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Oct 22, 2021

Direct Analysis and Quantification of Metaldehyde in Water using Reactive Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, law

Circa 2016 Basically means we can see contaminated water easier.


Detection and quantification of contaminants or pollutants in surface waters is of great importance to ensure safety of drinking water and for the aquatic environment1,2,3,4,5,6. Metaldehyde (CH3CHO)4 is a cyclic tetramer of acetaldehyde and is used extensively around the world as a molluscicide in agriculture for the control of slugs to protect crops. Large amounts of metaldehyde residues (from ‘slug pellets’) become mobilized, especially during periods of rainfall, seeping into reservoirs, rivers and groundwater, from which drinking water is sourced. Although metaldehyde has low toxicity, cases of metaldehyde poisoning and death in both humans and animals have been reported6,7,8. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-registered metaldehyde as a ‘restricted use pesticide’ and required risk-reduction measures to be adopted due to the potential short-term and long-term effects on wildelife9,10. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies metaldehyde as a “moderately hazardous” pesticide (class II)11. In Europe, the European Commission has adopted a directive that restricts pesticides levels to 0.1 μg/L in drinking water12,13. Water companies and environmental agencies are under increasing pressure to routinely monitor levels of metaldehyde residues in water courses as part of their legal obligation14. As such there is an increasing need to develop effective analytical methods for detecting and quantifying metaldehyde in water samples at the source. In particular in-situ monitoring is required to ensure water management practices are based on empirical, up-to-date information which provides a better understanding of competing factors, risk and requirement.

Rapid analytical methods for in-situ analysis of metaldehyde in water, if available, would provide critical information on water quality for water companies and regulation bodies to manage exposures. Quantitative analysis of metaldehyde has been reported using various ex-situ methods based on solid-phase extraction8,15 followed by gas chromatography (GC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with mass spectrometry (MS)7,14,15,16,17,18. However, each of these analytical methods involves extensive sample preparation including extraction, separation, and derivatization, resulting in increased cost and time of analysis. As will be demonstrated in this study, ambient ionization (AI) combined with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) can overcome such limitations19,20,21,22.

Continue reading “Direct Analysis and Quantification of Metaldehyde in Water using Reactive Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry” »

Oct 18, 2021

How IoT and AI are helping keep truck drivers safe

Posted by in categories: law, robotics/AI, transportation

A truck fleet accident costs an average of $16,500 in damages and $57,500 in injury-related costs for a total of $74,000. “This does not include a broad range of ‘hidden’ costs, including reduced vehicle value (typically anywhere from $500 to $2,000), higher insurance premium, legal fees, driver turnover (the average driver replacement cost = $8,200), lost employee time, lost vehicle-use time, administrative burden, reduced employee morale and bad publicity,” said Yoav Banin, chief product officer at Nauto, which provides artificial intelligence driver and fleet performance solutions.

Emphasis on truck driving safety is well placed, considering other challenges that the trucking industry is facing.

Ranking first is a chronic shortage of truck drivers nationwide that could force fleet operators to hire less-experienced drivers who require operator and safety training. Driver compensation and truck parking ranked second and third, but immediately behind them in fourth and fifth position were driver truck fleet safety and insurance availability, which depends on safe driving records.

Oct 5, 2021

23 species declared extinct in the U.S.

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks, law

“To slow the ongoing loss of animal and plant life in the United States, President Biden signed an executive order in January 2,021 stating his administration’s goal to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and water by 2030. This bold, science-based initiative – America the Beautiful – is the first ever nationwide conservation effort to address both climate change and biodiversity loss.” https://www.futuretimeline.net/images/robot-future-timeline.jpg


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has declared 23 species extinct, due to a combination of development, invasive species, logging and pollution.

The agency is recommending that the species be removed from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the primary law in the United States for protecting and recovering imperilled organisms and the ecosystems they depend on. For the animals proposed for delisting, the protections of the ESA came too late.

Continue reading “23 species declared extinct in the U.S.” »

Oct 3, 2021

‘Fat finger’ $24m charge exposes fragility in crypto market

Posted by in categories: business, law

DeversiFi’s faulty bill shows crypto, where “code is law”, is equally vulnerable to costly slip-ups that have no formal resolution mechanism.

“Right now, most of the users of DeFi are true believers in the technology and its potential, and so confidence may persist regardless of these events,” said Hilary Allen, professor of law at the American University Washington College of Law.

“But if DeFi is more broadly adopted by people less committed to the technology, confidence will become more vulnerable — and the potential for panics that can come with damaged confidence should give us pause,” she added.

Continue reading “‘Fat finger’ $24m charge exposes fragility in crypto market” »

Oct 3, 2021

Could Autonomous Robots Be More Dangerous than Nukes?

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, law, military, policy, robotics/AI

Without a new legal framework, they could destabilize societal norms.


Autonomous weapon systems – commonly known as killer robots – may have killed human beings for the first time ever last year, according to a recent United Nations Security Council report on the Libyan civil war. History could well identify this as the starting point of the next major arms race, one that has the potential to be humanity’s final one.

Autonomous weapon systems are robots with lethal weapons that can operate independently, selecting and attacking targets without a human weighing in on those decisions. Militaries around the world are investing heavily in autonomous weapons research and development. The U.S. alone budgeted US$18 billion for autonomous weapons between 2016 and 2020.

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Sep 30, 2021

Can AI Be An Inventor?

Posted by in categories: business, law, robotics/AI

The last few months have seen a spate of patent applications filed in different countries listing AI as an inventor. This has led, at last count, to the legal apparatus of four countries to weigh in on the question — with two (the United States and the UK) weighing in against the idea and two (Australia and South Africa) permitting AI as an inventor.

If you read some of the findings, they show that the judges have, appropriately in my opinion, based their decisions on their interpretations of the law as written. This makes sense. However — this question is likely the first of many around the area of AI and new creations. In this article, we highlight some of the tech fundamentals that apply here and raise additional questions that will come shortly thereafter — and why businesses will need answers.

Sep 29, 2021

Elon Musk fires shot at Jeff Bezos, ‘you can’t sue your way to orbit’

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, law, space travel

I agree with Elon.


Elon Musk repeated prior criticisms of fellow billionaire space mogul Jeff Bezos, as their respective companies continue to battle in federal court and in front of regulators.

“I think I’ve expressed my thoughts on that front — I think he should put more of his energy into getting to orbit, [rather] than lawsuits,” Musk said Tuesday at the CodeCon 2021 conference in Beverly Hills, California. “You cannot sue your way to the moon, no matter how good your lawyers are,” Musk added. Bezos’ Blue Origin is suing SpaceX, by way of NASA, in the U.S. Federal Court of Claims over a $2.9 billion astronaut lunar lander contract the agency awarded Musk’s company earlier this year.

Continue reading “Elon Musk fires shot at Jeff Bezos, ‘you can’t sue your way to orbit’” »

Sep 27, 2021

Do we finally have control over ageing? | Prof David Sinclair

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, life extension

In case this hasn’t been posted here yet.


Ageing is inevitable, but what if everything we’ve come to believe about ageing is wrong and we’re able to choose our lifespans? What if ageing is a disease?

Continue reading “Do we finally have control over ageing? | Prof David Sinclair” »

Sep 22, 2021

An Automated System for Crime Investigation Using Conventional and Machine Learning Approach

Posted by in categories: law, privacy, robotics/AI

Circa 2019


Crime causes significant damage to the society and property. Different kinds of physical or direct methods are devised by the law and order department to spot out the criminals involved in the crime. This techniques will explore the evidences at crime site. For instance if it finds a fingerprint then the system will capture and send it to forensic department for fingerprint matching, which can be later used for identifying the suspects or criminals by investigations etc. Yet, it is a huge challenge for them to find the criminal due to less or no evidence and incorrect information, which can change the direction of investigation to the end. This paper proposes a data analysis approach to help the police department by giving them first-hand information about the suspects. It automates the manual process for finding criminal and future crime spot by using various techniques such as pattern matching, biometric and crime analytics. Based on the availability of information, the system is able to produce the expected accuracy.

Sep 18, 2021

UN urges moratorium on use of AI that imperils human rights

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

The U.N. human rights chief is calling for a moratorium on the use of artificial intelligence technology that poses a serious risk to human rights, including face-scanning systems that track people in public spaces.

Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, also said Wednesday that countries should expressly ban AI applications which don’t comply with international human rights law.

Applications that should be prohibited include government “social scoring” systems that judge people based on their behavior and certain AI-based tools that categorize people into clusters such as by ethnicity or gender.

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