The Fine-Structure Constant, Protein Folding, and Redwoods: Lux Recommends #257

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #257, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).


Physicists Nail Down the ‘Magic Number’ That Shapes the Universe: “A team in Paris has made the most precise measurement yet of the fine-structure constant, killing hopes for a new force of nature.” — Sam

The researcher fighting to embed analysis of sex and gender into science: “Londa Schiebinger explains why studies that ignore these factors are flawed.” — Deena

The man who invented the Zamboni: “How the son of Italian immigrants created a niche industry for ice resurfacing machines and turned his family’s name into a noun.” — friend of Lux Mike Granoff

How Archaeologists Are Using Deep Learning to Dig Deeper: “Trawling ancient history with neural nets.” — Deena

World’s deepest diving pool opens in Poland — friend of Lux Josh Caspi

‘It will change everything’: DeepMind’s AI makes gigantic leap in solving protein structures: “Google’s deep-learning program for determining the 3D shapes of proteins stands to transform biology, say scientists.” — Deena

Autism study suggests connection between repetitive behaviors, gut problems: “Severity of GI symptoms, other autism symptoms also associated” — Adam G

How modern mathematics emerged from a lost Islamic libraryDeena

Financial Presentation of Alzheimer Disease and Related DementiasBilal

Reboot contraceptives research — it has been stuck for decades: “There is a huge global market, and exciting tools are ready to help develop what women want.” — Deena

3d engine in DNA codeSam

This Japanese Shop Is 1,020 Years Old. It Knows a Bit About Surviving Crises: “A mochi seller in Kyoto, and many of Japan’s other centuries-old businesses, have endured by putting tradition and stability over profit and growth.” — Bilal

Imagine a world in which AI is in your home, at work, everywhereDeena

11 Facts About Coast Redwoods, the Tallest Trees in the WorldSam


Cobra Kai: ‘Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the “Karate Kid” films.’ — Adam K


AlphaGo: “AlphaGo chronicles a journey from the halls of Oxford, through the backstreets of Bordeaux, past the coding terminals of Google DeepMind in London, and ultimately, to the seven-day tournament in Seoul.”— Sam

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