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Sep 16, 2020

How gene therapy could help astronauts survive deep space deadly radiation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, government, health, neuroscience, space travel

Over the past five decades, space travel advocates have been pushing to expand our footprint in space. They dream about lunar bases, missions to Mars and colonies in free space. The visions are ever changing, with government efforts joined by those of private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX — in the midst of an effort to send tourists on a trip around the Moon — gravitating toward the space tourism sector. While the goals and how to accomplish them are in constant flux, there remain certain obstacles that must be overcome before we take that next big step. And one of the biggest is the need to protect the health of our future space explorers.

That’s what’s prompted NASA to turn to the fast-moving world of gene therapy to solve several potential medical issues facing astronauts on lengthy space missions.

The US space agency and the associated Translational Institute for Space Health Research (TRISH) at the Baylor College of Medicine are now calling for proposals from private companies and other groups to develop a kind of gene therapy for astronauts. But this would be different than recent gene therapies that target specific diseases such as hemophilia or various types of cancer. Instead, the idea here is to minimize the damage from space radiation through a kind of preventive treatment. Exposure to radiation in space can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts and the loss of cognitive function due to accelerated death of brain cells. These different disease categories involve very different mechanisms — cancer and heart disease result from radiation damaging DNA, while loss of brain tissue results simply from radiation killing off mature cells, and still other diseases result from radiation destroying stem cells.

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Sep 11, 2020

Pentagon says Microsoft still deserves $10 billion JEDI cloud contract

Posted by in categories: computing, government, law, military

After an internal investigation, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that is standing by its decision to award the $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract to Microsoft and not Amazon. The probe was triggered after Amazon complained that the integrity of the bidding process was cast into doubt because of statements by President Trump.

The Pentagon affirmed its initial decision awarding the contract to Microsoft, but acknowledged that the legal battle isn’t over. In a press release, it said it “determined that Microsoft’s proposal continues to represent the best value to the government” but added that the contract “will not begin immediately.” That’s because of a temporary injunction issued over an Amazon lawsuit arguing that the contract had “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias.”

Sep 9, 2020

States Join Automated Security Pilot with MS-ISAC, Johns Hopkins

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

The promise of artificial intelligence for cybersecurity is that it will free security professionals at government agencies from menial tasks and allow them to focus on threat hunting and higher-level work. Another benefit that might get lost in the shuffle, but is no less important, is that automation in cybersecurity can actually lead to enhanced security for agencies.

Five governments are testing that proposition. Last month, the states of Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas, along with Maricopa County, Ariz., announced a partnership with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to pilot a cybersecurity automation program.

The agencies will be using security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) tools, which “enable organizations to collect security-threat data through multiple sources and perform triage response actions significantly faster than with manual processes,” according to a Johns Hopkins press release. The hope is that it will enable the agencies to “quickly and broadly share information — in near real time — and leverage automation to prevent or respond to cyberattacks,” the release states.

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Sep 9, 2020

Blockchain-powered ‘Smart Brain’ to govern China’s new ‘Aerospace City’

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, governance, government, information science, robotics/AI, satellites

Singapore-based blockchain data firm CyberVein has become one of 12 firms participating in the construction of China’s Hainan Wenchang International Aerospace City. Construction commenced last month, with the site previously hosting a satellite launch center. Described as “China’s first aerospace cultural and tourism city,” it will be a hub for the development of aerospace products and support services intended for use in Chinese spacecraft and satellite launch missions. The 12-million-square-meter facility will host the country’s first aerospace super-computing center, and will focus on developing 40 technological areas including big data, satellite remote sensing and high precision positioning technology. CyberVein will work alongside major Chinese firms, including Fortune 500 companies Huawei and Kingsoft Cloud, and will leverage its blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data technologies to support the development of the city’s Smart Brain Planning and Design Institute.”


Blockchain firm CyberVein is partnering with the Chinese government to build a blockchain-powered governance system for its aerospace ‘smart city.’

Listen to article.

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Sep 6, 2020

How to build a modern public-private cybersecurity partnership

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, economics, energy, government

Public-private partnerships have been central to the development of cybersecurity over the past decade, through the sharing of threat information between commercial organizations and historically secretive government agencies. The opportunity now exists for a new era of public-private partnership, for a new realm of information sharing.


Cyberattacks continue to be reported as a key business risk. In the recent World Economic Forum’s Regional Risks for Doing Business 2019 report, survey respondents in six of the world’s 10-largest economies identified cyberattacks as their number one risk.

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Sep 2, 2020

NCSC departing boss reflects on China, Russia and trust in tech

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government

At the same time, the NCSC had to help government and public-sector organisations deal with the sudden increased dependence on technology, whether in the cabinet meeting over video link or the government sending out genuine text messages to the entire public.


The departing head of the National Cyber Security Centre reflects on the threats he has faced.

Sep 2, 2020

CDC tells states: Be ready to distribute coronavirus vaccines on Nov. 1

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

Providence, R.I. — The federal government has told states to prepare for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready to distribute by Nov. 1.

The timeline raised concern among public health experts about an “October surprise” — a vaccine approval driven by political considerations ahead of a presidential election, rather than science.

In a letter to governors dated Aug. 27, Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said states “in the near future” will receive permit applications from McKesson Corp., which has contracted with CDC to distribute vaccines to places including state and local health departments and hospitals.

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Sep 2, 2020

Dr Hiroshi Ishiguro’s Geminoid Human-Like Robot

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador interviews Professor Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, the Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, of the Department of Systems Innovation, in the Graduate School of Engineering Science, at Osaka University, Japan.

Professor Ishiguro is also the Director of the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), a private company supported by industry, government and academia, with the aim of promoting fundamental and innovative R&D activities, as well as contributing to society in a wide range of telecommunication fields, and is active in such fields as neuro- / knowledge science, intelligent robotics, machine language translation, and wireless communication.

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Sep 1, 2020

U.S. geoengineering research gets a lift with $4 million from Congress

Posted by in categories: engineering, government

Studies will explore controversial cooling approaches.

Aug 29, 2020

750 million genetically engineered mosquitoes approved for release in Florida Keys

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

A plan to release over 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022 received final approval from local authorities, against the objection of many local residents and a coalition of environmental advocacy groups. The proposal had already won state and federal approval.

“With all the urgent crises facing our nation and the State of Florida — the Covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice, climate change — the administration has used tax dollars and government resources for a Jurassic Park experiment,” said Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety, in a statement released Wednesday.

“Now the Monroe County Mosquito Control District has given the final permission needed. What could possibly go wrong? We don’t know, because EPA unlawfully refused to seriously analyze environmental risks, now without further review of the risks, the experiment can proceed,” she added.

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