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September 11, 2019

UK government launches world’s largest genetics project / Researchers assess asteroid deflection plans / BlackBerry kicks off World Tour in Japan

By Luke Christou


Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

UK government launches world’s largest genetics project

The UK government has today launched a £200m genome sequencing project in a bid to fight deadly diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and dementia.

The project will make use of the genetic code of more than 500,000 volunteers in the UK Biobank, and will help to explain why some people are prone to certain conditions and others aren’t.

The project brings together a range of pharmaceutical companies and health experts from across the UK and abroad, and coincides with the launch of a new immigration route designed to attract talented students in science, technology, engineering and maths from abroad.

Researchers assess asteroid deflection plans

Space industry researchers will gather today for the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA), a workshop organised to discuss NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which will demonstrate the effects of crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid in order to protect against collisions with Earth.

The workshop will be used to present presentations on asteroid redirection and the DART mission, as well as to discuss future plans and identify areas that require additional investigation and research before tests can take place. 

The event is taking place at the Aula ottagonale delle Terme di Diocleziano museum in Rome, Italy, over the next three days.

BlackBerry kicks off World Tour in Japan

Security software company BlackBerry will kick off its World Tour, a series of cybersecurity events taking place at locations around the globe over the next three months, starting in Tokyo, Japan, today.

Described as the “premier cybersecurity event of the year” the BlackBerry World Tour will give attendees a chance to hear from company experts on topics such as artificial intelligence-driven cybersecurity, securing the internet of things and next-generation enterprise technologies.

Today’s event will be headed by BlackBerry chairman and CEO John Chen, various BlackBerry executives, as well as Hiroshi Nakamura of Toshiba’s Strategic Planning Office.

The BlackBerry World Tour Japan gets underway at the Tokyo Midtown Hall, starting at 2pm local time (6am London time).

Tuesday’s Highlights


Body cameras “significantly reduce” aggression on NHS mental health wards

Statistical literacy in the UK is poor – and data scientists are worried

AI tool accurately detects heart failure from a single heartbeat