Archive for ‘Technology’

June 29, 2019

Changing Life’s Course: CRISPR and Gene-Editing Technology

gene-editing-2375732_960_720Numbered are the days where having your “mother’s eyes” or your “father’s nose” are products of a genetic lottery. Since the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), methods to repair, replace, and repurpose life’s genetic code have become increasingly prevalent. Within the last decade, genetic engineering’s small beginnings have erupted into an industry dedicated to the manipulation of genomes. From increased crop yield to improved disease treatment, the applications of genetic engineering reach far and wide, but this Russian biologist wants to make it possible to choose what features you want in your children.

At the forefront of genetic engineering is a technology known as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR, whose functions could dictate everything before and between birth and burial. Through its widespread applications, CRISPR pushes scientists to set their sights on creating bigger, better solutions. Some scientists, however, have pushed the envelope of genetic editing by tampering with human life. Stories like China’s commitment to creating more gene-edited babies sparks contentious debate about the ethics of genetic editing and invites an obvious question: should gene-editing technologies, specifically CRISPR, be more heavily regulated?

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June 26, 2019

Cellphone Use Is NOT Causing You To Grow a Horn 

5671-woman_text_one_person-1296x728-header.jpgAre we actually growing ‘horns’ from using cellphones?

That must of been the question of the week last week after the “Horns are growing on young people’s skulls. Phone use is to blame, research suggests” headline appeared in The Washington Post. Chances are, you are currently hunched over your cell phone right now, worrying about the headlines you’ve been seeing about how people are growing horns on their skulls.

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June 26, 2019

Are smartphones to blame for the highest point of teen suicides?

iphone-app-mdDid you know that 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and 45% online almost all the time?

Pew Research Center did a survey on teenagers and their social media usage. Did you know that smartphones are linked to suicide among teenagers? The ease of connectivity and interaction with others are both the positives and negatives in regards to smartphones and teenagers.

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June 24, 2019

Economic Ban Misses Intended Target

cyber-security-cybersecurity-device-60504In the summer of 2018, President Donald Trump declared war on China. Not war in the traditional sense, though armed with tariffs, emergency executive orders, and business banning entity lists, our Commander in Chief has a full arsenal of economic weapons. The most recent segment in this ongoing debate has spawned stiff feedback both at home and abroad.

On May 15, President Trump issued an executive order concluding “that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services […] in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people.”

Essentially, finding that foreign powers have been gathering information, stealing trade secrets, and purposefully sabotaging US technology, President Trump has issued a ban on several companies deemed a “threat to national security.”

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June 24, 2019

From Fingerprints to Faces: What Should We Make of Facial Recognition Technology?

flat-3252983_640Many of us begin our day the same way we end it: by cozying up to our device. Whether it is to check the time, snooze the blaring alarm, or catch up on the news headlines of the day, the instinctive grab for our personal device is more than a habit—it has become second nature. Our devices have grown into an extension of our body: nearly every occupation, including that of student, requires long hours of work on a device, and many, if not all, of humankind’s greatest modern achievements—think along the lines of the moon landing and the creation of vaccines—would have been impossible without the use of technology.

Without our devices, our livelihoods crumble, and without our livelihoods, life may come to a grinding halt. So, does it really matter if the technology we used to open with our fingerprints has graduated to using our faces?

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June 27, 2018

The Bigger​ Picture: Why the International Space Station should remain in the hands of NASA

By Tahlia W.

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When I was a little girl, my mom and I would track the International Space Station and search for the bright light that shone as it passed us in the night sky. It was during these instances that I first had an inkling of the potential that human beings had in space exploration
if given the opportunity and resources. As a former Houstonian proud of the feats accomplished at Johnson Space Center and a lifelong admirer of all things space-related, I have avidly followed the contributions achieved through NASA’s research. The International Space Station is an example of NASA’s trailblazing work in space research. Recently, however, steps have been taken by the White House that would cause NASA to sever ties with the ISS.

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August 9, 2017

Suing the School and Parents of a Cyber Bulling Case: A Step Forward

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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the annual rate of suicides from ten to fourteen year olds has doubled. One of the main reasons for this is Cyber bullying. Cyber bullying happens when, “someone hurts, harasses and threatens another over digital devices and related platforms, such as social media, blogs and text messages.” Children and adults alike have become more susceptible to bullying through the Internet. We often say the freedom of speech gives us the free will to say what we want, even if it means harming other people. How far can one go before harming another individual with words? Should they be punished for this?

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June 28, 2016

Net Neutrality is a Good Thing

AmplifyWhat is the Internet? It seems like an easy question, but is it? Do we really know what the Internet is? We know what Facebook or Google is. We know what we use every day on our phones. However, who can actually formulate an accurate definition of the Internet? That is our first step on the way to stasis. What is it? We can argue about it, we can debate how to use it, but without a definition, it is just sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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August 15, 2015

TechNOlogy

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By: Maria Goodwin

Compare a personal public bus ride experience with an bus experience your grandparents have had. It’s likely they will tell of fresh conversation and meeting new people. These days, we put plugs in and tune out. Screens surround us – iPods, TVs, cellphones, computers – our lives are enveloped in technology and if often seems there is no escaping it. Millennials  are very attached to technology, but the most in ‘danger’ of a full real-world detachment are the future generations who will grow up completely surrounded by technology. I have watched my little cousins all sit together and not say one word to each while they stare blankly into their bring screens. A moment meant to be spent in community is squandered while emojis are jammed into a text box. As a nanny of six years, what I found most terrifying was the youngest boy being able to work his way around Youtube and iPhone apps, but he could barely form full sentences. Though we’ve made countless important discoveries and have accomplished a great deal thanks to the ever-evolving technological world, the lasting effect it has on our upcoming generations is one I feel could be devastating, especially in a social context.

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August 16, 2014

Embracing Robots in the Workforce

robot-1309468-sBy the year 2025, we can very well see the rise of robots in the workplace. In a research survey released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining and Internet Center, 1900 experts and respondents were asked about the impact of artificial intelligence 11 years from now. The results of the survey were split down the middle. Forty-eight percent of the respondents said that robots would destroy more jobs than they would create, and fifty-two percent said that robots would create more jobs than they kill. In other words, according to the study, there could be both huge benefits and consequences.

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August 15, 2014

Should We Be Afraid Of Robot Laborers?

A recent study by the Pew Research Center asked about 1900 scientists whether robots will create jobs for human workers or will they take away more jobs than they make by 2025. The results are evenly split, where 52% think robots will be creating jobs while 48% claim robots will take away jobs.

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August 14, 2014

Robots Are Not The Enemy

handshakerobot-617x416Many people grow up with a set of goals in mind.  These goals may include traveling the world, owning a beautiful home, or getting married and having kids.  However, the most important goal that almost all people have in common is to attain a good, steady job so that they can live a comfortable life.  Many people would agree that landing a secure job with decent pay is not always an easy feat.  By the year 2025, technology experts say that robots will have joined the workforce.  What kind of affect these robots will have on the job market is a question definitely worth considering.

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May 8, 2014

Our Freedom Loving Concept in Danger

Netneutralitycopy1Do you frequently browse the internet? Well, you’re on the internet right at this moment reading this. But what if something were to happen in the future, and suddenly your access to this site either vanishes or becomes very unstable? Well, that’s something you don’t need to worry about living in America because of this thing called network neutrality, more widely known as net neutrality.

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May 8, 2014

Aloft with Project Loon

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By Michael Richey

I’m prone to daydreaming, flights of fancy which can strike me at any moment. I believe in the notion that these momentary lapses in attention spur genuine innovation, or at least help us reconsider conundrums. Visualizing the concept behind Project Loon, an effort to provide internet to the multitudes without it, might strike one as a daydream. But that’s if the problem their addressing doesn’t floor you first.

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May 8, 2014

Heartbleed Implications

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Computer security has become very important nowadays, with various hackers and those who want to steal personal information from others, it’s natural to be cautious of how secure your information is.  That is why, when the Heartbleed bug was discovered, people started to worry about their personal information being stolen.  This incident was big enough to garner nation-wide attention.  In short, what Heartbleed could allow is for attackers to be able to gain small bits of information from affected servers over and over again to the point where they would grab important, and possibly personal, information. 

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April 28, 2014

Time for an Upgrade?

Microsoft-Windows-XP-logo-blissTechnology is advancing like the speed of light, and every day, month, and year, something new is being released making current technology outdated. The possibility of the advancement and what we can do with technology is so great, that it makes running businesses and even our personal lives easier.

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April 26, 2014

3D Printing: An Opportunity Worth Taking

Three dimensional printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of using filament to form a solid 3D object from a digital model. Since the introduction of this new technology, 3D printing has become a major influence in today’s market being distributed and manufactured for uses and application from engineering to our military.

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April 26, 2014

E-cigarettes: Healthy Alternative Up In Smoke?

Ever since the 1600’s, tobacco has been consumed through the form of a cigarette. While cigarette smoking remains popular to this day, it is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 16 million Americans experience diseases related from smoking such as asthma, heart disease, and cancer. Nicotine is the main chemical in tobacco that makes it a stimulant substance while being highly addictive. Tobacco also composes of more than 4000 other compounds with a sizeable amount of them being toxic and carcinogenic consequentially producing 480,000 deaths annually in America.

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April 26, 2014

The Death of Competition Coming to a Router Near You

comtastic-738582In today’s society, access to the internet is essential to perform the tasks required to go about everyday life. However, it is becoming increasing expensive to subscribe to this service. To put this in perspective in the 1990’s internet bills “ranged from $7 to $11.50” a month. Now the average internet bill is around $86! Has the cost of providing this service increased that exponentially? Considering it costs less than $5 a month to provide this service to consumers, I’m going to say the increased cost comes from an increased profit margin. Why are cable companies able to do this? Why hasn’t competition driven prices down? Simply put, there is no competition.

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April 25, 2014

Solar Power: Our Nation’s Future

solarpanelsAmidst the recent discovery of natural carbon dioxide sinks in deserts, scientists are beginning to analyze the extent to which the Earth’s landscape can reduce emissions given the current rate of CO2 going into the atmosphere. Washington State University researchers concluded that with growing concentration levels, soil will increase their uptake of carbon dioxide over time. Even so, relying on carbon sinks is not sufficient for resolving man-made climate change.

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