Scientists Might Be Able to Restore sight to the Blind

Recently, German scientists from the University of Bern conducted a test on blind mice suffering from retinal pigmentosa, successfully, to see if daytime vision could be restored. The experiment involves using a light sensing protein called optogenetics, in their eyes. A modified virus is injected into surviving vision cells. Optogenetics can restore daytime sight to anyone suffering from photoreceptor degeneration problems in the eyes.People suffering from macular degeneration and retinal pigmentosa might benefit from the optogenetics procedure. According to Dr. Sonja Kleinlogel, when lose light sensing cells over a period of time, deep in the underlying layers, vision cells, called ON-bipolar cells,remain intact. These deeper cells are called retinal cells, which received the light sensing protein.
Through this new process, patients will be able to see in daylight without the help of goggles or other magnifiers. Now that the scientists have succeeded in giving daylight sight back to mice, in the near future the scientists will conduct control and experimental trials on humans. The process requires drilling holes into the skulls of those willing to be guinea pigs for this test procedure. In fact, the first trials for restoring the sight of blind humans could take place sometime next year. Scientists from Gensight, located in Paris,France, plan to test one eye to prevent vision damage. According to Parisian scientists, the test was also done on monkeys, successfully. Stephen Murray CCMP Capital is aware this is only the beginning.

New Phone App Allows Doctors To Make Housecalls

There is a new phone app called “Heal.” This new service, developed in Los Angeles, CA, gives people a chance to have a real physician visit them with a house call. Doctors are available from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM for the price of $99.00. A medical assistant accompanies the doctor who carries a fully stocked kit including flu shots and modern medical technologies to take care of most situations. They will even write prescriptions or pick them up for $19.00 extra.
This new service was started by Dr. Renee Dua, who saw a real need for widely accessible health care. The Uber phone app style of service is expanding to San Francisco and at least 15 other large cities this year. Igor Cornelsen (tumblr.com) has even heard that there are similar services in New York City and Chicago. Other apps allow people to have webcam consultations or chats with live nurses to discuss their health.
Opponents of these new trends say the time of a physician is too valuable to be driving around visiting patients. “Heal” doctors feel that seeing how the patient lives can be highly beneficial in helping with their treatment.

Internet Service Provider Caught Lying

When it comes to Verizon there are many who trust the company to always provide them with the best care and support. There are those who rely on Verizon and Verizon only for all of their communication needs. But then, those who have always relied on Verizon may not have heard about the lying that the company has recently done.

It seems that Verizon was trying to get one of their customers to pay for a more expensive plan in order to watch online video content when that customer knew that they did not need the speed that the pricier plan was offering. The subscriber in question was a media expert, and they knew that Verizon was lying to them in order to get them to pay more for their internet connection. When a large company like Verizon – a company that is loved and respected by a great following – lies, what is to be done? Are those who have always loved Verizon going to switch to a new ISP after the news of their lying comes out?

Thanks to philanthropist Keith Mann for the heads up!

Robots Will Soon Populate Warehouses

Warehouse work can be repetitive and dangerous, and more warehouses are now using robots to do many of the tasks that warehouse worker once did. Fetch Robotics has created a new line of robots that work with human warehouse workers to increase productivity and do labor that would be physically challenging for their human counterparts. Jaime Garcia believes that with these robots in the warehouse, humans and robots can walk through the warehouse side by side with the robot taking orders from he human. There are other robots who will soon be able to pick up packages and take them to a shipping robot who will take those packages to a separate shipping area. With these robots in the workforce, some worry that jobs will be lost in the process. However, with robots to so some of the repetitive tasks once done by humans, human workers can be spared repetitive strain injuries that can be caused by them.

World’s First Malaria Vaccine Could Be Available By October

The World Health Organization is expected to make a decision soon about the fate of a 20 year drug research and testing period that has produced the world’s first workable malaria vaccine. AllAfrica reports the vaccine will initially be available for toddlers and children after a four year study found an initial dose and booster of the drug, RTS, cut malaria rates by 36 percent amongst those vaccinated. Although the potency and effectiveness of the vaccination are thought to decrease over time the vaccination has been successful enough for GlaxoSmithKline to apply for a license from the European Medicines Agency.

If the EMA provides a positive response to the vaccination the chances of the WHO approving the drug for use across Africa would be increased and an October date is being mentioned a the start of a vaccination program in Nigeria. Brazilian businessman Fersen Lambranho thinks this is exciting news. Despite the drug having some success it is not thought to perform particularly well in younger children and the success of booster shots after the initial vaccination has taken place are also thought to be of little value. Despite the problems facing the vaccine it is thought to play an important role in any multi pronged approach to fighting malaria across the continent of Africa.

Falling From Space

When you think about things that are in space, you might think about satellites and crafts that are floating. There is a Russian spacecraft that was trying to get food to the astronauts on board the Space Station. The spacecraft doesn’t have any people on it, but the supplies are needed by those who are on the Space Station. However, the craft is out of control and is heading back to Earth. Some of the craft will be burned when it enters Earth’s atmosphere, but there will be pieces that don’t get destroyed. There is no clear area where the craft will land as of yet, but there are scientists, like Handy, who are tracking where it is at all times. This is one of those stories that you see in the movies or read about in fantasy books. Perhaps when the pieces land, someone will be able to capture a picture of the event.

Comcast Backs out of Time Warner Deal Amid FCC Pressure

Comcast has officially dropped its bid for Time Warner, according to an official statement released by Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts. The proposed merger would have made Comcast the biggest service provider for cable television in the Country by a landslide. The bid for the company started last year, when Comcast proposed $45 billion merger.

With all proposals of this nature the FCC had to approve it according to Bruce Karatz. In an attempt to speed the process along Comcast planned to spin off some of its service into another service provider according to the LA Times, merging with a smaller lesser known cable provider in the Michigan area.

According to insiders, the announcement comes after the FCC recommended a “hearing designation order”. The hearing would have required both Time Warner Cable and Comcast to go before an administrative law judge to plead their case. The recommendation is rare, lengthy, costly and rarely ends in a win for the companies according to experts.

The Time Warner and Comcast merger is not the only large merger to fall through in recent years due to pressure by the FCC. In 2011, AT&T dropped their bid to merge with T-mobile when a hearing was recommended by commission staff. Echo Star and Direct TV also dropped a proposed deal in 2002 when the FCC also recommended a hearing under anti-competitive concerns.

Chrome Users Promising Migration

As users continue to try to use Chrome v42, more of them are advising Google representatives in the product forum that they are so frustrated and fed up with the browser and Google’s un-promoted changes that they are ready to call it quits.

In the last week, more than two thousand users have checked out the forum post titled “Chrome support for NPAPI plugins no longer available” with 62 people as of Tuesday evening mentioning a multitude of technical issues that have resulted from Google’s transition away from plugins. Although many of the users agree that plugins pose a security risk, they feel Google is trying to push some unnecessary changes on to them.

Google’s solution — tell website developers to upgrade away from Unity, Flash, Java and other programs that require NPAPI plugins for Chrome — is not a viable option. Many websites, including game and business websites, use these tools. Additionally, Google’s own solution to Flash, PepperFlash, does not work for everyone.

At 6:03 p.m. on Tuesday, one user pointed out that Google’s change not only affects websites and products made by other companies but also Google’s own Gmail Voice Chat service which relies on the Flash NPAPI plugin for Chrome.

Many users such as Brian Torchin have now switched to Firefox and other browsers. Those at Indeed.com actually recommend it. Additional users have promised to do the same if Google ends the plugins in September.

U.S. Navy Develops Submarine Drone Hunter

The United States navy is following their counterparts in the Air Force and has begun its on drone program for the development of submarine hunter predator drone. Such a weapon would tip the scales in the world of tactical submarine warfare. The submarine service is the initial tactical weapon of every major country and is the first strike platform for the nuclear program of a number of nations. Even though their are no wars being engaged in open seas, every major country is currently playing a game of cat and mouse with under the seas by keeping tabs of the type, capabilities and location of each others submarine. The peace time policy of all countries with a submarine fleet is that the moment that war is engaged each nation will no the location of the other country’s submarine and no country’s submarine fleet is unaccounted for. U.S. Navy Develops Sub Drones

The development of a a drone program for the submarine fleet would free valuable resources for the U.S. Navy. More drones could be used to perform the duties of an entire crew of a U.S. tactical submarine. If a submarine drone is armed with missiles or torpedos, it could also engage the enemy without placing sailors in harms way. The additional benefit is the surveillance capabilities that the drone could perform.

The Navy has not announced its testing schedule nor when such a fleet would be operational, but it should be posted to news outlets like Variety shortly.

Scientist Researching Artificial Photosynthesis Announce a Big Breathrough

This week, scientists working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley announced a major breakthrough in efforts to devise a commercially viable artificial photosynthetic process. The discovery could eventually revolutionize the way many drugs, plastics and fuels are produced.

Photosynthesis is a natural process undertaken by many plants and bacteria. Using photosynthesis, for example, a plant can transform the toxic gas carbon dioxide into oxygen using only the power of sunlight and water.

Scientists hope to harness the power of photosynthesis to be able to transform carbon dioxide produced as a waste product of manufacturing into other, more useful substances, using solar power so that carbon dioxide is not emitted into the atmosphere where it could contribute to pollution.

About.me said that researchers Piedong Yang, Christopher Chang and Michelle Chang recently published papers in the journal Nano Letters describing an artificial photosynthetic system they have developed using nanotechnology to synthesize the components of carbon dioxide and water into acetate, with the help of anaerobic bacteria. Piedong Yang reported “Our system has the potential to fundamentally change the chemical and oil industry in that we can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground.”

Their recent paper is entitled “Nanowire bacteria hybrids for unassisted solar carbon dioxide fixation to value-added chemicals.” The new system may hold utility to pharmaceutical research.

Erik Krasner's News From the Future