Geese, ganders, and bald eagles: The space arms race is well under way. According to cnbc.com, a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency reports that China and Russia are rapidly developing military capabilities in outer space. These weapons include land-based laser weapons designed to take out satellites in low Earth orbit and super-sonic weapons able to evade interceptors. According to the Pentagon, China “is second only to the United States in the number of operational satellites.” https://cnb.cx/2UWUOhq

It’s only a matter of time: Artificial Intelligence continues on its march to supplant humanity from every task imaginable. A paper published in the journal Nature and reported in the New York Times details how scientists in China and the United States have built a system that automatically diagnoses common childhood conditions. In order to achieve this goal, the system is fed data regarding the patient’s symptoms, history, lab results, and other clinical data. The AI proved highly accurate and the researchers suggest a similar system may one day assist doctors in diagnosing conditions. (Erm, of course not taking their place.) https://nyti.ms/2UVP5YY

Replaceable parts: Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Gianni Rometty joined other tech industry leaders in taking part in President Donald Trump’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. The group’s goal is “to develop and implement a strategy to revamp the American workforce to better meet the challenges of the 21st Century.” Central to meeting future challenges is making sure humans laborers aren’t replaced by automation and artificial intelligence. https://cnb.cx/2USxZes

Why don’t people learn?: In yet another stunning example of a 21st century society own-goal, people in 19 states are coming down with a rare infectious disease, Brucellosis. Those people have food trend of drinking raw, unpasteurized milk to thank for their illnesses. The sick cow shedding Brucella abortus was located in Pennsylvania. The farm’s milk made it into the following states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, MIchigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia. http://bit.ly/2URWadc

Collateral damage: Mexico’s scientific community is emerging as collateral damage to the bloody drug war that has been plaguing the country for years. While nobody has systematically documented the effects on research, a spokesperson for Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology has stated that he’s heard countless stories that make the damage clear. The clashes between cartels and government forces have forced scientists to abandon sites, interrupt experiments, and change research interests. https://go.nature.com/2E96lVc

24 Hour Party People: On February 12 during meeting at the US Food and Drug Administration an independent advisory panel voted 14 to 2 in favor of recommending a compound related to the party drug ketamine for use in treating depression. If esketamine is approved, it will increase the chances of other ketamine related substances to be adopted. https://go.nature.com/2UUWTu1

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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