298 articles from WEDNESDAY 12.8.2020

What happens in Vegas… is captured on camera

The use of facial recognition by police has come under a lot of scrutiny. In part three of our four-part series on FaceID, host Jennifer Strong takes you to Sin City, which actually has one of America’s most buttoned-up policies on when cops can capture your likeness. She also finds out why celebrities like Woody Harrelson are playing a starring role in conversations about this...

Land of a billion faces

Clearview AI has built one of the most comprehensive databases of people’s faces in the world. Your picture is probably in there (our host Jennifer Strong’s was). In part two of this four-part series on facial recognition, we meet the CEO of the controversial company who tells us our future is filled with FaceID— regardless of whether it’s regulated or not. We meet: ...

Coastal flooding study finds trust-building, power-sharing key for environmental justice

It took two years and $11 million, but eventually ranchers, politicians and scientists came to a consensus about how to prevent flooding in Tillamook, a coastal Oregon town. A recent study by Portland State University researchers examining the social factors involved in this decision-making process showcases how environmental justice can be served when affected parties have a seat at the table....

Time-shifted inhibition helps electric fish ignore their own signals

Electric fish generate electric pulses to communicate with other fish and sense their surroundings. Some species broadcast shorter electric pulses, while others send out long ones. But all that zip-zapping in the water can get confusing. The fish need to filter out their own pulses so they can identify external messages and only respond to those signals.

Who owns your face?

Police have a history of using FaceID to arrest protestors—something not forgotten by activists since the death of George Floyd. In the last of a four-part series on facial recognition, host Jennifer Strong explores the way forward for the technology and examines what policy might look like.  We meet: Artem Kuharenko, NTechLabDeborah Raji, AI Now InstituteToussaint Morrison,...

What happens when an algorithm gets it wrong

In the first of a four-part series on FaceID, host Jennifer Strong explores the false arrest of Robert Williams by police in Detroit. The odd thing about Willliams’s ordeal wasn’t that police used face recognition to ID him—it’s that the cops told him about it. There’s no law saying they have to. The episode starts to unpack the complexities of this technology and introduces some thorny...

Swallowing this colonoscopy-like bacteria grabber could reveal secrets about your health

Your gut bacteria could say a lot about you, such as why you're diabetic or how you respond to certain drugs. But scientists can see only so much of the gastrointestinal tract to study the role of gut bacteria in your health. Researchers built a way to swallow a tool that acts like a colonoscopy, except that instead of looking at the colon with a camera, the technology takes samples of bacteria.

Programmed bacteria have something extra

Chemists expand the genetic code of Escherichia coli bacteria to produce a synthetic building block, a 'noncanonical amino acid' that makes it a living indicator for oxidative stress. The research is a step toward designed cells that detect disease and produce their own drugs.

'Reelin' in a new treatment for multiple sclerosis

In an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), decreasing the amount of a protein made in the liver significantly protected against development of the disease's characteristic symptoms and promoted recovery in symptomatic animals, scientists report.

New generation of drugs show early efficacy against drug-resistant TB

New drug regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis shows early effectiveness in 85 percent of patients in a cohort including many with serious comorbidities. The results suggest a global need for expanded access to two recently developed medicines, bedaquiline and delamanid. Study cohort included many people who would have been excluded from trials because of comorbidities, severity of disease...

Improving treatment of spinal cord injuries

Bioengineers have created an osmotic therapy device that gently removes fluid from the spinal cord to reduce swelling in injured rats with good results. The device can eventually be scaled up for testing in humans.

Mutations may have saved brown howler monkeys from yellow fever virus

At the start of her 2008 field season at El Parque El Piñalito in the Misiones province in northeastern Argentina, Ilaria Agostini knew something was terribly wrong. Agostini has studied Misiones' two howler monkey species since 2005—brown (Alouatta guariba clamitans) and black and gold (A. caraya) howlers. Both lived at relatively low densities in the park, but still existed in one of the most...

Industry concentration contributes to job quality erosion, wage stagnation

Cratering job quality and weak wage growth in the U.S. have typically been attributed to a combination of technological change, waning worker bargaining power and increased pressures from trade and financial markets. But according to research co-written by a University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign expert who studies economic sociology, increased industry concentration also has dire consequences...

Quantum researchers create an error-correcting cat

Yale physicists have developed an error-correcting cat—a new device that combines the Schrödinger's cat concept of superposition (a physical system existing in two states at once) with the ability to fix some of the trickiest errors in a quantum computation.

Researchers develop catalyst for facilitating selective conversion of reactive lithium compounds

Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a new catalyst that can catalyze reactions to produce pharmaceuticals or chemicals used in agriculture. It creates carbon-carbon bonds between what are known as organolithium compounds without creating any unwanted by-products. The team led by Professor Viktoria Däschlein-Gessner, Inorganic Chemistry II Research Group, describes the results...

Emerging infectious disease and challenges of social distancing in human and non-human animals

Humans are not the only social animal struggling with new infectious diseases. When Hamilton College Associate Professor of Biology Andrea Townsend began studying the social behavior of American crows, her work was complicated by West Nile virus, an emerging disease with devastating effects on crow populations. Her research pivoted to investigating the effects of disease on crow social behavior....

Human milk based fortifiers improve health outcomes for the smallest premature babies

More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely in the United States each year, according to the March of Dimes. 'Preemies' can be severely underweight babies and struggle to get the nutrients they need from breast milk alone, so neonatal intensive care units provide an additional milk fortifier, either in the form of cow's milk or manufactured from donor breast milk, to keep them healthy.

Mutations may have saved brown howlers from yellow fever virus

From 2007 to 2009, a devastating yellow fever virus outbreak nearly decimated brown and black and gold howler monkey populations at El Parque El Piñalito in northeastern Argentina. An international research team tested if howlers who survived the outbreak had any genetic variations that may have kept them alive. In brown howlers, they found two mutations on immune genes that resulted in amino...