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Scientists In The UK Working On A Bra That Can Detect And Monitor Breast Cancer 

Scientists in the UK are currently developing a device that would fit inside of a bra to monitor whether or not a breast cancer tumor is growing. 

The researchers behind the device are hoping that the device will ideally provide a new non-invasive method of detecting tumor growth so patients can get the information in their own home. 

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The device itself is being developed by Nottingham Trent University’s medical technologies innovation facility. According to the Guardian, the device will use an electrical current to “scan and detect tiny changes in fluids inside and outside cells in the breast.”

Tumor tissues are more dense than healthy tissue, and they contain less water. This is why the device will be able to measure changes in the growth of the tumor in real time, and can detect tumors as little as 2 millimeters. 

The researchers are also stating that the device could be inserted into a patient’s bra that they already own. Additionally, they’re developing a new bra that would have the device already incorporated into it. The device will be able to record and send data to the individual wearing it and their medical team via smartphone. 

Researchers are hoping to get the device in a clinical trial within the next few years. 

“The technology would measure changes in breast tissue and help improve a patient’s chance of survival. Breast cancer can grow so quickly; it could be 1mm in six months or 2mm in six weeks. This would be an additional measure to see how fast the tumor grows.” said Dr Yang Wei, an expert in electronic engineering at NTU. 

“We are opening the door to the investigation of an alternative breast cancer detection that could be done in the comfort of a patient’s home, conserving essential hospital resources whilst still providing a viable solution to detect early signs of cancer.”

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Cancer Research UK released data that showed there are more than 55,000 new cases of breast cancer in the UK alone every year, and more than 11,000 deaths. Of all those new cases, about 23% are completely preventable. 

The research team is hoping that the device will improve the vitals work of monitoring tumors. MRI scans in breast cancer patients can sometimes occur months apart from each other, which could lead to significant growth in the tumor itself. The device will ideally simplify this process and give the patient the opportunity to monitor their cancer themselves. 

Dr Simon Vincent, the director of research, said this “research on improved detection and treatment of breast cancer is urgently needed.”

“While this new technology could offer a new way to monitor the growth of breast cancer tumors and we look forward to seeing the final results, the device has not yet been tested on people and there’s a lot more we need to understand before we can consider whether or not it could be used in medical settings,” he said.

“Anyone affected by breast cancer can speak to Breast Cancer Now’s expert nurses by calling our free helpline on 0808 800 6000 for information and support.”

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UK Artists Potentially Joining Lawsuit Against Midjourney Over Use Of Their Work To Train AI Software 

Midjourney is one of the many new image generators available to the public online that uses artificial intelligence to generate a given image, or series of images, based on what the user enters into the given prompts. 

AI technology has been on the rise within the past few years, and has officially entered the mainstream as of late. The ways in which AI gathers information to be used for its specific purpose, however, have been called out for being unethical, or straight up theft from various writers, artists, and creatives in general who are unknowingly having their works used to train these systems. 

With Midjourney specifically, there has recently been a list of around 16,000 artists whose work has been used to train Midjourney’s AI. Some of these artists include Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Tracey Emin, David Hockney, and Anish Kapoor, according to the Guardian

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UK artist’s have now contacted lawyers in the US to discuss joining a class action lawsuit against Midjourney and other AI companies involved in similar practices. 

Tim Flach, the president of the Association of Photographers and a photographer himself who was included on the list of 16,000 stated the importance of collaboration when it comes to battling AI programs and companies. 

“What we need to do is come together. This public showing of this list of names is a great catalyst for artists to come together and challenge it. I personally would be up for doing that.”

The list of names was released in a 24-page document that was used within the class action lawsuit filed by 10 American artists in California. The lawsuit in particular is against Midjourney, Stability AI, Runway AI, and DevianArt. 

According to Matthew Butterick, one of the lawyers representing the artists, stated that since filing, they’ve received interest from artists all over the world to join the suit. The tech firms involved have until February 8th to respond to the claim, which states the following: 

“Though [the] defendants like to describe their AI image products in lofty terms, the reality is grubbier and nastier: AI image products are primarily valued as copyright-laundering devices, promising customers the benefits of art without the costs of artists.”

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The lawsuit also stated that with Midjourney specifically, users are allowed, and encouraged, to specify any artist’s personal style when entering their description for the image they want to generate using AI. 

“The impersonation of artists and their style is probably the thing that will stick, because if you take an artist’s style you’re effectively robbing them of their livelihood,”  Flach said. 

The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) took a survey last week of 1,000 artists and agents regarding the lack of legal regulation over generative AI technologies. The survey showed that 89% of the respondents want the UK government to regulate generative AI, while 22% discovered that their own works have been used to train AI. 

“If we’d done our survey now [after the list had come out] we probably would have had a stronger response. A lot of people didn’t know whether their works had been used. There’s a transparency we didn’t have a couple of months ago,” said Reema Selhi, head of policy at DACS.

Selhi continued to discuss how ministers initially wanted to open up copyright laws to actually make it easier for companies to train AIs without needing permission in regards to the artists’ works they learn it from. 

“We’ve had such a great strength of feeling from people that this is completely copyright infringement. Permission hasn’t been sought. They haven’t given consent. They haven’t been remunerated. They haven’t been credited.”

DACS is actively pushing for some form of official licensing or royalty system to be put in place so artists have more control over where and how their works are produced, or at the very least receive some sort of compensation.

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UK Universities Become First To Feature Famous Hologram Lecturers 

Some universities in the UK are beginning to enter a new era of utilizing unique technology to teach its students. The technology in question involves holograms, the same holograms that have been used to bring back retired or dead singers to the stage; like Tupac at the 2012 Coachella music festival. 

Instead of performing hit songs, these particular holograms will be notable historical / cultural figures that align with the specific class their teaching. For example, physics students could get a lecture from Albert Einstein or a masterclass in design from Coco Chanel herself, according to reports from Rachel Hall of The Guardian.

Loughborough University in London  is the first in Europe to explore this new avenue of technology and learning. The university is specifically planning on using holograms to bring sports scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to teach fashion students about the intricacies of immersive shows. Loughborough University is also planning to have the sports scientists teach students in management how to navigate various business endeavors and situations. 

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Professor Vikkie Locke, the director of undergraduate studies at Loughborough’s business school, told the Guardian that the students love the technology, especially since they’ve grown accustomed to having classes on their computers and joining lectures through a screen. 

“[The students prefer] a guest speaker from an industry beaming into a classroom to a 2D person on a wall. [Classes on Zoom made students] feel like they were watching TV, there’s a distance. A holographic image is a lot more engaging and real to them.”

After this initial year of experimentation, the technology is set to be officially introduced into the curriculum in 2025. The holographic technology and units used are from LA-based company Proto, who also has clients like BT and IBM. Proto has also been known to work with popular clothing retailers to make interactive product displays for customers. 

David Nussbaum founded Proto four years ago, and stated that the company could soon be bringing some of the best thinkers from the 20th century back from the dead.

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“Proto has the technology to project an image of Stephen Hawking, or anybody, and make it look like he’s really there. We can hook it up to books, lectures, social media – anything he was attached to, any question, any interaction with him. An AI Stephen Hawking would look like him, sound like him and interact like it was him,” he stated.

“It’s awe-inspiring, it’s jaw-dropping, I’ve been in shock at how amazing the interactions are. AI is part of our life, whether people like it or not. You shouldn’t have to be an eccentric millionaire or a celebrity to have a hologram.”

“Different immersive technologies and AI are the new forms of literacy. Students need to understand what it means to use those, to be in those worlds, to experience them, to interact … and these are all things they’re going to need for their future careers,” said Professor Gary Burnett, who teaches  digital creativity at Loughborough University.

The university’s pro-vice-chancellor, Prof Rachel Thomson, said the “technology could help the university achieve its sustainability strategy by reducing the need to fly in guest speakers and by facilitating international research collaborations, as well as by reducing the amount of material used by students building prototypes in engineering, design and the creative arts.”

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UK Campaigners Claim That Millions Have Been Wasted Creating Nationwide Library Website 

The UK’s public libraries have been facing major difficulties within the past few years as the government have been indecisive and delayed plans on how to spend millions of pounds for funding a nationwide library website. 

The website was initially called the “Single Digital Presence” (SDP) but was later renamed LibraryOn. LibraryOn is one website that was made to act as a hub for all public libraries on one website, and allow the public to access collections across the country, according to reports from The Guardian.

Campaigners this past weekend, however, have criticized the government and the British Library and Arts Council England (ACE) over the lack of development of LibraryOn, and many are beginning to lose their patience. 

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On the government’s and ACE’s end, the delays in development are due to the fact that in England alone, there are only 150 library authorities that each have their own independent technology and management systems. The LibraryOn plan has been in the works for the past 10 years, and while government funds have been allocated to ACE and the British Library, little action has been done. 

The libraries campaigner, Tim Coates, told the Observer that these failures by the government are disheartening and disappointing. 

“We’re now 10 years later and – after several reviews and studies and about £6m – they have singularly failed even to decide what it is they ought to do.”

“Their obsession with consultation with ‘the sector’ has meant they have failed to grasp what people want and will use – which, simply, is easy access to the extensive library collections across the country. It should be like the website for John Lewis – that, wherever you are, it doesn’t depend on their individual shops,” Coates stated

The plan for a national digital resource for the UK’s libraries was initially introduced in recommendations in William Sieghart’s 2014 Independent Report for England, which was commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). 

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The Guardian also quoted an eminent arts figure who chose to remain anonymous: 

“It’s appalling. The government’s done nothing since that report. Libraries have been left behind in the 1970s. The digital revolution hasn’t really impacted them. They are stuck behind their own local authority IT system. The point of the digital presence would be to empower them.”

“We look at the way other nations are investing in their children and their futures through libraries and wonder what the hell we’re doing,” said Nick Poole, the chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 

Poole also explained that within the past 10 years, 15% of libraries have closed, and another 15% are dependent on volunteers to keep them up and running. 

He went on to say that the need for a digital presence for the UK’s library system has been present since the rise of computers, but the delays in development are also due to fears that more libraries will close. 

“We want to see really strong face-to-face libraries supported and extended by a really strong digital scheme,” he added. 

LibraryOn has received around £3.8 million in funding since 2018, which is when the British Library took over management of the project.

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Poverty Rates In The UK Have Been So Bad, They Soon May Reach Victorian Era Levels 

According to a new report from the Center for Social Justice, the most disadvantaged and impoverished people in the United Kingdom are no better off than they were 15 years ago. The report found a “yawning gap between those who can get by and those stuck at the bottom.”

The Center for Social Justice is an independent think tank whose earliest work has led to a reformation of Britain’s welfare system and the introduction of Universal Credit; a monthly government payment for individuals earning low incomes, according to CNN.

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The Center published the 300-page report as the latest evidence of how the UK’s economies lack of movement has made it nearly impossible to work through their poverty problem. The cost-of-living crisis in the UK in general has only made the impoverished population suffer more. 

“We have uncovered a nation of two halves. The general public for the most part can get by, and then there is this cohort of people whose lives are marked by family breakdown, physical and mental ill-health; who live in crime-ridden communities and experience multiple barriers to work,” said Sophia Worringer, deputy policy director at the Center for Social Justice, said Monday. 

The Center for Social Justice also warns that the UK is currently risking “sliding back into the two nations of the Victorian era, marked by a widening gulf between mainstream society and a poverty stricken underclass.”

During the Victorian age, the social divide in the UK was so severe that the working class was facing brutal living conditions, with little to no access to clean water, food, and sanitation, and they had no feasible ways of improving their lives and economic situations. 

Unfortunately, the report went on to state that the current poverty situation in the UK is reaching closer levels to the Victorian era due to addiction, joblessness, personal debts, and educational failures. 

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According to CNN, the study itself surveyed 6,000 people with more than half being from the UK’s poorest communities. The survey also used data from more than 350 small charities and experts across over 20 towns and cities in the UK. 

“For too many, Britain is broken and the gap between the haves and have-nots is in danger of becoming a chasm,” says the foreword to the report, signed by Mervyn King, a former Bank of England governor.

The report also discussed how the pandemic and the lockdown only made things worse, and had a “catastrophic effect on the nation’s social fabric.”

CNN said that “during lockdowns, calls to domestic abuse helplines surged 700%; mental health problems in young people spread from one in nine to one in six; severe school absence jumped 134%; and 1.2 million more people received welfare payments. Deaths from alcohol poisoning, which had been dropping before the pandemic, have also risen since the mass outbreak of Covid-19.”

“Those who are left behind are still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Life for them never returned to normal and the scars of that time are still very deeply felt,” said Worringer.

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Oslo’s Mayor Says London’s Trafalgar Square’s Christmas Tree Must Cut Its Carbon Footprint

Norway and London have a long standing holiday tradition in which Norway sends London a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square as a way of thanking Britain for its support during World War 2. 

Anne Lindboe, the newly elected mayor of Oslo, Norway’s Capital, has recently stated that she’s looking for new ways to reduce the tree and its transport’s carbon footprint. 

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Every year a tree that’s around 60 feet tall is transported from the woodlands near Oslo to Trafalgar Square by road and sea. A month after Christmas, the tree is then turned to wood chips, which Lindboe claims is hardly environmentally friendly. 

“It’s very important for us to continue the tradition. Now it’s maybe even more important to have these good relationships between cities and between people,” Lindboe said.

“But at the same time, we have to make sure that the carbon footprint is as low as possible. So that is also something we have to take into consideration: how to decrease it as much as possible.”

Since transportation is such a major factor, Lindboe suggested that they could instead give a tree that was grown in Britain, which citizens weren’t a fan of, so she explained that she’s considering how to adjust the transportation of the tree.

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Some Norwegian media outlets have also suggested that they simply end the tradition in general. City council votes on continuing the tradition every few years, and are set to do so again next year, however, Lindboe says there’s no serious talks about discontinuing the gifting of a tree to London. 

“I haven’t heard anyone in the city council saying that we should not continue. And … as the mayor of Oslo, this is really important, so I can promise that I will do everything I can to make sure that this tradition continues,” Lindboe added.

The tree itself also garners criticism every year due to its overall look, with some citizens this year claiming the tree looked “half dead,” according to the Guardian. However, Lindboe says that the criticism doesn’t really impact whether or not the tradition should end, and making fun of its appearance is even part of it.

“It’s part of the tradition isn’t it? That you should criticize the tree. We like to criticize, particularly if there’s something we’re really fond of. That’s really important to us.”

“It’s a natural-looking tree from a natural forest, not one of these cultivated Christmas trees that you sometimes see, which are more ‘perfect’, but maybe not so natural,” the mayor added.

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UK To Ban American XL Bully Dog, According To Prime Minister

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that the American XL Bully dog is “a danger to communities” and will be outlawed in the UK by the end of the year.

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Members Of A Canadian First Nation To Bring Home Indigenous Totem Pole From Scotland 

Members of a Canadian First Nation recently held a spiritual ceremony this week at the National Museum of Scotland to signify the beginning of an Indigenous totem pole that was stolen almost a full century ago. 

The 36-foot totem pole is currently being restored to the Nisga’a Nation in the northern part of British Columbia. This marks one of the first times a British museum has returned artifacts to any of North America’s Indigenous populations. 

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The museum initially agreed to return the totem pole last year, which until that point had been on display in the museum since 1930. Researchers in the Nisga’a Nation state that the artifact was taken without consent in 1929 by an anthropologist who then sold it to the museum. 

According to the Associated Press, Chief Earl Stephens, who’s Nisga’a cultural name is Sim’oogit Ni’isjoohl, said that “in Nisga’a culture, we believe that this pole is alive with the spirit of our ancestors.”

“After nearly 100 years, we are finally able to bring our dear relative home to rest on Nisga’a lands.”

The totem pole was carved from red cedar in the 1860s, and includes many family crests, as well as animal and human figures to commemorate the Nisga’a warrior Ts’aawit, who’s family kept the pole outside of their home for 70 years before being taken while the villagers were away during hunting season. 

The ceremony on Monday was attended by Nisga’a delegates, as well as individuals from the museum, the Scottish government, and the Canadian government.

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Before it’s sent back to Canada, workers will delicately erect scaffolding around the pole to keep it protected on its flight home. 

The pole is set to be sent back on a Canadian air force plane to British Colombia next month, and is set to be displayed in the Nisga’a Museum in the Nass Valley along with other artifacts that have been returned to the Nation from other museums. 

“[This is] a very historic moment for our nation and for Scotland,” said Amy Parent, a Nisga’a Nation member and associate professor of education at Simon Fraser University.

“Teams had been working for months on the complex task of carefully lowering and transporting the pole,”said Museum director Chris Breward. 

“We are pleased to have reached the point where that work is now underway, and we are delighted to have welcomed the Nisga’a delegation to the museum before we bid the pole farewell,” he said.

Multiple museums in the UK have been facing multiple callouts to return the items that they’ve taken from multiple populations around the world to display in their museums, as a means of bringing these cultural artifacts that shaped so many groups’ history, home.

Paralympic Athlete Anna Strike Leads The Call For UK Sports Venues To Have Accessible Bathrooms

Paralympic athlete and campaigner Anne Wafula Strike is calling on sports ministers for UK sports venues regarding the lack of accessible bathrooms and facilities for handicapped individuals, calling it a “serious injustice” for disabled athletes and sports fans.

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Eurovision 2023 Had The Most Watched Finale In Song Contest’s History

Saturday night’s Eurovision song contest in Liverpool marked the most watched grand finale in the contest’s history, with a peak of 11 million viewers.