Archive for the ‘policy’ category: Page 33

Sep 25, 2018

“Healthspan” & “Duty to Die” for the Elderly — Bioethicists Push Health Care Rationing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, law, life extension, policy

A duty to die at 75 by law?! No need to cure one disease because anyway you will die from another after 65?! A new article uncovers the dangers of going to ‘healthy’ and not longer lifespan:

2) A duty to die becomes greater as you grow older. As we age, we will be giving up less by giving up our lives, if only because we will sacrifice fewer remaining years of life and a smaller portion of our life plans… To have reached the age of, say, seventy-five or eighty years without being ready to die is itself a moral failing, the sign of a life out of touch with life’s basic realities.

3) A duty to die is more likely when you have already lived a full and rich life. You have already had a full share of the good things life offers.

Continue reading “‘Healthspan’ & ‘Duty to Die’ for the Elderly -- Bioethicists Push Health Care Rationing” »

Sep 19, 2018

Changes are needed to fund US water infrastructure

Posted by in categories: life extension, policy

Water infrastructure in the western United States was funded in the early and mid-20th Century by federal financing through the Bureau of Reclamation, but such financing has declined in recent decades and there has been increased interest in alternative approaches to infrastructure funding. A new Journal of the American Water Resources Association article notes that two of these approaches—public-private partnerships and loan guarantees—are hampered by existing federal budgetary policies, however.

In the article, Dr. Martin Doyle, of Duke University, notes that significant policy changes are needed to allow private capital to play an important role in funding and financing water systems characterized by aging infrastructure.

“Everyone likes the idea of bringing more private capital to aging ; but no one is able, or willing, to get into the really weedy details of policy changes necessary to make such investments possible,” he said.

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Sep 18, 2018

The Application Of AI To Augment Physicians And Reduce Burnout

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, information science, policy, robotics/AI

Recently, there has been an explosion of interest in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to medicine. Whether explicitly or implicitly, much of this interest has centered on using AI to automate decision-making tasks that are currently done by physicians. This includes two seminal papers in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrating that AI-based algorithms have similar or higher accuracy than physicians: one in diagnostic assessment of metastatic breast cancer compared to pathologists and the other in detecting diabetic retinopathy compared to ophthalmologists.

While promising, these applications of AI in medicine raise a number of novel regulatory and policy issues around efficacy, safety, health workforce, and payment. They have also triggered concerns from the medical and patient communities about AI replacing doctors. And, except in narrow domains of practice, general AI systems may fall far short of the hype.

We posit that the applications of AI to “augment” physicians may be more realistic and broader reaching than those that portend to replace existing health care services. In particular, with the right support from policy makers, physicians, patients, and the technology community, we see opportunities for AI to be a solution for—rather than a contributor to—burnout among physicians and achieving the quadruple aim of improving health, enhancing the experience of care, reducing cost, and attaining joy in work for health professionals.

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Sep 10, 2018

Launch imminent: Philippine space agency rockets closer to reality

Posted by in categories: policy, space travel

The latest in a series of small but significant steps puts the Philippines much closer to making a giant leap into the space age.

National Space Development Program (NSDP) lead Dr. Rogel Mari Sese revealed that Senate Bill 1983, which aims to establish the country’s very own space agency, was successfully sponsored by Sen. Bam Aquino to the Senate Plenary Session. Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Tito Sotto co-authored the bill, which has been in the works for years.

JUST IN: Senate Bill 1983 An Act Establishing the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy and Creating the…

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Aug 30, 2018

Moon Village Association: Going to the Moon with cooperation from the private sector

Posted by in categories: business, government, policy, robotics/AI, space travel

Many countries including China, Russia, South Korea, India, Japan, and Europe Nations have all outlined significant lunar plans. To mention a few, the Moon Village concept got an endorsement from the Secretary General of the China National Space Administration, Yulong Tian. He outlined plans for a series of robotic missions to the moon, including China’s first sample return mission, Chang-e. The Director General of the Russian state space corporation, Roscosmos, talked about participating in any Moon Village effort. Smaller space agencies, such as Ukraine, share a similar desire to carry out lunar missions. President Trump signed the Space Policy Directive-1 in December 2017 and NASA has big plans for the Moon, with the recent Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) initiative. Space activities are not limited to government initiatives; many of them are being pursued in partnership with civil society and the private sector. Several private missions to the Moon are planned in Japan with ispace, India with Team Indus, Israel with SpaceIL, United States with companies such as OffWorld and Moon Express, Germany with PT Scientists, and Luxembourg with CisLunar Industries.

Private industry is developing business plans to profit by creating new services and products that eventually will become the Moon Market. There is already good cooperation between private and government industries in each country; however, there is no global platform allowing cooperation between industry and government around the world. There is also a need to engage non-space industries by communicating the potential of the Moon Market. The Moon Village Association (MVA), a non-governmental organization (NGO) created in 2017 and based in Vienna, is dedicated to this mission:

“It provides a forum for the development of the Moon Village for industry, government, space agencies, international organizations, NGOs and the public at large.”

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Aug 29, 2018

Study identifies distinct groups interested in types of electric vehicles

Posted by in categories: economics, policy, transportation

Drivers considering plug-in hybrid vehicles with a gasoline backup are most interested in economic benefits while those gravitating toward battery-electric vehicles have stronger environmental concerns, according to a study led by a University of Kansas transportation policy scholar.

The research has identified distinct profiles of people considering newer electric vehicle technologies showing the two types of vehicles—one that offers gasoline as a safety net and another that relies solely on battery charging—are very different in the eyes of consumers.

“Our findings inform the misconception and show that electric vehicles are not a homogeneous entity,” said the study’s lead author Bradley Lane, associate professor in the KU School of Public Affairs & Administration. “There are distinctive profiles of potential users for whom a plug-in hybrid is attractive and another for whom a battery electric is attractive. And these are two very distinct groups, similar to how there is a group of users who are attracted to a sport-utility vehicle and a separate group attracted to an economy car. We have shed more light on what factors influence how people make these decisions.”

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Aug 28, 2018

AI and the HR Professional

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, information science, policy, robotics/AI

The World Economic Forum suggests we are on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by ‘ubiquitous automation, big data and artificial intelligence’. The Institute for Public Policy Research, however, says that “despite the growing capability of robots and artificial intelligence (AI), we are not on the cusp of a ‘post-human’ economy.”

IPPR suggests that an estimated 60 percent of occupations have at least 30 percent of activities which could be automated with already-proven technologies. As tasks are automated, work is likely to be redefined, focusing on areas of human comparative advantage over machines.

The CIPD point out that “new technology has changed many more jobs than it has destroyed, and it does not destroy work. Overall, the biggest advanced industrialized economies have between them created over 50 million jobs, a rise of nearly 20 percent, over the past 20 years despite huge economic and technological disruptions.”

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Aug 21, 2018

New study identifies strategies in US climate litigation

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, policy, sustainability

The courts have played a central role in climate change policy, starting with a landmark Supreme Court case that led to the mandatory regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States. How do the courts address climate cases today? Who wins, who loses and what kinds of strategies make a difference in the courtroom?

Researchers at the George Washington University (GW) have published a study in Nature Climate Change that for the first time analyzes all U.S climate change lawsuits over a 26-year period.

“This first-of-a-kind study outlines the types of climate change lawsuits that are more likely to win or lose, and why,” said lead author Sabrina McCormick, Ph.D., MA, an Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH). “Efforts to affect U.S. should consider current trends in the courtroom.”

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Aug 17, 2018

The plastic waste crisis is an opportunity for the U.S. to get serious about recycling at home

Posted by in categories: food, health, policy, sustainability

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called “National Sword” policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the United States.

In response, support is growing nationally and worldwide for banning or restricting single-use consumer plastics, such as straws and grocery bags. These efforts are also spurred by chilling findings about how micro-plastics travel through oceans and waterways and up the food chain.

Continue reading “The plastic waste crisis is an opportunity for the U.S. to get serious about recycling at home” »

Aug 8, 2018

Uncertain human consequences in asteroid risk analysis and the global catastrophe threshold

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, existential risks, policy

By pure coincidence, the article by Seth Baum was published just 5 days after a small asteroid exploded over early warning Tule station in Greenland.

This paper studies the risk of collision between asteroids and Earth. It focuses on uncertainty in the human consequences of asteroid collisions, with emphasis on the possibility of global catastrophe to human civilization. A detailed survey of the asteroid risk literature shows that while human consequences are recognized as a major point of uncertainty, the studies focus mainly on physical and environmental dimensions of the risk. Some potential human consequences are omitted entirely, such as the possibility of asteroid explosions inadvertently causing nuclear war. Other human consequences are modeled with varying degrees of detail. Direct medical effects are relatively well-characterized, while human consequences of global environmental effects are more uncertain. The latter are evaluated mainly in terms of a global catastrophe threshold, but such a threshold is deeply uncertain and may not even exist. To handle threshold uncertainty in asteroid policy, this paper adapts the concept of policy boundaries from literature on anthropogenic global environmental change (i.e., planetary boundaries). The paper proposes policy boundaries of 100 m asteroid diameter for global environmental effects and 1 m for inadvertent nuclear war. Other policy implications include a more aggressive asteroid risk mitigation policy and measures to avoid inadvertent nuclear war. The paper argues that for rare events like large asteroid collisions, the absence of robust data means that a wide range of possible human consequences should be considered. This implies humility for risk analysis and erring on the side of caution in policy.

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