Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cul de sac

My life is crazy-busy these days. So: what better time than today to share a few of the more interesting items from my web-clippings file?

Remember the 1993 movie Six Degrees of Separation? Neither do I. Regardless, the Kevin Bacon game proves too easy. See "Facebook Claims 4.74 Degrees of Kevin Bacon."

As the Eurozone and the EU itself crumple, Brussels bureaucrats took the time to tackle a vital consumer-protection issue. See "Europe's ruling on water preventing dehydration – another 'angels dancing on the head of a pin' moment."

(That topic has a certain Douglas Adams feel about it, does it not? How soon can we expect new workplace protections for telephone mouthpiece sanitizers?)

But truly exciting -- and now I'm not being sarcastic -- is a recent initiative of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. To wit: "Darpa seeks nanotechnology defense against novel pathogens." Consider:
Darpa wants researchers to use nanoparticles — tiny, autonomous drug delivery systems that can carry molecules of medication anywhere in the body, and get them right into a targeted cell. Darpa would like to see nanoparticles loaded with “small interfering RNA (siRNA)” — a class of molecules that can target and shut down specific genes. If siRNA could be reprogrammed “on-the-fly” and applied to different pathogens, then the nanoparticles could be loaded up with the right siRNA molecules and sent directly to cells responsible for the infection.
Take that, you increasingly antibiotic-immune little beasties.

Ambitious? Surely. But the folks who brought us the Internet (nee ARPANET) begin with more than a little credibility.

And about that Internet ... To wrap up this post, here's the study that even now you and I have colluded to validate: "Study confirms many of us go online for no reason."   :-)

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