Earlier this week, former child star Corey Feldman vowed to expose Hollywood’s alleged pedophile network when he announced his TRUTH campaign to attempt to produce a documentary about what he experienced as a child — Feldman alleges that he and his friend Corey Haim became familiar with this ring of pedophilia in their youths.During his announcement, Feldman stated that one of his abusers remains a powerful player in Hollywood up to this very day and that he could name at least six names off the top of his head, all of whom have routinely participated in this culture of sexual predation of children. On top of that, Feldman also expressed deep fear that those in power could bring about his eventual death in light of his revelations.Many have since been asking why Feldman just does not outright name his accusers and be done with it. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations in California makes that difficult,”I’d love to be the first to do it,” Feldman said in an interview back in 2016. “But unfortunately California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name, I would be the one that would be in legal problems and I’m the one that would be sued.”
Monthly Archives: October 2017
Born with just one foot, [Nerraw99] had to work around prosthetics all his life. Finally getting fed up with the various shortcomings of his leather and foam foot, he designed, tweaked, printed and tested his own replacement!After using Structure Sensor to scan both his feet, [Nerraw99] began tooling around with the model in Blender and 3D printing them at his local fablab/makerspace: MakerLabs. It ended up taking nearly a dozen printed iterations — multiple printing issues notwithstanding — to get the size right and the fit comfortable. Not all of the attempts were useless; one version turned out to be a suitable water shoe for days at the beach!The triangular structure of the final design keeps the foot rigid, while the Cheetah filament allows for enough flex to be useful. Compared to his old prosthesis, this one lends a far more realistic appearance, and — crucially — minimizes the lopsided gait [Nerraw99] struggled with for years. His heel still slips out, but overall fits better and can be more accurately modified and re-printed if blisters arise.
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton drastically changed her tone while she spoke about President Donald Trump in remarks reported by ABC News’ World News Tonight on Wednesday — the day after it was revealed that her campaign paid for the unverified “Trump-Russia” dossier.Clinton, who normally is brimming with anger when speaking about Trump, appeared much more subdued than normal.”I also said that I thought we should give … a chance, we had to give an open mind … to the new President,” Clinton said. “And I meant it.””You know, I didn’t want everybody who voted for me just immediately going into kind of a defensive crouch,” Clinton continued.While she wanted to keep an “open mind” about the new president, Clinton said, that didn’t last long with Trump continuing to promote the “nativist, populist, nationalist, scapegoat” rhetoric he used on the campaign trail.
Analysis A computer at the center of a lawsuit digging into woeful cyber-security practices during the US presidential election has been wiped.The server in question is based in Georgia – a state that narrowly backed Donald Trump, giving him 16 electoral votes – and stored the results from the state’s voting systems. The deletion of its data makes analysis of whether the computer was compromised impossible to ascertain.There is good reason to believe that the computer may have been tampered with: it is 15 years old, and could have be harboring all sorts of exploitable software and hardware vulnerabilities. No hard copies of the votes are kept, making the electronic copy the only official record.It is feared the machine may have been hacked by Russian agents, who have taken a keen interest in the 2016 White House race, or potentially any miscreant on the planet.
Astronomers have spotted an object that they believe came from another star system.The 400-metre-wide object – dubbed A/2017 U1 – was first spotted on October 19 after it slingshotted around the Sun. Analysis of its trajectory suggests it passed beneath Earth’s orbit by about 24 million kilometers on October 14. Whatever it is, it’s moving: boffins have clocked it at 44 kilometers per second.Dr Karen Meech, an astronomer with the University of Hawaii, told The Register the object’s orbit suggests it is not of this star system. Astro-boffins assign a perfectly circular orbit around the Sun an eccentricity of eccentricity of zero, while an extreme parabolic orbit has a value of one.This object has been given an eccentricity score of 1.2 – by far the largest ever seen – suggesting it isn’t in heliocentric orbit at all but is instead just passing through.
To slather, or not to slather—that is the question that has been roiling doctors, scientists, and new parents recently. And a new ruling by a doctor’s group stands to muck up the debate further.Amid the birth of microbiome research, some scientists have advocated for smearing bacteria-laden vaginal secretions on any newborns who missed out—namely those born via Caesarian section. Scientists keenly hypothesize that such a gooey glaze can “seed” a more-or-less sterile infant with life-long microbial companions. These wee chums may help train an infant’s immune system and dodge issues like allergies and asthma later in life. Several studies have indeed found correlations between C-section deliveries and higher risks of those conditions.
A British company that has been investing in internet and information businesses is having its best day on record.On-line Plc jumped as much as 394 percent on Friday after announcing plans to change its name to On-line Blockchain Plc, following an initial climb of 19 percent on Thursday when it first announced the news. It’s the biggest one-day gain for the small-cap company since its December 1996 listing. The trading volume that reached 2.9 million shares by early afternoon in London is equal to more than 16 times the entire year’s trading before the last two days.
If you “take all the strands that define contemporary media, technology, and design, and follow them back in time to their source,” suggests Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, “to your astonishment, you will find all the strands converge in a single person: Muriel Cooper. If today’s ever-expanding information universe began with one big bang, she was squarely at the center of it.”
Smartphones are ubiquitous, but smartphone habits are as diverse as the people using them. I like to buy a flagship device, such as an iPhone X or Pixel 2, and use it for four or five years. Others buy into upgrade plans with their carrier that lets them change out their phone every year. But lots of people still buy a phone, keep it for a year or two, and then buy a new one; their old phone ends up in a closet, shoebox, or nightstand.Many people save these old phones in case of emergency, but the vast majority of them never get used again, and eventually become worthless. The phone-in-the-closet phenomenon has become a hidden store of e-waste; a two-year-old phone still has value and is still a powerful device. And so it’s great news that Samsung is starting a new “Upcycling” initiative that is designed to turn old smartphones and turn them into something brand new.
J.S. Mill was an early advocate for our current view of free speech. He wrote, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”Such a rule is likely rhetorically supported in many liberal democracies, and beyond as Greg Lukianoff from FIRE notes, however there exist variations to the rule. European countries permit more restriction on speech and have adopted, by convention or individually, some form of prohibition on hate speech, no longer allowing it, unlike the American system. Hate speech as a category has always been difficult to define and is hued in ambiguity, but generally, it limits speech aimed at people based on race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. The United States has advocates intent on including this as a form of unprotected speech, a category which has been previously unrecognized.Additionally, information from Pew shows a stronger culture of free speech in the United States when compared to other regions, reflecting the few narrow exceptions to free speech legally permitted now.
A Kenyan man who had his genitals swell up to 20 times their normal size finally got his life back after a successful surgery to reduce the swelling.Forence Owiti Opiyo, a 20-year-old man from the small village of Kibigori in western Kenya who suffered from scrotal elephantiasis, has had his genitals returned to their original size and plans to live a normal life following a successful surgery, reports The Sun.By the time of his surgery, Opiyo’s testicles had swollen to the weigh 11 pounds and penis had grown to three feet long. He was unable to walk properly, or even wear clothes and felt isolated from society.Opiyo first noticed a cyst growing on his genitals when he was 10 years old, in 2006. The next year he had the growth removed, but the infection returned a couple of years later, and his genitals began to swell again.
Computer software that mimics how the human visual cortex works can solve text-based CAPTCHA challenges, the image recognition tasks often used by websites to differentiate human visitors from spam bots.A paper describing the code was published on Thursday in the journal Science. A team from Vicarious – a California startup interested in developing artificial general intelligence for robots – developed the system, and called it a recursive cortical network (RCN). It can, we’re told, convert CAPTCHAs that are randomized letters of text into a correct input with a decent level of accuracy.CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, and dates back 20 years to 1997. Distorted images of letters and numbers are confusing for machines to grok, but easy for humans to read. A website visitor typically has to type in the characters shown in a randomly generated CAPTCHA to prove they are a person before they can be allowed to sign up for an account or send a message, and so on.
A year and a half after a petition circulated calling for Yale to “decolonize the English department,” the first students are enrolled in a new course created by the department to increase the breadth of the curriculum and combat claims of departmental racism.What’s more, new requirements are in place to ensure a more “diversified” slate of courses.Previous requirements for the major included two courses in “Major English Poets,” including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and Eliot, among others. But that two-course series petitioners had deemed actively harmful due to its focus on white male poets. The series is no longer a graduation requirement for Yale’s English majors.The petition, a Google document which has since been made private, critiqued the perceived whiteness of the English department requirements: “A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity.”“It’s time for the English major to decolonize — not diversify — its course offerings,” the petition added. “A 21st century education is a diverse education: we write to you today inspired by student activism across the university, and to make sure that you know that the English department is not immune.
A woman who gave birth to her own child at the same time as she delivered a surrogate baby has been reunited with her son after a long legal battle. “I was heartbroken knowing I carried a baby I didn’t know was mine and that he was taken from me without my knowledge and was in the arms of other people where he did not belong,” Jessica Allen told The Independent. The 31-year-old had decided to undergo a commercial surrogacy so that she could put the money towards a deposit on a home with her partner Wardell Jasper, 34.
It’s not outlandish to entertain a previously unthinkable prospect: Might ESPN elect to go without rights to NFL games?In a span of less than five years, industry giant ESPN has seen its narrative transformed from that of a mighty colossus into the hard-luck tale of a ragtag warrior.As it struggles to regain heretofore heroic heights — levels of growth that are probably no longer attainable — ESPN has had to endure a slew of significant workforce layoffs (with more reportedly on the way) and a once-doting Wall Street that has turned a skeptically cold shoulder. Astonishing increases in earnings, previously viewed as faits accomplis, now seem like fantasies from another world, thanks to the now-familiar combo of cord-cutting and burgeoning rights fees.With so much of ESPN’s universe asunder, it’s not outlandish now to entertain a previously unthinkable prospect: Might ESPN elect to go without rights to NFL games after the expiration of its eight-year deal for Monday Night Football in 2021?!
Ink Addiction Tattoos now has a retro gumball machine in its lobby, filled with plastic containers holding a plethora of designs.
Tattooer Aaron Garand says they’ve already gone through several hundred designs.
“It’s been a ton of work but it’s been a ton of fun. And that’s what it’s all about. I think tattoos don’t always have to be serious or memorials — they can just be fun.”
Garand says having a randomized tattoo system where you “get whatcha get” — as the gumball machine states — is something that he’s seen before, but may not be as common in Canada.
Rather than becoming ubiquitous in homes as expected, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become the butt of jokes, in part because of major security and privacy issues. UK mobile chip designer ARM — which created the architecture used by Qualcomm, Samsung and others — has a lot to lose if it doesn’t take off. As such, it has unveiled a new security framework called Platform Security Architecture (PSA) that will help designers build security directly into device firmware.ARM notes that “many of the biggest names in the industry” have signed on to support PSA (sorry ARM, that’s a bad acronym). That includes Google Cloud Platform, Sprint, Softbank, which owns ARM, and Cisco.
What has improved American lives most in the last 50 years? According to a Pew Research study reported this month, it’s not civil rights (10 percent) or politics (2 percent): it’s technology (42 percent).And yet, according to other studies, most Americans are wary of technology, especially in areas of automation (72 percent), or robotic caregivers (59 percent), or riding in driverless vehicles (56 percent), and even in using brain chip implants to augment the capabilities of healthy people (69 percent).Science fiction, however, is quickly becoming science fact—the future is the machine. This is leading many to argue that we need to anticipate the ethical questions now, rather than when it is too late. And increasingly, those taking up these challenges are religious and spiritual.
As the son of the founder of Granules India Ltd. , one of the world’s largest manufacturers of off-patent drugs, Harsha Chigurupati saw the damage that pain relievers like acetaminophen can do to the liver. He watched as scientists at Granules sought to mitigate those effects using additives. In 2002, he left Hyderabad, India, for Boston University and, after a night of drinking, woke up with a headache and an idea.“I don’t believe in abstinence,” says Chigurupati, who, at 33 years old, still looks young enough to get carded. “What I do believe in is using technology to make life better. I’m not going to stop drinking, so why not make it safer?”
After graduation, Chigurupati spent 12 years and $35 million to create a compound that, he says, helps protect against the liver and DNA damage caused by drinking. In 2006, he hired six biopharmacologists to comb through the ingredients that the Food and Drug Administration deems safe to consume. By 2013, they settled on a three-ingredient formula: potassium sorbate, glycyrrhizin and mannitol, an anti-inflammatory derived from licorice root. Chigurupati created a company (Chigurupati Technologies) and named his compound NTX—short for “no-tox.” Compared with rats given plain vodka, rats given NTX-infused vodka showed a 40% to 70% reduction of biomarkers known to indicate liver damage, according to studies funded by Chigurupati.
Charlie Rae talks about a controversial website called 4thWaveNow, run by “gender critical” parents, and their new spokeswoman, Brie Jontry.4thWaveNow is a collection of parents founded by a mother whose daughter once identified as trans. When this anonymous mother looked for information on how to help her daughter with her gender dysphoria, she found there were few places to get alternative or critical viewpoints beside the dominant mainstream message of affirmation and medical transition. So she decided to make one.Brie Jontry, Spokesperson for 4thWaveNow.comThe story of the spokeswoman they introduced the other day, Brie Jontry, seems somewhat similar. She also has a daughter who came to identify as trans after fixating on trans stories in online media. Both of these mothers decided they were not going to take the easy way out–they were going to do all the research and searching that they could to find the best answers for their daughter’s lives, bodies, and overall health.Brie Jontry is a woman with a clear and strong voice. In her introduction as the spokesperson for 4thWaveNow, she tells us about her and her daughters journey navigating what people are calling gender identity. She wants parents to know that affirmation and medical transition are not the only options, and that her daughter picked another: self-acceptance. Some have called this method Gender Critical. The choice not to transition will impact the rest of her daughters life. It will allow her to grow into a healthy female whose puberty and brain growth was never halted, nor her body surgically reconstructed. Jontry encourages parents to “dig deeper,” to ask questions, and treat underlying problems like anxiety and depression without attributing them solely to symptoms of gender dysphoria. This is important in an atmosphere where children’s self-diagnosis and claims of ‘I feel therefore I am’ are considered unquestionable reasons for full medical transition. For some parents, 4thWaveNow is their only lifeline for critical analysis. To them, Jontry says:
President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser raised the possibility of increasing the federal gasoline tax next year to help pay for the administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, U.S. Representative Tom Reed said.National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn brought up the fuel tax as a way to help fund promised upgrades to U.S. roads, bridges and other public works during a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers dubbed the Problem Solvers Caucus on Wednesday, said Reed, a New York Republican who is co-chairman of the caucus.There have been proposals over the years to raise the gas tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993, but they have faced stiff opposition from congressional Republicans and others loath to raise taxes.
Earlier this year Google boasted its security AI has smartened up so much it no longer requires you to tick a box in its reCAPTCHA system to know you’re not a bot. But it appears the company might have celebrated a bit prematurely.A group of researchers from the University of Maryland have developed a new algorithm, called unCAPTCHA, that is capable of defeating the reCAPTCHA system with a mind-boggling success rate of 85 percent. The method exploits a vulnerability in the audio version of reCAPTCHA to accomplish such high consistency.The solution involves using browser automation software to parse out the necessary elements and identify spoken numbers. The next step is to pass these numbers programmatically with the view to fooling target sites into thinking their bot is a human.“Specifically, unCAPTCHA targets the popular site Reddit by going through the motions of creating a new user, although unCAPTCHA stops before creating the user to mitigate the impact on Reddit,” the researchers explain.
A 16-year-old won a boys’ high school golf tournament in central Massachusetts with a commanding four-stroke lead, but the teen didn’t advance to the state championships or, in fact, take home the first-place trophy. That’s because while Lunenburg High School junior Emily Nash was allowed to play in the regional boys’ team tournament Tuesday—where her team failed to make the cut for the state team tournament—as a female, she is barred from competing with boys as an individual under Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, per the Guardian. The Worcester Telegram explains her high school has no girls’ team, so MIAA rules let her play on the fall boys’ team, but only as a member of the team, not as an individual.Nash knew in advance that she couldn’t advance as an individual, but was “disappointed” to later learn “I wouldn’t be able to get the title or the trophy,” she tells the Telegram. It seems so were most others on the course. “It’s a real injustice,” a rules official who was present at the tourney tells the Telegram. The male runner-up, who was given the first-place trophy, even offered it to Nash. She refused to take it, however. “I understand that there are rules in place,” she says. Even so, the tournament director says he plans to get another trophy made especially for Nash, who can play in the girls state championships next spring. In the meantime, “the MIAA needs to get with the times,” TJ Auclair writes at PGA.com. If allowed to compete, Nash “should be allowed any and all of the same perks for an exceptional performance as the boys,” he writes.
For the better part of a decade, an agile, black-clad thief eluded police in Osaka, Japan, as he pulled off burglary after burglary. But the reign of the crook who came to be known as the “Ninja of Heisei” appears to be over, and it came with a big surprise for cops: The suspect is 74 years old, reports the Asahi Shimbun. “I thought I would never be caught,” says Mitsuaki Tanigawa, who was arrested after police say he broke into an electronics shop over the summer and stole $240 in cash. “He was dressed all in black just like a ninja,” says a police official, per the BBC.
Zapping the brain to relieve depression can spark fits of fury in a small number of people, psychiatrists warn.Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is increasingly being used to treat a range of conditions, from depression and addiction to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In it, electrodes attached to the scalp emit weak currents that help strengthen electrical brain circuits.To treat depression, the current is usually applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – a brain area involved in regulating the emotions. There is now good evidence that this lifts mood in some people.However, it also appears to trigger anger in rare cases, say Galen Chin-Lun Hung and Ming-Chyi Huang at Taipei City Hospital in Taiwan.They recently reported two people at their psychiatric facility who had uncharacteristic outbursts of fury after receiving tDCS.
PALM BAY, Fla. – A Palm Bay man claiming to be Jesus Christ flashed customers at Lowe’s, according to police.Terry Wayne Brothers, 52, was arrested Thursday after he was found in his underwear outside the Lowe’s on Malabar Road.More Strange Florida HeadlinesMan trapped in gas station cooler stays overnight, drinks beerPuppy revived after accidental overdoseAston Martin selling 12 Tom Brady edition convertiblesWhen police asked him what he was doing, he would only say, “I am Jesus Christ.”
The whole point of doing laundry is to have the clothes be cleaner coming out than they were going in. Unfortunately, students at Southern Illinois University are finding that doing laundry can actually make clothes filthier.Much, much, filthier.Police at the university in Carbondale, Ill. are seeking a serial pooper who has been dropping loads in loads of laundry in the Abbott Hall campus dormitory.“I was like OK this is really embarrassing. I’m not going to tell anybody ever,” said one student. “And so I didn’t until my R.A. friend was talking about it and I was like, ‘Oh my god I have to tell everyone now.’ And this happened to me and I threw clothes away and I’m really upset about it.”Another student, Brian Piller told student newspaper The Daily Egyptian, that he too was a victim.
As the public has finally began to realize the extent of the corruption surrounding Hillary Clinton, including the now infamous Russia Uranium One deal, the mainstream media has gone into hyper-drive to discredit and distract from documented facts and are now going as far as to float the idea that Trump may be committing a crime for simply investigation Clinton at all.That’s right, in the sick world of the establishment media, Trump is committing a criminal act by even considering an investigation into shady Clinton dealings with the Russians. After all, she is above the law right?Even more disgusting, the so-called reporters spewing this nonsense are using the fact that Mueller is conducting a deep state operation (now discredited) against the president that accuses him of working with Russia to win the election when in reality it is the exact opposite. In other words, Trump is being accused of something he didn’t do but because of this, he can’t investigate real crimes committed by Clinton.Absolutely unbelievable.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. customers in a few Arkansas stores will soon cross paths with robots roaming the aisles.The Bentonville company said it will begin using autonomous devices in about 50 stores next month that are programmed to scan store shelves and identify things like out-of-stock items or products incorrectly priced or placed in the wrong spaces. Wal-Mart stores in Searcy, Sherwood and Pine Bluff will be among the first to introduce the robots beginning in early November, according to the company. A Wal-Mart store in Rogers will have a robot early next year.The 50-store trial is an extension of a test first conducted in Pennsylvania as the retailer explores ways to use technology to improve its operations. John Crecelius, Wal-Mart U.S. vice president of central operations, said the expansion will give the company a chance to collect and analyze additional data as the robots take on tasks typically done by employees.
Having badgered website owners to implement HTTPS privacy, it looks as if Google now wants to do something similar for DNS (Domain Name System) queries.The evidence is a small submit to the AOSP development site that mentions adding Android support for DNS-over-TLS, an emerging industry standard for encrypting DNS queries, originally submitted for Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) discussion in 2015.DNS, of course, is the system through which an easily readable internet domain (such as example.org) is resolved to the underlying IP address that computers care about (184.108.40.206 in this case). It happens every time you email somebody or type a URL into a web browser, and it usually happens so swiftly nobody notices it.Unfortunately, DNS queries are sent out onto the internet in the clear, which means that they can be tracked and altered by Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, and that every website visit you make can be logged by your ISP or VPN provider and, through them, by advertisers and governments.
California has cleared its first hurdle to going from one state to three smaller states.
Golden State residents who support billionaire Tim Draper’s initiative to break the state into smaller parts will now begin collecting signatures to get the plan on next year’s election ballot.
The plan proposes making the area including and north of San Francisco into one state, a coastal region extending south to Los Angeles another state, and everywhere south and east of those a third state.
If approved by residents, Congress would have the final say on the matter.
A Sydney lawyer was mistakenly transferred $24.5 million overnight, but her bank initially wouldn’t do anything about it. Clare Wainwright said she discovered she was an accidental multimillionaire on Thursday when National Australia Bank paid out her mortgage and gave her the millions to redraw.Wainwright told AAP she was shocked to see that not only did NAB pay out her mortgage, it also gave her extra change to the tune of $24,544,780.16. The error stemmed from a letter sent by NAB in September to her, confirming a direct debit for loan repayments.Wainwright was told in the letter that her monthly repayments would be $25,102,107 instead of the correct figure of $2,500. Her next due was on Oct. 25. NAB then requested $25.1 million from Wainwright’s bank, St George Bank, which transferred the millions.The young lawyer was shocked to see the amount deposited in her account but also knew that it was an error. She contacted her mortgage broker, who contacted NAB about the mistake. The customer service said they would just contact her in three days.
Since 2014, a group of volunteers going by the name Revive Network have been working to keep online game servers running for Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, and Battlefield Heroes. As of this week, the team is shutting down that effort thanks to a legal request from publisher Electronic Arts.”We will get right to the point: Electronic Arts Inc.’ legal team has contacted us and nicely asked us to stop distributing and using their intellectual property,” the Revive Network team writes in a note on their site. “As diehard fans of the franchise, we will respect these stipulations.”
Here’s one of the documents released yesterday. Orest Pena was an FBI informant from 1959 living in New Orleans and testified that he knew Oswald and saw him several times with other federal agents. At the time Pena worked for another agency, probably CIA. FBI and the CIA were at odds back then and the FBI was investigating the training camps the CIA had set up for the anti-Castro Cubans they were using in their proxy war of terrorism in Cuba. Pena also didn’t believe Oswald received that passport on the day they claim he did nor does he believe he went to Mexico.
If you go here you can find the mention of Orest Pena from the Warren Commission report which is vastly different from this testimony he gave to the FBI in 1978.
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair compared NFL players, who are employees and free men, to prison inmates during last week’s league meetings. (The exact wording, as McNair argued for banning players from protesting during the anthem: “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”) According to various reports, the Texans players—including star receiver DeAndre Hopkins—are pissed.
Biologists have created a highly precise tool for changing the code of DNA. It should be more powerful at fixing genes than standard CRISPR gene editing, and safer too.Normal CRISPR gene editing can do two things: fix genes and disable them. The fixing part doesn’t work nearly so well as the disabling part.To fix genes you have to add a bit of DNA with the correct sequence to cells, and trigger a repair process that results in it being swapped for the faulty DNA. This only works in about a tenth of cells, and hardly at all in non-dividing cells like brain cells.Enter David Liu of Harvard University. His team is creating tools that fix mutations by directly turning one DNA letter into another.The challenge is that there are four DNA letters, or bases: A, T, G and C. Each can mutate into any of the other three bases, so to fix unwanted mutations, we would need to be able to edit bases in twelve different ways. Last year, Liu’s team unveiled a base editor, called BE3, that can make two changes: C to T and G to A.Their starting point was the standard CRISPR protein. It consists of a pair of molecular scissors for cutting a DNA strand, and a guide part that binds to a specific DNA sequence. Liu’s team replaced the scissors with an enzyme that can convert Cs or Ts.
Leaders of a historic Episcopal church in Alexandria have decided to remove a pair of plaques from its sanctuary that memorialize two of their most prominent parishioners: George Washington and Robert E. Lee.In a letter sent Thursday to members of the Christ Church congregation, church leaders explained that the decision came after much deliberation.“This was not a discussion we entered into lightly, but rather a sincere attempt to have a family conversation about our worship space, our larger history and our future,” they wrote.The fate of the two plaques, which have hung on either side of the altar at the historic church since 1870, had been talked about for years, according to the Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, the church’s rector
Google has been ordered to pay business taxes on 14,570m rupees ($224m) of profit to the Indian government after losing a six-year legal battle.The nation’s Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) decided this week that Google India had engaged in a “clear and conspicuous” case of tax evasion when it sent all of its pay dirt to – get this – Google Ireland.As it has done repeatedly in Europe, Google Ireland “licenses” the American web giant’s Adwords technology, through which it makes most of is money, to other subsidiaries in Europe and then all income derived from those ads are sent to Ireland, where Google has reached a special low-tax deal with the Irish government.That arrangement has infuriated European officials for years to the extent that there are now serious proposals to change the law to force Google to pay tax on earnings in the country where they are received.
Flexible, non-toxic batteries might enable smart, 3D printed braces that reduce the time and cost involved in realigning and straightening teeth.Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) developed an orthodontic system that involves placing two near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with one lithium-ion battery on every tooth in a semitransparent, 3D-printed dental brace.The batteries provide enough energy to switch the LEDs on and off to deliver localized light therapy in accordance to the needs of each tooth. The LEDs can be programmed by the dentist and the brace would be removable to allow the batteries to be recharged.Phototherapy enhances bone regeneration and reduces the time and costs involved in corrective orthodontics.The researchers redesigned the batteries and then encapsulated them in biocompatible soft polymeric materials to prevent the possibility of leakage, while making them safe to place in the mouth.
The Intercept has just released a new top-secret NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals in stunning clarity that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.The US intelligence memo – marked “Top Secret” – is arguably the most damning piece of evidence to date which gives internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling an armed insurgency which launched massive and well-coordinated attacks on civilians, civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of regime change. The NSA report is sourced to the intelligence agency’s controversial PRISM program – which gives the NSA the ability to sweep up all communications and data exchanged through major US internet service providers like Google. The memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.One of the videos that Saudi-backed FSA fighters uploaded to YouTube identified by The Intercept as showing rockets launched on civilian areas of Damascus on March 18, 2013. US intelligence knew of the secret operation three days in advance yet did not stop it.