Matching Items (10)

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Analyzing Uncertainties Around Gene Drives: A Case Study of Mosquitos in Sub-Saharan Africa

Description

Malaria is a disease that has plagued human populations throughout history. Malaria is cause by the parasite Plasmodium, which uses mosquitoes as a vector for transfer. Current methods for controlling

Malaria is a disease that has plagued human populations throughout history. Malaria is cause by the parasite Plasmodium, which uses mosquitoes as a vector for transfer. Current methods for controlling malaria include issuing bed nets to citizens, spraying home with insecticides, and reactive medical care. However, using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in conjunction with the Cas9 protein found in bacteria, the genomes of mosquitoes can be edited to remove the ability of mosquitoes to host Plasmodium or to create sex bias in which the birth rate of males is increased so as to make reproduction near impossible. Using CRISPR, this genome edit can be ‘driven’ through a population by increasing the likelihood of that gene being passed onto subsequent generations until the entire population possesses that gene; a gene drive can theoretically be used to eliminate malaria around the world. This paper identifies uncertainties concerning scientific, environmental, governance, economic ,and social aspects of researching and implementing gene drives and makes recommendations concerning these areas for the emerging technology of gene drives concerning the eradication of malaria using Sub-Saharan Africa as a case study

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Blockchain: An Assessment of its Potential and Challenges in Addressing Sustainability Issues

Description

Blockchain, the technology behind the worldwide-known cryptocurrency Bitcoin, offers a new set of potential advantages and opportunities that various industries and institutions could use to enhance their processes. Although most

Blockchain, the technology behind the worldwide-known cryptocurrency Bitcoin, offers a new set of potential advantages and opportunities that various industries and institutions could use to enhance their processes. Although most research and development on blockchain has focused on applications for cryptocurrencies and the finance industry, relatively few analyses and assessments have been conducted on how it could provide tools to address social and environmental issues. This research, using interviews, literature review and examples of blockchain applications, explores how this technology can be employed to address sustainability issues under the framework of three UN Sustainable Development Goals: 2. Zero Hunger, 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, and 14. Life Below Water. The analysis shows that blockchain has the potential to support solutions to sustainability problems that need efficient traceability, trust, a unique ID, transparency, or a highly secure payment system. However, the technology should not be mistaken for a panacea for addressing sustainability issues in its current state because it is not yet mature and has not been sufficiently tested. Expansion of blockchain as an effective tool for helping solve sustainability challenges will require a greater understanding of the governance of blockchain, its scalability and its potential unintended consequences for the technology to become properly integrated into the decision-making progress.

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Date Created
  • 2019-04-17

Beyond the Wall of Sound: What cosmic horror can teach us about future technologies

Description

Cosmic horror distinguishes itself from standard horror in large part because of the things that it finds horrifying. Cosmic horror, like any horror, attaches itself to external experience. Powerful technologies’

Cosmic horror distinguishes itself from standard horror in large part because of the things that it finds horrifying. Cosmic horror, like any horror, attaches itself to external experience. Powerful technologies’ ability to reshape our perspective are the ideal choice for this anchor point. Beyond the Wall of Sound is a podcast that seeks to unify the existential dread and scientific imaginings inherent in cosmic horror and weird fiction, with dystopian visions of technological futures. The podcast uses the strange and horrifying mind of HP Lovecraft, as revealed through his short stories, to shed light on the horrifying, revealing and absurd imaginaries that drive and emerge unintentionally from current pursuits in science and technological innovation. In this essay, I describe the roots of horror and its relevance and therefore applicability to human experience. I then exemplarily relate the practical mode of thought that created one of the podcast’s episodes, which take’s Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep and the authors fears of the future as a lens to discuss and reflect upon the technology of body switching. The podcast is presented as an important piece of science communication in the face of increasing misinformation and a rolling technological wave. The project is affected by the strength of Lovecraft’s influences over time, and ultimately is itself a vehicle for and a deconstruction of that influence. Ultimately, the purpose of this podcast is not to horrify, but to inspire people to do good and remain educated despite the horrors of a pessimistic and uncaring existence.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Fiscal Responsibility and Efficiency as the result, not the objective: A regional e-Governance perspective and framework.

Description

Regional governments provide access to safety, health, and welfare through consistently good services. This analysis examines the underlying motives and mechanisms for achieving these goals. A current trend in governance

Regional governments provide access to safety, health, and welfare through consistently good services. This analysis examines the underlying motives and mechanisms for achieving these goals. A current trend in governance is to outsource technology software and development to private sector efficiency. To achieve this claim and in attempt to save money the physical employee workforce is being replaced by technology. The government interaction in this philosophy is not being met with the same diversity and flexibility of the private-sector. This missed opportunity is the result of not accompanying software or governance practices with the principles of entrepreneurship including performance measures, marketing, and collaborative process design. The linkage of these three key principles provides the potential to reinvent government communication and interaction leading to successful endeavors for the public it serves and employees it aims to recruit and retain. This is an applied research thesis with foundation in a working body of regional government. The Maricopa County Planning and Development Department (MCPPD) provided the resources and project objective to discover the root causes of e-Governance challenges. The framing was constructed under recent theoretical trends of New Public Management Theory and Joined-Up Governance approaches to government administration. Extensive data collection was then performed to inform a remedy to these contemporary e-Governance issues. The premise of this thesis is to understand theory and practice of
e-Governance and apply methods to measure and propel that perspective to an operationally adaptable framework applicable to regional government.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Time Travel: A People's History

Description

Time travel is closely associated with futuristic science fiction, but it is a concept that dates back to ancient times. Over many generations it has been developed and explored narratively

Time travel is closely associated with futuristic science fiction, but it is a concept that dates back to ancient times. Over many generations it has been developed and explored narratively and scientifically. This paper aims to document and analyze the history of the time travel concept and the important role fiction had in its development.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Promoting Public Engagement within the Scientific and Bioethical Communities: Analyzing the Embedded Ethos in Science Fiction

Description

This thesis advocated for a humanities-forward bioethics in order to promote more robust discussion, foster public involvement in research, and enrich scientific education. Furthermore, embracing a field founded on personal

This thesis advocated for a humanities-forward bioethics in order to promote more robust discussion, foster public involvement in research, and enrich scientific education. Furthermore, embracing a field founded on personal expression allows for a wider breadth of concerns to be considered, not just those that are able to be articulated in strictly technical terms. Speculative fiction liberates discussion from being constrained by what is presently feasible, and thus works to place societal and ethical deliberation ahead of scientific conception. The value of such stories is not tied to any one character or storyline, but rather it is derived from our ability as a culture with a shared understanding to superimpose our concerns and fears onto the novels and use them as a means of communication. Three famous science fiction novels- The Island of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, and Brave New World- were analyzed to illustrate the salience of science fiction to contend with fundamental issues in bioethics.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

Mapping the Implications of AI and Machine Learning in the Healthcare Market

Description

Within the last decade, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the potential medical applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. During the same timespan, big

Within the last decade, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the potential medical applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. During the same timespan, big tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Google have entered the healthcare market as developers of health-based AI and ML technologies. This project aims to create a comprehensive map of the existing health-AI market landscape for the standard biotech reader and to provide a critical commentary on the existing market structure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Environmental, Human Health, and Societal Impacts of Nanosilver and Ionic Silver Used in Industrial and Consumer Products

Description

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are added to numerous consumer products to enhance their effectiveness, whether it be for environmental remediation, mechanical properties, or as dietary supplements. Uses of ENMs include adding

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are added to numerous consumer products to enhance their effectiveness, whether it be for environmental remediation, mechanical properties, or as dietary supplements. Uses of ENMs include adding to enhance products, carbon for strength or dielectric properties, silver for antimicrobial properties, zinc oxide for UV sun-blocking properties, titanium dioxide for photocatalysis, or silica for desiccant properties. However, concerns arise from ENM functional properties that can impact the environment and a lack of regulation regarding ENMs leads to potential public exposure to ENMs and results in ill-informed public or manufacturer perceptions of ENMs. My dissertation evaluates the environmental, human health, and societal impacts of using ENMs, with a focus on ionic silver and nanosilver, in consumer and industrial products. Reproducible experiments served as functional assays to assess ENM distributions among various environmental matrices. Functional assay results were visualized using radar plots and aid in a framework to estimate likely ENM disposition in the environment. To assess beneficial uses of ENMs, bromide ion removal from drinking waters to limit disinfection by-product formation was studied. Silver-enabled graphene oxide materials were capable of removing bromide from water, and exhibited less competition from background solutes (e.g. natural organic matter) when compared against solely ionic silver addition to water for bromide removal. To assess complex interactions of ENMs with the microbiome, batch experiments were performed using fecal samples spiked with ionic silver or commercial dietary silver nanoparticles. Dietary nanosilver and ionic silver exposures to the fecal microbiome for 24 hours reduce short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and changes the relative abundance of the microbiota. To understand the social perceptions of ENMS, statistically rigorous surveys were conducted to assess related perceptions related to the use of ENMs in drinking water treatment devices the general public and, separately, industrial manufacturers. These stakeholders are influenced by costs and efficiency of the technologies, consumer concerns of the safety of technologies, and environmental health and safety of the technologies. This dissertation represents novel research that took an interdisciplinary approach, spanning from wet-lab engineering bench scale testing to social science survey assessments to better understand the environmental, human health, and societal impacts of using ENMs such as nanosilver and ionic silver in industrial processes and consumer products.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The Technology Triad: Reimagining the Relationship Between Technology and Military Innovation

Description

Existing models of military innovation assume general resistance to change within militaries that necessitates an outside influence to induce military innovation. Within these approaches, the complex relationship between technology and

Existing models of military innovation assume general resistance to change within militaries that necessitates an outside influence to induce military innovation. Within these approaches, the complex relationship between technology and innovation is normally addressed by either minimizing the importance of technology or separating it from the social process of innovation. Yet these approaches struggle to reflect emerging dynamics between technology and military innovation, and as a result, potentially contribute to wasted national resources and unnecessarily bloody wars. Reframing the relationship between technology and military innovation can provide novel insights into the apparent inability of militaries to align technology with strategic goals and inform more effective future alignment. This dissertation leverages the insights of constructivist science and technology studies concepts to develop a novel model of military innovation: referred to here as the technology triad. The technology triad describes military sociotechnical systems in a way that highlights change and innovation within militaries. The model describes how doctrine, materiel, and “martial knowledge,” a new concept that relates to socially constructed truths about the conduct of war, interact to produce change and innovation within militaries. After constructing the model and exploring an in-depth application to the development of armored warfare in the United States Army prior to World War II, the case from which the model was developed, the dissertation explores the logical extension of the technology triad to establish a deductive framework against which to test the generalizability of the model. Nuclear weapons innovation in the United States military through the end of the Vietnam War provides a test of the model at the strategic level, and the development and employment of armed drones in the United States, Russia, Israel, and Azerbaijan provide a test of a contemporary innovation for the technology triad. Together, these three cases demonstrate that framing the relationship between technology and military innovation in terms of the technology triad can inform concrete actions that military leaders can take related to the types of technologies that are most likely to be useful in future conflicts and ways to manage military innovations to increase opportunities to achieve strategic objectives.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021

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Thinking Like a Futurist: Investigating the Theories and Processes of Threatcasting Post-Analysis

Description

Threatcasting is a foresight methodology that examines the worst of potential future changes by imagining and crafting a fictional (but very plausible) story of a person, in a detailed setting,

Threatcasting is a foresight methodology that examines the worst of potential future changes by imagining and crafting a fictional (but very plausible) story of a person, in a detailed setting, experiencing a threat. In this dissertation, I investigate the processes and techniques of threatcasting, focused primarily on the post-analysis phase, and demonstrate it as an open methodology that can embrace varied ways to analyze raw data and seek conclusions. I incorporate best practices of narrative and thematic analysis, qualitative analysis, grounded theory, and hypothesis-driven theories of inquiry. I use interviews from futurists trained on threatcasting ways of thinking and compare two case studies - one using a grounded theory approach on the future of weapons of mass destruction and cyberspace and the other using a hypothesis-driven approach on the future of extremism - to investigate the efficacy of different theoretical approaches to analysis. I introduce definitions of novelty and ways to assess how a novel finding may have more impact on the future than it appears at first glance. Often, this impact comes more from what is not present in threat scenarios than what is included. Finally, I illustrate how threatcasting, as a practice, is a valuable contribution to those in a position to be responsible architects of a better future.

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Date Created
  • 2021