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Google Partners NIH to Accelerate Biomedical Research Using the Cloud

NIH's initial efforts will focus on making NIH high-value data sets more accessible through the Cloud

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Google creating publishing platform for local news publishers. Pixabay

The US medical research agency National Institutes of Health has partnered with Google Cloud for a new initiative that aims to harness the power of commercial cloud computing and provide biomedical researchers access to the most advanced, cost-effective computational infrastructure, tools and services.

The initiative named STRIDES (Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability) will reduce economic and technological barriers to accessing and computing on large biomedical data sets to accelerate biomedical advances.

“NIH is in a unique position to bring together academic and innovation industry partners to create a biomedical data ecosystem that maximizes the use of NIH-supported biomedical research data for the greatest benefit to human health,” NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak, said in a statement late on Tuesday.

“The STRIDES Initiative aims to maximize the number of researchers working to provide the greatest number of solutions to advancing health and reducing the burden of disease,” he added.

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The US medical research agency National Institutes of Health has partnered with Google Cloud for a new initiative that aims to harness the power of commercial cloud computing. Pixabay

The partnership with Google creates a cost-efficient framework for NIH researchers, as well as researchers at more than 2,500 academic institutions across the nation receiving NIH support, to make use of Google Cloud’s storage, computing, and machine learning technologies.

In addition, it will enable the establishment of training programmes for researchers at NIH-funded institutions to use Google Cloud Platform, the statement said.

“Today, we are announcing a partnership with the National Institutes of Health to make it easier to access and analyse large biomedical data sets, which we believe will accelerate efforts to find treatments and cures for disease,” said Diane Greene, CEO at Google Cloud.

Also Read: Google to Place AI-Powered Virtual Agents in Call Centres

NIH’s initial efforts will focus on making NIH high-value data sets more accessible through the Cloud, leveraging partnerships to take advantage of data-related innovations such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, and experimenting with new ways to optimise technology-intensive research.

“Through our partnership with NIH… we are making it easier for scientists and physicians to access and garner insights from NIH-funded data sets with appropriate privacy protections, which will ultimately accelerate biomedical research progress toward finding treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases of our time,” explained Gregory Moore, Vice President-Healthcare, Google Cloud. (IANS)

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Google’s Wing Aviation Receives Approval from FAA to Operate Drone for Deliveries

It's the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries

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A man using a mobile phone walks past Google offices in New York, Dec. 17, 2018. VOA

Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received federal approval allowing it to make commercial deliveries by drone.

It’s the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries. The approval from the Federal Aviation Administration means that Wing can operate commercial drone flights in part of Virginia, which it plans to begin later this year.

The FAA said Tuesday that the company met the agency’s safety requirements by participating in a pilot program in Virginia with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, and by conducting thousands of flights in Australia over the past several years.

“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.

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“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement. Wikimedia

Wing said the approval “means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.”

The company didn’t name any businesses that would take part in commercial deliveries. It said it plans to spend the next several months demonstrating its technology and answering questions from people and businesses in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.

Wing said it will “solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year.”

Wing said that to win FAA certification it had to show that one of its drone deliveries would pose less risk to pedestrians than the same trip made in a car. The company said its drones have flown more than 70,000 test flights and made more than 3,000 deliveries to customers in Australia.

The company is touting many benefits from deliveries by electric drones. It says medicine and food can be delivered faster, that drones will be especially helpful to consumers who need help getting around, and that they can reduce traffic and emissions.

drones, wing aviation, google
FILE – A drone demonstrates delivery capabilities from the top of a UPS truck during testing in Lithia, Florida, Feb. 20, 2017. VOA

Drone usage in the U.S. has grown rapidly in some industries such as utilities, pipelines and agriculture. But drones have faced more obstacles in delivering retail packages and food because of federal regulations that bar most flights over crowds of people and beyond sight of the operator without a waiver from the FAA.

ALSO READ: All that you Need to Know about Buying Watches

The federal government recently estimated that about 110,000 commercial drones were operating in the U.S., and that number is expected to zoom to about 450,000 in 2022.

Amazon is working on drone delivery, a topic keen to CEO Jeff Bezos. Delivery companies including UPS and DHL have also conducted tests. (VOA)