14 Jul

The polio vaccine pretty much wiped the disease off the map in most areas of the world, but researchers are reintroducing it. This time, the disease is being used in the battle against cancer. A team of doctors have genetically engineered a version of polio that can be injected into a tumor to battle the toughest type of brain cancer.

Glioblastoma is notoriously resistant to cancer treatment, making it one of the deadliest types. Those who are diagnosed with glioblastoma often find that medical treatments are ineffective in prolonging its progression. By injecting an engineered polio virus into the tumor, researchers hope to put the disease’s paralysis effects to use in extending the lives of those who are diagnosed with glioblastoma.

12 Jul

Reclaiming the past sometimes involves altering it.

In the case of a church in the Spanish town of Estrella, efforts to restore a piece of artwork have produced an unintended result -- one that has frustrated the town's mayor.

The Guardian newspaper of London recently reported that a painted wooden effigy of St. George received a facelift that had people drawing comparisons to the Ecce Homo Monkey Christ, another unfortunate restoration that wound up portraying the visage of Christ as the disparaging nickname suggests. The reference stems from an event that happened six years ago at a different Spanish church in Borja, characterized as "the worst restoration in history."

10 Jul

In an initiative to increase its technological prowess, multinational Spanish banking group BBVA has decided to combine its i4S and Beeva business units to create an entity known as BBVA Next Technologies.

According to a company press release, the 1200 workers assigned to the new business will focus on a multitude of areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and cloud computing.

One new feature the company is touting is its facial recognition technology, recently unveiled as a facial recognition payment system.

Here's how it works: Customers visiting the bank’s eateries need only smile in the direction of a camera located near the cash registers (they can also look without a smile, if that's how they're feeling at the moment). Then, assuming they've registered for the service, the system determines their identity and automatically sends them a bill for the items purchased.

08 Jul

If you can’t seem to put that controller down, you aren’t alone. In fact, 72 percent of American households play video games, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. Of those households, an estimated four percent of gamers were considered extreme users, defined by those who play 50 hours per week on average.

Next year, the addiction may become official. The World Health Organization finally added video game addiction to its list. Their description of gaming disorder is very similar to that of gambling disorder in that it interferes with one’s ability to live a productive life, takes precedence over other activities, and can be developed fairly quickly – in one year or sooner.

06 Jul

It’s only natural to assume that the future can have no effect whatsoever on what happens today, since it’s still ahead of us. For decades, though, physicists have worked to prove that what happens to particles in the future can actually impact particles today – an affect called retrocausality.

The theory is so fascinating, Einstein even tackled it. In the end, he disagreed, coining it, “spooky action at a distance,” but scientists aren’t so sure. Recently two physicists dug into the theory of retrocausality, with experts comparing particles to a blurry cloud, rather than billiard balls running down a table. As such, a particle may very well have the ability to impact the past as well as the future.

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