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Nov 21, 2021

Octopuses, crabs and lobsters to be recognised as sentient beings under UK law following LSE report findings

Posted by in categories: government, law

Octopuses, crabs and lobsters will receive greater welfare protection in UK law following an LSE report which demonstrates that there is strong scientific evidence that these animals have the capacity to experience pain, distress or harm.

The UK government has today confirmed that that the scope of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill will be extended to all decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs.

This move follows the findings of a government-commissioned independent review led by Dr Jonathan Birch. The review drew on over 300 existing scientific studies to evaluate evidence of sentience in cephalopods (including octopuses, squid and cuttlefish) and decapods (including crabs, lobsters and crayfish).

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Nov 20, 2021

Calls grow for US to bolster defense against asteroid threat

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, government, law

Experts are sounding the alarm about the threat of asteroids to life on Earth — and warning that the United States does not have a clear plan to prevent catastrophe.

Though NASA says the odds are literally one in a millennium, no US agency is explicitly responsible if space rocks are headed our way.

“No one is tasked with mitigation,” former Air Force space strategist Peter Garretson, an expert in planetary defense told Politico. “Congress did put in law that the White House identify who should be responsible, but fully four subsequent administrations so far have blown off their request.”

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Nov 20, 2021

Musk, Brazilian govt discuss deal to provide rural Internet, monitor Amazon

Posted by in categories: education, Elon Musk, government, health, internet, satellites

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 16 (Reuters) — Elon Musk and Brazilian Communications Minister Fabio Faria met in Austin on Tuesday to discuss a potential partnership that would leverage SpaceX technology to bring Internet to rural schools and cut back on illegal deforestation.

In a statement, the Brazilian government said the two talked about how SpaceX and Starlink, a satellite broadband service offered by the firm, could help monitor the Amazon rainforest for illegal cutting, while also providing Internet connections to remote schools and health centers.

“We’re working to seal this important partnership between the Brazilian government and SpaceX,” Faria said, according to the statement. “Our objective is to bring Internet to rural areas and remote places, in addition to helping control fires and illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.”

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Nov 20, 2021

NASA seeks ideas for a nuclear reactor on the moon

Posted by in categories: government, nuclear energy, space travel

If anyone has a good idea on how to put a nuclear fission power plant on the moon, the U.S. government wants to hear about it.

NASA and the nation’s top federal nuclear research lab on Friday put out a request for proposals for a surface power system.

NASA is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory to establish a sun-independent power source for missions to the by the end of the decade.

Nov 19, 2021

Why is No One Talking About “Informed Consent?”

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, law

Informed consent not something we hear a lot about these days, which is kind of odd, given all the drugs our government currently insists that we take and how often those very same legal concepts are invoked for aboriginal rights and sexual assault cases.


“Informed consent” is a well understood legal doctrine in healthcare, requiring the healthcare provider (traditionally a doctor) to educate patients about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of any given recommended procedure or intervention, allowing the patient to make informed and “voluntary” decisions about whether to undergo the procedure.

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Nov 18, 2021

Intel’s chip recovery plan could restore US manufacturing prowess

Posted by in categories: computing, government

The chipmaker’s come-from-behind strategy is risky and will take years, even with government subsidies.

Nov 18, 2021

Wait what? FDA wants 55 years to process FOIA request over vaccine data

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, government, health

Freedom of Information Act requests are rarely speedy, but when a group of scientists asked the federal government to share the data it relied upon in licensing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the response went beyond typical bureaucratic foot-dragging.

55 years and longer.

That’s how long the Food & Drug Administration in court papers this week proposes it should be given to review and release the trove of vaccine-related documents responsive to the request. If a federal judge in Texas agrees, plaintiffs Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency can expect to see the full record in 2076.

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Nov 18, 2021

Rolls-Royce gets funding to develop mini nuclear reactors

Posted by in categories: business, employment, government, nuclear energy

The creation of the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) business was announced following a £195m cash injection from private firms and a £210m grant from the government.

It is hoped the new company could create up to 40,000 jobs by 2050.

However, critics say the focus should be on renewable power, not new nuclear.

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Nov 18, 2021

Astronomers May Have Discovered a Planet in Another Galaxy

Posted by in categories: government, space

Using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray space telescopes, astronomers have made an important step in the quest to find a planet outside of the Milky Way. Spotting a planet in another galaxy is hard, and even though astronomers know that they should exist, no planetary systems outside of…


Using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA

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Nov 17, 2021

Scientists Warn of “Alien” Invasions and the Need for Planetary Biosecurity

Posted by in categories: alien life, government, health

The era of space exploration brings with it a new risk: invasion. The peril comes not from little green men arriving on flying saucers but, rather, from microbiological contamination of Earth from extraterrestrial environments and vice versa. Writing in BioScience, Anthony Ricciardi, of McGill University, and colleagues describe the dangers posed by such organisms and outline an approach to address the threat.

The authors caution that biological contamination endangers both ecosystems and human well-being. “Owing to their massive costs to resource sectors and human health, biological invasions are a global biosecurity issue requiring rigorous transboundary solutions,” say Ricciardi and colleagues. And that threat may be more immediate than previously anticipated. Despite considerable microbial caution among space agencies, say the authors, “bacterial strains exhibiting extreme resistance to ionizing radiation, desiccation, and disinfectants have been isolated in NASA

Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. It’s vision is To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.

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