Genetically Modified Tiny Worms Can Detect Pancreatic Cancer at an Early Stage (2 minute read)
Japanese biotech startup Hirotsu Bio Science Inc. has developed a cancer screening test using roundworms that can detect early signs of pancreatic cancer from urine. The roundworms have a gene in their olfactory receptors that make them react to the urine of pancreatic cancer patients. When the gene is turned off, the roundworms are still attracted to the urine of people with other cancers, but not pancreatic cancer. During tests, the method was 100% accurate in detecting pancreatic cancer and 91.3% accurate for other types of cancer.
SpaceX is launching a NASA spacecraft that will crash into an asteroid (3 minute read)
NASA launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket early this morning. The mission aims to hit the smaller of a pair of two asteroids at a speed of about 15,000 miles per hour with the 610-kilogram spacecraft to see how the impact changes the asteroid's trajectory. It will take 10 months to reach the asteroid, which is not a current threat to the planet. A small cube satellite will be deployed before impact to take photos of the event.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Jovo (GitHub Repo)
Jovo is a cross-platform framework for building conversational and multimodal experiences on the web, Alexa, Google Assistant, Messenger, Instagram, Google Business Messages, mobile apps, and more. It is component-based and extensions are available through a marketplace. Jovo works with many NLU and CMS services.
Tamagui (GitHub Repo)
Tamagui is a universal React design system optimized for native and web. It has a fully-featured styling library with support for cross-browser server-side rendering and a fully-typed, completely extensible API. Examples are available on the main website.
Carnivorous “vulture bees” have acidic microbiomes to better digest their carrion (7 minute read)
A group of stingless bees are known to eat meat from carcasses in tropical rainforests. These vulture bees consume flesh on-site, storing a kind of meat slurry in their crops to bring back to the hive. The slurry is converted into another substance at the hive and stored in wax pots. Scientists studying the gut biome of the bees found that it contained bacteria similar to those found in vultures, hyenas, and other carrion feeders. These bacteria likely help protect the bees from pathogens in the carrion.
Apple sues company known for hacking iPhones on behalf of governments (3 minute read)
Apple is suing NSO Group, seeking a permanent injunction to ban the firm from using Apple software, services, or devices. NSO Group is an Israeli firm that sells software that allows the user to hack iPhones and read the data on them. It sells its software to government agencies and law enforcement, allowing them to surveil anyone through a zero-click attack that is delivered through a text message. Meta is also separately suing NSO Group, alleging that it helped hack users through WhatsApp.