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    New Mexico’s State Investment Council is pledging $100 million to a tech-focused nonprofit, the council’s biggest commitment on record to a single venture fund. The council gave unanimous approval of the investment Tuesday into America’s Frontier Fund, the Albuquerque Journal reported. America’s Frontier Fund, or AFF, bills itself as the first investment platform committed to boosting technological innovation in the U.S. The money will come from New Mexico’s Severance Tax Permanent Fund toward venture firms that support local startups. The firm's CEO, Gilman Louie, says they will build a “venture studio” in Albuquerque and satellite studios around the state. They would offer support to major research institutions and new start-ups.

      Facial recognition technology is mostly associated with uses such as surveillance and the authentication of human faces, but a group of scientists believe they’ve found a new use for it: saving seals. A research team at Colgate University has developed SealNet, a database of seal faces created by taking pictures of dozens of harbor seals in Maine’s Casco Bay. The team found its accuracy at identifying the marine mammals is close to 100%, which is no small accomplishment in an ecosystem home to thousands of seals. The researchers are working on expanding their database to make it available to other scientists.

        U.S. health regulators have approved the first gene therapy for hemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder with few treatment options. The maker of the one-time treatment said the drug will cost $3.5 million, making it one of the most expensive drugs ever launched. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Tuesday for people with hemophilia B, the less common form of the disease. Other companies are working on similar gene therapies for hemophilia A, which accounts for most cases. Hemophilia almost always strikes males and can cause dangerous, extended bleeding without treatment. Patients lack a gene needed to help the blood clot.

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