In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news:
- Uber eyes making deliveries
- IBM reports an advance in quantum computing
- Pay for Yahoo CEO surges
- GSK’s shingles drug shows promise
- Are genetic tests for insurance in your future?
- Report: Uber eyes deliveries
TechCrunch is reporting that ride-sharing Uber is eyeing ways to expand its services.
“Uber is planning to launch a merchant delivery program that would allow online shoppers to get same-day delivery of goods through both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers,” the news site says. “TechCrunch has obtained training documents for Uber drivers and couriers who are part of the merchant delivery pilot program.
Sources say that Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are all in talks with the Uber Merchant Delivery program, and one source in particular said that there are over 400 different merchants currently in talks (or already testing) with Uber for same-day delivery.”
Read more at: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/28/uber-is-quietly-testing-a-massive-merchant-delivery-program/
- IBM advances quantum computing
IBM researchers on Wednesday reported that they had put together a prototype chip that could advance the possibilities of quantum comptuing.
“The circuit, an assemblage of four supercooled, superconducting devices known as qubits, checks for the critical errors that make quantum chips so difficult to build. The IBM research is set to be described Wednesday in a paper published in the scientific journal Nature Communications,” noted The Wall Street Journal.
“Although today’s computer chips continue to pile on transistors at the heady clip predicted by Moore’s Law, their components are so tiny they’re becoming harder and harder to shrink,” the paper noted.
Read more at: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/04/29/ibm-brings-quantum-computing-a-step-closer/
- Yahoo CEO’s pay package climbs in 2014 due to stock gains
The value of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s pay package surged last year, mostly due to gains in the Internet company’s stock price that came despite concerns about the overall health of Yahoo’s business.
According to a regulatory filing, Mayer’s 2014 compensation increased 69 percent to $42.1 million. Her salary was unchanged at $1 million but the value of some of her stock and option awards jumped. The company said a large part of the increase came from performance-based options that were part of Mayer’s recruitment package.
Those awards were worth $15 million when they were approved, but Yahoo says their value has risen to about $40 million. They are counted as part of Mayer’s 2014 compensation because the performance goals connected to the stock were set that year.
Yahoo hired Mayer away from Google Inc. in July 2012. Yahoo shares have nearly tripled in value during Mayer’s tenure, mostly because of its holdings in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan rather than Yahoo’s core business.
- GSK’s shingles treatment shows promise
Is a treatment for shingles the next blockbuster drug for GlaxoSmithKline?
On Tuesday, GSK reported positive Phase 3 clinical trial results for its drug known as HZ/su. If approved the GSK vaccine would combat one from Merck, which right now is the only vaccine approved for use in the U.S. and European Union.
“We are extremely encouraged that the results may point out a health benefit in the prevention of shingles,” Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s Global Vaccines Chairman, said in a statement. “This disease can be painful and potentially debilitating for some people and older people are particularly at risk. We look forward to continuing the development of our Zoster program.”
Read more at: http://www.fiercevaccines.com/story/gsks-shingles-candidate-more-effective-mercks-zostavax-older-adults-study-s/2015-04-28
- Genetic testing moves into world of employee health
Your employer may one day help determine if your genes are why your jeans have become too snug.
Big companies are considering blending genetic testing with coaching on nutrition and exercise to help workers lose weight and improve their health before serious conditions like diabetes or heart disease develop. It’s a step beyond the typical corporate wellness programs that many companies are using to make workers more aware of their risk factors and improve their health.
Genetic testing in corporate wellness programs also is relatively uncharted territory.
Mixing generic testing into a wellness program may create a tool attractive to employers desperate to cut health care costs, one of the biggest expenses in a company’s budget. But employee benefits experts have doubts that such a novel approach will gain momentum. It first has to conquer steep challenges like employee worry about sharing such sensitive information and employer skepticism about its effectiveness.