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By Aron Vaughan

5 Things to Know This Morning — Thursday, February 17, 2022

Every day we wake up, drink a cup of coffee, and get ready for work. Following are a handful of stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into one single cup of coffee. These are the things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.

So sit back, grab a cup, and start your morning off right with a few “Quick Bytes” from Innovation & Tech Today.

First Woman Cured of HIV with Stem Cell Treatment

A middle-aged American woman is the third patient to likely be cured of HIV via STEM cell treatment. She was part of a study that began in 2015 aimed at using mutated, HIV-resistant umbilical cord STEM cells to treat the auto-immune disease. 

Two men who underwent similar treatment have also been cured, according to NBC.

However, the cases of people responding positively to the treatment are not typical. The process involves replacing an individual’s immune system with an entirely new one. The woman who received the transplant was being treated for Leukemia and her immune system was first destroyed through chemo and radiation therapy, destroying most or all cells that harbored the HIV virus in the process. In her case, the transplanted HIV-resistant stem cells engrafted successfully, creating new immune cells that were unable to be infected by any remaining traces of the virus. 

The mutation that makes cells immune to HIV are natural, but rare. So finding the right patient and right donor for the patient is also rare. But, there could eventually be “approximately at least 50 [people] per year that may benefit from this,” according to leader of the study Dr. Yavonne Bryson.

Next-Gen Surface-to Surface Missile Premiers at Singapore Air Show

Israel Aerospace Industries displayed its new Blue Spear surface-to-surface missile at the Singapore Air Show Tuesday. The missile was co-developed with Singapore-based defense company ST Engineering and marketed by joint venture company Proteus Advanced Systems. 

The Blue Spear system is equipped with anti-ship and land-attack capability and deploys a state-of-the-art radar seeker and an advanced weapon control system to provide precise target detection and engagement. It can also operate under all weather conditions.

Designed to be deployed in almost any environment, the missile can be launched in a variety of different terrains. Active radar honing and GPS failure safeguards ensure precise target acquisition accuracy. And with its ability to travel 290 km at high subsonic speed, the new edition to the Gabriel missile family is truly the next generation of surface-to-surface missiles.

Self-Driving Black Hawk is Powered by AI

Forget self-driving cars, the first self-driving helicopter has arrived. 

A new Black Hawk helicopter was able to successfully take off, maneuver, and land without any human interaction. The achievement could revolutionize the way military branches operate and potentially save the lives of future pilots and crews. 

The US tested the first DARPA autonomous flight system in 2018, with intentions of integrating it into Blackhawks. That time has now come. An AI system, known as ALIAS has developed to the point that it piloted two Blackhawks for 30 minutes each, avoiding obstacles and carrying out all of the functions of a human pilot without a hitch. There are myriad applications for self-driving aircraft, but keeping military personnel out of danger is the first by far. 

“If every person counts and a machine can do it, then let the machine do it,” said James McConville, the Army’s chief of staff.

UK Lab Makes Major Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion

In many ways, nuclear fusion is the Holy Grail of energy, but it has been “10 years away” for almost 50 years now. “The next generation will figure it out” has been the motto of scientists for at least two generations. In 2022, it looks like the can may have been kicked far enough down the road that it has finally reached the end.  

European scientists have made a “major breakthrough in their quest to develop nuclear fusion,” according to BBC. The UK-based JET Laboratory succeeded in creating a mini star by smashing two forms of hydrogen together. The result was 5 seconds of sustained nuclear power that produced 59 megajoules of energy. 

Nuclear fusion, if successfully harvested, could produce low-carbon, low-radiation energy to power the world.

Airless Tire Concepts are Sweeping the Auto Industry

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5 Things to Know This Morning — Thursday, February 17, 2022

February 17, 2022
By Aron Vaughan

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