Tag: lead

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Andrew Yang takes lead in California data privacy measure

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Fitbits on our wrists collect our health and fitness data; Apple promises privacy but lots of iPhone apps can still share our personal information; and who really knows what they’re agreeing to when a website asks, “Do You Accept All Cookies?” Most people just click “OK” and hope for the best, says former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

“The amount of data we’re giving up is unprecedented in human history,” says Yang, who lives in New York but is helping lead the campaign for a data privacy initiative on California’s Nov. 3 ballot. “Don’t you think it’s time we did something about it?”

Yang is chairing the advisory board for Proposition 24, which he and other supporters see as a model for other states as the U.S. tries to catch up with protections that already exist in Europe.

The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 would expand the rights Californians were given to their personal data in a groundbreaking law approved two years ago, which took effect in January. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was intended to give residents more control over their personal information collected online. It limited how companies gather personal data and make money from it and gave consumers the right to know what a company has collected and have it deleted, as well as the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information.

But between the time the law was passed and took effect, major companies have found ways to dodge requirements. Tech and business lobbyists are pressuring the Legislature to water it down further, with proposals to undo parts of the law, says Alastair Mactaggart, a San Francisco real estate developer who spearheaded support for the 2018 law and is behind the effort to amend

29
Sep
2020
Posted in computer

Computer model shows how COVID-19 could lead to runaway inflammation

SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a dying cell (blue) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), the virus that causes COVID-19. Credit: NIAID Integrated Research Facility, Fort Detrick, Maryland.

A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai addresses a mystery first raised in March: Why do some people with COVID-19 develop severe inflammation? The research shows how the molecular structure and sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein—part of the virus that causes COVID-19—could be behind the inflammatory syndrome cropping up in infected patients.

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses computational modeling to zero in on a part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that may act as a “superantigen,” kicking the immune system into overdrive as in toxic shock syndrome—a rare, life-threatening complication of bacterial infections.

Symptoms of a newly identified condition in pediatric COVID-19 patients, known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), include persistent fever and severe inflammation that can affect a host of bodily systems. While rare, the syndrome can be serious or even fatal.

The first reports of this condition coming out of Europe caught the attention of study co-senior author Moshe Arditi, M.D., director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division at Cedars-Sinai and an expert on another pediatric inflammatory disease—Kawasaki disease.

Arditi contacted his long-time collaborator, Ivet Bahar, Ph.D., distinguished professor and John K. Vries Chair of computational and systems biology at Pitt School of Medicine, and the two started searching for features of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that might be responsible for MIS-C.

Bahar and her team created a computer model of the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein and the receptors on human T cells, the foot soldiers of the immune system. Under normal circumstances, T cells help the body