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Medicine

Stem Cell Researchers Can Now Combine Animal and Human Embryos In The US (sciencemag.org) 92

Slashdot reader sciencehabit quotes an article from Science magazine: The National Institutes of Health announced that the agency soon expects to lift a moratorium on funding for controversial experiments that add human stem cells to animal embryos, creating an organism that is part animal, part human. Instead, these so-called chimera studies will undergo an extra layer of ethical review but may ultimately be allowed to proceed.

Although scientists who support such research welcomed the move, some were left trying to parse exactly what the draft policy will mean. It is "a step in the right direction," says Sean Wu, a stem cell researcher at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who co-authored a letter to Science last year opposing the moratorium. But "we still don't know what the outcome will be case by case," he adds. However, some see the proposal as opening up research in some areas that had been potentially off-limits.

Experiments could include using animals to grow human organs for transplants, although according to the article, some scientists "worry that the experiments could produce, say, a supersmart mouse."

Comment Machine Learning (Score 1) 213

This is like the problem of detecting credit card fraud by solving the machine learning A = B x C matrix problem where the "features" of the matrices are age, ethnicity, race, gender .. even if you don't believe in the metric it can still be useful so you collect everything and use all data. Expect people to start accusing robots of racism.
Social Networks

How Ugandans Overturned an Election-Day Blackout of Social Media Apps (vice.com) 54

tedlistens writes: When Ugandans went to the polls last Thursday in presidential and parliamentary elections, they participated in the most heavily-contested political battle since multiparty democracy began in 2005. As reports swirled of vote buying and excessive use of force by the police on opposition protesters, it was the attempt to block access to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and mobile phone-based money services that produced the loudest reactions. In a country with the youngest population in the world, where 77 percent of the population is under 30 years of age, mobile apps have become vital to communication and commerce. During the three-day ban, an estimated 1.5 million citizens, or 15 percent of the internet-using populace, downloaded VPN software and Tor to reroute their internet connections and return to social media, where discussion about the election continued to rage.
AI

Google DeepMind Applies AI To Healthcare With NHS Partnership (thestack.com) 33

An anonymous reader writes: Google's London-based AI group DeepMind has launched DeepMind Health, teaming up with the NHS to work on its first project. The "neuroscience-inspired" company, bought by Google in 2014, said of the collaboration: "We want to see the NHS thrive, and to ensure that its talented clinicians get the tools and support they need to continue providing world-class care." In its first initiative alongside kidney experts at London's Royal Free Hospital, DeepMind Health has introduced a mobile app called Streams. The software is designed to support the provision of critical information to doctors and nurses in order to help detect the presence of acute kidney injuries (AKI). To support the development of the Streams app, the AI group has also acquired clinical task management app company Hark.

Comment Re:Good point, but Uber is a bad example (Score 1) 432

Uber is exposing a problem with how city agencies work. Dwight Waldo published a book called "The Administrative State" in 1948 that describes how this happens at the Federal level. But at the local level the legislature (town/city council) delegates making laws to the Taxi and Limousine commissions in these municipalities. These commissions, quite naturally, will tend make rules that keep out the competition. By creating rules that say things like Uber cannot stop for hails, they ensure medallion prices stay high. These rules are really laws that should be debated and enacted by the legislature with public input, not the taxi commission. The taxi commission has a conflict of interest.

Comment Re:If he actually did all that... (Score 1) 257

...then he deserves his punishment.

Nonsense. Apart from conspiracy to commit murder he should never have been on trial. The government's case that free trade is dangerous to society and must be made illegal is untenable. If you can't put what you want into your own body then you don't live in a free society and you're kidding yourself if you think you do.

We think we are free because we can say what we want but we cannot trade in general with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Think about it. We are not free. And remember the government once told us that homosexuality and marijuana were also a danger to society.

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