Science Highlights – May 4, 2018

The challenge of privacy and personalized medicine was the highlight this week – and it is a thorny problem with no easy resolution.  The editorial “Global data meet EU rules” and the Policy Forum on “Scrutinizing the EU General Data Protection Regulation” were the most compelling articles this week.  Others were interesting, but didn’t grab my full attention.

The data/privacy issue was also recently highlighted on NPR’s Science Friday.

NYT Obits: 1 male, 1 female

On May 13, 2018, NYTimes obits write-ups features one male (David Pines) and one female (Dr. Davida Coady).  And for faces featured it was 5 white men to 2 white women.

Ever since I started reading the NYT, I noticed the secret to women’s longer lifespan – men just die more, at least based on the evidence in the NYT obits.  I’ve kept tabs off an on and usually take note of the daily tally.  I decided to start tabulating it here (especially since NYT started the “Overlooked” effort, which started off admitting “Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of other remarkable people.”)

High Country News: May 14, 2018 especially good!

I always enjoy High Country News (HCN) but for some reason I found the May 14, 2018 issue especially good.  Probably I’m a bit biased – a great shout out to the Bathtub Row Brewery here in Los Alamos (Get thee to a brewery article, with special focus on co-op breweries),  the look at Zozobra’s complicated culture, history, and celebration of remembering and freeing oneself from the past (Entrada complicada), and Ethan Linck’s great essay “Your stoke won’t save us” – a great issue as always, but I found it especially thought provoking.  (Maybe it was also better because I read it while camping at the Great Sand Dunes National Park!)

Science 02018/04/27 highlights

Gaia ESA data trove released – 1.3 billion stars!  I’m really intrigued by this data release.  I’d love to carve a little time to see about digging into it.

Robotic weather balloon launchers in AK – Some tensions related to automated atmospheric profiling by robotic weather balloon launchers.  Cool technology, but workforce and expertise impacts.

A few interesting quantum entanglement articles.

(Note: I decided to start my personal weekly highlights from Science Magazine – simply to add a bit of discipline on trying to keep up with the important news vs the political noise (see the Long Now’s Pace Layer thinking blog).  I also am partly experimenting with evolving my relationship with social media – so this feeds to twitter automatically.  I value the networking aspect of social media, but not the noise and intrusiveness – in part this is an experiment in trying to find the balance for myself.  Feel free to play along!)

(p.s. This is the time for biology, and while I love all the beautiful molecular diagrams – definitely art! – I’m a physicist, so almost every week there is a bit too much bio for my tastes – my bias will show, I’m sure, so I might as well acknowledge it!  And then, if I highlight a bio item, it must really be broadly interesting.. 😉

Science 02018/04/13 highlights

Quick Note: Hard to find planets around Alpha Centauri – triple star system (the Three Body Problem) – one planet around red dwarf, but likely others we can’t see..

Disaster resiliency agent based models – DOE Labs briefly mentioned

Topological Superconducting

Machine-Learning prediction of C-N reaction cross-coupling – promising

Blueprint for Quantum Suprmacy (a plan/path to see if Quantum Computing is worth it..)

(Nano)porous graphene production (bottom up synthesis, w/ annealing)