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New rules are gutting consumer watchdog group from the inside, legal experts say

New rules are gutting consumer watchdog group from the inside, legal experts say

Finance
Kathy Kraninger, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesThe agency created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers from abuse is being gutted from the inside, according to some consumer advocates and legal experts.A new enforcement policy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the most recent example of an agency drifting away from its mission to police Wall Street's bad actors, these advocates say.The CFPB announced Jan. 24 that it is changing the way it oversees and punishes abusive practices by financial firms. Perhaps most significantly, the watchdog will impose financial penalties, such as fines, in more limited circumstances and will require a cost-benefit analysis before investigating wrongdoing.The ...
Watch Dogs Legion: Click goes inside the post-Brexit game

Watch Dogs Legion: Click goes inside the post-Brexit game

Technology
In a world first, BBC Click’s Marc Cieslak has interviewed the creator of Watch Dogs: Legion inside the video game itself. Developed at Ubisoft’s Toronto Studio, the same technology used to create the game was employed to create an interview which takes place inside a virtual London.The game imagines a post-Brexit dystopian Britain as an oppressive surveillance state, where the player assumes the role of a hacker intent on bringing down the system by recruiting others to their cause.It is the third instalment in the popular video game franchise.In the interview, Marc Cieslak asked creative director Clint Hocking whether using real and divisive political events in a video game would resonate with players.Let's block ads! (Why?) BBC News - Technology
Scientists find seven new leech species that live inside freshwater mussels

Scientists find seven new leech species that live inside freshwater mussels

Science
Nov. 11 (UPI) -- If you eat freshwater mussels, you might open a shell to find one of seven newly named leech species. Yummy. Between 2002 and 2018, Arthur Bogan, research curator of mollusks at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, recruited collaborators from all over the globe to collect freshwater mussels, sample DNA and document what they found inside. The project revealed seven new species of leeches. According to Ivan N. Bolotov, scientist of the Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences and one of Bogan's collaborators, at least two of the species should be classified as obligate inhabitants of the freshwater mussel's mantle cavity. These species cannot complete their life cycle without their bivalve host. "It has been suggested tha...
Ancient microbes are living inside Europe’s deepest meteorite crater

Ancient microbes are living inside Europe’s deepest meteorite crater

Science
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Rock cores collected from deep beneath the planet's surface suggest ancient microbes have been living inside Europe's largest meteorite crater for millions of years. Some 400 million years ago, a massive space rock slammed into northern Europe, excavating a giant crater in the middle of what's now Sweden. Today, prospectors are drilling for natural gas within the confines of the ancient crater, the contours of which are called the Siljan Ring. The drilling attempts have yielded fresh rock cores, several of which made their way to geochemistry labs at Linnaeus University in Sweden. When scientists at Linnaeus investigated the rocks, they found evidence of long-term deep microbial activity. "We examined the intensively fractured rock at significant depth in the crater and...
Genetic engineering tool promises to aid discovery of new drugs inside microbes

Genetic engineering tool promises to aid discovery of new drugs inside microbes

Health
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Scientists have found a new way to coax microbes into producing valuable secondary metabolites, chemical compounds that help microbes adapt to changing conditions. Despite the contributions secondary metabolites have made to medical and material science, researchers suspect they have only barely skimmed the surface of the biochemical secrets hiding within microbes -- a tool called chassis-independent recombinase-assisted genome engineering, or CRAGE, may help them unlock those secrets. Secondary metabolites are named so because they're non-essential. Stop a microbe from producing its primary metabolites and it is likely to die. Lock the production of secondary metabolites, however, and the microbe is sure to persist, even if at a disadvantage. But while secondary metabol...