If you’re interested in what an actually researcher thinks of the Microsoft announcement about intering the oncology research fied, there’s no better blog to turn to than In the Pipeline: Put shortly – and these sorts of stories tend to put actual oncology researchers in a pretty short mood – the cell/computer analogy is too facile to be useful. And that goes, with chocolate sprinkles on it, for all the subsidiary analogies, such as DNA/source code, disease/bug, etc.
It’s a long holiday this weekend in the U.S. Here are a couple of excellent articles about the “Moral Economy” to keep you busy during your travels and parties. What’s the moral economy? Well, read them. They aren’t just smart, they are well written and often humorous. The Moral Economy of Tech by Maciej (of Pinboard.in fame): As computer programmers, our formative intellectual experience is working with deterministic systems that have been designed by other human beings.
Derek Lowe has some choice comments about the Google biotech Verily. Here’s the quote from their CEO: . . .We’ve done a lot, to be quite humble about it. Enough to give us great confidence that this is all likely to work. . . We know that much of this works: we’ve become very good at nanoparticle decorating, we’ve become very good at concentrating them and understanding how they behave in magnetic fields.
Derek Lowe has some smart things to say about how the humnan genome is portrayed in the media now and how that’s going to be changing. …the steadily increasing power and scope of sequencing technology is allowing us to really get to work in the zone between those two concepts. That, as it turns out, is where a lot of the promise that attached to the original human sequencing really resides.
These macro photos are a really incredible use of cameras, microscopes, and computers. By way of Twitter
From RT.com: Coming out of the Stone Age, the chieftain and his descendants controlled the population and reproduction through a new hierarchical system of powerful elites which, much like his bloodline, continues to this day. The gifs in the article are particularly rediculous but it’s an interesting finding. It also has a pretty good summary at the end. The study also proved that all of us, no matter what race, nationality, or religion, are cousins from Africa, as 100 percent of the men tested descend from just one man who lived 190,000 years ago, more than a centamillennium before humanoids left Africa to explore the planet.
I’m not a huge fan of Slate but every once in awhile, I really enjoy one of their deep-dives. This article about the source of the spread of Cholera in Haiti is incredible. One of the several key facts this map fails to note is that three months earlier there had been zero diagnosed cases of cholera in Haiti. In fact, there had never been a diagnosed case of the disease in that country before.
Slate has an interesting, if somewhat overly dramatic, take on recent psychology studies about Ego Depletion: But that story is about to change. A paper now in press, and due to publish next month in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, describes a massive effort to reproduce the main effect that underlies this work. Comprising more than 2,000 subjects tested at two-dozen different labs on several continents, the study found exactly nothing.
Weeks before my holiday vacation, I refresh a long-standing list — my “things to try” during vacation list. This very Web site began life on that list. This year is no different and I thought I’d share them as I complete them. Today’s post is about the Wolfram Programming Language. I wanted to learn at least the basics of the language because I think it’s one of the most impressive achievements in general-use computing this decade and I knew very little about it.
Flowing Data has an excellent visual analysis of a ton of data. There are no conclusions presented, just data. It’s fascinating to see all of this data on one page. I particularly found the Income charts interesting. It’s hard for me to spend less than an hour looking at these charts.