Looking at evolution’s genealogy from home — ScienceDaily

Evolution leaves its traces — in particular — in genomes. Pinpointing its influence is a laborious process — but one in which Dr. Jürgen Schmitz and his team at the University of Münster are at home. Five years ago, the team made public a web app which can compare the genomes of humans and animals and thus help to provide an understanding of evolutionary developments. The Münster researchers are now going one step further: their new software — “2-n-way” — can compare any genomes from and for anyone and systematically search for regions which are characterized by the presence or absence of certain sequences — or, to put it simply, what is missing and where in the genome and when it got lost or when it newly emerged. This makes it possible to recognize relationships among species or individuals. The Münster researchers have now published details of their new development … Read More

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All four of the world’s largest shipping companies have now been hit by cyber-attacks

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Image: Dimitry Anikin

With today’s news that French shipping giant CMA CGM has been hit by a ransomware attack, this now means that all of the four biggest maritime shipping companies in the world have been hit by cyber-attacks in the past four years, since 2017.

Previous incidents included:

  1. APM-Maersk – taken down for weeks by the NotPetya ransomware/wiper in 2017.
  2. Mediterranean Shipping Company – hit in April 2020 by an unnamed malware strain that brought down its data center for days.
  3. COSCO – brought down for weeks by ransomware in July 2018.

On top of these, we also have CMA CGM, which today took down its worldwide shipping container booking system after its Chinese branches in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou were hit by the Ragnar Locker ransomware.

This marks for a unique case study, as there is no other industry sector where the Big Four have suffered major cyber-attacks

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Amnesty International slams Palantir’s human rights record

Amnesty International is criticizing Palantir’s human rights record a day before the secretive Silicon Valley technology startup is set to go public.

In a report on Monday, Amnesty singled out Palantir’s contracts with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Palantir’s software allows ICE to build detailed profiles of people in a single location, drawing on existing ICE data, public records and active investigations. 

Amnesty says ICE has also used Palantir’s technology in arresting the parents of children who cross the border unaccompanied and to conduct massive workplace raids, such as a 2019 raid in Mississippi  that swept up nearly 700 workers.

The data company “has sought to deflect and minimize its responsibility to protect human rights,” Amnesty said, adding that “there is a high risk that Palantir is contributing to serious human rights violations of migrants and asylum-seekers.”

“Palantir touts its ethical commitments,

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Indigenous science celebrated in CSIRO finalists for Eureka Prizes

Two teams of researchers from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have been named finalists in this year’s Eureka Prizes for their work with Indigenous communities.

CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM Education Project (ISEP) grows curiosity and passion for STEM, building career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students around the country through six different programs for students of all ages.

The Kakadu NESP Team has developed an Indigenous-led science project in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park, bringing together ethical artificial intelligence and modern science with traditional knowledge to solve complex environmental management problems, and care for animal species and habitats.

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of Australian science, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s leading science awards and offer a unique co-operative partnership between government, education and research institutions and private sector companies to recognise and support scientific excellence.

CSIRO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, said the CSIRO teams were

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Former teacher opens new private school in Woodlands

Published

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NVIDIA Just Gave Call Of Duty Gamers With GeForce Cards An Edge

One of the technologies NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang unveiled during the GeForce RTX 30-series launch event was NVIDIA Reflex. For those unfamiliar with it, NVIDIA Reflex is latency reduction technology that’s designed to minimize input lag, sometimes called input latency or end-to-end latency. That’s a fancy way of defining how long it takes for something to happen on-screen after a mouse click or keyboard input.

NVIDIA Reflex works by streamlining a few steps along the rendering pipeline to reduce overall latency. NVIDIA’s software tweaks to enable Reflex make more efficient use of available CPU and GPU resources and minimize driver overhead, which according to NVIDIA, can reduce latency by up to 50% in games that are updated to properly support the technology. That means when a gamer clicks their mouse button to fire a weapon or whips their mouse around to

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Vice News releases body camera video that purports to show moments after officers raided Breonna Taylor’s apartment

One video shows an officer, which Vice News says appears to be former Detective Brett Hankison, entering Taylor’s apartment after the shootings and ask about shell casings that are on the floor. He’s soon told by another unidentified officer that he should “back out” until LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit arrives. Hankison’s attorney declined to comment on the video.

No officer who took part in the March 13 raid was charged for Taylor’s actual killing. A grand jury instead leveled three counts of felony wanton endangerment against Hankison, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron said last week. The counts pertain to Hankison allegedly firing blindly through a door and window, with bullets entering an adjacent apartment where a pregnant woman, a man and a child were home, according to the state attorney general.

In another video, which Vice News says was the moment Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker was arrested, an unidentified … Read More

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Future Navy fleet will exceed 355 ships

The Navy fleet of tomorrow will look substantially different than the one today, both in terms of the type of ships, and the number of them.



a ship in a body of water


© Provided by WVEC-TV Norfolk


Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is for the first time confirming the Navy will go beyond the current goal of 355 ships.

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“It will be a balanced force of over 355 ships, both manned and unmanned,” he said. 

How far beyond 355? Esper didn’t specify. But Defense News — citing obtained-documents — reports the number could reach 530.

The reason: China is believed to be building toward a fleet of as many as 425 ships by 2030.

“We must stay ahead,” said Esper. ” We must retain our over-match. And we will keep building modern ships to ensure we remain the world’s greatest Navy.”

Esper, speaking last week before the Rand Corporation, said the United States is

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Genetic testing cost effective for newly diagnosed GIST — ScienceDaily

Because gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are sensitive to the targeted small molecule therapy imatinib, oncologists tend to treat all patients with metastatic GIST with this drug. However, because this rare type of cancer is caused by different genetic mutations, imatinib does not help all patients equally.

To determine whose cancer may be most responsive, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network suggests that patients undergo genetic testing to identify each individuals’ tumor mutations. And yet, only 30 percent of patients have genetic testing at the time of diagnosis, likely due to concerns over cost and utility of testing, said Jason Sicklick, MD, professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

“We recommend that all patients with a new diagnosis of metastatic GIST undergo genetic testing prior to the initiation of first-line chemotherapy,” said Sicklick, surgical oncologist and co-leader of the Sarcoma Disease

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Google to Collect 30% Cut on In-App Purchases Starting in 2021

Taking a page out of Apple’s  (AAPL) – Get Report book, Google will begin more strictly enforcing rules that require developers to use Google’s  (GOOGL) – Get Report payment system for in-app purchases. 

Google announced the change on its Android developer blog on Monday, describing it as a clarification of Google’s existing rules on in-app purchases. Google had an existing policy requiring developers to use Google’s billing system, but the policy had been loosely enforced. 

“We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase,” wrote Sameer Samat, VP of product management at Android. “We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair.

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