August 24th, 2018
While we all celebrate everyone Trump has ever trusted turning against him, in no uncertain words, let's keep in mind he's still busy sweeping away clean energy statutes left and right.
Register to vote. Then get everyone you know to register to vote. Then support organizations that are getting out the vote with people you've never met. Then, in 74 days, pick up your most popular friend, on your cool scooter, and take them to vote, so they'll tell all their friends to vote.
And then we win.
This week's question was: Can Texas go (clean energy) independent?
Our guest was candidate for Texas district 21, Joseph Kopser. He's a military vet, and a clean energy entrepreneur.
This is the first conversation in our partnership with 314Action.org to introduce you to the scientists, doctors, etc running for office on November 6th.
Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode: It's time for radical environmental justice.
Our guest: Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director for Creation Justice Ministries, where she busts her ass on the reg to help empower minorities affected by this well-rounded environmental shitshow we've created.
On to the news!
Scientists Finally Crack Wheat’s Absurdly Complex Genome
"While the genome of Arabidopsis—the first plant to be sequenced—contains 135 million DNA letters, and the human genome contains 3 billion, bread wheat has 16 billion...
Researchers estimate that the world will need to grow 60 percent more wheat by 2050 to feed its booming population.
“Whatever your views on a wheat-based diet, there is no escaping its importance in global food security."
+ More food:
- Geoengineering to avert global warming could reduce crop yields
Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️
The Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Power the Entire Continental US with Clean Energy. But Should It?
"In 2017, NASA scientists ran a thought experiment to see if they might be able to halt a future supereruption. It suggested drilling a series of wells around the perimeter of the park and pumping cold water down into the hot rock. The hypothetical solution would cool down Yellowstone’s magma chamber and prevent calamity.
As a bonus, the system would provide enough geothermal energy to power the entire country.
...But Yellowstone and other national parks have long been protected from commercial energy development to ensure that these regions remain pristine. The 1970 Geothermal Steam Act, which prohibited the placement of geothermal plants in national parks, even lists Yellowstone by name."
+ More clean energy:
- Electric cars: the race to replace cobalt
- The US is losing the high stakes battery war
- Stacking concrete blocks is a surprisingly efficient way to store energy
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record
"This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.
One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest."
+ More climate:
- Big oil asks government to protect its Texas facilities from climate change, can kindly go fuck themselves
- This carbon-sucking mineral could help slow down climate change, let's go already
- Germany Has Proven the Modern Automobile Must Die
- BREATHE: London's air is now as bad as Beijing and Seattle's is like smoking 7 cigarettes
Biology 401 💉👾💊
China's killing it in the "how to edit a human" game
"A team of scientists in China have used a cutting-edge Crispr technique, known as base editing, to repair a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos.
Published last week in the journal Molecular Therapy, and reported first by Stat, the study represents significant progress over previous attempts to remodel the DNA of human embryos. That’s in part because the editing worked so well, and in part because that editing took place in embryos created by a standard in-vitro fertilization technique."
+ More bio:
- New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause disease
- Ebola's back in the Congo. This is the experimental vaccine they're trying that might just get approved in the US
- Why the hell isn't there a Lyme disease vaccine?
The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀
The Genetics (and Ethics) of Making Humans Fit for Mars
"As George Church, a Harvard geneticist and leading synthetic biologist, argues: “One likely path for risk reduction in space does seem to involve biological engineering of adult would-be astronauts.” He has identified 40-some genes that might be advantageous for long-term spaceflight (and would benefit those who stayed behind, too). His list includes CTNNBI, which confers radiation resistance, LRP5, which builds adamantine bones, ESPA1 (common in Tibetans), which allows people to live with less oxygen, as well as a host of genes that might make us smarter, more memorious, or less anxious.
The menu even includes a gene, ABC11, which endows its possessors with “low-odor production,” a friendly trait in a confined space."
Fuck Cancer, Volume CV 🖕
'Undruggable' cancers slowed by targeting growth signals
"As many as 50 percent of human cancer cases -- across a wide variety of tissues -- involve defects in a common cellular growth signaling pathway. These defects have so far defied most attempts to develop targeted therapies, leading some in the field to conclude that they may be "undruggable."
Now researchers at UC San Francisco and Redwood City-based Revolution Medicines, Inc, have identified a new strategy for potentially treating a subset of such intractable cancers by decoupling the entire RAS / MAP Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway from external growth signals ...dramatically slowing cancer growth in lung, skin, colon and pancreatic cancer cell lines as well as human lung cancers grown in animal models."
+ More cancer:
- Researchers artificially generate immune cells integral to creating cancer vaccines
The Highlight Reel
- Nanofibre net draws drinking water from the air for drought-hit people
Nanobots can eat nerve agents and then spit out an antidote
How One Kid Stopped the Contamination of a River
Can Science Save Politics? Or Will Politics Ruin Science?
Virgin Galactic's Rocket Man
Fun fact: contact lenses are a pollution nightmare
Is sea level rise already eroding your home value?
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and thanks for giving a shit.
Have a great weekend, everyone!