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prototype-keytruda-1000 First drug to treat cancer based on genetics gets FDA approval 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: biomedicine, personalised medicine - For the first time in precision medicine, a cancer drug has been given FDA approval for use based on genetic characteristics as opposed to the location of the cancer in the body. The drug, Merck's Keytruda, has been used in the past for specific cancers such as melanoma. However, the FDA has now granted approval ... Read more
prototype-microsoft-dna-1000 Microsoft studies storing data on DNA 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: data storage, dna - Microsoft has confirmed that it has a formal goal of having an operational storage system based on DNA. The Microsoft DNA system has been in development for some time. MIT Tech Review has now reported that Microsoft harbours ambitions of doing away with existing storage technologies entirely in favour of the biological building blocks of ... Read more
prototype-venus-flytrap-1000 Artificial Venus flytrap grabs objects over 100 times its weight 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: biomimicry, robotics - Researchers at the Tampere University of Technology, Finland, have developed a robot that mimics the Venus flytrap by grabbing objects, up to one hundred times its own weight, flying around it. The ‘stem’ consists of a fibre-optic cable which emits light exiting through the smart actuating ‘leaves,’ which change shape under different light conditions. An ... Read more
prototype-go-1000 Never say never 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: artificial intelligence, internet censorship - Kei Ji once declared he would never be beaten by a computer, but national pride was put to the test this week as Alphabet’s artificial intelligence unit, DeepMind, beat the world’s best player of Chinese board game Go. DeepMind has triumphed over humans before but not against the world’s best marking a turning point in ... Read more
prototype-electric-car-batteries-1000 Electric cars could be cheaper than petrol cars by 2030 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: electricity storage, future transport - Analysts at Bloomberg have predicted that the falling price of electric car batteries could mean that electric cars will be cheaper to run than internal combustion engines by 2030. This is driven by an increase in battery manufacturing capacity, particularly in Europe and Asia. While Tesla dominates headlines with its ‘gigafactories’ in Nevada, nine of ... Read more
prototype-methane-hydrate-1000 Methane hydrate: a song of ice and fire 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: climate change, energy security - Methane hydrate, also known as ‘flammable ice’, is a potential source of natural gas that has so far been extremely hard to extract. They lurk below the seafloor and underneath permafrost, under conditions of very high pressure and low temperature. But according to Chinese media, the nation has managed to set up an experimental mining ... Read more
prototype-zika-capsid-1000 Mapping genes to understand Zika virus contagion 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: biomedicine, data analytics - Understanding how a disease evolves and travels is vital in preventing further outbreaks. Newly sequenced Zika virus genomes have been examined with existing sequences to provide the first ever detailed understanding of the spread of Zika. The combination of high-tech molecular-biology and evolutionary techniques, and low-tech sample-collection efforts has identified evidence of the disease reaching ... Read more
prototype-credit-cards-1000 Great news for advertisers, but is it invasive for the rest of us? 26 May, 2017 Tagged under: data analytics, digital marketing - “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”, said American retail pioneer John Wanamaker in the early 20th century. A Google credit card program may change this. Well into the digital age, and despite ever greater analytics, Wanamaker's maxim has continued to apply - but by ... Read more
prototype-wannacry-screenshot-1000 Should state intelligence agencies stockpile software vulnerabilities? 19 May, 2017 Tagged under: cybersecurity, intelligence agencies - In the wake of last week’s WannaCry software attacks, security experts uncovered that the ransomware was based on NSA stored exploits that were inadvertently leaked. Along a similar vein, it was also discovered that the same Microsoft Windows exploit has been used silently for months to hijack processing power of personal computers to mine the ... Read more
prototype-new-silk-road-1000 China’s new technological Silk Road 19 May, 2017 Tagged under: future transport, infrastructure delivery - On May 14, Beijing launched the new One Belt One Road initiative, more commonly known as the New Silk Road Project. Under the project, China is expected to invest up to US$1.3 trillion in infrastructure projects which will connect China to Europe via both land-based as well as maritime transportation and communication networks. The plan ... Read more