Amazon Unveils Its New Drone for Goods Deliveries

Chris Albrecht wrote . . . . . . . . .

The battle to deliver your goods as fast as possible is taking to the skies. Amazon unveiled its new delivery drone today at its re:Mars conference in Las Vegas and said it would start delivering packages to people “within months.”

The first thing you notice about the fully electric drone is its unique design that combines elements of both a helicopter and an airplane. From the blog post announcing the drone:

It can do vertical takeoffs and landings – like a helicopter. And it’s efficient and aerodynamic – like an airplane. It also easily transitions between these two modes – from vertical-mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode.

Amazon’s drone can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages that are less than five pounds (like a latte!) in less than 30 minutes.

The company is also touting the device’s numerous safety features. The propellers are completely shrouded and those shrouds acts as wings during flight. There are also numerous sensors, cameras and artificial intelligence on board so it can navigate unexpected obstacles or weather conditions during flight, as well as land safely in someone’s yard without running into wires or curious/agitated pets.

Amazon’s drone unveiling comes more than five years after Jeff Bezos first dropped the idea that Amazon was exploring drone delivery. It also comes just over a month since Google’s Wing Aviation got Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation approvals to make commercial drone deliveries. Part of the reason they were able to do so was because Google basically went through the process of becoming a small airline. Amazon didn’t say where it was in the regulatory process, or where in the world it would be making deliveries, but the company does already know a thing about delivery by air with its fleet of 50 cargo planes.

In addition to Amazon and Google duking it out over drone dominance, look for an ecosystem of startups to spring up to help facilitate drone delivery. Already companies like AirSpace Link are providing services like route mapping for companies that want to do drone delivery.

Source: The Spoon

Watch video at You Tube (1:18 minutes) . . . . .

Tuna Steak with Lemons and Olives


4 fresh tuna steaks, each weighing about 4 oz
5 untreated lemons
7 tbsp olive oil, cold pressed
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
6 tbsp green olives in oil


  1. Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the juice of 2 lemons and 4 tbsp olive oil. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Wash the remaining lemons and cut into wedges.
  3. Drain the tuna steaks and fry in a hot frying pan, without adding any oil, for 1-2 minutes each side.
  4. Take the steaks out of the pan and put onto plates.
  5. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil and the rest of the marinade in the hot frying pan and quickly saute the lemon wedges. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the lemon wedges lightly with a fork.
  6. Arrange the lemon wedges on the plates with the tuna steaks and drizzle each serving with a little of the hot lemon oil. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately garnished with 2-3 olives.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Cuisine

Google Lens Will Show Reviews if You Point It at a Restaurant’s Menu

Jon Porter wrote . . . . . . . . .

Google is launching a pair of interrelated features that are designed to make it easier to pick what to eat at restaurants. The first was originally announced by the company back at Google I/O, and it allows you to point your phone’s camera at a restaurant’s menu to see user reviews and photographs of the dishes. The feature is available through Google Lens, a piece of software that’s available as an app and is also built into the camera on Google Pixel devices. Google has confirmed that the feature is launching by the end of this week with support for menus in English, and it will expand to more languages in the future.

In order to provide user reviews through Google Lens, you’ll need reviews of individual meals to start. Google is also launching a new “Popular Dishes” sub-menu within a restaurant’s page in the Google Maps app. You can add a review after taking a photo of a particular dish, which will also be automatically translated if you’re in a foreign country. 9to5Google was the first to spot the feature being tested at the beginning of May.

Google isn’t the only company to have tried to include reviews of individual restaurant dishes. Last year, VentureBeat reported that Yelp added an identically named Popular Dishes feature to its reviews. However, Google and Yelp’s implementations work a little differently. Although both of them use machine learning to comb through existing reviews and match them with dishes, Google will also let you add information and photographs about specific dishes, rather than just having you review the restaurant in total.

The Google Lens functionality will be available by the end of this week for iOS devices and Android devices with support for ARCore. Meanwhile, the Popular Dishes feature has launched today on Google Maps for Android, and it will be coming to iOS in the coming months.

Source: The Verge

2 Prostate Cancer Drugs Found to Fight Disease in Earlier Stages

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Cutting-edge prostate cancer drugs that help extend life in the toughest cases might also be useful in fighting less aggressive tumors, two new clinical trials suggest.

Two drugs that interfere with cancer’s ability to use testosterone for fuel, apalutamide (Erleada) and enzalutamide (Xtandi), are already approved for use against more advanced prostate tumors that don’t respond to regular therapy.

But these trials show that the drugs also can improve survival and slow progression in prostate cancers that do respond to regular therapy, which typically involves medication that halts production of testosterone.

Both clinical trials involved patients with prostate cancer that had spread to other parts of their body but who still responded to androgen-deprivation therapy.

“We’re slowly starting to see a migration of drugs traditionally saved for advanced stages of disease, where we’re incorporating them into earlier stages of disease,” said Dr. Bobby Liaw, medical director of the Blavatnik Family Chelsea Medical Center at Mount Sinai, in New York City. He was not involved in the trials.

Apalutamide combined with androgen-deprivation therapy caused a 33% reduction in overall risk of death, compared against patients who received a placebo alongside their androgen-deprivation therapy, said the lead researcher of that clinical trial, Dr. Kim Chi.

Apalutamide also delayed progression of the cancer by 52%, and the length of time before patients required chemotherapy by 61%, said Chi, medical director of the Clinical Trials Unit at the BC Cancer Agency-Vancouver Prostate Center in Canada.

Adding the hormone blocker significantly improved patients’ outcomes with few side effects, Chi said.

“It’s well-tolerated, both from a side-effect profile and from a quality-of-life perspective,” Chi said, noting that side effects differ little from a placebo.

The second trial involved adding enzalutamide to androgen-deprivation therapy, and again positive results were found.

About 80% of men treated with enzalutamide were alive after three years, compared with 72% of men who received standard treatment, the researchers said.

Study co-chair Ian Davis is a professor at Monash University in Australia. “The actual result in patients starting hormonal therapy — noting patients had a 60% improvement in the time it takes to detect the cancer growing again along with a 33% increase chance of survival — was far higher than we expected,” he said in a news release.

In that trial, 1,125 men were randomly assigned to receive either enzalutamide or placebo, the study authors said.

The next step for researchers will be head-to-head comparisons that will help doctors decide which drugs would work best for specific patients, Liaw said.

“We don’t yet have any data to compare these drugs side-to-side. That’s where we’re going to start to see a bit of debate over which one is arguably the best drug to start with first,” Liaw said. “We’ve never had a lot of satisfying data to help us figure out what is the proper sequence, is there an optimal sequence, should we be combining certain drugs to get a better effect?”

Cost will also be an issue in using these new drugs to fight prostate cancer. “These are really expensive drugs,” Liaw said. “These are drugs that cost thousands for a month’s supply.”

Regardless, it is good for doctors to have more drugs on hand to help patients battle prostate cancer, he concluded.

“We’re certainly hoping to have their disease controlled, not just now but for the long haul, and that’s what these drugs are showing they have the capability of doing,” Liaw said.

Both trials were to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, in Chicago, this weekend, and they will also be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: HealthDay

Why Lack of Sleep Is Bad for Your Heart

Lisa Marshall wrote . . . . . . . . .

In recent years, numerous studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are at greater risk of stroke and heart attack.

A new University of Colorado Boulder study, published in the journal Experimental Physiology, helps explain why.

It found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night have lower blood levels of three physiological regulators, or microRNAs, which influence gene expression and play a key role in maintaining vascular health.

The findings could potentially lead to new, non-invasive tests for sleep deprived patients concerned about their health, the authors said.

“This study proposes a new potential mechanism through which sleep influences heart health and overall physiology,” said senior author Christopher DeSouza, a professor of Integrative Physiology.

Despite recommendations by the American Heart Association that people get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, about 40 percent of adults in the United States fall short. Overall, the average American’s sleep duration has plummeted from 9 hours nightly to 6.8 hours nightly over the past century.

In another recent study, DeSouza’s group found that adult men who sleep 6 hours per night have dysfunctional endothelial cells — the cells that line blood vessels — and their arteries don’t dilate and constrict as well as those who get sufficient sleep.

But the underlying factors leading to this dysfunction aren’t well known.

MicroRNAs are small molecules that suppress gene expression of certain proteins in cells. The exact function of circulating microRNAs in the cardiovascular system, and their impact on cardiovascular health is receiving a lot of scientific attention, and drugs are currently in development for a variety of diseases, including cancer, to correct impaired microRNA signatures.

“They are like cellular brakes, so if beneficial microRNAs are lacking that can have a big impact on the health of the cell,” said DeSouza.

For the new study, which is the first to explore the impact of insufficient sleep on circulating microRNA signatures, DeSouza and his team took blood samples from 24 healthy men and women, age 44 to 62, who had filled out questionnaires about their sleep habits. Half slept 7 to 8.5 hours nightly; Half slept 5 to 6.8 hours nightly.

They measured expression of nine microRNAs previously associated with inflammation, immune function or vascular health.

They found that people with insufficient sleep had 40 to 60 percent lower circulating levels of miR-125A, miR-126, and miR-146a, (previously shown to suppress inflammatory proteins) than those who slept enough.

“Why 7 or 8 hours seems to be the magic number is unclear,” said DeSouza. “However, it is plausible that people need at least 7 hours of sleep per night to maintain levels of important physiological regulators, such as microRNAs.”

Research is now underway in DeSouza’s lab to determine whether restoring healthy sleep habits can restore healthy levels of microRNAs.

Ultimately, he said, it’s possible that microRNAs in blood could be used as a marker of cardiovascular disease in people with insufficient sleep, enabling doctors to glean important information via a blood test rather than current, more invasive tests.

For now, DeSouza says, the takeaway message for those burning the midnight oil is this:

“Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep.”

Source: University of Colorado Boulder

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