Via: New Scientist:
CAN you hear me now? The US Air Force has plans to improve radio communication over long distances by detonating plasma bombs in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites.
Since the early days of radio, we have known that signals that cannot be picked up by day may be heard clearly at night from hundreds of kilometres away.
This is down to changes in the ionosphere, a layer of charged particles in the atmosphere that starts around 60 kilometres up (for more on this mysterious layer see “No-fly zone: Exploring the uncharted layers of our atmosphere“). The curvature of Earth stops most ground-based radio signals travelling more than 70 kilometres without a boost. But by bouncing between the ionosphere and the ground they can zigzag for much greater distances. At night the ionosphere is denser and more reflective.
It’s not the first time we’ve tried to improve radio communication by tinkering with the ionosphere. HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Alaska, stimulates the ionosphere with radiation from ground-based antennas to produce radio-reflecting plasma.
Now the USAF wants to do this more efficiently, with tiny satellites – such as CubeSats – carrying large volumes of ionised gas directly into the ionosphere.
August 25th, 2016
Via: New Scientist:
A man has used thought alone to control nanorobots inside a living creature for the first time. The technology released a drug inside cockroaches in response to the man’s brain activity – a technique that may be useful for treating brain disorders such as schizophrenia and ADHD.
Getting drugs to where they need to be exactly when you want them is a challenge. Most drugs diffuse through the blood stream over time – and you’re stuck with the side effects until the drug wears off.
Now, a team at the Interdisciplinary Center, in Herzliya, and Bar Ilan University, in Ramat Gan, both in Israel, have developed a system that allows precise control over when a drug is active in the body.
The group has built nanorobots out of DNA, forming shell-like shapes that drugs can be tethered to. The bots also have a gate, which has a lock made from iron oxide nanoparticles. The lock opens when heated using electromagnetic energy, exposing the drug to the environment. Because the drug remains tethered to the DNA parcel, a body’s exposure to the drug can be controlled by closing and opening the gate.
10. Project MK-ULTRA
In 1953 the CIA launched a deadly mind-control program.
Masked as ‘intelligence research’, they secretly administered LSD to the public and manipulated their mental states. The CIA’s ultimate goal was to create a brainwashed assassin programmed to kill.
Patients were also hypnotized and given electroshock therapy to try and create split personalities that could be used against the Russians in the Cold War.
But when investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported illegal CIA surveillance in 1975, the American public were outraged. Further government investigations discovered thousands of files on MK-ULTRA and some truly disturbing human experiments.
9. Operation Paperclip
After WW2 the USA recruited 1,600 Nazi scientists in order to prevent their knowledge falling into Soviet hands.
The US government claimed that any hired German found to be a former Nazi would be excluded from the program – but this was a sham.
8. CIA Drug Trafficking
In 1996 investigative journalist Gary Webb exposed the CIA for facilitating the sale of cocaine to LA street gangs.
Webb alleged that in the 1980s the CIA targeted drugs to African-American communities – and millions of dollars worth of cocaine funded the CIA’s army in Nicaragua.
7. Operation Northwoods
In 1962 US military intelligence planned terrorist attacks on its own country. US operatives intended to blame these attacks on the Cuban government to justify a war against Cuba.
The operation involved hijacking planes and bombing US cities, to gain public support against Cuba’s communist leader, Fidel Castro.
6. The NSA Files
In 2013 computer analyst Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was accessing tens of millions of Americans’ online records and tracking phone calls – under the pretence of trying to uncover terrorist plots.
Peace activists suspected the FBI of infiltrating the anti-war movement – and they were right.
On March 8th 1971 they broke into an FBI office and stole hundreds of files, which revealed the bureau’s true motives.
The Counter Intelligence Program was an aggressive, covert operation by the bureau to destroy Communism and the New Left.
4. Operation Snow White
In the 1970s the Church of Scientology performed one of the largest infiltrations of US government in history. 5,000 undercover members raided 136 American agencies to steal documents critical of the church.
In 1977 former Scientology member Michael Meisner contacted the FBI, suspecting that the Scientology community was involved in criminal activities.
3. Guatemala Syphilis Study
Between 1946 and 1948 the USA landed in Guatemala City and secretly infected 1,500 people with syphilis to test the effectiveness of penicillin.
At least 83 people died in these experiments, which had the approval of The Rockefeller Foundation and Johns Hopkins University.
2. Gulf of Tonkin
The Vietnam War was started because of a lie.
On August 2nd 1964 America and North Vietnam engaged in military combat in the Gulf of Tonkin.
1. Operation Mockingbird
In the 1950s the CIA launched a secret campaign to control the media, recruiting top journalists so they would have power over the New York Times, CBS, and Newsweek.
Scientists have managed to record histories in the DNA of human cells, allowing them to recall past “memories.” The advancement could prove vital for researchers studying how cells undergo genetic changes that lead to disease.
The advancement was made by biological engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), using the genome-editing system CRISPR. The system consists of a DNA-cutting enzyme called Cas9 and a short RNA strand. The strand guides the enzyme to a specific area of the genome, directing Cas9 where to make its cut.
Although CRISPR is well known for its gene editing capabilities, the MIT team managed to use it for memory storage – the first that can record the duration and intensity of events in human cells. Such memories include events such as inflammation.
To encode the memories, the scientists designed guide strands that recognize the DNA that encodes the very same guide strand. It’s a concept they refer to as “self-targeting guide RNA.”
“Led by this self-targeting guide RNA strand, Cas9 cuts the DNA encoding the guide strand, generating a mutation that becomes a permanent record of the event. That DNA sequence, once mutated, generates a new guide RNA strand that directs Cas9 to the newly mutated DNA, allowing further mutations to accumulate as long as Cas9 is active or the self-targeting guide RNA is expressed,” MIT wrote in a statement.
“By using sensors for specific biological events to regulate Cas9 or self-targeting guide RNA activity, this system enables progressive mutations that accumulate as a function of those biological inputs, thus providing genomically encoded memory,” the statement continues.
The researchers also found that they could engineer cells to detect and record more than one input, by producing multiple self-targeting RNA guide strands in the same cell. Each RNA guide is linked to a specific input and is only produced when that input is present.
“Cities and states should not stop spraying based on this data alone,” says Hicks. “This study needs to be replicated in other regions of the country that use similar spraying methods.
A new study suggests a connection between the two
A new study finds a correlation between the aerial spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes and an increased risk of developmental delays and autism among kids.
In the new findings, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 meeting, researchers looked at the rates of autism and developmental delays from eight zip codes in a region of New York that is exposed to yearly airplane pesticide spraying to prevent mosquito-borne disease like eastern equine encephalitis virus. They compared those to the rates in 16 zip codes where the pesticide spraying doesn’t happen. (Other forms of pesticide spraying could still occur, like manual spreading.) They controlled for factors like poverty and gender variation across the zip codes.
The authors report that kids living in zip codes where the spraying was done each summer had around a 25% higher risk of an autism diagnosis or developmental problem compared to kids living in areas without the aerial spraying. “Several studies have previously reported links between pesticide and autism risk,” says Dr. Steve Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine in an email to TIME. “Our data suggests the way in which pesticides are applied might play some role. Studies of pesticides in animal models show they can affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain, but their exact molecular effects on brain development are still being explored.”
The study only shows a correlation between the two and does not show that aerial pesticide spraying causes autism. It also does not provide information about whether a child could have been exposed during pregnancy or after birth. Aerial spraying is a common mosquito control tool, and states in the U.S. are ramping up efforts to control mosquito populations amid the ongoing Zika outbreak. The study authors state that the findings are not strong enough to change mosquito control practices.