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Apr 8, 2024

Harvard and MIT Scientists Discover Cholesterol-Busting Microbes in the Gut

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Alterations in the gut microbiome are associated with a range of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Now, a team of researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard along with Massachusetts General Hospital has found that microbes in the gut may affect cardiovascular disease as well. In a study published in Cell, the team has identified specific species of bacteria that consume cholesterol in the gut and may help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk in people.

Members of Ramnik Xavier’s lab, Broad’s Metabolomics Platform, and collaborators analyzed metabolites and microbial genomes from more than 1,400 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a decades-long project focused on risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Apr 8, 2024

The Magnetic Twist: Hybrid Superconductors Unlock Quantum Computing Potential

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics

An international team including researchers from the University of Würzburg has succeeded in creating a special state of superconductivity. This discovery could advance the development of quantum computers.

Superconductors are materials that can conduct electricity without electrical resistance – making them the ideal base material for electronic components in MRI machines, magnetic levitation trains, and even particle accelerators. However, conventional superconductors are easily disturbed by magnetism. An international group of researchers has now succeeded in building a hybrid device consisting of a stable proximitized-superconductor enhanced by magnetism and whose function can be specifically controlled.

They combined the superconductor with a special semiconductor material known as a topological insulator. “Topological insulators are materials that conduct electricity on their surface but not inside. This is due to their unique topological structure, i.e. the special arrangement of the electrons,” explains Professor Charles Gould, a physicist at the Institute for Topological Insulators at the University of Würzburg (JMU). “The exciting thing is that we can equip topological insulators with magnetic atoms so that they can be controlled by a magnet.”

Apr 8, 2024

Google Chrome Adds V8 Sandbox — A New Defense Against Browser Attacks

Posted by in category: security

Google tackles Chrome security with new V8 Sandbox. This aims to stop memory issues from spreading, protecting your browser experience.

Apr 8, 2024

Watch Out for ‘Latrodectus’ — This Malware Could Be In Your Inbox

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

‘Latrodectus’ strikes via phishing emails. This powerful downloader can execute commands, evade detection, and pave the way for further attacks.

Apr 8, 2024

Cybercriminals Targeting Latin America with Sophisticated Phishing Scheme

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

Latin America targeted in new phishing attack. Emails contain malicious HTML files disguised as invoices.

Apr 8, 2024

Hackers deploy crypto drainers on thousands of WordPress sites

Posted by in categories: blockchains, cybercrime/malcode

Almost 2,000 hacked WordPress sites now display fake NFT and discount pop-ups to trick visitors into connecting their wallets to crypto drainers that automatically steal funds.

Website security firm Sucuri disclosed last month that hackers had compromised approximately 1,000 WordPress sites to promote crypto drainers, which they promoted via malvertising and YouTube videos.

It is believed that the threat actors were unsuccessful with their original campaign and began deploying news scripts on the compromised sites to turn visitors’ web browsers into tools for brute-forcing the admin passwords at other sites.

Apr 8, 2024

Notepad++ wants your help in “parasite website” shutdown

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

The Notepad++ project is seeking the public’s help in taking down a copycat website that closely impersonates Notepad++ but is not affiliated with the project.

Although, at the time of writing, the lookalike website takes visitors to the official Notepad++ downloads page, there is some concern that it could pose security threats—for example, if it starts pushing malicious releases or spam someday either deliberately or as a result of a hijack.

Apr 8, 2024

‘Lavender’: The AI machine directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

In 2021, a book titled “The Human-Machine Team: How to Create Synergy Between Human and Artificial Intelligence That Will Revolutionize Our World” was released in English under the pen name “Brigadier General Y.S.” In it, the author — a man who we confirmed to be the current commander of the elite Israeli intelligence unit 8,200 — makes the case for designing a special machine that could rapidly process massive amounts of data to generate thousands of potential “targets” for military strikes in the heat of a war. Such technology, he writes, would resolve what he described as a “human bottleneck for both locating the new targets and decision-making to approve the targets.”

Such a machine, it turns out, actually exists. A new investigation by +972 Magazine and Local Call reveals that the Israeli army has developed an artificial intelligence-based program known as “Lavender,” unveiled here for the first time. According to six Israeli intelligence officers, who have all served in the army during the current war on the Gaza Strip and had first-hand involvement with the use of AI to generate targets for assassination, Lavender has played a central role in the unprecedented bombing of Palestinians, especially during the early stages of the war. In fact, according to the sources, its influence on the military’s operations was such that they essentially treated the outputs of the AI machine “as if it were a human decision.”

Formally, the Lavender system is designed to mark all suspected operatives in the military wings of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), including low-ranking ones, as potential bombing targets. The sources told +972 and Local Call that, during the first weeks of the war, the army almost completely relied on Lavender, which clocked as many as 37,000 Palestinians as suspected militants — and their homes — for possible air strikes.

Apr 8, 2024

Shield AI to let Hivemind software fly three more aircraft

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Shield AI in the next year plans to have its Hivemind digital pilot working aboard three additional types of aircraft, bringing the total to nine.

The California-based company has already folded the autonomous flight software into three classes of quadcopters, its own V-Bat drone, the F-16 fighter jet and the Kratos-made MQM-178 Firejet drone.

Up next are two more Kratos products, the XQ-58 and BQM-177, according to Brandon Tseng, the president of Shield AI. The firm has not picked a third candidate.

Apr 8, 2024

South Korea launches second military spy satellite

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military, satellites

The Koreas each launched their first spy satellites last year — North Korea in November and South Korea in December — amid heightened animosities. They said their satellites would boost their abilities to monitor each other and enhance their own missile attack capabilities.

South Korea’s second spy satellite was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday evening local time, which was Monday morning in Seoul.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it confirmed the satellite entered orbit and communicated with an overseas ground station after separation from a rocket.

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