2019年2月4日 星期一

Daily Bulletin for 02/04/2019 

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Ocasio-Cortez and Where Drugs Come From

Derek Lowe, Science

There have been several hearings in Washington on the drug industry and drug prices, and there are going to be more. Drug pricing is a large and messy issue, for sure, and all I'll say about it today is to ask everyone to read Jack Scannell on it before expressing an opinion. I'm not going into pricing in this post at all I have another issue.

How Emergent Is the Brain?

Neuroskeptic, Discover

A new paper offers a broad challenge to a certain kind of grand theory' about the brain. According to the authors, Federico E. Turkheimer and colleagues, it is problematic to build models of brain function that rely on strong emergence'.

A Philosopher's Take on "Naturalness" in Physics

Sabine Hossenfelder, Backreaction

Porter Williams is a philosopher at the University of Pittsburgh. He has a new paper about naturalness, an idea that has become a prominent doctrine in particle physics. In brief, naturalness requires that a theory's dimensionless parameters should be close to 1, unless there is an explanation why they are not.

Unraveling the Mystery of 'Deadly Dreams' Syndrome

Sandeep Jauhar, Undark

In December 1981, the Centers for Disease Control (the name was amended to add Prevention in 1992) published a report detailing sudden, unexpected deaths during sleep among mostly young, male, Southeast Asian refugees in the United States. Thirty-three of those who died were from Laos, four were from Vietnam, and one was from Cambodia.

How Will Future Humans Look Back on He Jiankui?

Hank Greely, Leaps Magazine

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown was born in Oldham, England, the first human born through in vitro fertilization, through the work of Patrick Steptoe, a gynecologist, and Robert Edwards, a physiologist. Her birth was greeted with strong (though not universal) expressions of ethical dismay.

Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Spreading Across America

Craig Childs, The Atlantic

Between a sidewalk and a cinder-block wall grew seven mushrooms, each half the size of a doorknob. Their silver-green caps were barely coming up, only a few proud of the ground. Most lay slightly underground, bulging up like land mines.

Solving the 'Lost in an Amusement Park' Problem

Ross Pomeroy, RealClearScience

It's a conundrum rendered obsolete in the age of cellphones, but still interesting to think about: If you and a friend were at an amusement park (or some other large venue with fixed boundaries) and became separated, should you stand still and let your friend find you or should you roam around looking for them?

Which Countries Eat the Most Meat?

Hannah Ritchie, BBC News

You may have heard an increasing number of people vow to reduce their meat eating lately - or cut it out altogether.This often forms part of a bid to become healthier, reduce their environmental impact, or consider animal welfare.A third of Britons claim to have either stopped eating meat or reduced it, while two thirds of those in the US say they are eating less of at least one meat.

What Science Can Learn From Religion

David Desteno, New York Times

Science and religion seem to be getting ever more tribal in their mutual recriminations, at least among hard-line advocates. While fundamentalist faiths cast science as a misguided or even malicious source of information, polemicizing scientists argue that religion isn't just wrong or meaningless but also dangerous.

Why Can't We Feel Earth Flying Through Space?

Ethan Siegel, Forbes

Our planet isn't the stationary place we feel it to be beneath our feet, but rather moves in an incredibly complex fashion through the Universe. We rotate on our axis once every 24 hours, revolve around the Sun once per year, while the entire Solar System orbits at 220 km/s around the Milky Way, which accelerates towards Andromeda in the Local Group, which itself moves relative to the radiation left over from the Big Bang.

Side Trips on the Road to Fusion

David Kramer, Physics Today

A California startup has a multipronged approach to help pay for its decade-long quest to demonstrate fusion at a commercial scale. The approach includes a novel concept to become a part-time scientific user facility funded by the Department of Energy.

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.
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