#110: Blackout drunk - you?

September 21st, 2018

38 days to go

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Hi. Sooo sorry about the delay. Lots going on here. Ignore the half-painted living room. Let's get to it.


This week's question was How Will Latinos Save the Planet?

Our guest was Mark Magana, founding president and CEO of GreenLatinos, a national coalition of Latino environmental, natural resources, and conservation leaders. He was the first Latino to serve as senior staff at both the White House and in Congressional leadership, and he's leading us to the promised land. Dig in.

Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode: Why Does Congress Need a Female Air Force Officer/Engineer/Chemistry Teacher/Mom?

Our guest: Chrissy Houlahan, candidate for the House of Representatives and Pennsylvania district six. Find out her very personal reasons for getting into the race.

This is another conversation in our partnership with 314 Action, as we work to put STEM candidates in office on November 6th.



On to the news!

Food & Water 🍌🥑🥕🔬💊👩‍🌾🚰

Chinese Soup Ingredients May Hold Key to Fighting Dementia

"Chinese scientists have borrowed three ingredients from the country’s traditional medicine practice -- a 3,000-year-old approach that aims to regulate the flow of energy in the body -- and used modern pharmaceutical technology to devise a formula to tackle dementia, which has no cure.

The resulting blend of ginkgo biloba, ginseng and saffron extracts, called Sailuotong or SLT, is due to enter a late-stage study in Melbourne this month, and a larger clinical trial to validate its impact is slated to begin in China later this year."

+ More Food & Water:

      - Bill Gates: GMOs can help farmers adapt to climate change

Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️

How Zinc Batteries Could Change Energy Storage

"Thomas Edison tried to develop batteries made with zinc 100 years ago. But he did not figure out how to make them technologically viable. NantEnergy says its zinc air batteries are the first to become commercially available.

Scientists at NantEnergy said they had achieved two key goals: to make the batteries rechargeable, and to lower their cost for energy storage to $100 per kilowatt-hour.

That is a figure that some people in the industry have said is essential to creating a carbon-free electric grid that operates even when the sun is down and the wind abates."

Climate Change 🔥🌊💨

Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100

"Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees by the end of this century.

The draft statement, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was written to justify President Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020."

Biology 401 💉👾💊 

80,000 Americans died of the flu last winter. Get your flu shot.

"That’s more than the number killed in traffic collisions, gun violence, or from opioid overdoses. 

It was also the deadliest flu season in more than forty years — since 1976 — when the agency starting publishing annual influenza trends, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told the Associated Press this week.

Seasonal influenza is a killer, even in milder years. Lately, mild flu seasons tend to kill about 12,000 Americans, and more severe flu seasons kill up to 56,000. 

But 80,000 deaths is an unusually large toll. Here’s what led to the massive spike in flu mortality — and why you should get your flu shot."

+ More Bio 401:

      - Why the Gene Editors of Tomorrow Need to Study Ethics Today
      - Why Your DNA Is Still Uncharted Territory

Fuck Cancer, Volume CIX 🖕

Black Patients Miss Out On Promising Cancer Drugs

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Ninlaro in 2015 after patients in a clinical trial gained an average of six months without their cancer spreading. That trial, though, had a major shortcoming: its racial composition. One out of five people diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the U.S. is black, and African Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to be diagnosed with the blood cancer.

Yet of the 722 participants in the trial, only 13 — or 1.8 percent — were black.

The scarcity of black patients in Ninlaro’s testing left unanswered the vital question of whether the drug would work equally well for them."

The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀

NASA's TESS telescope discovered two new Earth-like planets, got hot Insta feed

"TESS has already found its very first planet: a super-Earth orbiting the star Pi Mensae (π Men), nearly 60 light years away.

What is most mind-boggling is that TESS has only just begun its mission. The space telescope launched on the back of a SpaceX Falcon in April and officially began observations in July. What wonders still await? How many exoplanets will we find?"

Robots & AI 🤖🚘🧠⚡️

Self Driving Cars Are Headed for an AI Roadblock

"There’s growing concern among AI experts that it may be years, if not decades, before self-driving systems can reliably avoid accidents. As self-trained systems grapple with the chaos of the real world, experts like NYU’s Gary Marcus are bracing for a painful recalibration in expectations, a correction sometimes called “AI winter.” That delay could have disastrous consequences for companies banking on self-driving technology, putting full autonomy out of reach for an entire generation."

The Highlight Reel