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“How can a creature who will certainly die have an understanding of things that will exist forever?”
BY MARIA POPOVA
#ZH Digital - UFSM
Nossos cumprimentos ao recém empossado Magnífico Reitor da Universidade Federal de SM (minha terra natal). O avô mencionado por ele -Vitor Francisco Schuch - foi meu amigo no início da década de cinquenta, pouco antes de eu deixa a cidade. Tenho também saudade, e gratas recordações do Chefe Vitor - criador do Clã de Pioneiros Ibitory-Retan (nome indígena do local onde se desenvolveu a cidade) - Hoje, um neto meu - Pedro Martin Achutti Olivé - tem como Reitor, um neto do Chefe Vitor.
Aproveito para agradecer mais uma vez, na pessoa do neto, as belas aventuras que tive com seu avô, e ao mesmo tempo enviar meus votos de sucesso.
No Knowledge, No Problems Computer scientist Amit Sahai explains “zero-knowledge proofs” — a way to prove something without revealing any additional information — at five levels of difficulty for WIRED. Sahai has used this concept to hide the inner workings of computer programs from would-be hackers. In a 2014 article for Quanta, Erica Klarreich wrote about Sahai’s pioneering work in “program obfuscation.”
Intentional Icarus The Parker probe recently entered the sun’s corona, giving us the closest-ever view of our star, Marina Koren writes for The Atlantic. Much about the sun remains a mystery despite its proximity to us. In 2019 Natalie Wolchover wrote for Quanta about scientists’ attempts to understand the gamma rays emanating from our star.
More than 1.2 million people died in 2019 of infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a global study of 204 countries. The burden was highest in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with children under 5 the most at risk. Another five million people died in 2019 from diseases in which antibiotic-resistant bacteria had a role. For comparison, researchers estimate that, in the same year, AIDS caused 860,000 deaths and malaria caused 640,000.
Life-long lessons from India and Japan Family ties in the world’s second-most-populous country are loosening as more Indians move for work. Farther east, one in three Japanese people will be over 65 by 2036. What can these countries teach us?
On 19 January, co-founders Rick Klausner and Hans Bishop publicly launched an aging research initiative called Altos Labs, with $3 billion in initial financing from backers including tech investor Yuri Milner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. This is the latest in a recent surge of investment in ventures seeking to build anti-aging interventions on the back of basic research into epigenetic reprogramming. In December, cryptocurrency company Coinbase’s cofounder Brian Armstrong and venture capitalist Blake Byers founded NewLimit, an aging-focused biotech backed by an initial $105 million investment, with the University of California, San Francisco’s Alex Marson and Stanford’s Mark Davis as advisors.
The discovery of the ‘Yamanaka factors’ — four transcription factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4) that can reprogram a differentiated somatic cell into a pluripotent embryonic-like state — earned Kyoto University researcher Shinya Yamanaka a share of the Nobel prize in 2012. The finding, described in 2006, transformed stem cell research by providing a new source of embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), that do not require human embryos for their derivation. But in recent years, Yamanaka factors have also become the focus for another burgeoning area: aging research.#NY Review of Books
Neutrinos are one of the most elusive particles in the cosmos, second only to ultra-mysterious dark matter. They are made in considerable quantity — they participate in the weak nuclear force and they're responsible for nuclear fusion and decay. So any time something nuclear is happening, neutrinos are involved. For example, the sun's core is a giant nuclear fusion reaction, so naturally, it's producing quite a few neutrinos. If you hold your thumb up to the sun, approximately 60 billion neutrinos will pass through your thumbnail every second, according to past studies.
(ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images)
Oddly tangled and looped DNA structures could be linked to cancer, according to a new study in mice. DNA typically looks like a twisted ladder. But the loss of key enzymes in the body causes the genetic molecule to become tangled up in bizarre loops and knots, and at least in mice, these odd DNA structures may drive the development of cancer, The Scientist reported.