Holy shit -- it's Issue #100!
A #HonestTweet here, folks: I can't express deep enough thanks for those of you that have been with us since the beginning.
For those who are just joining us -- welcome to the Thunderdome!
What are we about here? We're laser-focused on the existential-ish news you (understandably) missed because you get a goddamn NY Times alert every 12 seconds as the US crashes out of yet another post-WWII global institution.
These are the biggest stories of our time, or they should be.
We curate and deliver, often with a healthy dose of sass, the very good and very bad items affecting humans and the planet now, or, at most, in the next 20 years. This shit is going down.
What do we stand for? We don't debate science. But we do believe in finding common ground. We need everyone on board, like yesterday. We believe in questions, and action.
What are we up against? No doubt, it's dark out there. We're in a race against time, a battle against moronic and dangerous short-sightedness, and depending on the day, it's not going so hot. But we've got our wands in the air and we're fighting like hell.
There's amazing news out there that will transform our species. And there's the baaaad stuff, too. We bring you only what's most vital, and all we ask is you go out and spread the fucking gospel. There's so many more like you out there, people who give a shit.
So thanks for joining. It's time to march, to vote, to fight. For the future. For your kids. For mine.
This week's question was: Middle School Physics: Lame, or the First Step To Becoming A Superhero?
Our guest was the amazing Dianna Cowern -- otherwise known as The Physics Girl. We talked girls in STEM, ladies in STEM, the importance of humanities and asking questions, and fucking mirrors, man. Tune in!
Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode where we ask: Why Drives A Man To Give A Climate Speech Every Week on the Floor of Congress?
Our guest: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. We Stirred. Shit. Up.
On to the news!
Fuck Cancer, Volume C 🖕
Top oncologist to study effect of diet on cancer drugs
"The work, led by Siddhartha Mukherjee at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, will investigate whether a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet could improve outcomes for patients with lymphoma and endometrial cancer.
The trial, which is initially recruiting 40 patients, is the first in a series of similar interventions being planned at other centres in the US and Europe by members of a new international working group focused on “rethinking human diets for cancer”, said Mukherjee, who is best known for writing the Pulitzer prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer."
+ More on cancer:
- Biopharma has a new big idea for making cancer immunotherapy work better
- Electric shock can deliver genes edited to fight cancer
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
It was 90°F in Siberia this week. That's 40 goddamn degrees above normal.
"Climate change has sent temps skyrocketing in the far north of the planet over just the past 20 years. While that’s been quite reflected in the rapid rise in wintertime temperatures, it’s increasingly being reflected in summertime temperatures as more and more sea ice disappears earlier in the season,leaving more dark blue ocean to absorb more daytime sunlight.
...2018 has unfortunately been a prime example of global warming’s effect on the jet stream. And northern Siberia has been getting blowtorched by heat that refuses to quit because of an ongoing blocked pattern favorable for intense heat."
+ "Blowtorched". Great!
+ More climate:
- Analysis: ‘Global’ warming varies greatly depending where you live -- this city in Oman had the hottest night on earth, which, no thanks
- An Iceberg the Size of Lower Manhattan Just Broke off Greenland, J-E-T-S, JETS JETS JETS!
- Air pollution strongly linked to diabetes, because why the hell not
California beats its 2020 goals for cutting greenhouse gases -- but it's not that simple.
"Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials said the results proved the state’s portfolio of anti-carbon laws and regulations is succeeding — and showed California can fight climate change while still enjoying a significant economic boom. They pledged to continue to fight efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to roll back strict emission rules imposed by the Obama administration.
Critics, however, said the California economy has paid a significant price — in the form of higher prices for gasoline, electricity and other goods — while achieving relatively little in terms of global environmental impact. Because California accounts for only 1 percent of global carbon emissions, “the notion that California is going to do anything unilateral that’s going to have an effect is statistically ludicrous,” said Jeremy Carl, an energy specialist at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Yet Colleen Kredell of Next 10, a Bay Area advocacy group that studies climate change and economics, said state leaders can use the results to inspire other countries to do more to fight global warming...
...Just how much California’s policies are succeeding is a matter of some debate. Severin Borenstein, an energy economist at UC Berkeley, said a key reason why carbon pollution has fallen is the Great Recession, which took a huge toll on economic activity in its early years."
+ Forgive the long excerpt -- but with California in the news quite a bit this week for climate-related reasons, I want to paint the fullest picture possible.
- Why is heat illness growing in LA public schools?
- Why California’s fire season is off to the worst start in 10 years
- "Human fingerprint" on California's blistering heat wave
Biology 401 💉👾💊
First attempt to get CRISPR gene editing working in sperm
"For the first time, biologists are trying to get the CRISPR gene-editing machinery directly into mature human sperm, rather than into fertilised embryos.The work is still at an early stage but could lead to a new way to prevent inherited diseases.
...Gene-editing could in theory be used to prevent fathers from passing on a wide range of genetic disorders."
+ More Bio 101:
- This ‘smart’ antibiotic may target the most common bacterial infection contracted in US hospitals
- Experiment wipes out over 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes
The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀
New Analysis of Potentially Habitable Exoplanet Makes Us Hungry for Better Telescopes
"Eleven light-years from Earth, orbiting a dim red star, there’s an exoplanet called Ross 128b that, as we recently reported, has some the best prospects for life of any known distant world. New results may help astronomers figure out what the planet is made of—and they offer more evidence that it might be inside its parent star’s habitable zone."
Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️
Top Renewable Energy Financiers Reveal Pathway To $1 Trillion In U.S. Investment
"Spurred by wind and solar sector growth, investment in America’s renewable energy industry exceeded $40 billion in 2017 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and is tracking close to the same amount in 2018, showing surprising resilience despite policy headwinds."
Robots & AI 🤖🧠⚡️
Google’s artificial intelligence ethics won't curb war by algorithm, Sergey needs that $
"While the US army and CIA are secretive about how they select targets – a process known as the kill chain – metadata plays a role. Big data analytics, business intelligence and artificial intelligence systems are then used to spot the correlations that supposedly identify the target. “We kill people based on metadata,” said the former head of the CIA Michael Hayden in 2014.
Armies and secret services don’t do this work alone: they rely heavily on the research programmes of commercial companies, which in turn are keen to secure government business to recoup some of their research and development investments."
+ More AI:
- This is How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters
The Highlight Reel
- Dying Organs Restored to Life what in the holy hell
FCC wants to make the emergency alert system more reliable
The Billionaire Quietly Protecting Western Lands From Oil and Gas Drilling
Environmental racism is dangerous. Trump’s EPA gives zero fucks
Japan is, well...Japan is under water
Scientists Harvest Hydrogen from Water in Microgravity, a Nifty Trick for Deep-Space Travel
Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer
Senior scientist argues that we should bypass Europa for Enceladus
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and thanks for giving a shit.
Have a great weekend, everyone!