By: Emerging Technology from the arXiv
Last year, a Long March 2D rocket took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert carrying a satellite called Micius, named after an ancient Chinese philosopher who died in 391 B.C. The rocket placed Micius in a Sun-synchronous orbit so that it passes over the same point on Earth at the same time each day.
Micius is a highly sensitive photon receiver that can detect the quantum states of single photons fired from the ground. That’s important because it should allow scientists to test the technological building blocks for various quantum feats such as entanglement, cryptography, and teleportation.
Today, the Micius team announced the results of its first experiments. The team created the first satellite-to-ground quantum network, in the process smashing the record for the longest distance over which entanglement has been measured. And they’ve used this quantum network to teleport the first object from the ground to orbit.
Teleportation has become a standard operation in quantum optics labs around the world. The technique relies on the strange phenomenon of entanglement. This occurs when two quantum objects, such as photons, form at the same instant and point in space and so share the same existence. In technical terms, they are described by the same wave function.
The curious thing about entanglement is that this shared existence continues even when the photons are separated by vast distances. So a measurement on one immediately influences the state of the other, regardless of the distance between them.
Back in the 1990s, scientists realized they could use this link to transmit quantum information from one point in the universe to another. The idea is to “download” all the information associated with one photon in one place and transmit it over an entangled link to another photon in another place.
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Compliments of NPR
Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday tweeted an email exchange that seemed to show the president’s son entertained an offer of Russian government help for his father to be elected president in 2016.
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” said the text that Trump Jr. posted on Twitter.
In the messages, an intermediary for Russian business allies of the Trumps offer what they call incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. That eventually led to a meeting — set up by music promoter Rob Goldstone — among a Russian attorney, Trump Jr., then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump Jr. did not seem bothered by the offer, which brought him and the campaign into a questionable legal area.
“If it’s what you say,” Trump Jr. replied, “I love it.”
It’s illegal under federal law to solicit or accept a campaign contribution from a foreign national or foreign government.
On Tuesday, in his first comments about the meeting since it was revealed, President Trump stood by his son.
“My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency,” Trump said, in a statement read by White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders.
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By: Megan Geuss of Ars Technica
In an address on Thursday, France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, said that the country would aim to phase out electricity from coal-fired plants by 2022 and end the sale of gas and diesel internal combustion cars by 2040.
This first goal should be relatively easy to attain. France relies heavily on nuclear energy—more than 70 percent of the country’s energy mix is nuclear—and coal-fired plants only contribute to around four percent of France’s electric production. Hulot also said that he hoped to reduce the amount of nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix down to 50 percent by 2025, although, according to Le Monde, the environment minister admitted he does “not have all the answers.”
In addition, Hulot noted a law would be proposed later this year to potentially end any new operating licenses for oil, gas, and coal mining.
The automotive goal is more of a stretch. Although details on how the French government would do this are scarce, Le Monde reports that part of the plan will involve offering money to qualifying households to replace their pre-1997 gasoline or pre-2001 diesel cars.
Hulot called the end of the sale of gas and diesel cars “a public health agenda” and mentioned Volvo’s recent commitment to only sell electric or hybrid vehicles by 2019. Engadget notes that the French government owns a considerable stake in PSA, owner of Peugeot and Citroen, as well as Renault. Regulators could potentially affect auto manufacturer operations through internal pressure. Hulot didn’t say whether plug-in hybrid electric vehicles would be factored into the ban or not. The minister admitted that achieving the goal would likely burden automakers.
Recent numbers from Germany reflect how daunting moving a country’s transportation sector away from fossil fuels can be. And an International Energy Agency report from June noted that, without government incentives, getting people to buy electric vehicles is especially challenging.
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By: Amina Zafar of CBC
Untreatable cases of “superbug gonorrhoea” have occurred, the World Health Organization says, as it calls for new drugs to treat the bacterial infection.
On Thursday, WHO and a global team of researchers published a study in the journal PLoS Medicine highlighting increases in drug-resistant gonorrhea, calling it a “serious situation.”
The United Nations health agency now advises doctors to prescribe two antibiotics called ceftriaxone and azithromycin for the sexually transmitted disease.
“We are starting to see resistance emerging to these drugs and even, as we say, superbug gonorrhea,” Dr. Manica Balasegaram, director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, told reporters from Geneva.
Gonorrhea can infect the genitals, rectum and throat. Each year, it’s estimated 78 million people become infected. Most women with the infection have no symptoms and 40 per cent of men don’t either. Left untreated, men and women can become infertile and face an increased risk of HIV.
Gonorrhea on the rise
In women, it can lead to abdominal pain, pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. If a pregnant woman’s infection goes untreated then the newborn could be infected, leading to blindness.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 395,000 cases were reported in 2015, a 13 per cent increase from the year before. There was a similar rise of 15 per cent reported in Canada.
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By: David Gernon of CNBC
Elon Musk usually tweets about mundane topics, from LA traffic to Tesla projects. On Thursday he was more dire.
“The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care,” Tesla’s CEO tweeted to his nearly 10 million followers. He pointed to a November article in New Scientist magazine titled, “The world in 2076: The population bomb has imploded.”
The piece, written by Fred Pearce points to Japan as a case study for what could go wrong in the relatively near future.
Rather than a meltdown where the Earth’s population outstrips the planet’s ability to feed everyone, we could be headed toward a more subtle but equally disastrous outcome where our population simply does not replace itself fast enough.
“The world has hit peak child,” the late Hans Rosling, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in the article.
Indeed, Japan’s fertility rate is 1.4 children per woman, well below what is required to sustain population growth.
While Japan is perhaps the most well-known example of a country’s population aging, the article in the London-based magazine also points to Germany and Italy, both of which “could see their populations halve within the next 60 years.”
The article spells out some of the problems an older population might bring, including less innovation, cultural shifts and worse and more recession-prone economies.
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Compliments of the BBC
The Atlanta rapper took to Instagram to tell people about the the pop-up clinic and to “come get tested and know your status”.
The house was originally used to promote his new album Pretty Girls like Trap Music, which was released in June.
It has since been used as a church and community centre, and has been welcomed by residents as a tourist attraction.
A trap house is a term for somewhere you go to buy drugs from a dealer – similar to a drugs den.
The HIV clinic was supported by the Fulton County Board of Health, and charities Atlanta AIDS and Test Atlanta.
In a caption on Instagram, 2 Chainz said: “Inside the ‘pink traphouse’ something seldom shown, art, kids, music, good vibes, inspiration etc. The word trap is and was associated with a negative connotation.
“We will see after we get thru injected some cultural ideas the move the needle inch by inch”.
The pink house has also been used as a “trap church,” which involved many local groups coming together and urging the public to support organisations to help residents of the poorest neighbourhoods.
Portraits of famous musicians, like Tupac and the Weeknd, can also be bought at the house, and it also functions as a salon, offering nail and hair appointments to local residents.
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By: Lisa Vaas of Naked Security
The US state of Illinois is poised to pass a law that makes it illegal to track a phone’s location without the owner’s consent.
The law, the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB3449), was passed in both houses of the state legislature last week. It’s now on the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner, ready to be signed into law.
The bill will make it illegal for a company to track a person’s geolocation without first getting permission. It sets criminal penalties and damages of at least $1,000, plus attorney’s fees and court costs, for working out a person’s whereabouts from their device without permission.
‘Geolocation information’ means information that: (i) is not the contents of a communication; (ii) is generated by or derived from, in whole or in part, the operation of a mobile device, including, but not limited to, a smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer; and (iii) is sufficient to determine or infer the precise location of that device.
IP addresses aren’t covered by the bill. It also includes exceptions for finding a missing child or to enable emergency responders to locate somebody. Breaking the new law will be considered a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
Some question whether the bill will have any real-world impact, given that most devices, apps and websites now ask people for permission before they use location data.
True, and good for their developers. But there’ve been plenty of times when that permission wasn’t sought or granted, yet still our locations have been tracked. There are other times when our locations have been shared without our permission simply because some developer along the line introduced location-sharing by accident.
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By: Katie Forster of The Independent
Parents in France will be legally obliged to vaccinate their children from 2018, the government has announced.
French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said it was “unacceptable” that children are “still dying of measles” in the country where some of the earliest vaccines were pioneered.
Three childhood vaccines, for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, are currently mandatory in France. Others, including those against hepatitis and whooping cough, are simply recommended.
Announcing the policy, Mr Philippe evoked the name of Louis Pasteur, the French biologist who made breakthroughs in disease research and developed the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax in the 19th century.
He said all the vaccines which are universally recommended by health bodies – 11 in total – would be compulsory.
The move follows a similar initiative in Italy, which recently banned non-vaccinated children from attending state schools.
The World Health Organisation has warned of major measles outbreaks spreading across Europe despite the availability of a safe, effective vaccine.
Anti-vaccine movements, whose followers are known as anti-vaxxers, are believed to have contributed to low rates of immunisation against the highly contagious disease in a number of countries.
A recent survey found more than three out of 10 French people don’t trust vaccines, with just 52 per cent of participants saying the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
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By: Darrell Etherington of Tech Crunch
SpaceX has another historic achievement under its belt — being first to re-fly a commercial spacecraft to the International Space Station and back. The Dragon capsule it used on its most recent ISS resupply mission was used during a previous trip to ferry supplies and materials for scientific experiments to the orbital facility.
This Dragon capsule originally launched in September 2014, before being refurbished and used again on June 3. After docking with the ISS around 36 hours after launch, the spacecraft spent about a month at the station, where astronauts unloaded its payload.
Early Monday AM EDT, the Dragon capsule decoupled from the ISS and made three departure burns to begin its de-orbit. Then a few hours later, it completed its de-orbit burn, re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and deployed its chutes, splashing down as planned in the Pacific Ocean at around 8:14 AM EDT.
The good splashdown is another big win for SpaceX’s vision of reusable spacecraft, which will help decrease the costs of commercial space operations dramatically.
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By: Eric W. Dolan
Scientists in the Netherlands have found evidence that stimulants used in the treatment of ADHD have different effects when acting on the developing or the mature brain.
The study, published in the journal NeuroImage: Clinical, was the first to investigate the effects of childhood methylphenidate treatment on brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA in adult ADHD patients.
“The prevalence of ADHD has increased rapidly over the last few years,” said Michelle M. Solleveld of the University of Amsterdam, the study’s corresponding author. “With this, prescription rates of methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, are increasing as well. The safety and efficacy of methylphenidate treatment in adults has been studied thoroughly. However, methylphenidate treatment for ADHD is actually more common in children, and no studies so far have investigated the possible long-term effects of methylphenidate on the developing brain.”
“Animal studies show that when animals were treated with methylphenidate during their childhood, persisting effects in the brain remained present well into adulthood,” Solleveld told PsyPost. “This alarmed me, as this hasn’t been studied in humans, but psychiatrists are increasingly prescribing methylphenidate to children to acutely decrease their symptoms of ADHD. I, together with the rest of the research group, therefore wanted to investigate this in humans in order to gain more knowledge about these possible persisting effects.”
The researchers used Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy scans to examine GABA levels in the medial prefrontal cortex of 44 male ADHD patients. They found evidence that methylphenidate use by children produced long-lasting alterations in GABA neurotransmission in this region of the brain.
“This study focuses on one specific neurotransmitter system: the GABA system,” Solleveld explained. “We report that there are lasting changes in this neurotransmitter system when ADHD patients are treated before the age of 23 years old, i.e. during brain development.”
“This was not the case when treatment was started after the age of 23, when the brain was matured. These results indicate that treatment with methylphenidate in childhood does alter this specific neurotransmitter system in the brain in a long-lasting manner.”
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