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Jun 9, 2020

Lockdowns in Europe saved ‘millions of lives’

Posted by in category: futurism

The researchers say the death toll would have been “huge” without a lockdown.

Jun 9, 2020

Putin orders creation of national genetic database as Russia prioritizes genetic research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, education, genetics, government

The president also ordered a boost in the education of specialists in genetics and genome sequencing and the domestic production of necessary laboratory equipment, as well as tax cuts for biomedical research. Russia will also open world-class genome research centers which will, among their immediate goals, work on the development of treatments and vaccines for Covid-19.

The future database will be one of the tools that Russia hopes to use to assume a leading position in the biomedical industry. The government sees it as crucial for keeping the country competitive on the world stage going forward.

The Kurchatov Institute, which is best known for nuclear research, has been tasked with laying the foundation for the database, choosing the storage format and making tools for search and analysis. The institute has experience in the secure handling of large amounts of sensitive data and operates a number of data centers across Russia which are used for scientific collaboration projects.

Jun 9, 2020

An experimental peptide could block Covid-19

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The research described in this article has been published on a preprint server but has not yet been peer-reviewed by scientific or medical experts.

In hopes of developing a possible treatment for Covid-19, a team of MIT chemists has designed a drug candidate that they believe may block coronaviruses’ ability to enter human cells. The potential drug is a short protein fragment, or peptide, that mimics a protein found on the surface of human cells.

The researchers have shown that their new peptide can bind to the viral protein that coronaviruses use to enter human cells, potentially disarming it.

Continue reading “An experimental peptide could block Covid-19” »

Jun 9, 2020

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology

Posted by in categories: government, law enforcement, robotics/AI, surveillance

IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology, IBM tells The Verge. Krishna addressed the letter to Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

Jun 8, 2020

New tool helps nanorods stand out

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Rice University scientists have developed an easy and affordable tool to count and characterize nanoparticles.

Jun 8, 2020

The Race to Mars in 2020

Posted by in category: space travel

Humans are launching four separate missions to Mars in July 2020 (via @ Seeker)

Jun 8, 2020

If China Invades Taiwan, This Is What The Fleet Could Look Like

Posted by in category: futurism

· Just now ·

A possible invasion of Taiwan has long been derided as the ‘million man swim’ because the Chinese Navy was not equipped to pull it off. That may no longer be the case.

Jun 8, 2020

SpaceX Starship’s first launches could be at one of 3 places, Elon Musk says

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

The Starship, SpaceX’s giant rocket designed to send humans to Mars, could take off from a few different places.

Jun 8, 2020

Controversial Coronavirus Lab Origin Claims Dismissed By Experts

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

“Properties that have never been found in nature”

New claims that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was engineered have been dismissed by scientific and intelligence experts.

The authors of a British-Norwegian vaccine study—accepted by the Quarterly Review of Biophysics—claim that the coronavirus’s spike protein contains sequences that appear to be artificially inserted.

Continue reading “Controversial Coronavirus Lab Origin Claims Dismissed By Experts” »

Jun 8, 2020

Samsung and SK Telecom reveal world’s first smartphone with quantum security tech

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones, quantum physics

The Quantum Random Number Generator makes it much harder to hack some services.