2019年2月2日 星期六

Daily Bulletin for 02/02/2019 

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This May Be the Worst Regulation Ever

Henry Miller, Pundicity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created what may be the most bewildering, least cost-effective regulation ever.In July 2016, Congress passed a law mandating that all food containing genetic material that has been modified with recombinant DNA or "gene-splicing" techniques bear labels clearly identifying it as "bioengineered."

Musk Reveals a More Practical Approach to His Starship

Eric Berger, Ars Technica

On Thursday night, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared photos of Raptor rocket engines that recently left the company's factory in Hawthorne, Calif., headed out to be tested at its facility near McGregor, Texas. "Preparing to fire the Starship Raptor engine," he said by way of a caption on Twitter.

Study Alters Driving Source of Atlantic Ocean Circulation

Roni Dengler, Discover

Massive volumes of water circulate throughout the Atlantic Ocean and serve as the central drivers of Earth's climate. Now researchers have discovered that the heart of this circulation is not where they suspected.

How Humans Tamed Themselves

Melvin Konner, The Atlantic

When I was studying for my doctorate, in the late 1960s, we budding anthropologists read a book called Ideas on Human Evolution, a collection of then-recent papers in the field. With typical graduate-student arrogance, I pronounced it too many ideas chasing too little data.

Closer to Buckyball-Powered Quantum Computers?

Ryan Mandelbaum, Gizmodo

Scientists have characterized the quantum behavior of buckminsterfullerene molecules, also known as buckyballs, with the hope of perhaps one day turning them into miniature quantum computers.Buckyballs are the Nobel Prize-winning molecules that consist of sixty carbon atoms arranged in a closed, soccer ball-shape.

An Unprecedently Thorough Evolution Experiment

Ed Yong, The Atlantic

In the fall of 2010, Rowan Barrett was stuck. He needed a piece of land, one with plenty of mice, and after days of futile searching, he found himself at a motel bar in Valentine, Nebraska, doing what people do at bars: telling a total stranger about his problems.

Sorry, Crackpots

Johanna Miller, Physics Today

At my family Christmas gathering, I was sitting at the dinner table across from my uncle, a retired geologist, when the conversation turned to my job. He knows basically what I do; I've been at Physics Today for 12 years now, and we'd talked about it before. On this occasion, he was wondering about the specifics of where we get our feature articles. Do people just submit them for publication? he asked.

Should We Farm Octopus?

Emma Bryce, Anthropocene

We currently farm 550 aquatic species for food around the world, and octopus is about to become the newest addition to that list. But a concerned team of international researchers write that farming these cephalopods at industrial scales will dramatically intensify the environmental impact of aquacultureand put us in ethical hot water, too.

Whatever Happened to All the Moon Trees?

Jessica Leigh Hester, Atlas Obscura

The Moon is not an easy place to be a living thing. The little cotton seeds that germinated on the far side of the Moon recently, aboard China's Chang'e-4 lander, died soon after. The water, oxygen, soil, and heat source inside their cozy biosphere were no match for the Moon's version of nighttwo weeks of darkness and temperatures reportedly dipping down to -310 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mystery At Dyatlov Pass

David Bressan, Forbes

In late January of 1959 a group of nine students of the Ural Polytechnical Institute and an older ski instructor departed from the city of Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) on an expedition to Otorten Mountain in the northern Urals. Lead by Igor Dyatlov, an experienced mountaineer, the group proceeded as planned.

The Case for Vitamin-Enriched Alcohol

Jacob Appel, Undark

One of the most upsetting illnesses any psychiatrist encounters is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS). Caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), it results in devastating impairment of muscle control and memory. Able-bodied men and women develop a severe and irreversible amnesia that wipes clean their pasts and prevents them from forming new memories.

Paradox Is Illuminating the Black Hole

Gabriel Lynch, Nautilus

The way up and the way down are one and the same, says the Sage.Paradox has a way of plaguing thought. It illuminates the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the concepts with which we make sense out of our experience. It casts into doubt our framework of understanding as much as the understanding itself. Whatever tower of thought may be built in an attempt to see past its contradictions teeters and, with slight perturbation, collapses.
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