Bienvenidos a Ciencia en Canoa, una iniciativa creada por
Vanessa Restrepo Schild.

lunes, 27 de abril de 2015

Meet the Women Scientists of TIME 100


Joanne Liu. Bryan Schutmaat for TIME

These five most influential women are pioneers in the field of science and medicine

It will surprise no one to learn that women are vastly underrepresented in the field of science. But in this year’s TIME 100, five outstanding women who are making huge strides in the fields of medicine, genetics, and infectious disease, made the list.

Read more about these five influential scientists.

Liu and her team at MSF were the first to respond to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Liu has become a leader in the outbreak, and has fiercely and publicly criticized the international community for its slow response to the outbreak.

2- 3. Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna, Creators of gene-editing technology
Charpentier and Doudna developed a groundbreaking gene-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9, which allows scientists to add or remove genetic material as they please. The process has major implications for a variety of health problems from HIV to sickle cell anemia to cancer. In theory, CRISPR-Cas9 could be used to edit any human gene.

Dr. Pardis Sabeti, Geneticist who sequenced the Ebola genome from the most recent outbreak
Sabeti and her team are responsible for quickly sequencing the genome of the Ebola virus that has ravaged Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The task was important, since it determined that the disease was indeed spreading from person to person. Many of her collaborators and fellow researchers died during the outbreak. When she’s out of the lab, Sabeti sings in a rock band.

Elizabeth Holmes, Health technology entrepreneur
Holmes is the CEO of Theranos, a blood testing company that has challenged the traditional lab testing model. She studied chemistry before dropping out of Stanford University her sophomore year to start her company, and at age 31 she made Forbes’ Billionaires List as the youngest self-made woman billionaire.


ORIGINAL: Time

Chinese researchers have genetically modified a human embryo—and many scientists think they’ve gone too far


A CRISPR sequence locks on to its target DNA. Don't worry, we'll explain below.(McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT)

A team of scientists in China dropped a bombshell earlier this month, and almost nobody noticed.

Researchers led by Junjiu Huang of Yat-sen University in Guangzhou published the world’s first scientific paper on altering the DNA of human embryos.

The pioneering research is controversial, though it was conducted on damaged embryos that could not have developed into a human. Many scientists contend that newly developed genetic-engineering methods need to be studied further in animals before running the risk of unpredictable human mutations and scarier developments in human evolution:


How could such a monumental paper go unnoticed? 
It was published on April 11 in the little-known online journal Protein and Cell, after being rejected by the more prestigious journals Science and Nature—partly on the grounds that the research was unethical, according to a report by Nature’s news division, which operates independent of the scientific journal. And that rejection highlights a major divide in the world of advanced genetic research: Scientists have discovered a powerful new tool, but they are also very concerned about where it may lead.

CRISPR: A fresh technique
The idea behind genetic medicine is fairly simple, even if the details are complex. Copies of a unique genetic code—in the form of DNA—are present in almost every human cell. People suffering from genetic disorders possess mutated genes—that is, misplaced letters in their DNA. The idea, then, is to heal genetic disorders by fixing the gene itself.

In the last few years, researchers have developed a powerful new method of snipping out defective DNA strands and replacing them with healthy one. The breakthrough tool—touted by MIT Technology Review as perhaps the biggest biotech discovery of the century—that enabled Huang’s team to conduct its research is called CRISPR (that stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, if you were wondering). 

CRISPR was developed by observing the age-old battle between bacteria and viruses. In 2005, researchers discovered that bacteria use CRISPR genetic sequences as a biological weapon to remember, detect and dismember enemy viruses, honing in on specific sections of viral DNA and cutting them out.

Soon after this discovery, scientists were able to modify CRISPR to target genetic sequences in other living cells. This gave them the precision scissors that they had been looking for to target specific genes. It opened the door to fixing the mutated genes that cause hereditary disorders in both a very targeted way—honing in on specific DNA sequences—but also on a very broad scale, applied to every cell within an organism. CRISPR, combined with a few specialized proteins, essentially promises to be a find-and-replace tool for fixing damaged genetic material.

Here’s a video from MIT that goes into a little more detail:


Incidentally, some of the early CRISPR research was done by Rodolphe Barrangou, a scientist working for the yogurt company Danisco, who told the science writer Carl Zimmer that many dairy companies use CRISPR sequences in their bacterial cultures. “If you’ve eaten yogurt or cheese, chances are you’ve eaten CRISPR-ized cells,” he told Zimmer.

Mixed results
Huang’s team didn’t experiment with viable human embryos. Instead they used some of the abnormal, non-viable embryos that are inevitably created as part of in-vitro fertilization therapy, such as when two sperms insert their DNA into a single egg.

The team injected 86 embryos with engineered CRISPR sequences that targeted genes responsible for the blood disorder β-thalassaemia. About 71 of the embryos survived the 48-hour period needed for CRISPR to work. Fifty-four of the embryos could be genetically tested. Only 28 had the defective sequence removed, and an even tinier fraction of those ended up with the “pasted-in” healthy genetic sequence.

More worryingly, in some cases the CRISPR technique unintentionally caused mutations in other parts of the genome.

If you want to do it in normal embryos, you need to be close to 100%,”Huang told Nature. “That’s why we stopped. We still think it’s too immature.” (Huang was not immediately available for comment when Quartz tried to reach him via email.)

Don’t edit human DNA
A group of prominent geneticists published a paper in Science last month—including Jennifer Doudna, a University of California Berkeley professor who last year collected a $3 million Breakthrough Prize, bankrolled by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other tech billionaires, for her pioneering work on CRISPR—that urged scientists to refrain from testing the technique on human embryos.

The paper concluded that “the potential safety and efficacy issues arising from the use of this technology must be thoroughly investigated and understood before any attempts at human engineering are sanctioned, if ever, for clinical testing.

Fifteen western European countries currently prohibit genetically modifying the germ line (which includes sperms, eggs, and embryos), and a major US health research committee has said (pdf, p.101) it “will not entertain proposals for germ-line alterations.

The Science authors recommended that steps be taken to “[s]trongly discourage, even in those countries with lax jurisdictions where it might be permitted, any attempts at germ-line genome modification for clinical application in humans.

A slippery slope?
Proponents of genetic engineering tend to talk about the potential benefits, such as eradicating hereditary diseases like hemophilia or sickle-cell anemia not just in a single patient, but in all of his or her descendants as well. Opponents talk about the dangers of genetic fixes gone wrong, or at the extreme end of the spectrum, the dystopian prospect of wealthy parents ordering up genetically perfect “designer babies.”

“Even unambiguously therapeutic interventions could start us down a path towards non-therapeutic genetic enhancement,” a group of scientists wrote in Nature in March. They told their colleagues around the world: “Don’t edit the human germ line.”

But it may be too late. According to an anonymous researcher cited by Nature, at least four groups in China are working on genetically modifying human embryos. The MIT Technology Review reported last month that research groups at Harvard Medical School and at least one other center in Boston are looking into so-called human germ-line engineering, along with other scientists in China and the UK.


ORIGINAL: QZ

Las escuelas en Finlandia tuvieron la brillante idea de eliminar las asignaturas para estudiar en base a temas



¡Su sistema educativo es soñado! 

Es el país con el mejor sistema educativo público del mundo, pero quieren seguir innovando.

Ahora buscan implementar un sistema educativo revolucionario que busca que la enseñanza deje de lado el estudio de asignaturas y se enfoquen en temas. En las escuelas finlandesas

  • no se usa uniforme, 
  • no hay exámenes de ingreso, 
  • nunca se les da más de media hora de tareas y 
  • está prohibido que los estudiantes no hablen en clase. 
¡Esto suena genial! 

Y más aún, que todas estas medidas han mostrado su gran efectividad, ya que la educación finlandesa está considerada como una de las mejores del planeta. Este sistema ha funcionado porque los alumnos se demuestran motivados y entusiastas por aprender y participar en las clases debido al ambiente relajado y propicio que entregan estas escuelas. Están interesados en saber más. 

Esta formación los ayuda a estar más preparados para la universidad y a enfrentar un futuro mejor. Pero, para el año 2020, el país planea eliminar de a poco la enseñanza de asignaturas individuales como Historia e Inglés para que el estudio sea en base a temas particulares


Esta radical medida busca eliminar la pregunta que muchos nos hacemos “¿Para qué me sirve aprender esto?”. Por ejemplo, en lugar de estudiar 2 horas Inglés, el profesor le pedirá al alumno que pase adelante y vaya analizando el clima de distintos países. Por lo que la persona no solo aprenderá la gramática del inglés, sino que además estará estudiando Geografía e Historia. Los estudiantes seguirán aprendiendo teorías científicas importantes, pero las conocerán de una forma más programática.

El nuevo sistema también alienta a distintos estilos de aprendizaje, como la solución de problemas interactivos y la colaboración entre grupos pequeños para desarrollar habilidades que cubran las necesidades de la vida moderna. 

En este video podrás saber más información sobre la reforma educativa de Finlandia:




¿Crees que funcionaría este sistema educacional en tu país?


ORIGINAL: UpSocial 

Tiny robots climb walls carrying more than 100 times their weight



Mighty things come in small packages. The little robots in this video can haul things that weigh over 100 times more than themselves.

The super-strong bots – built by mechanical engineers at Stanford University in California – will be presented next month at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington.

The secret is in the adhesives on the robots' feet. Their design is inspired by geckos, which have climbing skills that are legendary in the animal kingdom. The adhesives are covered in minute rubber spikes that grip firmly onto the wall as the robot climbs. When pressure is applied, the spikes bend, increasing their surface area and thus their stickiness. When the robot picks its foot back up, the spikes straighten out again and detach easily.

The bots also move in a style that is borrowed from biology. Like an inchworm, one pad scooches the robot forward while the other stays in place to support the heavy load. This helps the robot avoid falls from missing its step and park without using up precious power.


Heavy lifting

All this adds up to robots with serious power. For example, one 9-gram bot can hoist more than a kilogram as it climbs. In this video it's carrying StickyBot, the Stanford lab's first ever robot gecko, built in 2006.

Another tiny climbing bot weighs just 20 milligrams but can carry 500 milligrams, a load about the size of a small paper clip. Engineer Elliot Hawkes built the bot under a microscope, using tweezers to put the parts together.

The most impressive feat of strength comes from a ground bot nicknamed μTug. Although it weighs just 12 grams, it can drag a weight that's 2000 times heavier – "the same as you pulling around a blue whale", explains David Christensen – who is in the same lab.

In future, the team thinks that machines like these could be useful for hauling heavy things in factories or on construction sites. They could also be useful in emergencies: for example, one might carry a rope ladder up to a person trapped on a high floor in a burning building.

But for tasks like these, the engineers may have to start attaching their adhesives to robots that are even larger – and thus more powerful. "If you leave yourself a little more room, you can do some pretty amazing things," says Christensen.


ORIGINAL: New Scientist
24 April 2015 

jueves, 23 de abril de 2015

Dear Future Generations: Sorry - Prince Ea



PROTECT A FOREST
Trees deserve more credit for all the amazing things they do for us. Show your thanks right now. Each Stand For Trees Certificate you purchase supports a specific forest community so the trees remain protected and are worth more alive than dead. Read about all of the incredible work happening around the globe and stand up for a forest now.

EXPRESS PURCHASE
Choose this option to let Stand for Trees select a critical forest project for you.



CHOCÓ-DARIÉN FOREST CONSERVATION PROJECT
Colombia
CHOCÓ-DARIÉN FOREST CONSERVATION PROJECT
Colombia

Conserves one of the most biologically diverse rainforests on the planet
Supports Afro-Colombian communities in protecting their ancestral lands



KARIBA AFRICAN WILDLIFE CORRIDOR
Northern Zimbabwe


WHEN YOU BUY A STAND FOR TREES CERTIFICATE,
YOU DO A TONNE OF GOOD
  • Nader K. bought a Stand For Trees Certificate to prevent 5 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and to support the Brazilian Rosewood Forest Conservation Project in Brazil
  • Nate B. prevented a tonne of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by supporting the Mai Ndombe Forest Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Rafi R. prevented a tonne of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by protecting the Valparaíso Biodiversity Reserve in Brazil
  • Kelsey B. prevented 2 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by supporting the Amazon Forest Conservation Project in Brazil
  • Shoma L. prevented a tonne of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by protecting the Rimba Raya Orangutan Reserve in Indonesia
  • Cory bought Lily a Stand For Trees Certificate to prevent 3 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and to protect Kariba African Wildlife Corridor in Zimbabwe 
  • Shoshana R. prevented a tonne of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by supporting the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor Project in Kenya


HOW IT WORKS
Purchasing Stand For Trees Certificates is one of the most effective actions an individual can take to halt deforestation and combat climate change. Here's how it works:

Share your participation with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter — through our collective action, we change the economics of deforestation, do something meaningful to curb climate change, and support life on earth. Trees stand for us, it's time to stand for trees! 
You buy a Stand For Trees Certificate — a unique, high-quality, verified carbon credit that protects a specific endangered forest and offsets a tonne of CO2 from entering the earth's atmosphere. Because of your purchase, forests are left standing to do what they do best — store carbon, produce oxygen, provide habitat, and support local communities. 
Independent certification teams approved by Code REDD and USAID monitor each project and help local communities become stewards of their forests to halt deforestation, protect critical wildlife habitat, and shift the economic model so forests are more valuable alive than dead. 
3

Share your participation with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter — through our collective action, we change the economics of deforestation, do something meaningful to curb climate change, and support life on earth. Trees stand for us, it's time to stand for trees!




WHY IT MATTERS



WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES,
WE STAND FOR
ENSURING OUR FUTURE



Every certificate you buy helps support a brighter, more sustainable future for all living things on the planet. What other purchase can say that?


WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES,
WE STAND FOR
STOPPING DEFORESTATION

Because we are losing a forest area the size of New York City every 48 hours. 


WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES, 
WE STAND FOR
EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES

Your purchase enables communities around the globe to create a more sustainable future by protecting their forests for generations to come. 

WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES, 
WE STAND FOR
PROTECTING WILDLIFE
Your purchase helps save the world's most threatened species from extinction by protecting some of the world's richest biodiversity hotspots. 


WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES, 
WE STAND FOR
CURBING CLIMATE CHANGE
Every Stand for Trees purchase you make prevents a tonne of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. 


WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES, 
WE STAND FOR
CLEARING THE AIR
Forests store carbon and produce oxygen to provide the very air we breathe — but not for long at the rate we're going. 


WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES, 
WE STAND FOR
PRESERVING HABITATS
Your purchase goes to protecting some of the world's richest biodiversity hotspots — from Asian rainforests to Zimbabwe wildlife corridors. 




WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES,
WE STAND FOR
ENSURING OUR FUTURE
Every certificate you buy helps support a brighter, more sustainable future for all living things on the planet. What other purchase can say that?

LEARN MORE

ORIGINAL: Stand For Trees

viernes, 17 de abril de 2015

5 Ways to Make STEM More Exciting For Students


Image via Flickr by Maryam
For many students, the list of subjects included in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math ­– doesn’t inspire the same level of passion and interest as other subjects. This is a shame, because many STEM careers are lucrative and the industries they’re in just keep growing.

Almost half of students expressed an interest in STEM majors and occupations, including a healthy number of female students (46%). But that expressed interest hasn’t yet translated into a diversification in who’s getting jobs in STEM. In engineering, computer, and math sciences professions women still seriously lag behind men. And racial minorities don’t fare much better.

Many people have ideas about ways STEM can be discussed and taught to interest more of the student population. For the students who see less appeal in numbers and facts than stories and ideas, STEM subjects don’t have to seem dry and lifeless. So much of how students feel about STEM depends on how they learn about it.

5 Tips for More Exciting STEM Lessons

1) Incorporate Pop Culture
Use Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to talk about math and logic, or A Wrinkle in Time as a launching board to discuss physics. Or assign the popular podcast Star Talk, in which Neil Degrasse Tyson talks with (often famous) guests about the intersection between scientific inquiry and pop culture, taking on subjects like the science of superheroes and the zombie apocalypse.

Every year brings new big blockbusters that incorporate science and tech. What can students learn about space from Interstellar? (Google can help with that one.) Terminator can inspire a discussion about A.I., and Captain America can tie in to a lesson on the tech actually developed by the country during WWII.

Showing the role science and math play in stories and creativity can make all those students who think they only care about English and history realize that science actually has a lot going for it too.

2) Make it Relevant
For some students, the challenge of STEM is that it seems distant from the concerns of their everyday life. Brainstorm assignments that show them how they encounter STEM in their day-to-day. You could have students each research a tech advancement that saved lives or otherwise made the world better. The possibilities are seemingly endless:
  • The crops scientists developed to help us avoid world hunger.
  • The development of vaccines.
  • The invention of running water.
  • The rise in antibiotics.
  • The importance of satellites to help us see extreme weather coming.
That’s just a starter list. This site that celebrates scientist lifesavers can help you generate a few more ideas.

For a less lofty way to show science’s relevance, you could tell your students to each pick an object they encounter every day and research what goes into making it. Your iPhone doesn’t work on magic, and all sorts of everyday objects contain some kind of chemicals or minerals people never think about.

3) Get a Debate Going
Most students are taught about concepts like negative numbers as though they’re the truth, plain and simple. In fact, they were controversial and different mathematicians made impassioned arguments for and against them over many years before they became largely accepted.

How much more interesting are negative numbers to you now than they were five minutes ago?

Debate makes subjects more engaging — specially a debate that students can get riled up about on both sides.

STEM subjects bring up ample opportunities for heated debates, such as:
  • Should we fear A.I.?
  • Should animals be given human rights?
  • Was development of the nuclear bomb worth it?
  • Is technology changing how our brains work for better or worse?
  • Should money be spent going into space or helping people here on earth?
One way to get students really invested in researching a subject is to raise the stakes. Can your opinion (or the one you’re assigned to defend) stand up against someone else’s arguments?

4) Bring in Guest Experts
Whether you can get them to come into the classroom itself or instead set up a Skype call, people in STEM professions can clue students in to what those jobs look like day in and day out.

You get bonus points here for inviting successful people working in STEM fields that don’t look like the norm. Women and people of color making their mark on predominantly white and male professions will show your students that they don’t have to fit into a certain box to pursue those careers themselves. MIT has a series of videos on their website that show the experiences and insights of a diverse array of chemists. That’s the kind of thing that can help students of all types visualize themselves in a STEM career.

5) Let Student Passions Drive Their Assignments
No teacher needs to be told that every student is different. While it’s certainly not easy, working with individual students to come up with project ideas based on something they’re already passionate about can make for some real excitement.

A book lover could be assigned a seminal science fiction text and asked to do an assignment on the scientific issues explored in the book. A sports lover could be asked to analyze the math and physics behind the sport – how do angles, shapes, and distances play into creating the game they love? A photography enthusiast could be tasked with identifying and recording different plants and animals in her neighborhood.

A project that incorporates something they already love will feel more personal to each student than anything assigned to the whole class. It would give them an excuse to take ownership over their work and research in a way that will stick with them longer than many other assignments.

STEM doesn’t have to be a dry subject. Professionals and researchers are doing fascinating things in the STEM field every day. Students need a way to see that side of the story.

ORIGINAL: Edudemic
April 6, 2015 @atxcopywriter

domingo, 12 de abril de 2015

Researchers achieve electrical control of quantum bits, paving the way for quantum computers

Image: Arne Laucht
For the first time ever, researchers have encoded quantum information using simple electrical pulses.

Researchers from UNSW in Australia are a big step closer to creating affordable, large quantum computers, after gaining electrical control of quantum bits, or qubits, for the first time.

The team was able to store quantum information in silicon using only simple electrical pulses, instead of pulses of oscillating magnetic fields. This is the same way that the computers we use today encode data, and it means that we now have the ability to cheaply and easily control the quantum computers of the future.

"We demonstrated that a highly coherent qubit, like the spin of a single phosphorus atom in isotopically enriched silicon, can be controlled using electric fields, instead of using pulses of oscillating magnetic fields," said lead author of the study, Arne Laucht from UNSW Engineering, in a press release.

This is something that researchers have been attempting since 1998, and the results have now been published in the open-access journal Science Advances

The method works by distorting the shape of the electron cloud attached to the phosphorous atom, quantum engineer Andrea Morello, who also worked on the research, explained in the release.

"This distortion at the atomic level has the effect of modifying the frequency at which the electron responds," he said.

"Therefore, we can selectively choose which qubit to operate. It's a bit like selecting which radio station we tune to, by turning a simple knob. Here, the 'knob' is the voltage applied to a small electrode placed above the atom."

The research suggests that it will be possible to locally control data in a large-scale quantum computers using only inexpensive voltage generators, as opposed to the pricey high-frequency microwave sources that quantum researchers have used to encode information in the past.

It also means that these types of qubits can be manufactured using technology similar to the kind we currently use, which will greatly cut the cost of quantum computers.

The key to the team's success was embedding the phosphorous atom in a thin layer of purified silicon that contains only the silicon-28 isotope, which is non-magnetic and doesn't disturb the qubit.

The UNSW Engineering quantum group was the first in the world to demonstrate single-atom spin qubits in silicon back in 2012, and they also last year showed that they could control these qubits with 99 percent accuracy. Their overall goal is to build the world's first affordable, large-scale quantum computer, and we honestly can't wait.

Love engineering? Find out more about the world-leading research happening at UNSW Engineering.


ORIGINAL: Science Alert
FIONA MACDONALD
11 APR 2015

Scientists Have Discovered That Bees Can Detect Cancer And This Designer Is Taking It A Step Further


Scientists have discovered that honey bees, Apis mellifera, have an extraordinary talent. Using their superior sense of smell, even more sensitive than that of a dog, bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odors. Those odors include biomarkers associated with lung, skin, and pancreatic cancer, as well as tuberculosis.

A Portuguese designer, Susan Soares, took that knowledge and developed a device that can utilize trained bees to detect serious diseases.

Bees are simply placed in the glass chamber and the patient simply exhales into it. The bees fly into a smaller, secondary chamber if they detect any cancer.


Bees don’t always live terribly long lives, but this method is still effective because bees can be trained in just 10 minutes by using Pavolv’s reflex, which connects certain odors with a food reward.

When bees are exposed to that odor, they are fed sugar and water as a reward. Once taught, the bees remember for the entirety of their six-week-long lives.


Early diagnosis is key for treating these deadly diseases, and fortunately, bees can help. Just one more reason to do everything we can to save the bees.

March 25, 2015

Wake Up Call

ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN INFINITE GROWTH ON A FINITE PLANET IS EITHER MAD OR AN ECONOMIST.” – D. ATTENBOROUGH


Have you ever felt like we're living through a nightmare of consumption? That you wish you could un-hook yourself and reconnect with a life that is somehow more real and vivid? Then perhaps you're ready to heed Earth's Wake Up Call.


Today we live in a time when there is little to no understanding of how the goods we consume and take for granted came into being. Without this we lack the knowledge to understand the true costs of our consumption, and the power to take action. As a result we have become disconnected from Earth - the origin of our health, wealth and all of the 'things' we depend on.

Wake Up Call takes us on a fast-paced, animated glimpse of the true costs behind some of our most prized possessions - our electronic gadgets. Joining the dots between the stages of extraction, production, consumption and disposal, it reveals that, although our gadgets appear sleek and shiny, their appearance is misleading.

From the mining that causes huge ecological and social destruction, to the mountains of e-waste shipped around the planet and dumped, the lifecycles of our technology are strewn with unacceptable devastation and toxicity.

It is time to Wake Up to this nightmarish destruction, broadly driven by our obsessive pursuit of economic growth at all costs. Things do not have to be this way, but it will take a critical mass of people willing to stand up and say ‘NO! We will not participate in these systems of violence against Earth and our fellow humans’ to make a change.

Wake Up Call invites us to do just that. To forge new paths into the future and join those who already are. We must reconnect with Earth, reduce our consumption, revalue what really makes us happy, and become part of the movement for an ecologically sane, and socially just economy that delivers fair technologies.

Wake Up Call expands on the story examined in “Short Circuit”, released by The Gaia Foundation in April 2013. It is a call to consciousness. Please watch, share, reflect and take action.

WITH A DONATION FROM YOU, WE CAN:
Continue to support communities affected by mining to raise their voices of resistance, to forge positive alliances and to secure legal expertise to challenge the companies involved.

Raise awareness of the true costs of our gadgets by sharing Wake Up Call around the world and developing materials about how we transition to a zero-waste, circular economy.
Join the conversation: #WakeUpCall. Find out more at
http://www.gaiafoundation.org/wakeupc...


ORIGINAL: Gaia Foundation

jueves, 9 de abril de 2015

Amazon, following Microsoft, introduces a cloud service for machine learning

Amazon Web Services senior vice president Andy Jassy speaks at the 2015 AWS Summit in San Francisco on April 9.
Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat
Amazon Web Services, the largest public cloud in the market, today debuted a service developers can use to introduce machine learning into their applications.

Andy Jassy, head of the Amazon cloud, spoke about the new service, Amazon Machine Learning, at the 2015 AWS Summit in San Francisco.

It’s not the most surprising thing in the world, considering that MS announced its own similar service, Azure Machine Learning, last June.

It will be interesting to see how Google, the other company in the triad of leaders in the cloud infrastructure market — and arguably one of the most significant machine learning companies in the world — will respond to Microsoft and now Amazon making cloud services anyone can use to train models and make predictions as a managed cloud service.

Amazon’s service is available to try out today, Jassy said.

Check out Amazon’s blog post for details on the new feature.


ORIGINAL: Venture Beat
April 9, 2015 11:02 AM