Scientists Engineer "Chimera" Primates to Combat Human Ailments
Written by Amanda Schupak Tuesday, 31 July 2012 21:29 No Comments
Monkey MashOregon Health and Science University
Roku, Hex and Chimero are the world's first primate chimeras-individual monkeys made from multiple fertilized eggs of the same species. Each animal has six different sets of genes instead of one. To produce each monkey, biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov and his team at the Oregon Health and Science University placed six separate four-celled embryos into a petri dish and, using a micropipette, nudged them into a single aggregation. After a few days, the researchers implanted the aggregation into an adult female macaque. The resulting young have cells descended from each of six embryos evenly distributed throughout their bodies.
Researchers make chimeras in order to create better models for studying human disease. For example, to study human cancers, scientists produce chimeras to delete or mutate certain cell-growth genes and thus produce mice that develop tumors. But mouse models are only so useful-more than 90 percent of drugs tested in mice in the laboratory fail when used on people. Chimeras, on the other hand, could enable scientists to perform similar mutations and drug research in nonhuman primates, which are biologically closer to humans, and therefore more likely to produce helpful data. One result may be more medical research on primates, though, which raises ethical questions.
Hulu Plus Could Further Boost Apple TV
Written by NewsFactor Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:14 No Comments
Coming soon to a small screen near you (if it's equipped with an Apple TV set-top box): your favorite shows via Hulu Plus, the premium service for watching network and cable episodes via the Internet.
Available for $7.99 per month (with a free one-week trial offer), Hulu offers unlimited streaming of current and past TV shows (with ads) including full seasons, and has been available on iPads and iPhones as well as Apple TV competitors such as Roku. Apple did not announce the introduction of the app on Apple TV (available without downloading), but it was quickly noticed by viewers and reported by Web sites focusing on Apple products.
Apple Gets a Slice
As in the case of rival Netflix, users can sign up for Hulu Plus directly from the app. That gives Apple both a slice of the pie and data about the users.
Once described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as a "hobby" rather than a major product like the iPad or iPhone, demand for Apple TV has grown 130 percent based on fiscal third-quarter figures for this year over the same period last year, with 1.3 million Apple TV units shipped.
Content providers have been slow in releasing shows for Internet viewing for fear of undermining broadcast TV, which still has the most lucrative form of advertising, or cable subscriptions as viewers flirt with the ability to "cut the cord" and give up all but their Internet access.
But Apple, for its part, has also been slow in phasing in TV show content for the set-top box. After all, it sells TV shows via iTunes.
"Apple has been deliberate in limiting the number of channels and options on its Apple TV box, focusing initially on iTunes and Netflix, and expanding slowly over time," said mobile devices analyst Avi Greengart of Current Analysis.
3 Social Media Lessons from the Olympics
Written by Entrepreneur Update Tuesday, 31 July 2012 17:00 No Comments
Social media gaffes can happen to the best of us. Sometimes even to Olympic athletes.
While an Olympic team doesn't operate exactly like a business, there are some lessons business owners can glean from these social media mistakes and apply to their own marketing efforts. Here are three tips from social media expert Scott Stratten, author and founder of Ontario-based marketing consultancy Un-Marketing.
1. Make it known to employees that social media is not to be taken lightly.
That's not say no one can have fun with social media. But owners and their employees should be aware that what they socialize -- either from the company or, if applicable, from their personal accounts -- is a reflection on your brand.
Stratten suggests creating a list of social media do's and don'ts for employees. "Just realizing that they can change the brand perception with as little as 140 characters will usually make employees think before they tweet," he says. Show both brand home-runs and strike-outs to give employees a frame of reference.
2. Have a human-resources plan for dealing with social media mistakes.
The offending Olympic athletes were promptly expelled from competing for their social media transgressions. A business owner might not fire an employee for a minor misstep on social media, but should know what qualifies as a major mistake and the consequences employees could face if they make one.
Like many management issues, problems should be handled on a case-by-case basis, Stratten says. "Tweeting something mildly insensitive can be one thing, but being [undeniably offensive] is another," he says. Any guidelines in place for governing employee interactions between co-workers or customers should be extended to the virtual world.
3. Act fast to repair the situation online.
Don't wait too long before apologizing or addressing the issue online after the mistake is made. Reaction to social media fallout is measured in hours, not days or weeks, Stratten says.
"[A misstep] needs to be viewed as an opportunity to come out on top, instead of a chance to hide behind a press release," he says. "You can’t change the fact that your brand is in the spotlight, but you can control how you react."
Own up to any problem, show remorse and tell everyone what you plan to do or have done. "People are forgiving for the most part, as long as you do it swiftly and authentically," he says.