Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Hope Seen in Chromosome Therapy for Down Syndrome

A spectral karyotype of the human genome

There have been any number of approaches to managing Down syndrome or reducing its symptoms. But developmental biologist Jeanne Lawrence and her team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have taken a different tack, borrowing a biological mechanism honed by thousands of years of evolution and creatively applying it to try to nip Down syndrome in the bud.   More

Manufacturing

Sensors Take a Big Step Closer to Human Touch

A smartphone screen can detect where it’s being touched. But the SynTouch sensor works the other way around: It detects what it is touching. SynTouch LLC, a Los Angeles-based startup that began in a University of Southern California lab, has developed what it says is the first sensor that enables robots to replicate human touch. The company has been named a 2014 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer for its main product, the BioTac, a fingertip that can sense force, temperature, and vibration—in some cases more accurately than a human finger.   More

Global Tech Manufacturing

Techonomy’s Kirkpatrick Moderates CFR’s 3D-Printing Panel

It's hard to believe you can manufacture your own toys and tchotchkes—not in a factory, but in your home. But companies including MakerBot and Solidoodle are already making it possible, selling low-end 3D printers to consumers for as little as $499. The printers spray liquified powders in thousands of layers to form almost any imaginable shape. And industrial models can even "print" objects made out of Titanium, glass, and many other materials.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Why a Drone-Dominated World Will Demand Interdisciplinary Policymaking

credit: karen axelrad via flickr

Global headlines this week are focused on U.S. military drone attacks in Pakistan. But a conference in New York last weekend addressed the myriad additional policy implications of a consumer-drone-dominated world. Wish you could have been a fly on the wall for the first-ever Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC)? In a podcast broadcast by Drone U on Slate, meeting co-chair Christopher Wong, executive director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at the New York University School of Law, recaps the top issues on the table there.   More

Business

The Farmer, the Food Truck, and the Foodie

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A few Digital Alley workers are already craning to see which food trucks will serve their lunch at San Francisco’s SOMA StrEAT Food Park when the French bistro truck, France Delices, pulls into the gravel lot by a highway overpass and shoehorns between Kung Fu Tacos and Bacon! Bacon! Fans all across town are receiving tweets and text alerts about favorite trucks’ locations and daily specials. Food trucks aren’t the most obvious businesses benefiting from rapid advances in core digital technologies. But in both the highest-tech new industries and traditional hands-on small businesses, advances in social software, cloud computing, and other technologies are reducing the cost of identifying and managing a large number of participants in a diverse ecosystem.   More

Jobs Learning

The Public Image of the Female Programmer

(Image via Shutterstock)

The Labor Department has estimated that there will be 1.4 million job openings for computer-related occupations this decade. On the heels of less-than-stellar jobs numbers, this should be welcome news to millennials planning their career paths. But, as Catherine Rampell wrote in this week’s New York Times Magazine, few young women are choosing the computer science field, despite its potential for high incomes and flexibility. Why is this? Rampell suggests that computer science has a “public-image problem,” and there aren’t enough narratives of successful women in the field.   More

Global Tech Jobs

Creating Great Employees (Who Happen to be Autistic)

A Specialisterne student with ASD works with a Lego Mindstorm Robot.

Thirty-year-old Tobias Ussing admits that his Asperger syndrome, on the milder end of the autism spectrum, is “a lot to work with.” Despite loads of motivation and experience, finding a permanent job has been a challenge, even though he is a highly capable computer programmer who began coding in the 1980s on a Commodore 64. Specialisterne, a company founded in his native Denmark, got Ussing “out of the gutter,” he says. Specialisterne helps people with autism spectrum disorders who have business potential find work. Thorkil Sonne founded Specialisterne in 2004 because his son, Lars, who had been diagnosed at age three with autism, demonstrated an incredible aptitude for processing large amounts of information and catching details.   More

Finance Global Tech

Alibaba-Yahoo: Still Some Love?

Alibaba may have lost its affection for Hong Kong’s securities regulator after an impasse over its IPO plans, but it appears to be moving in a happier direction these days with U.S. Internet giant Yahoo. That’s my assessment, following word that Yahoo will hold onto a larger share of China’s e-commerce leader than the two sides had previously agreed to last year when they reached a landmark deal to end their stormy 7-year-old marriage.   More

Business Internet of Things

When the Quantified Self Wants to Conceive a Child

The Glow app tells users when they're most fertile.

As if baby making isn't exciting enough, the new venture of angel investor Max Levchin and his four-man founding team promises that "using Glow to conceive is effective and more fun!" Described on the company website as "an ambitious enterprise where for the first time ever, our emerging ability to crunch and analyze vast quantities of data will be specifically used to help get you pregnant," Glow is a free iPhone fertility app.   More

Techonomy Events

The Techonomy Experience Looms

With Techonomy 2013 just weeks away, our team at Broadway and Bond in NoHo is putting the final touches on our best program ever. Techonomy carries a heritage from our many years at Fortune. It's a living magazine. Tina Brown calls conferences "theatrical journalism," and we don't eschew that, but ideas are what get us most excited. The conference opens with a look at the extraordinary ways tech is changing business, and ends with an even bigger-picture look at how innovation is transforming the world and life.   More

Finance Global Tech

International Board Bound for Shanghai New Trade Zone?

Shanghai Stock Exchange image via Shutterstock

I’ve avoided writing about the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) up until now, despite exhaustive coverage in both domestic and international media. But now I’m lifting my informal ban, following new reports saying the FTZ could soon host a proposed but long-stalled international board where foreign companies could list their shares in China. Such a development would be quite exciting, as it could finally allow big names like China Mobile and Lenovo, which are technically based overseas, to finally make their shares accessible to investors in China.   More

Business

Kirkpatrick on Yahoo Earnings Report: The Money Will Come

Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick appeared on Bloomberg’s “Taking Stock” on Tuesday to talk about Yahoo’s financial outlook. “It’s the classic model of … the money will come,” he said. “I think the money hasn’t come in the way that a lot of people would like, but she has righted the ship and steadied it. It’s a matter of turning up the gas a little bit.” While it’s clear Yahoo has a long road ahead of it, Kirkpatrick said Mayer is acutely aware of the challenges she faces—namely those challenges imposed by today’s rapidly shifting market that demands more than just high-quality products to succeed.   More

Jobs

McKinsey’s Susan Lund on Tomorrow’s Workforce

At our recent Techonomy Detroit conference, McKinsey Global Institute director of research Susan Lund shared a worrisome statistic: today four out of five U.S. college graduates can't find work in their field of study. So how can we get more graduating students into the workforce? According to Lund, we need a radical rethink of American education. "The basic way we educate kids hasn't really changed in a hundred years," Lund said. "And what's needed today are workers of all different sorts, but with more skills."   More

E-Commerce Security & Privacy

The Hidden Secrets of the Deep Web

Encryption key image via Shutterstock

Early this month, U.S. officials seized and shut down a hidden but sprawling online marketplace called Silk Road, known as the eBay of illegal goods and services. More than 1.2 million transactions had been completed on the site, earning its owner some $80 million in commissions. How did a site that allegedly allowed users to buy illicit drugs, deal black market weapons, and even hire hit men stay above water long enough to handle that much revenue over its two-and-a-half years of operation? The answer lies in what’s called the “Deep Web” or the “Dark Web”—hidden corners of the Internet that can’t be reached by Google and require connecting to an anonymous network called TOR that was originally developed by the U.S. Navy.   More

Global Tech

Chinese Regulators Limit Deceptive Telecoms Apps

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China's unruly markets for emerging sectors are famous for Trojan Horses, which often come as hidden traps in many products and services that ultimately harm consumers. The nation's tourism authority just launched a new law to eliminate such traps in the travel sector, and now we're getting word that the telecoms regulator is preparing a similar move against hidden and sometimes malicious apps that often come pre-installed on many new smartphones.   More

Manufacturing

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson on Maker Culture

Etsy represents a new way of connecting handcraft makers to buyers, but it's rooted in an age-old tradition. As Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson put it, "We represent something really fundamental about humanity: the making of things." At our Techonomy Detroit conference, Dickerson explained what draws people into the maker movement, and how it's going global.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Venture for America’s Yang Calls Detroit an Innovation Hub

Winning innovators don’t depend on the market for opportunities; they innovate their way into them. So says Venture for America founder Andrew Yang, who talked with us at our Techonomy Detroit conference about the need for more innovation and why Detroit can help spark it. “We need to get more smart people building things. We need to get more of our talented working to solve the problems of the day,” he said, adding that Detroit's access to talent, resources, and customers to put it at the forefront of tech entrepreneurship in coming years.   More

Global Tech

The Middle East Shows It’s Ready For Online Dating

et3arraf solution

When online matchmaker et3arraf closed its second round of funding this week, CEO Cedric Maalouf was ecstatic. The Arab “marriage-oriented” dating website attracted attention from angel investors and venture capital firms, and received term sheets from investors who weren’t even pitched. Calling it a “good problem,” Maalouf is waiting for his lawyers to weigh in, but thinks he’d prefer angel to VC financing: “We still decide everything about the site and I am not sure if I want to share it with someone yet.” Et3arraf lays claim to being the first Middle Eastern dating platform, “for Arabs, by Arabs, in Arabic.”   More

Business E-Commerce

Airbnb Rallies its Community to Fight Back

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Airbnb hosts in New York are fighting back against policymakers who are trying to rein in the sharing economy. Last week the New York Attorney General subpoenaed the records of all New York Airbnb hosts, and the community is not happy. Recently Airbnb has been working with officials to clarify complicated rental regulations. But now they are “fighting the subpoena with all we’ve got,” wrote Global Head of Community Douglas Atkin in an email sent to New Yorkers on Monday.   More

Business Internet of Things

Now the Maker Movement Has Intel Inside

Intel's Arduino-compatible Galileo Development Board

Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich says he's been a "maker" for years, and he's leading the chipmaker into new friendships in the DIY world. Last week Krzanich unveiled the Intel Galileo board, an Arduino-compatible development board, and today Intel announced a corporate sponsorship of TechShop.   More