Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, associate professor of electrical engineering in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences says currently, there is a great demand for on-site drug testing, and the high-performance chip they designed is able to detect cocaine within minutes. An inexpensive that can be produced using raw materials that cost around 10 cents.
Gan developed the new chip with a team that included first authors Jun Gao, a research associate of Material Sciences at Fudan University in China, and Nan Zhang, a PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo, along with colleagues from the UB Department of Electrical Engineering; the UB Research Institute on Addictions; and the UB Department of Community Health and Health Behavior in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.
The new chip is an engineered nanostructure that traps light at the edges of gold and silver nanoparticles. When biological or chemical molecules land on the chip’s surface, some of the captured light interacts with the molecules and is “scattered” into light of new energies. This effect occurs in recognizable patterns that act as fingerprints, revealing information about what compounds are present.
Because all chemicals — cocaine, opioids, and active ingredients in marijuana — have their unique light-scattering signatures, researchers can use the technology to quickly identify a wide range of chemicals.
This sensing method is called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and it’s not new. But the chip that Gan’s team developed is noteworthy for its high performance and low cost.”SERS holds a lot of promise for rapid detection of drugs and other chemicals, but the materials required to perform the sensing are usually quite expensive,” Zhang says. “The chips used for SERS are typically fabricated using expensive methods, such as lithography, which creates specific patterns on a metal substrate. The chip was created by depositing various thin layers of materials on a glass substrate, which is cost-effective and suitable for industrial-scale production.
Hagens Berman, a law firm with a long track record of class-action advocacy, believes that Samsung, Hynix, and Micron have colluded to limit the supply of certain DRAM products, which has driven an increase in prices. The firm is filing a class-action on behalf of US consumers of smartphones and computing devices, saying that anyone who purchased a smartphone or computer between July 1, 2016 and Feb. 1, 2018 may have overpaid and could be due restitution.
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First there’s a shortage due to lack of technological skills now it’s opioid addiction.
A provision in a bipartisan Senate package, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, addressing the workforce shortage created by the addiction crisis was secured Tuesday.
The provision is based on legislation U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced earlier this month called the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act. The bipartisan package passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Tuesday.
The Opioid Crisis Response Act is a wide-ranging, bipartisan package aimed at stemming the tide of the nationwide opioid crisis. The bill includes a provision based on Brown and Capito’s CARE Act that targets federal workforce training grants to address the workforce shortages and skill gaps caused by the opioid epidemic.
Since December, 21 members of New York City’s Chinese community have lost a total of $2.5 million, according to the New York Police Department, with individuals reporting losses ranging from $1,800 to $1.4 million, according to Voices of NY. Some have lost their life savings.
The caller IDs make it seem like it’s coming from a local number, but investigators say it’s actually coming from a location in China.
The FTC reminded people never to send money to anyone who asks you to do so over the phone.
“Never give your Social Security number, your bank or credit card number, or other sensitive information to anyone who calls and asks for it,” the commission said.
The Justice Department says that it will put $2 million towards research on AI, which it believes could be used to fight human trafficking, illegal border crossings, drug trafficking, and child pornography.
National Institute for Justice, the DoJ’s research wing, is funding the initiative in the hopes that it will help address the opioid crisis and fight crime by helping investigators sift through massive amounts of data.
“Crimes such as gang violence, migrant smuggling, and human and opioid trafficking generate volumes of data resulting from the use of various communications and social media technologies by gang members, traffickers, smugglers; and financial transactions related to illicit activities,”
NIJ also wants to fund research on detecting encrypted child pornography files without breaking encryption, according to its call for proposals.
“Encryption poses a major challenge to law enforcement in its efforts to combat child pornography,” the announcement states. “NIJ seeks proposals for R&D projects that examine the potential for developing technologies that can distinguish a contraband file through its encrypted container—without breaking encryption—with a sufficient degree of certainty to support probable cause for a court order to unlock the device, based on the encryption pattern of a particular file type.”
Privacy advocates have warned that AI could be abused by law enforcement agencies—it’s difficult to keep bias from creeping into algorithms, as ProPublica recently documented in software designed to predict recidivism.
A smuggling ring has been using DJI drones to enable the transport of refurbished iPhones into Shenzhen, China. According to customs officials in the city, those responsible were caught after flying 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of smartphones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.
Chinese authorities have arrested 26 people who were part of an iPhone smuggling operation between Hong Kong and the mainland city of Shenzhen. The criminals used aerial drones to connect two 660-foot cables between two high-rise buildings, and then passed as many as 15,000 iPhones per night across the border.
The FBI is warning of an increase in new scams that try to trick taxpayers and employers into sending employee records, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other sensitive information.
The scams are most often directed at human resources departments in an attempt to trick workers into sending records for large numbers of employees. Often, the people perpetrating these crimes impersonate executives inside a targeted company by compromising or spoofing a trusted email account that asks for all W-2 information on record.