Kenneth Childs

Kenneth Childs

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China
Sneaky tobacco ads show smoking as chic lifestyle – China DailyWhat happened: A report by the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control released Monday revealed 51,800 tobacco promotions spread out across 14 online platforms in the first half of 2018.Many of them circumvented a 2016 law against online tobacco ads by integrating the content into lifestyle posts.Social shopping review site Xiaohongshu alone contained 90,000 references to tobacco, some of which referred to specific products or purchase methods.Microblogging site Weibo, however, had the most disguised tobacco ads by far, making up 80% of all uncovered posts.Why it’s important: The deputy director of Beijing’s CDC pointed out that the majority of users for certain platforms, including Xiaohongshu, are women, potentially putting female online users at more risk of targeted advertising.
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China
What happened: China plans to deploy its own nuclear reactor, called “Hualong One,” in new power plants built around the country, instead of using foreign designs, government officials announced on Wednesday.Beijing has settled on using the Chinese design over the American AP1000 to meet its goal of increasing total installed nuclear capacity to 58 gigawatts and to have another 30 gigawatts under construction by 2020.Nuclear plant construction had been halted for three years due to a suspension of approvals, but the National Nuclear Safety Administration confirmed it will resume this year.Why it’s important: China is the world’s biggest energy consumer, and as it gears up to meet its emission goals and replace coal-fueled plants for 2020, it looks to invest in clean energy solutions.It has long looked to foreign companies for technology, seen as a “shop window” for France, Russia, the US, and Canada to show off their new designs.In 2006 it signed a deal with the US to make the AP1000 the “core of its nuclear program,” but when it finally arrived in China, homegrown designs had evolved to the point of viable deployment.
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US
Facebook "unintentionally" harvested the email contacts of about 1.5 million of its users during the past three years.The activity came to light when a security researcher noticed that Facebook was asking users to enter their email passwords to verify their identities when signing up for an account, according to Business Insider, which previously reported on the practice.Those who did enter their passwords then saw a pop-up message that said it was "importing" their contacts – without first asking permission, BI reported.A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that 1.5 million people's contacts were collected in this manner since May 2016 to help build Facebook's web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends."Last month we stopped offering email password verification as an option for people verifying their account when signing up for Facebook for the first time," a Facebook spokesperson said."When we looked into the steps people were going through to verify their accounts we found that in some cases people's email contacts were also unintentionally uploaded to Facebook when they created their account.
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US
New York, NY--April 17, 2019--Engineering bacteria to intelligently sense and respond to disease states, from infections to cancer, has become a promising focus of synthetic biology.Rapid advances in genetic engineering tools have enabled researchers to "program" cells to perform various sophisticated tasks.For example, a network of genes can be wired together to form a genetic circuit in which cells can be engineered to sense the environment and modulate their behavior or produce molecules in response.Recent research has found that many bacteria selectively colonize tumors in vivo, prompting scientists to engineer them as programmable vehicles, biological "robots" in other words, to deliver anticancer therapeutics.However, while current synthetic biology tools can create an enormous number of programmed cells, researchers' dependence on animal-based testing has greatly limited the number of therapies that can be tested and how quickly.In fact, the ability to rapidly engineer new therapies for humans far outpaces the throughput of animal-based testing, creating a major bottleneck for clinical translation.
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