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Human eggs grown to maturity in lab: researchers

PARIS: Scientists have grown human egg cells to full maturity in the lab in a potential breakthrough for fertility treatment, they announced in a study published Friday. Researchers in New York and Edinburgh developed a new method to grow eggs from very early-stage cells obtained from ovary tissue, a team reported in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction. The eggs were grown to the point at which they could be fertilised. This had previously been achieved with mouse egg cells, while human eggs had been…

Trappist planets have water, may be ‘habitable’: researchers

Seven planets recently spotted orbiting a dim star in our Milky Way galaxy are rocky, seem to have water, and are potentially "habitable", researchers studying the distant system said Monday. Though much remains unknown about the planets' surfaces and atmospheres, the new measurements have not ruled out the possibility that they may harbour even rudimentary life, the scientists reported. "So far, no sign allows us to say that they are not habitable," said University of Birmingham astronomer Amaury Triaud, the co-author…

Researchers uncover flaw that makes Wi-Fi vulnerable to hacks

WASHINGTON: Cyber security watchdogs and researchers are issuing warnings over risks associated with a widely used system for securing Wi-Fi communications after the discovery of a flaw that could allow hackers to read information thought to be encrypted, or infect websites with malware. An alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Computer Emergency Response Team on Monday said the flaw could be used within range of Wi-Fi using the WPA2 protocol to hijack private communications. It recommended installing vendor…

Researchers warn of cyber risks for Olympic Games

WASHINGTON: The Olympic Games offer a tempting target for hackers and other malicious actors, with potentially devastating consequences for one of the world's premier sporting events, researchers said Tuesday. A report by University of California researchers said the efforts to disrupt the 2016 US election should serve as warning about the impact of a cyber-attack on the games. The report released four months ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Games cited "an increasing supply of opportunities for digital manipulation as…

Australia researchers ‘find new way to build quantum computers’

MELBOURNE: Researchers in Australia have found a new way to build quantum computers which they say would make them dramatically easier and cheaper to produce at scale.  Quantum computers promise to harness the strange ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at a time to solve problems that are too complex or time-consuming for existing computers. Google, IBM, and other technology companies are all developing quantum computers, using a range of approaches. The team from the University of New…

Robot makers slow to address danger risk: researchers

WASHINGTON: Researchers who warned half a dozen robot manufacturers in January about nearly 50 vulnerabilities in their home, business and industrial robots, say only a few of the problems have been addressed. The researchers, Cesar Cerrudo and Lucas Apa of cyber security firm IOActive, said the vulnerabilities would allow hackers to spy on users, disable safety features and make robots lurch and move violently, putting users and bystanders in danger. While they say there are no signs that hackers have exploited the…

Scientists make breakthrough in peanut allergy treatment

MELBOURNE: Australian researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the relief of deadly peanut allergy with the discovery of a long-lasting treatment they say offers hope that a cure will soon be possible. In clinical trials conducted by scientists at Melbourne's Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, children with peanut allergies were given a probiotic along with small doses of a peanut protein over an 18-month period. When the experiment ended in 2013 some 80 percent of the kids were able to tolerate peanuts.…

Cyber attack sweeps globe, researchers see ‘WannaCry’ link

MOSCOW/KIEV/WASHINGTON: A major global cyber attack on Tuesday disrupted computers at Russia's biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms with a virus similar to the ransomware that last month infected more than 300,000 computers. The rapidly spreading cyber extortion campaign underscored growing concerns that businesses have failed to secure their networks from increasingly aggressive hackers, who have shown they are capable of shutting down critical infrastructure and crippling corporate and government…