Human Cloning – Brain Ethics Mon, 21 Nov 2022 07:29:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Human Cloning – Brain Ethics 32 32 Citizens of Night City accidentally become cannibals Fri, 18 Nov 2022 22:30:00 +0000

In Cyberpunk 2077‘s Night City, the average resident’s diet isn’t great by any means, and most are fully aware that they’re eating glorified trash – but it might actually be a lot worse than they think. In this dark conspiracy, a majority of citizens may actually be cannibals who regularly eat human meat. Plus, to make matters worse (but not at all surprising), an unethical company is behind it all.

Biotechnica is a small but hugely influential company in Cyberpunk 2077 which focuses on genetic engineering, pharmaceuticals, microbiology and biochemistry. He was responsible for developing a high-sugar wheat variant that is the main component of Night City’s fuel source, CHOOH2. It now also functions as the town’s main food supplier, supplying the ingredients for Cyberpunk 2077is a far from tasty cuisine with its many protein farms. But due to the company’s history, as well as current – and suspicious – practices found in the game, there’s reason to believe that Biotechnica fed the residents of Night City cloned human meat.


Related: Cyberpunk 2077 Still Misses Its Most Obvious Romance Option

Cyberpunk 2077’s Biotechnica Has Created Human Clones In The Past

A view of the Biotechnica Flats in Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077Corporations are known to be terrifying manifestations of modern capitalism, displaying a blatant disregard for human life and interested only in gaining money or power. You’d think Biotechnica, an organization focused on advancing science and bettering humanity, would be an exception — but sadly, that doesn’t seem quite the case. Although he has created a positive impact on the planet by doing things like bio-engineering extinct species (like birds in Cyberpunk 2077‘s Night City), he may also have a much more sinister and secretive purpose that uses human life for his own gain.

In the second edition of Cyberpunk 2020 basic book, it is stated that the cloned tissue was first developed in 2004. The masterminds behind this discovery were, of course, none other than Biotechnica employees. However, few people realized (due to the details being kept secret) that the cloned tissue was actually human tissue and that the company had successfully cloned an entire human being. At first, the clones were barely functional, but after Biotechnica began inserting personality constructs into them – similar to those created by Cyberpunk 2077of Soulkiller technology – they became fully conscious, being literal copies of the humans who came before them.

Not much else is known about the methods or processes used for cloning in Cyberpunk 2077, or how long the experiments lasted. But it is believed that the facility used for these operations was actually located in Night City itself – most likely in what is now the Biotechnica Flats. For this reason, many believe that Biotechnica never stopped cloning humans and instead massively expanded this unscrupulous department.

Biotechnica could still clone humans in Cyberpunk 2077

A bloody ad for Slaughterhouse Meat in Cyberpunk 2077.

Unfortunately, the interiors of Biotechnica’s greenhouses aren’t explorable, so players won’t know for sure what’s going on. However, there are other clues that lead players to believe that much of the “synthetic protein” they produce is actually cloned human tissue. According to Deconstructing The Game on Youtube, there are several bits of information, or notes, that imply something sinister is going on at Biotechnica (as with most Cyberpunk 2077evil corporations).

Related: The Most Fashionable Clothes In Cyberpunk 2077 (And Where To Find Them)

For example, a shard can be found on the corpse of Tina Agron in Sector 0 of the Biotechnica Apartments in Cyberpunk 2077which details a conversation between her and a man named Will Gunner as they discuss “black market proteinWill accuses Tina of stealing the proteins from her workplace and attempts to make a deal with her (which she apparently agrees to too late). More importantly, however, is the fact that the proteins were being sold at the If they were indeed derived from plants and insects, as Biotechnica claims, there would be absolutely no reason for them to be sold so secretly. humans, that would be a lot scarier – but also a lot more logical.

Additionally, Deconstructing The Game points out that there is a disturbing nomadic village – much smaller than the one Cyberpunk 2077 Panam’s romantic interest is – centrally located Biotechnica apartments. It’s already strange that they live in the middle of a corporate-run protein farm, since nomads are known to despise corpo. However, this becomes very suspicious considering the city’s colossal cemetery. Makeshift graves created from pipes and hoses are scattered around the area, and the remaining residents mourn them periodically as part of their daily routines.

While no proper explanation is offered in the town itself, a small, entirely separate side quest in Cyberpunk 2077 can provide it instead. The concert, titled “Guinea pigs“, V tasks with the elimination of Dr. Joanne Koch,”the regional director of technology and developmentto Biotechnica. The people supporting her killing are a nomadic clan named Red Ocher, who apparently lost over seventy members due to a non-consensual experiment conducted by Koch herself. She attempted to pay the clan with eurodollars, the currency in Cyberpunk 2077‘s Night City, but they weren’t satisfied.

It’s possible that the unnamed small town of Biotechnica Flats actually belongs to Red Ocher and that its huge graveyard contains the unfortunate victims of Koch’s experiment. If Koch, one of Biotechnica’s top employees, was able to experiment on humans so nonchalantly, that only begs the question of what else is going on behind closed doors. For a company that apparently cares about preserving human life, its actions don’t reflect that sentiment at all.

With the company’s murky and illegal past, as well as the strange happenings happening on the company’s grounds, something fishy is almost certainly going on. Although the clues are sparse and the theory may seem far-fetched to some, Biotechnica using cloned humans for protein production is no longer completely out of the question. Although disturbing, the accidental cannibalism would line up perfectly with the other dystopian themes found in Cyberpunk 2077as in the controversial “fishermanquest. But for now, it seems players – and the impoverished, oblivious residents of Night City – will never be sure what’s really in their food.

More: The Witcher’s Ciri In Cyberpunk 2077 Theory Explained

Source: Cyberpunk 2020 Corebook, Deconstruct the game/YouTube

]]> Chinese scientists increase corn protein as food by successfully cloning a mutant gene in wild corn Thu, 17 Nov 2022 05:23:00 +0000

Human ancestors began domesticating maize 9,000 years ago and gradually transformed the weed-like wild maize teosinte into what we have today. Source: The Paper

A couple of scientists in Shanghai have cloned a mutant gene in wild corn after 10 years of effort, dramatically increasing the protein content of corn. This study is not only beneficial for the genetic improvement of the protein content of modern corn kernels, but also has an important guiding significance for the reduction of fertilizer application and the protection of the ecological environment at the coming.

Wu Yongrui’s research team from Center of Excellence in Plant Molecular Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wang Wenqin’s research team from Shanghai Normal University jointly published a research paper titled ” THP9 improves seed protein content and nitrogen use efficiency in maize” on Nature Thursday, noting that Teosinte High Protein 9 (THP9), a key variant of the gene controlling the formation of high protein quality and efficient nitrogen use in maize, has been successfully cloned from wild maize.

Since the domestication of maize by humans already 9,000 years ago, maize has become one of the most productive crops in the world, with an annual global production of 1.2 billion tons, of which 270 million tonnes in China, according to media reports. .

More than 70 percent of maize is used for animal feed, which is also the most commonly used and most important type of feed. However, the grain protein content of most hybrids is less than 8% due to the low grain protein content of common maize, so soy protein supplementation is often required in animal feeds.

However, China is heavily dependent on imports of soybeans, which has become a “bottleneck” problem in the country’s livestock and poultry industry. A 1 percentage point increase in the protein content of regular corn indicates that China can import almost 8 million tons less soybeans.

In this regard, increasing the protein content of maize is not only a strategic requirement to ensure national food security, but also one of the important ways to ensure the healthy development of livestock industry and poultry and animal feed manufacturing industry.

The mechanism of high protein formation in wild maize has been a long unsolved problem, as key genes to control total protein content and efficient nitrogen use in maize have not been found.

The two research teams began in 2012 to search for high-protein maize donor materials, protein content determination, genetic analysis and population construction, and reached an important experimental conclusion according to which wild maize contains key genes controlling high protein content.

The teams continuously created more than 10 generations of genetic material, extracted more than 40,000 DNA samples for genotype identification and determined the protein content of more than 20,000 samples for phenotype analysis, and finally cloned the first major gene THP9 controlling high protein content in maize.

The photo of Wu Yongrui's research team working in a cornfield in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province.  Source: The Paper

The photo of Wu Yongrui’s research team working in a cornfield in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province. Source: The Paper

In addition, the research teams conducted a large-scale field experiment in Sanya, Hainan province (southern China), to introduce the wild maize high-protein gene ThP9-T hybrid into Zheng Dan 958 maize production cultivar, which has the largest planting area in China. the country. It can significantly increase the protein content of hybrid seed, indicating that the gene has significant application potential in the cultivation of high-protein maize.

At present, the research results are moving from the laboratory to a wider application field, through cooperation with a breeding company in Anhui Province (East China), which actually could be commercialized, according to insiders.

world times

A series of behind-the-scenes interviews with Andor’s mastermind Tony Gilroy shed new light on the show’s goals Fri, 11 Nov 2022 03:00:00 +0000

Picture via Disney Plus

The tenth episode of Andor landed yesterday, and even by the show’s high standards, the outing was truly amazing. As expected, “One Way Out” focused on a prison revolt on Narkina 5, with Andy Serkis’ Kino Loy stepping up to lead the inmates to freedom. It would have been quite entertaining, but we also got a killer monologue from Luthen that fans are calling one of the greatest moments of star warsas the long-teased “tough choices” for Mon Mothma have finally arrived.

During the day, showrunner Tony Gilroy gave interviews to several media outlets about his thinking behind Andorproviding insightful insight into what it took to bring this brilliant show to life.

But first, something very interesting is happening at Studio Ghibli…

Studio Ghibli

Animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli has just released a video indicating that they are teaming up with Lucasfilm on a mystery project. Check out their enigmatic teaser:

Ghibli is famous for its animation classics like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononokeand Taken away as if by magic, and while they’ve often adapted existing works, this is the first time they’ve worked on a licensed property. Rumors are circulating that it could be an entry into the Star Wars Visions anime project, though initial reports suggest the upcoming second season will focus on international anime studios after the heavy initial bid in Japan.

We sneakily suspect the recent leak of a star wars short titled “Grogu and Dust Bunnies” may have something to do with this story. It is set to arrive on Saturday November 12 to mark the third anniversary of The Mandalorian‘s first season so we should know more very soon. Watch this place.

Did Andy Serkis’ Kino Loy live or die?

Kino Loy Andor
Screenshot via YouTube/CT-6969

Andy Serkis has been one of the best things about the last three episodes, although it seems like his Andor the story ended this week. After playing a pivotal role in Cassian’s prison revolt, we got the crushing revelation that he can’t swim so won’t be able to escape with his fellow inmates.

As a result, the show left Kino Loy’s fate as a mystery. The possibilities range from him being pushed into the water and drowning, carried to shore by his comrades, or remaining in the installation and being captured when the Imperial response arrives. We love the ambiguity, though a quote from showrunner Tony Gilroy seems to suggest he thinks Kino Loy lived:

In an interview with The Hollywood journalistGilroy was asked what happened to him and he said:

“I don’t know. He’s not dead. Is he dead? I don’t see him dying.

While we weren’t going to turn down any more Andy Serkis, we’re more than happy with this ending. Kino’s arc ended with him freeing his mind from Imperial institutionalization, so whether or not he is physically freed doesn’t matter so much for the themes of the story.

Let’s just hope we don’t get an ugly novel revealing that Kino was captured by the Empire and his DNA used as the basis for cloning experiments to create a replacement for Palpatine…

Tony Gilroy is adamant that Andor is a “heartbreaking thread” rather than a political polemic

Tony Gilroy arrives at the Lucasfilm Original Series Andor 3-Episode Special Launch Event at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California on September 15, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In a separate interview with Indiewire, Gilroy was pressed on the politics of Andor. Throughout the show, we’ve seen characters and situations that break down the corrupting influences of fascism and the importance of fighting it, leading most viewers to quite reasonably conclude that the show has always been intended as political commentary.

Well, that might not necessarily be the case. Gilroy said any political message flowed naturally from the subject rather than something the writers had explicitly intended to do. In an illuminating quote, he described the show’s politics as “instinctive”, saying:

“Choose your revolution. I saw an analysis on the Marxist accelerationist vision of Luther. People basically understand these ideas; they don’t need terms for them. They do not need to be put into a dialectical form. They need to feel instinctive. It’s very nice, on the other hand, to watch people argue and find things that apply, but my primary responsibility is to the characters and to making an adventure story. It’s a heartbreaking thread and it’s an adventure story, and there’s a lot more energy that goes into the plot and the adventure story aspect of it – nobody just sits there thinking what we should do politically. It happens instinctively. »

He also opened up about where he personally came from, describing himself as “an old white guy who listens to history podcasts all the time” and wanted to use real-world events as “a catalog” rather than feed them stories. specific comments. .

But really, when your portrayal of the Empire is clearly heavily inspired by 1970s Northern Ireland, the Highland Clearances, the British Empire and Nazi Germany, it’s no surprise that many viewers assume that you are making an explicit political statement.

Or, alternatively, maybe he just doesn’t want Disney and Lucasfilm to realize he’s calling for violent revolution every week on their premier streaming service.

Other alien characters are on their way to Andor

An alien from 'Andor'
Picture via Disney Plus

One of the few justified complaints about Andor it’s that he skimps star wars aliens. Sure, there were a few on screen, but for the most part, AndorThe embryonic rebellion has been made up entirely of humans, with the Empire unsurprisingly following suit. We know the Rebellion will eventually bring together all manner of alien species in their Galactic Civil War, so where are they?

In Gilroy’s interview with The Hollywood Reporterhe said there was a good reason for it:

“There’s already so much politics in the show to begin with, and we’re trying to tell an adventure story, really. So adding strong alien characters means all of a sudden there’s a whole bunch of new issues we have to deal with that I don’t really understand or just couldn’t think of a way to integrate them into what we do.

It’s also likely that if you have a show in which characters make heartfelt speeches about the evils of fascism, having a guy standing in the background with a rubber monster mask is likely to undermine the serious vibe.

Luckily for fans of Star Wars’ many iconic alien races, the future looks bright:

“You’ll see more of that as we go along, but that’s a legitimate question and one that we’ll answer as we go along. There’s a more human side to the story and its politics. There’s no Certainly there are no extraterrestrials working for the Empire, so that sort of tilts one way, automatically.

The show’s first season showed us the divided resistance to the Empire, with Saw Gerrera ranting about “neo-Republicans.” The Ghorman Front. The Partisan Alliance. Sectorists. Human cultists!

Season two will span five years and will presumably show these different groups uniting under the Rebel Alliance flag, so hopefully that means the character cast will expand to Rodians, Twi’leks, Wookiees, Mon Calimari and the rest. Shit, why not throw in a grizzled Gungan for good measure?

Judging by the recent teaser for the second half of the series, we’re hoping for some fireworks in the final two episodes. Our only concern is that all of these characters make it through to the second season, because there’s a ridiculous amount of storytelling potential in each of them. Hoping we will know more soon.

]]> Q&A with cybersecurity awareness company SoSafe Tue, 08 Nov 2022 15:43:49 +0000

85% of cyberattacks start with the human factor, but 80% of employees do not feel sufficiently warned or trained.

SoSafe helps organizations solve this problem with a cybersecurity awareness solution, based on behavioral science and learning psychology, employees receive trainings with regular learning content as well as phishing simulations that help them identify cyber threats and react accordingly.

At the same time, management can access risk on a daily, data-driven scale. They can measure the likelihood that their employees will click or interact with a phishing email, take the appropriate measures to avoid being the next victim of a cyberattack and permanently limit the risk.

Our data shows that after one year, click-through rates can be reduced by 70%, interaction rates even by 80%. In terms of my role, I lead our channel efforts here at SoSafe.

Our focus right now is on growing our international footprint and a big part of that strategy is working with channel partners and MSPs.

We opened new offices in London, Amsterdam and Paris earlier this year and have found that the fastest way to market is through local partners

I joined SoSafe at the end of 2021 to grow SoSafe’s channel program and since then we have grown the team by 700% to double down on our core market, DACH, and make the first investments in our European expansion. We currently have a trend of 300% year-over-year growth for our distribution business, so now is the perfect time for new partners to come on board while we set up the first partnerships.

Why is cybersecurity awareness training an important offering for resellers and MSPs?

Competition in the VAR and MSP/MSSP world is getting tougher.

Many VARs and MSPs look to the security space. In today’s economy, as many businesses reduce spending in many areas, cybersecurity continues to be one of the areas where investment will continue and even increase.

KPMG found that 76% of CEOs view cybersecurity as a strategic function rather than just an IT issue.

This is great news for the awareness space, as every business needs awareness measures, whether for compliance, certifications, cyber insurance, or simply to mitigate risk.

And SoSafe’s approach is not only to tick the boxes for compliance, but also to provide an effective and efficient means of meeting all of these requirements in a sustainable way.

Currently, the SME segment is really interesting for our MSPs. Small companies, which account for around 65% of total employment in the EU, tend to have fewer security resources and expertise. This makes them prime targets for cyberattacks.

Successful cyberattacks can cripple the business for a long time and cause enormous financial damage. A study by IBM Security, for example, showed that the average cost of a data breach is 4.5 million euros.

For MSPs looking to enter the security space, awareness training has a lot of visibility in an organization because it is something that every employee comes in contact with. This makes it a great entry point before talking about endpoint security, firewall and network monitoring, which tend to sit in the background.

For medium and large companies, our resellers have had great success with awareness as a gateway to other types of projects. It’s only natural that when you train employees online, you also need on-site trainings for more in-depth topics.

If you have phishing emails being reported more often, you need incident response management, or even see a security operations center. How would you describe your partnership strategy?

The cybersecurity industry is growing extremely rapidly. We seek to partner with VARs and MSPs who want to learn with us along the way.

There are many partner programs that are very complex. We seek to keep things simple, sharing knowledge and best practices with our partners so that we can all grow our business together.

Our approach is threefold:

1. Treat partners as if they were colleagues: if your sales team has access to sales materials and resources, your partners must have access to them too, so that they have as much chance of success as your own internal teams .

2. Help our partner grow: Many programs fall apart here. If you can’t find the win-win[1]scenario in the partnership, you will have a hard time scaling it. Of course, it takes time to find the formula, but once you find it, double the bet.

3. Expertise: Leverage your expertise and find partners to complement it. As a company, you can’t be the best at everything.

Let your partners be the experts at what they do best and join forces. Your strengths will help you win together. How do you plan to grow your channel’s footprint over the next 12 or so months? We want to continue our strong growth trajectory. We know that most partnerships take a little while to get started: we assume that much of the effort we have put into our partnerships will accelerate over the next 12 months.

For now, our biggest contributors are more on the VAR side. But given that many MSPs are looking to become MSSPs (if you follow Jay McBain, you know he’s very optimistic about that), then I can imagine that our MSP offering might also start to pick up steam.

As mentioned, the SME market in the EU is huge.

This could be a great opportunity for early major MSPs who want to hit the market with an upcoming[1]generation awareness solution that has a strong presence in the DACH market.

How has the cyber threat landscape evolved in 2022?

From global social changes to geopolitical challenges, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the latest societal events for their own criminal purposes.

Besides the waves of event-driven attacks, such as the instrumentalization of the war against Ukraine by social engineering attacks, one can observe a general professionalization of cybercrime – at full speed. Organizations are facing an innovative dark economy in which cybercrime as a service is a common business model.

Tactics are changing almost by the minute. In our “Human Risk Review 2022”, we spoke with IT and cybersecurity experts. Nine out of ten experts confirmed that the cyber threat landscape has worsened. One in three companies experienced a successful cyberattack in 2021. There are several drivers for this development – ​​certainly technologization and digitization are opening new doors for attackers.

For example, hybrid working models have expanded the range of attacks and success rates for cybercriminals. In our increasingly interconnected world, so-called supply chain attacks are also on the rise.

And the rise of artificial intelligence is enabling cybercriminals to use insidious new attack tactics such as deepfakes, voice cloning and large-scale automated spear phishing. It is therefore particularly important that we are aware that cybersecurity will never be an “over” issue.

We constantly need to learn about new strategies deployed by cybercriminals. Security awareness is therefore essential – and our survey confirmed this. 99% of all respondents said that strengthening the safety cultures of their organizations will be essential for them.

What advice would you give to resellers and MSPs looking to grow their cybersecurity business in 2023?

Humans are the first and last line of defense.

A technical solution alone is not enough and we advise you to keep this in mind when selling solutions to your customer: even if you have all the technology, monitoring and automations of the defender, cybercriminals can still enter out the door via the emotional manipulation of employees.

This human approach is also the one we adopt in partnerships. We aim to build long-term relationships with our partners, creating win-win scenarios for both parties.

For us, the ultimate goal is to create partnerships that feel like an extension of our team, growing our businesses together. Once you unlock it, double back and see where it takes you.

Why The Mandalorian’s Morgan Elsbeth Matters To Star Wars Sat, 05 Nov 2022 19:45:00 +0000

From its beginnings, star wars has been a galaxy full of intriguing characters. While the Disney canon has been derided by some as lacking this element, in truth, there have been many fascinating people whose contributions to the fabric of the franchise’s narrative have made it as vibrant as ever.

Among these many beings of various shapes and sizes, however, is Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, an antagonistic figure from another era, who briefly faced off against some of the most capable fighters in the galaxy. She has a certain appeal for that alone, but she also serves as the first word in many questions about the future of her adversaries, the future of the galaxy, and, perhaps, even the franchise itself.

RELATED: Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Makes a Crucial Change to Mace Windu’s Lightsaber

Who is Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth?

Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth is the main antagonist of the fifth episode of The Mandalorian“Chapter 13: The Jedi” of the second season. She and a force of security troops and battle droids, led by a cameo by Michael Biehn, ruled over a remote village on the planet Corvus, her homeworld. During the episode, her small empire was thwarted by the efforts of Din Djarin and Ahsoka Tano, freeing the townspeople from Elsbeth’s oppression. In an attempt to cast her as more than just a tyrant, however, the episode also hinted at hints of the Magistrate’s origins, mentioning that his people had been slaughtered during the Clone Wars decades prior.

Some have speculated that this massacre could have been that of the Nightsisters by General Grievous, making her from the same tribe as Dooku’s personal assassin, Asajj Ventress, while others propose that she could have being a member of the Ming-Po, a tribe native to the planet Carlac, which was wiped out by the Death Watch before Tano herself finally intervened. This last possibility involves both Tano and his ally Djarin Bo-Katan Kryze, whose involvement in the terrorist group Death Watch before its fragmentation could also be key to future events. It has also been stated that Elsbeth had a major influence on the construction of Imperial Starfleet and its technological terrors. It’s an alarming prospect when you also consider that Elsbeth’s duel with Tano resulted in the latter demanding to meet the former’s master: Grand Admiral Thrawn.

RELATED: Star Wars Introduces A Weapon Mightier Than A Lightsaber

Who is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

For those who aren’t in the know, Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the most beloved characters of all time. star wars‘ Extensive library of ancillary material, first appearing in the trilogy of novels that bears his name from science fiction legend Timothy Zahn. These books, which helped launch the popularity of the Legends canon among what was then a new wave of franchise fans, detailed the rise and fall of Thrawn, an alien from the galactic fringe who nevertheless achieved one of the highest possible ranks in the human-centric Galactic Empire due to his strategic genius. When Legends was replaced by the new canon after the Disney acquisition, Thrawn was one of the first characters fans asked to be brought back into the fold, and it followed several new Zahn novels.

For Elsbeth, being in cahoots with Thrawn signals several things. It may even help explain her proficiency with the beskar spear, as she was able to hold her own against Tano for some time despite the Jedi being trained by her Order at perhaps the height of her power. Tano also defeated several Imperial Inquisitors while escaping from her former master, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader; it was during this time that she entered into an alliance with the rebel group known as the Phoenix Cell, including the Force-sensitive Ezra Bridger, whom she helped train in the ways of the Jedi. Bridger eventually confronted Thrawn aboard his flagship, who was sent into hyperspace to parts unknown during the duel, and the two have since vanished from galactic events.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Actor Claims There’s an Impressive 6-Hour Cut

What are the implications of Elsbeth’s work for Thrawn?

Whether Elsbeth is allied with Thrawn at all signals that he has returned from this involuntary exile, though what state he and Bridger were in after their fight remains to be seen. Given Thrawn’s history in legends and canon, the fact that he took a master shipbuilder under his wing should raise serious concerns for the fledgling New Republic he and Elsbeth now stand against. In ancient lore, Thrawn was able to determine the location of a lost fleet of battleships and outfit them with Spaarti cloning cylinders stolen from one of the Emperor’s many warehouses. If he were to find similar technology wherever his ship was sent during his confrontation with Bridger, it would make sense for him to team up with someone like Elsbeth to provide the basis for a new Imperial Navy.

Some fans are worried about how a showdown between Thrawn and Tano might play out, for a variety of reasons. After the initial peak of seeing Luke Skywalker in action once again dissipated, criticism was leveled at the storytelling of The Mandalorianand most serious at the feet of Boba Fett’s Book, which was less well received almost from the start among fans. The disappointing death of fan-favorite bounty hunter Cad Bane was particularly alarming, and while his return is anticipated by some, there’s certainly fear that Thrawn will meet a similar fate. Tano’s future is also uncertain; during Rey’s duel with Palpatine in the maligned Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, the Jedi’s voice can be heard alongside others, offering words of encouragement. However, all other Jedi whose voices were heard were dead by this time, signaling that Tano may have met his end before the rise of the First Order; at least that would explain his absence.

Elsbeth, and by extension her “master” Thrawn, are one of the most interesting new plot threads to introduce to the crowd of star wars shows released in recent years. Whether she’s actually the harbinger of a shadow empire lurking on the fringes, preparing to strike, or just meant to serve as an arrow pointing at Thrawn, hopefully we’ll see more of her in the next series. What is his ultimate fate, as well as that of Tano and Thrawn, remains to be seen.

]]> Marvel Snap’s Agatha Harkness Card Plays For You And It’s Mayhem Thu, 03 Nov 2022 20:25:00 +0000

Agatha Harkness, who many know from Disney Plus' recent WandaVision show, in Marvel Snap.

Image: Second dinner / Kotaku

As many of us go our way through the pool system hidden in marvel snap, I’m willing to bet that many new players have yet to reach the third and final level, which unlocks the final set of cards in Second Dinner’s popular new deck-building game. So chances are you haven’t come across the Agatha Harkness map yet, which might house the most entertaining game mechanic I’ve seen in this game yet.

Get this: Agatha will play all your cards for you. She just takes over and you have to watch her do it. It’s a particularly fun prospect, not only because you suddenly have to let fate decide if you’re going to win the game, but also because of how often do people play marvel snap are paranoid about that they could fight against bots. What if the reality was that you were competing against both a bot and a human? Dun dun dun.

As a YouTuber MegaMogwai reviews in her video below, Agatha has a variety of quirks that aren’t listed in her description. Not only will it always start in your hand, but it will also always be an additional card on top of what you initially draw. Most of the time, this quality might seem useless, given that Agatha costs five energy, which is usually a late-game thing. Recently, however, marvel snapit is had a 40% increased chance of with areas that gave you five extra energy upon revealing itself, so an Agatha deck has been viable lately.


Another thing the game doesn’t tell you is that Agatha is also selfish. Not only will she prioritize herself and try to play her own card as soon as she can, but she always seems to draw the energy rewards that are normally given to a given random card at the end of a match. Disadvantages. But the moment Agatha touches the board, you regain control. With smart deckbuilding, you could potentially make plays that take advantage of his massive 14 power without getting too hurt while his bot AI controls.

You would still be playing with fire, of course. Hilarious, the Agatha deck featured on is aptly called “Chaos Deck”. MegaMogwai doesn’t run the exact same deck, but there are some similarities between them. The big things to note about Mega’s particular deck are that it has cards like Lady Sif to try and get rid of Agatha early, if that’s possible, but also cards like Ghost Rider, which brings discarded cards back to any given location, potentially granting you that 14 power boost without risking Agatha taking over. It’s a dense, high-energy deck that doesn’t allow you to play too many cards at once. But that’s okay, because it also runs Devil Dinosaur, which powers +2 for each card in your hand.

Read more: marvel snap Skipped a base card game, and it worked

In theory, it’s an immensely smart deck. But the crispy thing about marvel snapbeyond small matchesit’s that you never know what’s going to happen next. Instantaneous is a game where the only deities are crooks who laugh at your silly little deadly plans, blowing them up just to see the reaction on your face. You feel like a god when it goes your way. And when it’s not, you can just tell yourself it was bullshit, the cards were literally stacked against you.

I was once playing a game that I was winning at the very beginning, only for an area called “Ego” to appear. Get this: Ego makes the AI ​​play for both players, not one. Do you know what this bot did? He played Mantis and Sentinel on my sixth turn, two low-energy cards usually reserved for the early game. I lost. Then I lined up for another match. Madness, video games.

So, yes, MegaMogwai’s acting is great on paper, but things go awry the moment he starts showing it off on camera. During the first game, the initial area immediately discards Agatha. The centerpiece of the bridge has disappeared. lol. lmao. It continues to win, as the deck was built around the idea of ​​throwing it away, but I’m eternally amused by how quickly marvel snap just gonna look you in the eye and say Nope. The most fun is figuring out how to make things work after everything goes wrong.

The second game in the video didn’t go much better, spiritually. MegaMogwai can play Agatha, which is awesome, until a clone vat is revealed, and suddenly Agatha actually decides that he’s not getting rid of her at all like he planned. Immediately, he retreats so as not to lose too many cubes, the currency of the game.

I won’t spoil the rest of the video, which is nearly an hour long, but it’s a great look at one of the most unusual ways to play. Marvel Snap. Funny too, because despite all this uncertainty and chaos? I want to go build an Agatha deck as soon as possible. Here again, I’m a known first round marvel snap snapper.

After Dobbs ruling, abortion rights debate underpins race for District 36 Mon, 24 Oct 2022 18:00:00 +0000

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson last June influenced legislative campaigns across the country, including in Sarpy County’s Legislative District 36 contest.

With the court ruling that there is no federal constitutional right to abortion, overturning Roe v. Wade, the judges gave the power to regulate abortion to state houses across the country, making many legislative races essential for proponents and opponents of abortion rights.

District 36 is no exception. Once considered a reliable Republican seat in the officially nonpartisan legislature, the district was moved to Sarpy County in the redistricting. It offers an opportunity for a Democratic recovery, despite a voter registration disadvantage favoring Republicans.

The GOP had 14,032 registered voters in District 36 as of Oct. 1, according to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office. That’s 51.6% of voters in the constituency. Democrats had 5,763 registered voters, while 6,885 were nonpartisan registered voters.

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Angie Lauritsen

Rick Holdcroft

Rick Holdcroft

Angie Lauritsen, a registered Democrat in the nonpartisan race, said abortion rights have become a defining issue on the campaign trail.

Lauritsen supports maintaining the status quo for abortion rights in Nebraska – established under the Roe standard – while his opponent, Republican Rick Holdcroft, favors additional restrictions on abortion.

A former Gretna City Council member and small business owner, Lauritsen serves as chairman of the political and legislative committee of Survivors Rising, a metropolitan nonprofit that advocates for victims of abuse in the Nebraska Legislature and before local organizations to improve policies.

She said that with her expertise in sexual assault issues, and as a survivor herself, she can clarify any proposed changes to Nebraska law.

“Since the Dobbs decision came down — and it says a lot of civil rights decisions have to be made at the state level — it puts so much more pressure on the legislative races this year,” Lauritsen said. “I feel that pressure.”

Speaking with voters, Lauritsen said she’s only met a few people who support a complete abortion ban in Nebraska.

“Everyone thinks there should be exemptions for rape, incest and for the life of the mother,” she said. “The extreme ban that some want to have is far too extreme for the majority of the district and for many Nebraskans.”

Current state law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, with some exceptions, such as when a woman is at risk of life-threatening or seriously compromised health.

“I’m able to talk to neighbors and let them know that I think where we are right now with regulations and laws in the state of Nebraska is where everyone is comfortable. We don’t want any more restrictive bans on our reproductive health,” Lauritsen said.

Lauritsen characterized his opponent as being “against all exemptions, including for the life of the mother. He is also against contraception and (in vitro fertilization), which I find difficult to hear, because my daughter has was created by FIV”.

Holdcroft, who describes himself as “pro-life”, denies being against contraception, and he said preventing IVF would be “counter-intuitive” to producing life. His campaign website states that he “believes that life begins at conception and should be valued and protected from that point on”.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, many state laws state that “personality” begins at fertilization, and broad legislative language could “intentionally or unintentionally involve and even prohibit IVF and certain other ART procedures.” (assisted reproductive technology)”. The company noted that Nebraska law currently “does not appear” to apply to IVF.

In an election survey conducted by Nebraskans Embracing Life Action, Holdcroft said he opposed “the artificial formation of human life outside the womb for the purpose of cloning or fertility treatment, such as fertilization. in vitro and embryonic stem cell research” and that he supports the removal of federal mandates on health care plans to cover “abortive contraception”.

The 28-year-old US Navy veteran and former aerospace executive said in an interview that he supports a “common sense approach” to abortion regulations.

“I think we need to have a clinic license. I think we need to have parental consent for minors and informed consent for procedures that are going to be done in these clinics,” Holdcroft said.

“When it comes to restrictions, I think we need to take a scientific approach, looking at the heartbeat, when the baby feels pain, and the viability of the baby,” he said. “I would oppose any taxpayer funding of abortions, and I think there’s also an element in any legislation that goes forward for abortion regulation that looks at helping and supporting low-income mothers to help them carry their babies to term.”

A human fetus does not have the ability to feel pain for at least 24 weeks, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The organization asserts that viability is the confluence of several complex factors unique to each pregnancy.

Asked about exceptions for abortions in the proposed legislation — including rape, incest or the preservation of a pregnant woman’s life — Holdcroft declined to provide details.

“These are such small percentages of the actual abortions that are performed. My approach, again, would be more heartbeat-based, when the baby feels pain, and then viability,” he said.

When asked a second time if he would approve of exceptions, Holdcroft reiterated that his approach would be “science-based”. When asked, he said he does not consider the removal of an ectopic pregnancy an abortion.

A survey for the Nebraska Right to Life 2022 General Election Guide showed Holdcroft responding that there was “no case” that abortion should be legal.

In April, a legislative filibuster blocked a vote on Legislative Bill 933, a so-called “trigger law” that would have effectively ended abortion in Nebraska when Roe v. Wade was overturned. Supporters did not receive all 33 votes to end the filibuster in a final vote of 31-15.

A subsequent attempt to call a special session after the failure of the Dobbs decision was unsuccessful.

“There’s a lot of partisanship going on, and the 33-vote filibuster, I think, has really delayed a lot of legislation that I think most Nebraskans would support,” Holdcroft said. “It goes back to the conservative views of most Nebraskans and, frankly, the conservative percentage in the unicameral. Getting 33 out of 49 votes is pretty tough.

Holdcroft said if he wanted a healthy debate, he would favor lowering the filibuster threshold to around 20. His opponent disagrees with that recommendation.

“Unlike the dysfunction you see in Congress, Nebraska’s nonpartisan unicameral is unique and allows us to get things done and prevent extreme legislation from becoming law,” Lauritsen said. “These rules are important and I will oppose any effort to turn Nebraska into Washington, DC.”

“(People) are really tired of far-right and far-left people going to their corners and throwing darts at each other,” Lauritsen said. “Can we go back to treating everyone as human and treating everyone with dignity and respect? Really working for our communities to do good things? »

District 36 was moved in 2021 from central Nebraska — where it represented Custer, Dawson and part of Buffalo counties — to Sarpy County to accommodate population growth. It now encompasses the southern and far western half of Sarpy County, including Gretna and Springfield, as well as a small section of Millard. It also represents some pockets of Papillion and Bellevue.

Legislative District 36

Legislative District 36


Hair loss could one day be treated by lab-grown hair follicles Fri, 21 Oct 2022 18:00:08 +0000

By modifying mouse embryonic skin cells, researchers created hair follicles up to 3 millimeters long in a month


October 21, 2022

A hair follicle generated from hair organoids – tiny, simple versions of an organ

Yokohama National University

Mature hair follicles have been grown in the lab for the first time, in a move that could one day treat hair loss.

Producing hair follicles artificially has always been very difficult, says Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke of Queen Mary University of London, who was not involved in the study. “Different types of cells need different kinds of nutrients and when they’re outside the body they need different kinds of requirements than when they’re inside the body.”

In mammals, hair follicles are usually produced in embryos as a result of interactions between skin cells and connective tissue.

To better understand these interactions, Junji Fukuda of Yokohama National University in Japan and his colleagues studied hair follicle organoids – tiny, simple versions of an organ.

By controlling the structure of organoids, the team was able to improve hair follicle growth.

“We looked at various conditions, including growth factors, activators and inhibitors of signaling pathways, and essential components of the culture medium,” says Fukuda.

The team’s main breakthrough was culturing mouse embryonic skin cells in a special type of gel, which allowed the cells to be reprogrammed into hair follicles.

“If you think of a hair follicle, there’s the hair in the middle, and then there are layers of epithelial cells around the follicle and other specialized cells,” says Hodivala-Dilke. The gel allows these cells to grow in the lab in a way that means they can climb on top of each other. [like they do in the body]she says.

Hair follicles grew for up to a month, reaching up to 3 millimeters in length. “This is probably related to the fact that the hair cycle of mice is about a month long,” says Fukuda.

The team is now working to recreate the experiment using human cells.

According to Hodivala-Dilke, lab-grown human hair follicles could one day treat hair loss. “You might be able to take hair from someone who has really lush hair and grow it out in the lab, and then use those follicles to do a transplant,” she says. Existing hair transplants involve moving hair from one part of the body to a thinning or bald area, which can cause scarring.

“This discovery isn’t going to cure hair loss, but it does lay the groundwork for someone to potentially do it,” Hodivala-Dilke says.

Journal reference: Scientists progressDOI: 10.1126/sciadv.add4603

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Flat Eye plays with AI, cloning, and future tech as you work at a gas station Wed, 19 Oct 2022 22:11:53 +0000

Artificial intelligence could be about to change just about everything we know about everything. It can create (or at least remix) art, music and speech and looks set to disrupt entire industries. Flat Eye, a sim from the indie studio behind Night Call, seeks to explore some of the same issues. What if we can clone ourselves or alter our own memories? What if we can perfectly select the genetics of our own offspring?

What begins as an unassuming gas station simulator quickly turns into a fascinating look at how current, speculative technology could impact our lives. A short demo is available now, with the full release on Steam in mid-November.