Using ‘tap and go’ will protect against fraud through ‘ghost’ EFTPOS terminals, police say – ABC Online

Updated August 15, 2017 16:45:25

Police are urging people to use the 'tap and go' chip on their bank cards in order to protect themselves from fraud through "ghost" terminals.

Detectives from the NSW fraud squad are investigating a series of fraudulent ATM withdrawals across Sydney's south-west using "cloned" credit and debit cards.

Cloned cards are made by swiping the magnetic strip data and PIN from legitimate cards and then transferring the information to a plastic card with a magnetic strip, often a cheap store loyalty card.

"For a cloned card to be used in an ATM they need to have two pieces of information," Acting Superintendent Matt Craft said.

"They need to have the information on the magnetic strip and your PIN if they don't have your PIN they can't make the transaction.

"So it's about reducing the opportunity for criminal syndicates to get access to your PIN by covering it and making sure people can't see you enter your PIN."

Superintendent Craft said criminal syndicates obtained data from card's magnetic strips using a skimming device attached to an ATM or EFTPOS terminal, or they used so-called "ghost" terminals.

He said magnetic strips were "old technology" and customers should rely on their card's secure chip instead.

"It is very difficult for individuals when they're conducting transactions to identify a device that's been placed on an ATM that shouldn't be there or indeed a ghost terminal," he said.

"Often ghost terminals, which are used to capture your data, look very much like the original device.

"You need to be very cautious about using those devices and wherever you can, you should use the chip and tap that's the most secure way."

The prevalence of card cloning in Australia is much lower than overseas, Superintendent Craft said, but it has risen 13 per cent in the past year.

EFTPOS terminals in taxis, restaurants and small businesses, or skimming devices placed on ATMs, were the most common culprits for card skimming and cloning.

The fraud squad has released CCTV footage of a man who is believed to have used a cloned card to steal several hundred dollars in cash.

The man stole the money from several ATMs at Peakhurst and Roselands in Sydney's southwest on June 19.

He is described as Caucasian, aged in his 30s or 40s with short brown hair and a full beard.

He can be seen wearing a black T-shirt with a yellow and white print on the back, black jeans and white sneakers.

He was also wearing a wrist brace or bandage on his right hand.

Topics: police, consumer-protection, fraud-and-corporate-crime, nsw

First posted August 15, 2017 16:42:55

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Using 'tap and go' will protect against fraud through 'ghost' EFTPOS terminals, police say - ABC Online

DollyWould: Sh!t Theatre’s fringe tribute to the country singer and the cloned sheep – The Guardian

If we are asked to sell out, then we gladly will Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole in DollyWould. Photograph: The Other Richard

The theatrical double-act Sh!t Theatre got their name as a joke. Founders Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit heard the sort of work they do performance art combined with theatrical improvisation described as just shit theatre. But the self-deprecating designation caused problems for broadcasters. The first time we ever appeared on radio, remembers Mothersole, it was to talk about a show called Sh!t Theatre Presents Sh!t Theatre, and we were told that we couldnt say the name of the company or the production. Which obviously made marketing it quite hard.

The duo have since won a Fringe First award at Edinburgh and they received Arts Council funding for their latest project, DollyWould, which is one of the standout shows at this years fringe. Applications for public funding must be supported by a mission statement, which, the women admit, was difficult to write in support of DollyWould. Having previously made shows that were documentary based and political Guinea Pigs on Trial concerned medical research, while Job Seekers Anonymous was about the benefits system they wanted to create a piece that was pure fun, exploring their joint obsession with Dolly Parton, who they admire for her musical theatricality and consider a lesbian icon.

The shows framing device is an entertaining variation on a verbatim musical, with Mothersole and Biscuit duetting a cappella answers from Parton interviews, including a 1977 American TV encounter with Barbara Walters, in which the performer, not yet having honed her hokey-jokey media persona, was startlingly unguarded about her career, marriage and body.

The last subject prompts the performers, at one point in DollyWould, to cut two circles in their T-shirts, exposing nipples and areolas for much of the show. In a culture where female nudity on stage has to be carefully negotiated and justified, was this a hard moment to agree? Not at all, they say together, before Biscuit continues: At some level, a show about Dolly Parton is going to be about breasts. But one of the rules we set ourselves was that the word breasts would never actually be spoken. So the idea is that they are just literally out there. Mothersole adds: And were not actually topless were still wearing tops so it doesnt feel as exposing as you might think.

This partial nudity is ended when each of the women dons one large fake bouncy breast that covers their torso. They came up with such props during the rehearsal period, but admit to spending a lot of money on devices that are never used. A large model of a mouse with an ear growing out of its back a reference to a briefly famous experiment in the cloning of human organs is stored in London, having been dropped from the show before they travelled north.

Although they have never previously gone so flat out for jokes, DollyWould also has more typically journalistic sequences: featuring the history of the first cloned sheep, named Dolly after the singer, and the macabre Body Farm, an FBI facility for investigating the decomposition of bodies, which incongruously neighbours the performers theme park Dollywood, with surprisingly similar memorabilia on sale in both gift shops.

At one point in the show, Mothersole and Biscuit, who met in the improv group Alphabetties, tell the audience that they split up last year, but were reunited through the singer whose biggest hits include the song D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Thats all true, says Biscuit. She and Mothersole, their relationship fractured by creative disagreements, moved out of the north London apartment block referenced in their 2016 show, Letters to Windsor House, which explored the law relating to opening correspondence sent to previous occupants of an address.

The trip to Dollywood was the first time we really got back together, says Mothersole. DollyWould is their eighth joint appearance at the fringe, having started at the free non-ticketed festival, before slowly graduating to their current peak-time (9.15pm) slot at Summerhall. Performing on the fringe is notoriously expensive in the early years, they once shared the bedroom of a relative who was a student in the city with seven other performers and, even now, August on the fringe is economically daunting. You end up losing money, says Biscuit, but, if it works, exposure in Edinburgh gets you bookings elsewhere. (DollyWould and Letters to Windsor House already have post-Edinburgh dates around the UK.)

Sh!t Theatre recently received ACE funding for a 2018 show, which they expect to bring to Edinburgh. Noting that the Arts Council is funded by donations from the National Lottery, they came up with an idea for a show that would use a grant from the cultural funding body to buy Lottery tickets, returning any winnings to their patron.

After talking to the Arts Council and lawyers, says Biscuit, it turned out that we wouldnt legally be allowed to use a funding grant in that way. So were going to do something more general about money and wealth. Mothersole adds that it will probably be in a very different format to anything weve done before a sort of gameshow, with lots of audience participation.

One of their early ideas was to perform the show only on Wednesday and Saturday nights, coinciding with the Lottery draws, but that would have the effect of making an Edinburgh residency even less economic, although they hope to come to Scotland every August, unless lucrative commercial offers intervene.

Weve already made the moral decision over that, says Mothersole. If we are asked to sell out, then we gladly will. But, until then, well go on being performance artists.

DollyWould is at Summerhall in Edinburgh, to 27 August. Box office: 0131 560 1580. Then on tour.

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DollyWould: Sh!t Theatre's fringe tribute to the country singer and the cloned sheep - The Guardian

‘Card cloning’ device puts key card entry at risk – WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Many schools and companies across the country use a key card entry system to give employees access to work buildings. We have them here at WTHR. It's a pretty common security strategy.

However, one local security expert said a $30 tool can put a company's security at risk. A few inches and a couple seconds, and your identity can be stolen--at least your key card identity.

Armando Perez, the President and General Manager of Hoosier Security says key cards are still the most common way companies allow entry for their employees. Key cards are supposed to be secure, but retailers overseas are threatening that security with a fairly cheap device.

Selling for about $30 online, card copiers are designed to steal your information. Schools can be especially susceptible.

"These copying devices are so inexpensive now, students can get their hands on them, and there could be all kinds of repercussions there," said Perez. "I don't really want to go into giving anybody any ideas about it, but the people who need to solve the problem are aware of this."

Perez said there's really no regulatory method for stopping the production of these card copiers overseas. He said it's up to companies to upgrade their key cards or scanning equipment, which can be costly.

Since you need to be six inches away from someone to copy their entry card, Perez said it likely won't be a stranger on the street, but could very well be an unsuspecting co-worker. That's why it's hard to catch the copier.

"If somebody from research gets the credentials of someone in accounting, they can now have access to all of the accounting information in the business. Nobody would ever know because it's still a valid credential."

As I test, I let him try to clone my entry card to WTHR.

Fortunately, the device wasn't able to clone my card due to the high frequency it emits. But Perez said other schools and companies may be running lower frequencies. Additionally, he warned better, more expensive copiers may still clone my card.

A carbon fiber wallet, which is built to block the frequency signal, can help, but doesn't make it completely preventable. They come at a hefty price - $150 - and a lot of people don't keep key cards in their wallet.

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'Card cloning' device puts key card entry at risk - WTHR

CRISPR-Cleaned Piglets Have Been Cloned for Organ Donation – Big Think

Recent headlines have heralded the arrival of gene-edited piglets free of viruses that could stand in the way of safe transplantation of porcine organs into humans. The fact is that such attempts at xenotransplantation are nothing new, and more significantly, that the researchers success is questionable, for both technical and ethical reasons.

Drawings of human-animal hybrids, or chimeras, date back to prehistoric times who can forget the bird-headed man in the French Lascaux cave or the ancient Egyptian deities with human heads on animal bodies such as the Great Sphinx?

Great Sphinx (IAN BARKER)

According to the NIHs A Brief History of Clinical Xenotransplantation, the first attempts to intermingle humans and other species actually began back in the 16th century with xenotransfusions, blood transfusions from animals to humans. By the 19th century, doctors were attempting interspecies skin transplantations using both furless creatures such as frogs who were sometimes skinned alive during the process as well as furry creatures such as sheep, rabbits, dogs, cats, rats, chickens, and pigeons. The first pig-to-human corneal transplant was attempted in 1838. None of these early efforts were believed to be very successful, and it would not have occurred to many at the time that these experiments gave no consideration whatsoever to the suffering of the animals involved. (Heres an even more thorough history of xenotransplantation if youre interested.)

Theres a chronic shortage of human organs available for transplants. Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing, tells New York Times that last years 33,600 organ transplants in the U.S. left 116,800 patients still on waiting lists. 22 Americans waiting for organs die each day according to Science. Hence the continued keen interested in xenotransplantation.

Some suggest, however, that with a better, simpler and more ethical solution already available, this may actually reflect the eagerness of scientists to do science more than it does a genuine desire for an answer to a problem. As bioethicist L. Syd M Johnson tells Big Think, The shortage of transplantable organs is a very real problem. Other countries have had great success increasing donations by doing simple things like making everyone a donor, unless they explicitly opt-out. Social engineering is a low-tech solution to the organ shortage, and much safer, easier, and cheaper than the high tech genetic engineering being done to possibly make xenotransplantation possible.


One of the major stumbling blocks in the transplantation of pig organs which may in other ways be human-compatible are PERVs, an (unfortunate) acronym for porcine endogenous retroviruses. PERVs are gamma retroviruses, genetic remnants of ancient viral infections, and theyre woven into the pig genome. There are multiple types of PERV, but its know that PERV-A and PERV-B, at least, can transfer zoonotic microorganisms infections into human cells that have been combined, in vitro, with pig cells.

The team behind the new research, led by geneticist George Church of Harvard and affiliated with the Broad Institute, one of the patent holders of CRISPR-Cas9 and colleague Luhan Yang, had demonstrated in 2015 that they could inactivate PERVs at all of their 62 sites in the pig genome in an immortalized cell line, and thus prevent those cells from passing them to human cells.

Background: pig chromosomes, foreground: Cas9 (WYSS INSTITUTE)

Now theyve gone the next step, using CRISPR-Cas9 to modify the pig genome and clone actual PERV-inactivated piglets. Church claims the first pig-to-human xenotransplant can happen within two years. Some observers consider this prediction wishful thinking.

First off, its impossible to know if inactivating PERVs is all that needs to be done to make porcine organs safe for humans. Scientists already know that pig genes will need to be modified so they dont provoke rejection in humans, and theyll also have to insert other genes to avoid toxic blood interactions. And then there are the things we dont yet know about.

For one thing, its not entirely clear that PERVs are even really the issue. Cardiac transplant surgeon Muhammad Mohiuddin, whos working with United therapeutics to develop implantable porcine hearts tells Science, At this moment, I dont think we are very worried about PERV. Transplant immunologistDavid Cooper says, If this is required, it will add to the time before pigs can be used for transplants in patients in desperate need. And it will add to the cost of providing pigs for the initial clinical trials.

And then there are the considerable ethical issues, on both the human and animal sides.

Johnson reminds us, In past experiments with xenotransplantation, the human recipients of animal organs have all died, some from hyperacute rejection, which results in rapid death, and many others more slowly. People waiting for lifesaving organs are vulnerable and desperate exactly the kinds of people we should be concerned about using as subjects in exceptionally risky experiments.

Another issue to consider is financial. What were talking about here is growing human-compatible organs in genetically modified pigs. Those organs are not going to be free says Johnson. There will be patents. The organs will be commercially grown in for-profit businesses. There are already economic issues related to access to organ transplantation. What happens to patients who cant pay the price? What effect might commercially grown organs have on organ donation? Will potential organ donors be dis-incentivized to donate?

As far as the animals go, the same long-term concerns hold true. The study itself is also a textbook case of what this research is like for the animals involved. The piglets were carried by 17 sows, into each of whom were implanted200-300 cloned embryos. There were initially 37 PERV-inactive piglets, of which 15 piglets remain alive, and the oldest healthy animals are 4-month old. First off, this means 22 piglets died, with only 15 surviving, a less-than-half success rate for the few embryos that resulted in pregnancy. Of the 15 survivors, 4 of the healthiest are said to be 4 months old, but what about the other 11? What condition are they in?

Johnson points out, Cloning is an expensive and inefficient method of reproduction, with a high failure rate, and its very costly in terms of animal welfare. Before we get to the point where we can use pigs as living organ farms, many, many animals will be sacrificed not just pigs, but also the animals first used to test the transplants. Traditionally, the initial experimental organ recipients have been nonhuman primates.

Are pigs sentient?This one jumped off a truck en route to a slaughterhouse. (ZO JOHNSON-BERMAN)

When one balances how little effort has been expended encouraging organ donation and how much money, effort, and likely animal suffering has been invested in scientific research, the Church teams announcement of their PERV-inactive piglets seems like considerably less than the joyous news its often breathlessly characterized as being. And when one then considers just how much remains unknown about the dangers of xenotransplantation, the new study is perhaps as much a warning as it is a game-changing breakthrough.

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CRISPR-Cleaned Piglets Have Been Cloned for Organ Donation - Big Think

Fast facts about cloning – WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority – WPSD Local 6

(CNN) -- Here's some background information aboutcloning, a process of creating an identical copy of an original.

Facts: Reproductive Cloning is the process of making a full living copy of an organism. Reproductive cloning of animals transplants nuclei from body cells into eggs that have had their nucleus removed. That egg is then stimulated to divide using an electrical charge and is implanted into the uterus of a female.

Therapeutic Cloningis the process where nuclear transplantation of a patient's own cells makes an oocyte from which immune-compatible cells (especiallystem cells) can be derived for transplant. These cells are stimulated to divide and are grown in a Petri dish rather than in the uterus.

Timeline: 1952 - Scientists demonstrate they can remove the nucleus from a frog's egg, replace it with the nucleus of an embryonic frog cell, and get the egg to develop into a tadpole.

1975 -Scientists get tadpoles after transferring cell nuclei from adult frogs.

1986 -Sheep cloned by nuclear transfer from embryonic cells.

February 22, 1997 -Scientists reveal Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from cells of an adult animal. She was actually born on July 5, 1996.

1998 -More than 50 mice are reported cloned from a single mouse over several generations. Eight calves are cloned from a cow.

2000 -Pigs and goats are reported cloned from adult cells.

2001 -Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts, says it produced a six-cell cloned human embryo, in research aimed at harvesting stem cells.

2001 -Five bulls are cloned from a champion bull, Full Flush.

2002 -Rabbits and a kitten are reported cloned from adult cells.

December 27, 2002 - Clonaid claims to produce first human clone, a baby girl, Eve.

January 23, 2003 -Clonaid claims to have cloned the first baby boy. The baby was allegedly cloned from tissue taken from the Japanese couple's comatose 2-year-old boy, who was killed in an accident in 2001. Clonaid has never provided physical evidence of the cloning.

February 14, 2003 -The Roslin Institute confirms that Dolly, the world's first cloned mammal, was euthanized after being diagnosed with progressive lung disease. She was 6 years old.

May 4, 2003 -The first mule is cloned at the University of Idaho, named Idaho Gem.

June 9, 2003 -Researchers Gordon Woods and Dirk Vanderwall from the University of Idaho and Ken White from Utah State University claim to have cloned a second mule.

August 6, 2003 -Italian scientists at the Laboratory of Reproductive Technology in Cremona, Italy, say they have created the world's first cloned horse, Prometea, from an adult cell taken from the horse who gave birth to her.

September 25, 2003 -French scientists at the National Institute of Agricultural Research at Joy en Josas, France, become the first to clone rats.

February 12, 2004 -South Korean researchers report they have created human embryos through cloning and extracted embryonic stem cells. Findings by a team of researchers were presented to South Korean scientists and describe in detail the process of how to create human embryos by cloning. The report says the scientists used eggs donated by Korean women. An investigative panel concludes in 2006 that South Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang's human stem cell cloning research was faked.

August 3, 2005 -South Korean researchers announce they have successfully cloned a dog, an Afghan hound named Snuppy.

December 8, 2008-April 4, 2009 -Five cloned puppies from Trakr, a German Shepherd Sept.11 Ground Zero rescue dog, are born.

May 2009 -Clone of Tailor Fit, a two-time quarter horse world champion, is born, one of several cloned horses born that year.

September 29, 2011 -At South Korea's Incheon Airport, seven "super clone" sniffer-dogs are dispatched to detect contraband luggage. They are all golden Labrador Retrievers that are genetically identical to "Chase," who was the top drug detention canine until he retired in 2007.

May 15, 2013 -Oregon Health & Science University researchers report in the journal Cell that they have created embryonic stem cells through cloning. Shoukhrat Mitalipov and the biologistsproduced human embryos using skin cells, and then used the embryos to produce stem cell lines.

April 2014 -For the first time,cloning technologies have been used to generate stem cells that are genetically matched to adult patients.Researchers put the nucleus of an adult skin cell inside an egg, and that reconstructed egg went through the initial stages of embryonic development, according to research published this month.

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Fast facts about cloning - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority - WPSD Local 6

China’s cloning of genetically modified dogs for research raises concerns – SBS

Beijing biotech lab Sinogene say they have successfully cloned a genetically-modified dog for medical research, and now plan to use the same technology to create "superdogs" for Chinese police.

The beagle puppy named Longlong, born in May, is a clone of a gene-edited beagle called Apple.

These two dogs are 99.9 per cent the same. We've observed their personality and appearance, even their facial expressions are identical. As you can see they're both very naughty and active. Even the way they walk, how they move around, says Mi Jidong, Sinogene General Manager.

Two other clone puppies Nuonuo and Qiqi followed Longlong in June. All were born from surrogate mothers in the lab.

Apple, the original beagle, was genetically modified last year using a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9.

Clone puppies Nuonuo and Qiqi were born in May.

Its been more than 20 years since the first mammal, a sheep named Dolly, was cloned in 1996. Since then other animals, including horses and pigs, have since been cloned. The first dog, however, was only duplicated in 2005.

Dogs are extremely difficult to work with. Some cells are very complex and difficult to clone. Also its extremely hard for a dog embryo to survive in lab conditions, its very vulnerable, explains Mr Mi.

Another reason the cloning of dogs may be more difficult is that the animal is more genetically similar to humans than other animals. Approximately 400 out of 900 genetic illnesses in dogs are similar to human diseases.

Its for this reason that Apple, Longlong and his fellow-clones will be used primarily for medical research.

It's the first step in our future development to delve further into modifying dogs for medical research, says Mr Mi.

Apple was gene-edited to have several times higher levels of blood lipid a trait associated with high cholesterol. Sinogene say theyre cooperating with other labs in China to study gene-based diseases including heart disease and diabetes and develop medicines.

Scientist Mi Jidong plays with Sinogene's cloned puppies from a gene-edited beagle.

But thats not the only focus of the lab. Sinogene will also be using the same gene-editing and cloning technique to create super dogs for the police force as early as next year.

Were also exploring how we can use genetic modification and cloning to improve the specific qualities of different working dogs. For example to improve their stamina, their intelligence to make it easier to train them And also give them a better sense of smell, says Mr Mi.

China currently imports many of its police, search and rescue dogs. Mr Mi believes Sinogenes work could save money and improve the quality of Chinas police dog pack.

But the work has been condemned as cruel by animal welfare groups operating in China.

Cloning has many problems. Large numbers of animals are used as donors and surrogates. But the success rate is very small. So its a huge waste of animal life, says Peter Li, China Policy specialist at Humane Society International, and Associate Professor of East Asian Politics at the University of Houston-Downtown.

He says money would be better spent caring for Chinas millions of unwanted dogs.

I think this super dog work is suspect. Dogs are already very intelligent. We know that cloned dogs have health issues, they dont live long. It is a huge waste of public resources to clone dogs for the police force, says Professor Li.

Beijing-based animal rights activist Mary Peng believes medical testing on animals needs to be better regulated

Animal welfare activist and founder of Chinas first international animal hospital in Beijing, Mary Peng, says she doesnt feel animal medical testing should stop but says labs need to be better regulated. Cloning is really just another form of breeding, says Ms Peng. But I share concerns of how the animals are treated.

She says though China has progressed rapidly in recent years when it comes to the treatment and general attitude towards animals, protective laws lag behind international standards.

China is having the worlds biggest love affair with their pets in the history of the world, she says, but this is all very new, less than 25 years old maybe.

And this experimentation, medical research etc, are also really new industries for China, Ms Peng says. And Im not sure that the laws and regulations about how the animals are treated while theyre in these labs have been fully developed.

But Professor Li says the labs work also raises larger ethical questions. If we see cloned animals as a testing object, I wonder how soon this work will be applied to humans. If we have this level of audacity, this level of recklessness as a standard, then many other test labs will do things that should be stopped.

Sinogene scientist works with dog cells in their Beijing lab

Retired Tsinghua University artificial intelligence and ethics expert Professor Zhao Nanyuan dismisses the criticism of animal rights groups as foreign and irrelevant, saying Chinas scientific progress outweighs the cost.

To see human-animal relations as an ethical question is a concept borrowed from Western religion. In Chinese ethics we dont have this.

He says many in China, like him, will focus on the long-term benefit, rather than the individual treatment of an animal or embryo.

In China we have less problems developing genetically modified technology. Im pretty sure other countries will be behind China when it comes to human genetic research because of their concerns."

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China's cloning of genetically modified dogs for research raises concerns - SBS

Orphan Black is ending, but how far has human cloning come? – The Verge

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Orphan Black is ending, but how far has human cloning come? - The Verge

Over 50 Nalasopara residents lose Rs 10 lakh to debit card cloning – Times of India

MUMBAI: Bank account holders in Nalasopara are waking up to debit card cloning in the past few days, with over 50 customers losing around Rs 10 lakh to the fraud.

Nalasopara police in the west and Tuling police station in the east have registered cases of skimming (card cloning) between August 2 to 8. In most cases, victims received SMSes of cash withdrawals though they didn't withdraw money from an ATM and had their cards with them. While cases under section 420 (cheating) of the IPC and sections 65(d) and 66(k) of the Information Technology Act have been registered against unknown persons, police suspect the withdrawals were done from outside Maharashtra.

In Nalasopara, on August 4, businessman Ravindra Dhimre (51) was woken up by an SMS at midnight. He was shocked to learn Rs 70,000 was withdrawn from his Union Bank account. Dhimre rushed to look for his debit card which he found was intact in his wallet. Dhimre then approached the police.

In the next few days, around 40 victims approached police with similar complaints, with cash involved varying from Rs 7,000 to Rs 70,000. The total amount lost to skimming so far in Nalasopara (West) alone is to Rs 8.01lakh.

In Nalasopara (East), a 46-year-old man lost Rs 20,000 to skimming. The victim received an SMS of the withdrawal.He was in possession of his debit card and had not made any withdrawals in the past few days. Investigating officer N K Patil said so far around 15 victims have approached the police, adding most victims lost money between August 2 to 8.

See the original post here:

Over 50 Nalasopara residents lose Rs 10 lakh to debit card cloning - Times of India

Scientists are Getting Closer To Using Pig Organs For Human Transplants – TIME

In a scientific first, researchers have created piglets that could possibly one day provide organs for human transplants. Though the science is still early, it's a big step forward in the quest to use pig organs to help the hundreds of thousands of people every year who await organ transplants.

In a report published Thursday in the journal Science , scientists from Harvard University, the biotech company eGenesis and several other institutions were able to use gene editing and cloning to create virus-free piglets that could potentially be used in the future for human organ transplants. As the New York Times reports , researchers have wanted to explore using pigs as organ sources in the past, but plans were thwarted by the fear that viruses from the pigs, called retroviruses, could infect humans through the transplants.

In the new report, scientists detail how they took pig cells and edited them using the gene-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to target and hinder their virus-related DNA. They then cloned those edited cells and developed an embryo. Those embryos were implanted into sows and then became piglets.

As STAT reports, out of 37 piglets, all were born without retroviruses. Not all were brought to term, and some were killed so the scientists could check how their organs were developing, but today, 15 piglets are still alive.

Study author George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and founder of eGenesis, told the Times he thinks that pig-to-human transplants could happen within two years. However, other researchers argue that it could be years before scientists even know if pig organ transplants are safe.

[ New York Times]

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Scientists are Getting Closer To Using Pig Organs For Human Transplants - TIME

VACC warns of number-plate cloning scam, motorists left to prove innocence – CarAdvice

Guilty until proven innocent?

The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) is this week shining a light on the most heinous practice of number-plate cloning, which it claims has left numerous car dealers fighting traffic infringement penalties.

In one case, the VACC says, a Licensed Motor Car Trader was fined over $16,000 for a single incidence of number plate cloning.

The process of cloning a number plate is said to be as simple as spying a vehicle of identical model and colour, noting its number plate, and reproducing it as easily as printing a mocked-up copy or hand-drawing it.

VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, says that while any motorist can be a victim, it is car dealers a group the VACC represents most likely to be targeted.

Criminals go online, or drive past a dealership, and note the registration of a particular vehicle. They then get these plates copied and go driving all over town in a similar vehicle, accumulating speeding and red light fines, CityLink tolls and parking infringements, all while the original vehicle has been on the dealers lot, Gwilym says.

He said that unsold, registered vehicles sitting on dealer lots are a popular target because offenders can use the cars number plate details for sometime without the crime being detected.

Victims of this crime often dont know anything about it until a fine arrives in the mail. By this time, the penalty may be considerable. Several dealer members have reported fines in the thousands of dollars.

So far, Gwilym says, victims have been told to prove their innocence in court, and authorities have revealed no plans to combat the issue.

Anyone receiving a suspect fine should challenge the decision. Those affected can request of Civic Compliance that they issue photographs of the alleged offence. This can be used in creating a defence. Importantly, bring the indiscretion to the attention of Civic Compliance as soon as possible and build a case.

The VACC has proposed a barcoded sticker, placed on the inside surface of a vehicles windscreens, would be harder to replicate and thus a possible solution to ruling out victim as perpetrator.

VACC calls on the appropriate authorities to investigate all possible solutions to this wide-spread crime that potentially could affect every motorist in Australia, said Mr Gwilym.

CarAdvice has contacted VicRoads, Victoria Police and Civic Compliance for comment, and will update this story if a response is forthcoming.

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VACC warns of number-plate cloning scam, motorists left to prove innocence - CarAdvice

How to clone a hard drive or SSD – PC Gamer

You just bought a brand new shiny SSD and want to throw it into your aging mid-tower PC. But wait, the horror of having to reinstall Windows again and all of your applications begins to set in. If you dont want to deal with the hassle of reinstalling Windows, you can use a simple cloning utility to clone your old drive to your new SSD. Weve rounded up three free cloning utilities that are easy to use so you dont have to go through the effort of reinstalling your OS and applications all over again.

Note: Before you attempt to clone your hard drive or SSD, w e highly recommend backing up all your data first. In addition, make sure the drive you are cloning to has enough storage space to take all the cloned data. For instance, you wouldn't want to try and clone a 2TB HDD on to a 256GB SSD now would you?

The first data copying method we'll go over pertains to Samsung Data Migration. So make sure you plop that new Samsung SSD in along with your old OS drive you want to clone from.

Note: You will need a Samsung SSD installed on your machine for this software to work.

Step 1: Download the installer from http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/samsungssd/downloads.html

Step 2: Run the installer and click "I accept" at the end of it to agree to the terms and conditions.

Step 3: Once the software is installed, it will launch and ask if you if you want to update to the latest version. Click on Update and you will begin downloading the newest patches for it.

Step 4: After the update is complete the software will have you install patches and will have you agree to the Samsung terms and conditions again.

Step 5: From this window, you will select the Source Disk and Target Disk . The Target Disk must be a Samsung SSD , but the Source Disk can be any C: Drive you currently have your OS on . Once youve selected your disks, you can start cloning by clicking Start and the cloning process will begin. Note: Leave your computer alone while you're cloning the OS, as you may corrupt the clone if other processes are being run at the same time. This goes for the other cloning utilities as well.

After the software is done cloning, you can shut down your PC and boot from your newly-cloned SSD.

The second method we will discuss uses the program Macrium Reflect and will work with any drive, regardless of brand. So before you begin, make sure you plop in that new drive along with your old drive you want to clone from.

Step 1: Go to the free version of Macrium here.

Step 2: Click on the download button in the Macrium Reflect Download Agent and then run the softwares installer.

Note: Make sure to read the fine print throughout the installation process to not install any adware. Cnet's Download.com has become infamous for sneaking it in (Here are some general tips to avoiding installing malware/adware).

Step 3: Open up the software and click on Clone this disk Once you do this the software will let you choose which disks you want as your source and target disks. When you have selected your disks, click next to start cloning your drive.

Macrium Reflect useful tips:

Creating bootable rescue media: Macrium Reflect can also help you make bootable rescue media. This tool is located under Other Tasks. We always recommend making recovery media, just in case your hard drive or SSD fails on you.

Creating an image of your hard drives: Under Backup Tasks, you can also create a disk image of your hard drive or SSD too.

These are but three cloning tools, there are many others such as Seagate's DiscWizard ( for Seagate drives) along with other free storage cloning tools such as G-Parted and Clonezilla.

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How to clone a hard drive or SSD - PC Gamer

Horse Clones Start Heading to the Races – Bloomberg

Two identical Crestview Genetics Arabian horse clones stand at a ranch in Lujn, Argentina.

Santa Anita Park, in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, is the racetrack where a bay-colored horse named Seabiscuit became a national hero some 80 years ago. Today, about 14,000 people still show up on a typical racing day to watch the thoroughbreds. Punters wagered more than $660 million here last year. Even on a Thursday afternoon, the park, nicknamed the Great Race Place, is bustling.

The steady parade of debutantes in towering hats offers a reminder that horse racing remains a bit outside of time, a world unto itself. Tradition and lineage are of tremendous value. The multibillion-dollar market for racehorse breeding is strictly controlled, especially in the U.S., where racing organizations adhere closely to rules that havent changed much since Seabiscuits day. The American Quarter Horse Association, the U.S. Trotting Association, and the Jockey Club are among the groups that have banned even artificial insemination in the breeding process. You can guess how they feel about cloning.

I dont see this breed registry doing it, says Jockey Club spokesman Bob Curran Jr. Can that clone possibly be better than the original? Its unlikely. In some quarters, however, the old guard has less say in the matter.

The first cloned horse was born in 2003, and a small group of companies is now cranking them out. Clones have already flooded the world of polo, where multiple copies of a champion often battle on the same field. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association lets the genetic duplicates compete in barrel racing and donkey racing events. And the International Equestrian Federation, the global governing body for equestrian sports, has sanctioned clones for Olympic events. Until recently, it didnt even require owners to disclose that little detail. We dont see it as relevant, says federation veterinary director Goran Akerstrom.

So far, the big winner in the great clone race has been Alan Meeker, chief executive officer of Crestview Genetics. Since 2010 the 52-year-old Texas oil heir has created close to 100 horse clones valued at $500,000 to $800,000 each, depending on how long the companys raised them. The clones have sired more than 375 foals, colts, and fillies priced at $50,000 to $250,000. Crestview, started in 2009 with about $20 million from Meeker and Argentine Adolfo Cambiaso, the worlds leading polo star, splits its 45 staffers between Texas and the polo hub of Buenos Aires. Meeker says the company is profitable, is worth about $75 million, and has settled the debate between nature and nurture: To say that you can get the same DNA and you cant get the same results, weve debunked that completely.

Until recently, Crestview licensed its cloning technique, the one that yielded Dolly the sheep back in 1996, from ViaGen LC, which does a brisk business cloning livestock and pets. That meant harvesting ovaries from slaughterhouse horses, injecting the desired DNA, then implanting the fertilized embryos in surrogate mothers, typically trying several times to produce one clone.

In late 2015, Crestview worked out its own way to remove embryos from a living horse and quickly implant them in another. Meeker says that gives the company a 90 percent chance the surrogate mothers system will accept the clone embryo and produce a healthy clone. Last October, Cambiaso won a polo match riding a succession of six clones of his late champion, Cuartetera. Now that Crestview has cloned more than two dozen Cuarteteras, such feats are starting to become routine.

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Unlike with polo horses, uniform excellence isnt the ideal for racehorses, says Ernie Bailey, a genetics professor at the University of Kentucky. The old-school breeders try to mate speedsters with mares they think will produce even faster horses. Let that beautiful alchemy of Mother Nature see if you get a winner, says Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand. I dont want another Seabiscuit. Hes enough. Besides, even genetic twins can be noticeably different depending on which genes happen to be expressed, meaning switched on, says Doug Antczak, a veterinary scientist at Cornell University.

Meeker says his team is working on decoding the mysteries of gene expression and on extrapolating its work with horses to advance human stem cell research. Hes making himself the first test subject for a possible genetic cure for Type 1 diabetes, which hes aiming to make available to the public for $10 million per patient at a clinic in the Bahamas by the end of next year. What do the old-timers back at Santa Anita Park think about his work with horses? In the tunnel between races, a mustachioed jockey looks up from texting and answers questions about horse clones by spitting in the dirt. His trainer laughs. But the question is serious.

BOTTOM LINE - Since 2010, Crestview Genetics has created about 100 horse clones for polo, and Olympic equestrian events are fair game, too.

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Horse Clones Start Heading to the Races - Bloomberg

Porsche 911-Look Fiat 500 Is Like A Cloning Experiment Gone Wrong – Motor1.com

Pictures have been revealed on Facebook of a modified Franken-Fiat modified to look like a Porsche 911.

This magnificent project is apparently the result of someone in Greece with too much time on their hands. Given the state of the country's economy over the last few years, the price of a brand new Porsche 911 would probably get you the country's national bank.

While Porsche is exploring the limits of taste with its range of supersized sporting SUVs, the German manufacturer has yet to dip a toe in the small car waters, unlike its more premium competitor Aston Martin, which brought us the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet back in 2012.

The Fiat 500 base car is a decent choice, given that both it and the Porsche 911 have engines mounted in the back of the car, but in many ways any of the similarities end there.

You might also imagine that the creator of this entrancing automotive drag act might have picked a better end product than the visually challenging 1998-2004 996 model of 911, but looking at what they've done, such discussions are probably moot.

At any rate, feast your eyes on thisvehicular delight we can't seem to tear ours away.

Source:How Not to Design a CarFacebook page

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Porsche 911-Look Fiat 500 Is Like A Cloning Experiment Gone Wrong - Motor1.com

A natural gas boom in the Adriatic has created teeming nurseries of self-cloning baby jellyfish – Quartz

One of the eeriest mysteries of the sea is the sudden surge in jellyfish over the last few decades. Consider the tale of the moon jellyfish. Since the first big moon jellyfish bloom was recorded in the Adriatic in 1910, moon jelly populations seemed to follow a predictable cycle. Theyd turn up in normal numbers most years, and every couple of decades, clog the shores in huge gummy swarms.

Then in 1999, something alarming happened. The huge blooms that had stippled the Adriatic only every few decades now appeared year after year. The cycle had tightenedbut what, exactly, had tightened it continues to mystify scientists.

Now a team of Slovenian marine biologists thinks theyve found a key culprit: natural gas rigs.

Computer simulations by Martin Vodopivec and his team that recreate ocean dynamics and moon jellyfish life cycles suggest that gas platforms are helping to sustain moon jellyfish blooms in the Adriatic, according to a new peer-reviewed study in Environmental Research Letters.

How exactly do gas platforms help moon jellies survive? The answer involves the most fascinatingand disturbingthing about jellyfish biology: the truly bizarre way in which they reproduce.

When two adult jellyfisha.k.a. medusasmate and produce a fertilized egg, that egg doesnt just grow into a tiny version of themselves, like most creatures. Instead, that egg is actually a totally different creatureone that will never turn into a medusa like its parents.

Also called planulae or larvae, these free-swimming eggs are tiny and are shaped a bit like a miniature flattened pear, as the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History helpfully puts it. A planula drifts around until it bangs into a smooth, hard surface that it can latch on to. Once settled, it grows into a polyp, sprouting tentacle-like appendages so that it looks like a cross between a tiny tree and a sea anemone.

Then, when conditions are right, those arm-like things begin pulsating, and out pop a dozen or so baby jellies (which scientists call ephyrae). Those are the creatures that ultimately grow into that familiar umbrella-shaped beastie that we think of when we hear the word jellyfish. Polyps can repeat that process a few more times before they croak.

So far, so linear. But polyps have a nifty trick for whiling away the months (or years) until its showtime for baby-pulsating: They reproduce asexually. Meaning, they clone themselves.

And those clones? They clone themselves too, forming dense polyp families on whatever surface theyve colonized. What look like delicate little gardens are actually high-octane jellyfish-making factories.

This seed-bank strategy is pure evolutionary golda hedge against the possibility that medusas might starve, get eaten by predators, or killed by bad weather before they can mate. Its designed to create jellyfish en masse. Since medusas odds of producing fertilized eggs that make it to the polyp phase arent great, the more clones a polyp creates, the greater the chance of species survival.

But that all depends on little pear-shaped planulae finding a good home and hunkering down on a smooth, hard surface.

A few centuries ago, those homes were scarce. The best real estate going was typically a rock or a shell. Those lucky few that managed to find one didnt tend to have much space for growing a clone colony.

An Adriatic gas rig, thoughnow theres a nice place to settle down and raise a (very extended) jellyfish family.

Drilling platforms first went up in the natural gas-rich Adriatic in the 1960s. Now there are around 150 of them, according to Vodopivec and his co-authors. That means theres scads of space for polyps to expand their insane clone posses.

Mass polyp colonization certainly would help explain why blooms began taking off around the same time the Adriatics natural gas bonanza did. But finding evidence is tricky when the proof stands only a single millimeter tall.

In 2008, Italian researchers found moon jelly polyps clustered on a sunken iron motorboat (pdf) off the coast of Italy. The polypswhich were attached both to the oysters that had settled on the stern and directly to the ship itselfsat in clusters as many as 40 polyps per square centimeter. (At that density, more than 2,400 polyps would fit on a 3M Post-It Note.)

Across the Adriatic in Slovenia, Alenka Maleja veteran jellyfish biologist and co-author of the latest paperhad been searching for moon jelly polyps since 2000, clocking more than 1,000 hours peering through at seafloor rocks through scuba masks. Malej herself never found any polyps. However, in 2009, an ecological survey team took a peek under the port of Koper. Encrusted with oysters, the dock pillars teemed with moon jelly polyps in maximum densities of around 27 per square centimeter. The scientists were restricted to surveying a single pier; they found polyps on all 574 of its pillars. According to their estimates, the Koper pier colony capably of releasing as many as 50 billion baby jellyfish (pdf, p.1) in the space of days.

Since then, similar moon jelly polyp colonies have been found in ports in Split and Ploe. Malej also identified a polyp colony onyou guessed iton a gas platform.

Still, even though the simulations run by Vodopivec and Malej suggest a connection, we dont know for sure that polyps are settling on rigs en masseand leading to big jellyfish bloomsfor the simple reason that theyre so hard to find.

The idea that the blooms and the boom are connected isnt far-fetched, though. Theres plenty more anecdotal and experimental evidence around the globe to support the hypothesis that the burgeoning of manmade marine surfaces drives coastal jellyfish blooms, as Malej and other jellyfish biologists argued in an exhaustive 2013 survey. For instance, 2014 study by leading jellyfish biologist Shin-ichi Uye found that after a new pier was installed in the Inland Sea of Japan, polyps quickly settled there; 25 million extra baby jellies appeared soon after. And a group of German scientists found a similar relationship between moon jelly abundance and wind farms in the Baltic Sea (paywall).

Still, the cryptic nature of these polyp colonies means a clear causal relationship remains elusive. Adding to the challenge is the fact that jellyfish blooms are also influenced by warming temperatures, overfishing, and eutrophication, to name just a few of many factors.

This mystery feeds into a much deeper jellyfish controversy. A slew of leading scientists are skeptical that a jellyfish takeover is actually happening at all.

Its clear that blooms are on the riseboth in magnitude and frequencyin some patches of the world, according to research done over the last couple decades. One of the only studies to quantify anecdotal information suggested that in more than three-fifths of large marine areas, jellyfish abundance was on the rise. Only 7% of large marine areas reported a decline.

However, the reigning counterargument to the global rise in jellyfish was put forth by many of the all-stars of jellyfish biology in 2013. Jellyfish populations, these scientists argued (pdf), go through 20-year oscillations. The oscillation camp notes that while there has been a small linear rise in jellyfish blooms since the 1970s, more data are required to determine whether this trend marks a true shift in the baseline of their abundanceor just another oscillation.

To their chagrin, academic journals seemingly love the idea of a global jellyfish takeover. A recent analysis found that a whopping half of published papers suffered from jellyfish invasion biasa narrative with horror-movie appeal that the media merrily runs with.

It may be a while before biologists know for sure whether the jellyfish invasion is temporary or here to say. But lets hope the oscillation hypothesis is correctnot just because of the havoc the creatures wreak on fishing and coastal plants, but for the sake of tourists trying to enjoy a sting-free seaside vacation.


A natural gas boom in the Adriatic has created teeming nurseries of self-cloning baby jellyfish - Quartz

Here’s the list of some of the famous living creatures that were patented – Economic Times

The United States Patent and Trademark Office considers non-naturally occurring, nonhuman, multicellular living organisms, including animals, to be patentable subject matter. Here are some of the famous living creatures that were patented:

Dolly the sheep She was the worlds first mammal produced by cloning. Instead of being the product of a fertilised egg, her DNA material was taken from the cell of another sheep.

Dolly was cloned in 1996 and lived a normal life until she was euthanised in 2003. The Roslin Institute researchers who did the cloning tried to patent Dolly, her offspring, and the process of cloning her. However, the institute was only allowed to patent the process used in cloning Dolly

OncoMouse This is the worlds first patented animal. Created to study the formation and treatment of cancer in humans, Harvard University was granted a patent in April 1988 for the OncoMouse, which was classified as a Transgenic Non-Human Mammal.

Later, Harvard licensed it to chemical company DuPont, which had been involved in its development. The patent generated some controversy among animal rights activists, who questioned the morality of patenting a living creature.

Pseudomonas Bacteria A new species of oil spill eating Pseudomonas bacteria was the first genetically modified creature ever patented. It was made by inserting into a single species the DNA from four species of oil spilleating bacteria in the Pseudomonas genus

AquAdvantage Salmon This is the first patented and genetically modified salmon that has been approved by the FDA for commercial production and consumption. A product of AquaBounty Technologies, it is made by adding genes to an Atlantic salmon from the Pacific Chinook and the ocean pout. The result is a GM salmon that grows two times faster than regular salmon.

GloFish The GloFish is the worlds first genetically modified pet. It is a patented zebra-fish that glows under ultraviolet light. Initially, the GloFish was not made as a pet but as a sort of biological instrument to detect water pollution. The first GloFish was made by Singaporean scientists who wanted fish that glowed whenever the water they inhabited was polluted.

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Here's the list of some of the famous living creatures that were patented - Economic Times

Trump’s Iran Policy Risks Cloning North Korea – Fair Observer

James Dorsey

James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist and commentator on foreign affairs who has covered ethnic and religious conflict and terrorism across t

By scrapping the accord, Iran is likely to adopt a North Korean outlook: that nuclear military capability is central to its security.

As US President Donald Trump grapples with a set of bad options for responding to North Koreas rapidly expanding nuclear and ballistic missiles program, he risks creating a similar, potentially explosive dilemma in the Middle East with his efforts to tighten the screws on Iran, if not engineer an end to the nuclear agreement. In fact, Trumps apparent determination to either humiliate Iran with ever more invasive probes of universally-certified Iranian compliance with the agreement or ensure its abrogation could produce an even more dangerous crisis than the one he faces in East Asia.

Putting an end to the accordcould persuade Iran as did US policy under former President Barack Obama in the case of North Korea that a nuclear military capability is central to its security.

The risk in East Asia is a devastating military confrontation. In the words of US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who warned, quoting Trump: If theres going to be a war to stop [North Korea], it will be over there.If thousands die, theyre going to die over there. Theyre not going to die over here.

The key difference between North Korea and Iran is not the specter of massive casualties in case of military action. It is the fact that in contrast to East Asia, where the pariah states nuclear proliferation has not prompted others in the region like South Korea and Japan to launch programs of their own, an Iranian return to an unsupervised nuclear program would likely accelerate an already dangerous arms race in the Middle East to include countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seeking a nuclear capability of their own. Even without the arms race, Israel the Middle Easts only, albeit undeclared, nuclear power threatened prior to the conclusion of the nuclear agreement to militarily take out Iranian facilities.

A termination of the agreement could also accelerate thinking in Riyadh and Washington about the utility of fostering unrest among Irans ethnic minorities in an attempt todestabilize the Islamic Republic and create an environment conducive to regime change. The strategy not only risks adding to conflict already wracking the Middle East, but further endangering stability in Pakistan.

Even without a covert effort to destabilize Tehran, Iranian leaders would likely see an end to the nuclear agreement as part of an effort to ultimately topple them a perception that would enhance the attractiveness of the North Korean model.

The risk is enhanced by another difference between the North Korean crisis and a potential one involving Iran. World powers agree that the North Korean program needs to be curbed but differ on how that can best be achieved. When it comes to Iran, however, the United States is likely to find itself out on a limb by itself. US partners in the agreement with Iran China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain believe Tehran is in full compliance and there is no justification for endangering an accord that prevents the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear military capability for at least a decade. Similarly, Washingtons closest allies in the Gulf dread the prospect of escalated tensions with Iran.

Few countries have more to lose in such a scenario than Washingtons Gulf Arab allies, which is why they have urged the United States to rigorously enforce, but not scrap, the nuclear agreement As long as the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] is in force and being implemented, Iran will not become a nuclear power and there is therefore no need for a dangerous and unpredictable military confrontation. Without it, such a conflict, or the equally alarming and unacceptable emergence of Iran as a nuclear power, could become inevitable, saidHussein Ibish, a scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute.

A litmus test of which way Trump will go looms large when the president,in October, must decide whether to certify to Congress for a third time that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement. Indications suggest the president is looking for a way to either unilaterally abrogate the agreement or provoke Iran to walk away from it.

Trumps problem is that his unsupported view of the nuclear agreement is not an isolated issue, but fits a pattern that has alarmed Washingtons European and Asian allies as well as China and Russia. The pattern was established by his unilateral termination of US adherence to the Paris climate change accord; cancellation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; cutting of funding to UN agencies; sowing of doubts about Americas commitment to the NATO principle that an attack on one is an attack on all; and an overall sense that he threatens security and stability by undermining the international order.

In July, Trump instructed White House aides to give him thearguments for withholding certificationlater this year. The Trump administration is also looking at pushing formore intrusive inspectionsof Iranian military sites that it deems suspicious, a move Iran has rejected and considers inflammatory. The president would likely argue that an Iranian refusal would amount to a violation of the agreement.

On the plus side, National Security Advisor H.R. McMasterfired two proponents of tougher action against Iran, Derek Harvey and Ezra Cohen-Watnick. Protgs of President Trumps strategic advisor and far-right ideologue, Steve Bannon, both Harvey and Cohen-Watnick were the two remaining hires of McMasters short-lived predecessor, General Michael Flynn, an anti-Iranian firebrand.

Concerned that new US sanctions imposed this month will scare off potential European investors, Iran, in a precursor of the kind of volatility that would be sparked by an end to the nuclear accord, said it wouldstrengthen the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Al Quds Force. The target of US sanctions, the IRGC is the spearhead of growing Iranian influence across the Middle East with its involvement in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Trumps presidency could follow the same trajectory as the man he so often ridicules: George W. Bush that of a president who manufactured a crisis, ignited an endless conflict, and eroded Americas standing around the globe, warnedAmir Handjani in an article on the US effort to end the nuclear agreement.

The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observers editorial policy.

Photo Credit: donfiore / Shutterstock.com

Join our community of more than 1,800 contributors to publish your perspective, share your narrative and shape the global discourse. Become a Fair Observer and help us make sense of the world.

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Trump's Iran Policy Risks Cloning North Korea - Fair Observer

That dream bike may not be the bargain you hoped for as the number plates may be cloned – Leicester Mercury

Vehicle security company Tracker is flagging up statistics which reveal that one in 12 of the 37 million cars, lorries and motorbikes registered in the UK is likely to have false plates.

While vehicle cloning is most commonly associated with cars, it is increasingly being used to hide the identity of stolen motorcycles.

More than 26,000 motorcycles are stolen every year and many are often used for serious criminal offences such as burglaries and robberies.

Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: Fraudsters continue to use more sophisticated methods to hide the true identity of stolen motorcycles and then sell them on to innocent buyers who think theyre getting a dream bike at a bargain price.

The majority of bikes that are stolen are less than three years old and a staggering 80 per cent of all cloned motorcycles end up in the dealer network.

Cloning is the vehicle equivalent of identity fraud criminals steal a motorbike or scooter and give it a new identity copied from a similar make and model bike already on the road.

The criminal disguises the unique 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the stolen motorcycle and uses a stolen V5/logbook to try to legitimise its identity. A vehicle with a cloned identity is more difficult for police to identify, and in turn, easier for a thief to sell on.

Tracker says that data from the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators a global organisation representing those involved in the prevention of car crime shows an estimated 0.8 per cent of all vehicles in Britain may have been cloned.

Fraudsters use cloning to sell a stolen motorcycle for a quick profit and Tracker is now warning that buyers should look out for any bike with a too good to be true price tag.

They say that prospective buyers should always check the market value and avoid anything thats being offered for less than 70 per cent of that price, stressing that no legitimate seller will want to lose money on a sale.

Buyers should never pay cash only for a vehicle, particularly if they are paying more than 3,000 as most crooks would rather walk away from a sale than take a payment that can be traced back to them.

Whilst a tracking device wont stop a motorbike being stolen, it can significantly increase the chances of the police locating and returning it to its rightful owner, said Mr Barrs.

Without any SVR (stolen vehicle recovery) protection, the probability of a stolen bike being offered for sale as a clone is greatly increased.

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That dream bike may not be the bargain you hoped for as the number plates may be cloned - Leicester Mercury

Cloning, Counterfeiting and Fraud in digital payments what to know to stay safe – Technology Zimbabwe

Technology Zimbabwe
Cloning, Counterfeiting and Fraud in digital payments what to know to stay safe
Technology Zimbabwe
The second topic being discussed at the Mobile money and Digital payments conference at Meikles hotel is discussing Cloning, Counterfeiting and Fraud in mobile money and digital payments. The discussion was kick started by a presentation from Jaqueline ...

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Cloning, Counterfeiting and Fraud in digital payments what to know to stay safe - Technology Zimbabwe

Competent Cells Market to Reach $2.2 Billion by 2022 – Analysis By Type, Application, End User & Region – PR Newswire (press release)

The global competent cells market is projected to reach USD 2.22 Billion by 2022 from USD 1.37 Billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 10.2%. The advancements in molecular cloning research due to the emergence of new technologies and the growing commercial demand for molecular cloned products and recombinant proteins are the major driving factors for this market.

The competent cells market is segmented on the basis of type, application, and end user. On the basis of type, the competent cells market is segmented into chemically competent cells and electrocompetent cells. The chemically competent cells segment is expected to command the largest share of the global competent cells market in 2017. However, the electrocompetent cells segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Electrocompetent cells offer high transformation efficiencies, making them suitable for many molecular biology applications such as the generation of cDNA libraries or constructing gene banks.

Based on the applications of competent cells, the market is broadly segmented into cloning, protein expression, and other applications. In 2017, cloning is expected to command the largest share of this market. Increasing research on cloning driven by government support and funding is among the major factors driving market growth in this segment. The cloning application is further segmented into subcloning & routine cloning, phage display library construction, toxic/unstable DNA cloning, and high-throughput cloning.

Other applications are further subsegmented into mutagenesis, single-stranded DNA production, lentiviral vector production, and large plasmid transformation. The other applications segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This segment is primarily driven by the increasing intensity of research and technological advancements in competent cells. In addition, the growth in the genomics market will enhance research in mutagenesis, thus driving the demand for competent cells.

Companies Mentioned

Key Topics Covered:

1 Introduction

2 Research Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Premium Insights

5 Market Overview

6 Competent Cells Market, By Type

7 Competent Cells Market, By Application

8 Competent Cells Market, By End User

9 Competent Cells Market, By Region

10 Competitive Landscape

11 Company Profiles

12 Appendix

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5qqtsc/competent_cells

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SOURCE Research and Markets


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Competent Cells Market to Reach $2.2 Billion by 2022 - Analysis By Type, Application, End User & Region - PR Newswire (press release)

Date palm cloning ensures traditional UAE industry has a sweet future – The National

Franck Marionnet's family set up Al Wathba Marionnet with an Emirati partner in the UAE in 1998. Pawan Singh / The National

The date palm has been a key source of food in the Arabian Gulf for well over 5,000 years and its role in providing sustenance here shows no sign of fading.

Each year tens of thousands of people attend the Liwa Dates Festival, which runs until July 29, a vivid demonstration that dates remain as important a commodity as ever.

With more than 40 million date palms, the UAE is a key centre for the production of the fruit but it is also heavily involved in cloning date palms by tissue culture.

While there are other ways of propagating date palms, only sophisticated laboratory techniques can produce the tens of thousands of genetically identical plants needed by the date-growing industry each year.

Among the few companies able to propagate date palms on an industrial scale is Al Wathba Marionnet, an Emirati-French company with headquarters in Abu Dhabi and with tissue-culture laboratories and greenhouses at Al Khazna, between the capital and Al Ain.

Tissue culture will get rid of any disease and give you the capability to produce in high quantities; theres no other choice, said Franck Marionnet, the companys general manager.

Other companies involved in tissue culturing date palms are Green Coast Nurseries in Fujairah, which collaborates with a UK company, Date Palm Developments, which has tissue-culture laboratories in south-west England.

In addition, UAE University has a date palm tissue culture laboratory that propagates date palms and sells them commercially.

The UAE is a hub for this business because, from the late 1990s, authorities offered tenders for companies to supply thousands of tissue-cultured date palms, said Buthaina Khazal, managing partner of Green Coast Nurseries. These plants were subsequently passed on to farmers.

Mrs Khazal said support from Sheikh Zayed, the UAEs Founding Father, was key to the technologys adoption. However, even now, the techniques remain problematic.

Date palms were one of the last things [scientists] worked on with tissue culture, and the most difficult, said Mrs Khazal.

Mr Marionnet described the use of tissue culture with date palms as very, very specific and something that so few laboratories are able to carry out successfully.

So many started and closed; they cannot succeed, he said. If youre producing strawberries, its very easy. Technically [with date palms] its very, very difficult. Every day we have failures and successes.

We keep improving all the time but we havent produced the ideal production capability and ideal ease of production.

Like other flowering plants, date palms can reproduce by seed. However, because these seeds are created by mixing the genetic material of a male and female plant, they vary from one to another, so the resulting plants may not be consistent in their yield of dates or other characteristics.

Also, it is just female date palms that produce dates, so farmers do not want to waste time and resources growing plants only to find they are male.

As an alternative, female plants can be cloned, generating offspring genetically identical to the parent. One method involves taking offshoots, which are small versions of the plant that grow out from the base of the trunk, and growing them into trees.

When you have a big tree, you have a small one growing from its foot. This one you can take; it will be exactly the same, said Mr Marionnet.

[However], within the lifespan of one adult tree, it will produce 10 to 15 daughters; its not enough to supply the demand.

Also, if the mother plant has a disease, a daughter plant grown from an offshoot will have the same condition. Mr Marionnet said only about 60 per cent of offshoots grow successfully.

So instead, tissue culture, which involves taking tiny pieces of plant derived from offshoots and growing them under laboratory conditions, is used.

The Marionnet family, which has an agricultural company in France with more than a century of history, set Al Wathba Marionnet up with an Emirati partner in the UAE in 1998 because the country is a key market for date palms. They employ 35 people, most in the laboratories and greenhouses, and produces 200,000 to 250,000 date palms each year, many exported to India, Pakistan, Central America, Africa and many Middle Eastern countries.

Green Coast Nurseries, which also exports all over the world, has an 86-hectare nursery where annually it grows more than 100,000 palms, including types of palm other than the date palm, such as the Listona fan palm. The company also has a large date farm.

Mrs Khazal said early varieties of date palm produce fruits from June onwards and the harvesting season runs until October. Most varieties come mid-season - June, July, August. Right now [at] our farm you will see an army of people. They work early morning and in the afternoon, she said.

The date palm industry has methods to ripen dates in storage, allowing them to be harvested early.

Other countries to have date palm tissue culture facilities include Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

How date palms are cloned by tissue culture

Producing date palms by tissue culture typically involves cutting out small sections of the growing part of offshoots and planting them in a nutrient medium before keeping them in the dark. New shoots are generated and are cut out and planted separately. After about six months of growth, the small plants are put in pots and may be kept in a high humidity section of a greenhouse before further growth in a regular area of a greenhouse. Al Wathba Marionnet keeps plants for between eight months and a year in a greenhouse, by which time they are large enough to be sent by air to customers. They are packed in boxes that hold 25 plants and that fit in air-freight pallets. Customers can expect plants to start producing dates after three to five years. The prices charged vary from one date palm variety to another. Al Wathba Marionnet produces about 16 varieties, while the date palm tissue culture laboratory at UAE University publishes a list of 18 varieties that it sells, the most expensive of which, Barhee and Majhool, cost Dh150 per plant. One variety, Khlass, sells for Dh140 each, while the remaining 15 varieties, among them Sultana, Lulu, Debbas and Khadri, are Dh130 per plant. The laboratory pledges that plants will be true-to-type to the variety, be free of pests or diseases, have a strong root system and be able to grow more rapidly than normal offshoots. If looked after properly, survival rates are said to be nearly 100 per cent.

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Date palm cloning ensures traditional UAE industry has a sweet future - The National