Hidden Beneath the Ocean’s Surface, Nearly 16 Million Tons of Microplastic

Our plastic bags seem to end up floating like waterlogged jellyfish in the sea.

Discarded bottles spoil pristine beaches around the world.

Now, scientists have a glimpse of what happens when tiny fragments of plastic break off and end up on the ocean floor.

In what researchers called the first such global estimate, Australia’s national science agency says that 9.25 million to 15.87 million tons of microplastics — fragments measuring between five millimeters and one micrometer — are embedded on the sea floor.

That is far more than on the ocean’s surface.

It is the equivalent of 18 to 24 shopping bags full of small plastic fragments for every foot of coastline on every continent except for Antarctica.

It is an issue that activists have long warned about even as the fight to clean up the ocean has focused largely on the eradication of single-use plastic products like shopping bags.

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National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator awards $1 million grant to RIT team

A Rochester Institute of Technology researcher is part of a team that has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to use artificial intelligence to better understand the role of facial expressions in signed and spoken languages.

As part of the project, researchers will develop an application to teach American Sign Language learners about associated facial expressions and head gestures. They will also develop an application that makes the facial expressions of a signer anonymous, when privacy is a concern.

The nearly $1 million grant is part of the NSF Convergence Accelerator, a program that supports use-inspired, team-based, and multidisciplinary research to produce solutions to national-scale societal challenges.

The project, called Data and AI Methods for Modeling Facial Expressions in Language with Applications to Privacy for the Deaf, American Sign Language (ASL) Education and Linguistic Research, is co-led by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at three universities. The team includes

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Toothless, parrot-like dinosaur thrived 69 million years ago, study finds

Multiple skeletons of the Oksoko avarsan, a feathered omnivorous dinosaur that grew to 2 meters in length, were dug up in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, according to a news statement published Tuesday.

It had a large, toothless beak like modern-day parrots and just two digits on each forearm — one less than its close relatives.

It’s the first time scientists have seen evidence of digit loss among oviraptors, a family of three-fingered dinosaurs.

Evolving to have fewer digits suggests they could also “alter their diets and lifestyles, and enabled them to diversify and multiply,” according to the statement.

The “very complete” juvenile skeletons were found resting together, showing that young Oksoko avarsan roamed in groups, said paleontologist Gregory Funston, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh who led the study.

“But more importantly, its two-fingered hand prompted us to look at

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IRS extends nonfilers deadline to Nov. 21 for 9 million to claim stimulus check. Here’s what to do

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The IRS this month is contacting 9 million Americans who may still be owed economic stimulus money.


Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS on Monday extended the deadline for up to 9 million Americans who didn’t receive a first stimulus check to claim a missing payment. The original Oct. 15 deadline for nonfilers — a group of people who typically don’t file their taxes, including older adults, retirees and SSDI recipients — has been pushed back to Nov. 21.

“We took this step to provide more time for those who have not yet received a payment to register to get their money, including those in low-income and underserved communities,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

For the most part, the first wave of stimulus checks went out automatically this spring and summer, without the intended recipients having to do anything but meet the qualifications. But a subset of

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Jennifer Doudna’s New Gene Editing Company Launches With A $20 Million Round To Develop Genetic Medicines

What if you had a tool to change the genetic instructions that cause disease?

That’s what San Francisco-based Scribe Therapeutics hopes to do with its next-generation platform for gene editing.

Today, the company announced a collaboration with Biogen to develop CRISPR-based genetic medicines for neurological diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

CRISPR, you may remember, is a powerful tool used to control the genes (or genetic instructions) that are active in plants, animals, and even humans. With CRISPR gene editing, researchers can “silence” undesirable traits, and, potentially, add desirable traits. 

Over the past few years, CRISPR gene editing has been used to reduce the severity of genetic deafness and treat sickle-cell anemia in mice. Today, CRISPR is considered

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Budget 2020: Everything within Canberra’s AU$796.5 million Digital Business Plan

The federal government had already promised AU$796.5 million over four years from 2020-21 through its Digital Business Plan to further drive progress towards Australia becoming a leading digital economy by 2030.

In its Budget 2020-21, the government detailed the plan that’s aimed at improving productivity, income growth, and jobs by supporting the adoption of digital technologies by Australian businesses.

“There is no economic recovery without a jobs recovery,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in delivering his Budget speech on Tuesday night. “There is no budget recovery without a jobs recovery.

“This Budget is all about jobs.”

The measures under the JobMaker Plan — Digital Business Plan label cover: Modern digital infrastructure, reduced regulatory barriers, small and medium enterprise (SME) support and capability, and a digital government that is easier to do business with.

The near-AU$800 million will be shared over four years by 16 government departments, with Services Australia receiving the

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Leading Edge Equipment Technologies Awarded $1 Million Grant from the National Science Foundation

WILMINGTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 6, 2020–

Leading Edge Equipment Technologies, the maker of revolutionary silicon wafer manufacturing equipment for solar panels, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant for $998,820 to support continued research and development of their advanced silicon wafer manufacturing process.

“Our first grant from the NSF was instrumental in proving our nascent technology can move from the lab into the real world,” said Alison Greenlee, Founder of Leading Edge and Principal Investigator. “The NSF’s continued support helps us take the next step in developing this important manufacturing technology so it can be reliably deployed and drive global adoption of renewable energy.”

Leading Edge has developed a new drop-in manufacturing technology that produces kerfless, single-crystal silicon wafers for solar panels. The company’s manufacturing equipment uses their patented Floating Silicon Method™ to produce silicon wafers through ribbons. This manufacturing technology reduces

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2 Million Creators Make 6-Figure Incomes On YouTube, Instagram, Twitch Globally

There are currently over 50 million creators on Youtube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, and other social media platforms. Two million of them are full-time, and they earn six figure salaries by creating content daily or weekly. And that massive distributed content creation engine means that about 90% of the video, audio, photo, and text-based content consumed today by Gen Z is created by individuals, not corporations.

That’s a massive cultural shift.

These are just a few of the insights from a recent report on the “creator economy” by Yuanling Yuan, senior associate at SignalFire, and investment firm.

“The number of those long tail amateur influencers/creators is going to explode. I think by our data, this should grow from 50 million to a 100 million and possibly even larger,” Yuan told me in

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Miami alumnus Rick McVey ’81 ensures expansion of Miami’s transdisciplinary data science program with a $20 million gift to fund visionary new building

“Richard M. McVey Data Science Building” name approved by Miami Board of Trustees

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Rick McVey (Miami ’81)

Miami University has announced a $20 million gift from Rick McVey (Miami ’81) which will fund a construction of a new data science building on Miami’s Oxford campus. In recognition of this contribution – one of the top-five largest single gifts in Miami’s history – the building will be named the Richard M. McVey Data Science Building in his honor, an action recently approved by the Board of Trustees.

Miami President Greg Crawford underscored that this gift is central to making Miami’s vision of creating an academic epicenter for data science a reality.

“An interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff have been working on a design for this building that will transform our academic programs related to data science and digital technology. This gift makes that vision a reality,” Crawford said. “We are

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5G in Automotive and Smart Transportation Market to Exceed a Market Valuation of US$ 9,500 Million by 2030, Says Future Market Insights in New Study

DUBAI, UAE / ACCESSWIRE / October 5, 2020 / In a recent market study by Future Market Insights (FMI) on the 5G in automotive and smart transportation market is expected to grow at a dexterous 26% CAGR throughout the estimated period, 2020-2030. Growing dependence on smart technology comprising IoT and 5G, into the transportation and automotive sectors is poised to confer lucrative revenue prospects to market players. As automotive producers leverage both the demand-side and supply-side advantages provided by the incorporation of 5G technology in automobiles, the market is slated for remarkable growth over the projected period.

However, production in the automotive sector plummeted, accordingly bringing down the automobiles sales, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This posed a challenge for market growth, healthy growth is predicted with the relaxation of lockdown measures.

“Market players operating in the global market are focusing their efforts towards research & development exercises to discover

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