Around mid-November, researchers at Lanzhou Veterinary Institute found that the genetically modified mice that they were using for an experiment could not get pregnant. They dissected one mouse and found out that it had Brucellosis. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, “Brucellosis is a zoonosis highly contagious for humans” which can lead to “fever, headache, weakness, profuse sweating, chills, weight loss and general aching.” If not treated early and properly, it can even cause infertility.
The Ural Science Education Center (USEC), backed by Roskosmos, has announced a new project. The USEC opened this year under a Kremlin directive and is expected to have 15 additional centers opened within the next six years across Russia. The project consists of creating a platform which will gather information about each user. It will gather each individual’s digital footprint— the trail of data you create while using the Internet. This includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit to online services.
The National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) is in charge of controlling everything related to the press, publications, radios, movies, and televisions in China. For example, all foreign movies that want to enter the Chinese market would need its approval first, during which scenes containing sex, violence, and Chinese politics are usually deleted– the reason why many foreign movies in China are a bit shorter than the international version. It exists to make sure that Chinese citizens are getting the information that the government deems appropriate.
Last Sunday an estimated 1.03 million people (230 thousands according to the police) participated in a mass protest in Hong Kong against a proposed law that would allow the extradition of suspects, either political or criminal, to mainland China for the first time. Protestors fear that the amendments would mark the end of the “one country two systems” era.
To start off with the latest developments, a blogger has been jailed in Russia for sharing a meme pertaining to the religious leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. With more charges to come the blogger is waiting for their day in Russian courts. The meme itself did not have any connotations of violence or any harmful impact. This is a prelude.
It was another wild week for Facebook. Dueling editorials in The New York Times debated the social network’s very existence. The right is still in an uproar over Facebook’s censorship of conservative viewpoints, users and scientific issues. Meanwhile, on the left, the website— or is it a utility?— has become a campaign issue on its own. Differing Democrats have begun to split on whether stringent regulation of the tech giant will be sufficient, or whether Facebook has become too big to allow to survive.
On Thursday, Chris Hughes tore in to his co-creation, and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in The Times. “Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered,” he said. This, Hughes argues, gives Zuckerberg “unilateral control over speech.