Tuesday Triple Trivia for Cinco de Mayo, 2015


3 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers. Every Tuesday.

1. What Cinco de Mayo staple boasts 5 potential benefits?


Answer: the tequila worm must be one healthy dude.  Tequila is said to 1) promote digestion, 2) kill bacteria, flu and the common cold, 3) be an effective drug delivery mechanism, 4) be a good source of dietary fiber, and 5) encourage relaxation.  It has also been dubbed a “bio-fuel.” Read the details here.

2. What new technology will have drivers packing inflatables?

Hint: Answer:  when in the HOV lane in San Diego, beware of tech developed by Xerox that counts the number of occupants in each vehicle.  The pilot program involves what is called the Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection System, which uses two video cameras, algorithms and sensor technologies to catch its prey.   Not to worry though, while identification information is being gathered for ticketing purposes, it is apparently not being stored.  Why don’t we feel better about this?  Read more here.

3. Besides the candidates, how will the 2016 Presidential Election differ from past elections?

Hint: Answer:  Snapchat has announced it is in the running… with its own coverage and content, under the direction of CNN’s Peter Hamby.  “[W]ith well over 100 million users, a huge swath of whom are in the United States and between the ages of 18 and 31, its potential to shake up the next election is considerable.”  In a world that craves speedy, succinct and sexy, Snapchat, with planned original features, might just leave other social media sites in the dust when it comes to #2016electioncoverage.  Read the story here.

Call for Student Posters!



The Third Annual Conference of Emerging Technologies


The Center for Law, Science & Innovation is calling for student posters to be presented at this year’s Conference on the Governance of Emerging Technologies. All students (any University, any Department) are encouraged to take advantage of this great chance to network and showcase work on an issue at the intersection of law, science, technology, governance, ethics, etc.

If you have any questions or are interested, please e-mail Lauren.Burkhart@asu.edu by  Friday, May 1, 2015. We need to have enough student interest to hold the poster session and accompanying reception the evening of May 27, 2015.

All accepted poster contributors are invited to attend the entire 3-day Conference FREE OF CHARGE (transportation, hotel and other travel-related costs excluded).

Wednesday Web Watch for April 29, 2015


In Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users, there is “no uniform rule as to whether companies must reveal identifying information of their anonymous users” and court decisions on the matter have landed on both sides of the fence.  In the Yelp case, the Supreme Court of Virginia decided in favor of Yelp users on procedural grounds, citing lack of court subpoena power over non-resident non-parties.  However, even if the subpoena had been lawfully ordered and enforceable in California, Yelp could have looked to state recognized protections for anonymous speech and privacy.   As the Socially Aware article emphasizes, because of the murky waters, in addition to procedural limitations, stakeholders need to be aware of individual state laws regarding freedom of speech and privacy.

Tuesday Triple Trivia for April 28, 2015


3 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers.  Every Tuesday.

1. It used to be we guiltily propped our babies in front of the TV to watch Baby Mozart while we tackled the dishes in the sink.  Now parents are using this to divert the young…


Answer: against the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants as young as six months, having barely learned to sit up on their own, are using smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices. By age one, approximately 14% of toddlers are entertaining themselves with mobile technology for at least an hour a day, claims a recent study.  Not surprisingly, time spent on smartphones and the like, increases with age.  So much for “story time.”  Read the details here.

2. If science is to gain greater acceptance and trust, what do we need more of?


Answer: why is there growing disagreement over “basic scientific facts, including human evolution, the safety of vaccines and whether or not human-caused climate change is real”?  Experts point to strongly-held views and opinions as one of the main reasons for people’s refusal to accept scientific facts.  However, acceptance sometimes just comes down to a number, namely, how many scientists agree on a particular state of affairs.   If there is  “expert consensus”  or even perceived scientific consensus, deeply held views are subject to being neutralized and science becomes more readily accepted.  Read more about the power of consensus here.

3. Attention pothead drivers!  What device threatens to uncover your state of mind?


Answer: with the legalization of marijuana in several states, comes the fear that the number of stoned drivers on the road will increase.   To alleviate the concern, two biomedical engineering students recently developed the pot version of the breathalyzer test (that uses saliva instead of breath) and are calling it the “Cannibuster.”  Read more here.

An Interview With Gary Marchant on Genetics & Courtroom Evidence

Genomics is Changing Causation

Evidence in the Courtroom



“a worthwhile read for anyone involved in “toxic tort” litigation” − Kirk T. Hartley, JD.

Click the link below to access the interview of Gary Marchant, ASU Law Professor and Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation, by David Schwartz, head of scientific support at Innovative Science Solutions, LLC, regarding the fundamental changes now arising in toxic tort litigation due to rulings and expert arguments in cases involving genetics and epigenetics.