Tech & Science

  • New AIDS Vaccine ‘Cures’ 5 Patients without Drugs


    Three weeks after a Nigerian Professor, Maduike Ezeibe of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture claimed to have discovered a cure for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), Spanish scientists over the weekend said five patients living with the disease are virus-free seven months after taking a new vaccine.

    According to a study published in New Scientist but first reported by DailyMailUK Online, the treatment, developed by researchers in Spain, allowed the patients to stop taking regular antiretroviral (ARV) drugs – the current method of suppressing HIV.

    Scientists have yet to test the results in a large-scale clinical trial, but they say the vaccine may be a “functional cure.”

    It is the first step towards success in a field that has failed to find a vaccine in the last 30 years.

    Dr. Beatriz Mothe, from the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, said: “It’s the proof of concept that through therapeutic vaccination we can re-educate our T cells to control the virus. The optimistic start-up is the first time that we see this is possible in humans.”

    Mothe and her colleagues used an HIV vaccine made by Professor Tomáš Hanke from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK).

    The study included 13 participants, who had taken ARVs for a little over three years on average – all within six months of being infected.

    After four weeks, eight of the patients saw the virus rebound. But the other five patients have gone six to 28 weeks without having to restart the treatment.

    The virus became temporarily undetectable, but it has never gone above 2,000 copies per milliliter, which is the criterion to restart treatment.


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  • Top 5 Countries with the Fastest Internet in the World -2017

    In this technological era, where internet has become the most preferred medium of our everyday communication, have you ever wondered which countries provide the most quickest web experience?

    There are two important metrics in bandwidth allocation (measured in Megabits per second or Mbps): download and upload speed, denoting the rate of inbound and outbound data respectively. Here is a list of the top five countries that has the fastest internet connection speed in the world 2017.

    1. Hong Kong

    Hong Kong tops the list with peak internet speed of broadband connection in this country showing an average of 54.1 Mbps across services. It only takes 83 seconds to download one high definition (HD) movie.

    2. South Korea

    After Hong Kong, South Korea recorded the second-fastest average internet speed of 48.8 Mbps. Also, one HD quality video can be downloaded in just 92 seconds.

    3. Japan

    Japan came in third with a peak download speed of 42.2 Mbps and can download one HD movie in 106 seconds.

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  • Ethiopian Airlines signs up for five more Bombardier Q400NG’s

    Ethiopian Airlines has during the recently concluded Paris Air Show also signed additional purchase agreements with Bombardier, the Canadian manufacturer of business jets, commercial turboprop aircraft and the state of the art C-Series jets.

    Ethiopian, which was during the aviation exhibition also once again named by Skytrax as the African Airline of the Year, already operates 19 Bombardier Q400NextGen’s and was in fact pioneering the dual class layout with the manufacturer, offering a business class section on board of these aircraft.
    The turboprop fleet is mainly deployed on domestic services but also serves the Eastern African region and makes regular appearances in Entebbe, Kigali but also Kilimanjaro and Mombasa, among others. The deal is worth nearly 162 million US Dollars at current list prices for this aircraft type.

    The add on order for five more of these aircraft, which cruising speed is only marginally lower than jet aircraft, will boost the airline’s ability to increase frequencies on domestic and regional routes as well as open up new destinations in the wider Eastern African region.

    Ethiopian Airlines has for the last financial year also once again written a record profit into their books with available data suggesting a profit rise by a staggering 70 percent after uplifting more than 7.5 million passengers.

    ‘Our relationship with Ethiopian Airlines extends beyond straight buyer-seller‘ said Colin Bole, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. ‘Ethiopian is an Authorized Service Facility for Q400 aircraft and operates the only Q400 aircraft flight simulator in Africa. In addition, we have worked together to support other Q400 aircraft operators such as RwandAir and Congo Airways‘.

    ‘We are reordering the Bombardier Q400 turboprop as it is the core element in serving our expanding domestic and regional destinations‘ said Tewolde GebreMariam, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines before adding: ‘Its 360-knot speed capability, low operating costs, environmental credentials and passenger comfort, especially with its cabin flexibility for single and dual-class passenger configuration are worth mentioning. The Q400 aircraft shines in terms of climb rate, single-engine ceiling, and greater revenue-producing payload capability from our hot weather, high altitude airstrips, these performance attributes being critical to interchangeability with our jet fleet‘.

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  • UK team semifinalist in Global Learning XPRIZE

    LONDON (June 21, 2017) - London-based nonprofit onebillion has been selected as one of 11 semifinalists from seven countries in the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE, a competition that challenges teams from all over the world to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic. The Global Learning XPRIZE is partnered with UNESCO, the World Food Programme and the Government of Tanzania.

    An independent panel of expert judges will now select five finalists, who will be awarded $1 million each. Their solutions will be made open source and evaluated in a rigourous field trial with 4,000 children in Tanzania, who will each receive a tablet donated by Google. The software that proves most effective will be awarded the Grand Prize of $10 million. The XPRIZE Foundation will support the winner to ensure children around the world will benefit from their software.

    onebillion is one of only two semifinalists from Europe. The nonprofit has substantial experience with developing numeracy and literacy software that succeeds in teaching children. Independent studies showed significant learning gains in both the UK and Malawi

    Their numeracy software is already used in more than a hundred schools in Malawi, and by more than 100,000 children around the world. onebillion's goal is to bring quality education to children wherever they are. The literacy software will be rolled out in Malawi later this year.

    The basic skills of numeracy and literacy are crucial for children to escape poverty. UNESCO estimates that 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills.

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  • Doctor Kitaw Ejigu: a Role Model for Millions of African Youngsters


    (DireTube Obituary, Addis Ababa) — The human brain has a storage capacity of 256 Exabytes or 256 billion GB—the equivalent is 1.2 billion average PC drive, according to data.

    Most computational neuroscientists, on their part, tend to estimate human brain's storage capacity somewhere between 10 terabytes and 100 terabytes, though the full spectrum of guesses ranges from 1 terabyte to 2.5 petabytes. (One terabyte is equal to about 1,000 gigabytes or about 1 million megabytes; a petabyte is about 1,000 terabytes.

    Today, in the age of dynamic technological advancement competition, having or becoming a genius or arch-genius is necessary, a good choice; in fact, it’s mandatory too.

    Elections come and go. Markets rise and fall. Celebrities wax and wane. But now and then we meet a controversy of profound and lasting dimensions. Some of our chief engineers and most brilliant theorists say the future of artificial intelligence is such a matter. Will machines learn to think like humans--and then to outthink us? And if they do, what will become of us?

    On the other side of the spectrum, in this strong age of space exploration, the human being is striving to live a luxurious life on the moon and other worlds, as far as the necessary ingredients and preconditions fulfilled.

    The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently announced a discovery of ten new earth like “Rocky” planets. As world’s population exceeding 7 billion figure, looking for other planets to live and researching about earth is not a luxurious practice for the developed countries; it’s a mandatory to preserve their supremacy. Unlike centuries ago the world is seeing multi-polar powers everywhere.

    When it comes to Ethiopia, we have got numerous influential and notable figures in different fields. Ethiopian Doctor, Engineer and Scientist Kitaw Ejigu was among one of them; he was also the most famous, arch-genius personality, which came just rarely in history. 

    Kitaw Ejigu was an Ethiopian American engineer; he was one of Ethiopia’s first aerospace scientists. With the completion of his studies in the late 1970s, he was interested towards aerospace technology and started working for NASA as a system engineer and space research scientist.

    He invented two aerospace mechanisms which patented under NASA’s new technology. He collaborated with other scientists to create space shuttles and rockets that assisted in planetary science research and exploration of planet earth.
    Among his greatest achievements while working on space technology incorporates his innovative creations of the Global Positioning System (GPS), and a revolutionary and dynamic flight simulator for the Boeing Company.

    He earned the respect of millions of followers due to his visionary leadership and personal accomplishments.

    Childhood & Early Life

    He was born on February 25, 1948, in Bonga, Keffa, Ethiopia, and received his early education from the Miazia 27th High School in Jimma province.

    He attended the ‘Bahir Dar Polytechnic Institute’ and received his diploma in 1966 in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Agricultural Technology. After graduation, he worked at the ‘Ethiopian Automotive Services and Sales Company as Chief Technical Advisor and Assistant Manager for two years.

    In 1972, he won a scholarship from the Japanese Overseas Technical Association by which he studied automotive engineering at Hiroshima University and language and Japanese Economics at Osaka University.

    Later, he moved to the United States and began his intensive research and training and earned an MS/MBA in Business Administration in 1979. Then he completed his Doctorate in Space Vehicle Systems Engineering from Northrop University in California.


    While pursuing his academic studies, he worked for different aerospace companies, such as Garret Air Research, and Advanced Bonding Technology Labs; subsequently became interested in Space technology.

    In 1977, he hired by the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) of California Institute of Technology, a NASA research center, in Pasadena, California, where he eventually became the ‘Chief Spacecraft Systems Design Engineer.' Alongside, he also managed a joint NASA/ESA International Solar Polar Mission Spacecraft Systems Interface.

    Later, he served as the ‘Space Technology and Systems Research Scientist’ at Boeing and Loral Corp. As a scientist, he was responsible for the definition, design, development, integration, testing, and launching of advanced planetary mission spacecraft and earth-orbiting satellite systems.

    In 1986, he joined Rockwell International (builder of the space shuttle orbiter), Space Systems Division. He became a Principal Investigator/Chief Research Engineer for several advanced space systems projects at Rockwell. He also worked as a Project Manager in the Advanced Programs Engineering Department.

    He oversaw the development of advanced technologies for Kinetic Energy Weapons Systems in support of the SDI and related programs (ASAT, GBI, E2I, TMD). He also served as a program manager for a Lunar/Mars Micro-Rover research and development effort in support of NASA's future exploration missions.

    Later, he turned his attention to Africa and his homeland Ethiopia hoping to introduce technology-based development. He established Trans Tech International, a global technologies service systems which were a privately owned satellite and related systems engineering company. He served as its President/CEO until he passed away.

    Before his death, he was planning to work with Tad Worku, the founder of Africa Needs Community Development Corporation. He wanted to utilize his valuable knowledge for the benefit of the people of Africa and the world.

    Major Works

    In 1978, while working with other NASA scientists and the Apollo astronaut Buz Aldrin, he invented two aerospace mechanisms, patented under NASA's new technologies programs.

    Personal Life & Legacy

    He married Stella Ejigu, who also became one of his ardent supporters. They have three children, Sarah Abigail, Benyam, and Yared.
    On January 7, 2006, he was enjoying with his family in Austin, when he collapsed and hurt himself. The team of neurosurgeons was unable to stop the internal brain hemorrhage, and his condition deteriorated.

    He died an hour past midnight on January 13, 2006, four days after he underwent surgery at North Austin Medical Center in Austin Texas. A memorial service was held at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California, followed by his burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Covina Hills.

    There exists however different hypothesis of his death at home.


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  • Parent’s Smartphone Use Can Affect Kids' Behavior

    By Maureen Salamon

    HealthDay Reporter

    THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Could your smartphone prompt a toddler tantrum? Perhaps, a new study suggests.

    Young children whose parents interrupt family time by pulling out their smartphones or tablets appear more prone to misbehaviors, such as whining, sulking and tantrums, the research revealed.

    Study author Brandon McDaniel coined the term "technoference" about five years ago when researching technology's intrusion into face-to-face interactions and relationships. His new findings on kids and parents reinforce established research focusing on technology's effects on child development.

    "Do you like it when you feel snubbed by someone, when that person isn't validating or listening to you?" asked McDaniel. He's an assistant professor of human development and family science at Illinois State University.

    "It's the same thing with kids, but since they're not adults, the way they show it is probably by acting out a little more," he added. "Most parents really love their children, but it's hard for a child to feel that if you're staring at your phone."

    A lot of research has looked at technology's impact on children's routines. Kids between ages 8 and 18 spend about 7.5 hours per day using a screen -- whether TV, computer, cellphone or another device -- for entertainment, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    But this study included surveys from 168 mothers and 165 fathers of young children from 170 two-parent households. The researchers asked parents about their use of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other technology, and how the devices disrupted family time.

    Technoference could include checking phone messages during meals, playtime or routine activities with their children.

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