For years, the Pentagon tried to convince the public that they work on your dream secretary. Can you believe that?
Funny how much those plans looked just like today’s Google and Facebook. But it’s not just the looks, it’s also the money, the timeline and the personal connections.
Funnier how the funding scheme was often similar to the one used for Wuhan, with proxy organizations used as middlemen.

WIRED 05.20.2003

A Spy Machine of DARPA’s Dreams

IT’S A MEMORY aid! A robotic assistant! An epidemic detector! An all-seeing, ultra-intrusive spying program!

The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person’s life, index all the information and make it searchable.

What national security experts and civil libertarians want to know is, why would the Defense Department want to do such a thing?

The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read.

All of this — and more — would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual’s health.

This gigantic amalgamation of personal information could then be used to “trace the ‘threads’ of an individual’s life,” to see exactly how a relationship or events developed, according to a briefing from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, LifeLog’s sponsor.

Someone with access to the database could “retrieve a specific thread of past transactions, or recall an experience from a few seconds ago or from many years earlier … by using a search-engine interface.”

On the surface, the project seems like the latest in a long line of DARPA’s “blue sky” research efforts, most of which never make it out of the lab. But DARPA is currently asking businesses and universities for research proposals to begin moving LifeLog forward. And some people, such as Steven Aftergood, a defense analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, are worried.News of the future, now.

With its controversial Total Information Awareness database project, DARPA already is planning to track all of an individual’s “transactional data” — like what we buy and who gets our e-mail.

While the parameters of the project have not yet been determined, Aftergood said he believes LifeLog could go far beyond TIA’s scope, adding physical information (like how we feel) and media data (like what we read) to this transactional data.

“LifeLog has the potential to become something like ‘TIA cubed,'” he said.

In the private sector, a number of LifeLog-like efforts already are underway to digitally archive one’s life — to create a “surrogate memory,” as minicomputer pioneer Gordon Bell calls it.

Bell, now with Microsoft, scans all his letters and memos, records his conversations, saves all the Web pages he’s visited and e-mails he’s received and puts them into an electronic storehouse dubbed MyLifeBits.

DARPA’s LifeLog would take this concept several steps further by tracking where people go and what they see.

That makes the project similar to the work of University of Toronto professor Steve Mann. Since his teen years in the 1970s, Mann, a self-styled “cyborg,” has worn a camera and an array of sensors to record his existence. He claims he’s convinced 20 to 30 of his current and former students to do the same. It’s all part of an experiment into “existential technology” and “the metaphysics of free will.”

DARPA isn’t quite so philosophical about LifeLog. But the agency does see some potential battlefield uses for the program.

“The technology could allow the military to develop computerized assistants for war fighters and commanders that can be more effective because they can easily access the user’s past experiences,” DARPA spokeswoman Jan Walker speculated in an e-mail.

It also could allow the military to develop more efficient computerized training systems, she said: Computers could remember how each student learns and interacts with the training system, then tailor the lessons accordingly.

John Pike, director of defense think tank GlobalSecurity.org, said he finds the explanations “hard to believe.”

“It looks like an outgrowth of Total Information Awareness and other DARPA homeland security surveillance programs,” he added in an e-mail.

Sure, LifeLog could be used to train robotic assistants. But it also could become a way to profile suspected terrorists, said Cory Doctorow, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In other words, Osama bin Laden’s agent takes a walk around the block at 10 each morning, buys a bagel and a newspaper at the corner store and then calls his mother. You do the same things — so maybe you’re an al Qaeda member, too!

“The more that an individual’s characteristic behavior patterns — ‘routines, relationships and habits’ — can be represented in digital form, the easier it would become to distinguish among different individuals, or to monitor one,” Aftergood, the Federation of American Scientists analyst, wrote in an e-mail.

In its LifeLog report, DARPA makes some nods to privacy protection, like when it suggests that “properly anonymized access to LifeLog data might support medical research and the early detection of an emerging epidemic.”

But before these grand plans get underway, LifeLog will start small. Right now, DARPA is asking industry and academics to submit proposals for 18-month research efforts, with a possible 24-month extension. (DARPA is not sure yet how much money it will sink into the program.)

The researchers will be the centerpiece of their own study.

Like a game show, winning this DARPA prize eventually will earn the lucky scientists a trip for three to Washington, D.C. Except on this excursion, every participating scientist’s e-mail to the travel agent, every padded bar bill and every mad lunge for a cab will be monitored, categorized and later dissected.

WIRED 07.14.2003

Pentagon Alters LifeLog Project

By Noah Shachtman.

Bending a bit to privacy concerns, the Pentagon changes some of the experiments to be conducted for LifeLog, its effort to record every tidbit of information and encounter in daily life. No video recording of unsuspecting people, for example.

MONDAY IS THE deadline for researchers to submit bids to build the Pentagon’s so-called LifeLog project, an experiment to create an all-encompassing über-diary.

But while teams of academics and entrepreneurs are jostling for the 18- to 24-month grants to work on the program, the Defense Department has changed the parameters of the project to respond to a tide of privacy concerns.

Lifelog is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s effort to gather every conceivable element of a person’s life, dump it all into a database, and spin the information into narrative threads that trace relationships, events and experiences.

It’s an attempt, some say, to make a kind of surrogate, digitized memory.

“My father was a stroke victim, and he lost the ability to record short-term memories,” said Howard Shrobe, an MIT computer scientist who’s leading a team of professors and researchers in a LifeLog bid. “If you ever saw the movie Memento, he had that. So I’m interested in seeing how memory works after seeing a broken one. LifeLog is a chance to do that.”

Researchers who receive LifeLog grants will be required to test the system on themselves. Cameras will record everything they do during a trip to Washington, D.C., and global-positioning satellite locators will track where they go. Biomedical sensors will monitor their health. All the e-mail they send, all the magazines they read, all the credit card payments they make will be indexed and made searchable.

By capturing experiences, Darpa claims that LifeLog could help develop more realistic computerized training programs and robotic assistants for battlefield commanders.

Defense analysts and civil libertarians, on the other hand, worry that the program is another piece in an ongoing Pentagon effort to keep tabs on American citizens. LifeLog could become the ultimate profiling tool, they fear.

A firestorm of criticism ignited after LifeLog first became public in May. Some potential bidders for the LifeLog contract dropped out as a result.

“I’m interested in LifeLog, but I’m going to shy away from it,” said Les Vogel, a computer science researcher in Maui, Hawaii. “Who wants to get in the middle of something that gets that much bad press?”

New York Times columnist William Safire noted that while LifeLog researchers might be comfortable recording their lives, the people that the LifeLoggers are “looking at, listening to, sniffing or conspiring with to blow up the world” might not be so thrilled about turning over some of their private interchanges to the Pentagon.

In response, Darpa changed the LifeLog proposal request. Now: “LifeLog researchers shall not capture imagery or audio of any person without that person’s a priori express permission. In fact, it is desired that capture of imagery or audio of any person other than the user be avoided even if a priori permission is granted.”

Steven Aftergood, with the Federation of American Scientists, sees the alterations as evidence that Darpa proposals must receive a thorough public vetting.

“Darpa doesn’t spontaneously modify their programs in this way,” he said. “It requires public criticism. Give them credit, however, for acknowledging public concerns.”

But not too much, said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org.

“Darpa adds these contractual provisions to appear to be above suspicion,” Pike said. “But if you can put them in, you can take them out.”

WIRED 07.29.2003

Helping Machines Think Different

By Noah Shachtman.

While the Pentagon’s project to record and catalog a person’s life scares privacy advocates, researchers see it as a step in the process of getting computers to think like humans.

TO PENTAGON RESEARCHERS, capturing and categorizing every aspect of a person’s life is only the beginning.

LifeLog — the controversial Defense Department initiative to track everything about an individual — is just one step in a larger effort, according to a top Pentagon research director. Personalized digital assistants that can guess our desires should come first. And then, just maybe, we’ll see computers that can think for themselves.

Computer scientists have dreamed for decades of building machines with minds of their own. But these hopes have been overwhelmed again and again by the messy, dizzying complexities of the real world.

In recent months, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a series of seemingly disparate programs — all designed, the agency says, to help computers deal with the complexities of life, so they finally can begin to think.

“Our ultimate goal is to build a new generation of computer systems that are substantially more robust, secure, helpful, long-lasting and adaptive to their users and tasks. These systems will need to reason, learn and respond intelligently to things they’ve never encountered before,” said Ron Brachman, the recently installed chief of Darpa’s Information Processing Technology Office, or IPTO. A former senior executive at AT&T Labs, Brachman was elected president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence last year.

LifeLog is the best-known of these projects. The controversial program intends to record everything about a person — what he sees, where he goes, how he feels — and dump it into a database. Once captured, the information is supposed to be spun into narrative threads that trace relationships, events and experiences.

For years, researchers have been able to get programs to make sense of limited, tightly proscribed situations. Navigating outside of the lab has been much more difficult. Until recently, even getting a robot to walk across the room on its own was a tricky task.

“LifeLog is about forcing computers into the real world,” said leading artificial intelligence researcher Doug Lenat, who’s bidding on the project.

What LifeLog is not, Brachman asserts, is a program to track terrorists. By capturing so much information about an individual, and by combing relationships and traits out of that data, LifeLog appears to some civil libertarians to be an almost limitless tool for profiling potential enemies of the state. Concerns over the Terrorism Information Awareness database effort have only heightened sensitivities.

“These technologies developed by the military have obvious, easy paths to Homeland Security deployments,” said Lee Tien, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Brachman said it is “up to military leaders to decide how to use our technology in support of their mission,” but he repeatedly insisted that IPTO has “absolutely no interest or intention of using any of our technology for profiling.”

What Brachman does want to do is create a computerized assistant that can learn about the habits and wishes of its human boss. And the first step toward this goal is for machines to start seeing, and remembering, life like people do.

Human beings don’t dump their experiences into some formless database or tag them with a couple of keywords. They divide their lives into discreet installments — “college,” “my first date,” “last Thursday.” Researchers call this “episodic memory.”

LifeLog is about trying to install episodic memory into computers, Brachman said. It’s about getting machines to start “remembering experiences in the commonsensical way we do — a vacation in Bermuda, a taxi ride to the airport.”

IPTO recently handed out $29 million in research grants to create a Perceptive Assistant that Learns, or PAL, that can draw on these episodes and improve itself in the process. If people keep missing conferences during rush hour, PAL should learn to schedule meetings when traffic isn’t as thick. If PAL’s boss keeps sending angry notes to spammers, the software secretary eventually should just start flaming on its own.

In the 1980s, artificial intelligence researchers promised to create programs that could do just that. Darpa even promoted a thinking “pilot’s associate — a kind of R2D2,” said Alex Roland, author of The Race for Machine Intelligence: Darpa, DoD, and the Strategic Computing Initiative.

But the field “fell on its face,” according to University of Washington computer scientist Henry Kautz. Instead of trying to teach computers how to reason on their own, “we said, ‘Well, if we just keep adding more rules, we could cover every case imaginable.'”

It’s an impossible task, of course. Every circumstance is different, and there will never be enough to stipulations to cover them all.

A few computer programs, with enough training from their human masters, can make some assumptions about new situations on their own, however. Amazon.com’s system for recommending books and music is one of these.

But these efforts are limited, too. Everyone’s received downright kooky suggestions from that Amazon program.

Overcoming these limitations requires a combination of logical approaches. That’s a goal behind IPTO’s new call for research into computers that can handle real-world reasoning.

It’s one of several problems Brachman said are “absolutely imperative” to solve as quickly as possible.

Although computer systems are getting more complicated every day, this complexity “may be actually reversing the information revolution,” he noted in a recent presentation (PDF). “Systems have grown more rigid, more fragile and increasingly open to attack.”

What’s needed, he asserts, is a computer network that can teach itself new capabilities, without having to be reprogrammed every time. Computers should be able to adapt to how its users like to work, spot when they’re being attacked and develop responses to these assaults. Think of it like the body’s immune system — or like a battlefield general.

But to act more like a person, a computer has to soak up its own experiences, like a human being does. It has to create a catalog of its existence. A LifeLog, if you will.

WIRED 02.04.2004

Pentagon Kills LifeLog Project

THE PENTAGON CANCELED its so-called LifeLog project, an ambitious effort to build a database tracking a person’s entire existence.

Run by Darpa, the Defense Department’s research arm, LifeLog aimed to gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees or does: the phone calls made, the TV shows watched, the magazines read, the plane tickets bought, the e-mail sent and received. Out of this seemingly endless ocean of information, computer scientists would plot distinctive routes in the data, mapping relationships, memories, events and experiences.

LifeLog’s backers said the all-encompassing diary could have turned into a near-perfect digital memory, giving its users computerized assistants with an almost flawless recall of what they had done in the past. But civil libertarians immediately pounced on the project when it debuted last spring, arguing that LifeLog could become the ultimate tool for profiling potential enemies of the state.

Researchers close to the project say they’re not sure why it was dropped late last month. Darpa hasn’t provided an explanation for LifeLog’s quiet cancellation. “A change in priorities” is the only rationale agency spokeswoman Jan Walker gave to Wired News.

However, related Darpa efforts concerning software secretaries and mechanical brains are still moving ahead as planned.

LifeLog is the latest in a series of controversial programs that have been canceled by Darpa in recent months. The Terrorism Information Awareness, or TIA, data-mining initiative was eliminated by Congress — although many analysts believe its research continues on the classified side of the Pentagon’s ledger. The Policy Analysis Market (or FutureMap), which provided a stock market of sorts for people to bet on terror strikes, was almost immediately withdrawn after its details came to light in July.

“I’ve always thought (LifeLog) would be the third program (after TIA and FutureMap) that could raise eyebrows if they didn’t make it clear how privacy concerns would be met,” said Peter Harsha, director of government affairs for the Computing Research Association.

“Darpa’s pretty gun-shy now,” added Lee Tien, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been critical of many agency efforts. “After TIA, they discovered they weren’t ready to deal with the firestorm of criticism.”

That’s too bad, artificial-intelligence researchers say. LifeLog would have addressed one of the key issues in developing computers that can think: how to take the unstructured mess of life, and recall it as discreet episodes — a trip to Washington, a sushi dinner, construction of a house.

“Obviously we’re quite disappointed,” said Howard Shrobe, who led a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory which spent weeks preparing a bid for a LifeLog contract. “We were very interested in the research focus of the program … how to help a person capture and organize his or her experience. This is a theme with great importance to both AI and cognitive science.”

To Tien, the project’s cancellation means “it’s just not tenable for Darpa to say anymore, ‘We’re just doing the technology, we have no responsibility for how it’s used.'”

Private-sector research in this area is proceeding. At Microsoft, for example, minicomputer pioneer Gordon Bell’s program, MyLifeBits, continues to develop ways to sort and store memories.

David Karger, Shrobe’s colleague at MIT, thinks such efforts will still go on at Darpa, too.

“I am sure that such research will continue to be funded under some other title,” wrote Karger in an e-mail. “I can’t imagine Darpa ‘dropping out’ of such a key research area.”

MEANWHILE…

Google: seeded by the Pentagon

By dr. Nafeez Ahmed

In 1994 — the same year the Highlands Forum was founded under the stewardship of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the ONA, and DARPA — two young PhD students at Stanford University, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, made their breakthrough on the first automated web crawling and page ranking application. That application remains the core component of what eventually became Google’s search service. Brin and Page had performed their work with funding from the Digital Library Initiative (DLI), a multi-agency programme of the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA and DARPA.

But that’s just one side of the story.

Min 6:44!


Also check: OBAMA, DARPA, GSK AND ROCKEFELLER’S $4.5B B.R.A.I.N. INITIATIVE – BETTER SIT WHEN YOU READ

Throughout the development of the search engine, Sergey Brin reported regularly and directly to two people who were not Stanford faculty at all: Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham and Dr. Rick Steinheiser. Both were representatives of a sensitive US intelligence community research programme on information security and data-mining.

Thuraisingham is currently the Louis A. Beecherl distinguished professor and executive director of the Cyber Security Research Institute at the University of Texas, Dallas, and a sought-after expert on data-mining, data management and information security issues. But in the 1990s, she worked for the MITRE Corp., a leading US defense contractor, where she managed the Massive Digital Data Systems initiative, a project sponsored by the NSA, CIA, and the Director of Central Intelligence, to foster innovative research in information technology.

“We funded Stanford University through the computer scientist Jeffrey Ullman, who had several promising graduate students working on many exciting areas,” Prof. Thuraisingham told me. “One of them was Sergey Brin, the founder of Google. The intelligence community’s MDDS program essentially provided Brin seed-funding, which was supplemented by many other sources, including the private sector.”

This sort of funding is certainly not unusual, and Sergey Brin’s being able to receive it by being a graduate student at Stanford appears to have been incidental. The Pentagon was all over computer science research at this time. But it illustrates how deeply entrenched the culture of Silicon Valley is in the values of the US intelligence community.

In an extraordinary document hosted by the website of the University of Texas, Thuraisingham recounts that from 1993 to 1999, “the Intelligence Community [IC] started a program called Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) that I was managing for the Intelligence Community when I was at the MITRE Corporation.” The program funded 15 research efforts at various universities, including Stanford. Its goal was developing “data management technologies to manage several terabytes to petabytes of data,” including for “query processing, transaction management, metadata management, storage management, and data integration.”

At the time, Thuraisingham was chief scientist for data and information management at MITRE, where she led team research and development efforts for the NSA, CIA, US Air Force Research Laboratory, as well as the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and Communications and Electronic Command (CECOM). She went on to teach courses for US government officials and defense contractors on data-mining in counter-terrorism.

In her University of Texas article, she attaches the copy of an abstract of the US intelligence community’s MDDS program that had been presented to the “Annual Intelligence Community Symposium” in 1995. The abstract reveals that the primary sponsors of the MDDS programme were three agencies: the NSA, the CIA’s Office of Research & Development, and the intelligence community’s Community Management Staff (CMS) which operates under the Director of Central Intelligence. Administrators of the program, which provided funding of around 3–4 million dollars per year for 3–4 years, were identified as Hal Curran (NSA), Robert Kluttz (CMS), Dr. Claudia Pierce (NSA), Dr. Rick Steinheiser (ORD — standing for the CIA’s Office of Research and Devepment), and Dr. Thuraisingham herself.

Thuraisingham goes on in her article to reiterate that this joint CIA-NSA program partly funded Sergey Brin to develop the core of Google, through a grant to Stanford managed by Brin’s supervisor Prof. Jeffrey D. Ullman:

“In fact, the Google founder Mr. Sergey Brin was partly funded by this program while he was a PhD student at Stanford. He together with his advisor Prof. Jeffrey Ullman and my colleague at MITRE, Dr. Chris Clifton [Mitre’s chief scientist in IT], developed the Query Flocks System which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. In fact the last time we met in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which became Google soon after.”

Brin and Page officially incorporated Google as a company in September 1998, the very month they last reported to Thuraisingham and Steinheiser. ‘Query Flocks’ was also part of Google’s patented ‘PageRank’ search system, which Brin developed at Stanford under the CIA-NSA-MDDS programme, as well as with funding from the NSF, IBM and Hitachi. That year, MITRE’s Dr. Chris Clifton, who worked under Thuraisingham to develop the ‘Query Flocks’ system, co-authored a paper with Brin’s superviser, Prof. Ullman, and the CIA’s Rick Steinheiser. Titled ‘Knowledge Discovery in Text,’ the paper was presented at an academic conference.

“The MDDS funding that supported Brin was significant as far as seed-funding goes, but it was probably outweighed by the other funding streams,” said Thuraisingham. “The duration of Brin’s funding was around two years or so. In that period, I and my colleagues from the MDDS would visit Stanford to see Brin and monitor his progress every three months or so. We didn’t supervise exactly, but we did want to check progress, point out potential problems and suggest ideas. In those briefings, Brin did present to us on the query flocks research, and also demonstrated to us versions of the Google search engine.”

Brin thus reported to Thuraisingham and Steinheiser regularly about his work developing Google.

==

UPDATE 2.05PM GMT [2nd Feb 2015]:

Since publication of this article, Prof. Thuraisingham has amended her article referenced above. The amended version includes a new modified statement, followed by a copy of the original version of her account of the MDDS. In this amended version, Thuraisingham rejects the idea that CIA funded Google, and says instead:

“In fact Prof. Jeffrey Ullman (at Stanford) and my colleague at MITRE Dr. Chris Clifton together with some others developed the Query Flocks System, as part of MDDS, which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. Also, Mr. Sergey Brin, the cofounder of Google, was part of Prof. Ullman’s research group at that time. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community periodically and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. During our last visit to Stanford in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which I believe became Google soon after…

There are also several inaccuracies in Dr. Ahmed’s article (dated January 22, 2015). For example, the MDDS program was not a ‘sensitive’ program as stated by Dr. Ahmed; it was an Unclassified program that funded universities in the US. Furthermore, Sergey Brin never reported to me or to Dr. Rick Steinheiser; he only gave presentations to us during our visits to the Department of Computer Science at Stanford during the 1990s. Also, MDDS never funded Google; it funded Stanford University.”

Here, there is no substantive factual difference in Thuraisingham’s accounts, other than to assert that her statement associating Sergey Brin with the development of ‘query flocks’ is mistaken. Notably, this acknowledgement is derived not from her own knowledge, but from this very article quoting a comment from a Google spokesperson.

However, the bizarre attempt to disassociate Google from the MDDS program misses the mark. Firstly, the MDDS never funded Google, because during the development of the core components of the Google search engine, there was no company incorporated with that name. The grant was instead provided to Stanford University through Prof. Ullman, through whom some MDDS funding was used to support Brin who was co-developing Google at the time. Secondly, Thuraisingham then adds that Brin never “reported” to her or the CIA’s Steinheiser, but admits he “gave presentations to us during our visits to the Department of Computer Science at Stanford during the 1990s.” It is unclear, though, what the distinction is here between reporting, and delivering a detailed presentation — either way, Thuraisingham confirms that she and the CIA had taken a keen interest in Brin’s development of Google. Thirdly, Thuraisingham describes the MDDS program as “unclassified,” but this does not contradict its “sensitive” nature. As someone who has worked for decades as an intelligence contractor and advisor, Thuraisingham is surely aware that there are many ways of categorizing intelligence, including ‘sensitive but unclassified.’ A number of former US intelligence officials I spoke to said that the almost total lack of public information on the CIA and NSA’s MDDS initiative suggests that although the progam was not classified, it is likely instead that its contents was considered sensitive, which would explain efforts to minimise transparency about the program and the way it fed back into developing tools for the US intelligence community. Fourthly, and finally, it is important to point out that the MDDS abstract which Thuraisingham includes in her University of Texas document states clearly not only that the Director of Central Intelligence’s CMS, CIA and NSA were the overseers of the MDDS initiative, but that the intended customers of the project were “DoD, IC, and other government organizations”: the Pentagon, the US intelligence community, and other relevant US government agencies.

In other words, the provision of MDDS funding to Brin through Ullman, under the oversight of Thuraisingham and Steinheiser, was fundamentally because they recognized the potential utility of Brin’s work developing Google to the Pentagon, intelligence community, and the federal government at large.

==

The MDDS programme is actually referenced in several papers co-authored by Brin and Page while at Stanford, specifically highlighting its role in financially sponsoring Brin in the development of Google. In their 1998 paper published in the Bulletin of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committeee on Data Engineering, they describe the automation of methods to extract information from the web via “Dual Iterative Pattern Relation Extraction,” the development of “a global ranking of Web pages called PageRank,” and the use of PageRank “to develop a novel search engine called Google.” Through an opening footnote, Sergey Brin confirms he was “Partially supported by the Community Management Staff’s Massive Digital Data Systems Program, NSF grant IRI-96–31952” — confirming that Brin’s work developing Google was indeed partly-funded by the CIA-NSA-MDDS program.

This NSF grant identified alongside the MDDS, whose project report lists Brin among the students supported (without mentioning the MDDS), was different to the NSF grant to Larry Page that included funding from DARPA and NASA. The project report, authored by Brin’s supervisor Prof. Ullman, goes on to say under the section ‘Indications of Success’ that “there are some new stories of startups based on NSF-supported research.” Under ‘Project Impact,’ the report remarks: “Finally, the google project has also gone commercial as Google.com.”

Thuraisingham’s account, including her new amended version, therefore demonstrates that the CIA-NSA-MDDS program was not only partly funding Brin throughout his work with Larry Page developing Google, but that senior US intelligence representatives including a CIA official oversaw the evolution of Google in this pre-launch phase, all the way until the company was ready to be officially founded. Google, then, had been enabled with a “significant” amount of seed-funding and oversight from the Pentagon: namely, the CIA, NSA, and DARPA.

The DoD could not be reached for comment.

When I asked Prof. Ullman to confirm whether or not Brin was partly funded under the intelligence community’s MDDS program, and whether Ullman was aware that Brin was regularly briefing the CIA’s Rick Steinheiser on his progress in developing the Google search engine, Ullman’s responses were evasive: “May I know whom you represent and why you are interested in these issues? Who are your ‘sources’?” He also denied that Brin played a significant role in developing the ‘query flocks’ system, although it is clear from Brin’s papers that he did draw on that work in co-developing the PageRank system with Page.

When I asked Ullman whether he was denying the US intelligence community’s role in supporting Brin during the development of Google, he said: “I am not going to dignify this nonsense with a denial. If you won’t explain what your theory is, and what point you are trying to make, I am not going to help you in the slightest.”

The MDDS abstract published online at the University of Texas confirms that the rationale for the CIA-NSA project was to “provide seed money to develop data management technologies which are of high-risk and high-pay-off,” including techniques for “querying, browsing, and filtering; transaction processing; accesses methods and indexing; metadata management and data modelling; and integrating heterogeneous databases; as well as developing appropriate architectures.” The ultimate vision of the program was to “provide for the seamless access and fusion of massive amounts of data, information and knowledge in a heterogeneous, real-time environment” for use by the Pentagon, intelligence community and potentially across government.

These revelations corroborate the claims of Robert Steele, former senior CIA officer and a founding civilian deputy director of the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, whom I interviewed for The Guardian last year on open source intelligence. Citing sources at the CIA, Steele had said in 2006 that Steinheiser, an old colleague of his, was the CIA’s main liaison at Google and had arranged early funding for the pioneering IT firm. At the time, Wired founder John Batelle managed to get this official denial from a Google spokesperson in response to Steele’s assertions:

“The statements related to Google are completely untrue.”

This time round, despite multiple requests and conversations, a Google spokesperson declined to comment.

UPDATE: As of 5.41PM GMT [22nd Jan 2015], Google’s director of corporate communication got in touch and asked me to include the following statement:

“Sergey Brin was not part of the Query Flocks Program at Stanford, nor were any of his projects funded by US Intelligence bodies.”

This is what I wrote back:

My response to that statement would be as follows: Brin himself in his own paper acknowledges funding from the Community Management Staff of the Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) initiative, which was supplied through the NSF. The MDDS was an intelligence community program set up by the CIA and NSA. I also have it on record, as noted in the piece, from Prof. Thuraisingham of University of Texas that she managed the MDDS program on behalf of the US intelligence community, and that her and the CIA’s Rick Steinheiser met Brin every three months or so for two years to be briefed on his progress developing Google and PageRank. Whether Brin worked on query flocks or not is neither here nor there.

In that context, you might want to consider the following questions:

1) Does Google deny that Brin’s work was part-funded by the MDDS via an NSF grant?

2) Does Google deny that Brin reported regularly to Thuraisingham and Steinheiser from around 1996 to 1998 until September that year when he presented the Google search engine to them?

LESS KNOWN FACT: AROUND THE SAME YEAR 2004, SERGEY BRIN JOINED WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S YOUTH ORGANIZATION, THE “YOUNG GLOBAL LEADERS”

Total Information Awareness

A call for papers for the MDDS was sent out via email list on November 3rd 1993 from senior US intelligence official David Charvonia, director of the research and development coordination office of the intelligence community’s CMS. The reaction from Tatu Ylonen (celebrated inventor of the widely used secure shell [SSH] data protection protocol) to his colleagues on the email list is telling: “Crypto relevance? Makes you think whether you should protect your data.” The email also confirms that defense contractor and Highlands Forum partner, SAIC, was managing the MDDS submission process, with abstracts to be sent to Jackie Booth of the CIA’s Office of Research and Development via a SAIC email address.

By 1997, Thuraisingham reveals, shortly before Google became incorporated and while she was still overseeing the development of its search engine software at Stanford, her thoughts turned to the national security applications of the MDDS program. In the acknowledgements to her book, Web Data Mining and Applications in Business Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism (2003), Thuraisingham writes that she and “Dr. Rick Steinheiser of the CIA, began discussions with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on applying data-mining for counter-terrorism,” an idea that resulted directly from the MDDS program which partly funded Google. “These discussions eventually developed into the current EELD (Evidence Extraction and Link Detection) program at DARPA.”

So the very same senior CIA official and CIA-NSA contractor involved in providing the seed-funding for Google were simultaneously contemplating the role of data-mining for counter-terrorism purposes, and were developing ideas for tools actually advanced by DARPA.

Today, as illustrated by her recent oped in the New York Times, Thuraisingham remains a staunch advocate of data-mining for counter-terrorism purposes, but also insists that these methods must be developed by government in cooperation with civil liberties lawyers and privacy advocates to ensure that robust procedures are in place to prevent potential abuse. She points out, damningly, that with the quantity of information being collected, there is a high risk of false positives.

In 1993, when the MDDS program was launched and managed by MITRE Corp. on behalf of the US intelligence community, University of Virginia computer scientist Dr. Anita K. Jones — a MITRE trustee — landed the job of DARPA director and head of research and engineering across the Pentagon. She had been on the board of MITRE since 1988. From 1987 to 1993, Jones simultaneously served on SAIC’s board of directors. As the new head of DARPA from 1993 to 1997, she also co-chaired the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum during the period of Google’s pre-launch development at Stanford under the MDSS.

Thus, when Thuraisingham and Steinheiser were talking to DARPA about the counter-terrorism applications of MDDS research, Jones was DARPA director and Highlands Forum co-chair. That year, Jones left DARPA to return to her post at the University of Virgina. The following year, she joined the board of the National Science Foundation, which of course had also just funded Brin and Page, and also returned to the board of SAIC. When she left DoD, Senator Chuck Robb paid Jones the following tribute : “She brought the technology and operational military communities together to design detailed plans to sustain US dominance on the battlefield into the next century.”

Dr. Anita Jones, head of DARPA from 1993–1997, and co-chair of the Pentagon Highlands Forum from 1995–1997, during which officials in charge of the CIA-NSA-MDSS program were funding Google, and in communication with DARPA about data-mining for counterterrorism

On the board of the National Science Foundation from 1992 to 1998 (including a stint as chairman from 1996) was Richard N. Zare. This was the period in which the NSF sponsored Sergey Brin and Larry Page in association with DARPA. In June 1994, Prof. Zare, a chemist at Stanford, participated with Prof. Jeffrey Ullman (who supervised Sergey Brin’s research), on a panel sponsored by Stanford and the National Research Council discussing the need for scientists to show how their work “ties to national needs.” The panel brought together scientists and policymakers, including “Washington insiders.”

DARPA’s EELD program, inspired by the work of Thuraisingham and Steinheiser under Jones’ watch, was rapidly adapted and integrated with a suite of tools to conduct comprehensive surveillance under the Bush administration.

According to DARPA official Ted Senator, who led the EELD program for the agency’s short-lived Information Awareness Office, EELD was among a range of “promising techniques” being prepared for integration “into the prototype TIA system.” TIA stood for Total Information Awareness, and was the main global electronic eavesdropping and data-mining program deployed by the Bush administration after 9/11. TIA had been set up by Iran-Contra conspirator Admiral John Poindexter, who was appointed in 2002 by Bush to lead DARPA’s new Information Awareness Office.

The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was another contractor among 26 companies (also including SAIC) that received million dollar contracts from DARPA (the specific quantities remained classified) under Poindexter, to push forward the TIA surveillance program in 2002 onwards. The research included “behaviour-based profiling,” “automated detection, identification and tracking” of terrorist activity, among other data-analyzing projects. At this time, PARC’s director and chief scientist was John Seely Brown. Both Brown and Poindexter were Pentagon Highlands Forum participants — Brown on a regular basis until recently.

TIA was purportedly shut down in 2003 due to public opposition after the program was exposed in the media, but the following year Poindexter participated in a Pentagon Highlands Group session in Singapore, alongside defense and security officials from around the world. Meanwhile, Ted Senator continued to manage the EELD program among other data-mining and analysis projects at DARPA until 2006, when he left to become a vice president at SAIC. He is now a SAIC/Leidos technical fellow.

Google, DARPA and the money trail

Long before the appearance of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Stanford University’s computer science department had a close working relationship with US military intelligence. A letter dated November 5th 1984 from the office of renowned artificial intelligence (AI) expert, Prof Edward Feigenbaum, addressed to Rick Steinheiser, gives the latter directions to Stanford’s Heuristic Programming Project, addressing Steinheiser as a member of the “AI Steering Committee.” A list of attendees at a contractor conference around that time, sponsored by the Pentagon’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), includes Steinheiser as a delegate under the designation “OPNAV Op-115” — which refers to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’ program on operational readiness, which played a major role in advancing digital systems for the military.

From the 1970s, Prof. Feigenbaum and his colleagues had been running Stanford’s Heuristic Programming Project under contract with DARPA, continuing through to the 1990s. Feigenbaum alone had received around over $7 million in this period for his work from DARPA, along with other funding from the NSF, NASA, and ONR.

Brin’s supervisor at Stanford, Prof. Jeffrey Ullman, was in 1996 part of a joint funding project of DARPA’s Intelligent Integration of Information program. That year, Ullman co-chaired DARPA-sponsored meetings on data exchange between multiple systems.

In September 1998, the same month that Sergey Brin briefed US intelligence representatives Steinheiser and Thuraisingham, tech entrepreneurs Andreas Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton invested $100,000 each in Google. Both investors were connected to DARPA.

As a Stanford PhD student in electrical engineering in the 1980s, Bechtolsheim’s pioneering SUN workstation project had been funded by DARPA and the Stanford computer science department — this research was the foundation of Bechtolsheim’s establishment of Sun Microsystems, which he co-founded with William Joy.

As for Bechtolsheim’s co-investor in Google, David Cheriton, the latter is a long-time Stanford computer science professor who has an even more entrenched relationship with DARPA. His bio at the University of Alberta, which in November 2014 awarded him an honorary science doctorate, says that Cheriton’s “research has received the support of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for over 20 years.”

In the meantime, Bechtolsheim left Sun Microsystems in 1995, co-founding Granite Systems with his fellow Google investor Cheriton as a partner. They sold Granite to Cisco Systems in 1996, retaining significant ownership of Granite, and becoming senior Cisco executives.

An email obtained from the Enron Corpus (a database of 600,000 emails acquired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and later released to the public) from Richard O’Neill, inviting Enron executives to participate in the Highlands Forum, shows that Cisco and Granite executives are intimately connected to the Pentagon. The email reveals that in May 2000, Bechtolsheim’s partner and Sun Microsystems co-founder, William Joy — who was then chief scientist and corporate executive officer there — had attended the Forum to discuss nanotechnology and molecular computing.

In 1999, Joy had also co-chaired the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, overseeing a report acknowledging that DARPA had:

“… revised its priorities in the 90’s so that all information technology funding was judged in terms of its benefit to the warfighter.”

Throughout the 1990s, then, DARPA’s funding to Stanford, including Google, was explicitly about developing technologies that could augment the Pentagon’s military intelligence operations in war theatres.

The Joy report recommended more federal government funding from the Pentagon, NASA, and other agencies to the IT sector. Greg Papadopoulos, another of Bechtolsheim’s colleagues as then Sun Microsystems chief technology officer, also attended a Pentagon Highlands’ Forum meeting in September 2000.

In November, the Pentagon Highlands Forum hosted Sue Bostrom, who was vice president for the internet at Cisco, sitting on the company’s board alongside Google co-investors Bechtolsheim and Cheriton. The Forum also hosted Lawrence Zuriff, then a managing partner of Granite, which Bechtolsheim and Cheriton had sold to Cisco. Zuriff had previously been an SAIC contractor from 1993 to 1994, working with the Pentagon on national security issues, specifically for Marshall’s Office of Net Assessment. In 1994, both the SAIC and the ONA were, of course, involved in co-establishing the Pentagon Highlands Forum. Among Zuriff’s output during his SAIC tenure was a paper titled ‘Understanding Information War’, delivered at a SAIC-sponsored US Army Roundtable on the Revolution in Military Affairs.

After Google’s incorporation, the company received $25 million in equity funding in 1999 led by Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. According to Homeland Security Today, “A number of Sequoia-bankrolled start-ups have contracted with the Department of Defense, especially after 9/11 when Sequoia’s Mark Kvamme met with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to discuss the application of emerging technologies to warfighting and intelligence collection.” Similarly, Kleiner Perkins had developed “a close relationship” with In-Q-Tel, the CIA venture capitalist firm that funds start-ups “to advance ‘priority’ technologies of value” to the intelligence community.

John Doerr, who led the Kleiner Perkins investment in Google obtaining a board position, was a major early investor in Becholshtein’s Sun Microsystems at its launch. He and his wife Anne are the main funders behind Rice University’s Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL), which in 2009 received $16 million from DARPA for its platform-aware-compilation-environment (PACE) ubiquitous computing R&D program. Doerr also has a close relationship with the Obama administration, which he advised shortly after it took power to ramp up Pentagon funding to the tech industry. In 2013, at the Fortune Brainstorm TECH conference, Doerr applauded “how the DoD’s DARPA funded GPS, CAD, most of the major computer science departments, and of course, the Internet.”

From inception, in other words, Google was incubated, nurtured and financed by interests that were directly affiliated or closely aligned with the US military intelligence community: many of whom were embedded in the Pentagon Highlands Forum.

Google captures the Pentagon

In 2003, Google began customizing its search engine under special contract with the CIA for its Intelink Management Office, “overseeing top-secret, secret and sensitive but unclassified intranets for CIA and other IC agencies,” according to Homeland Security Today. That year, CIA funding was also being “quietly” funneled through the National Science Foundation to projects that might help create “new capabilities to combat terrorism through advanced technology.”

The following year, Google bought the firm Keyhole, which had originally been funded by In-Q-Tel. Using Keyhole, Google began developing the advanced satellite mapping software behind Google Earth. Former DARPA director and Highlands Forum co-chair Anita Jones had been on the board of In-Q-Tel at this time, and remains so today.

Then in November 2005, In-Q-Tel issued notices to sell $2.2 million of Google stocks. Google’s relationship with US intelligence was further brought to light when an IT contractor told a closed Washington DC conference of intelligence professionals on a not-for-attribution basis that at least one US intelligence agency was working to “leverage Google’s [user] data monitoring” capability as part of an effort to acquire data of “national security intelligence interest.”

photo on Flickr dated March 2007 reveals that Google research director and AI expert Peter Norvig attended a Pentagon Highlands Forum meeting that year in Carmel, California. Norvig’s intimate connection to the Forum as of that year is also corroborated by his role in guest editing the 2007 Forum reading list.

The photo below shows Norvig in conversation with Lewis Shepherd, who at that time was senior technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, responsible for investigating, approving, and architecting “all new hardware/software systems and acquisitions for the Global Defense Intelligence IT Enterprise,” including “big data technologies.” Shepherd now works at Microsoft. Norvig was a computer research scientist at Stanford University in 1991 before joining Bechtolsheim’s Sun Microsystems as senior scientist until 1994, and going on to head up NASA’s computer science division.

Lewis Shepherd (left), then a senior technology officer at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, talking to Peter Norvig (right), renowned expert in artificial intelligence expert and director of research at Google. This photo is from a Highlands Forum meeting in 2007.

Norvig shows up on O’Neill’s Google Plus profile as one of his close connections. Scoping the rest of O’Neill’s Google Plus connections illustrates that he is directly connected not just to a wide range of Google executives, but also to some of the biggest names in the US tech community.

Those connections include Michele Weslander Quaid, an ex-CIA contractor and former senior Pentagon intelligence official who is now Google’s chief technology officer where she is developing programs to “best fit government agencies’ needs”; Elizabeth Churchill, Google director of user experience; James Kuffner, a humanoid robotics expert who now heads up Google’s robotics division and who introduced the term ‘cloud robotics’; Mark Drapeau, director of innovation engagement for Microsoft’s public sector business; Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs; Jon Udell, Microsoft ‘evangelist’; Cory Ondrejka, vice president of engineering at Facebook; to name just a few.

In 2010, Google signed a multi-billion dollar no-bid contract with the NSA’s sister agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The contract was to use Google Earth for visualization services for the NGA. Google had developed the software behind Google Earth by purchasing Keyhole from the CIA venture firm In-Q-Tel.

Then a year after, in 2011, another of O’Neill’s Google Plus connections, Michele Quaid — who had served in executive positions at the NGA, National Reconnaissance Office and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — left her government role to become Google ‘innovation evangelist’ and the point-person for seeking government contracts. Quaid’s last role before her move to Google was as a senior representative of the Director of National Intelligence to the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Task Force, and a senior advisor to the undersecretary of defense for intelligence’s director of Joint and Coalition Warfighter Support (J&CWS). Both roles involved information operations at their core. Before her Google move, in other words, Quaid worked closely with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, to which the Pentagon’s Highlands Forum is subordinate. Quaid has herself attended the Forum, though precisely when and how often I could not confirm.

In March 2012, then DARPA director Regina Dugan — who in that capacity was also co-chair of the Pentagon Highlands Forum — followed her colleague Quaid into Google to lead the company’s new Advanced Technology and Projects Group. During her Pentagon tenure, Dugan led on strategic cyber security and social media, among other initiatives. She was responsible for focusing “an increasing portion” of DARPA’s work “on the investigation of offensive capabilities to address military-specific needs,” securing $500 million of government funding for DARPA cyber research from 2012 to 2017.

Regina Dugan, former head of DARPA and Highlands Forum co-chair, now a senior Google executive — trying her best to look the part

By November 2014, Google’s chief AI and robotics expert James Kuffner was a delegate alongside O’Neill at the Highlands Island Forum 2014 in Singapore, to explore ‘Advancement in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Society, Security and Conflict.’ The event included 26 delegates from Austria, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Britain and the US, from both industry and government. Kuffner’s association with the Pentagon, however, began much earlier. In 1997, Kuffner was a researcher during his Stanford PhD for a Pentagon-funded project on networked autonomous mobile robots, sponsored by DARPA and the US Navy.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the ‘System Shift’ column for VICE’s Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye. He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work.

Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist, Counterpunch, Truthout, among others. He is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010), and the scifi thriller novel ZERO POINT, among other books. His work on the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest.

Nafeez is 120% corroborated by Quartz:

A rich history of the governments science funding

There was already a long history of collaboration between America’s best scientists and the intelligence community, from the creation of the atomic bomb and satellite technology to efforts to put a man on the moon.The internet itself was created because of an intelligence effort.

In fact, the internet itself was created because of an intelligence effort: In the 1970s, the agency responsible for developing emerging technologies for military, intelligence, and national security purposes—the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—linked four supercomputers to handle massive data transfers. It handed the operations off to the National Science Foundation (NSF) a decade or so later, which proliferated the network across thousands of universities and, eventually, the public, thus creating the architecture and scaffolding of the World Wide Web.

Silicon Valley was no different. By the mid 1990s, the intelligence community was seeding funding to the most promising supercomputing efforts across academia, guiding the creation of efforts to make massive amounts of information useful for both the private sector as well as the intelligence community.

They funded these computer scientists through an unclassified, highly compartmentalized program that was managed for the CIA and the NSA by large military and intelligence contractors. It was called the Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) project.

The Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) project 

MDDS was introduced to several dozen leading computer scientists at Stanford, CalTech, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, and others in a white paper that described what the CIA, NSA, DARPA, and other agencies hoped to achieve. The research would largely be funded and managed by unclassified science agencies like NSF, which would allow the architecture to be scaled up in the private sector if it managed to achieve what the intelligence community hoped for.

“Not only are activities becoming more complex, but changing demands require that the IC [Intelligence Community] process different types as well as larger volumes of data,” the intelligence community said in its 1993 MDDS white paper. “Consequently, the IC is taking a proactive role in stimulating research in the efficient management of massive databases and ensuring that IC requirements can be incorporated or adapted into commercial products. Because the challenges are not unique to any one agency, the Community Management Staff (CMS) has commissioned a Massive Digital Data Systems [MDDS] Working Group to address the needs and to identify and evaluate possible solutions.”

Over the next few years, the program’s stated aim was to provide more than a dozen grants of several million dollars each to advance this research concept. The grants were to be directed largely through the NSF so that the most promising, successful efforts could be captured as intellectual property and form the basis of companies attracting investments from Silicon Valley. This type of public-to-private innovation system helped launch powerful science and technology companies like Qualcomm, Symantec, Netscape, and others, and funded the pivotal research in areas like Doppler radar and fiber optics, which are central to large companies like AccuWeather, Verizon, and AT&T today. Today, the NSF provides nearly 90% of all federal funding for university-based computer-science research.

MIT is but a Pentagon lab

The CIA and NSAs end goal

The research arms of the CIA and NSA hoped that the best computer-science minds in academia could identify what they called “birds of a feather:” Just as geese fly together in large V shapes, or flocks of sparrows make sudden movements together in harmony, they predicted that like-minded groups of humans would move together online. The intelligence community named their first unclassified briefing for scientists the “birds of a feather” briefing, and the “Birds of a Feather Session on the Intelligence Community Initiative in Massive Digital Data Systems” took place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose in the spring of 1995.The intelligence community named their first unclassified briefing for scientists the “birds of a feather” briefing.

Their research aim was to track digital fingerprints inside the rapidly expanding global information network, which was then known as the World Wide Web. Could an entire world of digital information be organized so that the requests humans made inside such a network be tracked and sorted? Could their queries be linked and ranked in order of importance? Could “birds of a feather” be identified inside this sea of information so that communities and groups could be tracked in an organized way?

By working with emerging commercial-data companies, their intent was to track like-minded groups of people across the internet and identify them from the digital fingerprints they left behind, much like forensic scientists use fingerprint smudges to identify criminals. Just as “birds of a feather flock together,” they predicted that potential terrorists would communicate with each other in this new global, connected world—and they could find them by identifying patterns in this massive amount of new information. Once these groups were identified, they could then follow their digital trails everywhere.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, computer-science boy wonders 

In 1995, one of the first and most promising MDDS grants went to a computer-science research team at Stanford University with a decade-long history of working with NSF and DARPA grants. The primary objective of this grant was “query optimization of very complex queries that are described using the ‘query flocks’ approach.” A second grant—the DARPA-NSF grant most closely associated with Google’s origin—was part of a coordinated effort to build a massive digital library using the internet as its backbone. Both grants funded research by two graduate students who were making rapid advances in web-page ranking, as well as tracking (and making sense of) user queries: future Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

The research by Brin and Page under these grants became the heart of Google: people using search functions to find precisely what they wanted inside a very large data set. The intelligence community, however, saw a slightly different benefit in their research: Could the network be organized so efficiently that individual users could be uniquely identified and tracked?

This process is perfectly suited for the purposes of counter-terrorism and homeland security efforts: Human beings and like-minded groups who might pose a threat to national security can be uniquely identified online before they do harm. This explains why the intelligence community found Brin’s and Page’s research efforts so appealing; prior to this time, the CIA largely used human intelligence efforts in the field to identify people and groups that might pose threats. The ability to track them virtually (in conjunction with efforts in the field) would change everything.

It was the beginning of what in just a few years’ time would become Google. The two intelligence-community managers charged with leading the program met regularly with Brin as his research progressed, and he was an author on several other research papers that resulted from this MDDS grant before he and Page left to form Google.

The grants allowed Brin and Page to do their work and contributed to their breakthroughs in web-page ranking and tracking user queries. Brin didn’t work for the intelligence community—or for anyone else. Google had not yet been incorporated. He was just a Stanford researcher taking advantage of the grant provided by the NSA and CIA through the unclassified MDDS program.

Left out of Googles story

The MDDS research effort has never been part of Google’s origin story, even though the principal investigator for the MDDS grant specifically named Google as directly resulting from their research: “Its core technology, which allows it to find pages far more accurately than other search engines, was partially supported by this grant,” he wrote. In a published research paper that includes some of Brin’s pivotal work, the authors also reference the NSF grant that was created by the MDDS program.

Instead, every Google creation story only mentions just one federal grant: the NSF/DARPA “digital libraries” grant, which was designed to allow Stanford researchers to search the entire World Wide Web stored on the university’s servers at the time. “The development of the Google algorithms was carried on a variety of computers, mainly provided by the NSF-DARPA-NASA-funded Digital Library project at Stanford,” Stanford’s Infolab says of its origin, for example. NSF likewise only references the digital libraries grant, not the MDDS grant as well, in its own history of Google’s origin. In the famous research paper, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” which describes the creation of Google, Brin and Page thanked the NSF and DARPA for its digital library grant to Stanford. But the grant from the intelligence community’s MDDS program—specifically designed for the breakthrough that Google was built upon—has faded into obscurity.

Google has said in the past that it was not funded or created by the CIA. For instance, when stories circulated in 2006 that Google had received funding from the intelligence community for years to assist in counter-terrorism efforts, the company told Wired magazine founder John Battelle, “The statements related to Google are completely untrue.”

Did the CIA directly fund the work of Brin and Page, and therefore create Google? No. But were Brin and Page researching precisely what the NSA, the CIA, and the intelligence community hoped for, assisted by their grants? Absolutely.The CIA and NSA funded an unclassified, compartmentalized program designed from its inception to spur something that looks almost exactly like Google.

To understand this significance, you have to consider what the intelligence community was trying to achieve as it seeded grants to the best computer-science minds in academia: The CIA and NSA funded an unclassified, compartmentalized program designed from its inception to spur the development of something that looks almost exactly like Google. Brin’s breakthrough research on page ranking by tracking user queries and linking them to the many searches conducted—essentially identifying “birds of a feather”—was largely the aim of the intelligence community’s MDDS program. And Google succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

The intelligence communitys enduring legacy within Silicon Valley

Digital privacy concerns over the intersection between the intelligence community and commercial technology giants have grown in recent years. But most people still don’t understand the degree to which the intelligence community relies on the world’s biggest science and tech companies for its counter-terrorism and national-security work.

Civil-liberty advocacy groups have aired their privacy concerns for years, especially as they now relate to the Patriot Act. “Hastily passed 45 days after 9/11 in the name of national security, the Patriot Act was the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the Internet,” says the ACLU. “While most Americans think it was created to catch terrorists, the Patriot Act actually turns regular citizens into suspects.”

When asked, the biggest technology and communications companies—from Verizon and AT&T to Google, Facebook, and Microsoft—say that they never deliberately and proactively offer up their vast databases on their customers to federal security and law enforcement agencies: They say that they only respond to subpoenas or requests that are filed properly under the terms of the Patriot Act.

But even a cursory glance through recent public records shows that there is a treadmill of constant requests that could undermine the intent behind this privacy promise. According to the data-request records that the companies make available to the public, in the most recent reporting period between 2016 and 2017, local, state and federal government authorities seeking information related to national security, counter-terrorism or criminal concerns issued more than 260,000 subpoenas, court orders, warrants, and other legal requests to Verizon, more than 250,000 such requests to AT&T, and nearly 24,000 subpoenas, search warrants, or court orders to Google. Direct national security or counter-terrorism requests are a small fraction of this overall group of requests, but the Patriot Act legal process has now become so routinized that the companies each have a group of employees who simply take care of the stream of requests.

In this way, the collaboration between the intelligence community and big, commercial science and tech companies has been wildly successful. When national security agencies need to identify and track people and groups, they know where to turn – and do so frequently. That was the goal in the beginning. It has succeeded perhaps more than anyone could have imagined at the time.

FFW to 2020

From DARPA to Google: How the Military Kickstarted AV Development

 27 Feb 2020

FromDarpatoGoogle

The Stanford Racing Team

by Arrow Mag, Feb 2020

Sebastian Thrun was entertaining the idea of self-driving cars for many years. Born and raised in Germany, he was fascinated with the power and performance of German cars. Things changed in 1986, when he was 18, when his best friend died in a car crash because the driver, another friend, was going too fast on his new Audi Quattro.

As a student at the University of Bonn, Thrun developed several autonomous robotic systems that earned him international recognition. At the time, Thrun was convinced that self-driving cars would soon make transportation safer, avoiding crashes like the one that took his friend’s life.

In 1998, he became an assistant professor and co-director of the Robot Learning Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University. In July 2003, Thrun left Carnegie Mellon for Stanford University, soon after the first DARPA Grand Challenge was announced. Before accepting the new position, he asked Red Whittaker, the leader of the CMU robotics department, to join the team developing the vehicle for the DARPA race. Whittaker declined. After moving to California, Thrun joined the Stanford Racing Team.

On Oct. 8, 2005, the Stanford Racing Team won $2 million for being the first team to complete the 132-mile DARPA Grand Challenge course in California’s Mojave Desert. Their robot car, “Stanley,” finished in just under 6 hours and 54 minutes and averaged over 19 mph on the course.

Google’s Page wanted to develop self-driving cars

Two years after the third Grand Challenge, Google co-founder Larry Page called Thrun, wanting to turn the experience of the DARPA races into a product for the masses.

When Page first approached Thrun about building a self-driving car that people could use on the real roads, Thrun told him it couldn’t be done.

But Page had a vision, and he would not abandon his quest for an autonomous vehicle.

Thrun recalled that a short time later, Page came back to him and said, “OK, you say it can’t be done. You’re the expert. I trust you. So I can explain to Sergey [Brin] why it can’t be done, can you give me a technical reason why it can’t be done?”

Finally, Thrun accepted Page’s offer and, in 2009, started Project Chauffeur, which began as the Google self-driving car project.

The Google 101,000-Mile Challenge

To develop the technology for Google’s self-driving car, Thrun called Urmson and offered him the position of chief technical officer of the project.

To encourage the team to build a vehicle, and its systems, to drive on any public road, Page created two challenges, with big cash rewards for the entire team: a 1,000-mile challenge to show that Project Chauffeur’s car could drive in several situations, including highways and the streets of San Francisco, and another 100,000-mile challenge to show that driverless cars could be a reality in a few years.

By the middle of 2011, Project Chauffeur engineers completed the two challenges.

In 2016, the Google self-driving car project became Waymo, a “spinoff under Alphabet as a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.”

Urmson led Google’s self-driving car project for nearly eight years. Under his leadership, Google vehicles accumulated 1.8 million miles of test driving.

In 2018, Waymo One, the first fully self-driving vehicle taxi service, began in Phoenix, Arizona.

From Waymo to Aurora

In 2016, after finishing development of the production-ready version of Waymo’s self-driving technology, Urmson left Google to start Aurora Innovation, a startup backed by Amazon, aiming to provide the full-stack solution for self-driving vehicles.

Urmson believes that in 20 years, we’ll see much of the transportation infrastructure move over to automation. – Arrow.com

TO BE CONTINUED

Here’s a peek into the next episode:

Facebook Hired a Former DARPA Head To Lead An Ambitious New Research Lab

Source: TIME | by VICTOR LUCKERSON

If you need another sign that Facebook’s world-dominating ambitions are just getting started, here’s one: the Menlo Park, Calif. company has hired a former DARPA chief to lead its new research lab.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced April 14 that Regina Dugan will guide Building 8, a new research group developing hardware projects that advance the company’s efforts in virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and global connectivity.

Dugan served as the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2009 and 2012. Most recently, she led Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects Lab, a highly experimental arm of the company responsible for developing new hardware and software products on a strict two-year timetable.

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
We hardly made it before, but this summer something’s going on, our audience stats show bizarre patterns, we’re severely under estimates and the last savings are gone. We’re not your responsibility, but if you find enough benefits in this work…
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Maybe you’ve been just like myself, too tired to be surprised or very concerned with the new wave of magneto-vaxxers. But we have to make the effort to take this as it most likely is: super-serious.

UPDATE JULY 2021: LET’S START WITH THE END – THE GRAPHENE OXYDE CONFIRMED AS MAIN INGREDIENT (99%) IN THE PFIZER VACCINE. AMONG OTHER DESASTRUOUS EFFECTS: BLOOD-CLOTTING and covid symptoms. HOW DID WE GET TO THIS REVELATION? READ THE FIRST INVESTIGATION INTO MAGNETOGENETICS EVER!

 La Quinta Columna has recently made an urgent announcement that they hope will reach as many people as possible, especially those involved in health and legal services, as biostatistician Ricardo Delgado, Dr. José Luis Sevillano and the team of researchers and professors with whom they have been conducting their research have confirmed the presence of graphene oxide nanoparticles in vaccination vials.

In program nº63, the team showed some photos of the analyses carried out, specifically results obtained by optical and transmission electron microscopy observation, reserving the results of other techniques used for future programs. They also announced that the report based on all the techniques performed, which allowed determining the presence of graphene oxide, will be made official by the researchers who performed the analyses very soon….

There’s indications, if not full fledge proof, that masks being used and currently marketed contain graphene oxide. Not only the ones that were withdrawn at the time, as indicated by the media, the swabs used in both PCR and antigen tests also contain graphene oxide nanoparticles

Graphene oxide can generates blood coagulation. Graphene oxide causes alteration of the immune system. By decompensating the oxidative balance in relation to the gulation reserves. If the dose of graphene oxide is increased by any route of administration, it causes the collapse of the immune system and subsequent cytokine storm

Graphene oxide accumulated in the lungs generates bilateral pneumonias by uniform dissemination in the pulmonary alveolar tract. Graphene oxide causes a metallic taste. Perhaps this is starting to make sense to you now. Inhaled graphene oxide causes inflammation of the mucous membranes and thus loss of taste and partial or total loss of smell

Graphene oxide acquires powerful magnetic properties inside the organism. This is the explanation for the magnetic phenomenon that billions of people around the world have already experienced after various routes of administration of graphene oxide. Among them the vaccine….

It is therefore absolutely essential and vital that you make this information available to your medical community.

SOURCE

What they haven’t found yet is these new kids on the block, Made in China and with racial implications, all the due triggers are packed in:

SOURCE
SOURCE
SOURCE

And, in latest news, this:

SOURCE

When evidence is overwhelming, official confirmation is not as relevant, though. We’re kinda there.

URGENT! IT’S IN MASKS TOO: SUPER-TOXIC GRAPHENE OXIDE CONFIRMED BY MANUFACTURERS

SOURCE

So you have precisely 0 (zero) reasons for surprise if they find some type of graphene fibers in masks or swabs.

Older studies on graphene oxide below, now let’s see how we got here.

It all started with the courageous or desperate Pharma-dupes who got jabbed (yeah, vaxxers started it), and then had the guts to expose themselves on Internet with their weird magnetic symptoms. They got followed by courageous and persistent citizen-journalists like Tim Truth, who managed to capture attention from journalists like myself and a few others with bigger or smaller platforms, who, together, managed to push this as mainstream as Jimmy Kimmel.

They didn’t take it seriously either

BREAKING:

The scientific method to debunk an experiment is to repeat it. If they really were serious about debunking it, they would’ve given everyone free magnets to test it. Instead…

UPDATE: SOMETHING BIG IS HAPPENING! Youtube censorship entered overdrive, they’ve deleted us a second video on this in 24h, this time it was THE Ben Swann investigation on DARPA’S MAGNETIC MIND CONTROL PROGRAM. both my channels are hanging on a thread now.
PLEASE SPREAD THIS INFO LIKE FIRE!
i’M NOT SAYING “SPREAD MY LINK,” BUT SPREAD THE INFO THAT SOUNDS RIGHT TO YOU AND DO IT NOW!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR SECOND VIDEO DELETED BY YOUTUBE IN ONE DAY

Proof that this is serious: as I was wrapping this report up, YouTube has just deleted my COMEDY take on this, proving that we struck a chord.
Video still available on our Odysee Channel.

update #2: more examples of “magnetovaxxers” found and compiled

More and more people are taking the magnet challenge
Thanks Tim Truth for sparking my investigation and following up!
HERE you can watch his latest compilation of vaxxers turning into fridge doors

If next minute all vaxxtards turn into transformer drones, I’m not going to be very surprised, rather amused. But i should be concerned.
I am concerned with sticky vaxxers because most likely there’s some magnetogenetics involved. It’s almost impossible that this is not the explanation for the new Internet sensation.

Earliest academic mention of magnetogenetics I found comes from China, but in the meantime I’ve learned this goes back to 2010 and beyond, more updates soon:

UPDATE #3
in just hours, youtube admits my appeal and reinstates the Ben Swann Video!

Can hardly keep up with myself lol
What did the appeal say that was unprecedently persuasive?
I don’t have the exact words, but the main ideas were:
1. Everything you’ve just claim is a lie, it’s offensive and defaming, but that’s ok because your words have no value.
2. Thanks for pointing out you’re especially sensitive about this topic, we’ll put it on turbo-boost!

UPDATE #4 mAY 20 2021: WE’VE ALREADY WON THE INFORMATION WAR AGAINST BIG TECH, THE KNOWLEDGE IS MAINSTREAM NOW, ICKE AND THE LAST AMERICAN VAGABOND ALL OVER IT

NOW ENTER THE SCIENCE

Nikhil Hajirnis tells us how cells developed strategies to detect light and magnetism with evolution of a class of proteins called the crytochromes. And now we use this understanding to alter magnetic fields around cells to image cells as well as to attempt changing the way they work.
Source: CSIR – Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology

Magnetogenetics: remote non-invasive magnetic activation of neuronal activity with a magnetoreceptor

Source: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11434-015-0902-0

Abstract

Current neuromodulation techniques such as optogenetics and deep-brain stimulation are transforming basic and translational neuroscience. These two neuromodulation approaches are, however, invasive since surgical implantation of an optical fiber or wire electrode is required. Here, we have invented a non-invasive magnetogenetics that combines the genetic targeting of a magnetoreceptor with remote magnetic stimulation. The non-invasive activation of neurons was achieved by neuronal expression of an exogenous magnetoreceptor, an iron-sulfur cluster assembly protein 1 (Isca1). In HEK-293 cells and cultured hippocampal neurons expressing this magnetoreceptor, application of an external magnetic field resulted in membrane depolarization and calcium influx in a reproducible and reversible manner, as indicated by the ultrasensitive fluorescent calcium indicator GCaMP6s. Moreover, the magnetogenetic control of neuronal activity might be dependent on the direction of the magnetic field and exhibits on-response and off-response patterns for the external magnetic field applied. The activation of this magnetoreceptor can depolarize neurons and elicit trains of action potentials, which can be triggered repetitively with a remote magnetic field in whole-cell patch-clamp recording. In transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing this magnetoreceptor in myo-3-specific muscle cells or mec-4-specific neurons, application of the external magnetic field triggered muscle contraction and withdrawal behavior of the worms, indicative of magnet-dependent activation of muscle cells and touch receptor neurons, respectively. The advantages of magnetogenetics over optogenetics are its exclusive non-invasive, deep penetration, long-term continuous dosing, unlimited accessibility, spatial uniformity and relative safety. Like optogenetics that has gone through decade-long improvements, magnetogenetics, with continuous modification and maturation, will reshape the current landscape of neuromodulation toolboxes and will have a broad range of applications to basic and translational neuroscience as well as other biological sciences. We envision a new age of magnetogenetics is coming. – Copyright © 2015 Science China Press. Published by Elsevier B.V.

CHINA FOLLOWED ALMOST SHOULDER TO SHOULDER BY DARPA

Missed DARPA?

06 Oct 2015 | 15:29 GMT

DARPA Wants to Jolt the Nervous System with Electricity, Lasers, Sound Waves, and Magnets

The defense agency announces funding for 7 projects under its new ElectRx program

By Spectrum

null
Illustration: Getty Images

Viewing the body as a chemical system and treating maladies with pharmaceuticals is so 20th century. In 21st century medicine, doctors may consider the body as an electrical system instead, and prescribe therapies that alter the electrical pulses that run through the nerves.

That’s the premise of DARPA’s newest biomedical program, anyway. The ElectRx program aims to treat disease by modulating the activity of the peripheral nerves that carry commands to all the organs and muscles of the human body, and also convey sensory information back to the brain.

Yesterday, DARPA announced the first seven grants under the ElectRx program. The scientists chosen are doing fairly fundamental research, because we’re still in the early days of electric medicine; they’ll investigate mechanisms by which to stimulate the nerves, and map nerve pathways that respond to that stimulation. They’re working on treatments for disorders such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The proposed stimulation methods are fascinating in their diversity. Researchers will not only stimulate nerves with jolts of electricity, they’ll also use pulses of light, sound waves, and magnetic fields.

Three research teams using electrical stimulation will target the vagus nerve, which affects many different parts of the body. IEEE Spectrum explored the medical potential of vagus nerve hacking in a recent feature article, writing: 

Look at an anatomy chart and the importance of the vagus nerve jumps out at you. Vagus means “wandering” in Latin, and true to its name, the nerve meanders around the chest and abdomen, connecting most of the key organs—heart and lungs included—to the brain stem. It’s like a back door built into the human physiology, allowing you to hack the body’s systems.

The light-based stimulation research comes from the startup Circuit Therapeutics. The company was cofounded by Stanford’s Karl Deisseroth, one of the inventors of optogenetics, the new technique that inserts light-sensitive proteins into neurons and then uses pulses of light to turn those neurons “on” and “off.” Under the DARPA grant, the researchers will try to use pulses of light to alter neural circuits involved in neuropathic pain.

To tweak the nervous system with sound waves, Columbia University’s Elisa Konofagou will use a somewhat mysterious ultrasound technique. In an e-mail, Konofagou explains that it’s already known that ultrasound can be used to stimulate neurons, but with the DARPA grant, she hopes to figure out how it works. Her hypothesis: As ultrasound propogates through biological tissue, it exerts mechanical pressure on that tissue, which stimulates specific mechanosensitive channels in neurons and causes them to “turn on.”

The final project will rely on magnetic fields to activate neurons, using a technique that could be called “magnetogenetics.” An MIT team led by Polina Anikeeva will insert heat-sensitive proteins into neurons, and will then deploy magnetic nanoparticles that bind to the surface of those neurons. When exposed to a magnetic field, these nanoparticles heat up and activate the neurons to which they’re attached.

Figuring out how to alter the activity of the nervous systems with these various tricks will be a pretty impressive accomplishment. But in the DARPA world, achieving that understanding is just step one. Next, the agency wants its grantees to develop “closed-loop” systems capable of detecting biomarkers that signal the onset of disease, and then respond automatically with neural stimulation. Spectrum covered the first such closed-loop neural stimulators in a recent feature article, stating: 

The goal of all these closed-loop systems is to let doctors take their expert knowledge—their ability to evaluate a patient’s condition and adjust therapy accordingly—and embed it in an implanted device.

– Spectrum

I bet all that goes great served with some trans-cranial magnetic brainwashing.

Military magnetic field breakthrough could lead to mind reading computers and Harry Potter ‘wands’ to check for head injuries

  • DARPA’s new project aims to focus on detecting superweak magnetic fields 
  • The research could let medics rapidly diagnose concussions on the battlefield
  • It could also lead to brain-machine interfaces for controlling prosthetic limbs and external machines through the magnetic signals associated with thought

By CECILE BORKHATARIA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 22:35 BST, 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 22:35 BST, 20 March 2017

Our own body generates electric currents that create ripples in the surrounding magnetic field. 

These magnetic field variations allow medical professionals to use certain diagnostic tools for brain and heart conditions.

But now new research led by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) aims to go beyond these diagnostic tests and develop magnetic field sensing for broader applications such as brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) for uses such as controlling prosthetic limbs and external machines through the magnetic signals associated with thought.

IF THEY CAN USE THIS TO TAG CELLS, THEY CAN USE IT TO TAG PEOPLE.
SOURCE

Engineered protein crystals make cells magnetic

by American Chemical Society

If scientists could give living cells magnetic properties, they could perhaps manipulate cellular activities with external magnetic fields. But previous attempts to magnetize cells by producing iron-containing proteins inside them have resulted in only weak magnetic forces. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Nano Letters have engineered genetically encoded protein crystals that can generate magnetic forces many times stronger than those already reported.

The new area of magnetogenetics seeks to use genetically encoded proteins that are sensitive to magnetic fields to study and manipulate cells. Many previous approaches have featured a natural iron-storage protein called ferritin, which can self-assemble into a “cage” that holds as many as 4,500 iron atoms. But even with this large iron-storage capacity, ferritin cages in cells generate magnetic forces that are millions of times too small for practical applications. To drastically increase the amount of iron that a protein assembly can store, Bianxiao Cui and colleagues wanted to combine the iron-binding ability of ferritin with the self-assembly properties of another protein, called Inkabox-PAK4cat, that can form huge, spindle-shaped crystals inside cells. The researchers wondered if they could line the hollow interiors of the crystals with ferritin proteins to store larger amounts of iron that would generate substantial magnetic forces.

To make the new crystals, the researchers fused genes encoding ferritin and Inkabox-PAK4cat and expressed the new protein in human cells in a petri dish. The resulting crystals, which grew to about 45 microns in length (or about half the diameter of a human hair) after 3 days, did not affect cell survival. The researchers then broke open the cells, isolated the crystals and added iron, which enabled them to pull the crystals around with external magnets. Each crystal contained about five billion iron atoms and generated magnetic forces that were nine orders of magnitude stronger than single ferritin cages. By introducing crystals that were pre-loaded with iron to living cells, the researchers could move the cells around with a magnet. However, they were unable to magnetize the cells by adding iron to crystals already growing in cells, possibly because the iron levels in cells were too low. This is an area that requires further investigation, the researchers say.

Engineered protein crystals make cells magnetic
Credit: American Chemical Society

Genetically engineered ‘Magneto’ protein remotely controls brain and behaviour

The toroidal magnetic chamber (Tokamak) of the Joint European Torus (JET) at the Culham Science Centre. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
The toroidal magnetic chamber (Tokamak) of the Joint European Torus (JET) at the Culham Science Centre. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

“Badass” new method uses a magnetised protein to activate brain cells rapidly, reversibly, and non-invasively
THE GUARDIAN, Thu 24 Mar 2016 14.30 GMT

Researchers in the United States have developed a new method for controlling the brain circuits associated with complex animal behaviours, using genetic engineering to create a magnetised protein that activates specific groups of nerve cells from a distance.

Understanding how the brain generates behaviour is one of the ultimate goals of neuroscience – and one of its most difficult questions. In recent years, researchers have developed a number of methods that enable them to remotely control specified groups of neurons and to probe the workings of neuronal circuits.

The most powerful of these is a method called optogenetics, which enables researchers to switch populations of related neurons on or off on a millisecond-by-millisecond timescale with pulses of laser light. Another recently developed method, called chemogenetics, uses engineered proteins that are activated by designer drugs and can be targeted to specific cell types.

Although powerful, both of these methods have drawbacks. Optogenetics is invasive, requiring insertion of optical fibres that deliver the light pulses into the brain and, furthermore, the extent to which the light penetrates the dense brain tissue is severely limited. Chemogenetic approaches overcome both of these limitations, but typically induce biochemical reactions that take several seconds to activate nerve cells.

The new technique, developed in Ali Güler’s lab at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and described in an advance online publication in the journal Nature Neuroscience, is not only non-invasive, but can also activate neurons rapidly and reversibly.

Several earlier studies have shown that nerve cell proteins which are activated by heat and mechanical pressure can be genetically engineered so that they become sensitive to radio waves and magnetic fields, by attaching them to an iron-storing protein called ferritin, or to inorganic paramagnetic particles. These methods represent an important advance – they have, for example, already been used to regulate blood glucose levels in mice – but involve multiple components which have to be introduced separately.

The new technique builds on this earlier work, and is based on a protein called TRPV4, which is sensitive to both temperature and stretching forces. These stimuli open its central pore, allowing electrical current to flow through the cell membrane; this evokes nervous impulses that travel into the spinal cord and then up to the brain.

Güler and his colleagues reasoned that magnetic torque (or rotating) forces might activate TRPV4 by tugging open its central pore, and so they used genetic engineering to fuse the protein to the paramagnetic region of ferritin, together with short DNA sequences that signal cells to transport proteins to the nerve cell membrane and insert them into it.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/iHTpJNSNFlc?wmode=opaque&feature=oembedIn vivo manipulation of zebrafish behavior using Magneto. Zebrafish larvae exhibit coiling behaviour in response to localized magnetic fields. From Wheeler et al (2016).

When they introduced this genetic construct into human embryonic kidney cells growing in Petri dishes, the cells synthesized the ‘Magneto’ protein and inserted it into their membrane. Application of a magnetic field activated the engineered TRPV1 protein, as evidenced by transient increases in calcium ion concentration within the cells, which were detected with a fluorescence microscope.

Next, the researchers inserted the Magneto DNA sequence into the genome of a virus, together with the gene encoding green fluorescent protein, and regulatory DNA sequences that cause the construct to be expressed only in specified types of neurons. They then injected the virus into the brains of mice, targeting the entorhinal cortex, and dissected the animals’ brains to identify the cells that emitted green fluorescence. Using microelectrodes, they then showed that applying a magnetic field to the brain slices activated Magneto so that the cells produce nervous impulses.

To determine whether Magneto can be used to manipulate neuronal activity in live animals, they injected Magneto into zebrafish larvae, targeting neurons in the trunk and tail that normally control an escape response. They then placed the zebrafish larvae into a specially-built magnetised aquarium, and found that exposure to a magnetic field induced coiling manouvres similar to those that occur during the escape response. (This experiment involved a total of nine zebrafish larvae, and subsequent analyses revealed that each larva contained about 5 neurons expressing Magneto.)

In one final experiment, the researchers injected Magneto into the striatum of freely behaving mice, a deep brain structure containing dopamine-producing neurons that are involved in reward and motivation, and then placed the animals into an apparatus split into magnetised a non-magnetised sections. Mice expressing Magneto spent far more time in the magnetised areas than mice that did not, because activation of the protein caused the striatal neurons expressing it to release dopamine, so that the mice found being in those areas rewarding. This shows that Magneto can remotely control the firing of neurons deep within the brain, and also control complex behaviours.

Neuroscientist Steve Ramirez of Harvard University, who uses optogenetics to manipulate memories in the brains of mice, says the study is “badass”.

“Previous attempts [using magnets to control neuronal activity] needed multiple components for the system to work – injecting magnetic particles, injecting a virus that expresses a heat-sensitive channel, [or] head-fixing the animal so that a coil could induce changes in magnetism,” he explains. “The problem with having a multi-component system is that there’s so much room for each individual piece to break down.”

“This system is a single, elegant virus that can be injected anywhere in the brain, which makes it technically easier and less likely for moving bells and whistles to break down,” he adds, “and their behavioral equipment was cleverly designed to contain magnets where appropriate so that the animals could be freely moving around.”

‘Magnetogenetics’ is therefore an important addition to neuroscientists’ tool box, which will undoubtedly be developed further, and provide researchers with new ways of studying brain development and function.

Reference

Wheeler, M. A., et al. (2016). Genetically targeted magnetic control of the nervous system. Nat. Neurosci., DOI: 10.1038/nn.4265 [Abstract]

‘Magneto’ manipulates behavior of freely moving mice

BY NICHOLETTE ZELIADT  /  22 JUNE 2016
DOWNLOAD PDF

Laws of attraction: Neurons expressing a magnetically sensitive protein (right) show a spike in calcium levels when exposed to a magnet.

A modified protein allows researchers to use a magnet to switch on neurons anywhere in the brain in freely moving mice and zebrafish. The tool, described in May in Nature Neuroscience, could shed light on neural circuits underlying autism-like behaviors in animal models of the condition1.

Scientists can already turn neurons on and off at will with a technique called optogenetics that renders the cells sensitive to light. But that method requires surgically implanting a light source near the cells they want to manipulate.

The researchers rendered an ion channel in neurons called TPRV4 magnetically sensitive by fusing it to ferritin, a protein rich in iron. TPRV4 is ordinarily heat- and pressure-sensitive, but the researchers reasoned that, when attached to ferritin, it would also open in the presence of a magnetic field. Opening the channel causes calcium to flow into the cell, prompting it to fire.

Placing a magnet near cultured kidney cells expressing the protein, dubbed ‘Magneto,’ causes a calcium-sensitive fluorescent probe inside them to light up within seconds. And placing a magnet next to brain slices from mice that had been ‘infected’ by a virus carrying the Magneto gene causes neurons in the slices to fire. This firing stops when the tissue is bathed in a drug that blocks TPRV4.https://player.vimeo.com/video/171462035?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0Coiling on cue: Zebrafish embryos injected with Magneto coil defensively in the presence of a magnetic field.

The team also inserted the protein into neurons in the mouse striatum, an interior brain region that processes rewards and is difficult to target using optogenetics. Placing the mice in a magnetized chamber triggered firing of these neurons. Mice injected with Magneto spent more time in the magnetized chamber than in an adjacent non-magnetized area, suggesting that they experience a ‘reward’ when the magnet activates the neurons.

Magneto is likely to be still sensitive to temperature and pressure, making it hard to precisely control. But the researchers say that flaw may be fixable.Spectrum News

IN CASE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY TEMPERATURE IS SUCH AN ISSUE WHEN IT COMES TO THE MRNA INJECTIONS…

Like Magneto? Microcrystals give magnets superpower over living cells

These iron-rich protein crystals could be the future of how scientists study nerve cells

Labeled with a glowing protein that gives them an eerie green glow, these needle-like protein crystals are jammed full of iron. That lets scientists control the crystals — and the cells they’re inside of — with a magnet.BIANXIAO CUI

By  Science News for Students

December 17, 2019 at 6:45 am

Imagine if you could control someone by using a magnet. It would be a bit like Magneto, the supervillain in X-Men. He can control anything magnetic. Even the iron inside someone’s body.

Controlling people with magnets sounds a little, well, wacky. But scientists have now done something close to that. They have engineered cells to make long, needle-like crystals rich in iron. Researchers can then use magnets to control cells containing these crystals.

Video recordings show these iron-rich crystals moving toward a strong magnet. The crystals pull the entire cell along with them. 

Cui and her colleagues didn’t set out to give scientists superpowers like Magneto’s. Instead, their new protein crystals were designed to help scientists study which neurons control an animal’s movements and senses. The crystals provide something inside a cell that magnets can attract. This innovation fills a gap in the budding field of magnetogenetics (Mag-NEE-toh-jeh-NET-iks).

Scientists in this field genetically engineer cells so that they will respond to magnetic fields. Now researchers can remotely control specific neurons in the body using magnets. Those neurons could be ones that control how hungry an animal gets. Or they could be neurons that control leg muscles so a mouse starts running when a magnet is nearby.

Gaining magnetic control

A magnetic field can turn on neurons that contain proteins rich in iron. The field does this by heating or giving a mechanical push to those proteins.

Researchers had already been able to control neurons with light. That process is called optogenetics. To use it, scientists insert light-sensitive molecules into the neurons of living animals. The researchers can then turn the neurons on or off simply by shining a light on them. With this technique, neuroscientists have done some incredible things. They’ve made mice run in circles. They’ve even restored movement to an animal’s paralyzed leg.

But optogenetics has its downsides. Light, for example, can’t penetrate deeply into the body. There’s just too much bone, muscle and other tissue in the way. So researchers may implant optical fibers into the animal to deliver light to deep neurons. That makes the method cumbersome and even potentially dangerous.

The whole idea behind magnetogenetics is that you don’t have to implant anything, explains Jacob Robinson, who was not involved in the study. He’s a neuroengineer who works at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Cells deep inside the body could be switched on with just a magnetic field. No fibers or surgery would be needed.

But there’s a snag. The only protein found naturally inside animal cells that’s even remotely magnetic is ferritin (FAIR-ih-tin). Each molecule can have as many as 4,500 atoms of iron. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not. The force that a magnet acting on ferritin generated would be only a billionth as strong as would be needed to turn on a neuron. So Cui’s team developed protein crystals that could carry enough iron to make their cells responsive to magnets.

Giant crystals with an iron heart

The team first extracted the gene to make ferritin from a microbe. They then made a circular piece of DNA that contained two human genes. Those genes make long, hollow crystals called inka-PAK4 (short for Inkabox-PAK4cat). The team introduced these circular pieces of DNA into human kidney cells that were growing in a petri dish. A day later, the first crystals appeared.

“When I first saw those crystals assemble in the cells by themselves, it was just amazing,” Cui recalls.

350_BF_average.png
Scientists engineeredspine-like crystals that are the longest iron-containing crystals ever made in the lab or in nature. Many, including those in this microscopic image, are larger than the cells in which they grew.BIANXIAO CUI

The crystals grew for three days until they were 45 millionths of a meter long. That’s about half the average thickness of a human hair. They’re the largest iron-containing protein crystals ever made in the lab — or in nature, Cui says. They were even longer than the cells they grew in. But the cells in which they formed never ripped. They just stretched to accommodate the crystals.

The researchers pried open the cells and removed the crystals. Then they loaded these with iron. The team estimates that it packed some 8 billion iron atoms into each crystal before inserting those crystals into human cells growing in a dish. Now they exposed the cells to a magnetic field and waited to see what would happen.

And the cells moved.

“The first time I actually saw [the cells] move toward the magnet, I was like, ‘Wow!’” Cui says.

Crystals started collecting close to the magnet. And the crystals pulled their cells with them. The team described this online September 25 in Nano Letters.

Robinson expressed excitement over this. “It’s an excellent step,” he said, “toward engineering cells to create their own magnetic nanoparticles.”

Scientists aren’t sure what will happen to the crystals afterward. But the cells have the genes for the crystals. So every cell reproduced from the original cells should be able to make the crystals, Cui says.

Iron not included

As promising as the results are, both Cui and Robinson emphasized that this isn’t the end.

“We still haven’t reached the goal,” Cui says.

Ideally, researchers would not need to first remove newly grown crystals to pack them full of the metal atoms. Instead, cells would enrich the crystals with iron as it built them. In fact, Cui’s group tried three different ways to get iron into its cells. They even drenched the cells in an iron-rich solution. Nothing worked.

Cells typically keep their iron levels low, Cui’s team notes. It’s estimated that cells naturally contain only 3 percent as much iron as the crystals would need to be effective.

We probably need to alter the cell’s outer membranes, Cui suspects. Then, she says, they might be able to transport more iron into a cell. Still, these magnetic crystals are a major leap forward in the young field of magnetogenetics. And the researchers are confident additional studies will overcome this iron-enrichment obstacle.

Published online 2020 Sep 22.
 10.1021/acsanm.0c02048 PMCID: PMC7526334

And then we have this suspect:

2013, Oct 15

Biomedical applications of graphene and graphene oxide

Chul ChungYoung-Kwan KimDolly ShinSoo-Ryoon RyooByung Hee HongDal-Hee Min

Abstract

Graphene has unique mechanical, electronic, and optical properties, which researchers have used to develop novel electronic materials including transparent conductors and ultrafast transistors. Recently, the understanding of various chemical properties of graphene has facilitated its application in high-performance devices that generate and store energy. Graphene is now expanding its territory beyond electronic and chemical applications toward biomedical areas such as precise biosensing through graphene-quenched fluorescence, graphene-enhanced cell differentiation and growth, and graphene-assisted laser desorption/ionization for mass spectrometry. In this Account, we review recent efforts to apply graphene and graphene oxides (GO) to biomedical research and a few different approaches to prepare graphene materials designed for biomedical applications. Because of its excellent aqueous processability, amphiphilicity, surface functionalizability, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and fluorescence quenching ability, GO chemically exfoliated from oxidized graphite is considered a promising material for biological applications. In addition, the hydrophobicity and flexibility of large-area graphene synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) allow this material to play an important role in cell growth and differentiation. The lack of acceptable classification standards of graphene derivatives based on chemical and physical properties has hindered the biological application of graphene derivatives. The development of an efficient graphene-based biosensor requires stable biofunctionalization of graphene derivatives under physiological conditions with minimal loss of their unique properties. For the development graphene-based therapeutics, researchers will need to build on the standardization of graphene derivatives and study the biofunctionalization of graphene to clearly understand how cells respond to exposure to graphene derivatives. Although several challenging issues remain, initial promising results in these areas point toward significant potential for graphene derivatives in biomedical research.

Similar articles

The best part seem to be these applications though:

Remote Neural Stimulation Using Magnetic Nanoparticles

Andy Tay 1Dino Di Carlo 1

Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2017

DOI: 10.2174/0929867323666160814000442

Abstract

Neural stimulation provides a means for scientists to investigate brain functions and neurological diseases. There is also mounting interest in using remote stimulation of neuronal circuits for brain-machine interfaces. In this review, we highlight recently developed technologies utilizing magnetic nanoparticles to generate heat or exert mechanical forces for remote control of brain circuits and compare these with conventional (electrical stimulation and drugs) and second-generation (ultrasound and light) techniques. We also present some of the challenges and progress in areas like genetics, nanoparticle synthesis and energy delivery devices to translate the use of these innovative nanoparticle-based platforms in research and clinical settings.

Magnetic Strategies for Nervous System Control

Michael G Christiansen 1Alexander W Senko 2Polina Anikeeva 2

Abstract

Magnetic fields pass through tissue undiminished and without producing harmful effects, motivating their use as a wireless, minimally invasive means to control neural activity. Here, we review mechanisms and techniques coupling magnetic fields to changes in electrochemical potentials across neuronal membranes. Biological magnetoreception, although incompletely understood, is discussed as a potential source of inspiration. The emergence of magnetic properties in materials is reviewed to clarify the distinction between biomolecules containing transition metals and ferrite nanoparticles that exhibit significant net moments. We describe recent developments in the use of magnetic nanomaterials as transducers converting magnetic stimuli to forms readily perceived by neurons and discuss opportunities for multiplexed and bidirectional control as well as the challenges posed by delivery to the brain. The variety of magnetic field conditions and mechanisms by which they can be coupled to neuronal signaling cascades highlights the desirability of continued interchange between magnetism physics and neurobiology.

Magnetic-Nanosensor-Based Virus and Pathogen Detection Strategies before and during COVID-19

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Abstract

This review covers the literature of magnetic nanosensors for virus and pathogen detection before COVID-19. We review popular magnetic nanosensing techniques including magnetoresistance, magnetic particle spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Magnetic point-of-care diagnostic kits are also reviewed aiming at developing plug-and-play diagnostics to manage the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak as well as preventing future epidemics. In addition, other platforms that use magnetic nanomaterials as auxiliary tools for enhanced pathogen and virus detection are also covered. The goal of this review is to inform the researchers of diagnostic and surveillance platforms for SARS-CoV-2 and their performances.

A critical presentation from University of Illinois, 2019

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Molecule that promotes muscle health when magnetised

by National University of Singapore

Molecule that promotes muscle health when magnetised
Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón and his team from the NUS Institute for Health Innovation and Technology examined how low amplitude magnetic fields may be used to enhance muscle metabolism. The images on the screen show the cells of two types of muscles—the blue fibres (left) are rapidly fatiguing muscles, the green fibres (right) are slowly fatiguing muscle, and the red fibres are considered transitional fibres. Credit: National University of Singapore

As people age, they progressively lose muscle mass and strength, and this can lead to frailty and other age-related diseases. As the causes for the decline remain largely unknown, promoting muscle health is an area of great research interest. A recent study led by the researchers from NUS has shown how a molecule found in muscles responds to weak magnetic fields to promote muscle health.

Led by Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón from the NUS Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech), the team found that a protein known as TRPC1 responds to weak oscillating magnetic fields. Such a response is normally activated when the body exercises. This responsiveness to magnets could be used to stimulate muscle recovery, which could improve the life quality for patients with impaired mobility, in an increasingly aging society.

“The use of pulsed magnetic fields to simulate some of the effects of exercise will greatly benefit patients with muscle injury, stroke, and frailty as a result of advanced age,” said lead researcher Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón, who is also from the NUS Department of Surgery.

The NUS research team collaborated with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) on this study, and their results were first published online in Advanced Biosystems on 2 September 2020. The work was also featured on the cover of the journal’s print edition on 27 November 2020.

Magnets and muscle health

The magnetic fields that the research team used to stimulate the muscle health were only 10 to 15 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, yet still much weaker than a common bar magnet, raising the intriguing possibility that weak magnetism is a stimulus that muscles naturally interact with.

To test this theory, the research team first used a special experimental setup to cancel the effect of all surrounding magnetic fields. The researchers found that the muscle cells indeed grew more slowly when shielded from all environmental magnetic fields. These observations strongly supported the notion that the Earth’s magnetic field naturally interacts with muscles to elicit biological responses.

To show the involvement of TRPC1 as an antenna for natural magnetism to promote muscle health, the researchers genetically engineered mutant muscle cells that were unresponsive to any magnetic field by deleting TRPC1 from their genomes. The researchers were then able to reinstate magnetic sensitivity by selectively delivering TRPC1 to these mutant muscle cells in small vesicles that fused with the mutant cells.

In their previous studies, the researchers have shown that responses to such magnetic fields were strongly correlated to the presence of TRPC1, and it included the rejuvenation of cartilage by indirectly regulating the gut microbiome, fat burning and insulin-sensitivity via positive actions on muscle. The present study provided conclusive evidence that TRPC1 serves as a ubiquitous biological antenna to surrounding magnetic fields to modulate human physiology, particularly when targeted for muscle health.

Metabolic changes similar to those achieved with exercise have been observed in previous clinical trials and studies led by Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón. Encouraging benefits of using the magnetic fields to stimulate muscle cells have been found, with as little as 10 minutes of exposure per week. This tantalizing possibility, to improve muscle health without exercising, could facilitate recovering and rehabilitation of patients with muscle dysfunction.

Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón shared, “About 40 percent of an average person’s body is muscle. Our results demonstrate a metabolic interaction between muscle and magnetism which hopefully can be exploited to improve human health and longevity.”

This study represents a milestone in the understanding of how a key protein may developmentally react to magnetic fields.

Metabolic health such as weight, blood sugar levels, insulin, and cholesterol are strongly influenced by muscle health. As exercise is a strong modulator of metabolic diseases through the working of the muscles, and magnetic fields exert similar benefits of exercise, such magnetism may help patients who are unable to undertake exercise because of injury, disease, or frailty. As such, the NUS iHealthtech research team is now working to extend their study to reduce drug dependence for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes.

“We hope that our research can help alleviate side effects by reducing the use of drugs for disease treatment, and to improve the quality of life of the patients,” said Assoc Prof Franco-Obregón.

JANUARY 2021

A Single Immunization with Spike-Functionalized Ferritin Vaccines Elicits Neutralizing Antibody Responses against SARS-CoV-2 in Mice

Cite this: ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 1, 183–199Publication Date: January 5, 2021 https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.0c01405
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

“The development of a safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is a public health priority. We designed subunit vaccine candidates using self-assembling ferritin nanoparticles displaying one of two multimerized SARS-CoV-2 spikes: full-length ectodomain (S-Fer) or a C-terminal 70 amino-acid deletion (SΔC-Fer). Ferritin is an attractive nanoparticle platform for production of vaccines, and ferritin-based vaccines have been investigated in humans in two separate clinical trials. We confirmed proper folding and antigenicity of spike on the surface of ferritin by cryo-EM and binding to conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies. After a single immunization of mice with either of the two spike ferritin particles, a lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus assay revealed mean neutralizing antibody titers at least 2-fold greater than those in convalescent plasma from COVID-19 patients. Additionally, a single dose of SΔC-Fer elicited significantly higher neutralizing responses as compared to immunization with the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) monomer or spike ectodomain trimer alone. After a second dose, mice immunized with SΔC-Fer exhibited higher neutralizing titers than all other groups. Taken together, these results demonstrate that multivalent presentation of SARS-CoV-2 spike on ferritin can notably enhance elicitation of neutralizing antibodies, thus constituting a viable strategy for single-dose vaccination against COVID-19.”

THE STUDY IS FINANCED BY MARK AND PRISCILLA ZUCKERBERG THROUGH BIOHUB!

  • Corresponding Author
  • Authors
    • Abigail E. Powell – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6408-9495
    • Kaiming Zhang – Department of Bioengineering & James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0414-4776
    • Mrinmoy Sanyal – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Shaogeng Tang – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Payton A. Weidenbacher – Department of Biochemistry & Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Shanshan Li – Department of Bioengineering & James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
    • Tho D. Pham – Department of Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  Stanford Blood Center, Palo Alto, California 94304, United States
    • John E. Pak – Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco, California 94158, United States
    • Wah Chiu – Department of Bioengineering & James H. Clark Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States;  Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco, California 94158, United States;  Division of CryoEM and Bioimaging, SSRL, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, California 94025, United States;  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8910-3078
  • Notes
  • The authors declare the following competing financial interest(s): A.E.P., P.A.W., and P.S.K. are named as inventors on a provisional patent application applied for by Stanford University and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub on immunogenic coronavirus fusion proteins and related methods.

https://www.czbiohub.org/about/

Ah, wait, Bill Gates is involved too!

Source

Jul 30, 2020 · 4 min read

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, & the State of California Partner to Track COVID-19 Spread Statewide

California COVID Tracker is the First Statewide SARS-CoV-2 Tracking Program of Its Kind in the United States — Will Help Local Health Officials Better Map the VirusTags: COVID-19CZ BiohubScience

 Whole genome sequencing allows scientists to track mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which typically happens every 2-3 transmissions. These mutations are key to helping public health officials trace transmission sources.

Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub), in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), announced that it will provide free whole genome sequencing and analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to all California Departments of Public Health (DPH) and California local health jurisdictions through a newly-launched effort called the California COVID Tracker. By rapidly tracing how and where the virus is changing and spreading across the state, the California COVID Tracker aims to provide actionable viral genomic data to local public health jurisdictions and help ensure transmission remains low while we await a vaccine.

Under this new partnership, any California DPH may ship positive COVID-19 samples to the CZ Biohub, which will provide sequencing, analysis, and interpretation support, with an emphasis on making data actionable for public health surveillance and response. By tracing the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations, genomic epidemiology can offer insights such as estimating the number of undetected cases in a community, identifying clusters of linked transmission events, and detecting new introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into a given area or community.

Connected in this way to local public health labs and county public health departments, this type of actionable genomic epidemiology program is not currently available anywhere else in the United States. The CZ Biohub will also offer training in bioinformatics and data interpretation to public health partners throughout the state, including those interested in building or augmenting sequencing and analytic capacity within their own departments. The groups will also work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s newly-launched SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium.

“Public health officials need accurate, timely information about how COVID-19 is spreading to make decisions that will help protect people,” said CZI co-founders and co-CEOs Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. “Using genome sequencing, researchers can create viral family trees to track how the virus is spreading to help inform policy decisions. We hope that broader sequencing coverage across California will empower local health jurisdictions to better understand transmission dynamics and the corresponding action needed in their communities.”

As part of this effort, the CZ Biohub will deposit SARS-CoV-2 sequences into public repositories for COVID-19 genomics, including GISAID and NCBI. CZ Biohub and CZI will provide tools and analysis support to help California DPHs overlay epidemiological and demographic information onto this genomic data to better understand local SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

“Through the California COVID Tracker, researchers, epidemiologists, software engineers, and data scientists from CZI and CZ Biohub are working to provide critical SARS-CoV-2 genomic data to California public health officials and the broader scientific community so they can make smart decisions about public health actions like contact tracing and intervention strategies,” said Joe DeRisi, PhD, Co-President of the CZ Biohub, who contributed to the identification of the SARS coronavirus in 2003. “These data become increasingly more powerful with broader participation. We invite interested public health officials and universities to partner with us in the fight against this unprecedented pandemic — these efforts will go a long way to protect our state from future spikes as we continue to fight this pandemic.”

The California COVID Tracker expands upon the ongoing partnership between CZI, the CZ Biohub, and UCSF, which has provided free COVID-19 testing to all 58 California Departments of Public Health. For more information on how to become involved in the California COVID Tracker, please visit covidtracker.czbiohub.org or email covidtracker@czbiohub.org.

###

About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.

About the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub 

The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is a nonprofit research organization setting the standard for collaborative science, where leaders in science and technology come together to drive discovery and support the bold vision to cure, prevent or manage disease in our children’s lifetime. The CZ Biohub seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying disease and to develop new technologies that will lead to actionable diagnostics and effective therapies. The CZ Biohub is a regional research endeavor with international reach, where the Bay Area’s leading institutions — the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco — join forces with the CZ Biohub’s innovative internal team to catalyze impact, benefitting people and partnerships around the world. To learn more, visit CZBiohub.org.

LATEST RESEARCH UPDATES:

DECEMBER 2020

Magnetically controlled, hydrogel-based smart transformers

by Thamarasee Jeewandara , Phys.org

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
a) Images showing the shape transformation of a Transformer. b) The shape transformation process of a soft hydrogel Transformer under the coupling of magnetic field and NIR. c)The SEM images of HG‐Fe3O4 hydrogel. d) The schematic illustration of the transition of gelatin between coil and triple‐helix structure. e) The soft Transformer can cross the narrow notches after shape morphing. f) The soft Transformer first deforms into a folded shape, then passes through the narrow passages of the special maze, and finally recovers to the original shape in a wide area. Credit: Advanced Intelligent Systems, doi: 10.1002/aisy.202000208

While the film “Transformers” introduced intelligent robots that morphed between shapes with multiple functionalities, researchers are developing intelligent soft transformers to significantly accelerate research applications in the lab. In a recent report now published in Advanced Intelligent Systems, Dachuan Zhang and a research team in materials science and chemical sciences in China, proposed a remotely controlled soft transformer based on a shape memory hydrogel system. The team obtained the hydrogel by embedding magnetite (Fe3O4) magnetic nanoparticles into a double network polymer structure of poly (N-(2-hydroxyethyl) acrylamide) containing gelatin.

The reversible coil-triple-helix transformation of the gelatin constituent imbued the hydrogel with shape memory and self-healing properties, while the magnetite nanoparticles gave photothermal heating and magnetic manipulation functions to deform the hydrogel for navigation in a magnetic field. The team could then restore the deformed shape via shape recovery using light irradiation. Zhang et al. remotely controlled the shape-memory processes through magnetically driven actuation and light-assisted shape memory. As proof of concept, they created a series of robots, including a hydrogel athlete that could do sit-ups, hydrogel transformers, a lotus in full bloom, and a hydrogel spacecraft that can be docked in air. The work will inspire the design and fabrication of new smart polymer systems with synchronized multiple functionalities.

Shape memory hydrogels

While the fictional transformers allowed hard robots to morph into any form including vehicles, soft transformers are of greater interest in fundamental research and applications in life sciences. In this work, Zhang et al. described a photothermally and magnetically controlled shape memory hydrogel. They combined a chemically crosslinked polymer and a reversibly crosslinked gelatin network embedded with magnetite nanoparticles to create a photothermal and flexible, self-healing construct that could be magnetically manipulated. Shape memory hydrogels (SMHs) have received increased attention as intelligent polymeric materials and researchers aim to remotely control such materials to establish diverse actuating behaviors.

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
The blooming process of a hydrogel Lotus. Credit: Advanced Intelligent Systems, doi: 10.1002/aisy.202000208

For example, shape-memory polymers can fix temporary shapes and recover their architecture under external stimuli, with increasing interest across biomedical, textile, flexible electronics and data encryption disciplines. Magnetic nanoparticles are effective additives to introduce remotely controlled non-contact actuation. When hydrogels are illuminated with near-infrared (NIR) light, these magnetic nanoparticles will continuously convert light into heat, causing the hydrogel to be heated. This will cause reversible deformation of the hydrogel for applications as freely moving soft robots. This strategy will help promote the development of new shape memory hydrogel systems for applications as untethered robots.

Properties of shape memory hydrogels

Since shape memory hydrogels can stably and temporarily memorize their shape and recover the original shape perfectly under specific stimuli, the team conducted bending tests with the material, which they abbreviated as HG for its constituent polymers. They then immersed a sample in hot water (60 degrees Celsius) for 30 seconds to induce disaggregation to soften the hydrogel, removed it from the medium and recovered the shapes after re-immersing hydrogels in hot water (60 degrees Celsius). Zhang et al. conducted a series of controlled experiments to verify the factors affecting the shape memory performance of the hydrogel. As proof of concept, the team designed and developed a hydrogel flower to perfectly mimic the bloom of a lotus.

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
The connection of a hydrogel spacecraft and a hydrogel space station in air. Credit: Advanced Intelligent Systems, doi: 10.1002/aisy.202000208

When the researchers introduced magnetite nanoparticles to form the HG-Fe3Ohydrogel, the constituents could absorb and convert light to heat with light irradiation, causing the temperature of the hydrogel to increase. During light-to-heat conversion, the material achieved photo-activated self-healing. To demonstrate this phenomenon, the team created a HG-Fe3Ohydrogel space station under a magnetic field and applied NIR to irradiate the connectors and dock the spacecraft-like construct with a space station-like connector to realize self-healing and reconnection in air.

Recovering shapes through photothermal effects and remotely controlling shape memory processes

The team could only achieve shape recovery for the HG-hydrogel by regulating the temperature to a specific value, in the absence of magnetite nanoparticles. The addition of magnetite conferred magnetic properties to the HG-Fe3Ohydrogel to allow remotely controlled shape memory recovery cycles. As proof of concept, the team developed a shape-transition robot in the form of a hydrogel athlete to deform from 2-D to 3-D. In the absence of NIR and the presence of a magnet, the hydrogel athlete could ‘push up’ quickly, then recover its shape to the flat conformation on removal of the magnet. In the second setup, they turned-on NIR and lifted the hydrogel athlete with a magnet, then kept the magnet on for two minutes while switching off the NIR to allow the athlete to cool down. The team froze this gesture for a timeframe after which they allowed the robot to return to its original position by turning-on the NIR again. This technique can be used to develop soft grippers that are advantageous for applications as surgical robots in translational research.

Magnetically-controlled Hydrogel-based Smart Transformers
A hydrogel athlete doing sit-ups with the assistance of magnetic field and NIR. Cr

Abstract

Abstract Image

Remote control of cells and single molecules by magnetic nanoparticles in nonheating external magnetic fields is a perspective approach for many applications such as cancer treatment and enzyme activity regulation. However, the possibility and mechanisms of direct effects of small individual magnetic nanoparticles on such processes in magneto-mechanical experiments still remain unclear. In this work, we have shown remote-controlled mechanical dissociation of short DNA duplexes (18–60 bp) under the influence of nonheating low-frequency alternating magnetic fields using individual 11 nm magnetic nanoparticles.

The developed technique allows (1) simultaneous manipulation of millions of individual DNA molecules and (2) evaluation of energies of intermolecular interactions in short DNA duplexes or in other molecules.

Finally, we have shown that DNA duplexes dissociation is mediated by mechanical stress and produced by the movement of magnetic nanoparticles in magnetic fields, but not by local overheating.

The presented technique opens a new avenue for high-precision manipulation of DNA and generation of biosensors for quantification of energies of intermolecular interaction.

MAY 18, 2021

New Material Could Create ‘Neurons’ and ‘Synapses’ for Computers

via University of Groningen

Classic computers use binary values (0/1) to perform. By contrast, our brain cells can use more values to operate, making them more energy-efficient than computers. This is why scientists are interested in neuromorphic (brain-like) computing. Physicists from the University of Groningen have used a complex oxide to create elements comparable to the neurons and synapses in the brain using spins, a magnetic property of electrons. Their results were published on 18 May in the journal Frontiers in Nanotechnology.

Thin films

The operation of our brains can be simulated in computers, but the basic architecture still relies on a binary system. That is why scientist look for ways to expand this, creating hardware that is more brain-like, but will also interface with normal computers. ‘One idea is to create magnetic bits that can have intermediate states’, says Tamalika Banerjee, Professor of Spintronics of Functional Materials at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen. She works on spintronics, which uses a magnetic property of electrons called ‘spin’ to transport, manipulate and store information.

In this study, her PhD student Anouk Goossens, first author of the paper, created thin films of a ferromagnetic metal (strontium-ruthenate oxide, SRO) grown on a substrate of strontium titanate oxide. The resulting thin film contained magnetic domains that were perpendicular to the plane of the film. ‘These can be switched more efficiently than in-plane magnetic domains’, explains Goossens. By adapting the growth conditions, it is possible to control the crystal orientation in the SRO. Previously, out-of-plane magnetic domains have been made using other techniques, but these typically require complex layer structures.

Magnetic anisotropySchematic of the proposed device structure for neuromorphic spintronic memristors. The write path is between the terminals through the top layer (black dotted line), the read path goes through the device stack (red dotted line). The right side of the figure indicates how the choice of substrate dictates whether the device will show deterministic or probabilistic behavior. | Illustration Banerjee group

Schematic of the proposed device structure for neuromorphic spintronic memristors. The write path is between the terminals through the top layer (black dotted line), the read path goes through the device stack (red dotted line). The right side of the figure indicates how the choice of substrate dictates whether the device will show deterministic or probabilistic behavior. | Illustration Banerjee group

The magnetic domains can be switched using a current through a platinum electrode on top of the SRO. Goossens: ‘When the magnetic domains are oriented perfectly perpendicular to the film, this switching is deterministic: the entire domain will switch.’ However, when the magnetic domains are slightly tilted, the response is probabilistic: not all the domains are the same, and intermediate values occur when only part of the crystals in the domain have switched.

By choosing variants of the substrate on which the SRO is grown, the scientists can control its magnetic anisotropy. This allows them to produce two different spintronic devices. ‘This magnetic anisotropy is exactly what we wanted’, says Goossens. ‘Probabilistic switching compares to how neurons function, while the deterministic switching is more like a synapse.’

The scientists expect that in the future, brain-like computer hardware can be created by combining these different domains in a spintronic device that can be connected to standard silicon-based circuits. Furthermore, probabilistic switching would also allow for stochastic computing, a promising technology which represents continuous values by streams of random bits. Banerjee: ‘We have found a way to control intermediate states, not just for memory but also for computing.’

Reference:

A.S. Goossens, M.A.T. Leiviskä and T. Banerjee: Anisotropy and Current Control of Magnetization in SrRuO3/SrTiO3 Heterostructures for Spin-Memristors. Frontiers in Nanotechnology 18 May 2021

University of Groningen

Above: Video abstract of an original research “Magnetically controlled protein nanocontainers as a drug depot for the hemostatic agent” published in the open access journal Nanotechnology, Science and Applications by Prilepskii, Schekina and Vinogradov.


Purpose: Currently, there is a number of successfully implemented local hemostatic agents for external bleedings in forms of wound dressings and other topical materials. However, little has been done in the field of intravenous hemostatic agents. Here, we propose a new procedure to fabricate biocompatible protein nanocontainers (NCs) for intravenous injection allowing magneto-controllable delivery and short-term release of the hemostatic agent ϵ-aminocaproic acid (EACA). Methods: The nanocontainers were synthesized by the desolvation method from bovine serum albumin (BSA) using methanol without any further crosslinking. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used both as a stabilization agent and for size control. Characterization of nanocontainers was performed by the transmission and scanning electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, X-ray diffraction, and FTIR spectroscopy. Cytotoxicity was estimated using MTT assay. The dopant release from nanocontainers was measured spectrophotometrically using rhodamine B as a model molecule. The specific hemostatic activity was assessed by analyzing clot lysis and formation curve (CloFAL). Moreover, the ability for magneto targeting was estimated using the original flow setup made of a syringe pump and silicon contours.
Results: Fabricated nanocontainers had an average size of 186±24 nm and were constructed from building blocks–nanoparticles with average size ranged from 10 to 20 nm. PEG shell was also observed around nanocontainers with thickness 5–10 nm. NCs were proved to be completely non-cytotoxic even at concentrations up to 8 mg BSA/mL. Uptake capacity was near 36% while release within the first day was 17%. The analysis of the CloFAL curve showed the ability of NCs to inhibit the clot lysis successfully, and the ability of magneto targeting was confirmed under flow conditions.
Conclusion: The ability of synthesized NCs to deliver and release the therapeutic drug, as well as to accumulate at the desired site under the action of the magnetic field was proved experimentally.
Read the full paper HERE

Magnetofection as a novel in vivo approach for gene delivery – Singh et al 2017

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.00233.2017

The problem with magnetofection is that it keeps killing lab animals and it’s not recommended or forbidden on humans. Or it used to be, for almost 10 years before Covidiocracy.

sheeple waking up, see the ratio and the comments!

OTHER RESOURCES:

https://www.embopress.org/doi/pdf/10.15252/embj.201797177

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/150121-magnetogenetics-a-new-technique-to-control-the-inner-workings-of-human-cells-and-build-neural-circuits

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31552740/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28960485/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20553812/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068712/

I will add more resources and refine this in the near future, but I think the case is made and it’s more than solid.

PS: Connect the dots with the earlier post on 5G as a wireless power grid

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
We hardly made it before, but this summer something’s going on, our audience stats show bizarre patterns, we’re severely under estimates and the last savings are gone. We’re not your responsibility, but if you find enough benefits in this work…
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Sometimes my memes are 3D. And you can own them. Or send them to someone.
You can even eat some of them.
CLICK HERE

Our nano-grand-jury has settled: best scamdemic videos of 2021 so far, and for a while, are:

YOUTUBE BANNED OUR VIDEO IN LIKE 30 MIN, BUT WE ALREADY HAVE IT ON ODYSEE / BITCHUTE / BRIGHTEON

Seems like Youtube hurried to prove our point lmao

UPDATE: WE’RE FIRING BACK AT YOUTUBE CENSORSHIP WITH THEIR WEAPONS, OUR STRATEGY AND BACK-UP CHANNEL. FOR THIS TO WORK, WE VERY MUCH NEED TO SEE SOME LOVE FOR THIS ARTICLE AND THE VIDEO BELOW, WHICH HAS TO BECOME POPULAR ON YOUTUBE, NOT ELSEWHERE, WE NEED TO SCORE ON THEIR FIELD IF WE ARE TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP! THANK YOU!

THE PART 2 OF OUR EULOGY SURVIVED THE YOUTUBE SCIENCE SLAUGHTER

Amen

Our work and existence, as media and people, is funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way.
We hardly made it before, but this summer something’s going on, our audience stats show bizarre patterns, we’re severely under estimates and the last savings are gone. We’re not your responsibility, but if you find enough benefits in this work…
Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

Anyone who has any remnants of humanity inside has asked this question.
One answer is no secret to anyone: poor countries. But that’s not always the case, and this is where it gets darker.

The ethics of deliberately infecting volunteers with Covid-19 to test vaccines are a complicated issue only if you value something more than human life, which is actually common, but not the case here. So I’m not making a secret that everything I know and feel made me conclude long ago that most medical tests that occurred on humans were abominations permitted only by a massive lack of empathy / humanity and usually driven by financial incentives. Everything that followed after that was but a confirmation. Point being: I’m long over that debate, there is absolutely no essential difference between the Bayer labs in Auschwitz and the Pfizer Labs in London (or wherever).
And I know a large slice of society, if not the majority, still has major moral, rational and ethical concerns about this, luckily, and it can’t be that easy to find these kids without leveraging finances on poorest people, and even then…
Proof to that, Moderna has just publicly admitted it has big difficulties in finding 3000 kids, and I hope they never sort it out. So much so that They appealed to all their presstitutes to make a roll call for them.
Funnily, only days after Moderna’s appeal, CBS lies that they were having “more than enough volunteers, so basically these two messages are now still being propagated simultaneously:
“Last fall, the Clinical Research Institute sent out letters to pediatricians’ offices and posted on Facebook looking for volunteers in the 12-year-old to 17-year-old age group. Though the study will run for 13 months, the researchers have more than enough volunteers for this trial.” – CBS


Since you can’t expect anyone involved to be honest and open about it, based on their past and present performance, and they’re not, where to find the answer? There’s about 50 vaccines being trialed right now, some are moving into babies as young as 6 months old, this IS urgent!
If you need another reminder why, go to Forbes and read “The Hideous Truths of Testing Vaccines on Humans”, or watch the videos below.

To get back to the headline question, remember wherever demand forms, a market forms and an industry develops.

A 2017 report in Gizmodo, entitled “How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Sends you Letters about your Medical Condition,” quotes a company called Acurian saying it purchases “public information” and “lifestyle data” to find candidates.

It does not access your doctor’s medical file. Here are some excerpts:

In the summer of 2015, Alexandra Franco got a letter in the mail from a company she had never heard of called AcurianHealth. The letter, addressed to Franco personally, invited her to participate in a study of people with psoriasis, a condition that causes dry, itchy patches on the skin.

Franco did not have psoriasis. But the year before, she remembered, she had searched for information about it online, when a friend was dealing with the condition. And a few months prior to getting the letter, she had also turned to the internet with a question about a skin fungus. It was the sort of browsing anyone might do, on the assumption it was private and anonymous.

Now there was a letter, with her name and home address on it, targeting her as a potential skin-disease patient. Acurian is in the business of recruiting people to take part in clinical trials for drug companies. How had it identified her? She had done nothing that would publicly associate her with having a skin condition.

When she Googled the company, she found lots of people who shared her bewilderment, complaining that they had been contacted by Acurian about their various medical conditions. Particularly troubling was a parent who said her young son had received a letter from Acurian accurately identifying his medical condition and soliciting him for a drug trial—the first piece of mail he’d had addressed to him besides birthday cards from family members.

Acurian has attributed its uncanny insights to powerful guesswork, based on sophisticated analysis of public information and “lifestyle data” purchased from data brokers. What may appear intrusive, by the company’s account, is merely testimony to the power of patterns revealed by big data.

“We are now at a point where, based on your credit-card history, and whether you drive an American automobile and several other lifestyle factors, we can get a very, very close bead on whether or not you have the disease state we’re looking at,” Acurian’s senior vice president of operations told the Wall Street Journal in 2013.

Yet there’s some medical information that Acurian doesn’t have to guess about: The company pays Walgreens, which uses a privacy exemption for research, to send recruitment letters to its pharmacy customers on Acurian’s behalf, based on the medications they’re using. Under this arrangement, Acurian notes that it doesn’t access the medical information directly; the customers’ identities remain private until they respond to the invitations.

And that is not the entire story. An investigation by the Special Projects Desk has found that Acurian may also be pursuing people’s medical information more directly, using the services of a startup that advertises its ability to unmask anonymous website visitors. This could allow it harvest the identities of people seeking information about particular conditions online, before they’ve consented to anything.

A letter sent out to a Walgreens customer in Connecticut on Acurian’s behalf. It invited her to visit a generic sounding website for people with pulmonary disease. At the time, she had a prescription from Walgreens for asthma.
A letter sent out to a Walgreens customer in Connecticut on Acurian’s behalf. It invited her to visit a generic sounding website for people with pulmonary disease. At the time, she had a prescription from Walgreens for asthma.

If you’re suddenly thinking back on all of the things you’ve browsed for online in your life and feeling horrified, you’re not alone.

AcurianHealth has created dozens and dozens of generic sounding websites for the trials they’re recruiting for: www.trialforCOPD.com, www.studiesforyourarthritis.com, and www.kidsdepressionstudy.com are a few examples of the many websites they own. The sites all feature stock images of people in distress, sometimes include AcurianHealth’s logo, and include promises of up to $1,000 for participating, depending on the study.

An example of one of the Acurian sites, www.sleepapneastudies.com
An example of one of the Acurian sites, http://www.sleepapneastudies.com

Out of view, some of these sites include something else: code from a company called NaviStone—which bills itself as a specialist in matching “anonymous website visitors to postal names and addresses.” So if a person is curious about one of those letters from Walgreens, or follows one of Acurian’s online ads, and visits one of Acurian’s generic disease-specific sites, their identity could be discovered and associated with the relevant condition.

NaviStone says it can send personalized mail to anonymous website visitors with a day or two of their visit.
NaviStone says it can send personalized mail to anonymous website visitors with a day or two of their visit.

This tracking function undermines what’s supposedly a formal separation between Walgreens customer data and Acurian’s recruitment. If Walgreens sends out a bunch of letters to customers taking certain medications, and those customers then visit the generic website controlled by Acurian provided in the letter, Acurian can infer its wave of new visitors are taking those medications—and, if NaviStone delivers on its promise to identify visitors, Acurian can see who they are.

Walgreens gives itself permission to use customers’ health information for “research” purposes, which would include clinical trials, in its privacy policy. It’s been working with Acurian since at least 2013, and in 2015, Walgreens announced it was “leveraging” its 100 million customer database to recruit patients directly for five major drug companies.

When asked about its partnership with Acurian, Walgreens spokesperson Scott Goldberg pointed me to a Walgreens FAQ page about clinical trials. It states that Walgreens doesn’t share health information with third parties without permission, but that a third party may “receive your information if you contact the web-site and/or toll-free number in the letter to seek more information about the clinical trial.”

The question is whether users will know that one of Acurian’s websites has received their information—even if they haven’t necessarily agreed to submit it. NaviStone, an Ohio-based business spun out from the marketing firm CohereOne last year, claims to be able to identify between 60 and 70 percent of anonymous visitors to the websites that use its services.

When we contacted the firm last month to ask how it does this, Allen Abbott, NaviStone’s chief operating officer, said by phone that talking about how its technology works is “problematic.”

“A lot of our competitors would love to know how we made it work,” Abbott said. “We have an advantage that we would be silly to reveal.”

We asked whether the company had thought about the privacy implications involved in identifying people visiting a website for sensitive reasons, and whether there were certain customers the company wouldn’t work with.

“Our business is almost entirely e-commerce, helping retailers sell to their customers,” he said. “There was one site that came into our radar that was adult-related material that we decided not to pursue.”

We then described what Acurian does.

“We don’t work with anyone like that,” he said.

We explained that the call was because we’d found NaviStone’s code on AcurianHealth sites.

“It’s possible,” he then said. “We have a lot of customers.”

But Abbott insisted that NaviStone had found a “privacy compliant way” to identify anonymous website visitors—again saying he couldn’t describe it because it was a proprietary technology.

When we analyzed the NaviStone code on Acurian’s sites, we found one way that NaviStone’s technology works: It collects information as soon as it is entered into the text boxes on forms, before the person actually agrees to submit it. When we typed a test email address in the “Join Us” page on Acurian’s site, it was immediately captured and sent to the company’s servers, even if we later chose to close the page without hitting the “Send” button on the form.

In fact, the information was collected before we got to the part of the form that said, “Your privacy is important to us. By selecting this box, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, and agree that we contact you by phone using automated technology or other means using the information you provided above regarding research studies.” – Gizmodo

But that was long ago in terms of technological progress.

However, the methods persist in 2021, an US local tv station reveals that exactly the same scenario occurred in Cincinnati, with the same company at the center of the scandal. Here’s what they’ve just published:

<<Nancy Brashear opened her mail at her Campbell County, Kentucky, home to find an offer to earn money if she joined a COVID-19 vaccine test.

“I got a letter from Acurian Health looking for volunteers for a COVID vaccine study, promising up to $1,200 if you participate or volunteer,” she said.

It looked promising, but Brashear said she started to wonder how they knew she would be a good candidate for a vaccine trial. Did someone with a hospital, doctor’s office or pharmacy sell her health information?

“How do they get my information?” Brashear said. “That really bothers me.”

We called and emailed Acurian Health to find out how they got her name, but did not hear back.

Company is a data firm, not a testing center

Acurian is a legitimate company, according to the Better Business Bureau, and states it is a data firm that connects people with medical trials.

It does not do the actual testing.

“Where did they get this information?” Brashear asked. “HIPPA laws make your history private.”

The Protect Patients Blog has an in-depth article of how Acurian learns if you are a good candidate for a medical trial.

But Brashear found that if you decide to apply, you will then have to give much more medical information to see if you actually qualify. There is no guarantee you will be accepted for a trial, and no guarantee you will earn anything close to $1,200.

“If you go on the website, you have to go through steps to do that, so they are looking for information,” she said.

In the end, she said thanks, but no thanks, wondering if she would be sharing too much medical and personal information with a company she knew little about.

If you want to sign up for a COVID-19 trial, the NIH, National Institutes of Health, is a government site that lists all the authorized vaccine trials going on.

Many of them will pay money, typically a few hundred dollars. However, they may not cover treatment for any side effects.

So be sure to read all the fine print, so you don’t waste your money.>> – WCPO

Also let’s recall our October 2020 article: CONTACT-TRACING DATA HARVESTED FROM PUBS AND RESTAURANTS BEING SOLD ON

I don’t know about you, but what I’ve learned so far is:

  1. Pharmafia still does whatever it takes to get what it wants, even primitive hacking as described above.
  2. These methods are still too primitive for the biggest actors in Pharmafia who are well into artificial intelligence and cutting edge technologies

So what are these top cats doing then?
I’ve consulted some of my insider sources, put it together with my own digs and, as per usual with these creatures, the most obvious suspicions are also true.

If you’ve been around, you should be aware by now of three tendencies that are one, actually:


1. Big Tech and Big Pharma are merging

2. Healthcare and Big Data are merging

They’re not only after health data, don’t worry, all data helps a sale


3. The above are merging with media and the elected government

What are Google and Facebook selling, in fact?
Your data.
What for?
So you can be best manipulated by different interests, with custom-design ads and policies.

Oracle’s National Electronic Health Records Cloud dates back to the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, a couple of weeks after letting President Trump use his estate near Palm Springs for a $100,000-a-plate golfing fundraiser, Ellison placed a call to the White House. According to a Forbes cover story on Ellison, he “asked Trump if a clearinghouse existed for real-time data about treatment efficacies and outcomes.”

Within a week after the president asked “how much?” and Ellison said, “for free,” the tech titan had brought together a team of Oracle engineers “to build a database and website registering coronavirus cases” and work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies.

The first public acknowledgment of Oracle’s progress came on July 3, 2020, when the NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), overseen by Dr. Anthony Fauci, launched the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (COVPN), aimed at enrolling thousands of volunteers in large-scale trials for a variety of investigational vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.

Fauci achieved this by merging four existing networks, all researching HIV/AIDS, something they would continue to do. “The network is expected to operate more than 100 clinical trial sites across the United States and internationally,” according to the NIAID press release which also stated “the COVPN website features a customized data collection platform, which Oracle (Redwood Shores, CA) built and donated, to securely identify potential trial participants.”

In August, a paper published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security proposed that the “passive reporting” systems managed by the CDC and FDA ought to be revamped to forge “an active safety surveillance system directed by the CDC that monitors all [COVID-19] vaccine recipients — perhaps by short message service or other electronic mechanisms.”

By September, Operation Warp Speed director Moncef Slaoui was telling the periodical Science: “We’re working super hard on a very active pharmacovigilance system, to make sure that when the vaccines are introduced that we’ll absolutely continue to assess their safety.

In October, Slaoui told the New York Times: “The FDA is proposing that at least 50% of the individuals in the study population have at least two months of follow-up on safety before the vaccines are approved. And secondly, we are working really hard with the FDA and the CDC to make sure we have a very active pharmacovigilance surveillance system to allow us to continue to assess the safety of the vaccines as they are being used in the high risk population.”

And the Wall Street Journal reported in a profile of Slaoui that he’d said “tracking systems will have to be ‘incredibly precise’ to ensure that patients each get two doses of the same vaccine and to monitor them for adverse health effects. Operation Warp Speed has selected the medical-distribution company McKesson and cloud operators Google and Oracle to collect and track vaccine data.”

“This marked the first time that Oracle’s role was revealed to have expanded to include Operation Warp Speed.

Oracle Chairman Ellison’s lucrative government arrangements trace back to the data software pioneer’s origins. In 1975, then in his early thirties, Ellison worked on a project for the electronics company Ampex in the Bay area, building a large terabit memory system for the CIA.

Ellison revealed in 2014 that the CIA not only became his firm’s first customer for a “relational database” two years later, but that he adopted the name from a CIA project called Oracle. “The news about our hot little database traveled around the intelligence community pretty quickly,” Ellison was quoted as saying in the 2003 book, “Softwar.” “In a little over six months’ time we had won several deals — the CIA, Navy Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence and the NSA [National Security Agency].” – Technocracy News

From this industry’s perspective, you enrolling KFC’s Fidelity Club or a vaccine trial is the same technical challenge. One that they keep winning lately.

Remember when the sister of YouTube’s CEO and former wife of Google’s founder Sergey Brin, still a business partner, set up a DNA testing company and then sold the data for $300 million to pharma giant genocidal company GSK?

Source

Oh, it’s all about science and health, sure, but what science and whose health?
Because anyone who’s been in touch with reality lately knows a few more things:
– Pharmafia invests much more in the science of marketing than in medical sciences
– That data often comes from marketing experts such as Google and Facebook
– Marketing and propaganda sell and persuade much more efficiently than science when it comes to large masses of people. Or all of them. It’s way easier and cheaper to manipulate the low-IQ majority than to heal it. Especially with these tools Big Tech brought aboard.

What keeps them from finding and manipulating the feeble minds they need for these new atrocities they call “vaccines human trials” and, in fact, are neither vaccines or human, just deranged human abuse experimentation?
From what I’ve found out so far, the answer is: nothing.
Everything you type on your computer is collected and can be processed to obtain a method to target and determine people to subject their kids to this. It’s probably much easier to sell than some of their other products. This is already a massive industry that often breaks ethical and even legal barriers.

Source: The Guardian


What, you’ve never thought Cambridge Analytica can work for Pharmafia too?
Well then remember we’ve passed that, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft (recording my typing right now) and Alphabet (Google) are not distinguishable from Pharmafia at all. The concept that they wouldn’t take any and all advantage of their new powers and domination is comically delirious.
Moderna must be running out of money or love if Google won’t send them a mere 3000 kids, no joke.

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Imagine Jewish company Ben&Jerry went like: “People who don’t eat our ice-cream are anti-food and anti-semitic”. That’s exactly what Pharmafia does, amplified by their presstitutes and mass-mediots.
But facts don’t care about fake Semites impersonating a victim while caring out a worldwide genocide.

Btw. Times of Israel deleted its most popular post of 2012, last one in my collage, but not quite every trace of it.

Source

They replaced that truth with more truth, but we need all of it

Source

“AS A PROUD JEW, I WANT AMERICA TO KNOW ABOUT OUR ACCOMPLISHMENT. YES, WE CONTROL HOLLYWOOD”

Who are the Jews behind the coronavirus vaccines?

World’s 50 most influential Jews – The Jerusalem Post’s first annual list of those who are shaping the future.

Argentine TV host fired over ‘Jews control the media’ tweet

COVID-19 Vaccines Have Jewish Links

Microsoft and Google invest in medical research platform

PULITZER-WORTHY! KLAUS SCHWAB’S NAZI ROOTS FINALLY TRACED!

Want more? There’s tons out there.

SOURCE

BONUS: 2021: Companies who gassed Jews and those who jab them hold hands, throw money at BLM & Climate-19

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#StopStealingOxygen

Meet Tony “I have no evidence and I’ve just said the opposite, but I’m saying it anyway and media gonna amplify it” Fauci.
I have a Nobel Prize and a cohort of top experts to back me up when I say he’s a fraud, I have the receipts, I have Fauci himself, what does YouTube and the Silly Valley have, besides Stalinism and a massive oxyneurodeficience?

Is your IQ positive? 8min test: How many times did Fauci admit making shit up without any evidence?

UPDATE:

… AND THEN…

AND EVEN MORE SO…

I am proud of this one…
… and of this one

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The testimonies may be only implicit, but they can’t be any more solid and legit.

Let’s play in a paradigm where we and YTFT (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) recognize same figures as authoritative.

What would happen if I made a video claiming no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus, like this Twit above, which is still live on many platforms?
What if I’d be just genuinely naive (like they assume we all are) and I’d bump into this Twit without following up for updates and retractions? And then I’d spread that claim around?
I’d go straight to internet jail, maybe even offline jail. Unlike other people.

Don’t trust us, verify and consider the following facts:

  1. Each and every medical organization on the planet has retracted or adjusted medical information, since 2020 more than ever. Thus, they admitted the initial publications were actually wrong aka “misinformation”. It’s part and parcel of sciencing and that’s not the issue here, that’s the point: errors are scientist’s best teachers.
  2. YTFT has actively promoted this admitted misinformation, its terms and policies did nothing to stop it, proving they can’t arbiter jack shit.
  3. This misinformation has not been retracted from YouTube, persists there to this day. In fact, most of the science believed to be true today has been retracted
  4. Users who argued this misinformation have been deplatformed and their content has been erased, while the misinformation persists on all platforms.
  5. YTFT are not independent from, but massive investors in medical business.
  6. Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy that has been abhorred by most science icons ever and only denotes scientific illiteracy.

Therefore, YTFT’s claim that they are in position to arbiter what is medical information is not only a blatant con job and misinformation, as proven by everything they do, it’s utterly insane. Anyone supporting it is accomplice in all their crimes. They can’t do better than the authorities they subject to, which have admitted to failure.
Which makes YTFT a huge threat to the global public health and security, given their immense global reach.

What happened to HCQ supporters on YTFT?

Bonus: Where is risk, there has to be freedom of choice, where is risky speech there has to be freedom of choice for speech (free speech, in short).


And if you needed me to explain such super-basic logic, you’re not intellectually equipped for survival and most likely you don’t have anymore time to catch up because the mental lazies stole the horizon from everyone. You are the virus, in fact. We’re better off if you go get a vaccine!
If you did figure this out by yourself, in your own terms, we need you to put some daily effort into spreading the truth and making our objection more powerful, it’s the only antidote to lies. You know what you have to do, thank you!
Ah, and also this:

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Can’t wait for to label this video below as “Censored by Youtube” and cash in on the Streissand effect, which has already given massive headaches to the Silicon Sillies, and they still haven’t learned. But that’s besides the main point below.

ANALYSIS

  1. Censorship is a primitive moronic concept which you can’t materialize against 7+ billion people with man-power alone, you need artificial help, like AI’s
  2. Most BigTech dipshits have inherited their fortunes and merits, and are too stupid to understand AI’s aren’t really intelligent, it’s still just extreme computational power, a deep-fake of intelligence. Which is still stupid AF, despite some advantages, it’s Absent Intelligence. And the few who understand this also sell AI’s to morons like Klaus Schwab, to play their delusional megalomaniac real life Worlds of Warcraft on them. They’ve been duped same way they dupe others. Yeah, they’re great for stealing data and making models, but all AIs can be cancelled by a second of inspiration or brilliance from one living intelligence (this excludes those drones with bones that pass as people today, true).
  3. Censorship is a form of lying through forced omission. Lies are like cancer: they either devour the host and get fucked with it, or they get eliminated. So the cancer approach is primitive and dumb too. The catch is that technology actually makes it harder to hide or enforce a lie, despite the elite’s beliefs. Maintaining a technological advance can’t compensate because that illicit advance also depends on maintaining some lies, not the other way around.
    Whichever way you may look at it, censorship is self-cannibalistic and the age of censorship is not starting, it’s behind, only RTRD DPSHTS like Klaus and Biden are still clinging on it.
When I was on the fence, censorship persuaded me that 9/11 was a hoax

quick DEMONSTRATION that still works
(longer, better version soon, stay tuned)

Between Silview and Susan, she will regret her acts of censorship more, that’s already arranged

Some argue the soundtrack is the best part of this video, I say the info is even better if you pay real attention. Either way, word is out, please help the experiment by sharing this article or the video, thanks!


Also read: WHY CENSORSHIP DOESN’T PROTECT US FROM HATE, JUST BREEDS MORE

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It’s as simple as 1,2,3,4: You make them audit each other.

Do something like we did:

  1. Create an UNLISTED video on YouTube. Don’t share the link to anyone.
  2. Make a PRIVATE blog post with the video (and not much else to attract people) on another platform, one with detailed and credible traffic reports like WordPress preferably live traffic reports similar to YouTube’s. Set it private so that no one can find the link unless you give it to them. And DON’T share the link with anyone, except… see below
  3. Make a PUBLIC Facebook post with the PRIVATE blog link. Now the only access gate to the blog post and the video is Facebook. Boost the post immediately, even if only for 5-10 bucks, it’s enough to generate good comprehensive statistics from Facebook. Make sure there’s no other links or distractions included so the audience can’t go anywhere else or come from anyone else, that compromises the experiment
  4. Compare the Facebook reports with the ones from the blogging platform and the one from Youtube.
    If they are honest, the numbers vary only about 5-10%.
    If you have my luck, Facebook reports 2-300% more than the blog, while YouTube has capped your numbers and deletes views same way Dominion deleted Trump votes, so it has no relation whatsoever with the other two.
    That’s the case for the Fauci Fashion song below, which has not been allowed to cross 9k for over half a year, despite some intense promo efforts.
Click here to join THE PEOPLE FOR FAUCI FASHION now!

5. (Optional): Feel free to add more elements to the scheme, the only rule is to be able to accurately monitor the traffic, numbers as well and sources, destinations, gates etc. This model is in 3D, but any number can go if you extrapolate the method intelligently.

Bad idea again, Susie

IMPORTANT: As time passes, if people start sharing the links organically, they can create distortions and interferences in your controlled audience funnel, first 2-3 days are the most accurate, from there things can go either way. Nevertheless, that can’t explain my numbers either, but can explain smaller deviations from the general rule.

If you think a whole industry went away with Cambridge Analytica, I lol

This post is an upgrade of an earlier post focused on Facebook only. I promised I will do my best to come up with something similar for YoutTube, came up with something even better: This one is like an integrated 3D version of that experiment, and can be expanded, no theoretical limits to it.
But on the original post you can read more details evidence on the day-to-day Facebook ripoff and gaslighting of its audience, CLICK HERE TO READ.

Later update:
Funniest thing: people figuring out I’m right not from monitoring their own numbers, as I advised, but from watching Biden’s. Ok, whatever you can…

Source
This is AFTER they “Dominioned” the numbers. Unlisted link

Later-er update: They started to cover their tracks and burn more evidence, but too late, The Gateway Pundit got on the case too :))

Source
This one looks exactly like my screenshots for my Fauci Fashion video above, but in reverse, I’ve watched my views counter going backwards. And I wasn’t alone. Click here to read

Latest edit: I had to

State of the Union 2021. Source

Biden’s message is clear: “Learn more if you want to open. Comments closed”.
So I had to do this. Launching the #FuckYoutube hashtag. On Youtube, see the description of the video below. On Youtube.

Btw, same goes for Facebook. I can’t research Twitter now, but if I am to bet I don’t hesitate

The President of the US of A, Big Joe-Un, and his Big Tech lemmings, are a buncha retarded pathetic thieves and nothing can stop the awareness, especially not imbeciles like themselves
Read more, it’s juicy!

Get involved, share this as wide as you can, make and share your own experiments, let’s crash this monster and its stock market value by outing its schemes!

Imagine getting 115k likes and no heart 😀 What numbers do you see? Check it here

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