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Not Trending: Using drones for search and rescue

When we only pay attention to the things that are trending in our social networks, we may be missing some compelling stories. Carlos Watson, CEO of website Ozy, joins Gwen Ifill to share a few overlooked items, including search and rescues uses for drones, the most powerful Indian politician most of us have never heard of, plus the promise of genetic testing for stuttering.

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    Time now for our look at interesting people and ideas that you may have missed on the Web, stories that are Not Trending.

    I sat down yesterday with Carlos Watson, the head of OZY.com.

    Carlos, I want the start by talking to you about some of the stories that we don't hear that much about. One of them, we do read a lot and see a lot about drones, drones getting in the way of planes landing at JFK or drones dropping off packages at your house. But it turns out that people are now looking at drones, these motorized, autonomous vehicles, airborne, and they have different uses for them.


    Two really interesting ones recently, Gwen.

    Now, one is in search of rescue. As you know, often, people use planes, boats, cars, trying very hard to find people who are lost, whether people were hiking, at sea, et cetera. Now they're using drones. And they're not only using drones to find people, but they can also bring food, they can bring medicine, they can carry up to seven pounds.

    So, incredibly interesting use, only got permitted by the FAA about six months ago, but could radically change search-and-rescue.


    They also have the kind of drone that you can put a camera in a ball and throw into a tight space to see things that otherwise you wouldn't be able to see?


    Very much so.

    And, now, needless to say, our military has been using drones for a long time and been using it in that regard. But the other place you're now seeing it over in Bhutan, that very small country on the edge of India, are now using it more to deliver health care services.

    So they're saying that they have only got 30 hospitals for almost a million people, relatively few doctors. And they're saying our ability to get the people who are in need of aid and to look around and understand and even to take sometimes some of the diagnoses from folks is facilitated by this.

    They say, in the future, Gwen, even in cases of an Ebola outbreak, or those sorts of things, where it's difficult or sometimes unsafe, drones might facilitate.


    You mentioned India. One of the most interesting pieces on your site was about the most powerful politician most of us have never heard of. His name is Vijay Jolly.


    What a great name, 55 years old, not elected to anything right now, but is a key aide to Narendra Modi, who is the groundbreaking prime minister there in India, who, as you know, threw out the longtime Congress Party, was quite controversial overseas, in part because of some of his role a dozen years earlier, when there was Muslim-Hindu violence and many Muslims were killed.

    And he wasn't even allowed, the prime minister, to visit the U.S. Well, one of the things the Vijay Jolly, who is this kind of spokesperson outside of India, was tasked with doing is, let's change the image. And part of the way to change the image is regularly meet with so-called non-resident Indians, Indians who grew up in India, but now live in Canada, who live in the U.K.



    Who can still vote.


    Who can still vote. Some 11 million of them had the possibility to fly back home last time around and vote in that big historic election, where the son and grandson of one prime minister ran against a former tea seller.


    How does he do that? Does he do it with like Skype? Does he do it with technology as much as everything?


    He's doing it with that, but he's even doing with it the way that major preachers and major musicians have done it, with meeting at Madison Square Garden and literally holding huge events.

    So, yes, the small events, but also the large events are quite interesting. And this is the guy who is on the far right, a Hindu nationalist, as sometimes called and regarded, but who is seeking to paint, if you will, a different image, a more inclusive image of the so-called BJP, now the ruling party.


    Another thing going under the radar, and that is a potential cure for stuttering, which has ruined a lot of young childhoods, and in this case identifying perhaps a genetic predisposition?


    Yes, very interesting.

    So, you know that many children and even adults suffer with stuttering or other kind of speech disorders. And there have been various kinds of behavioral therapy, some of them shown in the movie about King George VI.


    Right. That's "The King's Speech."


    "King's Speech." And very famous people, including everyone from Wilt Chamberlain, the basketball player, to someone like Samuel L. Jackson, the actor, who struggled with that.

    And so while, for years, people have tried to encourage children and adults maybe to be less tense when they're speaking as a way to ease the stuttering, or in some cases to pronounce certain consonants more softly, now the question is, is there interesting new genetic testing that one day may say to you, this young baby's likely to struggle with this, and so perhaps encouraging you to intervene sooner, with the belief that, if you intervene sooner, it may allow you to prevent that child from beginning a pattern of stuttering?


    And that intervention could be just a pill?


    Down the road. Now, that today is science fiction. And that's further away.

    But the fact that we're talking about using kind of DNA and genetic testing in order to identify these kind of markers represents a lot of excitement in the area. Now, when you talk to the scientists, they say, want to caution you, want the caution you, want the caution you, because we're still a little bit away, but it is an area that's opening up.

    And given all of the heartache that stuttering and speech disorders can cause, you can imagine what a big deal this would be to literally millions of adults and children.


    It's not trending yet, but it may be soon.

    Carlos Watson, thank you very much.


    Always good to see you.

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