Today in Trademark Abuse news

La guerra de los Jarritos: Multinational manufacturer of repulsive sugar-water sues tiny, 22-year-old Mexican restaurant for naming their restaurant after the same kind of ancient clay pot that they did. SPOILER ALERT: restaurant caves because they can't afford to fight.
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Plastic antibodies

Plastic antibodies effective in living animals

Using synthetic polymer nanoparticles (plastic antibodies) to capture a peptide toxin in the bloodstream of mice, the scientists were able to demonstrate that these artificial proteins can recognize, capture and neutralize peptide toxins in a living test subject without being inactivated by plasma proteins and/or blood cells.

They are made using an approach called molecular printing - a process similar to leaving a footprint in wet concrete. The scientists mixed melittin - the main toxin in bee venom - with small molecules called monomers, and then started a chemical reaction that links those building blocks into long chains, and makes them solidify. When the plastic dots hardened, the researchers leached the poison out. That left the nanoparticles with tiny toxin-shaped craters.

The nanoparticles show minimal toxicity, Shea says. [...] The MIP nanoparticles and their targeted melittin accumulated in the same cells in the liver, suggesting that the nanoparticles sequester the toxin and that the complex is then cleared from the body by the liver.

Coming soon to a Pacific Garbage Patch near you...

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Today in USB Typewriter news

This is pretty fantastic.

I am sad to report that my own attempts to turn either my Underwood or Oliver typewriters into a USB keyboard are still perma-stalled. I built the electronics (basically the same thing he sells in his store, except that I made mine by cannibalizing parts out of an existing USB keyboard and scoping it out) but I'm still stuck at the point of trying to attach the contacts to the keys-arms. His approach of attaching to the crossbar doesn't work on either of the models of typewriter I have; on the Underwoods, the only unimpeded crossbar is too far away, and on both, the other crossbars have all kinds of stuff in the way, making attachment nontrivial. The only way I can see to make this work involves fabricating a tiny, inflexible comb out of steel and welding it to the frame, which is somewhat above my pay grade.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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