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Friday, 24 October 2008

University researchers developing cancer-fighting beer

Genetic engineering could give Joe Six Pack anti-aging and cancer-fighting benefits

October 21, 2008 (Computerworld) Have you ever picked up a cold, frosty beer on a hot summer's day and thought that it simply couldn't get any better?

Well, you may have to think again.

A team of researchers at Rice University in Houston is working to create a beer that could fight cancer and heart disease. Taylor Stevenson, a member of the six-student research team and a junior at Rice, said the team is using genetic engineering to create a beer that includes resveratrol, the disease-fighting chemical that's been found in red wine.

In Computer World

Comment: Now this is clearly a good example of great research: you mix the finest ingredients, red wine and beer, and you get something approximate to the elixir of life. (Not that we needed another excuse to drink it… J)

Monday, 6 October 2008

"Making Internet routing scale with shim6"

Iljitsch van Beijnum, a PhD student at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, gave a very interesting talk last week here in the lab.  Iljitsch has contributed to the IETF Multihoming in IPv6 working group, and has already written two books: BGP: Building Reliable Networks with the Border Gateway Protocol, and Running IPv6.

The talk was about multihoming (one user using multiple ISPs - that's an easy way to put it) and Shim6, as an alternative technique to solve scalability issues in BGP related to multihoming and IPv6. 

It is a fact that the routing system will not be able to absorb millions of multihomers. The IETF has been dealing with this since 2001, and the outcome was Shim6. With Shim6 each user has one address per ISP, but all these addresses are hidden from the upper layers (these are inserted between IP and TCP/UDP, hence the name "shim"). This then allows hosts to move ongoing communications from one set of addresses to another. 

Most fundamental problems I've perceived in Shim6: 1) only works with IPv6; 2) both sender and receiver must "understand" Shim6 - if one of them doesn't understand they'll just communicate as usual.

Iljitsch also talked about his current work on multi-path TCP. A nice thing about his work is that he his trying to build mTCP  with changes only in the sender - that way the receiver is oblivious of the use of a "new" technique.

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e-mail: fvramos at gmail dot com