"We should be glad it was only anthrax" is not something you often hear.

Gang of 4 unavailable for comment:

Between 2003 and 2009, there were 395 "potential release events" and 66 "potential loss events" in American labs involving select agents, a category that includes many of the most lethal bacteria and viruses, including anthrax.

The circumstances of the recent anthrax incident suggest more reason for concern: The workers exposed were not those in the high-containment labs. Based on current reports, the problem arose when anthrax -- incorrectly thought to be dead -- was removed from the high-containment lab and exposed people who had no knowledge that they were in contact with live bacteria.

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Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain

For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area.

The woman has epilepsy so the team were using deep brain electrodes to record signals from different brain regions to work out where her seizures originate. One electrode was positioned next to the claustrum, an area that had never been stimulated before.

When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn't respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event.

To confirm that they were affecting the woman's consciousness rather than just her ability to speak or move, the team asked her to repeat the word "house" or snap her fingers before the stimulation began. If the stimulation was disrupting a brain region responsible for movement or language she would have stopped moving or talking almost immediately. Instead, she gradually spoke more quietly or moved less and less until she drifted into unconsciousness. [...]

Anil Seth, who studies consciousness at the University of Sussex, UK, warns that we have to be cautious when interpreting behaviour from a single case study. The woman was missing part of her hippocampus, which was removed to treat her epilepsy, so she doesn't represent a "normal" brain, he says.

However, he points out that the interesting thing about this study is that the person was still awake. "Normally when we look at conscious states we are looking at awake versus sleep, or coma versus vegetative state, or anaesthesia." Most of these involve changes of wakefulness as well as consciousness but not this time, says Seth. "So even though it's a single case study, it's potentially quite informative about what's happening when you selectively modulate consciousness alone."

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Today in ball sucking news:

Pneumatic Sponge Ball Accelerator

The apparatus contains 1000 black sponge balls, which are sucked through 150m of transparent pneumatic tubes with the power of a regular household vacuum cleaner. The balls travel with a speed of about 4m/s. Visitors can operate the machine with a touch sensor mounted on the pavilion's front glass: They can change the direction of the airflow and watch the balls speed up, slow down and reverse.

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Ecce Homo

Evelyn Bencicotva:

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How Quickly a "Genius" Startup Can Tank

So that "pivoted" about as expected.

Million Fishes Art Collective sat at the corner of 23rd and Bryant for nearly a decade, reportedly paying over $5,000 a month in rent for a space deep within gang territory. The 10,000 square foot collective housed dozens of artists and was routinely open to the public for shows.

But soon the neighborhood became trendy among techies and the gang violence subsided. And in the fall of 2012, Million Fishes' landlord booted them from the space with the hopes of attracting a monied startup to the space. [...]

Squandering nearly $400,000 a year in venture capital just to be in a hip neighborhood proved to be a terrible investment for Bloodhound. Despite TechCrunch's glowing coverage and claims that their growth strategy was "working like a charm," the app didn't pan out. In a blog post authored on Valentine's Day this year, the company announced it was killing off conference app and 'pivoting' to a business card-scanning program.

Now it seems the startup has burned through its cash. According to a lawsuit filed in the San Francisco Superior Court last month, Bloodhound has become a deadbeat -- not paying their hefty rent since May.

When emailed for comment, Bloodhound co-founder Anthony Krumeich simply stated "We moved out of the office. No longer fit our needs." However court documents indicate Bloodhound has gone AWOL and abandoned their office. The landlord's attorney has not been able to issue the company or its founders a summons. Now court documents are prominently taped to Bloodhound's former front door. [...]

It's rarely a case of flailing businesses finally succumbing to their inevitable death -- it's often a story of sustainable small businesses being axed in favor of startups with speculative wealth. But the consequence of startups pushing up rents to unsustainable levels is that it ends up gutting the very culture that made these "hip" communities interesting in the first place.

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