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Our latest news as well as third party content gathered through Bloodhound and reviewed by our team.

We use our Bloodhound module to gather relevant content across 40+ primary forces as well as other interesting subjects. Learn more about how Bloodhound can help you here.


21st Mar 2021

As we come down the other side of the lockdown mountain we have used this opportunity to review the Pandemics and Drug Resistance Primary Disruptive Force. Some of the recent content that Bloodhound has discovered highlights the merging and colliding of several primary forces. For example the proven benefit of wearables versus the data security and privacy concerns that result from their use, the impact of wealth inequality on getting countries through the pandemic through to the positive impact that the pandemic has had on the environment.

Learn more about our Primary Disruptive Forces here

21st Dec 2020

As we approach the end of a disruptive, quite an understatement, 2020 the team here at APTIM-Solutions wish you a happy holiday period and to those celebrating Christmas we wish you a Merry Christmas.

We look forward to further success with you in 2021 and hope you enjoy this last edition of the newsletter for this year.

Time for Local Governments

Dr Abdur Rehman Cheema December 4, 2020 Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is how local and regional governments and other local governance actors can critically contribute towards the overall achievement of the SDGs. Local governments are ultimately judged on their ability to provide their citizens with quality basic services such as water, sanitation, health, education, waste management, and transport. Failure to provide the basic quality services has serious repercussions for human wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and economic development. A local or municipal revolution will in fact lead to achievement of SDGs. Local governments are willing and able to rise to the challenge of providing basic services, but they need the human, technical and, above all, the financial resources to do so. Moreover, basic service provision is best where empowered local governments have the authority, resources, and capacity to fulfil their responsibilities in service delivery. Challenges to establishing effective local governments must be overcome to guarantee universal access to quality basic services and to build an inclusive and environmentally sustainable future in which human dignity, economic development and social justice are enjoyed by all. The Constitution of Pakistan requires meaningful devolution of political, administrative and financial powers to local governments under Article 37 and Article 140-A. However, in Pakistan, local governments have been struggling for meaningful political, administrative and financial devolution particularly in the aftermath of the 18 th Amendment to the Constitution o

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-12-04

7th Dec 2020

23rd Nov 2020

The role of blockchain in Africa's energy transition

Nov 20, 2020 7:44 am GMT Nov 20, 2020 2:38 pm GMT 74 views Source: Bizcommunity Blockchain is expected to play an essential role as African countries transition towards a distributed, digitised, and decentralised power system... The increasing volumes of embedded renewable generation, such as wind and solar PV, have led to a reduced reliance on centralised power sources and energy grids. In doing so, this has the potential to increase grid reliability as well as make small-scale renewable power sources a viable alternative to the ageing power fleets that many African countries battle to maintain. Legacy systems are being overhauled, with energy companies implementing more reliable and advanced digital systems, particularly to improve operational efficiency and security, says Chanda Nxumalo, director at Harmattan Renewables. This is where advances in digital technology can be harnessed to help utilities better manage their energy needs through the optimisation and digitisation of systems, as well as through the deployment of blockchain technology. Nxumalo says that blockchain, for example, enables more secure management of energy data while meeting the energy needs of smart cities of the future. She points out that blockchain will play an instrumental role in the global transition to renewable energy which will lead to more efficient responses that will ultimately allow for optimal energy management. Blockchain has a number of strengths that really give it tremendous value within the renewable energy sector, including disintermediation, security, transparency and automation. She says that the increasing exchanges between different parts of

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-11-20

9th Nov 2020

Critical Update: What a Treasury Office is Learning from Its Blockchain Projects

FIT , almost two dozen Treasury Department officials explore emerging and evolving technologies that are still buzzy and on-the-rise todaybut could be scaled across the federal government in the not-so-distant future. The inaugural episode of the seventh season of Nextgovs Critical Update podcast dives deep into that work, which lately places a sharp focus on artificial intelligence, end-to-end efficiencies and blockchain technology. Our blockchain work actually originated back in 2017, when we were considering different technologies that we wanted to look further into, and blockchain has become really a very notable emerging capability, explained Adam Goldberg, the acting assistant commissioner of FIT, who has been with the office since the very first day it originated, in 2010. We wanted to look at it because it had a lot of benefits, including greater efficiency, transparency, automation, and resiliencyand so we really wanted to look further into those benefits. Goldberg and the team have learned a great deal about the decentralized, digital recording tool since that time. He offered a look into previous blockchain-centered efforts leading up to the teams present work , which hones in on the technology's potential to track how federal grant payments are distributed out to the right recipients. Deloitte is also supporting the effort. Among other topics, Goldberg detailed how it could all one day advance the governments issuance of grant-based fundingand provided a peek into the tech that underpins the project. There was no blockchain that I went out and purchased at the local blockchain store. This was a capability that we developed along with our industry partner, and we put that together based on the needs of what the community was looking for, he said. The office is also puzzling out potential uses for artificial intelligence in the realm of treasury warrants, and over the next year, insiders plan to

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-11-03

Worse pandemics to come without action to curb harm to...

Pandemics will emerge more often and be more lethal and damaging without action to reduce the harm to nature that leads to new diseases, scientists have warned. It is possible to escape the era of pandemics but it requires a shift from responding with public health measures and developing vaccines towards preventing diseases emerging, experts said. That means tackling the unsustainable exploitation of the environment, including clearing forests for farming, more intensive agriculture, and trade in and eating wild species, which increase contact between wildlife, livestock and people and has led to almost all pandemics, a new report warned. Taxes on eating meat and livestock production, curbing the wildlife trade in species that present a high risk of a new disease and conservation of protected areas are among the measures suggested in the report. Taking steps to reduce the risk of pandemics would cost around 40-58 billion US dollars a year (31-45 billion), the experts estimate. But that would be vastly less than the cost of having to deal with pandemics such as Covid-19, which had already cost eight to 16 trillion US dollars (6-12 trillion) by July 2020. Scientists have issued a stark warning on future pandemics (Yui Mok/PA) The report on pandemics and nature stems from a workshop of 22 experts from around the world, convened by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It warns there are an estimated 540,000 to 850,000 currently undiscovered viruses in birds and mammals such as bats, rodents and primates that could have the ability to infect humans. Risks are rapidly rising, with more than five new diseases emerging in humans every year any of which has the p

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-10-29

Genomic Prediction Technology Uncovers New CRISPR Safety Concerns in Human Embryos

GDPR Genomic Prediction Technology Uncovers New CRISPR Safety Concerns in Human Embryos Company's high-resolution preimplantation genetic testing platform enables discovery of unexpected - and unintended - CRISPR changes to human embryonic DNA. News provided by Nov 02, 2020, 10:00 ET Share this article , Nov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new cutting-edge study, Genomic Prediction's advanced genomic analysis techniques provide unprecedented detail into how genetic editing using CRISPR plays out in human embryos revealing unintended chromosomal deletions. The discovery, in the journal Cell, reveals that attempts to edit a single gene can result in the elimination of whole or large parts of chromosomes in the embryo. CRISPR Can Cut Out Whole Chromosomes in the Human Embryo The research has far-reaching implications for the safety of embryo genetic editing and the future of genetic disease therapy. It also highlights the importance of state-of-the-art comprehensive preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) in single cells that can identify these complex editing changes. "Genomic Prediction's PGT provides the most comprehensive analysis of the embryonic genome available today," said Nathan Treff , Genomic Prediction Chief Science Officer and co-author of the study. "Without the high-resolution map of the genome our platform provides, it would not have been possible to see the unexpected effects CRISPR was having at the chromosomal level." PGT makes it possible to investigate over 800,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, genome-wide copy number, and the parental origins of genetic abnormalities from a single human embryonic cell. "Our discovery that the human embryo loses chromosomes as a result of a break in the DNA provides new insight into clinically relevant mechanisms of chromosome loss, as breaks can often occur spontaneously and contribute to developmental

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-11-02

26th Oct 2020

JP Morgan Veteran Daniel Masters Explains How Blockchain Will End Commercial Banks

JP Morgan's former global head of energy trading, Daniel Masters, was among the first traditional investors to get into bitcoin, helping craft the value proposition that many institutional investors now embrace. CoinShares As much as bitcoiners and crypto enthusiasts try to deny it, bringing in converts from traditional finance is the best way to legitimize and publicize the industry in the eyes of many investors. One of the earliest executives to take the leap was CoinShares executive chairman Daniel Masters. After a long and distinguished career as a commodities trader with JP Morgan and elsewhere, he serendipitously stumbled upon bitcoin after the commodities supercycle ended following the global financial crisis. Masters immediately saw the potential of bitcoin and blockchain, and he realized that his background as a technologist and commodities trader was tailor-made to make him an ambassador for this new industry to a net set of individual and institutional investors. At the same time, through building his crypto investment management company, he was able to look into the future of this industry and see what developments lie ahead, as well as upcoming clashes between crypto insurgents and entrenched financial incumbents. Forbes sat down with Masters to get his thoughts on the future of this industry. Excerpted from Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor . Forbes: Lets discuss your proverbial bitcoin conversion moment. How did you first hear about bitcoin? What was your reaction? Daniel Masters: Before I found bitcoin, I was finishing a very high profile and successful career in commodities. I started at Shell Oil, spent time at Salomon Brothers, transitioned to JPMorgan, and in 1999 went out on my own to manage two big hedge funds (one discretionary and the other thesis driven). Our basic thesis was that China was about to consume vast amount

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-10-24

GOLDSTEIN: Feds scrapped 100 years of data on climate change

GOLDSTEIN: McKenna flip-flops on carbon taxes, totally Blacklocks Reporter also said that in an earlier report on forest fires, Environment Canada blamed climate change for record-shattering forest fires in British Columbia that destroyed 3.3 million acres in 2018, omitting the Chinchaga Firestorm that destroyed five million acres in B.C. and Alberta in 1950. Advertisement This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content continued To be fair, the fact that it omitted observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 in developing its computer models is not evidence in and of itself of an attempt by Environment Canada to mislead the public. Omitting observed historical weather data from computer models is common in climate science because of differences in the quality of the reporting of weather data today, compared to 1850 when historical records started being kept. Also, weather is not climate. Computer climate models dont claim to predict what the weather will be like on any given day, month or year. They predict long-term weather and climate patterns. Climate scientists test their validity by assessing whether their models predicting future climate patterns can explain climate change patterns in the past, which is based on more data than that provided solely by historical records. Finally, the fact that in some cases regional temperatures were warmer in the past than today, does not disprove the theory of human-induced climate change. Having said that, McKenna and other politicians give the public inaccurate information about climate change all the time. McKenna, during a recent visit to Toronto, blamed flooding at the south end of the Don Valley Parkway on man-made climate change. Except that area has been flooding since the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago, long before industrial greenhouse gas emissions existed. We apologize

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-10-24

12th Oct 2020

Fruit From Haiti To Be Delivered Using Blockchain

REDDIT The Haitian Ministry of Commerce plans to use blockchain technology to supply local fruits, such as avocados, mangoes, and pineapples. The initiative is part of the Business and Investment Development Project (PDAI), which is supported in the republic by the World Bank, Haiti Libre reports.

Haiti has already held a tender among fintech companies. It was won by the AgriLedger startup, which was entrusted with the task of transferring payments to distributed ledger and implementing the technology to track fruit deliveries and life cycle.

The blockchain system will enable farmers to directly sell their crops in the markets and set a fair price for fruits. It is noted that the cost of production will now depend on real supply and demand, and not on negotiations of third parties.

According to Michel Ange Pantal, the PDAI project manager, among other things, blockchain will guarantee buyers the expected quality of goods. Consumers will be able to check the identity of the farmer, the origin of the product on GPS, as well as trace the pricing at each stage of the supply chain of certain fruits.

The local Ministry of Commerce is proposing to sponsor training and technical assistance for future members of the decentralized system. The authorities intend to provide all these services via blockchain as well.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron called on the EU to use blockchain in the agrarian sector to compete with US, Chinese, and Russian farms. In particular, the politician proposed to apply the technology to manage the supply chains of agricultural products.

Earlier a blockchain platform for coffee supply began to operatein India. Found a mistake? Highlight it and press Ctrl

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-07-08

MOBI Announces the First Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Standard on Blockchain in Collaboration with Honda, PG&E, and GM Among Others

MOBI Announces the First Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Standard on Blockchain in Collaboration with Honda, PG&E, and GM Among Others News provided by Oct 06, 2020, 16:01 ET Share this article First blockchain-based EVGI Standard tackles energy and climate challenges by enabling a decentralized, electrified mobility future LOS ANGELES , Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI)'s member-led Electric Vehicle Grid Integration (EVGI) Working Group created and launched the automotive industry's first global standard incorporating blockchain technology into a decentralized vehicle charging system. The EVGI Working Group released its first technical design specification, which covers the system designs and data schemas required for three core use case areas: Vehicle to Grid Integration (V2G), Tokenized Carbon Credits (TCC), and Peer to Peer (P2P) applications. While MOBI's EVGI Standard does not prescribe any particular application or underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT), it ensures that pertinent data attributes and functionalities of each use case are available for organizations to utilize in creating their own applications. "Implementing the EVGI Standard will provide a variety of benefits for players on all sides of the electric vehicle and charging ecosystem," said Tram Vo, MOBI's COO and Founder. "Electric vehicles, chargers, and electricity producers can have a secure identity, communicate with a standard messaging format, and automatically record transactions such as charging, generation, and exchange on a distributed ledger." Created by a group of global automotive leaders, startups, and large technology companies, the EVGI Standard is a foundational step toward solving some of the most pressing climate and mobility challenges. MOBI's EVGI Working Group is chaired by Honda and General Motors (GM), with su

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-10-06

Polar bears keep thriving even as global warming alarmists keep pretending theyre dying

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content continued The polar bear's resilience should have meant the end of its use as an icon of global warming doom One reason that the 2007 predictions of future polar bear survival were so far off base is that the model developed by American biologist Steven Amstrup (now at Polar Bears International, an NGO) assumed any polar bear population decline would be caused by less summer ice, despite the Beaufort Sea experience. Moreover, Amstrup and fellow modelers were overly confident in their claim that summer ice was critical for the polar bears survival and they had little data on which to base their assumption that less summer ice would devastate the polar bears prey. Consequently, many scientists were surprised when other researchers subsequently found that ringed and bearded seals (the primary prey of polar bears) north of the Bering Strait especially thrived with a longer open-water season, which is particularly conducive to fishing: These seals do most of their feeding in summer. More food for seals in summer means more fat seal pups for polar bears to eat the following spring, a result thats probably true throughout the Arctic. As long as polar bears have lots of baby seals to eat in spring, they get fat enough to survive even a longer-than-usual summer fast. And while its true that studies in some regions show polar bears are lighter in weight than they were in the 1980s, there is no evidence that more individuals are starving to death or becoming too thin to reproduce because of less summer ice. Not all bears get enough to eat in the spring, of course. Starvation has always been the leading natural cause of death for polar bears, due to a number of factors including competition, injury, tooth decay and illness. Some cancers induce a muscle-wasting syndrome that leads to faster-than-usual weight loss. This is

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-10-11

Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Stocks Popped Today

up 10.9% as of 12:05 p.m. EDT. Meanwhile, FuelCell Energy ( ) is up an even 10%. That's probably not a coincidence -- it looks like FuelCell Energy is the one that sparked the rally. Image source: Getty Images. So what By now you know the story. Fuel cell systems are being touted as the newest new wave of the future in renewable energy By running hydrogen gas through a proton exchange membrane, fuel cells can generate electricity, and the only "waste product" from the reaction is water. Of course, none of this is particularly useful unless you've got some hydrogen fuel to begin with. Aiming to get to the head of the supply chain, earlier this year first Plug Power, and then Bloom Energy, made moves to deepen their exposure to hydrogen production. Plug Power acquired United Hydrogen and Giner ELX in a move to " capture the entire hydrogen value chain " in June. Soon after, Bloom Energy teamed upwith South Korea's SK Engineering & Construction to do the same thing. Now, FuelCell Energy seems to be preparing to follow the same path. This morning, FuelCell announced that it has secured $8 million in Department of Energy funding to build a "SureSource electrolysis platform" that can produce hydrogen. FuelCell says the project "represents a key step in FuelCell Energy's path to commercialize its high efficiency solid oxide electrolysis technology," and investors seem to agree. Now what More than that -- and more than just good news for FuelCell Energy -- investors today are taking the company's announcement of a really very modest-sized government contract as an indication that the hydrogen economyis just around the corner. Before you get too caught up in that hype, though, a couple of caveats need to be highlighted. Interest in hydrogen as a fuel source is a real thing. In Canada, for example, the province of Alberta is gearing up to use its sizable natural gas reserves as a source of hydrogen for export. In Europe, governments are said to be plannin

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-10-09

Feng Zhang interview: CRISPR can fight covid-19 and climate change

Jessica Hamzelou Rocio Montoya [UPDATE: After this article went to press, it was announced that Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna had been awarded the 2020 Nobel prize in chemistryfor pioneering the CRISPR gene-editing technique.] IT IS no exaggeration to call Feng Zhang one of the most groundbreaking scientists working today. In his 20s and 30s, he helped develop two revolutionary technologies. The first, known as optogenetics, involves inserting genes into brain cells to allow them to be switched on and off by shining a light on to them. This technique has helped us understand how the brain works and is being explored as a potential treatment for some neurological conditions. The second, CRISPR is a gene-editing technology that promises to correct a near-limitless list of human diseases These days, Zhang has a dual appointment at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the Broad Institute, both in Massachusetts, and is often spoken of as a future Nobel laureate. Powerful tools can be used in different ways, however, and when it comes to CRISPR, there have already been some worrying developments. Two years ago, biophysicist He Jiankuiwas widely criticised and eventually handed a prison sentence for using CRISPR to gene edit human embryos. Many researchers, including Zhang, feel his actions were an ethical overstep. Meanwhile, Zhang is party to an ongoing dispute over who should own the patent for CRISPR. Other scientists were first to publish details of the technology, but he was quickest to show it works in human cells. New Scientist caught up with Zhang to discuss those controversies and to get the low-down on the future Continue reading Subscribe for unlimited digital access Subscribe now for unlimited access App + Web

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  • 2020-10-07

28th Sep 2020

Porsche Increases Investments in New Technologies With Focus on Blockchain and AI Startups

AI ) by around $176 million over the next five years, according to a company press release publishedSeptember 25. The increase in Porsches total investment in venture capital activities for next five years was prompted by the need to gain access to trends, new technologies and business models, the press release notes. The investments will be aimed at early and growth stage businesses that relate to customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle, as well as future technologies including blockchain, AI, and virtual and augmented reality. Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman and member of the executive board for finance and IT at Porsche AG, noted that the company must fundamentally change [their] business model in order to see success in the future, adding: To date, innovation has been driven to a large degree by technology and with strong links to our current core competencies [...] It is essential that we build a strong ecosystem with competent partners. Earlier this year, Porsche had begun exploringthe use of blockchain applications in its vehicles in partnership with the the Berlin-based startup XAIN. In the Sept. 25 press release, Porsche notes that Porsche Ventures is already a minority shareholder in a firm that uses blockchain to manage vintage vehicles history. In March, Daimler AG, a car manufacturing giant famous for its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands, revealedit was testing its own blockchain-based digital currency, the MobiCoin, that would rewards drivers for environmentally-friendly driving habits. Also in March, another German car manufacturer, Audi, had announcedthat it had been testing blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing. Related Articles:

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-09-24

Rural Electric Cooperative Shakeup Could Reshape SC Energy War

Nukegate disaster (the botched construction of a pair of next-generation nuclear reactors in Jenkinsville, S.C.). Not surprisingly, most of these cooperatives charge their customers residents of some of the Palmetto States poorest counties exceedingly high rates. Marlboro has been an exception to the rule, though, keeping its rates low and assisting its consumers throughout the coronavirus pandemic Now its customer-driven approach is set to spread across the region. According to a news release, Marlboro has entered into a management agreement with neighboring which serves an estimated 30,000 residential customers in Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, and Marion counties. Under the terms of the agreement which would take effect on September 18, 2020 Marlboro chief executive officer William Fleming Jr . will serve as president and chief executive officer of both cooperatives. This strategic partnership will enable the neighboring energy providers to create economic benefits, long-term efficiencies and provide overall improved service for all members. Fleming has been president and CEO at Marlboro since 2014. Previously, he was vice president of marketing and development at Pee Dee. A Harvard business schoolgraduate, Fleming also holds degrees from the University of South Carolinaand has an applied mathematics certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ). With his proven leadership record and past Pee Dee Electric experience, we are pleased to have William Fleming take the management reins, Pee Dee chairman James Goodson said in a statement. We look forward to the continued success of Pee Dee Electric and our members under this partnership agreement. Fleming said he was very excited and grateful to enter into the new partnership with Pee Dee. (We) see this relationship as providing opportunities to continue PDEC boards focus on rates and facilitating growth for all members and

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-09-16

New Consumer Goods Coalition to Accelerate Systemic Effort to Remove Deforestation and Forest Degradation from Key Commodity Supply Chains

Walmart The Forest Positive Coalition of Action has committed to act in the following key areas: 1) Engage with suppliers and traders to ask they implement Forest Positive actions across their entire commodity operations; 2) Join forces to address forest conservation challenges in key production landscapes; 3) Encourage governments and stakeholders to create an enabling environment for forest conservation; 4) Ensure transparency and accountability by regularly reporting on progres. As part of their commitments, members of the Coalition will work constructively with governments both in producer nations and importing nations to encourage them to put in place practical measures to support a forest positive future. The Coalition will advocate and support practises to change behaviours and processes at a macro-level to support global forests and not one specific area. Grant Reid , President & CEO, Mars, Incorporated and CGF Board Co-Sponsor of the Forest Positive Coalition, said, "We believe forest protection is a driver of economic growth, not a sacrifice to growth. Forest protection provides healthy ecosystems and supports productive landscapes and resilient communities. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, we must ensure that efforts to protect forests are part of the global response. This response requires all actors with an interest in ending deforestation and who are committed to being part of the solution to come together". Alexandre Bompard , Chairman and CEO, Carrefour and CGF Board Co-Sponsor of the Forest Positive Coalition, said, "We are actively changing our model in order to become forest positive businesses. We are fully committed to engaging supply chain actors, taking action on the ground and working collectively to catalyse change. Multi-stakeholder action is critical, particularly political engagement at the national and regional levels, as is strong suppo

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-09-22

CRISPR: Still too soon to try altering human embryo DNA, experts say

Its still too soon to try to make genetically edited babies because the science isnt advanced enough to ensure safety, says an international panel of experts who also mapped a pathway for any countries that want to consider it. Thursdays report comes nearly two years after a Chinese scientist shocked the world by revealing hed helped make the first gene-edited babies using a tool called CRISPR, which enables DNA changes or edits that can pass to future generations. He Jianqui did this to three babies when they were embryos to try to make them resistant to infection with the AIDS virus and described it in exclusive interviews with The Associated Press. Mainstream scientists condemned his experiment as unethical, and he was sentenced to three years in prison for violating Chinese laws. The experts commission was formed in the aftermath by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdoms Royal Society. The group doesnt take a stance on whether editing embryos is ethical, just whether its ready scientifically -- and deems that its not. A separate panel formed by the World Health Organization is to report on ethics issues later this year. The commission does say that if a country allows this, it should be limited to cases where people have no or very poor options for having a child without the disease. Initial attempts should be for serious diseases caused by a single gene, such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, the blood disorder beta thalassemia and Tay-Sachs, a neurological disease, the report says. Altering genes to try to enhance traits such as muscle mass or height is not endorsed. It gives much better clarity about what it would take to go forward and that now is not the time, said Jeffrey Kahn, bioethics chief at Joh

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-09-04

14th Sep 2020

JPMorgan Chase Sells Blockchain Technology Platform, Takes Stake in Buyer

Aug 27, 2020 at 9:22PM Author Bio Eric has been writing about stocks and finance since the mid-1990s, when he lived in Prague, Czech Republic. Over the course of a varied career, he has also been a radio newscaster, an investment banker, and a bass player in a selection of rock and roll bands. A native New Yorker, he currently lives in Los Angeles. JPMorgan Chase NYSE:JPM ) has divested from Quorum, the blockchain platform it developed, but will still indirectly hold a piece of the business. A privately held fintech company, ConsenSys, has purchased Quorum; it is now known as ConsenSys Quorum. As part of the deal, JPMorgan Chase is also investing strategically in ConsenSys. The two companies revealed neither the terms nor the price of the deal. They also did not specify how large a stake JPMorgan Chase was obtaining in ConsenSys. However, in remarks quoted by Reuters, the latter company's CEO, Joseph Lubin, said that "there is a commercial arrangement [for ConsenSys] to continue to support JPMorgan in their projects." Image source: Getty Images. A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger. Blockchain is best known as the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but it also has numerous other potential applications in fields as varied as real estate and logistics. JPMorgan Chase developed Quorum to assist with financial transactions. These days, it powers the sprawling bank's global payment hub, the Interbank Information Network. JPMorgan Chase built Quorum with the Ethereum network, the open-source technology that is the basis of ether, a popular and relatively longstanding cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies were a hot item among investors in the mid-to-late 2010s. Since then, however, enthusiasm for them has died down for a number of reasons, not least because they still have few direct, real-world use cases. JPMorgan Chase's stock did well on Thursday, rising 3.3% on the day against the 0.2% advance of the S&P 500 index. Motley

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-08-28

Tunisia's startups target saving water & bees to counter global warming's effects

Aa Global warming is having a sizeable impact on agriculture in some North African countries. In Tunisia, for example, a 2016 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, forecast that drought could deplete national water resources by nearly 30% over the next ten years. The organization believes that these dwindled reserves could lead to a significant decline in vegetation, resulting in fewer pollinating insects like bees. Last year, the country had an estimated 12,000 beekeepers, according to the National Agency for the Promotion of Agricultural Investments. In a bid to safeguard their future, the Tunisian government is encouraging tech startups to develop solutions to counter climate changes effects on nature. Busy bees Thirty-three-year-old engineer, Khaled Bouchoucha, is the CEO of IRIS Technologies. He started developing an environmental innovation back in 2011. My father is a beekeeper, and we lost a lot of bees that winter, he told Inspire Middle East. It was due to the high level of humidity, so, I thought about building an air conditioning system for the beehive. With funds of $30,000, he launched an electronic device called the smart bee, which monitors bees on a daily basis and sends farmers smartphone updates. His business created a buzz amongst local farmers, resulting in Bouchoucha generating sales of $50,000 last year. The honey production was not the same before [using the device], it was not organized, says local beekeeper, Walid Alhamdi. I had no idea of how much honey bees [could] produce, but with this device its simpler for me. Water scarcity A cow drinks from a shallow pool of water In 2018, a World Bank report stated that more than half of North Africas water consumption exceed what was naturally available. Forty-year-old software engineer Yeser Bououd is the CEO of Ezzayra, and with capital of $150,000 he developed water-saving technology for farmers. Having launched the project four years ago,

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-09-11

Cooperatives impacted by Covid-19 to get strategic help MEDAC

Nation Wan Junaidi (second left) officiating at the general meeting of Koperasi Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Bhd. Bernama photo PUTRAJAYA: Cooperatives that are adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic will be given strategic recovery assistance through the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM), said Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. He said SKM was asked to look into the cooperatives that needed rehabilitation assistance across the nation, among others, relating to the direction of the said cooperative and strategies they have implemented to support the cooperative movement. Last night, I received five/six WhatsApp (messages) from Sarawak, Perlis, which asked when assistance will be given to their cooperativeswe will help them, nationwide, if there are requirements based on a study, he said after officiating the general meeting of Koperasi Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Bhd here yesterday. Koperasi Sawah Sempadan Tanjung Karang Bhd, Koperasi Jabatan Penjara Malaysia Bhd and Koperasi Permodalan FELDA Malaysia Bhd each received RM1 million from SKM recently as cooperative rehabilitation assistance due to the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Wan Junaidi, a total of 14,625 cooperatives were registered under SKM as at Dec 31, 2019, with a membership of some 6.09 million people. On Koperasi MEDAC Bhd, Wan Junaidi said its establishment is a move in the right direction in line with the ministrys role as an entity responsible for spearheading the development and affairs of the

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-09-08

Kelley Blue Book: Toyota doubles down on hydrogen fuel cell tech with a redesign of the Mirai

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APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-09-09

14th Aug 2020

NEC to use blockchain to match Indian IT talent with Japanese firms

August 13, 2020 -- 05:22 GMT (06:22 BST) | Topic: Innovation Image: NEC NEC has partnered with Persol Career Co to kick off a proof of concept targeted at companies seeking to hire foreign IT engineers. Persol, which calls itself a "high-class human resources strategic platform" that also specialises in other recruitment services, such as job advertisements and support for recruitment of new graduates in Japan, will be using blockchain to match mostly Japanese companies with suitable candidates from India. Six companies in Japan, including GMO Internet Inc and Wired Beans Co, are participating in the recruitment trial. Must read: Blockchain: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic) Engineers who participate in the service will be required to take an IT skill test where experience, skills, achievements, and resumes are confirmed. "With this information, recruiters can expect to increase the success of their recruitment activities," NEC said. According to NEC, the service is based on the concept of self-sovereign identity, where individual identity holders can "fully create and control their credentials, including how their personal data is shared and used". Through the proof of concept, NEC and Persol hope to evaluate the needs of India-based IT engineers seeking to work in Japan, simplify the recruitment process for Japanese recruitment companies, and ensure the adequacy of the programming skill check. This proof of concept will be carried out with a smartphone application that leverages "All-or-Nothing Transformation" (AONT) technology, developed by NEC, in addition to blockchain technology. See also: Is FOMO making enterprises unnecessarily leap into blockchain? "Job seekers can securely and easily manage (add/edit/delete) their highly confidential information, such as personal data, set access control for data disclosure, prevent falsification of information, and ensure high authenticity," NEC said. This skill check test res

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-08-13

Video: Slowing deforestation is the key to preventing the next pandemic but what does that cost?

Video: Slowing deforestation is the key to preventing the next pandemic but what does that cost? by Les Kaufman, The Conversation Credit: CC0 Public Domain In a recent journal article a team of biologists, medical scientists, environmental scientists and conservationists proposed a number of measures to reduce the likelihood of future pandemics, many of which originate with wild animals such as bats. They argue that spending billions of dollars per yeara fraction of the cost of pandemicson programs that reduce deforestation would curtail wildlife trade and support the communities that live on the forests' edge. Les Kaufman, professor of biology at Boston University and a member of the team, spoke about what causes pandemics, and how we might prevent them. What was this study trying to find? I helped organize a group of researchers from a variety of related disciplines to ask the question: "Can we suppress the emergence of pandemic pathogens like what we're experiencing now with COVID-19?" The estimated cost of dealing with COVID-19 is that it will wind up in the tens of trillions of dollars globally We propose spending about $22 billion to $30 billion a year on programs that will reduce the likelihood of future pandemics emerging from the edges of tropical forests. Boston University professor biology Les Kaufman talks about what causes pandemics, and how much it would cost to reduce their likelihood. What people may not realize is that there are at least two potentially pandemic pathogens coming into the human population every year. And about every one or

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-07-27

24th Jul 2020

Vertical aeroponic farms could feed our future, say Norwich scientists

@ChrisHill75 PUBLISHED: 00:01 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:16 14 July 2020 Aeroponic 'vertical farms' could become an increasingly important way of producing food in the future, according to a new study by Norwich scientists at the John Innes Centre, technology firm LettUs Grow and the University of Bristol. Picture: Jack Wiseall JackWiseallPhotography Vertical farms with soil-free, computer-controlled environments may sound like science-fiction but researchers say they could become a vital source of food on our changing planet, or even beyond. Email this article to a friend To send a link to this page you must be logged in. Aeroponic 'vertical farms' could become an increasingly important way of producing food in the future, according to a new study by Norwich scientists at the John Innes Centre, technology firm LettUs Grow and the University of Bristol. Picture: Jack Wiseall Scientists at the Norwich-based John Innes Centre are among the authors of a new study which explores how biology and engineering can combine to accelerate the development of aeroponic growing systems which use nutrient-enriched aerosols instead of soil. This type of indoor agriculture where crops are cultivated in stacked platforms with their water, lighting and nutrient sources carefully controlled by machines is already used to grow high-value crops such as salads, pak choi, herbs, small brassicas, pea shoots and bean shoots. The research looks at where future research and funding should be targeted to improve the future productivity of aeroponic vertical farms, so they can make better use of limited space in cities, optimise natural resources by recapturing and recycling nutrients and water, and allow cultivation in inhospitable locations like deserts, the Arctic, or even space. Dr Antony Dodd, a group leader at the John Innes Centre and se

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-07-14

10th Jul 2020

Climate Change And Deforestation Mean Earth's Trees Are Younger and Shorter

NPR The forests of today will not be the forests of tomorrow. Rising temperatures, deforestation, development and climate-induced disasters are transforming the very makeup of the Earth's forests, new research published in the journal Science finds. Older, bigger trees stalwarts in their respective ecosystems are being lost at an alarming rate, making the planet's collective forests shorter and younger. The shift is being driven at different rates by different causes in different places, the study's authors say, but the consequences will be global. Old growth forests absorb and store massive amounts of climate-warming carbon dioxide. They provide habitat for rare and critically endangered species, and foster rich biodiversity. And they're disappearing fast. Researchers found that the world lost roughly one-third of its old growth forest between 1900 and 2015. In North America and Europe, where more data was available, they found that tree mortality has doubled in the last 40 years. Warming temperatures, wildfires, logging and insect outbreaks were among the many causes of the decline, says Nate McDowell, the study's lead author. "Perhaps more concerning is that the trajectory of all these disturbances are generally increasing over time and are expected to continue increasing into the future," he says. McDowell, who works with the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is a tree physiologist by training. His focus is on how trees are impacted by rising temperatures, arguably the biggest driver of forest change. To get a broader understanding of how forests are shifting globally though, he brought in more than 20 other researchers with varying expertise. Together, they sifted through more than 160 previous studies about tree mortality and its global causes, applying current satellite data and modeling to create perhaps the most comprehensive look at the Earth's shifting forests to date. "It's not a shock but it's very sad," sa

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-05-29

14th May 2020

It's been a while since our last newsletter as we've been busy working on our custom intelligence gathering solution, Bloodhound, which we look forward to launching in the near future. There's so much content and data out in the world and it can be hard to sift through the noise to get to the truly important and relevant information. Bloodhound helps us do that and the content in this newsletter is one of the outcomes from our platform.

Our aim is to bring you information and opinions that you may otherwise not have come across or thought about. In this edition we have collated some interesting content covering the topics of disruption, disruptive technology, climate change and the future in a post-pandemic world.

Mercedes-Benz to make MBUX artificial intelligence tech even more proactive

MBUX infotainment tech is its voice-activated virtual assistant. The company's artificial intelligence software allows a driver to search for destinations, control vehicle functions and more. And as MBUX evolves, Mercedes says improving this natural-language relationship between car and driver is particularly important. The goal is to "make the system even more natural," Nils Schanz, head of user interaction for Mercedes-Benz research and development, told members of the media during a Friday conference call. That means creating a system that's both more proactive and empathic, taking into account things like tone of voice or which person is talking in the car, serving "the right response and the right tone," Schanz said. This means MBUX might soon offer the option to remove its wake-up word -- the "Hey, Mercedes" command that activates the AI tech. But Schanz knows this isn't a solution everyone will want. "Some [drivers] prefer to have a proactiveness and some don't at all," Schanz s

Our View

Keeping with the AI theme, we see that latest improvement by Mercedes in their in-car technology with further enhancements to the NLP (natural language processing) capabilities, in particular around voice.

A car that can identify the tone of our voice and respond accordingly certainly has its potentials. Whether this type of technology is suited to motor vehicles or not remains to be seen.

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-05-08

NZ Cooperatives Ready To Boost Economy In Alert Level 3

NZ Cooperatives Ready To Boost Economy In Alert Level 3 Tuesday, 28 April 2020, 2:54 pm Press Release: Cooperative Business New Zealand. New Zealands retail cooperatives around the country are relieved they can resume operations under Alert Level 3, said Roz Henry, chief executive of Cooperative Business New Zealand. The retailers still cant open their doors for normal public face-to-face purchasing, but they can receive internet and phone orders, and provide click and collect and direct delivery services, with the appropriate health and safety measures. It is a step towards ensuring these hard-working Kiwi-owned businesses continue into the future, said Ms Henry. Cooperatives are made up of a number of individual entities ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to major companies that collaborate for the greater good in terms of purchasing power and quality services. Aside from the well known agricultural cooperatives in New Zealand, there are many in the trades, retail and services sectors that were unable to conduct worthwhile business during the Alert 4 lockdown and are facing significant financial hardship, she said. Some may not have survived if the lockdown continued as they need to operate at 70 per cent capacity over the coming weeks to cover staff salaries and basic costs, including rates, rent and utilities. Even in Alert Level 3, there are unknowns about the amount of throughput that will eventuate to cover these costs. Ms Henry said there has been misunderstanding that with many cooperatives classified as essential services, they would be immune to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Thats not the case. Our retail and services cooperatives are working hard to stay afloat. One association member, ProCare represents doctors and nurses and

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-04-28

5th May 2020

10th Apr 2020

Coronavirus Outbreak Leads To Virtual Activism

Christianna Silva 37m ago When many people think about activism, theyre likely envisioning its most visible component: People emerging from the comfort of their homes to physically gather together and make their voices heard. Those protests and rallies have established themselves as indelible moments in history on their own: the Million Man March, the Stonewall Riot, the Womens March on Washington. But with COVID-19 spreading across the world at dangerous rates, entire countries are being encouraged to stay inside . As a result, activists have shifted their techniques so that they can still bring productive change for LGBTQ+ rights, the climate crisis, and online privacy in a time when going outside in large groups of people is frowned upon at best and deadly at worst. The work that I do and that so many other people do in the movement is about bringing people together, Katie Eder, the executive director of the Future Coalition, a youth-led climate crisis organization, told MTV News. My personal theory of change is that by coming together, by uniting, by reaching across differences and collaborating, that's how we can create real change. But we can't physically convene people [right now]. It's very difficult and provides barriers that you truly never could have imagined. The staff of the Future Coalition has always worked remotely, but they as much as anyone else know the power of coming together. In 2019, they helped lead record-breaking protest movements to draw attention to the modern climate crisis. They were planning another strike on Earth Day this year, for which they expected to see millions of people out on the streets on April 22. Now, that entire strike is going to be virtual, and the group is being forced to reimagine what a social movement can look like in the digital age. To pull that off, the team is looking to the activists who laid the groundwork for their current movement which

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-04-06

Potential Inequities in New Medical Technologies

have less understanding of the purpose of these toolswhich is likely to manifest as mistrust and disinterest in these technologies as they move into the oncology clinic. The other author (Eric Kmiec) is working within a health care system that serves a population of patients in Delaware that mirrors the diversity of our country. This work is focused on wielding the cutting-edge tool called CRISPR to try to develop treatments that can edit the typos in DNA that cause disease. So how can we develop and use these tools to build a more equitable future and make them available to all, not just to the most privileged? The first step is to make active choices to work with those who have been abused, neglected and left behind by the health care system to build trust in new science like CRISPR and gene therapies and the treatments they ultimately may yield. This is both moral and essential to ensuring that new technologies will work for patients who arent just white and of European descent, the group that has historically participated in medical research. If we want to succeed in developing the promise of treatments tailored to any individual ( personalized medicine ), we need to ensure that biomedical research includes genomic data from people of all backgrounds and with the full range of genomic variation that influences when, how and if diseases occur. To make possible a future of personalized medicine, where each patient can receive truly genomically tailored treatment, we must first understand as many genomic variations between people as possible. If we dont do this now, new breakthroughs may not work as well for patients who arent white and of European descent. Such inequitable advances are not advances at all. There are efforts to counter this unfortunate past, including projects like All of Us at the National Institutes of Health, but change will also require meaningful and ongoing engagem

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-03-28

27th Mar 2020

Mondelz makes deforestation progress in cocoa supply chain

Read the latest issue of Supply Chain Digital here In 2019, the first Coca Life tree registration app was launched for cocoa farmers in the companys supply chain in Ghana, where they can register their trees via a smartphone device. Mondelz said that the move could not only help keep better track of the trees within the supply chain, but could also open up opportunities for farmers to receive compensation should their trees become damaged or destroyed. The establishment of the Cocoa Life sustainability programme by the company forms part of its wider international sustainability efforts.The programme details Mondelzs targets to reduce its scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2025 from a 2018 baseline. These targets set by Mondelz have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which has a well below 2 degrees celsius global warming target. When discussing the targets detailed within the Cocoa Life sustainability program, Cedric van Cutsem, Mondelz International's associate director in charge of operations for Cocoa Life, stresses the importance of tackling climate change and deforestation as a priority for the company. "Both the public and private sector have a shared responsibility to deliver on commitments they have made," he said. "Now we must work together to understand how to achieve our goals faster." Empowering people to snack right. Established in 2012, Mondelz International has been operating in 150 countries around the world, with ambitions to lead the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-03-27

13th Mar 2020

Turn around deforestation in 2020, the Nature Super Year, says Guterres

, which falls on Saturday, UN chief Antnio Guterres is calling for 2020, which has been referred to as a nature super year, to be the year that the world turns the tide on deforestation and forestry loss. This years International Day highlights the connections between forests and biodiversity, following a that sounded the alarm about accelerating species extinction rates, and the unprecedented speed at which ecosystems are declining. Forests and our unsustainable choices The UN chief pointed out that forests, and the global environment in general, are being severely degraded by the unsustainable way that we are consuming natural resources, which is accelerating biodiversity loss and exacerbating climate change. Given the huge role that forests play in preserving life on earth and regulating the climate (see the text box below), Mr. Guterres expressed his alarm at the damage being wrought by drought conditions in many parts of the world, citing devastating forest fires, from the Canadian Arctic and Siberia to California and Australia. On top of this, deforestation continues to occur, due to large-scale agriculture: even though the annual rate of deforestation has halved over the last 25 years, vast areas of forests continue to be lost. We must act quickly to reverse this. Safeguarding forests is part of the solution said Mr. Guterres, urging all governments and businesses and civil society to take urgent action to halt deforestation and restore degraded forests, so future, generations can enjoy a greener, healthier future. Why we need to preserve forests Forests are home to 80 per cent of life on land, They are essential to human life, purifying the air and water, providing food, and the raw materials for medicines. Forests influence the global climate and rainfall patterns, A

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-03-21

Human Nature Review: We Can Now Alter Our DNA. But Should We?

Find Tickets When you purchase a ticket for an independently reviewed film through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Every Oh wow in Human Nature is matched by an Oh no somewhere down the line. Together, these two competing emotions excitement and unease make for one pretty fascinating documentary. The film, directed by Adam Bolt, explores Crispr technology, which, broadly speaking, can be used to snip out problematic parts of DNA say, a portion that causes an illness and replace them with different DNA, thus curing the ailment. Some versions of the process are already being deployed; this is, by and large, science fact rather than fiction. Employing Crispr for gene-editing has the potential to radically change human, animal and plant life. Besides removing unwanted DNA, Crispr might also be applied to add desired traits to an organism. As expected, theres discussion of designer babies, eugenics and improving our species. There are enough ideas here to inspire a thousand sci-fi novels, not the least of which is a clip of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia warning about the possibility of creating a soldier who cannot feel fear or pain. In place of a narrator, Bolt employs a first-rate crew of bioethicists, geneticists and researchers to guide the film, and provides interviews with patients who have diseases that could soon be cured. Chapter titles like Brave New World and Playing God set the tone, as does a shrewd score and some well-used animation that illustrates the basics of DNA. Thorny questions arise throughout Human Nature over what we are and what, if anything, we should change about ourselves on a cellular level. Though the film usually takes a hopeful, pro-Crispr outlook, uncertainties still linger, as do fears over the future. As one biologist says, this isnt just the start of a new era for the world its the end of our beginning. Human

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-03-12

The Promise and Perils of Gene Editing

tiny robot frogs , both created from stem cells. Although cringeworthy, scientists justify these abominations as necessary steps toward building a better future. When it comes to animal experiments with gene editing, scientists try just about anything the technology might allow. But when it comes to gene editing human subjects, ethical concerns restrict most from tinkering too much. Scientists are already applying CRISPR gene editing techniques on people, but Musunura explains that they typically come with serious consideration of the risk-reward ratio of a particular patient. A major fault of JKs experiment is that his risk-reward ratio was pretty lousy from the beginning. While HIV was a veritable death sentence over 30 years ago, the treatment available today allows HIV positive people to lead a relatively symptom-free life of average length. Plus, HIV is an easily preventable infection. Altering an embryo for this trait, even if the treatment is successful and otherwise harmless, doesnt bring much to the table. The strongest argument made for CRISPR-based therapy is found in tackling debilitating genetic disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, or cystic fibrosis. Compared to other ailments, gene-based diseases are clearly determined by a specific mutation. This means that theres a lot less guesswork about which target gene needs to be altered. And even if the procedure produces unintended consequences, the promise that it can alleviate suffering means patients and doctors are more willing to take a chance. Youre willing to take on the risk because, chronically, it cant get much worse, Musunuru said. If there are only upsides and benefits, then it might make sense to undertake therapy, even if we havent perfected the technology. But gene scientists are not content to merely focus on genetic diseases. These disorders are pretty rare compared to most of what doctors see, and CRISPR

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-03-05

28th Feb 2020

Africa: If the EU Is Committed to Tackling Deforestation, It Should Not Let Finance Off the Hook

Africa: If the EU Is Committed to Tackling Deforestation, It Should Not Let Finance Off the Hook 4 February 2020 Global Witness (London) press release The beginning of 2020 hit us all with daunting images of fires destroying vast areas of Australian biodiversity. The loss of precious wildlife and broken ecosystems has shown humanity a terrifying future if no ambitious climate action is taken. In 2018, 3.6 million hectares of primary rainforest was razed, and the scientific community affirmed that 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. With last summer's Amazon fires, deforestation is now at the fore of public concern and more than ever, industrialised countries, including the EU, must address their responsibility and act. So it is timely that at the start of what will be a crucial year for global action on deforestation, the European Commission is convening an international conference on forests for biodiversity and climate to discuss the measures and regulations needed to better protect our world's forests. There are encouraging signs that EU policy makers are waking up to role of deforestation in the climate emergency. A broad agreement has recently emerged across the EU institutions that action, including regulatory measures, are now required to ensure that the EU's supply chains do not contribute to deforestation. This received a welcome boost when it was featured in European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's Green Deal. Key corporate actors, NGOs, including Global Witness, and a growing number of MEPs believe that regulatory measures to tackle deforestation should include mandatory due diligence. This would require companies to undertake checks to identify, mitigate and prevent risks of deforestation and associat

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-02-04

CRISPR: Coroner tackles the ethics of gene editing

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 5:16 PM ET | Last Updated: February 12 (A scene from Coroner: season 2 episode 3) It may sound like something from a fiction movie, and just over a decade ago it probably was, but in that time, scientists have discovered a ground-breaking genetic engineering tool called CRISPR-Cas9 (often referred to as only CRISPR). It has the potential to revolutionize the future of human experience from creating drought resistant crops, augmenting mosquitoes to eliminating the transmission of malaria to, most importantly, eradicating specific genetic diseases like cancer by manipulating the blueprint of life. But could it have contradictory effects? Coroner explores this topic in season two episode three, entitled ' CRISPR SISTR ', where Dr. Jenny Cooper and Det. Donovan McAvoy investigate the death of a lab assistant who was helping in the CRISPR research that was to eradicate Lewy body dementia. Or so the scientists involved in the research implied during interrogation. (A scene from Coroner) What really happened is a bit different and we'll get to it, but let's try to answer some complicated questions first. What in the world is CRISPR-Cas9? You know how you can edit anything that needs a bit of fixing, such as a video an episode of Coroner for example or an Instagram picture by using various apps or tools? CRISPR-Cas9 is similar, but a molecular tool, which is much more complex. We can only scratch the surface, but to put it in simple terms: CRISPR-Cas9 is a gene editing tool that can be used to more precisely edit targeted bits of DNA in order to modify (strengthen, weaken, switch on and off) or eliminate specific genes in organisms like bacteria, animals, plants and even human cells. Imagine being able to prevent cancer by editing out the culprit?! Life changing! "Think of it like editing text," says Dr. Janet Rossant, a researcher who uses CRISPR in her lab at Toronto's Hos

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-02-11

14th Feb 2020

Investment giant BlackRock faces critics on climate change, Amazon deforestation

Did U.S. companies and consumers help fuel the fires in the Amazon rainforest? Instead, BlackRock has said it is asking companies to better disclose to investors their environmental risks and the costs those may entail in the future. BlackRock has not said what it would do if it turns out those costs are high or if companies are unwilling to make those disclosures at all. The most recent salvo between BlackRock and its environmental critics started in January when co-founder Larry Fink published a letter to CEOs calling climate change a bigger "structural, long-term crisis" than any he has seen in his 40-year financial career. He said BlackRock would immediately begin pushing sustainability as a "core goal" at all of the companies it invests in. The letter because of Fink's prediction that climate change was already having an impact on the stock market and the long-term outlook for investors, and because Fink said his company was going to do something about it. What's behind the destruction of the Amazon rainforest Another reason for the scrutiny: Fink's sobering prognosis was a surprise for a firm that in the past seemed reluctant to put its weight behind climate issues. Mutual fund researcher Morningstar recently ranked BlackRock 46th out of 50 money management firms when it came to its record of supporting environment issues. "Larry Fink's letter was a sea change," said Moira Birss, a director at environmental group Amazon Watch. "The follow-through remains to be seen." A sustained clash BlackRock has been in the crosshairs of climate change activists in the past. Last year, as raging wildfires charred vast swaths of the Amazon, protestors blocked the entrance to BlackRock's New York headquarters. The protestors accused BlackRock of funding companies responsible for the destruction of the Amazon and other natural forests. For years, BlackRock basically said that, even as

APTIM-Solutions
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  • 2020-03-02

Vertex Expands Collaboration With CRISPR, Acquires Exonics

Free Report ) for an exclusive licensing agreement to discover and develop gene editing therapies targeting Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). Per the expanded collaboration terms, Vertex will pay CRISPR $1 billion, including $175 million in upfront payment and potential research, development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for the DMD and DM1 programs. Vertex will get exclusive worldwide rights to CRISPR Therapeutics existing and future intellectual property including foundational CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Moreover, Vertex will be responsible for all research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities and all related costs related to the programs. However, research costs for a specified guide RNA research related to DM1 program will be shared by both the companies. We remind investors that Vertex and CRISPR signed a four-year research collaboration back to October 2015. Per this agreement, Vertex and CRISPR are developing gene editing therapies for cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. In December last year, the companies selected gene therapy, CTX001, to move into clinical development for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. Vertex also said it will acquire privately-held Exonics Therapeutics, which is focused on developing gene editing therapies for DMD and other severe genetic neuromuscular diseases. With the acquisition of Exonics, Vertex will gain intellectual property, technology, and scientific expertise in transformative gene editing therapies. Vertex will pay $245 million upfront to Exonics for acquiring all its outstanding shares and form a wholly-owned subsidiary. Shareholders of Exonics are eligible to receive approximately $1 billion including upfront and potential milestone payments related to the DMD and DM1 programs. Both the transactions are expected to close in the

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-01-15

31st Jan 2020

16th Jan 2020

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2020 and the team here at APTIM-Solutions wish you a Happy New Year. This fortnight we've focused on trends and disruptors across various areas. The next decade is certainly looking to be a disruptive one.

Deloitte-Ballard Joint White Paper Assesses Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Solutions for Transportation

Print icon Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles projected to be less expensive to run than battery electric and internal combustion engine vehicles within 10-years Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, "In less than 10 years, it will become cheaper to run a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) than it is to run a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle for certain commercial applications." Although FCEVs are currently more expensive to run per 100 kilometers (km) than BEVs and ICE commercial vehicles, they are set to become much cheaper as manufacturing technology matures, economies of scale improve, hydrogen fuel costs decline and infrastructure develops. Indeed, the white paper conservatively estimates the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for commercial hydrogen vehicles will fall by more than 50% in the next 10 years. "We are excited to partner with Deloitte on this important initiative," added Mr. MacEwen. "We believe this white paper provides answers to the most pertinent questions from industry executives and laypeople alike, specifically regarding the economic viability of FCEVs and their environmental sustainability." Adrian Xu, Deloitte China Financial Advisory Director said, "To many commercial operators, hydrogen seems to be a complex and expensive technology for the future. However, we have proven through our deep research and proprietary model that FCEVs will become cheaper to run than traditional ICE vehicles or BEVs very soon. Sophisticated commercial operators around the world are already investing in this technology to stay one step ahead of the competition." Alan MacCharles, Deloitte China Financial Advisory Partner noted, "In China, where the TCO of BEVs is already close to that of ICE commercial vehicles, the total cost of owning an FCEV is expected to be lower than that for ICE commercial vehicles by 2027, an

APTIM-Solutions
  • News
  • 2020-01-08

20th Dec 2019

We hope you find this last edition of the APTIM-Solutions newsletter for 2019 as interesting as we did. From strategy to sustainability and even a bit of classical music there is a wide range of topics in this fortnight's edition.

26th Nov 2019

Welcome to our fortnightly newsletter. Using machine learning tools to generate interesting business content from around the world, APTIM-Solutions has then applied the human touch and selected the key articles for you. We hope you find these stories as interesting as we did.