#24: What Happens When...

Many thanks to badass frequent collaborator Bryan Flynn for our new masthead and art direction. High time we branded this baby and I couldn't be more excited. Look for a (long overdue) revamp of the website coming soon.

On to the news!

1. What happens when we've recorded the genomes of everyone on Earth? - Aeon

"Due to satellite imaging, we can see the entire surface of our planet. There can be no undiscovered land masses. The map of the world is complete. And we should expect the same thing for genetics. DNA testing will become so pervasive it will transform the medical, legal and social foundations of society. If blanket genome sequencing takes off, it will be impossible to obscure human relationships or ignore the content of our DNA."

+ MY NOTES: This is such an awesome, mind-blowing read.

2. Will Kernza, the perennial super-wheat, save our food system? - Vice

"Dubbed a “superwheat” by some, Kernza can potentially solve a list of daunting challenges while feeding humans and livestock on a mass scale. It prevents erosion and replenishes the ground’s nutrients. It drastically reduces the cost of farming, the energy needed to farm, and the need for petroleum. That slows global warming, and Kernza requires no pesticides, thus potentially making organic farming much more cost effective."

+ MY NOTES: I love carbs

3. The Obama administration isn't getting enough credit (shocking, I know) for support of the autonomous car future - Popular Science

“U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx discussed iteration. "We started regulating cars decades after they were on the streets. [And] airplanes decades after they were in the air. We've regulated mature industries for quite some time, but this is a nascent industry."

Foxx continued: "I hope we can keep the conversation fresh and the guidelines in them, [offering] annual reviews so that we're constantly rethinking what we're doing." The secretary went on to point out that the current generation could be the last to actually drive a car."

+ MY NOTES: If you missed this week's Frontiers Conference, take 8-10 hours off from taking care of your children today and dig in. Awesome.

4. Millennials are so annoying and yet this one might have saved us all from the antibiotic apocalypse with what amounts to nano-sized THROWING STARS, PEOPLE CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT - inhabitat

"Shu Lam's study, published in Nature Microbiology, details the mechanism of SNAPPs, or structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers. SNAPPs work by directly targeting, attacking, and destabilizing the cell membranes of superbugs. They are large enough that they do not affect healthy cells, which are affected by conventional approaches that “poison” the bacteria."

+ MY NOTES: #girlpower

5. In related news, water is wet, and 23 million years ago a huge spike in CO2 made the Antarctic ice sheet disappear very, very quickly. - Popular Science

"“We see here that when the Antarctic ice sheet starts deteriorating, it is not that easy to get it back,” said study lead author Tammo Reichgelt, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a Frontiers Teaching Fellow. “Some models have shown that, at the rate we’re going right now, the Antarctic Ice Sheet might reach a critical tipping point and start reducing the extent of ice very quickly. We see here that that has happened in the past.”"

+ MY NOTES: Oh good.


I love this talk on new (and old) ways of thinking outside the box to solve our biggest problems

Break a leg! Break a leg? Check out these 3D printed super-flexy bone replacements!

On politics and scientific understanding. Honestly -- worth a read. Pretty fascinating from a cultural and anthropological perspective. But also -- did you know that all 10 of the congressional districts supplying the most wind power are GOP-controlled? So weird.