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South Korea: Mangled fingers, no time off: Why the women who make Samsung’s semiconductors are striking

On Saturday, six days into the general strike by the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), someone in the KakaoTalk group chat operated by striking union members who work on the 8-inch semiconductor production line at Samsung’s Giheung plant posted a photo of their thumb, which has become deformed from their work.

“My thumb is becoming deformed,” the worker wrote. “My thumb is a badge of honor from the 8-inch production line.”

Workers on this production line are known not only for their deformed fingers but for a laundry list of physical ailments such as varicose veins, plantar fasciitis, and slipped discs. Employees posted numerous messages and photos about their conditions in the group chat.

According to the NSEU, the 8-inch semiconductor production line was operating at a mere 18% capacity on July 8, the first day of the strike. Normally, the line operates at 80% capacity. Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who make up the lion’s share of the workers on the line are actively involved in the strike. All too acquainted with on-the-job injuries, these women told the Hankyoreh that pay raises and more days off aren’t their top concern.

“We just don’t want to be treated as disposable parts.”

In response to our inquiries about worker safety, a Samsung Electronics spokesperson replied, “We obey all work site safety standards dictated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

“In spite of the strike, we are still meeting our production quotas, and are drafting countermeasures to ensure that there are no problems going forward,” the spokesperson added.

Scientists make DNA discovery that could help find pancreatic cancer cure

Scientists have made a crucial DNA discovery that could help cure one of the deadliest cancers.

A team of researchers from the UK and US have found that pancreatic cancer is able to shut down molecules in one of the body’s most important genes, helping the disease to grow and spread rapidly.

Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common cancer worldwide, with more than half a million people diagnosed every year. It has the worst survival rates of all the most common forms of the disease.

The deadly nature of pancreatic cancer has stumped experts for years but the breakthrough offers hope in the hunt for a treatment that could wipe out the disease.

Dr Maria Hatziapostolou, of Nottingham Trent University’s John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, said: “This work, which has provided new understanding and knowledge of how the cancer behaves, will hopefully help pave the way for potential new treatments in the future.”

She added: “Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival of all the 20 common cancers. The survival of patients beyond five years has improved very little for some time and so it’s extremely important that we find new ways to better understand this disease, how it spreads and why it is so aggressive.”

Diabetes-reversing drug boosts insulin-producing cells by 700%

People living with diabetes might have a new hope. Scientists have tested a new drug therapy in diabetic mice, and found that it boosted insulin-producing cells by 700% over three months, effectively reversing their disease.

Beta cells in the pancreas have the important job of producing insulin in response to blood sugar levels, but a hallmark of diabetes is that these cells are either destroyed or can’t produce enough insulin. The most common treatment is regular injections of insulin to manage blood sugar levels.

But a recent avenue of research has involved restoring the function of these beta cells. In some cases that’s started with stem cells being coaxed into new beta cells, which are then transplanted into patients with diabetes. Researchers behind this kind of work have described it as a “functional diabetes cure.”

Now, scientists at Mount Sinai and City of Hope have demonstrated a new breakthrough. Previous studies have mostly involved growing new beta cells in a lab dish, then transplanting them into mice or a small device in humans. But this new study has been able to grow the insulin-producing cells right there in the body, in a matter of months.

The therapy involved a combination of two drugs: one is harmine, a natural molecule found in certain plants, which works to inhibit an enzyme called DYRK1A found in beta cells. The second is a GLP1 receptor agonist. The latter is a class of diabetes drug that includes Ozempic, which is gaining attention lately for its side effect of weight loss.

The researchers tested the therapy in mouse models of type 1 and 2 diabetes. First they implanted a small amount of human beta cells into the mice, then treated them with harmine and GLP1 receptor agonists. Sure enough, the beta cells increased in number by 700% within three months of the treatment. The signs of the disease quickly reversed, and stayed that way even a month after stopping the treatment.

Trump rally shooter identified as 20-year-old Pennsylvania man

Law enforcement authorities have identified the man who made an assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

The FBI said the shooter, who is dead, was identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

The gunman was immediately “neutralized” by the Secret Service, chief of communications Anthony Guglielmi said.

Crooks used a semiautomatic rifle, three senior U.S. law enforcement officials said, based on what was found at the scene. Investigators are looking into whether the gun used by the shooter belonged to his dad and had been purchased legally, according to two senior law enforcement officials.

Crooks is believed to have fired eight shots before he was taken down, said an official citing preliminary findings.

Multiple suspicious canisters or containers were found in Crooks' vehicle but it's unclear if they were functional as incendiary or explosive devices, two officials said.

Crooks' family is cooperating with investigators, but his motive remains unclear, according to a senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the matter.

Bethel Park is a predominantly white, relatively well-to-do city in the southern reaches of greater Pittsburgh. The site of the rally, Butler, is about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh.

Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2022. He was among more than a dozen students who received a National Math & Science Initiative Star Award that year, according to a story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

A high school classmate, Jason Kohler, 21, said Crooks was a "loner" who was “bullied so much in high school.”



A victim of bullying.

Ex-Meta scientists debut gigantic AI protein design model

EvolutionaryScale’s protein language model — among the largest AI models in biology — has created new fluorescent proteins and won big investment.

An artificial intelligence (AI) model that speaks the language of proteins — one of the largest yet developed for biology — has been used to create new fluorescent molecules.

The proof-of-principle demonstration was announced this month by EvolutionaryScale in New York City, alongside US$142 million in new funding to apply its model to drug development, sustainability and other pursuits. The company, launched by scientists who previously worked at tech giant Meta, is the latest entrant in an increasingly crowded field that is applying cutting-edge machine-learning models trained on language and images to biological data.

“We want to build tools that can make biology programmable,” says Alex Rives, the company’s chief scientist, who was part of Meta’s efforts to apply AI to biological data.

EvolutionaryScale’s AI tool, called ESM3, is what’s known as a protein language model. It was trained on more than 2.7 billion protein sequences and structures, as well as information about these proteins’ functions. The model can be used to create proteins to specifications provided by users, akin to the text spit out by chatbots such as ChatGPT.

After initially rejecting it, Apple has approved the first PC emulator for iOS

UTM SE can ‘run classic software and old-school games’ for Windows, Mac OS 9, and Linux on your iPhone.

Apple has approved UTM SE, an app for emulating a computer to run classic software and games, weeks after the company rejected it and barred it from being notarized for third-party app stores in the European Union. The app is now available for free for iOS, iPadOS, and visionOS.

After Apple rejected the app in June, the developer said it wasn’t going to keep trying because the app was “a subpar experience.” Today, UTM thanked the AltStore team for helping it and credited another developer “whose QEMU TCTI implementation was pivotal for this JIT-less build.”

HubSpot falls after Alphabet drops acquisition efforts

Google parent Alphabet Inc. has shelved efforts to acquire HubSpot Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter, putting to bed the prospect of a takeover that would have ranked among the biggest of the year.

Shares of HubSpot, a customer relationship management company, fell as much as 19% Wednesday in New York trading, the most since 2020. The shares closed down 12% to $492.31, giving the company a market value of about $25 billion.

Alphabet had communicated its interest in a potential deal with HubSpot earlier this year, but the sides didn’t reach a point of detailed discussions around due diligence, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential matters.

A representative for Alphabet didn’t have an immediate comment. A HubSpot spokesperson declined to comment.

8 things to know about Tianeptine - also referred to as 'gas station heroin'

Decades before it became known as "gas station heroin," tianeptine was prescribed to treat depression in dozens of countries. Now, U.S. poison control centers are reporting a dramatic spike in cases involving tianeptine — a drug that isn't FDA approved, and one that authorities warn poses overdose and dependency risks.

Tianeptine inhabits a murky space in U.S. drug regulation. It's illegal to market or sell the drug, but it's also not on the list of federally controlled substances. And while it's in products sold at gas stations and other stores, it's also available to buy online.

A growing number of states have now banned tianeptine, most recently, Florida. But millions of people in Europe, Asia and South America have used the drug — despite the fact that for years, no one was sure exactly how it worked.

"This is kind of a mistaken identity type of drug," Todd Hillhouse, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay who studies antidepressants' mechanisms and history, told NPR. "And it's kind of wild."

Shannen Doherty, Star of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, Dies at 53: 'Devoted Daughter, Sister, Aunt and Friend'

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The 'Beverly Hills 90210' and 'Charmed' star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015

Shannen Doherty has died after years living with cancer, PEOPLE has confirmed. She was 53.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of actress Shannen Doherty. On Saturday, July 13, she lost her battle with cancer after many years of fighting the disease," Doherty's longtime publicist Leslie Sloane confirmed in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE on Sunday, July 14.

"The devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend was surrounded by her loved ones as well as her dog, Bowie. The family asks for their privacy at this time so they can grieve in peace," Sloane continued.

The Beverly Hills 90210 star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and spoke candidly to PEOPLE in November 2023 about her Stage 4 breast cancer, which had by then spread to her bones, saying at the time that she didn't "want to die."

Data breach exposes millions of mSpy spyware customers

Customer service emails dating back to 2014 exposed in May breach

A data breach at the phone surveillance operation mSpy has exposed millions of its customers who bought access to the phone spyware app over the past decade, as well as the Ukrainian company behind it.

Unknown attackers stole millions of customer support tickets, including personal information, emails to support, and attachments, including personal documents, from mSpy in May 2024. While hacks of spyware purveyors are becoming increasingly common, they remain notable because of the highly sensitive personal information often included in the data, in this case about the customers who use the service.

The hack encompassed customer service records dating back to 2014, which were stolen from the spyware maker’s Zendesk-powered customer support system.

mSpy is a phone surveillance app that promotes itself as a way to track children or monitor employees. Like most spyware, it is also widely used to monitor people without their consent. These kinds of apps are also known as “stalkerware” because people in romantic relationships often use them to surveil their partner without consent or permission.

Here’s how much Valve pays its staff — and how few people it employs

Leaked payroll data reveals just how small one of the most important companies in gaming actually is.

Valve is a famously secretive company with an enormous influence on the gaming industry, particularly because it runs the massive PC gaming storefront Steam. But despite that influence, Valve isn’t a large organization on par with EA or Riot Games’ thousands of employees: according to leaked data we’ve seen, as of 2021, Valve employed just 336 staffers.

The data was included as part of an otherwise heavily redacted document from Wolfire’s antitrust lawsuit against Valve. As spotted by SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik, some data in the document was viewable despite the black redaction boxes, including Valve’s headcount and gross pay across various parts of the company over 18 years, and even some data about its gross margins that we weren’t able to uncover fully.

The employee data starts with 2003, which is a few years after Valve’s 1996 founding and the same year Valve launched Steam, and goes all the way up until 2021. The data breaks Valve employees into four different groups: “Admin,” “Games,” “Steam,” and, starting in 2011, “Hardware.”

If you want to sift through the numbers yourself, I’ve included a full table of the data, sorted by year and category, at the end of this story. In the document, the headings for the third and fourth columns are fully redacted, but the table is titled “Employee Headcount and Gross Pay Data, 2003-2021” so I’m presuming the data in those columns represent gross pay and number of employees, respectively.

Illinois woman who called sheriff's office over possible intruder killed by deputies, attorney says

Sonya Massey, 36, died after an early-morning encounter with deputies from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office on July 6, authorities said.

A woman in Illinois was fatally shot by law enforcement last week after she called authorities because she was scared an intruder was in her home, according to her family’s attorney.

Sonya Massey, 36, died after an encounter with deputies from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office in Springfield early July 6, according to a news release from Illinois State Police, which is investigating at the request of the sheriff’s office.

State police said body camera video and other information tied to the case is not immediately being released to “protect the integrity of the legal process.”

In separate news releases, state police and the sheriff’s office said deputies arrived at a home on the 2800 block of Hoover Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. following a 911 call. The sheriff’s office said it was called over a report of a prowler.

Massey was shot during the incident and declared dead at an area hospital, state police said Wednesday.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, sex therapist and talk show host, dies at 96

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Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor, died in New York on Friday, her family said.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist, talk show host and author, has died, her publicist announced. She was 96.

"It is with immense personal sorrow that I announce the passing of the iconic Dr. Ruth K Westheimer at the age of 96, whose 'Minister of Communications' I've been since 1981," publicist Pierre Lehu said in a statement to ABC News.

Her family added: "The children of Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer are sad to announce the passing of their mother, the internationally-celebrated sex therapist, author, talk show host, professor, and orphan of the Holocaust. She died peacefully at her home in New York City on July 12th surrounded by her loving family, just over a month after celebrating her 96th birthday."

For decades, the witty, diminutive Westheimer -- popularly known as Dr. Ruth -- was one of America's most trusted and popular voices on the topic of sex.

'I counted seven shots': Trump rally attendee says he saw a man fatally shot during incident

A Trump rally attendee describes the moment he saw a man fatally shot during Pennsylvania event where the former president was also injured. The man, identified as Joseph, explained how he tried to help the man and recounted the moment shots were fired.

Richard Simmons Dead at 76

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Richard Simmons -- the legendary fitness guru -- has died at 76 ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... police and fire responded to a call from his housekeeper just before 10 AM Saturday and pronounced him dead at the scene. We're told no foul play is suspected at this time, and cops are looking into it as a natural death.

Shockingly, RS posted multiple times on Facebook recently ... including thanking fans for all the birthday wishes he received.

Simmons rose to fame in the 1970s and '80s by opening a series of gyms including The Anatomy Asylum in Los Angeles. He released dozens of fitness tapes and DVDs during the 1980s.

Fans gravitated toward Richard for his positive, flamboyant energy ... though in his later life he stepped away because of the demands of keeping up his persona in the spotlight.

2.1 Billion Pixels in Las Vegas Sphere are Powered by 150 NVIDIA RTX A6000 GPUs

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The city of Las Vegas late last year added another attraction to its town: the Sphere.

The Sphere is a 1.2 million pixel outdoor display venue famous for its massive size and inner 18,600-seat auditorium. The auditorium space is a feat of its own with features like a 16x16 resolution wraparound interior LED screen, speakers with beamforming and wave field synthesis technologies, and 4D physical effects. However, we have recently found out that NVIDIA GPUs power the Sphere. And not only a handful of them, as 150 NVIDIA RTX A6000 power the Sphere and its 1.2 million outside pixels spread on 54,000 m², as well as 16 of 16K inner displays with a total output of 2.1 billion pixels.

Interestingly, the 150 NVIDIA RTX A6000 have a combined output cable number of 600 DisplayPort 1.4a ports.

China rocked by cooking oil contamination scandal

The Chinese government says it will investigate allegations that fuel tankers have been used to transport cooking oil after carrying toxic chemicals without being cleaned properly between loads.

The controversy has spread online as social media users express concerns about potential food contamination.

Tankers used for transporting fuel were found to be carrying food products, like cooking oil and syrup, and were not decontaminated correctly, according to state-run Beijing News.

Transporting cooking oil in contaminated fuel trucks was said to have been so widespread it was considered an “open secret” in the industry, according to one driver quoted by the newspaper.

The case is the latest blow to public trust in the Chinese government's ability to enforce food safety standards.

Mercury: New Research Suggests Diamond Layer Beneath the Surface

Recent research suggests that Mercury may harbor an extensive diamond layer up to 18 kilometers thick at its core-mantle boundary (CMB).

This groundbreaking discovery, achieved through a combination of computer modeling and high-pressure experiments, provides new insights into the planet's interior composition and geological history.

Mercury's surface has long been known to contain significant amounts of carbon, predominantly in the form of graphite. The dark color of Mercury's surface, revealed by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, is attributed to this graphite.

However, new research indicates that under the extreme pressures and temperatures present deep within Mercury, this carbon could transform into diamond. Dr. Yanhao Lin from the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research in Beijing highlighted the implications: "Many years ago, I noticed that Mercury's extremely high carbon content might have significant implications. It made me realize that something special probably happened within its interior."

The researchers' experiments aimed to replicate the intense conditions within Mercury's core-mantle boundary, where pressures reach up to 7 Giga Pascals (GPa), around seven times the pressure at the deepest parts of Earth's oceans. These conditions revealed that carbon, subjected to such high pressures and temperatures, crystallizes as diamond instead of graphite. This transformation suggests that Mercury's interior could contain vast quantities of diamond.

Rick and Morty: The Anime will finally burst into our dimension this August


The chaotic, multiverse-hopping comedy is getting an anime makeover

More than two years after it was announced, the anime spin-off of Adult Swim’s sci-fi comedy series Rick and Morty is finally bursting onto TV screens next month. On Thursday, Adult Swim shared a new trailer from the upcoming series, and revealed it will premiere on Aug. 15 and will run for a season of 10 episodes.

Directed by Takashi Sano (Tower of God), Rick and Morty: The Anime will (presumably) center on the misadventures of different versions of the blue-haired mad scientist and his hapless grandson than the ones seen in the original series. The anime will see the Smith family embarking on a slew of bizarre anime-inspired escapades, from Morty’s sister Summer and Space Beth fighting the Galactic Federation to Morty falling in love with a mysterious girl who might secretly be a multi-dimensional being. It looks like even Morty’s father Jerry will be getting in on the action, wielding a Dragonslayer-like sword à la Berserk’s Guts and being dangled above the mouth of a gigantic worm monster.

On NYC beaches, angry birds fight drones patrolling for sharks and struggling swimmers

A fleet of drones patrolling New York City’s beaches for signs of sharks and struggling swimmers is drawing backlash from an aggressive group of seaside residents: local shorebirds.

Since the drones began flying in May, flocks of birds have repeatedly swarmed the devices, forcing the police department and other city agencies to adjust their flight plans. While the attacks have slowed, they have not stopped completely, fueling concern from wildlife experts about the impact on threatened species nesting along the coast.

Veronica Welsh, a wildlife coordinator at the Parks Department, said the birds were “very annoyed by the drones” from the moment they arrived on the beach.

“They will fly at it, they’ll swoop at it, they’ll be vocalizing,” Welsh said. “They think they’re defending their chicks from a predator.”

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