2019-07-01 00:00:00 ..
2019-11-22 10:17:47 UTC
2019-11-28 16:35:54 UTC
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Earlier this month, China nominated a candidate to become the next leader of the United Nations' (UN) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO administrates the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) – a policy that allows copyright holders to seize web domains and has been criticized for its excessive clampdowns against domain holders.
Concerns over China exporting its censorship through US companies have been on the rise over the last few months. If China's candidate is elected as the head of WIPO, it would give China greater influence over the UDPR and the associated confiscation of domains under this policy.
Critics of UDPR include digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which describes it as a policy that has "been used to clamp down on legitimate parody and criticism in ways that domestic trademark law would not allow.
[...] Wang will compete against six other candidates:
- Daren Tang (Singapore): The head of Singapore's Intellectual Property Office
- Kenichiro Natsume (Japan): A senior official in WIPO's Legal and International Affairs Department
- Saule Tlevlessova (Kazakhstan): The president of the Eurasian Patent Organization
- Edward Kwakwa (Ghana): A senior director in WIPO's Department for Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges
- Marco Alemán (Colombia): WIPO's top patent lawyer
- Dámaso Pardo (Argentina): The president of Argentina's National Institute of Industrial Property
Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1337
A new Windows trojan has been discovered that attempts to steal passwords stored in the Google Chrome browser. While this is nothing unique, what stands out is that the malware uses a remote MongoDB database to store the stolen passwords.
This trojan is called CStealer, and like many other info-stealing trojans, was created to target and steal login credentials that were saved in Google Chrome's password manager.
[...] Instead of compiling the stolen passwords into a file and sending them to a C2 under the attackers control, the malware connects directly to a remote MongoDB database and uses it to store the stolen credentials. To do this, the malware includes hardcoded MongoDB credentials and utilizes the MongoDB C Driver as a client library to connect to the database.
The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that painstakingly organized chaos, in temperatures millions of times colder than interstellar space, Kang-Kuen Ni achieved a feat of precision. Forcing two ultracold molecules to meet and react, she broke and formed the coldest bonds in the history of molecular couplings.
"Probably in the next couple of years, we are the only lab that can do this," said Ming-Guang Hu, a postdoctoral scholar in the Ni lab and first author on their paper published today in Science. Five years ago, Ni, the Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and a pioneer of ultracold chemistry, set out to build a new apparatus that could achieve the lowest temperature chemical reactions of any currently available technology. But they couldn't be sure their intricate engineering would work.
Now, they not only performed the coldest reaction yet, they discovered their new apparatus can do something even they did not predict. In such intense cold—500 nanokelvin or just a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero—their molecules slowed to such glacial speeds, Ni and her team could see something no one has been able to see before: the moment when two molecules meet to form two new molecules. In essence, they captured a chemical reaction in its most critical and elusive act.
Chemical reactions are responsible for literally everything: breathing, cooking, digesting, creating energy, pharmaceuticals, and household products like soap. So, understanding how they work at a fundamental level could help researchers design combinations the world has never seen. With an almost infinite number of new combinations possible, these new molecules could have endless applications from more efficient energy production to new materials like mold-proof walls and even better building blocks for quantum computers.
[...] Already, the team is exploring what else they can learn in their ultracold test bed. Next, for example, they could manipulate the reactants, exciting them before they react to see how their heightened energy impacts the outcome. Or, they could even influence the reaction as it occurs, nudging one molecule or the other. "With our controllability, this time window is long enough, we can probe," Hu said. "Now, with this apparatus, we can think about this. Without this technique, without this paper, we cannot even think about this."
More information: "Direct observation of bimolecular reactions of ultracold KRb molecules" Science (2019). science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi … 1126/science.aay9531
Journal information:Science Provided by Harvard UniversityCitation: With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction (2019, November 28) retrieved 29 November 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-11-ultracold-chemistry-chemical-reaction.html
Direct observation of bimolecular reactions of ultracold KRb molecules [$], Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.aay9531)
Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956
About 80,000 babies and toddlers die of AIDS each year, mostly in Africa, in part because their medicines come in hard pills or bitter syrups that are very difficult for small children to swallow or keep down.
But on Friday, the Indian generic drug manufacturer Cipla announced a new, more palatable pediatric formulation. The new drug, called Quadrimune, comes in strawberry-flavored granules the size of grains of sugar that can be mixed with milk or sprinkled on baby cereal. Experts said it could save the lives of thousands of children each year.
"This is excellent news for all children living with H.I.V.," said Winnie Byanyima, the new executive director of UNAIDS, the United Nations agency in charge of the fight against the disease. "We have been eagerly waiting for child-friendly medicines that are easy to use and good to taste."
Cipla revolutionized the provision of AIDS drugs for adults almost two decades ago, pricing them at $1 a day. The new pediatric formulation will likewise be priced at $1 a day. The announcement by Cipla and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, an offshoot of Doctors Without Borders that supported the development of the drug, was timed to coincide with World AIDS Day, which [
Despite big advances in the prevention of mother-child transmission of H.I.V., about 160,000 children are still born infected each year, according to UNAIDS, mostly in the poorest towns and villages of Africa. Almost half of them die before the age of 2, usually because they have no access to drugs or cannot tolerate them.
Quadrimune is still under review by the Food and Drug Administration, and F.D.A. approval almost inevitably leads to rapid certification by the World Health Organization. The company hopes to get a decision by May.
Trials in healthy adults showed that the new formulation gets the drugs into the blood; the four drugs in it were approved in the 1990s and are used in many combinations.
A clinical trial in H.I.V.-infected infants, run by Epicentre, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders, is now underway in Uganda to prove to African health ministries that children accept the new formulation. Most of the research costs have been paid by UNITAID, a Geneva-based organization set up by France, Norway, Brazil and some other countries which imposed special taxes on airline flights that are dedicated to bettering global health.
[...] The $1 a day price is for Quadrimune doses appropriate for children of between 20 and 30 pounds, he noted, so the cost for newborns would be even lower.
Starting December 1st, China now requires telecom operators to collect face scans for new phone users.
In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.
The notice said telecom operators should use "artificial intelligence and other technical means" to verify people's identities when they take a new phone number.
A China Unicom customer service representative told AFP that the December 1 "portrait matching" requirement means customers registering for a new phone number may have to record themselves turning their head and blinking.
Online social media reactions on Weibo (a Chinese Twitter-like service) showed both support and opposition to the move.
Oversight of social media has ramped up in recent years as part of the Chinese government's push to "promote the healthy, orderly development of the Internet, protect state security and public interest".
It seems likely that reaction to future measures will be uniformly positive.
Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956
New South Wales rolled out mobile phone detection cameras on Sunday, hoping to cut the number of fatalities on its roads by a third over two years, transport authorities said.
The world-first mobile phone detection cameras, according to Transport for NSW, which manages the state's transport services, operate day and night in all weather conditions to determine if a driver is handling a mobile phone.
"It's a system to change the culture," the NSW police assistant commissioner, Michael Corboy, told Australian media last week.
[...] The mobile phone detection cameras use artificial intelligence to review images and detect illegal use of the devices, Transport for NSW said in a statement.
Images that the automated system identifies as likely to contain a driver illegally using a mobile phone are verified by authorised personnel.
A high school in Florida is switching from real to synthetic frogs for dissection in biology classes.
Nearly 100 synthetic frogs were dissected last week by students at J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida, according to the company that developed them, SynDaver.
The company said the high school is the first in the world to try out the new technology, but it hopes to spread them nationwide — making dead, formaldehyde-ridden frogs a thing of the past. The frogs can be used for education, surgical simulation, and medical device testing, SynDaver said.
The synthetic frogs have a number of significant advantages over preserved frogs. They are odor free and non toxic, avoid ethical concerns, and also
are designed to mimic both the visual and textural elements of a live female frog. They feature a skeleton, muscles, skin, organs and even a reproductive system with eggs. The synthetic tissues are made out of water, fibers and salts.
"This makes it more like a live frog than the preserved specimens currently sold to schools for dissection labs," said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder and CEO of SynDaver. "SynFrog not only looks and feels like a real frog, it's physically safer to dissect than a real preserved frog because it doesn't contain potentially harmful chemicals like formalin."
Michigan J. Frog approves this innovation.
Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956
Campobello, a small Canadian island on the southwestern tip of New Brunswick, is only accessible year-round by bridge from the US state of Maine. US Customs agents have recently begun intercepting mail sent by Canada's postal agency to the island, leaving residents frustrated - and worried about their privacy.
It was late summer when packages began arriving at the post office in the Campobello village of Welshpool with bright green labels declaring they'd been inspected by US customs. Packages, envelopes, it didn't matter, they were checked at the border.
"Anything that arrives at the border is subject to being searched - that means anything," postmaster Kathleen Case told the BBC.
Some days every item of mail - which are placed in a bonded truck in Canada and then sent about 80km (50 miles) through Maine and over the international Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge to Campobello - is inspected. Some packages have been seized.
"Here we are, a symbol of US-Canada friendship, and this is going on," says resident Steve Hatch. The former journalist has lodged a complaint with Canada Post, arguing the security of the mail destined for the island's 800 residents is being compromised and their privacy unprotected.
"Anything you order, [US border patrol agents] are going to know about," Mr Hatch told the BBC.
The emissions gap report for 2019 is out.
The report presents the latest data on the expected gap in 2030 for the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets of the Paris Agreement. It considers different scenarios, from no new climate policies since 2005 to full implementation of all national commitments under the Paris Agreement. For the first time, it looks at how large annual cuts would need to be from 2020 to 2030 to stay on track to meeting the Paris goals.
I find its contents are both worrisome and heartening. Carbon emissions are still growing worldwide, but the costs of carbon-neutral technologies are starting to compete with existing carbon-emissive technologies.
Psychoactive drugs - including antidepressants - are altering the reproductive behaviour, anxiety levels, and anti-predator responses of fish in the wild, according to Australia's Monash University.
[...] According to the research, Prozac didn't change the feeding and foraging behaviour of solitary fish, however when it was applied to whole groups of fish it had a suppressive effect.
Last year, another study covering the impact of Prozac pollution on fish said it could last for three generations, blunting the stress responses in exposed embryos and any of that embryo's descendants once it had matured.
The study, from the University of Ottowa, showed how zebrafish didn't explore their tank as much when they were treated with Prozac.
Dr Vance Trudeau, a neuroendocrinologist, said there were good reasons to believe the effects that his study revealed could also occur in humans.
This is because the core stress hormone cortisone has the same impact in fish as it does on humans.
0Field-realistic antidepressant exposure disrupts group foraging dynamics in mosquitofish[$], Biology Letters (DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4711484)
1Transgenerational hypocortisolism and behavioral disruption are induced by the antidepressant fluoxetine in male zebrafish Danio rerio[$], Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1811695115)
Once upon a time in a strange land (actually, Indiana in 1897) the government tried to pass a law making pi = 3.2.
Ohio is now trying to pass a law doing the impossible — require the implanting of ectopic pregnancies.
A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.
This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.
The move comes amid a wave of increasingly severe anti-abortion bills introduced across much of the country as conservative Republican politicians seek to ban abortion and force a legal showdown on abortion with the supreme court.
Ohio’s move on ectopic pregnancies – where an embryo implants on the mother’s fallopian tube rather than her uterus rendering the pregnancy unviable – is one of the most extreme bills to date.
“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” wrote Ohio obstetrician and gynecologist Dr David Hackney on Twitter. “We’ll all be going to jail,” he said.
The new Ohio HB413, p.184: To avoid criminal charges, including murder, for abortion, a physician must “…[attempt to] reimplant an ectopic pregnancy into the women’s uterus”
“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” said Dr Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus,” he said.
“Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life,” said Zahn.
What's not mentioned is that even if implantation into the uterus were possible, there would have already been so much damage done by malnourishment outside the womb that it would most likely die and spontaneously abort anyway.
Now, why don't they do something useful and square the circle. That ought to keep them out of trouble for a while.
According to new research published Wednesday in the journal Cell, scientists using a combination of gene splicing and accelerated evolution techniques have made E. coli into an autotroph that produces its biomass using atmospheric carbon.
The study was carried out at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
Prof. Ron Milo, of Weizmann’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, in whose laboratory the research was carried out, explains that all organisms in nature are either “producers” or “consumers” of sugar and other foods, such as fats. The producers are algae, plants and a few kinds of bacteria living in extreme environments. These bacteria draw carbon dioxide from their environment and with the help of the sun’s energy, they fix it and create a complex molecule – like sugars – that are essential for life.
The rest of the organisms exist on the work of those plants and algae and are nourished by them – thus receiving the sugars they need to exist. In scientific terms, the “producers” are called “autotrophs” and the consumers heterotrophs. In Prof. Milo’s lab, the team worked for 10 years until they managed to turn a heteotrophic bacterium into an autotroph – from a consumer to a producer.
The bacteria currently require approximately 100x the concentration of CO2 present in the atmosphere to survive, but the scientists are working to reduce this further.
The next phase of the research, according to Milo, is to improve the efficiency of the carbon fixing process
Among the potential eventual applications are carbon neutral fuel production and scrubbing of CO2 during industrial processes.
For four years, a team of zoologists from the universities of Liverpool and York has been studying the formation of mixed groups of herbivore species on the African savannahs in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Their findings, published in Ecology Letters, show that herbivores seek out the company of species with the most informative alarm calls who can alert them to the threat of nearby predators.
[...] In addition to informative alarm calls, vigilance and vulnerability were also found to be driving factors of social group formation. Species who are not themselves very vigilant were found to be more likely to join mixed groups, presumably to compensate for their lower ability to spot predators. Similarly, species deemed to be more vulnerable to predators were also more likely to seek out the security provided by being in a mixed group.
Dr. Jakob Bro-Jorgensen said: "Our study points to an intriguing complex social world where social relations between species range from mutually beneficial to parasitic.
"The impact of communication between species on social attraction and survival highlights the importance of taking behavioural links between species into account in order to understand how the natural world operates.
More information: Alarm communication networks as a driver of community structure in African savannah herbivores, Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/ele.13432
Researchers have created an audio speaker using ultra-thin wood film. The new material demonstrates high tensile strength and increased Young’s modulus, as well as acoustic properties contributing to higher resonance frequency and greater displacement amplitude compared to a commercial polypropylene diaphragm in an audio speaker.
[...] The process for building the ultra-thin film involved removing lignin and hemicellulose from balsa wood, resulting in a highly porous material. The result is hot pressed for a thickness reduction of 97%. The cellulose nano-fibers remain oriented but more densely packed compared to natural wood. In addition, the fibers required higher energy to be pulled apart while remaining flexible and foldable.
At one point in time, plastics seemed to be the hottest new material, but perhaps wood is making a comeback?
Wentao Gan et al. Single-digit-micrometer thickness wood speaker, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-13053-0
A ransomware outbreak has besieged a Wisconsin based IT company that provides cloud data hosting, security and access management to more than 100 nursing homes across the United States. The ongoing attack is preventing these care centers from accessing crucial patient medical records, and the IT company’s owner says she fears this incident could soon lead not only to the closure of her business, but also to the untimely demise of some patients.
Milwaukee, Wisc. based Virtual Care Provider Inc. (VCPI) provides IT consulting, Internet access, data storage and security services to some 110 nursing homes and acute-care facilities in 45 states. All told, VCPI is responsible for maintaining approximately 80,000 computers and servers that assist those facilities.
At around 1:30 a.m. CT on Nov. 17, unknown attackers launched a ransomware strain known as Ryuk inside VCPI’s networks, encrypting all data the company hosts for its clients and demanding a whopping $14 million ransom in exchange for a digital key needed to unlock access to the files. Ryuk has made a name for itself targeting businesses that supply services to other companies — particularly cloud-data firms — with the ransom demands set according to the victim’s perceived ability to pay.
In an interview with KrebsOnSecurity today, VCPI chief executive and owner Karen Christianson said the attack had affected virtually all of their core offerings, including Internet service and email, access to patient records, client billing and phone systems, and even VCPI’s own payroll operations that serve nearly 150 company employees.
The care facilities that VCPI serves access their records and other systems outsourced to VCPI by using a Citrix-based virtual private networking (VPN) platform, and Christianson said restoring customer access to this functionality is the company’s top priority right now.
“We have employees asking when we’re going to make payroll,” Christianson said. “But right now all we’re dealing with is getting electronic medical records back up and life-threatening situations handled first.”
[...] VCPI’s CEO said her organization plans to publicly document everything that has happened so far when (and if) this attack is brought under control, but for now the company is fully focused on rebuilding systems and restoring operations, and on keeping clients informed at every step of the way.
“We’re going to make it part of our strategy to share everything we’re going through,” Christianson said, adding that when the company initially tried several efforts to sidestep the intruders their phone systems came under concerted assault. “But we’re still under attack, and as soon as we can open, we’re going to document everything.”