Science, Technology and Innovation

Rights group urges Philippines action on HIV

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A human rights watchdog says the Philippines is facing one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific, fueled by government policies that restrict intervention, including access to condom by men who have sex with men. Hurriyet Human Rights Watch said in a report released yesterday that HIV… Rights group urges… Read More »

Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear

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Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and… Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and… Neuroscience News  Northwestern University These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the… Rhythm of Breathing… Read More »

Australian celebrities join the copyright war amid debate over ‘fair use’ provisions

Celebrities Protest - NT News

A GROUP of Australian actors, artists, writers and musicians have launched a campaign to prevent changes to copyright laws which they say will hurt artists and stifle the country’s creative industries. NT News Nick Whigham Author and TV personality Tara Moss, musician and Mambo artist Reg Mombassa and radio and TV personality Rove McManus are among the Australian celebrities who have lent their support to the campaign to… Australian celebrities join the copyright war amid debate over… Read More »

Google ‘must review its search rankings because of rightwing manipulation’

Google - The Guardian

Hate sites are dominating and controlling searches on Muslims, Jews, Hitler and women and search engine is failing to tackle problem, say academics The Guardian Carole Cadwalladr Google must urgently review its search ranking system because of “compelling” evidence that it is being “manipulated and controlled” by rightwing propagandists, leading academics have said, after the Observer reported that hate sites are now dominating searches on Muslims, Jews, Hitler and women. Cathy O’Neil, a data scientist and the author of… Google ... Read More »

Making vaccines work in Timor-Leste: a small country with a big future

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It is seven o’clock in the morning, and as the cool night gives way to the heat of the day, a winding road stretches ahead of us towards the town of Gleno in Ermera province. On our way, we’re treated to unparalleled views of the jungle and the ocean. Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Timor-Leste is a very young country, which is still recovering from the… Making vaccines work in… Read More »

We’re under siege from a new breed of intellectual: The pseudo academic

Pseudo academic - IA

Iain Dooley shows us how to deal with the paranoid delusional ravings of pseudo academics, like the Alt-Right in America and Australia’s serial pest, Malcolm Roberts. Independent Australia Iain Dooley THE PHENOMENON has made its mark across a huge range of topics, aiming to convince us that climate change is fake, Muslims are amassing at our borders crying out for blood, and that Hillary Clinton and George Soros are funding teams of left wing protesters in the U.S. who just want to ... Read More »

Aliens Don’t Exist, But They Tell Us A Lot About Atheists

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Lacking any evidence of an actual alien, Hollywood’s aliens speak more about the modern psyche fueling the imaginations of their designers. The Federalist By Peter Burfeind  In his movie “Expelled,” Ben Stein challenged Richard Dawkins about the remarkable phenomenon of life on planet earth: how … Aliens Don’t Exist… Read More »

Medicare logo case shows the urgent need to update Australia’s IP laws

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The federal government has threatened Sydney man Mark Rogers with legal action over use of the Medicare logo on his “Save Medicare” website. The Conversation In response to publicity generated by a GetUp! petition, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will look into the matter. But how are Australia’s trademark and copyright laws able to… Medicare logo case shows the urgent need to… Read More »

Drink and be merry: why alcohol makes us feel good, then doesn’t

Alcohol - The Guardian

With the festive season upon us, many of us will get through a lot of booze. But why do we consume it when it has undeniably negative effects? The Guardian Dean Burnett If someone offered you a glass of mild poison, you’d decline. If they said “drink this, it’ll make it harder to… Drink and be merry: why alcohol… Read More »

Is It Legal To Shoot Down Drones On Your Property?

Drones - Life Hackers

A company called DroneShield recently released an ‘anti-drone’ gun (pictured above) that is designed to interfere with a drone’s signal and force it to land. Life Hacker Spandas Lui For those who value their privacy and hate the idea of drones snooping on their property, this is an alluring proposition. But is it legal to shoot a drone down if it’s on… Is It Legal To Shoot Down… Read More »

EU in ‘Mexican standoff’ over independent checks on car emissions

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Leaked documents reveal EU pledge to carry out tests deleted from draft as governments come under pressure from carmakers The Guardian Arthur Neslen Plans for independent checks of how much pollution new cars emit are being killed off by EU member states, according to leaked documents seen by the… EU in ‘Mexican… Read More »

Pill-testing trial needs to happen in Canberra

Pill testing - ABC

It is a shame that the ACT government continues to reject calls for a pill-testing trial in the territory when doing so could save lives. The Canberra Times A focus on harm minimisation is noble and indeed educating people about the risk of drug taking is part of a successful strategy. But not promoting a scheme where tests will… Pill-testing trial needs to happen… Read More »

Humanity is cosmically special. Here’s how we know.

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As we give thanks for our many obvious blessings, let’s reflect on a blessing that is less well known, a gift from modern astronomy: how we view ourselves. The Washington Post By Howard A. Smith There was a time, back when astronomy put Earth at the center of the… Humanity is cosmically… Read More »

It’s time to relax the rules on growing human embryos in the lab

Labs - New Scientist

Researchers can only study human embryos up to 14 days past fertilisation, but new techniques can go beyond that – a change in the law would benefit all of us New Scientist Sam Wong WHEN it comes to studying our earliest existence, how far are we willing to go? Growing human embryos in the lab beyond the seventh day after fertilisation – the moment when embryos normally implant in the wall of the uterus – has been a long-standing challenge ... Read More »

Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

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Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding as the president-elect seeks to shift focus away from home in favor of deep space exploration Oliver Milman in New York Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a… Trump to scrap… Read More »

80% of IT Jobs can be Replaced by Automation, and it’s ‘Exciting’

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TAKING OVER IT Amidst the anxious grumbling of his audience at last week’s Structure Conference in San Francisco, billionaire Vinod Khosla asserted that 80% of jobs in an IT department could be replaced by AI-type… Author: Dom Galeon Editor: Patrick Caughill That, of course, is an…“I think that’s exciting,” added Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems and Silicon Valley venture firm, Khosla Ventures. 80% of IT… Read More »