Summary of “Deleting Your Online DNA Data Is Brutally Difficult”

Deleting my data there was simple: With a click, it disappeared from view.
I was told that the tools for deleting my data and sample from 23andMe’s records were “Not currently available.” I had to wait until May 25, when the company planned to roll out new privacy tools in compliance with Europe’s data-protection regulations, the GDPR. On the morning of May 25, 23andMe’s email arrived, heralding how easy it now was to delete your data.
There was another problem: Deleting my genetic information at my request is against federal law.
Fourteen frustrating customer-service emails later, I ascertained that the “Minimal amount” of information the company was required to keep on hand was, essentially, all of my raw genetic information.
Helix, which bills itself as the “App store” for DNA, processes the DNA sample and then shares the relevant data with other companies from which consumers purchase tests for interpretation.
This seemed to spell it out most clearly: When you delete your DNA information, you are mainly hiding your information from yourself.
Hazel, the researcher studying the privacy policies, said even if a company did offer to delete all your data, it’s unlikely that it could really purge your information from all the places it had already wound up.
In two studies in 2013, researchers showed it was possible to identify people from anonymous DNA information.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The “marshmallow test” said patience was a key to success. A new replication tells us s’more.”

How the new study changes the story Over the years, the marshmallow test papers have received a lot of criticism.
The marshmallow test in the NIH data was capped at seven minutes, whereas the original study had kids wait for a max of 15.
Most of the predictive power of the marshmallow test can be accounted for kids just making it 20 seconds before they decide to eat the treat.
Perhaps it’s an indication that the marshmallow experiment is not a great test of delay of gratification or some other underlying measure of self-control.
What the latest marshmallow test paper shows is that home life and intelligence are very important for determining both delaying gratification and later achievement.
Reducing income inequality is a more daunting task than teaching kids patience.
Increasing IQ is a more daunting task than teaching kids patience.
Watts says his new marshmallow test study doesn’t mean it’s impossible to design preschool interventions that have long-lasting effects.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised at the Theranos Fraud”

Assuming what Theranos said it invented was real, it could have been a game changer, and could have resulted in people getting their blood tested more often.
It’s a semi-portable machine and looks like a miniature ATM. Holmes met with a firm called MedVenture Associates in the early days of Theranos that had a lot of experience in medical technology and had invested in Abaxis.
Theranos tried to work on that for several years before Holmes lost patience in late fall 2007 and abandoned it.
Theranos kept up the illusion that they were running a lot of the tests from finger-stick blood draws by hacking the Siemens machines to work with small samples.
Erika Cheung, who worked at Theranos for several months in late 2013 and early 2014, eventually got up the courage to go to a laboratory inspector at the CMS, who then immediately launched an inspection of the company.
You can fault them for maybe not ferreting out what Theranos was doing soon enough, but once they did get the feeling that things that were going on there were not good, they went in in force, the two agencies, one after the other, and essentially shut the company down.
When the CLIA inspector came to renew the CLIA certificate of the Theranos lab in early December of 2013, she was not shown the part downstairs that Theranos referred to as Normandy, where they had the Edisons and the hacked Siemens machines.
Should we be surprised that Theranos happened, or surprised that it doesn’t happen more?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Marshmallow Test: What Does It Really Measure?”

The marshmallow test is one of the most famous pieces of social-science research: Put a marshmallow in front of a child, tell her that she can have a second one if she can go 15 minutes without eating the first one, and then leave the room.
Passing the test is, to many, a promising signal of future success.
The researchers-NYU’s Tyler Watts and UC Irvine’s Greg Duncan and Hoanan Quan-restaged the classic marshmallow test, which was developed by the Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel in the 1960s.
The marshmallow test isn’t the only experimental study that has recently failed to hold up under closer scrutiny.
This new paper found that among kids whose mothers had a college degree, those who waited for a second marshmallow did no better in the long run-in terms of standardized test scores and mothers’ reports of their children’s behavior-than those who dug right in.
The failed replication of the marshmallow test does more than just debunk the earlier notion; it suggests other possible explanations for why poorer kids would be less motivated to wait for that second marshmallow.
Even if these children don’t delay gratification, they can trust that things will all work out in the end-that even if they don’t get the second marshmallow, they can probably count on their parents to take them out for ice cream instead. There’s plenty of other research that sheds further light on the class dimension of the marshmallow test.
In other words, a second marshmallow seems irrelevant when a child has reason to believe that the first one might vanish.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the nature of cause and effect will determine the future of quantum technology”

Today we get an answer to this question, thanks to the work of Morgan Mitchell at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology in Spain, along with dozens of collaborators and more than 100,000 experimenters around the world who have carried out a unique test of one of the most confounding predictions of quantum theory.
One of the curious features of quantum mechanics is that it allows quantum particles created at the same point in space and time to share the same existence.
In the late 1960s, the Bell test was beyond the capabilities of quantum physicists.
They have become routine in quantum optics labs and a key part of the protocols used in emerging technologies such as quantum cryptography.
The bits were then fed at a constant rate of 1,000 bits per second to labs all around the world that had agreed to perform a Bell test in various ways, using photons as the quantum particles, atoms, and even superconductors in myriad combinations.
That is good news for the many emerging quantum technologies that rely on Bell tests, such as quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography.
Quantum mechanics-and Bell tests in particular-blur the distinction between cause and effect.
It is 50 years since Bell put forward his controversial ideas, but Bell tests now lie at the heart of the emerging quantum technology revolution.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Humans Are Dumb At Figuring Out How Smart Animals Are”

The case for giving the chimps a human right like freedom from unlawful incarceration is based on their similarity to humans – they can think, feel and plan, argue the people bringing the case on behalf of the chimpanzees, so shouldn’t they have some guarantees of liberty? The court declined to hear the case, but one judge did say that some highly intelligent animals probably should be treated more like people and less like property.
“Pigeons can blow the doors off monkeys in some tasks.” Experts who study animal intelligence across species say we can’t rank animals by their smarts – scientists don’t even try anymore – which means there’s no objective way to determine which animals would deserve more human-like rights.
Everyone still assumed that you could, with the right set of tests, line animals up in a great chain of relative intelligence.
The animals t that figured out the game fastest were deemed to learn the best.
Scientists know animals are capable of demonstrating an array of cognitive skills, and there are some skills that some animals are better at than others.
Animals are smart in the ways they need to be smart, Andrews said.
Another barrier to sorting through the whole animal kingdom’s brainpower: There are a ton of animals.
Andrews said, the legal side of the animal rights world isn’t really having discussions about the ladder of intelligence – or lack thereof – with the scientists who study the way animals think.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who’s Winning the Self-Driving Car Race?”

After interviewing executives and technology experts and reviewing announced plans, Bloomberg has taken a snapshot of the race to develop the self-driving car.
For the cars of tomorrow, Daimler works closely with Robert Bosch Gmbh and will be using a system from Silicon Valley intelligent computing company Nvidia Corp. The test cars can drive at Level 4 autonomy or even Level 5, which means the car doesn’t need a steering wheel or pedals to operate.
The same day in late November that GM showed off its self-driving Bolt in San Francisco, Zoox Inc. had its own car driving through the city’s winding streets and heavy traffic.
The company plans to have its car ready for passengers in 2020, Kaufman said, and then will work on getting passengers in the car shortly after.
Nissan’s ProPilot system stops the car if a vehicle ahead stops quickly and it keeps the car in its lane.
Audi, the luxury brand owned by Volkswagen AG, already has the most advanced autonomous car for sale in the A8. The car’s Traffic Jam Pilot uses Lidar to see the road and lets drivers go completely hands-free at speeds up to 37 miles per hour.
The company started developing self-parking technology in 1999 and installed it in the Prius in Japan in 2003, enabling the car to park with no input from the driver.
Its Pilot Assist gives a driver 15 seconds with hands off the wheel, keeping the car in lane and managing the distance to a vehicle ahead. The company is testing its technology with a few families in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This company is making an at-home CRISPR kit to find out what’s making you sick”

A new biotech company co-founded by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna is developing a device that uses CRISPR to detect all kinds of diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and Zika.
The applications extend beyond that: The same technology could be used in agriculture, to determine what’s making animals sick or what sorts of microbes are found in soil, or even in the oil and gas industry, to detect corrosive microbes in pipelines, says Trevor Martin, the CEO of Mammoth Biosciences, who holds a PhD in biology from Stanford University.
CRISPR can look for precise bits of genetic code, and so it can be engineered to detect a genetic sequence that belongs to a particular virus like Zika.
These tools – developed by the labs of both CRISPR pioneers Doudna at UC Berkeley and Feng Zhang at MIT – pair CRISPR with enzymes like Cas12a and Cas13a.
These systems allow CRISPR to detect specific DNA or RNA, another major biological molecule, and then snip a “Reporter molecule” that releases a fluorescent signal.
Zhang’s team at MIT is also developing a CRISPR paper test, called SHERLOCK, but is not involved in Mammoth Biosciences, and Martin says he can’t comment on their work.
“We’re just always excited when the potential of CRISPR is further reinforced.”
As for the name of the company? It’s a “Cheeky play” on the idea that CRISPR could be used – at least theoretically – to bring back extinct species like mammoths.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook starts its facial recognition push to Europeans – TechCrunch”

Facebook users in Europe are reporting that the company has started giving them the option to turn on its controversial facial recognition technology.
Jimmy Nsubuga, a journalist at Metro, is among several European Facebook users who have reporting getting notifications asking if they want to turn on face recognition technology.
In Europe the company is hoping to convince users to voluntarily allow it to deploy the privacy-hostile tech – which was turned off in the bloc after regulatory pressure, back in 2012, when Facebook began using facial recognition to offer features such as automatically tagging users in photo uploads.
Under impending changes to its T&Cs – ostensibly to comply with the EU’s incoming GDPR data protection standard – the company has crafted a manipulative consent flow that tries to sell people on giving it their data; including filling in its own facial recognition blanks by convincing Europeans to agree to it grabbing and using their biometric data after all.
Under the EU’s incoming data protection framework Facebook cannot automatically opt users into facial recognition – it has to convince people to switch the tech on themselves.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed to TechCrunch that any European users who are being asked about the tech now, ahead of the May 25 GDPR deadline, are part of its rollout of platform changes intended to comply with the incoming standard.
In the meanwhile Facebook users are being socially engineered, with selective examples and friction, into agreeing with things that align with the company’s data-harvesting business interests – handing over sensitive personal data without understanding the full implications of doing so.
Depending on how successful those tests prove to be at convincing Europeans to let it have and use their facial biometric data, millions of additional Facebook users could soon be providing the company with fresh streams of sensitive data – and having their fundamental rights trampled on, yet again, thanks to a very manipulative consent flow.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Schools Are Failing to Teach Kids How to Read”

On Tuesday, a panel of experts in Washington, D.C., convened by the federally appointed officials who oversee the NAEP concluded that the root of the problem is the way schools teach reading.
The statute required states to administer annual reading and math tests to students in grades three through eight and once in high school, and attached hefty consequences if schools failed to boost scores.
Since 2001, the curriculum in many elementary schools has narrowed to little more than a steady diet of reading and math.
Rarely do the topics connect: Students might read a book about bridges one day, zebras the next, and clouds the day after that.
A sixth-grader at one of his schools was frustrated that a passage on a reading test she’d taken kept repeating a word she didn’t understand: roog-bye.
The best way to boost students’ reading comprehension is to expand their knowledge and vocabulary by teaching them history, science, literature, and the arts, using curricula that that guide kids through a logical sequence from one year to the next: for example, Native Americans and Columbus in kindergarten; the colonial era and the American Revolution in first grade; the War of 1812 and the Civil War in second grade, and so on.
What struggling students need is guidance from a teacher in how to make sense of texts designed for kids at their respective grade levels-the kinds of texts those kids may otherwise see only on standardized tests, when they have to grapple with them on their own.
Poorer kids with less-educated parents tend to rely on school to acquire the kind of knowledge that is needed to succeed academically-and because their schools often focus exclusively on reading and math, in an effort to raise low test scores, they’re less likely to acquire it there.

The orginal article.