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Hervé Musseau
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Accumulation of transthyretin amyloid is one of the root causes of aging. This is a form of protein misfolding that products harmful deposits, amyloids, in tissues. In recent years this type of amyloid has been identified as the major cause of death in supercentenarians, but it was not until very recently understood to also be a significant cause of heart failure in the earlier stages of old age. Researchers here demonstrate a scanning methodology to detect transthyretin amyloid in heart tissue, which should hopefully lead to more resources directed towards finalizing the development of an existing therapeutic approach to breaking down and clearing this amyloid. That approach has been trialed successfully in a few patients, but is currently languishing in the endless regulatory pipeline somewhere prior to clinical availability. It is madness that so little funding and urgency is given to this sort of development, especially given the existence of an approach that appears to work: transthryretin amyloid clearance should be undertaken every few years by pretty much every adult over the age of 40, and the outcome would be significantly less heart disease.
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Going through my tabs and found this gem - great points!
You stumble across the latest in a long line of news articles lauding self-driving cars and the many riches they promise to bring. You sigh…
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 34/2016.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2016/08/jumping-robot-legs-uber-launches.html

Purifying carbon nanotubes, Anti-inflammatories for Alzheimer’s, Jumping robot legs, Protein sweeteners, Fortified GMO rice, Uber launches autonomous cars, Bacterial conducting nanowires, Superconducting electron superfluids, CRISPR for EvoDevo, Massively engineered genomes.

1. Purifying Carbon Nanotubes
One of the biggest obstacles to developing carbon nanotube applications is separating mixtures of carbon nanotubes to obtain pure samples of either metallic or semiconducting nanotubes depending on the requirements of the application. A new method for doing this involves a newly engineered polymer based on a template that was able to wash away semiconducting carbon nanotubes to leave metallic versions for use, but is now able to selectively wash away metallic carbon nanotubes to leave semiconducting versions for use http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/article/mcmaster-researchers-resolve-a-problem-that-has-been-holding-back-a-technological-revolution/. Next step will be to make more efficient polymers and scale up production.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Treat Alzheimer's
Recent work shows that certain types of common Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease in animal models by completely reversing memory loss and brain inflammation http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/treatment-option-for-alzheimers-disease-possible. Next steps will be to confirm that the effect carries over to humans and, with these drugs already on the market for other NSAID-related indications, seek approval for repurposing in light of side effects.

3. Explosive Jumping Robot Legs
A new “GOAT” robot leg design is capable of explosive jumping to twice its height that can also walking, running, and compliant landings http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/goat-robot-leg-demonstrates-explosive-jumping. Next step is to improve the hardware then mount the legs onto both bipedal and quadruped robots, which I think will be very impressive to see. In related robotic automation news, agricultural fruit and vegetable picking robots continue to get better with the demonstration of a new automated apple picker http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/sri-spin-off-abundant-robotics-developing-autonomous-apple-vacuum.

4. Protein-based Artificial Sweeteners
A protein that occurs naturally in a West African fruit turns out to be 2,000 sweeter than sugar http://phys.org/news/2016-08-protein-big-sweetener.html. Producing the protein at scale for commercial uses has been problematic however, although in this recent work the use of genetically engineered yeast to produce larger amounts of the protein via fermentation is showing promise. A reliable source of protein-based, non-sugar, non-aspartame sweeteners would benefit the food and beverage industry by circumventing the different problems surrounding conventional sweeteners.

5. Engineered Rice Addresses Zinc & Iron Deficiency
A new type of genetically engineered rice that fixes and stores significantly more zinc and iron has been created that can improve the lives of those suffering from deficiencies, especially in the third world http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/08/modified-rice-has-five-times-zinc-and.html. This is a similar approach to the Golden Rice that has been around for a while that was engineered to produce more Vitamin A. In this case the iron and zinc content of grains was increased from ~3ppm to 15ppm and from 16ppm to 45ppm respectively. Next steps are to introduce the rice for cultivation in Bangladesh.

6. Uber Introduces Autonomous Car Service
Uber and Volvo will introduce a driverless taxi service in Pittsburgh this month using a fleet of 100 Volvo vehicles http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/uber-will-start-driverless-service-in-pittsburghthis-month. This won’t be a general-purpose service, but will rather ferry passengers between fixed points of interest around the city and the collaboration will further develop technology and mapping resources. The cars will apparently include “safety drivers” in the cars for the first rollout, not only to intervene if necessary but also to condition customers to get comfortable with autonomous taxis.

7. Producing Conducting Nanowires with Bacteria
Genetically engineered bacteria can now be controllably harnessed to produce electrically conducting nanowires http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2016/Geobacter.aspx. This builds on earlier work that first discovered and characterised the natural bacterial nanowires, which allowed the rational design of modified nanowires by rearranging amino acids into an improved architecture. The nanowires produced by the bacteria are protein-based, 2,000 times more conductive than natural counterparts, and measured 1.5 nanometers wide. Future applications include electronics, sensors, and as power conductors in microbial circuits.

8. Electron Superfluid Critical for High Temperature Superconductivity
Recent analysis of materials that perform as high temperature superconductors reveals that their atomic architecture facilitates the formation of electron pairs into an electron superfluid that flows without resistance https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11864. Analysing different types of these copper oxide materials (that include lanthanum and strontium) showed that differences in transition temperature between materials are determined by differences in the density of electron pairs. This challenges conventional theories of superconductivity and is hoped that this better understanding will lead to the design of materials with much higher, room-temperature transition temperatures.

9. CRISPR Accelerating the Field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology
CRISPR is having a transformative effect on the field of evolutionary developmental biology by allowing experiments to not only be done that could never be contemplated before but by significantly accelerating the rate and progress of the field http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-s-hopeful-monsters-gene-editing-storms-evo-devo-labs-1.20449. Recent work traced the gene changes required for (i) turning fins into feet, (ii) improving photoreceptors in butterflies to detect a broader spectrum of colours, and (iii) how crustaceans acquired claws. Future work will look to modify the genes and pathways involved in building chicken beaks to find the sequences required for building theropod dinosaur snouts; we might yet get our chickenosaurus.

10. Most Engineered Bacterial Genome
The most engineered and radically rewritten bacterial genome has been produced recently http://www.nature.com/news/radically-rewritten-bacterial-genome-unveiled-1.20451. The synthetic genome was synthesised with 3.8% of the original genome edited to replace 7 of 64 codons with code that produces the same components and so create an organism that functions on 57 instead of 64 codons. This would not have been possible even a few years ago and represents the largest completely synthesised genome with the most functional changes; next step is to boot it up into a functional cell.

Bonus: Festo’s Fantastic Flying Robots.
The latest robots from Festo are always a pleasure to behold http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/robotics/robotics-hardware/festos-fantastical-flying-robots

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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 33/2016.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2016/08/engineering-biological-machines-neural.html

Engineering biological machines, Neural dust developments, Tailored AFM probes, BEC optical computer, Faceless recognition systems, Propelled liquid metals, Nanobead optical superlens, Custom ion pores, Optogenetic neural networks, Proton size discrepancy.

1. Engineering Biological Machines
An interesting advance in synthetic biology involved engineering a light-driven cell membrane proton-pump in order to enable it to be further controlled by being chemically switched on and off http://www.unibe.ch/news/media_news/media_relations_e/media_releases/2016_e/media_releases_2016/synthetic_biology_engineering_a_chemical_switch_into_a_light_driven_proton_pump/index_eng.html. The interesting thing here is the use of two types of the protein, each of which is oriented facing-in or facing-out from the cell, driven by light to create or remove proton gradients across the cell wall that is crucial for driving many cellular processes. One or the other of these processes can then be controlled at will in order to control the gradient that is needed for driving a particular process or application.

2. Latest Developments in Neural Dust
Neural dust has taken the next step with a 3mm long batteryless implantable device for implantation against muscles and peripheral nerves, and most recently demonstrated in animal experiments http://news.berkeley.edu/2016/08/03/sprinkling-of-neural-dust-opens-door-to-electroceuticals/. The devices are powered by external ultrasound to detect, process, and transmit neural signals for remote control of devices and prosthetics for example. The roadmap includes coating with materials able to last more than a decade in the body, commercialising applications for these larger peripheral devices, and further miniaturising towards 50 microns for genuine brain-computer interfaces.

3. Tailored AFM Probes
New 3D confocal laser lithography techniques allow custom atomic force microscope probes to be fabricated on demand depending on the required purpose http://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2016_111_tailored-probes-for-atomic-force-microscopes.php. Custom probes are usually made manually and expensive; this new approach allows researchers to design the shape of the probe they need then have the system automatically sculpt a probe tip that can then be placed on any commercially available AFM measurement needles to begin working straight away. Nice example of the benefits of modularity in technology.

4. BEC Optical Computer
For the first time a Bose-Einstein Condensate has been harnessed to work as an optical computer http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/optoelectronics/a-polariton-boseeinsten-condensate-for-switching-and-storing-optical-data. BECs can be induced to form quasiparticles comprised of photons and electron-hole pairs (called exciton polaritons) that are able to store information in a couple of ways. When this type of BEC is trapped between thin layers of semiconductor low-energy voltage pulses can be used to read and write data in the BEC. This appears to be one of the first times a practical device has been built with a BEC, a good fundamental advance.

5. Faceless Recognition Systems
Automated face recognition systems have now reached the point of being faceless recognition systems, at least as far as this new prototype neural network system is concerned http://motherboard.vice.com/read/faceless-recognition-system-can-identify-you-even-when-you-hide-your-face. The system predicts the identity of obscured faces by examining other salient features in the scene; recognition accuracy rises from 70% with just 1.25 instances of a fully-visible face, to 92% for 10 instances of the person’s face. While the system is particular to certain situations and does have some weaknesses, it does constitute a privacy concern for those seeking to remain anonymous.

6. Self-Propelled Liquid Metals
Work with liquid metals including non-toxic alloys of gallium promises malleable, self-propelled liquid metal systems for electronics and other applications https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2016/august/liquid-metals-propel-future-electronics. These latest materials were tested in microfluidic systems in which tweaks to the pH and salt of the surrounding fluid induced controllable movements and shape changes of liquid metal droplets, and used to create moving objects, switches, and pumps. The end-goal here in future might be things like reconfigurable electronic circuits, displays, and other devices.

7. Nanobead Optical Superlens
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles have been used to fabricate a 3D superlens that uses the refractive properties of the nanoparticles to achieve super-resolution optical microscopy with conventional microscopes, and appearing to resolve surface features below 60nm http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/bu-sti080816.php. As a proof of concept the group used the lens with a conventional microscope to image the groves and information stored on the surface a Blu-Ray disc, something that is impossible with conventional microscopes. Cheap, easy, and versatile extension to any optical microscopy system.

8. Custom Ion-Selective Pores
A new synthetic ion-recognition system has been developed for selective ion transport that can be customised and fine-tuned depending on the ion that needs to be isolated http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/7539/ringing-the-changes. The basic architecture consists of a macrocycle ring molecule whose internal cavity is adjusted in order to pick out particular metal ions from many different others. The current prototypes are selective for Cs, Ag, and K, but the platform provides many avenues for further engineering to capture other metal ions. Applications will include molecular sensing, water purification, microfluidics, and even synthetic biology.

9. Reprogram Brain Networks with Optogenetics
The latest work on optogenetics in mice demonstrates that neural networks in the brain trained to fire together can be reactivated later if just one neuron is stimulated, and also lending direct support to Hebbian learning http://datascience.columbia.edu/researchers-reprogram-network-brain-cells-light. The work involved stimulating just 20 neurons out of the mouse’s 100 million and was achieved by using two-photon stimulation and two-photon calcium imaging. The optogenetically-treated and stimulated neurons were located in the mouse’s visual cortex and the group propose behavioural tests to determine if stimulating the network with light induces an image or visual artifact in the animal’s awareness.

10. Better Measurements of Proton and Deuteron
Another excellent article by Natalie Wolchover covering recent work investigating measurements of the size of fundamental particles including the proton and deuteron suggests that fundamental theories may need to be updated https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160811-new-measurement-deepens-proton-radius-puzzle/. The proton is measured to be slightly larger when orbited by an electron than when orbited by a (much heavier) muon. New work shows that a deuteron (proton plus neutron) is also slightly larger when orbited by an electron than when orbited by a muon, an effect that appears to scale compared to the proton and offering interesting avenues to explore.

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This article is part of my continued attempt to think through the changes in our modern economy. It was prompted by this plot from a 2014 article, showing how the prices of different things had changed over the previous decade: some things (like TV's and computers) getting much cheaper, other things (child care, education) getting much more expensive.

The key thing that got me started on this was noticing that the things which got cheaper all had in common that new technologies created better economies of scale for them, while the things which got more expensive all had in common that they didn't. This leads to some thinking about exactly what happens when a technology suddenly shifts the price of a good: when a "Magic Box" appears on the market that can make something virtually for free.

The answer appears to be a combination of three effects: one which makes everybody richer (because the good is itself cheaper; those with the most need benefit most from this stage), and two smaller "zero-sum" shifts: a shift of money away from people whose jobs were based on making the good that's now cheap, and a shift of money towards industries which weren't affected, essentially because more money is available to buy their goods and so they see price inflation. (Importantly, the second effect touches both workers and companies, but the third effect in many circumstances doesn't directly affect workers – see the article for why)

This is all still relatively preliminary thinking, but I think there are some directions in here which could prove useful for understanding what's going on in our economy and why.
If you want to understand what’s happening to the economy, you should understand this graph.
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 32/2016.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2016/08/negative-poissons-ratio-ibm.html

Negative Poisson’s ratio, IBM lab on chip, IBM neuromorphic computing, Single pixel cameras, Magnetic atom chains, On-chip LIDAR, Code patching bots, Airship fixing bots, Resistant productive microbes, Novel electrical materials.

1. Materials with Negative Poisson’s Ratio
Materials with a positive Poisson’s ratio contract when stretched, but those with a negative ratio actually expand when stretched, and while rare metamaterials are being engineered to create materials that possess this property of expanding when stretched http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=44123.php. This review article digs into the negative Poisson’s ratio materials that already exist as well as laying out avenues for exploring ever better materials with beneficial mechanical properties such as shear resistance, indentation resistance, and fracture toughness. I’d even just like to play with a strip of this stuff.

2. IBM’s Latest Lab on a Chip
IBM’s latest microfluidic lab on a chip devices are capable of size-based separation of biological particles down to 20nm, a scale that allows DNA, viruses, and cellular exosomes to be separated out http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50275.wss. Working with researchers they are examining exosome communication and signalling between cells, and working with clinicians they are using the new capability in a similar way to diagnose cancer and other diseases. The architecture of the device allows variable particle separations under continuous flow and can actually split a mixture of many different particle sizes into a spread of defined particle streams, analogous to a prism splitting light. Meanwhile other microfluidic systems are replicating the connections between neurons and muscle fibers http://news.mit.edu/2016/replicating-connection-between-muscles-and-nerves-0803.

3. IBM’s Latest Neuromorphic Computing Device
IBM’s latest brain-like computing hardware has demonstrated chips that produce spiking neuromorphic features using phase-change materials to store and process data http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50297.wss. IBM’s phase-change technology platform has already demonstrated novel memory techniques, but these new neuromorphic applications can perform data correlation detection and also unsupervised learning at high speed and low energy; updating these phase-change neurons requires just five picojoules. When will we start to see these things appearing in robots?

4. Single Pixel Camera Advances
The latest advance in computational photography using single-pixel cameras now enables single-pixel camera devices to not only produce human-like foveated images in which the center is captured in high-resolution and periphery in low-resolution, but can now also move this foveated region around to follow objects in the field of view https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602090/single-pixel-camera-reaches-milestone-mimicking-human-vision/. The system can produce two moveable foveated regions, works in visible and infrared, and might enable applications in terahertz imaging for which single pixel sensors are available and arrays are not, as well as allowing conventional trade-offs between resolution and framerate to be optimised on the fly for general imaging systems.

5. One Dimensional Magnetic Atom Chains
That’s a headline I didn’t expect to write this side of 2020. By combining a process of evaporating metals onto a surface with the controlled introduction of oxygen, one dimensional magnetic atom chains bordered by oxygen can now be created, and all via a process of self-assembly http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/onedimensional-magnetic-atom-chain-forged. Metals explored as part of the proof-of-concept include Mn, Fe, Co, & Ni. The atom chains cover the entire surface, space 0.8nm apart, and up to 500 atoms long without a single structural defect. In the new one dimensional state the different metal atoms exhibit altered magnetic properties including non-magnetic, ferromagnetic, & anti-ferromagnetic. Such structures may have applications in high-density data storage but the advance will be a boon to studying and controlling one dimensional systems in general.

6. On-Chip LIDAR Systems
Recent advances in developing on-chip LIDAR systems for 3D mapping and ranging local environments using conventional semiconductor fabrication techniques look set to produce complete LIDAR systems smaller than a dime at less than $10 per unit http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/optoelectronics/mit-lidar-on-a-chip. While not only being orders of magnitude smaller than conventional systems, and orders of magnitude cheaper, the devices have 1,000 times faster image scanning. There is a roadmap to boost field of view from 50 to 100 degrees, from 2m to 10m soon and 100m later in range, and further boosting resolution. These systems are going to be absolute game changers for autonomous vehicles, robots, drones, and our smart devices generally, massively boosting their ability to move about in the real world. Spectrum shared a big drone sporting big LIDAR system navigating a barn this week, as part of http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/drones/video-friday-drone-with-lidar-robot-tai-chi-strange-android.

7. Smarter Bots Fix Malicious Code
New machine learning approaches are able to search hacker marketplaces and other hidden parts of the Web to help find and identify zero day exploits and other critical software vulnerabilities in order to drastically improve the ability of organisations to fix broken code and distribute patches before they can be exploited https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602115/machine-learning-algorithm-combs-the-darknet-for-zero-day-exploits-and-finds-them/. In related news DARPA’s Grand Cyber Challenge continues to encourage the development of ever-better software systems able to quickly find and fix a range of different software bugs better than human teams can http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/security/autonomous-supercomputers-seek-and-destroy-software-bugs-in-darpa-cyber-grand-challenge.

8. Spider Bots Monitor Airships
Lockheed Martin has developed a SPIDER bot platform that involves groups of robots that move around and inspect the skin of an airship for tiny pinholes that are difficult for humans to detect, which can then be quickly patched and sealed to prevent the leakage of Helium http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/how-lockheed-martin-spider-blimp-fixing-robot-works. While this is a prototype autonomous inspection and repair system that should contribute to airship safety and cost reduction, the team hope that further development will allow such systems to function in-flight as needed in a range of conditions.

9. Resistant Productive Microbial Fermenters
To combat the problem of undesirable contaminant microbes growing in fermenters and bioreactors with productive microbes and so serving to decrease and contaminate yields, productive microbes are being engineered to be able to extract the vital growth nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous from unconventional xenobiotic compounds http://news.mit.edu/2016/microbial-engineering-technique-could-reduce-contamination-biofermentation-plants-0804. In some cases this involved the addition of six genes to provide the enzymatic processing network needed to extract nutrients from the xenobiotic compounds; contaminant microbes lacking these pathways are unable to use the nutrients and are massively outcompeted by the productive microbes.

10. Novel Electrical Materials
Some interesting new electrical materials and devices this week. First, nanoparticles of topological insulators appear to provide a platform for strong coupling between a single photon and a single electron that could be useful for photonics and optoelectronics in future http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_4-8-2016-11-5-15. Second, a layer of buckyballs proves important in creating tiny on-chip diodes that conduct electricity 1,000 times more effectively on one direction as opposed to the other http://science.energy.gov/bes/highlights/2016/bes-2016-08-a/. Third, graphene appears to facilitate a novel property of electrons called pseudospin http://phys.org/news/2016-08-electrons-electronics.html. Finally, the ability to create and manipulate two-dimensional sheets of silicon, or silicene, for electronics applications takes a major step forward http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/breakthrough-in-silicene-production-promises-a-future-of-silicenebased-electronics.

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The world's first public trial of a self-driving car service has officially launched in Singapore today, as U.S. autonomous car startup NuTonomy beats Uber to the punch by a matter of days.
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Ichor Therapeutics is one of a growing number of success stories to emerge from the SENS rejuvenation research community. Young scientists, advocates, and donors involved in earlier projects - years ago now - have gone on to build their own ventures, while retaining an interest in stepping up to do something meaningful to help bring an end to aging. Back in 2010, Kelsey Moody worked on the LysoSENS project to find ways to break down damaging metabolic waste in old tissues; fast-forward six years, and he is the now the CEO of a successful small biotechnology company with a great team, taking that very same technology and putting it to good use. I recently had the chance to ask Kelsey a few questions about the future of SENS rejuvenation research, as well as how the Ichor scientists intend to construct a new class of therapy for macular degeneration, one based on removing one of the root causes of the condition.
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Actually road safety is only marginally better in developed counrties - what all current technologies and laws only about halve the number of deaths. Most of these are achieved by government mandates: laws against drunk driving, speed limits, seatbelt requirements, and the like.
Mandating these all around would only marginally increase safety.
The only game changer on the horizon is computer driving. Get rid of the most dangerous part of driving: the human driver.
The driverless car is only in its early days, and it is already on par with human drivers for safety. It will quickly outpace humans.
As for your rant about humans and AI, it doesn't even make sense. I mean, "driver controlled AI technology", what does that even mean?
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More than six weeks have passed since voters in the United Kingdom authorized the country's exit from the European Union, enough time for some of the referendum's economic effects to manifest. In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the British economy has already started to show signs of weakness, with data for July signaling slowdowns in manufacturing, services and construction. In the eurozone, the economic impact has been moderate, but uncertainty about the split will probably reduce investment, private consumption and trade. In all likelihood, the United Kingdom's economy will decelerate even more in the months ahead.
The British economy is beginning to buckle under the weight of an uncertain future.
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I don't have to try and prove I am Scottish my birth certificate proves that, and I am not SNP either as I would never support Scotland splitting from England I only want the EU and all its cast off's out of Britain, AMD it's waters so we are a free prosperous country again.

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More than six weeks have passed since voters in the United Kingdom authorized the country's exit from the European Union, enough time for some of the referendum's economic effects to manifest. In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the British economy has already started to show signs of weakness, with data for July signaling slowdowns in manufacturing, services and construction. In the eurozone, the economic impact has been moderate, but uncertainty about the split will probably reduce investment, private consumption and trade. In all likelihood, the United Kingdom's economy will decelerate even more in the months ahead.
The British economy is beginning to buckle under the weight of an uncertain future.
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"Singapore has selected Delphi to provide a fleet of automated taxis in a pilot test, beginning later this year. Engineers, acting as “safety drivers”, will accompany select commuters in the first phase of the pilot test. By 2019, the company expects to introduce driverless pods in a small, controlled section of Singapore. Later this year, Delphi will reveal plans for similar pilots in American and European cities."
The probable future of urban transportation will make its world debut in Singapore in 2017. The densely packed city-state is a perfect place to test the technology, with warm weather, bypassing the problems winter poses for current autonomous systems, and excellent infrastructure will make it easier for the vehicles to navigate around the test area.
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The staggering complexity of the conflict is distilled in a struggle between loyalist and Kurdish forces in al-Hasaka. Read more…

What Brexit Means for the World
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The staggering complexity of the conflict is distilled in a struggle between loyalist and Kurdish forces in al-Hasaka. Read more…

In Colombia, Militants and Government Finally Agree on Peace
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After nearly four long years of negotiations, a peace agreement was struck last night.

Libya, EU Come to an Agreement on Migrants
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Europe will soon begin training Libya's coast guard and navy to combat human trafficking by sea.

Gambling on Chinese Debt
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Beijing could allow entities other than state-owned banks to trade debt for corporate equity.

Top EU Leaders Discuss Post-Brexit Unity
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The three biggest eurozone economies have numerous shared interests, but domestic politics is making cooperation tricky.

South Africa's Ruling Party Loses Another City
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With a defeat in Johannesburg's mayoral election, the African National Congress will focus on shoring up support for national races.

When Peace Negotiations Fail
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Efforts to unify Yemen have made it more divided.

In Syria's Northeast, a Microcosm of the Civil War
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The staggering complexity of the conflict is distilled in a struggle between loyalist and Kurdish forces in al-Hasaka.

Investing in a Possible Colombian Peace Deal
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If the government comes to a deal with FARC militants, businesses and tourists will have unprecedented access to the country's rural areas.

In Mexico, Teacher Protests Will Intensify
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The powerful Mexican education union has a history of using disruptive measures to advance its goals.

Climate Agreement Will Only Hasten Transition Beyond Oil
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The latest obstacle to Gazprom's proposed pipeline will do little to deter the Russian giant. Read more…