Sci-Tech

Researchers move closer to new vaccine for killer TB

  by Glenda KWEK Agence France Presse HYDERABAD, India (AFP) — Scientists said Tuesday they are closing in on a new game-changing vaccine for tuberculosis, the world’s deadliest infectious disease that claimed some 1.5 million lives last year. A chronic lung disease that is curable, TB was one of the top 10 killers worldwide last year, particularly in developing countries. The existing Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine — licensed for humans in 1921 — is only proven […]

Pentagon says $10 billion cloud computing contract going to Microsoft

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The Pentagon said Friday it was awarding a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft, following a highly scrutinized bidding process which Amazon had been favored to win. The 10-year contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, better known as JEDI, ultimately will see all military branches sharing information in one system that can be scoured in real time with the help of artificial intelligence. The Pentagon earlier […]

French media take copyright fight to Google

by Frédéric POUCHOT Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — French media firms said Thursday that they would drag Google before the country’s competition regulator over its refusal to compensate them for displaying their content in defiance of a strict new EU copyright law. The APIG press alliance, which groups dozens of national and regional newspapers, said it would also press the French government to take action against the US internet giant. “We are outraged,” […]

NASA wants international partners to go to Moon too

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — As it looks to return to the Moon, NASA is open to the idea of international participation, which could mean a non-American setting foot on Earth’s natural satellite for the first time in history, global space chiefs said Monday. “I think there’s lots of room on the Moon, and we need all our international partners to go with us to the Moon,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters at the […]

NASA and SpaceX hope for manned mission to ISS in early 2020

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — SpaceX could launch US astronauts to the International Space Station as early as next year if tests on the company’s long-delayed Crew Dragon capsule prove conclusive, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Thursday. Bridenstine made the announcement as he toured the California headquarters of billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, a major contractor for NASA. The visit came as Bridenstine and Musk have been engaged in a public spat over the much-delayed […]

Artificial meat is now made in space, coming to a supermarket near you

  by Juliette MICHEL Agence France Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Creating meat from cells is no longer the realm of science fiction: a Russian cosmonaut did it aboard the International Space Station, and it is just a matter of time before these products arrive in supermarkets. Tests carried out in space in September led to the production of beef, rabbit and fish tissue using a 3D printer. This new technology “could make […]

Paralyzed man walks again with brain-controlled exoskeleton

  by Amélie BAUBEAU / Patrick GALEY Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A French man paralyzed in a night club accident can walk again thanks to a brain-controlled exoskeleton in what scientists say is a breakthrough providing hope to tetraplegics seeking to regain movement. The patient trained for months, harnessing his brain signals to control a computer-simulated avatar to perform basic movements before using the robot device to walk. Doctors who conducted the […]

What’s that sound? A “Marsquake” heard by NASA

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA on Tuesday released two audio clips of seismic activity on Mars after an “exquisitely sensitive” detector was set down on the planet’s surface late last year. The quakes, far too quiet to be picked up by the human ear, were recorded by the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) in May and July. Scientists hope that studying how seismic waves move through the planet’s interior will reveal the deep […]

Twitter lets users sideline unwanted direct messages

  SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Twitter on Monday said it is rolling out a filter that will hide away unwanted direct messages, providing a new tool to stymie abuse. Twitter users who receive direct messages from people they don’t follow on the platform will be able to have such missives automatically routed to a secondary folder. “Unwanted messages aren’t fun,” Twitter tweeted in August when it began testing the filter that let users […]

Tokyo hosts Japan Amateur Radio League Ham Fair 2019

By Tyra Lu Eagle News Service TOKYO, Japan (Eagle News) — Tokyo, Japan played host to Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) HAM FAIR 2019 where officers and members of the Philippine Amateur Radio Associations (PARA) recently gathered for a series of seminars and activities. Members of the SCAN International — an organization of the Iglesia Ni Cristo for amateur radio communicators and volunteers who assists people in times of calamities and in dire need — […]

First Arab set for ISS says voyage will make ‘history’

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — The Emirati astronaut who will make history by becoming the first Arab on the International Space Station said Tuesday he had received support from around the world before his “dream” mission. Hazzaa al-Mansoori, 35, is set to blast into space accompanied by Russia’s Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir onboard a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Mansoori, who will spend eight days on the ISS, will be […]

Facebook suspends ‘tens of thousands’ of apps in privacy review

by Glenn CHAPMAN © Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook said Friday it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of a privacy practices review launched following a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. The review started in 2018 after revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users, and it included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a […]