Researchers find way for customized programming of human stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) have the potential to convert into a wide variety of cell types and tissues for drug testing and cell replacement therapies. However, the “recipes” for this conversion are often complicated and difficult to implement. Researchers at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at TU Dresden, Harvard University (USA) and the University of Bonn have found a way to systematically extract hundreds of different cells quickly and easily from iPS using transcription factors, including neurons, connective tissue and blood vessel cells. Researchers can use this transcription factor source through the non-profit organization Addgene. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

The researchers used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), which were reprogrammed from connective tissue cells into a quasi-embryonic state. In principle, iPS cells can be used to obtain all kinds of differentiated cells, from neurons to blood vessel cells,

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Michigan election software isn’t good enough at detecting human error, expert says

Michigan’s election software systems should be better at catching human error, experts say after at least two cases of flawed early results reporting on Election Day.

Some Republican leaders point to the errors among several reasons they believe the 2020 election results lack integrity. Meanwhile, state officials assure the public there is nothing to worry about.

These mistakes were exceptions, the result of user error and fail-safes are in place that would have caught the inaccuracies before they were certified anyway, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office said.

“The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County clerk,” Benson’s office said. “The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.”

Iowa University Professor

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Internet Governance Forum calls for bridging digital divides, harnessing the Internet to support human resilience and build solidarity amid COVID-19

Never before has the Internet proven to be such a vital lifeline in maintaining economic and social ties, as the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The high-level segment of the Internet Governance Forum opened today, with participants underlining the critical importance of digital technologies in supporting human resilience and building solidarity to respond to the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

Convened under the overarching theme of ‘’Internet for Human Resilience and Solidarity,” the 15th Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) heard today leaders and experts from all parts of the world discussing the critical and central role of the Internet in keeping businesses afloat, maintaining family ties and friendships, and enabling global coordination in the efforts to tackle the pandemic. At the same time, the increased reliance on connectivity must be accompanied by stronger efforts to bridge the alarming digital divide that threatens to leave some people

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Virgin Hyperloop hits an important milestone: the first human passenger test

Virgin Hyperloop announced that for the first time it has conducted a test of its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers.

The test took place on Sunday afternoon at the company’s DevLoop test track in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Josh Giegel, and head of passenger experience, Sara Luchian. After strapping into their seats in the company’s gleaming white and red hyperloop pod, dubbed Pegasus, they were transferred into an airlock as the air inside the enclosed vacuum tube was removed. The pod then accelerated to a brisk 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) down the length of the track, before slowing down to a stop.

It’s an important achievement for Virgin Hyperloop, which was founded in 2014 on the premise of making Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a futuristic transportation system of magnetically

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Virgin Galactic aims to fly its first human mission from Spaceport America in November, and NASA’s sending some science experiments along for the ride

a large airplane flying high up in the air: SpaceShipTwo, or VSS Unity, launches toward the edge of space on December 13, 2018. Virgin Galactic; Studios

© Virgin Galactic; Studios
SpaceShipTwo, or VSS Unity, launches toward the edge of space on December 13, 2018. Virgin Galactic; Studios

  • Virgin Galactic plans to run its first human test flight from Spaceport America between November 19 and 23, according to a company press release. 
  • Assuming the flight is successful, Virgin will be one step closer to flying its billionaire founder, Richard Branson, past the edge of space.
  • Following Branson’s successful flight, the company says it will resume selling tickets aboard its luxe VSS Unity spaceship. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Virgin Galactic expects to launch its a human mission from Spaceport America between November 19 and 23, according to a press release issued by the company on Thursday.

The flight wouldn’t be Virgin Galactic’s first with crew: The company has twice launched employees on up-and-down suborbital flights, in December 2018 and in February 2019, from

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Human rights organizations call on Egypt’s government to end internet censorship and website blocking

Also available in Arabic here.

The undersigning human rights organizations denounce the Egyptian authorities’ blocking of at least 600 websites since May 2017 including media, political and human rights platforms. Blocking websites is a violation of people’ rights for access to information and freedom of expression.

The Egyptian authorities have been using the equipment of the United States’ company Sandvine to assist in blocking these websites. Sandvine has a recorded history of facilitating human rights violations related to the production and selling of internet surveillance and censorship devices.

The undersigning organizations emphasize that the vaguely legislation passed in Egypt to legalize website blocking, especially the Press and Media Regulation law, and the Cybercrime law, both passed in 2018, are unconstitutional, run in contradiction to the international treaties human rights signed by the Egyptian government, and should be annulled.

The Egyptian authorities began by blocking 21 media websites on 24 May

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A new way to plug a human brain into a computer: Via veins

human brain, motherboards, chip and artificial intelligence concept and neural tech and brain computer interfaces.
Enlarge / human brain, motherboards, chip and artificial intelligence concept and neural tech and brain computer interfaces.

The hard part of connecting a gooey, thinking brain to a cold, one-ing and zero-ing computer is getting information through your thick skull—or mine, or anyone’s. The whole point of a skull, after all, is keeping a brain safely separate from [waves hands at everything].

So if that brain isn’t yours, the only way to tell what’s going on inside it is inference. People make very educated guesses based on what that brain tells a body to do—like, if the body makes some noises that you can understand (that’s speech) or moves around in a recognizable way. That’s a problem for people trying to understand how the brain works, and an even bigger problem for people who because of injury or illness can’t move or speak. Sophisticated imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance

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Most new private jet booking platforms boast about technology and algorithms designed to streamline the archaic private jet charter booking process. The idea is to cut down on the numerous phone calls and emails. That’s not the case with, a new website founded by an industry veteran.

Carl Marbach has owned seven airplanes, including one he built. In 1996, he co-founded, one of the Internet’s first aviation magazines wholly online. Now, he’s back and is hoping to conquer a space that, so far, several of the industry’s largest players have struggled with.

On paper, the concept makes all the sense in the world. Make private aviation more accessible by bringing together two parties who want to go from one place to the same place at roughly the same time. Assuming they don’t need all the

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