By Soulskill from Slashdot's side-effects-may-include-pretty-much-anything department
writes: Clinical trials rarely get a second look — and when they do, their findings are not always what the authors originally reported. That's the conclusion of a new study (abstract), which compared how 37 studies that had been reanalyzed measured up to the original. In 13 cases, the reanalysis came to a different outcome — a finding that suggests many clinical trials may not be accurately reporting the effect of a new drug or intervention. Moreover, only five of the reanalyses were by an entirely different set of authors, which means they did not get a neutral relook.
In one of the trials, which examined the efficacy of the drug methotrexate in treating systemic sclerosis—an autoimmune disease that causes scarring of the skin and internal organs—the original researchers found the drug to be not much more effective than the placebo, as they reported in a 2001 paper. However, in a 2009 reanalysis of the same trial, another group of researchers including one of the original authors used Bayesian analysis, a statistical technique to overcome the shortcomings of small data sets that plague clinical trials of rare diseases such as sclerosis. The reanalysis found that the drug was, as it turned out, more effective than the placebo and had a good chance of benefiting sclerosis patients.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's given-enough-heat-i'm-pretty-sure-all-architecture-will-change-shape department
An anonymous reader writes "A group of students at Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya has created a functioning prototype of architecture that adapts to environmental inputs. "The project, Translated Geometries, tackles the idea by developing a new use for Shape Memory Polymers, a composite material that can deform and return to its original state when activated by cues like heat, humidity and light." The idea is this: create a wall or a roof out of a series of folded triangles. At low temperatures, the roof would be in its folded state, laying mostly flat. When exposed to heat, the creases would flex and expand, unfolding the roof and giving it a much greater surface area, thereby increasing its convective cooling. As it cools, it folds back down into a smaller shape."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sounds-good-everybody-go-out-and-buy-an-electric-bus-ok department
An anonymous reader writes: All the EV attention these days is going to Tesla and other sedan manufacturers, but this article makes the case that it's far more important to switch our buses over to electric power than our cars. "Last year, according to the American Public Transportation Association, buses hauled 5.36 billion passengers. While usage has fallen in recent years, thanks in part to the growth of light rail and subway systems, buses still account for more rides each year than heavy rail, light rail, and commuter rail combined—and for about half of all public transit trips." This, while managing around 4-5 miles per gallon of gas, and public buses usually average about 50,000 miles per year. The electric buses themselves are significantly more expensive, but the difference is made up dramatically lower fuel costs. And there will be difficulties: "The range—up to 30 miles—limits Proterra buses to certain routes, so it's hard for an agency to go all in. Drivers have to be trained to brake and accelerate differently, and to maneuver into the docking stations. And Doran Barnes of Foothill Transit notes that some of the cost advantage of using electricity instead of diesel can dissipate. Electric cars can be charged at night, when power prices are low. But buses have no choice but to recharge in the middle of the day, when utilities often impose higher peak usage rates."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-small-or-go-home department
writes: Intel is upping their bid for a place at the efficient-yet-powerful device table. They've launched their Edison board, which features an x86 based SoC running at 100 MHz. The footprint measures 35.5mm x 25.0mm and offers a 70-pin connector to break out 40 pins for add-on hardware.
Also at the Intel Developer Forum today, the company demonstrated a PC running on Skylake
, a new CPU microarchitecture based on the 14nm process used for Broadwell. Intel is pushing to break into both wearable devices and household devices
, as it sees both as huge opportunities for growth.Read Replies (0)