As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close new domestic markets are emerging for armored vehicles, non lethal weapons and aerial drones. Police agencies in the United States and around the world have expressed great interest in leveraging these advanced technologies for use in civilian law enforcement. One example is the Lenco Bear Cat Armored Vehicle initially developed as a armored personnel carrier for special operations, the Bear Cat has enabled SWAT and HRT teams to have armor protection levels normally reserved for military forces. Aerial drones are of particular interest to law enforcement agencies, the Shadow Hawk unmanned aerial system from Vanguard Defense is a fast and highly maneuverable drone that can be deployed from the back of an SUV. At the TED Global 2011 conference FESTO showed off a proof of concept prototype bird like robotic aircraft that both looks like and shares flight characteristics with its organic counterparts. Drone technology is progressing rapidly and the FAA is already drafting new rules on how drones can be used within the United States sparking both controversy and ethical debate about just how these technologies will be used and what legal limits if any will be placed on them. Going forward it seems clear that these technologies will play a vital role in the future of law enforcement. Once the technological cat is out of the bag however it can be rather difficult to tame, in the coming years civilians will also use drones for personal use, recreation, home security, entertainment, aerial photography, protest movements and counter surveillance.
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Today doctors treat cancer using a combination of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery but soon we may be able to treat cancer using electric fields. In this TEDMed talk Bill Doyle presents a new approach to cancer therapy using Tumor Treating Fields, capable of destroying cancer cells while leaving normal healthy cells intact. Developed by Novocure the treatment allows patients the ability to receive treatment while maintaining an active lifestyle. Recently the FDA approved a Novocure device in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme or (GBM) a common and highly aggressive form of brain cancer. According to the FDA overview the Novocure device; “is a portable battery or power-supply operated device which produces changing electrical fields, called tumor treatment fields (“TTFields”) within the human body. TTFields are applied to the head of the patient by electrically-insulated surface electrodes. TTFields stop the growth of tumor cells resulting in cell death of the rapidly dividing cancer cells. The geometrical shape and scattering of the electrical charges within the dividing tumor cells allows TTF electrical fields to physically break up the tumor cell membrane. The frequency of the TTFields used for a particular treatment is specific to the size of the cell type being treated. ” (FDA) The research although different is somewhat similar to the pioneering work of a little known American inventor from the 1930’s named Royal Raymond Rife. It will be interesting to watch this technology as it is further developed and possibly used to treat other aggressive forms of cancer.