All posts by Bolaji oluwatimilehin Benjamin

Driverless Cars Trial Set for UK Motorways by 2019​! (Photos)

_Consortium of British companies has unveiled a plan to test driverless cars on UK roads and motorways in 2019._

The Driven group also plans to try out a fleet of autonomous vehicles between London and Oxford.The cars will communicate with each other about any hazards and should operate with almost full autonomy – but will have a human on board as well.Previous tests of driverless vehicles in the UK have mainly taken place at slow speeds and not on public roads.The Driven consortium is led by Oxbotica, which makes software for driverless vehicles.Founder Prof Paul Newman, of Oxford University, said: “We’re moving from the singleton autonomous vehicle to fleets of autonomous vehicles – and what’s interesting is what data the vehicles share with one another, when, and why.”The project is backed by an £8.6m government grant and involves an insurance company, which will assess the risks involved at each stage of thejourney.The UK government has committed about £100m in totaltowards autonomous driving projectsand has said it wants Britain to “lead the way in developing” the tech.But one expert said the country risks falling behind what is being done abroad.”Britain is trying to keep up, but the big development in the field is going on elsewhere,” said Prof David Bailey from Aston Business School.”That includes Google in the US, Volvo in China and Daimler in Germany.”And amounts being committed [by the UK] are relatively small beer.”The Obama government, for example, proposed spending billions of dollars over 10 years.”Calum Chace, author of Surviving AI, agreed that the UK appears to have fallen behind.”I don’t know why we have to wait until 2019,” he said.”But in a way it doesn’t matter how aggressively the UK pushes this tech. When the US does this large-scale technology we will have to adopt it too.”It will save so many lives and so much money.”

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Fight Against Malaria: See the Newest Discovery!

In recent years, the world has recorded tremendous progress in the fight against malaria.

 The World Malaria Report 2015 shows malaria mortality rates have fallen by 66% among all age groups and by 71% among children under five in Africa since 2000. But there is still work to do and a new vaccine developed by a US-based team is showing promising results, and could accelerate progress.
Creating the vaccine, researchers infected people with weakened, genetically modified forms of the *Plasmodium falciparum parasite* in safety trials. The weakened malaria parasite, while unable to complete its life cycle and develop into full-blown malaria, exposes the immune system to the disease and stimulates a response that could block an actual infection. 
The team at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research, in Seattle, deleted three genes from the parasite so it could not infect liver cells. Ten people took part in the safety trials. No one went on to develop the disease and there were no severe sides effects to the treatment. The patients’ antibodies were then given to mice, which showed greater immunity when they were deliberately infected with malaria.

Dr. Sebastian Mikolajczak, one of the researchers, said: “The clinical study now shows that the vaccine is completely attenuated in humans and also shows that even after only a single administration, it elicits a robust immune response against the malaria parasite.”Together these findings are critical milestones for malaria vaccine development.”There are two similar approaches to “attenuating”the malaria parasite – one involves weakening it by exposing it to radiation and the other gives the patient anti-malarial drugs at the same time as infecting them.

However, an approach that uses the whole parasite may ultimately prove more effective. Sir Brian Greenwood, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the BBC News website: “It is encouraging, but this is a first step toward developing a vaccine.
It is really promising and the evidence presented here is enough for challenge studies [in which people are immunised and then infected with malaria to see if it works].”However, he cautioned that the latest approach is “not practical in the field” as it requires nearly 200 bites by infected mosquitoes. Ultimately it would have to be just an injection. Dr Robert Seder, from the Vaccine Research Centre at the National Institutes of Health, said:”This report is a major advance in malaria vaccine development by providing the first evidence that genetically attenuated *Plasmodium falciparum*parasites are safe and -immunogenic- in humans.

“Future studies demonstrating protective efficacy will be the next critical milestone for continued development of this promising vaccine approach”.

Source: BBC

Facebook to tackle fake news with educational campaign.

Facebook  is launching an educational tool as part of measures it is taking to counter fake news. For three days, an ad will appear at the top of users’ news feeds linking to advice on “how to spot fake news” and report it. 

The campaign, which will be promoted in 14 countries, is “designed to help people become more discerning readers”, the social media firm said. But experts questioned whether the measure would have any real impacUber ‘tracked iPhones to stop fraud’t.

“Until Facebook stops rewarding the architects of fake news with huge traffic, this problem will just get worse,” Tom Felle, a lecturer in digital journalism at City University told the BBC. 

From Friday, users who click on Facebook’s ad will be redirected to its help centre, where they will see a list of 10 tips for identifying false stories. These include looking at an article’s URL, investigating the source of a story and thinking more critically about whether an article is a joke. It also recommends being “sceptical of headlines”,as false news stories “often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points”.

Source: BBC