It's important that despite the seemingly endless waves of shitty news permeating your every waking moment, we retain a sense of positivity and confidence -- if not in the news, in our own abilities to shape the future.
We can't wander around half-ass trying to fix our myriad existential issues, thinking and saying and tweeting, "Hey maybe if we do this it won't all be so bad-ish". We need to take some attitude lessons from some real heroes and emulate the incredible Parkland survivors. "Fuck me? Fuck you. If you're not gonna fix it, I will."
But it's not easy, is it?
So this is why, ok in maybe a slightly less uncouth manner, I appreciate Bill and Melinda Gates -- endlessly and sometimes annoyingly-so optimists who have saved, I don't know, a bajillion lives already -- taking themselves to task on the 10 toughest questions they get asked. It's an important read, and it's right here.
On a related note, if you think it's hard being you, try being Bob Inglis, former GOP congressman, voted out of office for, at least in large part, his support of climate action. But he's still a conservative, and he's still fighting for climate action, and we talked to him on this week's podcast. Check it right me-ow, at one of the handy links below.
On to the news!
Biology 401 💉👾💊
A Biohacker Regrets Publicly Injecting Himself With CRISPR
"When Josiah Zayner watched a biotech CEO drop his pants at a biohacking conference and inject himself with an untested herpes treatment, he realized things had gone off the rails.
Zayner is no stranger to stunts in biohacking—loosely defined as experiments, often on the self, that take place outside of traditional lab spaces. You might say he invented their latest incarnation: He’s sterilized his body to “transplant” his entire microbiome in front of a reporter. He’s squabbled with the FDA about selling a kit to make glow-in-the-dark beer. He’s extensively documented attempts to genetically engineer the color of his skin. And most notoriously, he injected his arm with DNA encoding for CRISPR that could theoretically enhance his muscles—in between taking swigs of Scotch at a live-streamed event during an October conference."
+ More on your body, here:
- Peter Diamandis Is the Latest Tech Futurist Betting on Anti-Aging Stem Cells
- DETECTR, CAMERA, and SHERLOCK are just a few of the latest uses for CRISPR. But what do they mean/do?
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says
"The world is far off course from its goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions — and research published Tuesday illustrates one of the most striking implications of this.
Namely, it finds that for every five years in the present that we continue to put off strong action on climate change, the ocean could rise an additional eight inches by the year 2300 — a dramatic illustration of just how much decisions in the present will affect distant future generations.
“One important point was to reveal that sea level [rise] is not in the far future, it’s now, and because the system is so slow, we just can’t see it at the moment,” said Matthias Mengel of Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the lead author of the study, which was published in Nature Communications. “But we cause it now.”"
+ Related: Sea-level rise is accelerating, and its rate could double in next century
+ More climate change:
- Permafrost Experiments Mimic Alaska’s Climate-Changed Future
- World’s first floating wind farm performing better than expected
- Renewables are about to become our cheapest form of energy
Fuck Cancer, Volume LXXXIII 🖕
Doctors Said Immunotherapy Would Not Cure Her Cancer. They Were Wrong.
"No one expected the four young women to live much longer. They had an extremely rare, aggressive and fatal form of ovarian cancer. There was no standard treatment.
The women, strangers to one another living in different countries, asked their doctors to try new immunotherapy drugs that had revolutionized treatment of cancer. At first, they were told the drugs were out of the question — they would not work against ovarian cancer.
Now it looks as if the doctors were wrong. The women managed to get immunotherapy, and their cancers went into remission. They returned to work; their lives returned to normalcy.
The tale has befuddled scientists, who are struggling to understand why the drugs worked when they should not have. If researchers can figure out what happened here, they may open the door to new treatments for a wide variety of other cancers thought not to respond to immunotherapy.
“What we are seeing here is that we have not yet learned the whole story of what it takes for tumors to be recognized by the immune system,” said Dr. Jedd Wolchok, chief of the melanoma and immunotherapeutics service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York."
+ This is a really great read. A gentle reminder: immunology is very, very new. Sometimes it works spectacularly well, much of the time, it doesn't work at all -- or worse. And sometimes, like this, it works when we don't expect it to. But this is why we fund basic science.
Robots & AI 🤖🧠⚡️
FOMO is driving massive national investments in AI, led by China. What's next?
"China is racing ahead in AI. Deep learning is getting a make over. AI is coming to Cannabis tech. Artificial intelligence is changing the fundamental structure of every industry in areas ranging from agriculture to cybersecurity to commerce to healthcare, and more. Here's a look at A look at 13 AI trends reshaping the world."
+ Download the report here.
The Highlight Reel
- Scientists Will Transport Antimatter in a Truck, which, wow, um, I don't know, man, but not until 2022, and we'll totally be out of here by then, right Elon? Right?
Are you aware that most modern conveniences rely on sand and that we're almost out of it? I know. Me too. Read on.
Here's how T-cells work throughout your life
Google’s new AI algorithm predicts heart disease by looking at your eyes
With 10 Million Acres in Patagonia, a National Park System Is Born (remember when Obama did this every two weeks? Sigh)
Banks Told They're Lagging on Response to Climate Risks
Who Is Garrett Hardin? The Master Ecologist Who Warned Us About Population Growth
A Spy’s Guide to Climate Change
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and have a great weekend, everyone!