Machine Learning, Designer DNA, and Schooling Robots: Lux Recommends #287

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #287, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

‘They have shown that this is not some impossible thing’: Academic lab copies Google’s big biological breakthroughAdam G

How Designer DNA Is Changing Medicine: “A genomic revolution is poised to cure sickle cell and other genetic diseases” — Deena

Lifting Weights? Your Fat Cells Would Like to Have a Word: “A cellular chat after your workout may explain in part why weight training burns fat.” — friend of Lux Jeff Cooper

Massive Machines Are Bringing Giant Exoplanets Down to Earth: “Scientists are using football-field-sized lasers, warehouse-sized electromagnets and other immense facilities to reveal the deep secrets of planetary interiors” — Rahul

Researchers capture six new structures of the ribosome in action (video here)Adam G

Schooling robots to behave like fish: “Radhika Nagpal has created robots that can build towers without anyone in charge. Now she’s turned her focus to fulfillment center robots.” — Nelson

Science fiction hasn’t prepared us to imagine machine learning: “It resembles the Library of Babel more than HAL.” — friend of Lux Guy Perelmuter

A Springsteen Mystery Solved: “Jon Landau, the Boss’s longtime close collaborator in matters musical and financial, offers a definitive answer about what Mary’s dress is doing in “Thunder Road.”’ — Lux friend Ben April

Swedish House Mafia Tap Ty Dolla $ign, 070 Shake for ‘Lifetime’: ‘Track follows previously released single, “It Gets Better,” which marked the group’s first in eight years’ — Alex

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters: “What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job — but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week — except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.” — Sam

Naomi Osaka: “Featuring unprecedented access to Osaka, the documentary follows her pivotal year, from the U.S. Open in August 2019 and on tour, as she plays in each of the Grand Slams and prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.” — Adam G

This school of fish swimming together looks like a single creature, shuffling along the ocean floorAdam K

H.appiness short film — Lux Recommends reader Carlos Liverani

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