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Oct 1, 2020

Psychedelic Gold Rush? Compass Pathways Goes Public at More than $1B

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

Psilocybin startup Compass Pathways goes public at more than $1B. Here’s why Wall Street is starting to see the value in psychedelics.


For several years, investors and psychonauts have predicted that psychedelic medicine would become the next billion-dollar industry, with some value estimates as high as $100 billion. They said substances like MDMA or psilocybin mushrooms would follow a similar regulatory path that cannabis took to the mainstream, going from a Schedule 1 narcotic to a legal, regulated, and highly lucrative medicine.

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Oct 1, 2020

Congress Wants a ‘Manhattan Project’ for Military Artificial Intelligence

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

A new bipartisan #congressionalreport calls for the #DefenseDepartment to get a lot more serious about the race to acquire #artificialintelligence and #autonomouscapabilities, modeling efforts to become dominant in these spheres after the “Manhattan Project” initiative to test and develop nuclear weapons in the 1940s.

On Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee released the results of a yearlong review, co-led by Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., aimed at assessing #U.S. #militarycapabilities and preparedness to meet current threats. The 87-page #Future of Defense Task Force Report contains some expected findings — #China and #Russia are identified as the top security threats to the U.S. and modernization is described as an urgent need — but there are surprising points of emphasis.


A bipartisan congressional report calls for the DoD to get more serious about the race to acquire artificial intelligence and autonomous capabilities, modeling efforts to become dominant in these spheres after the “Manhattan Project” initiative to test and develop nuclear weapons in the 1940s.

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Sep 30, 2020

India pushes bold ‘one nation, one subscription’ journal-access plan

Posted by in categories: government, policy

India is not proposing the same open-access terms for articles that its researchers publish. Instead, the researchers advising the government want authors to archive their accepted manuscripts in public online repositories. This is often described as ‘green’ open access, which differs from the ‘gold’ route of publishing in open-access journals.


Researchers will also recommend an open-access policy that promotes research being shared in online repositories.

Sep 29, 2020

‘Schrödinger’s Web’ offers a sneak peek at the quantum internet

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, government, internet, quantum physics

Quantum computers, which harness the strange probabilities of quantum mechanics, may prove revolutionary. They have the potential to achieve an exponential speedup over their classical counterparts, at least when it comes to solving some problems. But for now, these computers are still in their infancy, useful for only a few applications, just as the first digital computers were in the 1940s. So isn’t a book about the communications network that will link quantum computers — the quantum internet — more than a little ahead of itself?

Surprisingly, no. As theoretical physicist Jonathan Dowling makes clear in Schrödinger’s Web, early versions of the quantum internet are here already — for example, quantum communication has been taking place between Beijing and Shanghai via fiber-optic cables since 2016 — and more are coming fast. So now is the perfect time to read up.

Dowling, who helped found the U.S. government’s quantum computing program in the 1990s, is the perfect guide. Armed with a seemingly endless supply of outrageous anecdotes, memorable analogies, puns and quips, he makes the thorny theoretical details of the quantum internet both entertaining and accessible.

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Sep 29, 2020

Saskatchewan Celebrates Science During Global Biotech Week with Online Events and Activities

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

From the Science of Beer to learning about the benefits of GMOs; Saskatchewan is celebrating science with exciting online events and activities that showcase the province’s bioscience sector. Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association, coordinates events with the help of a local committee.

Ag-West Bio President and CEO Karen Churchill says amid the COVID-19 pandemic, biotechnology is in the spotlight. “Saskatchewan organizations in our research cluster have joined the global effort to develop vaccines as well as preventative and treatment solutions to deal with the virus. As a community, we should take note of the achievements of our local scientists and companies. Global Biotech Week gives us an opportunity to give them a (virtual) pat on the back!”

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Cities of Regina and Saskatoon have proclaimed September 28 to October 4 as Global Biotech Week.

Sep 24, 2020

NASA chief warns US Congress about Chinese space station

Posted by in categories: government, space

A radar image of China’s Tiangong-1 space station, which ceased operation in 2018. Beijing has announced plans for a permanent space station by 2022. Image: Fraunhofer Institute FHR via AP.

Sep 24, 2020

Ripjar, founded by GCHQ alums, raises $36.8M for AI that detects financial crime

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, finance, government, privacy, robotics/AI

Financial crime as a wider category of cybercrime continues to be one of the most potent of online threats, covering nefarious activities as diverse as fraud, money laundering and funding terrorism. Today, one of the startups that has been building data intelligence solutions to help combat that is announcing a fundraise to continue fueling its growth.

Ripjar, a U.K. company founded by five data scientists who previously worked together in British intelligence at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, the U.K.’s equivalent of the NSA), has raised $36.8 million (£28 million) in a Series B, money that it plans to use to continue expanding the scope of its AI platform — which it calls Labyrinth — and scaling the business.

Labyrinth, as Ripjar describes it, works with both structured and unstructured data, using natural language processing and an API-based platform that lets organizations incorporate any data source they would like to analyse and monitor for activity. It automatically and in real time checks these against other data sources like sanctions lists, politically exposed persons (PEPs) lists and transaction alerts.

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Sep 23, 2020

Saving Carpathia, The Vast Wilderness in the Heart of Europe

Posted by in categories: business, energy, government, policy, sustainability

Karen Potter, Director of Sustainability Hub and ideaXme sustainability ambassador interviews Christoph Promberger, M.Sc., Executive Director Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC). https://www.carpathia.org

Karen Potter comments:

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Sep 22, 2020

OneWeb to Resume Launches with Arianespace in December

Posted by in categories: government, internet, satellites

OneWeb is set to resume launches with Arianespace in December to build out its Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite internet constellation. The satellite operator announced Monday that Arianespace will provide 16 more launches, each placing another 34 to 36 satellites into OneWeb’s constellation.

This update comes as OneWeb is in the midst of a restructuring deal with the U.K. government, Bharti Global Limited, and Hughes Network Systems after filing for Chapter 11 in March. The U.K. government and Bharti Global Limited announced in July they formed a consortium to acquire OneWeb, each providing $500 million. Hughes joined the consortium in July with a $50 million investment. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the Fourth Quarter of 2020.

OneWeb has 74 satellites in orbit and its return-to-flight launch in December will increase the fleet to 110 satellites. The company plans to complete the deployment of its constellation by the end of 2022, and start commercial services by the end of 2021. The initial service regions above 50 degrees North latitude will include the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic seas and Canada.

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Sep 16, 2020

Afghanistan Peace Talks Open in Qatar, Seeking End to Decades of War

Posted by in categories: government, treaties

The Afghan government and the Taliban are finally coming to the table, after repeated delays. But the violence continues, and the challenges are vast.

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