By samzenpus from Slashdot's save-every-drop department
writes: James Harrison, known as "The Man with the Golden Arm," has donated blood plasma from his right arm nearly every week for the past 60 years. Soon after Harrison became a donor, doctors called him in. His blood, they said, could be the answer to a deadly problem. Harrison was discovered to have an unusual antibody in his blood and in the 1960s he worked with doctors to use the antibodies to develop an injection called Anti-D. It prevents women with rhesus-negative blood from developing RhD antibodies during pregnancy. "In Australia, up until about 1967, there were literally thousands of babies dying each year, doctors didn't know why, and it was awful," explains Jemma Falkenmire, of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. "Women were having numerous miscarriages and babies were being born with brain damage." It was the result of rhesus disease — a condition where a pregnant woman's blood actually starts attacking her unborn baby's blood cells. In the worst cases it can result in brain damage, or death, for the babies. Australia was one of the first countries to discover a blood donor with this antibody, so it was quite revolutionary at the time.
Last year we ran a story about another person with "golden blood
" named Thomas.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mouth-operating-faster-than-brain department
An anonymous reader writes: Tim Hunt is an English biochemist most notable for winning the 2001 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine. Today he's become notable for something else entirely — at the World Conference of Science Journalists, Hunt suggested science labs should be segregated by gender. He said, "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls three things happen when they are in the lab You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry." As you might expect, this set off a firestorm of criticism. Many asked Hunt to treat women in labs with the same respect he is afforded, and others held it up as an explicit example of the sexism that pervades the scientific community. Hunt later issued an apology, saying, "I'm very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I'm very sorry if people took offence. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's very-bored-hamsters department
An anonymous reader writes: Here's something we haven't done in a while: list the specs of your main system (best one) so we can see what kinds of computers Slashdot geeks use. Context would be interesting, too — if you're up for it, explain how and why you set it up as you did, as well as the computer's primary purpose(s). Things you can list include (but are not limited to): CPU, motherboard, video card, memory, storage (SSD/HDD), exotic Controllers (RAID or caching), optical drives, displays, peripherals, etc. We can compare and contrast, see what specs are suitable for what purposes, and perhaps learn a trick or two.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's beholden-to-shareholders-vs.-beholden-to-voters department
An anonymous reader writes: Two industry bodies which represent Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM, and others, have written to President Obama urging that the U.S. government not seek to legislate "official back doors" into encryption techniques. The Software and Information Industry Association and the Information Technology Industry Council sent the "strongly worded" letter on Monday, saying, "Consumer trust in digital products and services is an essential component enabling continued economic growth of the online marketplace. Accordingly, we urge you not to pursue any policy or proposal that would require or encourage companies to weaken these technologies, including the weakening of encryption or creating encryption 'work-arounds.'" The letter is the latest salvo in a public battle for secure communications, one that has reached the public eye in a way that few security stories do.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's going-for-the-high-score department
An anonymous reader writes: A joint international operation led to the arrests of 49 suspected members of a cybercriminal group in Europe. The operation involved law enforcement agencies from several different nations, including Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Georgia, and the UK. Police searched 58 separate properties, seizing laptops, hard disks, telephones, tablets, credit cards and cash, SIM cards, memory sticks, forged documents and bank account documents. The criminals came to the attention of police after repeatedly initiating man-in-the-middle attacks against European companies, using intrusions and social engineering to route corporate payments to their own bank accounts.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's need-a-summer-blockbuster-to-remind-us department
An anonymous reader writes: Last week saw the release of an open letter written to President Obama by a committee of notable political, security and defense experts — which includes past and present members of Congress, ambassadors, CIA directors, and others — on the country's concerning level of vulnerability to a natural or man-made Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP). An EMP has very real potential for crippling much of our electrical grid instantaneously. Not only would that immediately throw the social order into chaos, but the timeline to repair and restart the grid in most estimated scenarios would take months to a year or more.
Executive Director of the EMP Task Force Dr Peter Pry said, "Well, the short answer to [why we aren't defending against EMPs] is called the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. They used to be a trade association or a lobby for the 3,000 electric utilities that exist in this country. ... There is no part of the U.S. government that has the legal powers to order them to protect the grid. This is unusual, because in the case of every other critical infrastructure, there's an agency in the U.S. government that can require them to take actions for public safety. For example, the Food & Drug Administration can order certain medicines kept off shelves to protect the public safety. ... The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission doesn't have those legal powers or authorities."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's plausible-deniability-or-inattentiveness department
sends a followup to last week's news that the FBI is operating a fleet of planes
across the U.S. for surveillance purposes. A new article in The Atlantic points out that Congress is claiming to have had little or no awareness the fleet was being built
By Soulskill from Slashdot's putting-wrong-what-once-went-right department
sends news that the Obama Administration has made a legal request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to ignore a ruling
from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals making bulk surveillance illegal
. The government says it's doing so to create an "orderly transition" between now and the beginning of USA Freedom Act provisions in six months. Their legal argument is that the Circuit Court's rulings are only binding for lower courts — the FISA court is secretive and separated from the normal legal process, so it doesn't necessarily fit in the normal court hierarchy.
ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said, "While the FISA court isn’t formally bound by the second circuit’s ruling, it will certainly have to grapple with the second circuit’s interpretation of the ‘relevance’ requirement. The [court] will also have to consider whether Congress effectively adopted the second circuit’s interpretation of the relevance requirement when it passed the USA Freedom Act." The issue is further complicated because the Circuit Court did not actually issue an injunction against bulk surveillance, deferring instead to the congressional debate already underway about the Patriot Act and USA Freedom Act.Read Replies (0)