The morning read awaits:
1) A boost for HIV/AIDS research
A group of three collaborating labs will receive $70 million toward researching a cure to HIV/AIDS. The funding will be doled out over five years to teams at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the University of California, San Francisco working with the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida. The two universities are members of the Martin Delaney Collaboratory, a partnership between university and corporate labs to research a cure for HIV/AIDS.
The funding comes primarily from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), with some money coming from the National Institute of Mental Health. It is the largest, single grant made toward researching how to eliminate the virus from the body or to weaken it sufficiently to end the need for lifelong consumption of anti-HIV medication.
2) Helping the disabled communicate
A new mobile phone application, JayBee allows the disabled to communicate via text message. The application allows users to read through, compose and send messages using gestures, head motions and eye blinks. The actions retrieve recorded messages such as “I need help,” and plays them back over the phone’s speaker in a realistic human voice.
JayBee was the product of a partnership between mobile marketing firm Txtlocal and Time Is Limited (TIL) and is currently being tested.
3) Food access, Paul Quinn College and a teachable moment
Paul Quinn College, a faith-based, historically black college outside Dallas, is more than six miles from the nearest grocery store. The college and the surrounding Highland Hills community have lacked ready access to fresh produce as a result. There are numerous such “food deserts” throughout the industrialized world — including in the District — and college president Michael J. Sorrell has been fighting to get Paul Quinn off the list.
As Marybeth Gasman writes for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Sorrell has been rejected by all of the grocery story chains he has reached out to. Out of frustration, the school turned an unused football field into an organic farm in an attempt to provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables, even as the city of Dallas has embarked on a project to expand a nearby landfill.
4) Are you the next intelligence ace?
The U.S. intelligence community has a new project called ACES, or Aggregated Contingent Estimation System, and it’s an attempt to turn you and everyone you know into the next threat predictor. The project is funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and built by Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA)
The finished product — a Web site — is scheduled to go live Friday and will call on average individuals to provide information about potential threats. ACES will then lend greater weight to more accurate predictions over time. Think InTrade, but without any money changing hands.
5) Pew: Android beats iPhone among smartphone users
A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that a majority of smartphone users have Android phones, rather than iPhones. Blackberry places third. According to the study, which surveyed 2,277 adults age 18 or older, phones on the Android platform were more prevalent among African Americans and young adults, while iPhones and Blackberries were more popular among college graduates and the wealthy.
According to the study, 35 percent of American adults own a smartphone. The groups with the largest number of smartphone users are the wealthy, the well-educated, non-whites and individuals younger than 45.