A Bay Area Startup Spins Lab-Grown Silk

“The company has developed a synthetic alternative to spider silk by engineering proteins identical to the natural threads stretched across the nooks in your basement. It’s raised $40 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firms Foundation Capital, Formation 8, and Founders Fund to commercialize its technology and turn those proteins into fabric. “Over the past few decades, as clothing companies squeezed on price, they’ve taken the innovation out of apparel,” says Dan Widmaier, a graduate of the UCSF Ph.D. program in chemical biology and Bolt’s chief executive officer. Widmaier and co-founders Ethan Mirsky, Bolt’s vice president for operations, and David Breslauer, its chief scientific officer, are genetically modifying yeast, single-cell organisms that convert simple carbohydrates to proteins through fermentation, and getting them to excrete silk-like proteins. “What would have been done in cells of spiders is now being done by yeast in our lab,” Widmaier says.”



Iconic Band’s First New Studio Album in 20 Years to be Released Worldwide

March 11, 2016 with SSE Arena Concert and Film Premiere in London March 12, 2016

Tickets for #XDAY SSE Arena, Wembley Concert Go On Sale

July 4, 2016 at 15:00 (GMT +1)

LOS ANGELES (July 3, 2015) – Iconic rock powerhouse X Japan will release the band’s first new studio album in 20 years and will appear live in Paris tomorrow to celebrate the announcement.  The highly anticipated album will be released worldwide March 11, 2016 in conjunction with #XDAY, a special album release concert and worldwide film premiere event at London’s SSE Arena at Wembley on Saturday, March 12, 2016.  X Japan founder and drummer Yoshiki will make a personal appearance at Paris’s Japan Expo at Paris-Nord Vilepinte Exhibition Center, one of Europe’s premiere Japanese Expo events, to share further details about this announcement with fans. Tickets for #XDAY, the London concert event will go on sale following Yoshiki’s appearance at 15:00 (GMT+1) via Live Nation at

Yoshiki will be joined by X Japan’s lead vocalist Toshi at a rare live appearance together in the UK this Saturday, July 11th at London’s very own Hyper Japan at the O2.  The duo will debut a song from the new album at a special unplugged performance.  In addition, they will premiere the first teaser for the band’s highly anticipated documentary film to London fans. Yoshiki and Toshi will be live on stage at Hyper Japan at 3:30PM. For tickets please visit

The much talked about return to the studio comes after decades of highs and lows in the band’s tumultuous and legendary timeline. Through triumph and tragedy, X Japan has remained resolute about reuniting in the studio to produce a follow up to their 1996 studio album Dahlia, their fifth studio release that went platinum in Japan. Dahlia preceded the band’s break up in 1997 following their fifth consecutive sold out New Year’s Eve concert at Japan’s famed 55,000 seat Tokyo Dome.

In addition to the long-awaited studio album release, X Japan will premiere its untitled film on March 12th at the #XDAY event prior to the band’s performance.  The film chronicles the evolution and groundbreaking history of Japan’s most iconic rock band, from their start to their current projects - including 2014’s magnificent Madison Square Garden concert, the band’s first US show in 4 years. The film is produced by (UK-based) Passion Pictures’ John Battsek, critically-acclaimed producer of the 2013 BAFTA and Academy Award-winning feature documentary Searching For Sugar Man. The documentary is directed by Stephen Kijak who was commissioned by The Rolling Stones to direct their 2010 documentary Stones in Exile chronicling the making of their 1972 album Exile on Main St. which premiered in Cannes and on BBC1. He is also well known in the UK for his earlier work Scott Walker – 30 Century Man, which was executive produced by David Bowie and earned great critical acclaim.

X Japan’s decision to celebrate their record release in London with an epic, arena-sized multi-media album release experience at SSE Arena at Wembley suits the globally renowned rockers, who are known for doing everything in a big way. X Japan is regarded as the visionary force that founded the Visual Kei genre of music expression and have long been celebrated by some of the most devoted and ardent fans in the J-Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Rock and Anime worlds.

For tickets to #XDAY at SSE Arena at Wembley please visit

For updates and more information on X Japan please visit

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Human waste shuts down BART escalators
Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves. All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART's escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters. Officers have to witness someone in the act to issue a citation, said Officer Era Jenkins, a BART police spokeswoman. BART police officers sweep "each and every stairwell at each and every station" before the stations open in the morning and ask people who spent the night in the station to move somewhere else, Jenkins said. What's been done: BART police say it is difficult to enforce laws banning public bathroom use because they must witness the crime, but they are working with city officials to coordinate a response to cleanliness issues.

I’ve seen cities called shitholes before, but this is ridiculous.