Image for post
Image for post

Dolphins, Origami meets Cancer, and von Neumann Probes: Lux Recommends #115

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #115, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

Bacteria Living in Our Gut Are Hijacking And Controlling Our Genes: “New research has found a chemical produced by ‘good’ bacteria in our digestive system has an unusual effect on the chromosomes in nearby cells, a discovery that could help us better understand links between our diet and the development of one of the world’s most deadly cancers.” — Adam G

Dolphins Show Self-Recognition Earlier Than Children: “Children start showing signs of self-recognition at about 12 months at the earliest and chimpanzees at two years old. But dolphins, researchers reported Wednesday, start mugging for the mirror as early as seven months, earlier than humans.” — Adam G

The People Who Would Survive Nuclear War: “How an appendix to an obscure government report helped launch a blockbuster and push back the possibility of atomic war” — Sam

This Startup’s Artificial Star Is For All Humanity, Whether Humanity Wants It Or Not: “That shooting star you just wished on? It might have been a satellite.” — Zack

The Programmer at the Center of a $100 Billion Crypto Storm: How a top source of bitcoin data contributed to a sudden plunge in digital currencies” — Peter

Monkey Clones Created in the Lab. Now What? “In a controversial milestone, researchers have cloned a pair of macaques using a method that could, in theory, be used to clone humans.” — Lindsay Kalish

I Bullshitted My Way to the Top of Paris Fashion Week: “And in doing so, made a market stall jeans brand the toast of PFW.” This is brilliant.— Zavain

The Cult Of DNA-centricity Adam G

The Atlas Of Redistricting: “There’s a lot of complaining about gerrymandering, but what should districts look like? We went back to the drawing board and drew a set of alternative congressional maps for the entire country.” — Sam

How a Misfit Group of Computer Geeks and English Majors Transformed Wall Street: “In the 1980s, a quiet hedge fund located above a Marxist bookstore launched a revolution that would change finance (and give us Amazon).” — Adam K

Two CARTs, Two Charts: Dissecting Returns From T-Cell Therapy M&A Adam G

Synthetic gene cost slashed to $2Adam G

Population estimates for user-drawn shapes on a map: Fun online tool. — Sam

Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World by Iddo Landau: Examines how to think about meaning and purpose in life, amid the many concerns people have on this issue (that we are mortal creatures, the universe is so large and we are so small, and so forth). Have been dipping into it and find it to be simply wonderful. — Sam

We Are Legion (We are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor: A man’s brain is revived over a hundred years in the future, and is groomed to act as the AI for a probe designed to explore and colonize the galaxy. A lighthearted take on von Neumann probes. While the book doesn’t really end, there are some fun ideas that are explored in an intriguing way. — Sam

Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia by Michael Shermer: “A scientific exploration into humanity’s obsession with the afterlife and quest for immortality from the bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer”— Josh

Seedship: A text-only game online where you are an AI trying to find a suitable home for a colony of humans and build a civilization. Can yield anything from an “Iron Age Slave Empire” to an “Atomic Age Post-Scarcity Utopia.” Pairs well with the book We Are Legion (above). — Sam

In Your Face: China’s All Seeing State — Lux Recommends reader Lboca

How origami could help treat cancer Adam G

Candide Thovex skis the worldAdam K

Want to receive this by email? Sign up here.

And have a suggestion? Let us know.

Written by

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store