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Friday, September 18, 2015

Britain to genetically modify human embryos

Britain’s embryology regulator has received an application to genetically modify an embryo, which would be the first such attempt since a Chinese effort earlier this year.

“We have recently received an application to use CRISPR-Cas9 in one of our licensed research projects, and it will be considered in due course,” said a spokesman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The CRISPR-Cas9 technique can target and modify faulty DNA with greater accuracy.

Kathy Miakan, a stem cell scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, said she had asked the HFEA for the licence to conduct genome editing on human embryos.

“The knowledge we acquire will be very important for understanding how a healthy human embryo develops, and this will inform our understanding of the causes of miscarriage,” she told The Guardian newspaper.

The modified embryos will not become children as they must be destroyed within 14 days and can only be used for basic research.
Niakan wants to find the genes at play in the first few days of human fertilization, The Guardian said, when an embryo develops a coating of cells that later become the placenta.

“Genome editing of embryos for use in treatment is illegal,” said the HFEA spokesman. “It has been permissible in research since 2009, as long as the research project meets the criteria in the legislation and it is done under an HFEA licence.”

In a research paper published in April, Chinese scientists described how they were able to manipulate the genomes of human embryos for the first time, which raised ethical concerns about the new frontier in science.

Junjiu Huang, a gene-function researcher at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, and colleagues describe how they used the CRISPR-Cas9 technique to edit the genomes of embryos obtained from a fertility clinic.

The embryos were described as non-viable, and could not have resulted in a live birth because they had an extra set of chromosomes after being fertilized by two sperm.

Sharp to sell world's first 8K TV in October

      First there was 1080p. Then there was 4K.       

Now, Japan electronics giant Sharp will begin limited sales of so-called 8K televisions next month. The TVs, also called “Super Hi-Vision,” have a resolution of 7,680 pixels by 4,320 pixels—an incredible 16 times that of today’s high-definition sets (4X the 4K models) and better than most movie theaters you’ve been to.

Don’t expect to buy one anytime soon, though—the first sets (model LV-85001) will be offered to TV broadcasters and video production companies beginning October 30 at about $125,000, according to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

The extraordinary TVs are a small part of a broader push by Japanese companies to ramp up the quality of broadcast television ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But TVs are only one part of the equation. To realize 8K video, the entire pipeline behind it must also upgrade: the cameras that film the content, the computers that process and store the video, the transmission systems that bring it to businesses and homes.

The first 8K televisions for consumers are expected sometime in 2018.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Samsung Announces Note 4 Specs

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Note 4, and given consumers a chance to see the specs. The new phone has been anticipated, but an announcement was not expected for some time. It seems the group wants to get ahead with it since Apple is due to announce its new phone on September 9. Considering the recent issues between Samsung and Apple, it makes sense to get ahead of the rivals.

The phone is going to be the same size as its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3, at 5.7 inches. However, in all other ways, it appears to be a much more superior phone. In fact, it seems much better than any other phone on the market, and it will be interesting to see if Apple is able to match it. The screen resolution will be 2,560 x 1,440, while running with a Snapdragon 805 processor from Qualcomm. All of that together meant much better graphics, perfect for playing games and using for business.

While Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 will keep the plastic leather back, it will also have aluminum edges for a classier look and feel.

One of the major advancements is to the Note software itself. Voice Notes have been introduced, which will allow people to use the voice activation to create voice memos. This will be perfect for those who need to take notes while on the move, without having to type or write while walking or driving.

Snap Notes are another feature, which allow people to take a photo and convert any text within that image to text notes. This will be useful for students and those in meetings who don’t have time to write down the notes. There will be no need to waste time afterwards writing out the notes, either.

Optical image stabilization (OIS) will be available on the new model, which many Samsung fans will appreciate. This has been one thing missing, and has caused problems even with a 16MP camera.

Some of the changes have come in due to changes in society and need for phones. As selfies have become popular, Samsung recognizes that people want to take selfies together. The phone now has a “we-fies” setting. By turning the camera 120 degrees either way, the screen will become larger, so more people can join in. The front-facing camera will also get an upgrade to 3.7MP.

Battery power has been an issue for many smartphone users, whatever phone they have had. While the usage has not been too bad for Galaxy Note 3 users, Samsung has made it better. The Note 4 will use 7.5 percent less, so there will be no need to charge as often. There will also be a feature to allow charging up to 50 percent battery within 30 minutes. This will be a useful feature for many users who like to charge on the go.

Apple Set To Launch iPhone 6, iWatch Next Week

Most of us are waiting for Apple’s event to be held on September 9, as company is expected to launch larger screen iPhone 6s, in addition to an iWatch.

The new features roughly speaking for the iPhone 6 (which includes mobile payments, larger screens, displays and similar others) are well assumed. In addition these features, we see the core catalysts for iPhone 6 growth as derived from company’s partnership with China Mobile, and upgrades in various U.S. wireless plans which permit for early upgrades.  The company is well settled to develop and grow enough services to improve the user experience, so as to develop switching costs which will assist the company in retaining consumer and develop noteworthy repeat buying – remains very significant for future growth of iPhone in coming days.

With respect to iWatch, the view is of a possibility that the device is priced higher than competitors, while shying away to present all of the features which have been believed by many of us in recent days. We anticipate tight integration with iOS and fitness attributes, but absence of medical features which would otherwise need FDA approval, and almost slightly power of better processing with the intention of save battery life. Therefore, an iWatch may cope with doubt initially, but sooner developer support, introduce new features, and later price cut happen in long-run, we view the iWatch being a feasible product which add to ongoing revenue growth. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Huawei Confirms Android+Windows Smartphone

After Microsoft waived off Windows Phone license fees for some OEMs, a Huawei executive, in an interview, revealed plans to launch a Windows+Android hybrid smartphone later in the year.

"We are still committed to making Windows Phone devices," Shao Yang, Huawei's CMO, told in an interview published Wednesday. The executive countered, however, that Android devices are a higher priority.

"If it is Windows only, maybe people will not find it as easy a decision to buy the phone. If they have the Android and Windows together, you can change it as you wish and it is much easier for people to choose Windows Phone," he said, adding that Huawei will debut a dual OS device in the US in the second quarter.

Dual OS rumours have esclated in recent months, as evidence mounts that future Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone devices could include access to Android apps..

Microsoft has not commented on such reports, though it recently confirmed updates for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone will arrive this spring.