Federal Agencies Mostly Use Facial Recognition Tech for Digital Access

source: infosecurity-magazine.com |  image: unsplash.com

 

 

The most popular uses for facial recognition technology (FRT) by federal agencies are cybersecurity and digital access, according to a new report by the United States Government Accountability Office.

The GAO surveyed 24 agencies about their FRT activities in the fiscal year 2020 and found 75% (18) use an FRT system for one or more purposes.

Sixteen agencies reported deploying the technology for digital access or cybersecurity purposes, with two of these agencies (General Services Administration and Social Security Administration) saying that they were testing FRT to verify the identities of people who were accessing government websites.

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Groundbreaking Research Identifies Likely Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease – Potential for New Treatment

source: scitechdaily.com  | image: pexels.com

 

A likely cause of Ground-breaking new Curtin University-led research has discovered a likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease, in a significant finding that offers potential new prevention and treatment opportunities for Australia’s second-leading cause of death.

The study, published in the prestigious PLOS Biology journal and tested on mouse modelsidentified that a probable cause of Alzheimer’s disease was the leakage from blood into the brain of fat-carrying particles transporting toxic proteins. 

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source: dhs.gov (contributed by FAN Steve Jones)

We’ve all walked through a metal detector at the airport, hoping we didn’t forget anything in our pockets that will set off the alarm. When security personnel can’t immediately identify what is triggering the alarm, the process is halted for a pat down. Though this slows the screening process significantly for people waiting in line and can be an uncomfortable experience for the individual being screened, it is an essential element of keeping all travelers safe.

xTo improve airport security, both for screeners and for those being screened, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) continually invests in research and development (R&D) to build solutions for the future. S&T’s Screening at Speed Program partners with government, academia, and industry to increase security effectiveness at the airport from curb to gate, while dramatically reducing screening wait times and improving the passenger experience

source: cnet.com

The pedestrian bridge took four years of research and 4.9 tons of stainless steel to construct.

If you thought 3D-printed scooters were cool, wait till you see where you can take them if you happen to be in Amsterdam. Earlier this month, engineers installed the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge, over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. After being dedicated by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, the bridge is now open to pedestrians and cyclists (and, presumably, scooterists), according to a report from the Imperial College of London.

Physical construction of the bridge took four giant, torch-wielding robots six months to complete, layer by painstaking layer, using a net total of 4.9 tons of steel. However, before that process began, scientists at Dutch company MX3D spent four years on preliminary research and development to make sure the finished product would be sound.

Transient pacemaker harmlessly dissolves in body

Wireless, fully implantable device gives temporary pacing without requiring removal

source: sciencedaily.com

Researchers at Northwestern and George Washington (GW) universities have developed the first-ever transient pacemaker — a wireless, battery-free, fully implantable pacing device that disappears after it’s no longer needed.

The thin, flexible, lightweight device could be used in patients who need temporary pacing after cardiac surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. All components of the pacemaker are biocompatible and naturally absorb into the body’s biofluids over the course of five to seven weeks, without needing surgical extraction.

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Advanced Computer Model Enables Improvements to “Bionic Eye” Technology

Researchers at Keck School of Medicine of There are millions of people who face the loss of their eyesight from degenerative eye diseases. The genetic disorder retinitis pigmentosa alone affects 1 in 4,000 people worldwide.

Today, there is technology available to offer partial eyesight to people with that syndrome. The Argus II, the world’s first retinal prosthesis, reproduces some functions of a part of the eye essential to vision, to allow users to perceive movement and shapes.

While the field of retinal prostheses is still in its infancy, for hundreds of users around the globe, the “bionic eye” enriches the way they interact with the world on a daily basis. For instance, seeing outlines of objects enables them to move around unfamiliar environments with increased safety.

That is just the start. Researchers are seeking future improvements upon the technology, with an ambitious objective in mind.

 

 

 

 

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No More Needles for Diagnostic Tests? Engineers Develop Nearly Pain-Free Microneedle Patch

source: scitechdaily.com

Nearly pain-free microneedle patch can test for antibodies and more in the fluid between cells.

Blood draws are no fun.

They hurt. Veins can burst, or even roll — like they’re trying to avoid the needle, too.

Oftentimes, doctors use blood samples to check for biomarkers of disease: antibodies that signal a viral or bacterial infection, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, or cytokines indicative of inflammation seen in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and sepsis.

These biomarkers aren’t just in blood, though. They can also be found in the dense liquid medium that surrounds our cells, but in a low abundance that makes it difficult to be detected.

Until now.

Engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a microneedle patch that can be applied to the skin, capture a biomarker of interest and, thanks to its unprecedented sensitivity, allow clinicians to detect its presence.

The technology is low cost, easy for clinicians or patients themselves to use, and could eliminate the need for a trip to the hospital just for a blood draw.

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SpaceX Will Launch Billionaire Jared Isaacman on a Private Spaceflight This Year

Isaacman chartered a Crew Dragon flight and is donating the other three seats.

 source:  space.com

SpaceX continues to blaze new paths to the final frontier.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman has chartered a trip to Earth orbit with Elon Musk’s company, which last year became the first private outfit to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

The 37-year-old Isaacman, who’s also an accomplished pilot, will command the four-person “Inspiration4” mission aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, he and SpaceX announced today (Feb. 1). There will be no professional astronauts aboard; Isaacman is donating the other three seats.

“It will be the first-ever all-private crewed orbital mission in history,” Musk said during a teleconference with reporters today (Feb. 1).

SpaceX will use the Crew Dragon spacecraft “Resilience” for Inspiration4, Musk added. Resilience is currently docked at the International Space Station on the Crew-1 mission, SpaceX’s first contracted crewed flight to the orbiting lab for NASA.

 

Harvesting Energy as you Move: The Future of Wearable Technology

source:  azonano.com

contributed by Artemus FAN, Steve Jones

EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow, Dr Ishara Dharmasena, speaks to AZoNano about their groundbreaking triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) technology that has the potential to convert our movements into electricity.

 

How did you begin your research into energy harvesting technology?

I was interested in renewable energy technologies and their impact on our lifestyle and the environment since my undergraduate years back in Sri Lanka. However, it was during my PhD project at the University of Surrey that I started researching energy harvesting technologies, specifically those that have the potential to convert human motion into electricity such as the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) technology.

Following the completion of my PhD project, I started TENG energy harvesting activities at Loughborough University, focusing on the design and application aspects of TENGs toward powering the next generation of portable and smart electronics.

What are triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) and how are they revolutionary in the energy industry?

Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) are small-scale energy generators that can convert the energy from movements in our surroundings (e.g. human motion, machine vibrations, vehicle movements, wind, and wave energy) into electricity.

These generators work based on the combination of two common effects – “triboelectric charging” and “electrostatic induction”. Triboelectric charging or static charging is typically an undesired effect we experience in everyday life. Static charging is the reason why a balloon rubbed on our hair can stick to a wall or attract small pieces of paper, while it also causes lightening, and, clothing to stick to our skin on a dry day.

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Find out if you can meet all your needs within a 15-minute walk from your house.

source:  fastcompany.com

In a “15-minute city,” it’s possible to meet your basic needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. Instead of sitting in traffic during a rush-hour commute, you can work at home or walk to an office nearby. You can walk to get groceries, go to the doctor, take your kids to school, or run any other everyday errand. Housing is affordable, so a barista could live in a walkable neighborhood as easily as a lawyer. It’s a concept championed by the mayor of Paris and, more recently, pitched by a global network of cities as a tool for helping urban areas recover from the pandemic—and improve sustainability and health as people start to get more exercise while conducting their day-to-day activities.

In the U.S., car-dependent sprawl is more common. But a new tool lets you map out local services to see how close your neighborhood comes to the ideal.

 

Click here to try out the tool:

https://app.developer.here.com/15-min-city-map/

“The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of location and proximity,” says Jordan Stark, a spokesperson for Here Technologies, the location data platform that created the map. The company typically creates maps for businesses, such as delivery companies that need to route vehicles, and built the new tool to demonstrate how developers could work with its data. While the current version maps out amenities like grocery stores, transit stops, and medical care—along the lines of Walkscore, another tool—the company says it might later create an iteration that considers how far residents might have to travel to get to an office.

The map also shows how many services can be accessed by car from an address. “We wanted to show, especially in the U.S., the contrast in the accessibility between walking and driving,” Stark says. “And as you can imagine, there are a number of communities where you have all of your essential items within a 15-minute drive, but potentially less than one essential location in a walk. So it was a way to show that contrast in spatial makeup.”

While pockets of American cities are walkable now—the map tells me that my own neighborhood in Oakland qualifies as a “15-minute city”—it’s possible that more neighborhoods will move in this direction as cities begin to use it as a framework for urban planning. Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development is one of the latest to say that it is exploring the concept of 15-minute neighborhoods.

“We wanted to show, especially in the U.S., the contrast in the accessibility between walking and driving,”