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Archive for the ‘government’ category

Nov 20, 2019

Consumer DNA Testing May Be the Biggest Health Scam of the Decade

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

At the start of this decade, the federal government called out consumer DNA testing as a burgeoning scam industry. Little did we know how it would explode in popularity.

In 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published an investigative report that bashed consumer DNA test companies for misleading the public. It accused them of deceptively claiming their products could predict the odds of developing more than a dozen medical conditions; some even went as far to offer equally dubious dietary supplements. The report had followed a similar lambasting of the industry by the GAO in 2006.

Nov 19, 2019

NASA Unveils Its First Experimental Electric Airplane

Posted by in categories: government, transportation

The American X-plane series has a long and storied history stretching all the way back to the Bell X-1 that made supersonic flight a reality. NASA, the Air Force, and other parts of the government have used X-planes to explore the flight mechanics of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), movable wings, and much more. Now, NASA is working on the first manned X-plane in decades, the all-electric X-57 Maxwell.

NASA started working on the X-57 in 2015, but it’s not building its electric plane from the ground up. The team started with a Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller plane, which it is modifying in stages. NASA hasn’t flown the aircraft yet, but it has deemed the X-57 ready for its public debut. The press was allowed to view the X-57 last week at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards Air Force Base.

The X-57 is currently in its “Mod II” configuration, which is the first featuring entirely electric flight hardware. The plane has electric cruise motors where two combustion motors were in the original aircraft. Mod III and IV will complete the X-57’s transformation from a noisy combustion plane to a quieter, more efficient electric one.

Nov 18, 2019

Landmark Longevity Summits at King’s College London

Posted by in categories: finance, governance, government, life extension, policy, robotics/AI

“Demonstrate That Top Financial and Tech Corporations Are Committed to Longevity”


This week two Landmark International Longevity Summits in London attracted the attention of scientists, government officials, major financial corporations, insurance companies, investment banks, and technology companies from around the world. The Landmark AI for Longevity Summit and the First International Longevity Policy and Governance Summit at King’s College London are expected to become the world-leading forums for the Longevity Industry.

Nov 15, 2019

Can AI Built to ‘Benefit Humanity’ Also Serve the Military?

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

There’s reason to think fruits of the collaboration may interest the military. The Pentagon’s cloud strategy lists four tenets for the JEDI contract, among them the improvement of its AI capabilities. This comes amidst its broader push to tap tech-industry AI development, seen as far ahead of the government’s.


Microsoft’s $10 billion Pentagon contract puts the independent artificial-intelligence lab OpenAI in an awkward position.

Nov 14, 2019

CRISPR’s unwanted anniversary

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

There are key moments in the history of every disruptive technology that can make or break its public perception and acceptance. For CRISPR-based genome editing, such a moment occurred 1 year ago—an unsettling push into an era that will test how society decides to use this revolutionary technology.

In November 2018, at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, scientist He Jiankui announced that he had broken the basic medical mantra of “do no harm” by using CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genomes of two human embryos in the hope of protecting the twin girls from HIV. His risky and medically unnecessary work stunned the world and defied prior calls by my colleagues and me, and by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences and of Medicine, for an effective moratorium on human germline editing. It was a shocking reminder of the scientific and ethical challenges raised by this powerful technology. Once the details of He’s work were revealed, it became clear that although human embryo editing is relatively easy to achieve, it is difficult to do well and with responsibility for lifelong health outcomes.

It is encouraging that scientists around the globe responded by opening a deeper public conversation about how to establish stronger safeguards and build a viable path toward transparency and responsible use of CRISPR technology. In the year since He’s announcement, some scientists have called for a global but temporary moratorium on heritable human genome editing. However, I believe that moratoria are no longer strong enough countermeasures and instead, stakeholders must engage in thoughtfully crafting regulations of the technology without stifling it. In this vein, the World Health Organization (WHO) is pushing government regulators to engage, lead, and act. In July, WHO issued a statement requesting that regulatory agencies in all countries disallow any human germline editing experiments in the clinic and in August, announced the first steps in establishing a registry for future such studies.

Nov 3, 2019

China’s Nobel ambitions on show as dozens of science laureates meet

Posted by in categories: government, science

Shanghai hosted one of the largest gatherings of Nobel laureates in the world last week, with 44 Nobel Prize-winning scientists in the city for a government-sponsored forum with the lofty goal of discussing science and technology for the “common destiny of mankind”.


Chinese academics and young scientists join global scientific elite to explore frontiers of research.

Nov 1, 2019

Sheldon Breiner, 82, Dies; Used Magnetism for Explorations

Posted by in categories: government, military

Ever since the compass was invented, perhaps about 2,000 years ago, humans have used Earth’s magnetic field to guide them. Many ages later, Sheldon Breiner devised ways to use magnetism to guide him to things that might otherwise never have been found — like sunken ships, a lost city and colossal basalt heads buried underground.

Dr. Breiner, a geophysicist, inventor and serial entrepreneur, started a company called Geometrics in 1969 that built sophisticated magnetometers, which measure magnetic fields. (A compass is probably the most simple example of one.) He then discovered how to use them to detect objects by observing the way the objects affect the magnetic fields that surround them.

Dr. Breiner had started employing rubidium magnetometers to detect seismic activity along the San Andreas Fault when he was studying geophysics at Stanford University. In time he harnessed magnetometers to search for mineral and oil deposits deep underground; find hidden weapons; locate skiers lost in avalanches; and help the government track down sunken submarines and a hydrogen bomb that had fallen into the ocean after a B-52 bomber collided with a refueling jet over Spain in 1966.

Oct 25, 2019

The Drones Are Coming! How Amazon, Alphabet and Uber Are Taking to the Skies

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

Flying robots that deliver packages to people’s doorsteps are no longer science fiction. Companies including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Wing and Uber Technologies Inc. are starting the most advanced trials of drone delivery in U.S. history.

While commercial drone delivery faces many hurdles, government-approved tests by the tech giants will mark the first time consumers in parts of the country experience the technology. Wing this month started tests in Christiansburg, Va., while Uber says it will experiment in San Diego…

To Read the Full Story.

Oct 25, 2019

Future Consequences of Cryptocurrency Use: Systemic Investigation of Two Scenarios

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, complex systems, counterterrorism, cryptocurrencies, cybercrime/malcode, disruptive technology, economics, education, employment, encryption, finance, futurism, governance, government, hacking, innovation, law enforcement, open access, policy, privacy, security, strategy, terrorism

We face complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty about the future consequences of cryptocurrency use. There are doubts about the positive and negative impacts of the use of cryptocurrencies in the financial systems. In order to address better and deeper the contradictions and the consequences of the use of cryptocurrencies and also informing the key stakeholders about known and unknown emerging issues in new payment systems, we apply two helpful futures studies tools known as the “Future Wheel”, to identify the key factors, and “System Dynamics Conceptual Mapping”, to understand the relationships among such factors. Two key scenarios will be addressed. In on them, systemic feedback loops might be identified such as a) terrorism, the Achilles’ heel of the cryptocurrencies, b) hackers, the barrier against development, and c) information technology security professionals, a gap in the future job market. Also, in the other scenario, systemic feedback loops might be identified such as a) acceleration of technological entrepreneurship enabled by new payment systems, b) decentralization of financial ecosystem with some friction against it, c) blockchain and shift of banking business model, d) easy international payments triggering structural reforms, and e) the decline of the US and the end of dollar dominance in the global economy. In addition to the feedback loops, we can also identify chained links of consequences that impact productivity and economic growth on the one hand, and shift of energy sources and consumption on the other hand.

Watch the full length presentation at Victor V. Motti YouTube Channel

Oct 23, 2019

The transhumanists ‘upgrading’ their bodies

Posted by in categories: computing, government, transhumanism

Dr Neal also said there were safety risks with people buying the equipment from online sites and doing the procedures from home.

The Scottish government told BBC Scotland’s The Nine it intended to regulate procedures carried out by non-healthcare professionals and it was consulting on how this could be done.


Meet the people seeking to improve their bodies by implanting technology such as microchips.

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