Friday, February 26, 2010

Tiny Chip Made of Paper Diagnoses Diseases and Costs Just a Penny

Existing lab-on-a-chip designs can put the power of testing in the palm of your hand, but an upcoming model may represent the cheapest and most colorful one yet. A Harvard University chemist has created a prototype "chip" technology out of paper that could help diagnose HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases for just a penny each time, according to CNN.

A drop of blood on one side of the paper chip results in a colorful tree-like pattern that tells physicians or nurses whether a person has certain diseases. Water-repellent comic-book ink helps channel the blood into the tree-like pattern, as several layers of treated paper react to the blood and create the telling colors.

George Whitesides, a Harvard chemist, said that the colors can also reveal the severity of a disease rather than just saying if a person has it or not. It's not the most sophisticated lab-on-a-chip, but that's the point -- many of these could become cheap diagnostic tools for a developing world that often lacks physicians and clinics.

Read the article at Chip that diagnoses diseases for a penny

U.S Spooks Want a System That Automatically Gauges Who Can Be Trusted

Just as DARPA pushes the wackier Pentagon ideas and ARPA-E backs next-gen energy projects, IARPA serves the intelligence community by checking out "high-risk, high-payoff" research. The spooks' lab has now launched a "TRUST (Tools for Recognizing Useful Signals of Trustworthiness)" program that aims to figure out whom can be trusted, even under the most stressful or deceptive circumstances.

Trust has always presented a problem for the shadowy world of espionage, where believing in the wrong person could mean death and the loss of military or national secrets. A sobering reminder of that came in December 2009, when a trusted informant turned suicide bomber killed seven CIA analysts in Afghanistan who had been directing drone attacks against Pakistani militants.

IARPA's five-year plan aims to design experiments that can measure trust with high certainty -- a tricky proposition for a psychological study. Developing such experimental protocols could prove very useful for assessing levels of trust within one-on-one talks, or even during group interactions.

Read the complete article at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cybersecurity: Here’s What Really Worries the Pentagon

In Washington, "cybersecurity" is a term that's come to have a thousand meanings, and none at all. Any crime, prank, intelligence operation, or foreign-government attack involving a computer has become a "cyber threat." But at the Pentagon, they aren't worried about some kid painting a Hitler moustache on Defense Secretary Robert Gates' online portrait. They're not even that concerned about a full-scale attack on the military's networks – even though the modern American way of war depends so heavily on the free flow of data. In the military, there's now broad agreement that one cyber threat trumps all others: electronic espionage, the infiltration (and possible corruption) of Defense Department networks.

Well-placed spy software not only opens a window for an adversary to look into American military operations. That window can also be used to extract information — everything from drone video feeds to ammunition requests to intelligence reports. Such an opening also gives that enemy a chance to introduce his own false data, turning American command-and-control systems against themselves. How does a soldier trust an order, if he doesn't know who else is listening – or who gave the order in the first place?

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Pew Research quiz

This is not a humorous joke, but a Pew Research quiz.

See how well you do compared to the national averages. Once you see the results, you will know why the country is in the pathetic shape we're in. No one knows a damn thing!!! I contend the really uninformed Americans haven't even taken this test.

Test your knowledge with 12 questions, then be ready to shudder when you see how others did.

Pass it along to your friends and see how well they did!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

'Lab on a chip' that detects viruses developed by BYU researchers

A team of BYU engineers and chemists has created an inexpensive silicon microchip that reliably detects viruses, even at low concentrations.

For medicine, this development is promising for future lab diagnostics that could detect viruses before symptoms kick in and damage begins, well ahead of when traditional lab tests are able to catch them.

Read the complete article at