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Nigerian Female Engineer Invents Smart Bra To Detect Breast Cancer

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Nigerian robotics and embedded systems engineer, Kemisola Bolarinwa, has invented a smart bra capable of diagnosing early-stage breast cancer before symptoms develop.

Bolarinwa made the invention known to the world in February 2022, by designing the prototype of the smart bra, which was spurred by the death of her loved one in 2017.

She said before the death of her aunt, she rarely paid any attention to breast cancer because it was just something she heard on the TV or radio.

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Bolarinwa, the founder and chief executive officer of Nextwear Technologies, the first wearable technology startup in Nigeria, said she was moved to invent the smart bra, after frequent visits to the hospital where her aunt was before she died.

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She said seeing other women battling breast cancer was painful, and her efforts to intensify research into the invention were increased.

Her invention was recognised by BBC Africa, adding that she spent a year and a half of intense research, before the smart bra came up in 2019.

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How the smart bra works
To detect lumps in the breast, the smart bra repurposes ultrasound technology into a small form factor, with the initiative to shrink down an ultrasound machine to a portable size where it becomes wearable.

According to Bolarinwa, this was possible with nanotechnology — a branch of science, technology, and engineering that deals with the manufacturing of tech in small sizes.

READ ALSO: Princess Of Wales, Catherine Diagnosed With Cancer

For more context, the smart bra uses an ultrasound system called the Doppler that bounces high-frequency sound waves off the body to detect blood clots, heart defects, and blocked arteries. This works differently from ultrasound machines that use sound waves to generate images of the scanned area.

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More work on the smart bra
After years of research and developing a prototype, she revealed there are still a lot of work to be achieved on the smart bra before it can be commercialised.

Bolarinwa said the smart bra still needs further development and extensive clinical trials and gave a time frame between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 for mass production.

Aside from being an inventor, Bolarinwa is also a strong advocate for getting more women interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), something she was passionate about growing up.

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Bolarinwa called for more work on research for inventions to be effective in solving the problems they are designed for while lamenting there are not adequate research organisations to help.

She said, “In four months, a fintech platform will be built and be ready for the market. This is one of the reasons why few people play in the hardware or deep tech side of technology in Africa. There aren’t enough research institutes.”

Who she is

Bolarinwa holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering from the University of Ado-Ekiti (now Ekiti State University).

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She has more than 10 years of experience exceptional tech skills and strong problem-solving skills, and is passionate about solving complex problems and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies.

Bolarinwa is an inventor, innovator, entrepreneur, and president of the Women In ICT Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing technology education, leadership, and businesses for women and young girls to resolve problems of the under-representation of women in leadership, policy-making, and math-intensive fields of science and technology.

Nigeria is endowed with exceptional and skilled inventors such as the 70-year-old man who developed more than inventions, but the challenge they are faced with is the lack of support from the government and other recognised agencies or entrepreneurs to sponsor their research and inventions.

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Meta Deletes 63,000 Accounts In ‘Yahoo Boys’ Crackdown

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Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has removed 63,000 accounts associated with the notorious “Yahoo Boys” scam group, the company announced in its Q1 2024 Adversarial Threat Report on Wednesday.

The accounts, deleted over the past few weeks, were used for financial sextortion scams and distributing blackmail scripts. Meta reported that a smaller network of 2,500 accounts, linked to around 20 individuals, primarily targeted adult men in the United States using fake identities.

Meta said it identified and disabled these accounts through a combination of advanced technical signals and comprehensive investigations, enhancing its automated detection systems.

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“Financial sextortion is a borderless crime, fueled in recent years by the increased activity of Yahoo Boys, loosely organised cybercriminals operating largely out of Nigeria that specialize in different types of scams,” the social media giant stated.

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It added, “We’ve removed around 63,000 accounts in Nigeria attempting to target people with financial sextortion scams, including a coordinated network of around 2,500 accounts.”

“We’ve also removed a set of Facebook accounts, Pages, and groups run by Yahoo Boys—banned under our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy—that were attempting to organize, recruit and train new scammers,” the company explained.

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During the investigation, Meta said it found that most scammers’ attempts were unsuccessful, though some had targeted minors. These cases were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Meta revealed that it also shared information with other tech companies via the Tech Coalition’s Lantern program to help curb these scams across platforms.

READ ALSO: FG Slashes Allowances Of Stranded Nigerians On Scholarship In Russia The Federal Gov

Further, the parent company of Facebook said it removed around 7,200 assets in Nigeria, including 1,300 Facebook accounts, 200 pages, and 5,700 groups that were providing scam-related resources.

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These assets were found offering scripts and guides for scams and sharing links to collections of photos for creating fake accounts, it expounded.

Since this disruption, Meta’s systems have been actively blocking attempts from these groups to return, continually improving their detection capabilities.

The company noted that it has also been working closely with law enforcement, supporting investigations and prosecutions by responding to legal requests and alerting authorities to imminent threats.

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The social media giant stated that its efforts extend beyond account removal.

“We also fund and support NCMEC and the International Justice Mission to run Project Boost, a program that trains law enforcement agencies around the world in processing and acting on NCMEC reports.

“We’ve conducted several training sessions so far, including in Nigeria and the Cote d’Ivoire, with our most recent session taking place just last month,” the firm revealed.

To protect users, especially teens, Meta disclosed that it has implemented stricter messaging settings for users under 16 (under 18 in certain countries) and displays safety notices to encourage cautious behaviour online.

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READ ALSO: FG Slashes Allowances Of Stranded Nigerians On Scholarship In Russia The Federal Gov

Last week, Meta was fined $220m by Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for multiple violations of data protection laws linked to WhatsApp.

The investigation, initiated in May 2021, found that Meta’s privacy policies infringed on users’ rights, including unauthorized data sharing and discriminatory practices.

Meta plans to appeal the decision, arguing that it disagrees with the findings and the imposed penalty. The FCCPC aims to ensure fair treatment of Nigerian users and compliance with local regulations.

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FG Slashes Allowances Of Stranded Nigerians On Scholarship In Russia The Federal Gov

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The Federal Government has announced a slash in allowances of foreign scholars who are currently studying in Moscow, Russia.

This is contained in a letter dated July 23, 2024, issued to the scholars’ association in country by the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.

The students are studying under the Federal Government’s Bilateral Educational Agreement Scholarship, which is for the purpose of education exchange between Nigeria and the other countries.

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The letter, which was signed by the Director of the Federal Scholarship Board, Ndajiwo H.A., on behalf of the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman reads, “A: FG slashes allowances of Nigerian foreign scholars over hardship”

According to the letter, the monthly allowances were slashed from $500 to $220; the graduation allowance from $2500 to $2000; and the PG research allowance was slashed from $1,000 to $500.

The total for the payments initially paid was $5,650 per student but will now be $4,370 but allowance for health insurance, pilot allowance and Medical allowance remains $200, $700 and $500 as before.

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READ ALSO: Plane Crashes On Takeoff In Nepal With 19 Aboard

The letter reads: “The Scholars’ Association is hereby notified that due to the prevailing economic situation, the payment mandate for the BEA scholars’ allowances will be as per the new adjustment.”

“The balances for the years 2023 and 2024 owed to scholars will be paid as soon as the funds are made available,” the letter reads.

Meanwhile, reports has it that the scholars have not been paid for close to eight months and have endured financial strain due to the delay in receiving their stipends.

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BREAKING: SGF, NSA, Ministers In Emergency Meeting Over Planned Nationwide Protest

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, George Akume, is currently meeting with ministers over the planned nationwide protest against economic hardship.

READ ALSO::Four Suspected Cultists Arrested With Arms In Edo

The meeting, which is taking place behind closed doors, has all the over 40 ministers in President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet in attendance.

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Some of the Ministers spotted are Nyesom Wike (FCT), Yusuf Tuggar (Foreign Affairs), Zephaniah Jisalo (Special Duties), Tahir Mamman (Education), and Abubakar Bagudu (Budget and Planning).

Others are Wale Edun (Finance), Mohammed Idris (Information), Bello Matawalle (Defence), David Umahi (Works), and the National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu, amongst others.

Recall that the President had earlier on Tuesday pleaded with Nigerians to shelve the #EndBadGovernance protest slated to commence on August 1.

The protest against economic hardship, organized by faceless persons, has gained traction on social media and is scheduled to hold across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

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Details shorly…

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