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Gene Therapy Comes of Age, Lobster Pain, and the Music of the Mazg: Lux Recommends #114

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #114, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

Gene Therapy Comes of Age: “Nearly 50 years after the concept was first proposed, gene therapy is now considered a promising treatment option for several human diseases”—Adam G

Making the Music of the Mazg: Robin Sloan, the author of Sourdough, shows how he used a neural network to generate the music of a fictional people for the audiobook of his novel. — Sam

The Strange History of One of the Internet’s First Viral Videos: “The clip began to circulate online, mostly via email, in 1997. Dubbed “badday.mpg,” it’s likely one of the first internet videos ever to go viral” — Adam K

18 Spider-Killing Spiders Discovered — And They Look Like Pelicans: “The brutally effective assassins live in the rain forests of Madagascar, a new study says” —Adam G

An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets (pdf): Finally, a sober and clear analysis cutting through the fog and meshing concepts from economics, game theory, and computer science to put together a clear theory on what’s happening in Crypto. — Zavain

Serendipity and strategy in rapid innovation: Fascinating paper: “we analysed the mathematics of innovation as a search for designs across a universe of component building blocks” — Sam

The Swiss Consider the Lobster. It Feels Pain, They Decide: “The government of Switzerland kicked off a debate this week when it ordered that lobsters and other crustaceans no longer be dropped alive into boiling water. Boiling them causes pain, the government said, and should be replaced by a more rapid method of death — such as stunning.” — Zack

Scientists Are Designing Artisanal Proteins for Your Body: “The human body makes tens of thousands of cellular proteins, each for a particular task. Now researchers have learned to create custom versions not found in nature.” — Adam G

World’s biggest flooded cave found in Mexico, explorers say — Lux Recommends reader Lboca

What scientists want: Robert Boyle’s to-do list: Fun wish list: “The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions”, “The Transmutation of Species in Mineralls, Animals, and Vegetables” and more. — Sam

Incredible photos of New York City when it was covered in farmlandPeter

Trekonomics by Manu Saadia: An exploration of the post-scarcity utopia of Star Trek’s Federation. Fascinating.— Sam

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David LettermanAdam G

Octopus color change Adam K

Mythic: Big Bets on A.I. Open a New Frontier for Chip Start-Ups, Too

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