Biomedical researchers at the Harvard Medical School have made an interesting discovery while working with rats that had, for all intents and purposes, developed Alzheimer's disease - genetically modified rat cells that produce a protein that breaks up amyloid-beta plaques in the brain can reverse the progression of the disease. At least in part (thus disclaimed because this isn't really my field of expertise), Alzheimer's disease is caused by masses of a protein called amyloid-beta that interfere with the normal operation of neurons in the brain, causing the functionality of neural networks to degrade. There is, however, a protein called neprilysin …

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For the system administrator or parent that has everything, how about a RAT?

'Remote access tool', that is - a little beastie (usually considered malware, though there are legit incarnations of this sort of software) that hides itself inside a workstation and lets someone connect remotely at any time and go through the system and silently monitor what the user is doing. Crackers have been using them for years for recon before an infiltration attempt, but only recently are the white hats finding uses for them. Such as watching what your kids are up to. Presenting Snoopstick, an all in one package for infecting someone's box with a RAT that lets you keep an …

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Systems cracker stalks pedophiles.

Brad Willman, known to the underground as Omni-Potent, has stepped forward after three years of secretly stalking online pedophiles and tipping off law enforcement. His primary tool was a trojan horse that appeared to be an image file but was actually a remote access tool that he posted to child porn-related newsgroups on Usenet. People would download and double-click them, which silently installed the utility. He would monitor feeds from multiple installations of this utility for up to 16 hours every day, gathering evidence that he indexed, filed, and passed along to police, even against their orders. Time and again …

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