What better form of protest then mailing your human remains to those responsible for your death?

A short summary of the book Cognitive Pluralisim. It looks four apparent core reasoning systems, and how the work together to form the idea of the soul. I should probably try to get a copy of the book.

A dye that targets viruses. The molecule shifts to emitting blue light to red light upon binding to neuraminidase. They are looking to develop the dye for point-of-care testing, which would be useful to differentiate viral from bacterial infections, so you can only prescribe antibiotics to those whom it will help.

Human thrombin has the ability to form aggregates with bacteria, which aids in phagocytosis and immune defense. Interestingly enough, this is similar to how horseshoe crab blood clots in the presence of endotoxin, although the pathways look quite different.

I mean, the title of the article is a bit misleading, but the paper title is much better. Still interesting; releasing a drug from DNA upon antibody binding allows for controlled drug release. And with customisation in the antibody binding sites, you can have multiple drugs under the control of the same system.

Testosterone suppress asthma. We've known for a while that females have stronger immune systems than males, which is the reason why females are more susceptible to autoimmune disorders, but this is an interesting direct link between testosterone and the the immune cells themselves.

Do you want to drive a turtle? You can drive a turtle. They've already done cyborg cockroaches, so it's interesting to see what other animal cyborgs the come up with next.

Comets emit oxygen. Why? Charged water molecules hitting oxygen-containing compounds pick up an extra oxygen, resulting in gaseous O2.

I'm not the biggest fan of optogenetics, but they've created a fairly impressive oscillator, with error tolerance, multiple frequencies and mathematical models.

Mixing non-GMO crops with GMO crops significantly reduces pesticide usage, although I'm not sure how that stacks up with plant refuges in the states. Giving pests something to snack on reduces the evolutionary pressure to evolve resistance. Interestingly enough, another article this week shows that insecticide-resistant fruit flies are worse at courtship. Resistance always has a fitness cost, and all organisms will prefer not to evolve it if given the chance.

Lyrebirds. With a beautiful origin story from Futility Closet. On a related note, Lyrebird, an AI that can mimic human voices.

A history of computer piracy. Unfortunately the presentation is cut off, but it's an interesting dive into the hacker community of the early ages of the internet.

Mountains out of molehills: number of new mentions per media scare. Unfortunately, the y-axis has no labels.

Stradivarius violins are no better than placebo. And people actually prefer newer violins.

Real-time Twitter flu trends. I wonder how it stacks up to Google Flu Trends, which was shown to be not the most accurate; however, Twitter Flu Trends seems to be more focused on the geographic location of the flu, rather than the number of cases.

If nothing else, it's a shiny phylogenetic tree, but in order to make it the authors wrote a miner to scrape a large number of figures to build this one. Which is impressive and important; since there are so many papers, it's difficult to synthesise and interconnect all the data. Which is why we should really have some standardisation in data reporting.

The normalisation of police brutality. Current students are confused about the importance of the Rodney King tapes. Is it because there are so many recordings of police brutality now? Or is it just expected that police get away with brutality?

An interesting video on CRISPR. Of note: Dr. Church says that he knows of two people who have done gene therapy on themselves, and Sweden's laws on GMOs are similar to the US, where removing genes does not count as genetically modified.

A beautiful visualisation of the Lempel-Ziv algorithm in compressing popular music lyrics.

Human immune systems vary in the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) locus. Researchers have developed a database of HLA variations and how they relate to varying immune diseases.

The development of outgroups in children. Petty politics emerge at an early age.

Cancer metastasis occurs when a number of cells detach and travel through the bloodstream to infect other sites. Apparently, the cells have specialised roles. It's interesting that cancer cells have also developed multicellularity.

And of course, Wcry ransomware. Shutting down multiple hospitals across the UK, it turned out that the virus was probably just a test run, given that the virus came with a killswitch. And of course, now they've rereleased it, without the killswitch.

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Posted on 2017-05-15 03:27:25

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