Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Remember That Future Gene Roddenberry Promised Us?

We’re beginning to see it come together. Reporting for the New York Times, Denise Grady reveals how one of humanity’s viral nemesises, HIV, was captured, disabled, and turned so that it could be used to fight another medical foe— Leukemia. “The technique employs a disabled form of H.I.V. because it is very good at carrying genetic material into T-cells. The new genes program the T-cells to attack B-cells, a normal part of the immune system that turn malignant in leukemia.” For most Westerners, this is tantamount to magic. Cancer has long been the death sentence in the 1st world, with HIV a close second. most of ys can comprehend the use of little silicon-based machines working wonders based on their programming but the idea that we could take an insidious, virulent virus and use it to throw person after person into remission is pretty abstract— even for this geek. Don’t get me wrong—Breakthroughs like the discovery of Dark Energy (72% of the stuff in the Universe, but which we can’t “see”) are amazing, as well as being similarly confounding, but the use of this tech to solve more mundane problems is astounding.

Monday, December 10, 2012

BBC: Police warn over Apple Maps error

Looks like the current Maps app could get you killed in Australia. ** ** Inaccuracies in Apple Maps could be “life-threatening” to motorists in Australia’s searing heat, police warn. The bad news? Police believe that you can actually die by using this app. The good news? This tech is so pervasive that this announcement could only happen if smart phones were not the default.