Category Archives: Technology

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Now Facebook’s ‘teleporter’ technology the final nail in the coffin for humanity’s connection with reality

With their phones in hand, they bow their heads, eyes narrowing in on their pocket screens. No awareness of the now, they wander like intoxicated drivers, veering to the left and the right. Scrolling through their Facebook feed, they try to ignite some kind of spark to keep their dying souls alive in their virtual reality.

Necks craned over, wandering aimlessly, they are unable to feel the real world around them. They stare into pixels for hours on end, forgetting what it was like to look into each others eyes for just a second or two. Trying to recreate closeness through the emoticons in the chat box, they have forgotten the bond only human touch can satisfy.

Everyone is present in the room, but their minds are somewhere else, swept up in a virtual reality. Their energy so distracted and scattered into the wind, like embers blown away. No more warmth, no more comfort, no more light of a blazing fire that crackled and echoed of stories and tales long into the night.

Facebook’s new technology to put an end to human connection

The last vestiges of human connection are dimming as Facebook prepares to take its users into a deeper level of virtual reality. Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer has recently unveiled new “teleporter’ technology that would make users feel like they have been transported to a simulated world that they can interact in. The project was unveiled at a press event at the 2015 Web Summit in Dublin.

Facebook wants to give its users headsets and controllers that allow them to navigate simulated worlds. To do this, Facebook bought out a virtual reality headset company named Oculus for $2 billion. The Oculus technology removes people from reality and lets them travel where they want. This technology may put an end to human communication as we know it. Households with this technology may stop interacting altogether, as family members sit on the couch and put their headsets over their faces.

Brothers and sisters and moms and dads could easily just disown each other and drift off into their virtual worlds where they choose new family members. Virtual reality headsets would invite the most promiscuous circumstances, as spouses drift off into their headset to seek out some sort of simulated affection and affair. (After all, hackers revealed that thousands of government workers had Ashley Madison accounts used exclusively for affairs. With virtual reality headsets, Facebook gives government workers and everyone else a playground to try out their double lives.)

Facebook’s Mr. Schroepfer even told Business Insider that the company’s future plans are to “effectively build a teleporter.”

“Facebook wants to build a device that allows you to be anywhere you want, with anyone, regardless of geographic boundaries,” he said.

Facebook intends to do this by first designing virtual worlds that mimic real world places. Then they want to create an interface that convinces users the simulated world is a real place. The interface would have to allow users to see their own hands and feet. The final goal is to empower users to create their own worlds and explore them how they wish.

The first prototype is set to release in 2016 – a VR-visor named Rift. It will be accompanied by the release of Oculus Touch, which is a set of controllers that allow users to see their own hands and interact with the simulated worlds. In late 2016 a third technology is set to come out to allow users to create virtual 3D objects to use and navigate in their artificial worlds.

If this technology becomes as popular as Facebook itself, it is bound to destroy whatever bit of human interaction that still exists today. Those who wish to live in the real world may have no choice but to get together, run away, and move to some remote part of the world, perhaps in a rain forest, where they can start a new tribe that connects on a natural, human level.

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70 years after providing key technology to Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich Now IBM is lending computing power to U.S. drone strikes that kill civilians

More than seven decades after the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi-inspired Third Reich on battlefields that left much of Europe in shambles, U.S. technology giant IBM – which played a major role in all phases of the Holocaust – is once again in the business of killing.

As reported by investigative news site The Intercept, a secret brief discussing the Pentagon’s drone strike program in Somalia and Yemen dated February 2013 was produced for the Defense Department by IBM analysts.

“On its surface, it’s simply an analysis by the Defense Department’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force of the ‘performance and requirements’ of the U.S. military’s counterterrorism kill/capture operations, including drone strikes, in Somalia and Yemen,” The Intercept reported. “However, it’s also what a former senior special operations officer characterized as a ‘bitch brief’ – that is, a study designed to be a weapon in a bureaucratic turf war with the CIA to win the Pentagon more money and a bigger mandate.”

It’s a safe bet to assume that the study outlined in the brief was an opportunity for IBM to show that it is capable of producing quality analyses specific to the Defense Department as well as for current Pentagon employees to network with a potential future employer.

Building target packages like a corporation tracks customers

However, experts say there is more to the presentation. For one, it’s a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the military-industrial complex, where assassination technologies and corporate sales merge, shrouded in lifeless language as dead as the target of a “kinetic engagement.”

The IBM-Defense Department drone strike analysis relationship likely began in earnest in 2010, when IBM employees delivered a talk at the tech giant’s Analytics Solution Center in Washington, D.C. Titled “An Introduction to Edge Methods: Business Analytics and Optimization for Intelligence,” the intended audience was “Defense and Intelligence communities.” The company’s goal was to demonstrate how IBM could assist with “managing large volumes of data” to derive “invaluable” insights. The company already had an existing governmental customer: the ISR Task Force

The Intercept further noted:

Although buried in reams of corporate management gobbledygook (IBM, it turns out, is “Mission Focused” and “Performance Driven”), the talk’s key theme was that IBM was offering prospective new government clients its “expertise in integrating business and technology services” using its “commercial consulting methods.” That is, IBM was bringing what it had learned from managing Big Data for corporate America to the military and intelligence worlds.

Some things never change

As is evident in the secret brief, the Pentagon’s drone program is utilizing data analytics in nearly the exact same way that IBM encourages corporations to track customers. The only difference, of course, is that at the end of the drone process, the “customer” is killed.

The Pentagon’s drone infrastructure employs Big Data to “build target packages” for high-value individuals. Drones try “to maintain 24/7 persistent stare,” like corporations need “to get a 360 view of the customer.”

After he retired from the Army, Gen. Stanley McChrystal made a sobering statement about the U.S. drone strike program: “…[A]lthough to the United States, a drone strike seems to have very little risk and very little pain, at the receiving end, it feels like war. Americans have got to understand that. If we were to use our technological capabilities carelessly – I don’t think we do, but there’s always the danger that you will – then we should not be upset when someone responds with their equivalent, which is a suicide bomb in Central Park, because that’s what they can respond with.”

As for the Nazis and IBM, The Huffington Post reported in July 2012 that newly released (at the time) documents showed the company played a “pivotal role” in the Holocaust in “all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination.” In fact, the company’s president at the time, Thomas J. Watson, was personally involved.

Some horrific things never change, it appears.

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Now Google to monitor your mental health, then become your drug dealer and report you to the Feds for gun control

In recent days, Dr. Tom Insel, M.D., left his post as chief of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, a position that made him the nation’s top mental health physician. A neuroscientist and psychiatrist, Insel is a leading authority on both medicinal and public policies that are necessary to deal with mental problems. Although he’s leaving his government job at 64 years of age, he isn’t retiring; the UK Telegraph reports he’s going to work for Google.

Insel will be working for Google Life Sciences, one of the more unusual divisions of the tech and media behemoth. He is going to apply his expertise investigating how technology can be employed to help diagnose and treat mental health conditions, according to a blog post at the National Institutes of Health.

The company that has been busted repeatedly for fraud and other abusive practices now wants to get into the “business” of repairing minds. What could go wrong?

“Wearable” technology is key to Google’s new mind endeavor

Then again, Google is merely launching into a technological field other companies have already entered. Apple, IBM and Intel are among those exploring the same field, the Telegraph reported, adding:

IBM this year carried out research with Columbia University that suggested computer analysis of speech patterns can more accurately predict the onset of psychosis than conventional tests involving blood samples or brain scans. Other researchers theorize that a person’s internet search history or even shopping habits (so handily recorded by your innocuous loyalty card) can identify the first signs of mental illness. Computers can now tell when something is about to go terribly wrong in someone’s mind.

As scary as that technology is in and of itself, the manner in which researchers like Insel want to utilize the technology ought to raise even more alarms and questions.

There is no question that wearable technology is growing in popularity and use, and that is especially true when it comes to wearable medical technology. Think about devices like Fitbits, which are used by a growing number of people who want to track their physical activity. Even some businesses and corporations are offering them to employees at discounted prices or for free because they see long-term cost benefits such as lower health insurance/health care costs from their use by employees. These devices also monitor movements, pulse rates, sleep patterns and more.

Using technology to self-monitor has benefited health care by allowing patients to electronically transmit their health conditions in real time, reducing the number of routine and expensive medical consultations with providers and ensuring a faster response to changes in health that require intervention and attention.

Therefore, it is highly likely that self-monitoring will also begin to play a larger role in public health, and governments seeking reductions in taxpayer-supported expenditures will likely adopt them.

However, with these devices in use in both the private and public sectors – in which they might eventually become requirements of insurance companies and government agencies – the wearers will be in danger of having all of their activities monitored.

What if you want to sneak in an extra beer or glass of wine? That will be monitored. How about a sinful snack? The extra glucose will show up. Imagine the possibilities.

Constant tracking is inherent in all new Google technology

Apply this concept to mental health. What happens when mental health monitoring technology registers periods of anger and depression, perhaps because you’re having a bad few weeks at work or someone in your family is sick or has passed away? What happens if you and your spouse fight too often, or your kids have become teenagers and are harder to discipline than before?

We have already seen the Obama administration pushing for new gun control restrictions with veterans who need help managing their finances.

“…[W]earable technology allows continuous monitoring. A small portable device might monitor your tone of voice, speech patterns and physical movements, picking up the early signs of trouble. A device such as a mobile telephone,” the Telegraph notes.

Google is obviously working with government to assist in the implementation of total control over the world’s population. There can be no denying that; every new technology developed by the tech behemoth is dual-use and always includes the ability to monitor personal activity and behavior.

One search site, however, is not interested in tracking you, tracing your footsteps or monitoring your personal habits: Good Gopher, the world’s first privacy-protecting search engine that bans corporate propaganda and government disinfo.

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This Breakthrough ethylene absorbing sheets could double shelf life of fresh fruit at the store or in your refrigerator

Ethylene, a natural gas that’s emitted by fruit and is responsible for hastening the ripening process, may have met its match, thanks to a breakthrough device.

Made by It’s Fresh!, a Food Freshness Technology (FFT) company, the postage stamp-sized device is a filter that absorbs ethylene from fruit. In turn, fruit lasts longer, preserving shelf life and allowing people to enjoy their foods for longer periods of time. You can view the video in this Daily Mail article to view the time lapse which shows for example, how with the filter, strawberries can last up to five days longer than strawberries stored without the technology.

The ethylene filter is an absorbent strip comprised of a clay and mineral blend which company experts maintain is safe and chemical-free. Furthermore, the strip can be thrown in a recyclable bin once it’s used.

Technology focuses more on improving food quality issues

According to Food Freshness Technology’s website, this particular technology is beneficial because it addresses concerns that many have regarding food quality, waste and security.

“FFT has invested in excess of $15m in reaching its aim of bringing to market a range of simple products to reduce waste, protect and increase food quality for the benefit of all,” the site states. “Extending and protecting food quality addresses a number of urgent ethical and financial challenges facing the modern food industry right now. Simple solutions for; [sic] food security in the developing world, driving reductions in supply chain waste and continuously meeting and beating consumer expectations are all paramount for the successful food business of the future. It is our aim to provide these solutions.”

FFT praises It’s Fresh! saying that it “… is a highly specialised technical innovations company focused on delivering comprehensive solutions for food freshness. These unique technologies are delivered via State-of-the-art materials science developed in partnership with world leading research & technology organisations.”

FFT’s site also addresses undernourishment issues, noting that 1 billion people in the world are suffering from the problem while, “lack of effective, safe and ethical technology to help resolve this matter,” persists.

Food waste a growing problem; ethylene-absorbing sheets could help

In fact, it’s noted that about 7 million tons of food get thrown away by households in the UK every year, usually because the food started to rot or because the use-by date passed. But the issue isn’t just limited to the UK; people living elsewhere are also engaged in wasteful food habits.

In the United States, for example, it’s estimated that people are throwing away approximately 40 percent of our food supply annually. It’s also estimated that the average American family of four tosses the equivalent of upwards of $2,275 in food away every year.

It’s FFT’s hope that the It’s Fresh ethylene-absorbing technology will play a role in combating this problem; by making a food last longer, people will no longer be inclined to let it go to waste as soon as they typically do.

FFT chief technology officer, Lawrence Matthews, says, “It slows the development of rot and extends quality, freshness and flavour.”

Currently, the absorbent strip is used prior to the food transportation process; it’s commonly used by supermarkets for strawberries, plums, avocados, cherries, peaches and many other fruits. The thought that it could eventually be used in the home environment is exciting, because it has the potential to preserve food in a safe manner, unlike some of the toxic ingredients and dangerous methods currently used in the food supply, allowing us to enjoy healthy foods, for longer – and fight the problem of food waste at the same time.

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Here Gene editing deemed a national security threat according to government’s latest annual report

Gene editing is now considered a national security threat alongside cyberattacks and nuclear weapons. That is, at least according to the government’s latest annual report on national security threats. The report listed gene editing as a technology that, “probably increases the risk of the creation of potentially harmful biological agents or products.”

Back in 2012, a popular gene editing method known as CRISPR, or “gene drive,” surfaced, which enabled researchers to change the DNA of almost any organism with ease. CRISPR tools target, cut and repair snippets of DNA. According to an article published in Nature, researchers plan to use CRISPR to, “adjust human genes to eliminate diseases, create hardier plants, wipe out pathogens and much more.”

There are plenty of advantages to be reaped from CRISPR, but they are overshadowed by its disadvantages. So much so, that James Clapper, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, deemed gene editing a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) in the annual worldwide threat assessment report.

A weapon for bio-terrorists

Authorities have been worried that gene editing technologies like CRISPR are a national security threat for a while. With CRISPR, scientists have created gene drives that guarantee an altered gene is inherited by an organism’s offspring and subsequent generations. The FBI, the Pentagon and the United Nations bio-weapons office have been monitoring the technology out of concern that bio-terrorists could use it to bring about mass destruction.

Clapper did not specify why CRISPR has the intelligence community nervous, but several bio-security experts have. In particular, a gene drive that spreads DNA that kills pollinating insects could collapse a country’s agricultural system. Terrorist groups like ISIS could use gene drive to breed super killer mosquitoes, which harbor and transmit deadly diseases.

For this reason, Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security, was called on to testify about the dangers of gene editing by a National Academy of Sciences panel last year. He described gene editing as “entomological warfare.”

Although super mosquitoes are an unlikely threat, the threat CRISPR poses to bio-security is real. Since the technology behind gene drive is relatively inexpensive and widely available, countries increase the risk of spurring dangerous biological agents. Recent discoveries, “move easily in the globalized economy, as do personnel with the scientific expertise to design and use them,” states the report.

Piers Millet, an expert on bioweapons at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., said he was surprised that Clapper singled out gene editing on the WMD list, since creating a bioweapon requires a level of expertise in a broad range of technologies.

The unintended consequences of gene editing

The intelligence community is worried about the unintended consequences of CRISPR too – not just the intended consequences of bio-terrorists. Although the goal of CRISPR is to weed out the genetic basis for various illnesses, the technology is not 100 percent effective. Sometimes, gene editing hits more than just a targeted cell. Previous gene therapies have even caused cancer in some patients.

No one is sure what reverberations altering the genome of an organism could have on the environment. It’s not just weeding out genetic defects either. In the era of designer babies, parents would be able to hand-select which traits they wanted for their children. After all, who gets to deem what is regarded as an “improvement” of the genome?

“Humanity does not have the maturity and ethical boundaries to play god with organisms of any kind. CRISPR and other genetic editing techniques are amazing marvels of technology, but great technology combined with a wholesale lack of wisdom can lead to catastrophe on a planet wide scale,”said Mike Adams, the Editor of Natural News.

Furthermore, it is not known how germ line editing will impact future generations. Those genetic changes could be passed down when a person has children. According to John Holdren of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, germ line editing for clinical use, meaning pregnancy, “is a line that should not be crossed at this time.”

Guidelines and laws about what is and is not allowed by germ line research vary across the globe. Some places ban the research altogether, others allow lab research but not pregnancies, and some have no policies whatsoever. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health does not fund germ line research, but private funding is permitted.

Americans appear to be just as weary of gene editing as security officials. According to a STAT – Harvard poll, approximately 83 percent of Americans are opposed to germ line editing to improve IQ and appearance. According to that same study, however, 59 percent of Americans thought federal health regulators should approve gene therapy, whereas 30 percent thought they should not.

“Given the broad distribution, low cost, and accelerated pace of development of this dual-use technology, its deliberate or unintentional misuse might lead to far-reaching economic and national security implications,” said Clapper.

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New technology now spearheading the return of eugenics and the push for a ‘master’ superior race of men

It was a goal of Adolf Hitler, and it is a term that today’s researchers don’t really like to use, but eugenics – the effort to scientifically create a sort of “master race” or super-human – still exists today and, as it turns out, Britain is taking the lead.

As reported by The Spectator, the idea of breeding the best with the best so as to weed out the inferior was an idea that was being entertained in England at the turn of the 20th century. A May 1912 edition of the magazine actually reported the following:

The only way of cutting off the constant stream of idiots and imbeciles and feeble-minded persons who help to fill our prisons and workhouses, reformatories, and asylums is to prevent those who are known to be mentally defective from producing offspring. Undoubtedly the best way of doing this is to place these defectives under control. Even if this were a hardship to the individual it would be necessary for the sake of protecting the race.

Hitler, of course, took this notion to the extreme, murdering millions he deemed inferior to the “Master Aryan Race” as an insurance policy against creating citizens who were mentally or physically defective, as they were once thought to be.

Breeding “perfect” children

In the early 20th century methods of encouraging and fomenting the eugenics mission were simplistic and crude. The “right” people were bribed to have larger families, while the weakest were sterilized. Today, however, advances in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology already allow science to screen embryos for inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis. Soon, however, parents will have the ability to check their prospective offspring for any number of traits, from hair color to character, giving them the ability – allegedly – to pick the “perfect” child.

“The era of designer babies, long portrayed by dystopian novelists and screenwriters, is fast arriving,” The Spectator reported. “According to Hank Greely, a Stanford professor in law and biosciences, the next couple of generations may be the last to accept pot luck with procreation. Doing so, he adds, may soon be seen as downright irresponsible.”

And based upon how certain issues are propagandized today, you can easily see that happening: Before the Obama era, for instance, cops were good; working hard and making a great living were positive things; and freedom of expression included all sides of an argument.

In Greely’s forthcoming book, The End of Sex, he outlines a brave new world where mothers are given a menu of sorts that contains various biological options. But even he won’t use the word (eugenics) that describes what he is envisioning. Greely, and nearly all involved in these new biotech developments, avoid use of the word, pretending that history has not made a full circle.

Hailed as a discovery, not a theory

The Spectator notes that the word was coined in 1883 by Francis Galton, a polymath who developed fingerprinting and many of the modern statistical research techniques. He began with a theory – a hunch, really – and it was that so many great men come from the same families because genius is hereditary.

Intrigued by the arguments about evolution by his cousin Charles Darwin, Galton began to wonder if advances in healthcare and welfare had soured the national gene pool by allowing more sick and infirmed to survive and disabled people to not only live longer but also reproduce. Off he went to collect his data, only to return with his theory of eugenics.

“This was hailed not as a theory but as a discovery — a new science of human life, with laws as immutable as Newton’s,” The Spectator noted. “A race of gifted men could be created, he said, ‘as surely as we can propagate idiots by mating cretins.'”

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Synthetic biology is the new GMO on engineered food ingredients arriving this year

With genetically modified organisms (GMOs) quickly approaching a point of saturation in the conventional food supply, the genetic butchers responsible for unleashing things like Roundup Ready soybeans are getting ready to unveil the next phase of their predatory agricultural conquest — synthetic biology.

A Switzerland-based biotechnology company known as Evolva is set to introduce an artificial vanilla product later this year made from the nefarious technology, the first of many so-called “SynBio” products expected to hit the market in the coming months and years. The technology involves using computers to generate fake DNA, which is then injected into GM yeast for the purpose of creating synthetic additives.

In partnership with International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), Evolva plans to eventually introduce a full line of SynBio products made from completely synthetic organisms. Unlike existing GMOs, which contain genes from other species but still resemble actual organisms found in nature, SynBio products are completely engineered from the ground up.

“Unlike the older science of splicing genes from different species together, synthetic biology is seeking to create whole new organisms that do not exist on earth,” wrote Daniel Taylor for Old-Thinker News about the technology.

Computer-generated biology threatens to destroy all life

The masterminds behind SynBio technology claim that it is completely natural, and they plan to label it as such on food packaging. In fact, the companies behind the technology are going to great lengths to distance themselves from the GMO designation, and regulatory bodies seem to be co-opting this deception against consumers.

In truth, there is nothing at all natural about SynBio, and nobody even knows how the technology will affect actual living ecosystems, let alone the human population. Like GMOs, not a single long-term safety study has ever been conducted on the complex technology, nor has the federal government established any risk assessment guidelines.

“Synthetic biology could have serious impacts on the health of people and ecosystems, on our planet’s biodiversity and for communities on the front lines of corporations’ plans to deploy new technologies and novel organisms for profit,” explains Friends of the Earth (FOE), a public health and environmental advocacy group.

Even more worrying is the self-replicating aspect of synthetic biology. With the ability to manufacture entirely new species using computers, genetic scientists will now have the power to unleash synthetic creations into the world that have the ability to reproduce without human intervention.

Once released into the wild, there is no way to ever remove SynBio products from existence. This has the potential, of course, to trigger an entirely new class of invasive species or environmental pollutant that can never be undone, a chilling prospect that puts into perspective the massive threat that this technology poses to life on planet Earth.

“Synthetic biology is an extreme form of genetic engineering, in which scientists write entirely new genetic code on a computer, ‘print’ it out and then insert it into organisms to serve specific functions,” adds FOE in a fact sheet about SynBio vanillin, the first ever SynBio creation which is expected to be released later this year.

Synthetic biology cannot be allowed

Genetic drift is already a problem with existing GMOs, the traits of which are commonly spread through pollen. Once released, in other words, GMOs have the capacity to persist and spread indefinitely, something that is also true of SynBio.

Taken to its ultimate end, SynBio threatens to completely unravel life as we know it, potentially reprogramming entire species permanently without restraint. The implications of this have not been carefully assessed by regulatory authorities, and yet the technology is on the fast-track for approval.

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News Will the government force taxpayers to pay for failed GMO technology propaganda

(NaturalNews) In recent days, The New York Times published a story about how the biotech industry has thus far failed to deliver on its many promises regarding GMO crops. The article was published less than one month after the industry petitioned congressional leaders for $3 million in taxpayer money to “educate” the general public about how biotechnology of the sort practiced by Monsanto, Syngenta and others is supposed to benefit humankind immensely.

But, as noted by Common Dreams, there are a couple of reasons why lawmakers should turn down this request, in addition to the fact that the federal government is tens of trillions of dollars in debt.

First off, Common Dreams pointed out, the biotech and bio-agricultural industries don’t need to tap the federal Treasury for “education” funds just to market their products and attempt to make their case to the people. Secondly, Congress should not be using taxpayer funds to promote what international organizations and scientists have, for years, said is a technology that is not living up to the hype and promises and, indeed, “is counterproductive to resolving the critical issues of global food sovereignty and global warming,” the site reported.

Benefits of GMOs? What benefits?

While the so-called “global warming” issue isn’t real, the lack of food sovereignty certainly is, as is the fact that GMO foods are not delivering as Bio-Ag has promised.

Farm Futures reports that 56 groups, including biotech and food industry lobbying organizations, have penned a letter asking four members of the House Appropriations Committee to add $3 million to the 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, to “ensure key federal agencies responsible for the safety of our nation’s food supply – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – are able to more easily convey to the public science- and fact-based information about food.”

The dozens of groups are attempting to justify their outlandish request to have taxpayers foot the bill for an industry marketing campaign, by claiming that the “benefits” of GMO foods and the knowledge thereof will be passed along to consumers, who will experience lower food prices, greater nutritional access, strengthened rural economies and greater “food security” at home and abroad.

The groups also claim that the funding and resultant campaign are necessary due to a large amount of “misinformation about agricultural biotechnology” in the public sector.

But opponents of the appropriations request would argue what The Times investigation confirmed: Most of the “misinformation” about GMOs and other crop biotech is due to the fact that the technology has not been built on honesty.

No ‘education’ campaign should be permitted by Bio-Ag because the science doesn’t support the claims

In particular, as The Times noted, GMO crops have not produced higher yields, and have led to greater, not reduced, use of pesticides.

In its investigation, The Times noted that two decades ago Europe was largely rejecting GMO crops just as the United States and Canada were embracing them. Using independent academic and industry research data supplied by the United Nations, The Times compared results on both continents. The data analysis is clear: The technology has not delivered as promised.

There was no discernible advantage in crop yields when measured against Western Europe, a part of the continent with comparably modernized agricultural operations like France and Germany. Other data showed that there was little evidence to suggest that introducing GM crops in the U.S. has produced gains beyond those in conventional crops.

What’s more, herbicide use has also increased in the U.S., The Times reported, even as major crops including corn, soybeans and cotton are all now pretty much genetically modified. The U.S. has fallen behind Europe’s largest grower, France, in cutting back on the overall use of pesticides, which includes both insecticides and herbicides.

As such, there is no reason why taxpayers ought to be funding a campaign that would be built entirely on falsehoods. For that matter, the Bio-Ag industry shouldn’t be allowed to launch a campaign at all, even with its own funds, since the science doesn’t support its claims.

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Mind control: New light technology can manipulate memories, emotions and thoughts

(NaturalNews) New research on mice has shown that blue light stimulation of brain cells can recover memories in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, they found that artificial reactivation of positive memories through light could suppress the effects of stress-induced depression.

A team led by RIKEN Brain Science Institute center director, Susumu Tonegawa, identified a population of brain cells that can be altered with light so that memories, emotions and even thoughts can be manipulated through a unique technique called optogenetics.

Optogenetics integrates genetic and optical methods to control the mind. Its key molecule is a light-sensitive protein extracted from green algae, called channelrhodopsin. This particular protein can be inserted into memory cells and activated with fiber-optic blue light. Once activated by light, this protein stimulates its host.

Curing depression through optogenetics

The scientists found that optogenetics could successfully be used to manipulate memories in a mouse brain. They were able to implant a false memory causing depression which was then cured through the activation of happy memories.

As reported by Open Transcripts, depression is a terrible brain disorder that globally afflicts 350 million people. In most cases, depression is caused by chronic stress and a series of negative memories.

According to Susumu Tonegawa and his team, negative and positive memories are always competing with each other in the brain. Through the use of optogenetics, the scientists were able to cure depression in mice by overwriting negative memories with positive ones.

First, they implanted positive memories into the brain of a male mouse by letting it play with a female mouse. Then the mouse was subjected to chronic stress treatment which caused symptoms of depression. These feeling of depression were then cured by activating the positive memory through the use of light technology.

Recover memories lost to Alzheimer’s disease

Apart from being able to overwrite negative feelings, scientists were also able to recover memories lost to mice with early-stage Alzheimer’s, through the manipulation of genetically tagged cells and light.

Building on previous work that identified and activated memory cells, they found that fiber-optic light stimulation could regrow lost spines and help mice remember past experiences. As Tonegawa explained, mice with Alzheimer’s are still able to form memories; it is the ability to retrieve these memories that is lost.

Through the use of optogenetic technology, the researchers were able to restore such memories. Their findings suggest that impaired retrieval of memories, rather than poor storage or encoding, may be the underlying cause of early Alzheimer’s disease.

“The successful retrieval of memories in AD [Alzheimer’s disease] mice by increasing the number of spines for normal memory processing only in the memory cells, rather than in a broad population of cells, highlights the importance of highly-targeted manipulation of neurons and their circuits for future therapies. This level of specificity has not yet been accomplished in current deep brain stimulation therapies,” said Tonegawa.

While optogenetics has demonstrated proof of concept for a broad range of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression, the big question that remains is whether or not they will be able to convert these animal model studies into therapy for human patients.

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New laser technology being tested to protect crops from some birds, rats and pests as alternative to poison

(NaturalNews) It’s not often these days that we get to view rapidly advancing technology in a favorable light, but this is one of those rare occasions where high-tech is an incredibly good thing.

As reported by the BBC, researchers are bringing high-tech to agriculture, as a way to raise crops while protecting the environment.

Specifically, scientists are set to launch a trial funded by the European Commission that utilizes high-power laser light to protect crops from pests, rather than Monsanto’s poisons. Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University are hoping that a “fence” of laser light will scare away rats and other pests, and serve as a viable alternative to environmentally harming poisons.

The EC will test the technology in Scotland, the Netherlands and Spain beginning in November. It wasn’t clear why these countries were chosen.

The National Farmers’ Union, or NFU, said that the innovation was a potentially important support to the farming industry, after Britain decided in a referendum over the summer to leave the European Union, in an action dubbed “Brexit.”

‘We are looking at wider agricultural uses’

The EC has contributed 1.7 million euros (or about $1.85 million) to the research effort, the BBC reported, citing a similar report in another UK newspaper, The Register.

“The laser has already been produced,” said Dr. Alex Mason, the project coordinator for the Life Laser Fence project, in an interview with the BBC. “It’s a commercial product used in a number of situations – but we are looking at using it in agricultural situations, on a wider range of species.”

Already, lasers are used to keep birds out of crop fields, Mason said, adding that researchers hope the laser – called the Agrilaser Autonomic – will work as well on rats, badgers, rabbits and foxes.

The laser is presently sold as a device the repels birds, which “perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical danger” that they do not want to fly through, the manufacturer says, as cited by the BBC.

Now, researchers are hoping that the device will work just as well on other unwanted pests and animals that destroy crops, eat food that is meant for livestock and spread disease.

Up to now, fields have been protected (if you want to call it that) with poisons and chemicals that can run off during storms and leach into local drinking water systems, as well as harm cattle and other livestock. They also lead to other unintentional victims like birds that actually help the agricultural ecosystems.

Researchers hope that using the laser in trial areas will reduce crop damage by 50 percent, while cutting back on bird exposure to pesticides by as much as 80 percent.

Technology likely will help an expanding UK economy

“Continuing support and funding of the agri-tech sector is vital in ensuring British science and innovation can reach more farm businesses,” said Dr. Helen Ferrier, chief science advisor for the NFU. She added that such agriculture technology can help the British farming industry become more competitive, efficient and productive, all while reducing waste, managing volatility and establishing “a fair, transparent and functioning supply chain.”

Bolstering the agriculture technology sector is an “extremely important” endeavor, as Britain will face “potential political and economic changes in the next five to 10 years which could severely impact the farming industry,” ostensibly due to Brexit.

There have been many dire predictions about Brexit that have yet to come true, namely that it would doom Britain financially, though Britain’s economy has actually grown more than anticipated after the Brexit vote. This technology, which will benefit a GMO-averse Europe tremendously, let alone agricultural operations everywhere else, will certainly be a boon to environmentalists and organic farming operations as well.