October 19th, 2018
Quick: who's your most popular friend?
Great. Text/Slack/Snap them.
Make a plan to vote on Nov 6, and tell them to text/slack/Snap all THEIR friends.
You can even plan your ballot ahead of time right here.
There. Democracy saved. See? So easy!
This week's question was Is the Ocean Running Out of Oxygen? Is That Bad?
Our guest: Dr. Dawn "Deepsea Dawn" Wright. She's the chief scientist at the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka “ESRI”), a professor, and also the first African-American female to dive to the ocean floor in the deep submersible ALVIN. She's a baller. Let's get it.
Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode: How Does A Young Lady Go from Art School to NASA?
Our guest: Ariel Waldman. Ariel is on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, she's the co-author of the National Academy of Sciences report on the future of human spaceflight, the author of the book What’s It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There, the founder of Spacehack.org, and the global director of Science Hack Day, a grassroots endeavor to prototype things with science that is now in over 25 countries. In 2013, Ariel received an honor from the White House for being a Champion of Change in citizen science. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
On to the news!
Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️
Solar Power Could Still Save the World
"“I’m not a pessimist, I’m a data-driven optimist,” said Martin Green from the University of New South Wales. Here’s what the data are telling him:The cost of solar energy is dropping faster than anyone expected: 34 percent this year alone. And installations of it are skyrocketing."
+ Bill Gates loves solar, but wants to remind us that electrical production is just 25% of current emissions. So he's all in on everything else.
More Clean Energy:
- It looks like folks are realizing clean energy could be the biggest goddamn industry ever. Here are the funds behind the new push for that $$$. Of course, BP thinks we're just going tooooo fast.
- Supercharged geothermal energy could power the planet
- Are we back to battery swapping for EV's?
- Washington State is taking another shot at a carbon tax please for the love of all that is holy
Food & Water 🍌🥑🥕🔬💊👩🌾🚰
Feeding 10 billion people by 2050 within planetary limits mayyyy be achievable
"Climate change cannot be sufficiently mitigated without dietary changes towards more plant-based diets. Adopting more plant-based “flexitarian” diets globally could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half, and also reduce other environmental impacts, such as fertilizer application and the use of cropland and freshwater, by a tenth to a quarter."
+ More Food & Water:
- California's Central Valley produces a quarter of our food supply. Drought and sinking land are putting that supply at risk. GOOD TIMES.
- Dehli's slum residents are trying to stop a water crisis
- The banana is dying. The race is on to reinvent it before it's too late
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
Alarming Study Links 'Collapse' of Rainforest Food Web to Rising Temperatures
"Want to know what happens with a 2 degree increase?
Published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the Rensselaer Polytechnic University researcher-led study shows a 10-60 fold decline in the abundance of insects in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Rainforest, the only tropical forest in the U.S. national forest system. The authors say rising temperatures are the most likely culprit, raising the possibility that the base of the food web could be unraveling elsewhere as climate change turns up the heat on rainforests around the globe."
+ More Climate Change:
- Marco Rubio's state just got trashed by Hurricane Michael (here's how it got so big, so quick). And yet -- he still doubts climate change. He is a fucking idiot.
- These are the 10 systemic ways we can slow climate change. VOTE VOTE VOTE FUCKING VOTE.
Biology 401 💉👾💊
Doctors prescribe antibiotics without need nearly half the time, study finds
"Nearly half of all outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the United States are given to patients who have not been diagnosed with an infection that should be treated with the bacteria-fighting drugs, according to study results revealed Friday at an infectious disease conference in San Francisco.
The study, which analyzed more than half a million outpatient prescriptions over a two-year period, underscores the ongoing widespread, casual overuse of antibiotics in the United States, infectious disease experts said."
+ PEOPLE. This shit has to stop. Ask your doctor if your diagnosis actually calls for antibiotics. If not, they will not help you, and if we keep at this shit, well:
+ Antibiotics may soon become useless. Now what?
+ A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it
+ More Bio 401:
- Percentage of young U.S. children who don’t receive any vaccines has quadrupled since 2001
- CRISPR moves out of the lab - here's the big questions.
Fuck Cancer, Volume CXIII 🖕
Colorectal cancer is killing more 20- to 30-year-olds. We now have one clue about why.
"Overall, those born in 1990 have double the risk of developing colon cancer and four times the risk of getting rectal cancer compared to those born around 1950. So in response to the alarming trend, in 2018 the society lowered the age for routine colorectal cancer screening to 45 from 50.
“It’s not like the problem is bad and has stabilized,” said Thomas Weber, the director of surgical oncology at New York’s Northwell Health. “The problem has continued to worsen.”
But a new study published Thursday in JAMA offers one potential explanation: the rising rates of obesity."
The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀
How Do You Find an Alien Ocean? Margaret Kivelson Figured It Out
"It was December 1996, and the spacecraft Galileo had just flown by Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter. The readings beamed back to Earth suggested a magnetic field emanating from the moon. Europa should not have had a magnetic field, yet there it was — and not even pointed in the right direction.
“This is unexpected,” she recalled saying as the weird data rolled in. “And that’s wonderful.”
Dr. Kivelson’s instrument was never supposed to change the course of space exploration.
And then it did. Dr. Kivelson and her team would soon prove that they had discovered the first subsurface, saltwater ocean on an alien world."
Robots & AI 🤖🚘🧠⚡️
M.I.T. Plans College for Artificial Intelligence, Backed by $1 Billion
"The goal of the college, said L. Rafael Reif, the president of M.I.T., is to “educate the bilinguals of the future.” He defines bilinguals as people in fields like biology, chemistry, politics, history and linguistics who are also skilled in the techniques of modern computing that can be applied to them."
The Highlight Reel
Apple donates 1,000 watches to eating disorder study
Immunotherapy effective against hereditary melanoma
How the mushroom dream of a ‘long-haired hippie’ could help save the world’s bees
New techniques can detect lyme disease weeks before current tests
Researchers demonstrate first example of a bioresorbable electronic medicine
Jeff Bezos Wants Us All to Leave Earth—for Good
AI alchemists spit out the recipe for any molecule you want to make
It Will Take Millions of Years for Mammals to Recover From Us
Rewilding: Can we really restore ravaged nature to a pristine state?
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and thanks for giving a shit.
Have a great weekend, everyone!