The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


March Newsbytes #3

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By: Staff Writer Brian Tseng


Local: Berkeley mandates installing surveillance cameras at liquor stores

The Berkeley City Council unanimously voted on March 10 to move forward with an ordinance mandating that liquor store owners have updated surveillance camera systems at their business. Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan says to NBC, “One of our goals is to make sure we have good evidence. If there’s a crime that occurs, many people want to help us. They’re not sure technologically how to make that work.” According to councilmember Darryl Moore, an ordinance that forces business owners to standardize surveillance cameras in a high-crime area is a good idea. After the ordinance goes through a second reading, store owners will have 60 to 90 days to find out what kinds of cameras they need.


National: Blood test may find signs of autism in infants

A recent study has found that signs of autism could be found in boys just one or two years old. The study, led by UC San Diego’s School of Medicine researchers and published in JAMA Psychiatry on March 4, found that certain genetic fingerprints might lead to an earlier method of diagnosing autism in male infants. The genes related to translation and immune/inflammation functions, as well as cell adhesion and cell cycle, were different in boys with autism spectrum disorder. “The mean age of autism identification in the United States right now is four to five years so by that point, a lot of brain development issues have passed,” said Eric Courchesne, PhD, professor of neurosciences and director of UCSD’s Autism Center of Excellence. “What you really want to do is identify the child at the youngest possible age.”


International: Giant airship ready for flight tests

The airship Airlander 10 is being readied for flight tests later this year due to a £3.4 million grant from the UK government. Created by British design company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), the 302-foot-long Airlander 10 will be the world’s largest aircraft. “The sole problem existing in old-style airships had were having lots of ground crew, limited ability to carry payloads and to be susceptible to weather conditions,” said Chris Daniels to CNN, HAV head of partnerships and communications. “We solved all those problems with a new concept — a hybrid aircraft. So a mix between a wing and an airship.” HAV hopes to have airships back in the skies by 2016, and is planning to split end use 60:40 between civilian and military applications.


Quirky: Carpenter fired for rescuing raccoon

Carpenter Todd Sutton was fired for freeing a raccoon that had been trapped by exterminators at the San Francisco construction site he worked at. The builders had hired professional trappers to remove and euthanize the raccoon for damaging the $610 million project. Sutton says he put the animal in his truck and released it in a nearby grassy area, after getting guidance from animal control officers. According to his employers, his actions amounted to theft, as Sutton had taken something from the site that didn’t belong to him.

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