Showing: 1 - 25 of 520 RESULTS
Наука Шляхта

Chinese Man Who Reported on COVID to Be Released After 3 Years

Chinese authorities were preparing Sunday to release a man who disappeared three years ago after publicizing videos of overcrowded hospitals and bodies during the COVID-19 outbreak, a relative and another person familiar with his case said.

Fang Bin and other members of the public who were dubbed citizen journalists posted details of the pandemic in early 2020 on the internet and social media, embarrassing Chinese officials who faced criticism for failing to control the outbreak. The last video Fang, a seller of traditional Chinese clothing, posted on Twitter was of a piece of paper reading, “All citizens resist, hand power back to the people.”

Fang’s case is part of Beijing’s crackdown on criticism of China’s early handling of the pandemic, as the ruling Communist Party seeks to control the narrative of the country.

He was scheduled to be released Sunday, according to two people who did not want to be identified for fear of government retribution. One of them said Fang was sentenced to three years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a vague charge traditionally used against political dissidents.

The Associated Press could not independently confirm his release and could not confirm the details with the authorities.

Two offices of Wuhan’s public security bureau did not provide a phone number of their information office or answer any questions. Phone calls to a court that reportedly sentenced Fang rang unanswered Sunday afternoon. A woman from another court that had reportedly handled Fang’s appeal said she was not authorized to answer questions.

In early 2020, the initial COVID outbreak devastated the city of Wuhan, home to 11 million residents, in central China’s Hubei province. Under a 76-day lockdown, its streets were deserted for months, apart from ambulances and security personnel.

At that time, a small number of citizen journalists tried to tell their stories and those of others with smart phones and social media accounts, defying the Communist Party’s tightly policed monopoly on information. Although their movement was small, the scale was unprecedented in any previous major disease outbreak or disaster in China.

But the information they posted soon got them into trouble. Fang and another citizen journalist, Chen Qiushi, disappeared in February.

Chen in September 2021 resurfaced on his friend’s live video feed on YouTube, saying he had suffered from depression. But he did not provide details about his disappearance.

Another citizen journalist, Zhang Zhan, who had also reported on the early stage of the outbreak, was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of picking fights and provoking trouble in December 2020. About eight months later, her lawyer said she was in ill health after staging a long-running hunger strike.

Політика Столиця Шляхта

«Найдорожча історія»: Резніков пояснив, чому партнери зволікають із постачанням винищувачів

«Все, що неможливо сьогодні, буде можливим завтра. Iris-T, Samp-T, NASAMS, Crotale, все це служить, захищає наше небо. Тому і літаки також будуть четвертої генерації плюс-плюс однозначно»

Наука Шляхта

EU Tech Tsar Vestager Sees Political Agreement on AI Law This Year 

The European Union is likely to reach a political agreement this year that will pave the way for the world’s first major artificial intelligence (AI) law, the bloc’s tech regulation chief, Margrethe Vestager, said on Sunday.

This follows a preliminary deal reached on Thursday by members of the European Parliament to push through the draft of the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act to a vote on May 11. Parliament will then thrash out the bill’s final details with EU member states and the European Commission before it becomes law.

At a press conference after a Group of Seven digital ministers’ meeting in Takasaki, Japan, Vestager said the EU AI Act was “pro-innovation” since it seeks to mitigate the risks of societal damage from emerging technologies.

Regulators around the world have been trying to find a balance where governments could develop “guardrails” on emerging artificial intelligence technology without stifling innovation.

“The reason why we have these guardrails for high-risk use cases is that cleaning up … after a misuse by AI would be so much more expensive and damaging than the use case of AI in itself,” Vestager said.

While the EU AI Act is expected to be passed by this year, lawyers have said it will take a few years for it to be enforced. But Vestager said businesses could start considering the implication of the new legislation.

“There was no reason to hesitate and to wait for the legislation to be passed to accelerate the necessary discussions to provide the changes in all the systems where AI will have an enormous influence,” she told Reuters in an interview.

While research on AI has been going on for years, the sudden popularity of generative AI applications such as OpenAI’S ChatGPT and Midjourney have led to a scramble by lawmakers to find ways to regulate any uncontrolled growth.

An organization backed by Elon Musk and European lawmakers involved in drafting the EU AI Act are among those to have called for world leaders to collaborate to find ways to stop advanced AI from creating disruptions.

Digital ministers of the G-7 advanced nations on Sunday also agreed to adopt “risk-based” regulation on AI, among the first steps that could lead to global agreements on how to regulate AI.

“It is important that our democracy paved the way and put in place the rules to protect us from its abusive manipulation – AI should be useful but it shouldn’t be manipulating us,” said German Transport Minister Volker Wissing.

This year’s G-7 meeting was also attended by representatives from Indonesia, India and Ukraine.

Політика Столиця Шляхта

Залужний зустрівся з командувачем сил НАТО в Європі – говорили про підготовку військових

«Детально розповів про оперативну обстановку по всій лінії фронту. Описав можливі сценарії, загрози та передумови для наших майбутніх дій. Ставимо собі за мету – підготуватися так, щоб максимально виконати визначені завдання»

Політика Столиця Шляхта

Буданов про контрнаступ: «найближчим часом усі побачать очікувані результати»

«Україна зможе покращити свої позиції вздовж лінії фронту для ураження військової логістики росіян на території окупованого Криму та в глибині Донбасу»

Політика Столиця Шляхта

«Посилить можливості контрнаступу»: Зеленський розповів, яку зброю отримала Україна цього тижня

«Хочу особливо подякувати нашим партнерам із Данії – за «Цезарі», зі Словенії – за бронетехніку, з Іспанії – за танки, з Німеччини – за додаткові оборонні наміри щодо бронетехніки і снарядів, за ППО»

Наука Шляхта

Erdogan, Back on Election Trail, Unveils Turkey’s First Astronaut

Turkey’s first astronaut will travel to the International Space Station by the end of the year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.

Air force pilot Alper Gezeravci, 43, was selected to be the first Turkish citizen in space. His backup is Tuva Cihangir Atasever, 30, an aviation systems engineer at Turkish defense contractor Roketsan.

Erdogan made the announcement at the Teknofest aviation and space fair in Istanbul, the president’s first public appearance since falling ill during a TV interview on Tuesday. He appeared alongside Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, and Libya’s interim prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh.

“Our friend, who will go on Turkey’s first manned space mission, will stay on the International Space Station for 14 days,” Erdogan said. “Our astronaut will perform 13 different experiments prepared by our country’s esteemed universities and research institutions during this mission.”

Erdogan described Gezeravci as a “heroic Turkish pilot who has achieved significant success in our Air Force Command.”

The Turkish Space Agency website describes Gezeravci as a 21-year air force veteran and F-16 pilot who attended the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology.

Wearing a red flight jacket, Erdogan appeared in robust health as he addressed crowds at the festival. Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 14, and opinion polls show Erdogan in potentially his toughest race since he came to power two decades ago.

Turkey is dealing with a prolonged economic downturn, and the government received criticism after a February earthquake killed more than 50,000 in the country. Experts blamed the high death toll in part on shoddy construction and law enforcement of building codes.

While campaigning for reelection, Erdogan has unveiled a number of prestigious projects, such as Turkey’s first nuclear power plant and the delivery of natural gas from Black Sea reserves.

Наука Шляхта

Life-size Sculpture of Euthanized Walrus Unveiled in Norway

A walrus that became a global celebrity last year after it was seen frolicking and basking in a Oslo fjord before it was euthanized by the authorities has been honored with a bronze sculpture in Norway. 

The life-size sculpture by Norwegian artist Astri Tonoian was unveiled Saturday at the Oslo marina not far from the place where the actual 600-kilogram (1,300-pound) mammal was seen resting and relaxing during the summer of 2022. 

The walrus, named Freya, quickly became a popular attraction among Oslo residents but Norwegian authorities later made a decision to euthanize it — causing public outrage — because they said people hadn’t followed recommendations to keep a safe distance away from the massive animal. 

Norwegian news agency NTB said a crowdfunding campaign was kicked off last fall to finance the sculpture. The private initiative managed to gather about 270,000 Norwegian kroner ($25,000) by October, NTB said. 

Політика Столиця Шляхта

«Україна готує потужні кроки»: Зеленський анонсував нові санкції проти РФ

«Наступний тиждень буде доволі важливим з погляду саме нашої боротьби за справедливість для українців, тобто за покарання для держави-терориста й усіх її воєнних злочинців»

Політика Столиця Шляхта

Під час обстрілів Росія використовує ракети, виготовлені минулої осені та взимку – Ігнат

«Крилаті ракети – це фактично літак безпілотний, він коштує мільйони доларів, там десятки тисяч деталей високотехнологічних, Росія, безумовно, не може їх виготовляти»

Наука Шляхта

Zoonomia: Genetic Research Reveals All We Share with Animals

By comparing the genetic blueprints of an array of animals, scientists are gaining new insights into our own species and all we share with other creatures. 

One of the most striking revelations is that certain passages in the instructions for life have persisted across evolutionary time, representing a through line that binds all mammals – including us. 

The findings come from the Zoonomia Project, an international effort that offers clues about human traits and diseases, animal abilities like hibernation and even the genetics behind a sled dog named Balto who helped save lives a century ago. 

Researchers shared some of their discoveries in 11 papers published Thursday in the journal Science. 

David O’Connor, who studies primate genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the studies tackle deep questions. 

“It’s just the wonder of biology, how we are so similar and dissimilar to all the things around us,” said O’Connor, who wasn’t involved in the research. “It’s the sort of thing that reminds me why it’s cool to be a biologist.” 

The Zoonomia team, led by Elinor Karlsson and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, looked at 240 species of mammals, from bats to bison. They sequenced and compared their genomes — the instructions organisms need to develop and grow. 

They found that certain regions of these genomes have stayed the same across all mammal species over millions of years of evolution. 

One study found that at least 10% of the human genome is largely unchanged across species. Many of these regions occur outside the 1% of genes that give rise to proteins that control the activity of cells, the main purpose of DNA. 

Researchers theorized that long-preserved regions probably serve a purpose and are likely what they call “regulatory elements” containing instructions about where, when and how much protein is produced. Scientists identified more than 3 million of these in the human genome, about half of which were previously unknown. 

Scientists also focused on change within the animal kingdom. When they aligned genetic sequences for species and compared them with their ancestors, Karlsson said, they discovered that some species saw a lot of changes in relatively short periods of time. This showed how they were adapting to their environments. 

“One of the really cool things about mammals is that at this point in time, they’ve basically adapted to survive in nearly every single ecosystem on Earth,” Karlsson said. 

One group of scientists looked for genes that humans don’t have but other mammals do. 

Instead of focusing on new genes that might create uniquely human traits, “we kind of flipped that on its head,” said Steven Reilly, a genetics researcher at Yale University. 

“Losing pieces of DNA can actually generate new features,” Reilly said. 

For example, he said, a tiny DNA deletion between chimps and humans caused a cascade of changes in gene expression that may be one of the causes of prolonged brain development in humans. 

Another study focused on the fitness of one well-known animal: Balto. 

Scientists sequenced the genome of the sled dog, who led a team of dogs carrying a lifesaving diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska, in 1925. His story was made into a 1995 animated feature film and a statue of the pup stands in New York’s Central Park. 

By comparing Balto’s genes to those of other dogs, researchers found he was more genetically diverse than modern breeds and may have carried genetic variants that helped him survive harsh conditions. One of the authors, researcher Katherine Moon of the University of California, Santa Cruz, said Balto “gives us this guide through comparative genomics,” showing how genetics can shape individuals. 

O’Connor said he expects Zoonomia to yield even more insights in the future. 

“To have these tools and to have the sort of audacity to ask these big questions” helps scientists and others “learn more about life around us,” he said. 

Політика Столиця Шляхта

МЗС протестує проти обмежень на імпорт аграрної продукції з України до Євросоюзу

МЗС передало ноти щодо «категоричної неприйнятності ситуації стосовно торговельних обмежень» до посольства Польщі та представника ЄС в Україні