Sci-Tech

Japan finds fraudulent steps in ‘breakthrough’ stem cell paper

  (Reuters) – Japan’s top research body on Tuesday accused the lead writer of stem cell papers hailed as a game-changer in the field of medical biology of misconduct involving fabrication, but the scientist called the findings unacceptable. Two papers published in the scientific journal Nature in January detailed simple ways to reprogram mature animal cells back to an embryonic-like state, allowing them to generate many types of tissues. Such a step would offer hope […]

China’s Huawei books quickest profit growth in four years on smartphone demand

(Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies Ltd, the world’s No.2 telecommunications equipment maker, reported its fastest profit growth in four years as expansion in enterprise and consumer revenue far exceeded growth in its network building division. The unlisted company has benefited from companies investing heavily in cloud and mobile computing, while it has shipped so many mobile handsets that it became the world’s third-biggest smartphone manufacturer last year. Shenzhen-based Huawei is now looking for revenue from […]

Scientists build first synthetic yeast chromosome

(Reuters) – An international team of scientists has built a modified yeast chromosome from scratch, the latest step in the quest to make the world’s first synthetic yeast genome, an advance that would lead to new strains of the organism to help produce industrial chemicals, medicines and biofuels. Instead of just copying nature, the team did extensive tinkering with their chromosome, deleting unwanted genes here and there. It then successfully incorporated the designer chromosome into […]

BlackBerry posts smaller-than-expected loss; shares rise

(Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd reported a much smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, sending its shares up nearly 7 percent, even as its smartphone sales continued to slide. The company said its net loss was $423 million, or 80 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended March 1. That compared with a year-earlier profit of $98 million, or 19 cents a share. Revenue fell to $976 million from $2.68 billion. Analysts on average had been […]

We’re heading for a decentralized Internet, but will we get there by 2015?

It was all talk in Singapore. But with the US withdrawing from ICANN, the body that governs the Internet, in 2015, doubt is rife. The world’s digital community may not get a new “world stewardship” model in time. It was hardly a surprise. People had been calling for it for ages. But when the US Department of Commerce finally announced it was planning to relinquish control of a vital part of ICANN – and with it, the […]

Creating designer organisms by synthesizing a genome from scratch

Researchers have rebuilt a yeast chromosome, deleting superfluous genetic material not needed for survival. Such designer organisms could be the future of biotechnology. Are designer humans next? Twelve years ago, researchers created the first ever synthetic virus. About five years later, they rebuilt the complete genome of a bacterium. Now synthetic biologists have gone a step further. Jef Boeke and his team at the New York University Langone Medical Center have synthesized one of the […]

Facebook to use satellites, drones to spread the Internet

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc is harnessing satellite, drone and other technology as part of an ambitious and costly effort to beam Internet connectivity to people in underdeveloped parts of the world. The world’s No. 1 social network said on Thursday it has hired aerospace and communications experts from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and its Ames Research Center for the new “Connectivity Lab” project. “Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is […]