Camera can see through human body

Scientists have developed a new camera that can see through the human body.

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The device is designed to help doctors track medical tools known as endoscopes, which are used to investigate a range of internal conditions.

Until now, it has not been possible to track where the kit is without using X-rays or other expensive methods.

The new camera can detect sources of light inside the body, such as the illuminated tip of the endoscope’s long flexible tube.

Professor Kev Dhaliwal, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “It has immense potential for diverse applications such as the one described in this work.

“The ability to see a device’s location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease.”

Early tests have shown the prototype device can track a point light source through 20 centimetres of tissue under normal conditions.

Beams from the endoscope can pass through the body but usually scatter or bounce off tissues and organs rather than travelling straight through.

It means it is extremely difficult to get a clear picture of where the tool is.

The new camera can detect individual particles, called photons, and is so sensitive it can catch tiny traces of light passing through tissue.

It can also record the time taken for light to pass through the body, meaning the device is able to work out exactly where the endoscope is.

Researchers have developed the new camera so it can be used at the patient’s bedside.

The project – led by the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University – is part of the Proteus Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, which is developing a range of new technologies for diagnosing and treating lung diseases.

Smart watch monitors your every move

Big Brother smart watches that remind you if you’ve forgotten routine tasks like brushing your teeth or doing the dishes could soon be a reality.

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Scientists are working on an artificially intelligent (AI) system that takes the idea of activity tracking to a whole new level.

The new watches will know when a routine task has been left undone and provide a “helpful” reminder.

They could serve as memory joggers for the elderly, promote healthy lifestyles, assist in health care, or aid rehabilitation after injury.

But they could also be used to analyse consumer behaviour or track the performance of factory workers, one of the researchers behind the invention admitted.

Dr Hristijan Gjoreski, from the University of Sussex, said: “The assembly worker usually performs some set of activities in order to assemble the product.

“This kind of device can monitor automatically what the worker is doing and remind him if he forgets to do some sort of activity.”

He added that his group was talking to companies that might be interested in commercially developing the gadget, which could be available in three to five years.

“If you have a sequence of activities you’re supposed to do, it could remind you of the next step,” said Dr Gjoreski.

“Current activity-recognition systems usually fail because they are limited to recognising a pre-defined set of activities, whereas of course human activities are not limited and change with time.”

The research will be discussed at the British Science Festival taking place this week in Brighton, and will also be presented later this month at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Hawaii.

IS agent tried to recruit undercover BBC reporter to attack London Bridge

An Islamic State agent tried to persuade an undercover reporter to carry out an attack on London Bridge, a year before eight were killed and dozens injured at the landmark, it has been claimed.

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A special report by BBC Inside Out London said one of its journalists was encouraged by the suspect to target London Bridge, suggesting he could do it alone or in a group.

The same agent also revealed explicit terrorist tutorials on the dark web, including step by step instructions on how to make a bomb, and a detailed description on how to create a fake suicide vest.

They also contained illustrations showing how to attack a victim with a knife to inflict maximum damage.

The BBC said the details bore striking similarities to the attack on London Bridge on June 3, in which all three attackers Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, were shot and killed by police at the scene.

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In a special report on Islamist-inspired extremism, researched over two years, the undercover journalist used Twitter to make contact with Birmingham-born jihadist and IS recruiter Junaid Hussain.

Speaking through an encrypted messaging site, 21-year-old Hussain said he could help train the undercover reporter on how to make bombs from home.

When Hussain, from Birmingham, was killed by a US army drone in the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2015, another recruiter made contact with Inside Out’s undercover reporter to continue the conversation. He detailed a plot to assassinate a police officer, including how to obtain firearms and bullets.

Inside Out London’s undercover reporter said: “In July 2016, we discovered that the terrorist organisation was touting on Twitter and Facebook for British Muslims to stage attacks at specific London locations.

“We began conversing with one of their recruiters, who then invited us to chat privately on a secret messaging site. The authorities were fully aware of our contact with the terrorist organisation.”

0:00 Barnaby Joyce lays wreath for London attack victims Share Barnaby Joyce lays wreath for London attack victims

Barnaby not budging on calls to stand down

Barnaby Joyce is running unfazed into another parliamentary week insisting he has the right to be deputy prime minister while the High Court decides his fate.

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Labor is expected to disrupt business in the lower house until the Nationals leader steps down from cabinet or the court makes its ruling.

But after a morning run around Parliament House on Monday, Mr Joyce argued the tactics aren’t helping the opposition’s standing with voters.

“(They) want us to get on with the main game,” he told reporters.

“They’re talking about power prices, they’re talking about jobs.”

Mr Joyce again asserted he would have stood down from his ministerial position if the government hadn’t received strong advice from the solicitor-general.

“You hold office until such time as death or you resign or the High Court finds otherwise,” he said.

“Now everyone says that. Nick Xenophon says that. I heard Pauline Hanson say that.”

Asked whether he would be acting prime minister when Malcolm Turnbull heads to the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa at the end of the week, Mr Joyce said: “That’s how the game works. The PM always has that right.”

Labor argues there’s no way the Nationals leader should be acting prime minister while his eligibility is in doubt.

The Greens also want Mr Joyce to stand down, tying the issue to the proposed Adani mine in Queensland.

“A minister who’s under a legal question mark should not be making decisions to give a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money to companies under a legal question to light a fuse on a climate time bomb,” MP Adam Bandt said.

But independent senator Nick Xenophon, who faces his own referral to the High Court, queried whether Mr Joyce was doing anything illegal.

“Until the High Court determines otherwise, he can still keep doing his job,” he told reporters.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott came to the defence of Mr Joyce, insisting his case was the same as Labor leader Bill Shorten’s, whose father was also born overseas.

“Show your (renunciation) letter or shut up about Barnaby Joyce,” Mr Abbott told reporters.

“Because if you haven’t got a letter, you are in exactly the same position that he is in and you should let him and you should let the Parliament get on with its job this week.”

Cabinet minister Fiona Nash and key crossbencher Nick Xenophon will be referred to the High Court over their dual citizenship when parliament resumes on Monday.

The pair joins five others, including Mr Joyce.

‘Valley of death’: Greens warn of coalition’s renewables policy

Renewable energy will face another “valley of death” under the policy the major parties are likely to adopt to encourage a cleaner power sector.

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The Greens energy spokesman Adam Bandt warns adopting a clean energy target – as recommended by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s review of the electricity market – could leave proposed new renewable projects in limbo for up to five years.

The Turnbull government is yet to formally adopt a clean energy target as policy or decide what form it would take amid internal unrest from coalition MPs concerned about ensuring a continued role for coal.

Any clean energy target is not expected to start until 2020, when the existing renewable energy target is set to end.

Mr Bandt says switching from one to the other with no overlap could put the brakes on renewable energy projects.

He’s urging Labor not to sign onto a clean energy target that gives any incentives to coal power just for the sake of “artificial bipartisanship”.

Instead, he wants the opposition to hold out until the next federal election, which Labor could win, and then put in place a more robust policy.

“Labor should not be dragged into the morass of the Liberal party room and their coal obsession,” Mr Bandt will tell parliament on Monday.

Business and the energy sector has been crying out for politicians to put aside their squabbles and adopt a bipartisan policy – whether for the clean energy target or an emissions intensity scheme – so they have the certainty to start investing in new generators.

The 2016 federal election was the first since 2004 where Australia had the same energy policy before the poll as after.

Investment in renewables plummeted for several years amid political uncertainty around the RET, until the Abbott government cut it but set its level.

Mr Bandt now wants parliament to extend the RET for another decade.

“If Labor and Liberal agree on a clean energy target that includes coal but don’t include any mechanism to start closing coal-fired generators, it may well create a short-term ‘valley of death’ for renewables,” he will tell parliament on Monday.

“There will be at least three years during which a paltry target will be in place, new coal will be incentivised and new renewables placed at a further disadvantage.”