Vikki Cvichiee
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Cryptomen.com

Cryptomen.com | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it
The Next Level of Crypto-currency Trading
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For cryptocurrency enthusiasts looking for expert analysis on crypto trading.

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ProtonMail Seeks Crowdfunding For Server Expansion

ProtonMail Seeks Crowdfunding For Server Expansion | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it

"Swiss based encrypted email startup ProtonMail has just launched a $100,000 Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to fund additional servers."

Vikki Cvichiee's insight:

This is not the first time that an encrypted email initiative has been taken up but where Lavabit and Silent Circle failed, ProtonMail has potential to achieve worldwide success.

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SanDisk unveils world's first 4TB solid state drive (SSD) - Storage Devices, Data Storage Devices | ThinkDigit News

SanDisk unveils world's first 4TB solid state drive (SSD) - Storage Devices, Data Storage Devices | ThinkDigit News | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it
The SSD is a 2.5-inch Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD and claims to offer 400MB/s read/write speeds.
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Engineering the Extinction of 40 Species of Mosquitoes

Engineering the Extinction of 40 Species of Mosquitoes | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it

There are roughly 3,500 species of mosquitoes. But only around 100 bite humans and as few as 30-40 are responsible for the transmission of the most deadly diseases that routinely hobble the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people. Instead of battling the estimated 219 million annual malaria cases and the resulting 600,000 deaths that occur each year in a reactionary manner by treating the sick and spending millions on wide-spread preventative measures like long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs), we can eliminate the disease’s only vector directly, at the source. Specific mosquito species can be made extinct using the same sterile insect technique (SIT) that has existed for over 50 years. It has been effectively used to eliminate species before for disease prevention in humans and animals, most notably, with the screwworm and the melon fly. The technique has some subtle edges but basically reduces to releasing a large population of targeted, sterilized male insects into the wild that out-compete the wild male population for the (single) mating opportunity with their female counterparts. Repeated application of this technique can completely eliminate a wild insect population -- sometimes in as little as one year. Success in eliminating the species of mosquitoes that are the malaria vector could be followed by engineering the extinction of the vector species for dengue fever, which infects 50 to 390 million each year (causing 25,000 deaths) and also the mosquitoes that contribute to the 200,000 cases of yellow fever and the attendant 30,000 deaths they cause each year. The short-term goals of a permanent mosquito eradication plan would prioritize and establish the species that need to be eliminated, the areas around the world where this elimination needs to be targeted first in order to succeed, and establish connections with suppliers who can provide enough sterile insects to implement these plans. The medium-term goals would be to decimate the wild population of these species in large-scale pilot programs by releasing millions of sterile mosquitoes per day in infested areas. These marginal eradication efforts will bring with them marginal reduction in malaria and commensurate reduction in the pain, suffering, and economic/social destruction caused by this crippling disease. The long-term goal would be the total eradication of these mosquito populations in the wild and the end of malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever. Captive lines of all these vector species should of course be kept in labs to study and as a hedge against the unlikely futures in which unintended ecological consequences prompt us to reintroduce the eradicated species. It’s well established by charity evaluators like GiveWell, GWWC, and AidGrade that preventing malaria using LLINs is a highly cost-competitive philanthropic intervention to save lives and promote the advancement of the world’s most disadvantaged. If millions of dollars per year can be cost-effectively re-invested in LLIN programs over and over again in ways that outcompetes other philanthropic opportunities by several orders of magnitude, than the permanent elimination of this diseases’ transmission mechanism must be worth at least the time-discounted cost of providing that level of prevention for 5-10 years -- a time horizon that charities like the “Against Malaria Foundation” fully expect to be operating within. Additionally, there are several convergent features of this plan that make it plausibly superior to direct cash transfers to the beneficiaries. Eradication of mosquitoes that carry highly lethal diseases is a public good that cannot be easily purchased in a non-coordinated way and it’s unlikely that markets in the developing world will coordinate to deliver this innovation anytime soon. It could be argued that perhaps other more pressing needs exist that trump this public health intervention. But it also seems likely that the more pressing need in these areas is increased public health. That’s because analyses done by the Gates Foundation and other thoughtful aid organizations suggest that virtually all global problems in the developing world are insoluble so long as population growth runs beyond 3%. And somewhat paradoxically, improving health outcomes reliably convinces parents in the developing world to have smaller families since each child is that much less likely to perish before adulthood. So dramatically improving public health via targeting specific mosquito species for extinction will not only have direct effects that improve the lives of the most disadvantaged, but also have ripple-effects that make all other problems facing the most disadvantaged that much easier to solve in the future. Government agencies have a successful track record of funding the basic research that has developed the technology required to accomplish this intervention. But none seem to have the political will necessary to implement these programs beyond pilot studies. The two large-scale roll outs of SIT in the developing world were both disrupted before they could be completed: In El Salvador, the work was terminated by the eruption of civil war and in India by hysteria induced by false accusations that the project was intended to collect data on biological warfare. Despite expert opinion that removing several species of mosquitoes from the global ecosystem would not actually have cascading effects or negative impacts, engineering the extinction of any species simply runs counter to most funders’ sensibilities and governmental organizations political comfort zones. If funded, even a small team of skilled non-profit administrators could marshal the research and resources to devise a tactical plan for the species and locations of these extinction campaigns. Preliminary research suggests that as little as $1M could fund the decimation of diseases transmitting mosquitoes in an area of sub-Saharan Africa and similar amounts could improve other areas plagued by malaria and dengue fever. Once initial results are demonstrated, a redoubling of efforts could lead to full-scale extinction campaigns that permanently eliminate the malaria vectors being targeted. The timeline for this effort looks to be roughly one year for planning and insect sourcing, two years for construction and scale-up, and three to five years for field interventions in each area. It’s possible that these costs and/or the timelines could be adversely impacted by typical planning fallacies, but it’s also possible that they could be reduced by more funding or if promising developments in “flightless female gene manipulation” continue to occur. In 2007, a pilot project designed to eradicate malaria transmitting mosquitoes was funded by an independent donor for one million dollars. This paid to construct a mosquito rearing facility in Sudan capable of producing one million sterile males/day. This is consistent with more detailed financial models for funding SIT rearing facilities developed by the IAEA. It appears that $1M could in fact fund the construction and operation of a small facility for creating the insects required to wage an extinction-level campaign against certain species of mosquitoes if the campaign’s directors are willing to spend over a decade on the project. A larger coalition of funders could hasten extinction of these species with as little as $10-25M in follow-on funding for each area being targeted.

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Why You Should Consider Joining the National Bone Marrow Registry

Why You Should Consider Joining the National Bone Marrow Registry | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it

Via Louie Helm
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Louie Helm's curator insight, March 26, 2014 11:22 PM

This year, over 14,000 patients will request a bone marrow transplant that will never arrive.


Part of the problem is undoubtedly the fact that only 3% of Americans are signed up as marrow donors. But what else prevents patients in need of bone marrow transplants from receiving them?


I sat down and interviewed Michael Boo, J.D. from "Be The Match" to learn more about the ins and outs of bone marrow transplants. Why do only 35% of patients requesting a transplant receive one? How important is the speed with which bone and blood cancers are treated? What can we do to help?


What are the barriers to bone marrow transplants?


Michael: Historically, finding a match was the main barrier. However, today access is more likely to be limited by lack of insurance coverage or inadequate insurance coverage. Additional barriers to transplant include lack of access to a transplant center, lack of timely referral for transplant, and decline in health status. Be The Match is addressing these barriers by working with medical professionals and insurance companies to assure timely referrals and adequate coverage and continues to grow and diversify the Be The Match Registry, to ensure that all patients have access to this therapy.

 

What are the typical or average costs associated with blood stem cell transplants, what is included in those costs and how are these costs covered?


Michael: An unrelated transplant is an expensive procedure. The average billed charges can run $500,000 and up, and includes a number of costs from hospital stays to post-transplant drug regimens. Insurance companies do not pay Be The Match directly – they pay for these services through the transplant centers as part of their contracted rates for a transplant procedure. The cost for finding a donor and getting the cells varies based on patient and where the cells are coming from, but average costs can be found in a series of documents we have on our payor website.

 

The costs that may not be covered by insurance are 1) testing potential donors or family members to find a match, 2) travel and lodging while undergoing transplant and recovery – many patients need to be away from home for up to 100 days and their transplant centers are often located far from home, 3) prescription medications for post-transplant care, and 4) other miscellaneous costs specific to creating a home environment that’s safe after transplant – carpet cleaning, etc. Be The Match has a Patient Assistance Program, which grants an average of $2.5 million per year, funded by Be the Match Foundation to help with these additional costs.


What methodology was used to determine a 1 in 540 chance of being called on to donate?


Michael: The likelihood of being called as a potential match is based on the number of searches or transplants over a five year period and the size of the registry – X number of searches or donations per Y number of people on the registry. It is not an annual number (i.e. the likelihood of being called in a given year.) This represents a general likelihood of being called or donating at this point in time. Likelihood changes over time with increases to the number of registry members and number of transplants using domestic donors. This does not account for other factors that influence likelihood of donating including HLA type, sex, age, race, donor center, time on the registry, etc.


Thanks Michael! Anything else people should know?


Michael: No problem. People with additional questions should read Be The Match's FAQ. And if they want to help save a life, they should sign up to join the national bone marrow registry.

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The Potential of AI


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Louie Helm's curator insight, January 20, 2014 3:56 AM

Our best ethical systems have problems, but superintelligent AI could help with that.

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Nxt Cryptocurrency Is Not An Altcoin

Nxt Cryptocurrency Is Not An Altcoin | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it
Nxt has recently arrived as one cryptocurrency that is showing high growth potential. Unlike several other cryptocurrencies it is not an altcoin, which means its source code is not based on Bitcoin
Vikki Cvichiee's insight:

Nxt has recently arrived as one cryptocurrency that is showing high growth potential. Unlike several other cryptocurrencies it is not an altcoin, which means its source code is not based on Bitcoin but has been uniquely built.

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Uplift Clarkesworld And Earn Citizenship!

Uplift Clarkesworld And Earn Citizenship! | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it
Now you can win Clarkesworld citizenship by pledging a generous donation towards this awesome 3 times Hugo Award winning free monthly science fiction and fantasy magazine. Although $1 is the minimum
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Now you can win Clarkesworld citizenship by pledging a generous donation towards this awesome 3 times Hugo Award winning free monthly science fiction and fantasy magazine.

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TODAY ONLY: Donate To MIRI During SV Gives!

TODAY ONLY: Donate To MIRI During SV Gives! | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it

If you're a MIRI supporter, try to give $10 a few times today to help us earn extra bonuses during MIRI's participation in SV Gives today!

Vikki Cvichiee's insight:

Any 'Machine Intelligence Research Institute' (MIRI) supporters here?

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Pizza, babes and cute monsters here from Kimiaki Yaegashi

Pizza, babes and cute monsters here from Kimiaki Yaegashi | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it

Via Frank Kusters, Louie Helm
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Some Interns Earn $7,000+ Per Month

Some Interns Earn $7,000+ Per Month | Vikki Cvichiee | Scoop.it

Via Louie Helm
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Louie Helm's curator insight, February 28, 2014 7:33 PM

High salaries are nice, but I recommend choosing an internship based on how well you can launch your career afterwards. Most Bay Area companies are good for this.


MIRI's interns have a good track record too. We often make introductions to employers for our best interns as they are leaving and almost all of them are either working in tech jobs or attending Stanford/Berkeley the year after they work with us.