Science 02018/05/18 highlights

My personal highlights from the May 18, 02018 Science Magazine.

The big change in scientific publishing is still not resolved.  A good update from the AI community.  “Boycott highlights AI’s publishing rebellion

A rigorous look at what the difference between 1.5C and 2C in global warming means for species: “The projected effect on insects, vertebrates, and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5C rather than 2C”  “When warming is limited to 15C as compared with 2C, numbers of species project to lose >50% of their range are reduced by ~66% in sects and by ~50% in plants and vertebrates.”  Let’s get our act together!

Science Highlights – May 11, 02018

My dad passed away from glioblastoma two years ago, so I was especially interested in the “Anatomical transcriptional atlas of a human glioblastoma” research report.  While the paper describes a fantastic new resource for researchers, I did note that they found “… insufficient statistical power for analysis of this mutation…” and “We did not identify any mutation … that predicted overall survival better than..”  However – “This atlas and the associated database .. will serve as a useful platform for developing and testing new hypotheses related to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of glioblastoma.”  Great work of building a foundation to move forward!

The cognitive psychology report (“Efficient coding explains the universal law of generalization in human perception” was a good piece about a new approach to understanding how generalization is done – with measurable predictions about how this approach is better.)

In a great, pure awesome geology piece (quite readable!), Myrow et al describe “Rapid sea level rise in the aftermath of a Neoproterozoic snowball Earth” in which they analyze thoroughly a sedimentary structure in Australia to determine sea level rise rates of 20 -27 cm / years.  YOWZA!  The detailed description of the geological analysis to determine that is amazing.

Finally, the plasma physics analysis of waves modes in an insterstellar cloud in “Magnetic seismology of interstellar gas clouds: Unveiling a hidden dimension” was really cool.  I mean, who doesn’t love some good magnetohydrodynamic analysis of a ~10 parsec structure that is about 150-200 parsecs away from us, to determine that it isn’t actually a cylindrical cloud as had been assumed – but because of the observed plasma wave normal modes, it must be a flat sheet like cloud.  Awesome!

And of course, the better measurement of the neutron lifetime done here at LANL is reported in this issue.

Also, there is really depressing news that NASA is canceling the carbon monitoring research program.

A packed issue with plenty to read.