2017年2月27日 星期一

 Prehistoric Aurochs Image Opens Up A New View Of Human Evolution

Anthropologist Barbara J. King revels in the discovery of an ancient animal carving in France.
Engraving an aurochs image on limestone 38,000 years ago, an artist left…

Aurochs - Wikipedia

The aurochs (/ˈɔːrɒks/ or /ˈaʊrɒks/; pl. aurochs, or rarely aurochsen, aurochses), also urus, ure (Bos primigenius), is an extinct type of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle.

Heck cattle

Heck cattle are a hardy breed of domestic cattle. These cattle are ...

Indian aurochs

The Indian aurochs (Bos primigenius namadicus) is a ...

Scientists seek to resurrect the aurochs, the extinct beast that inspired ...

Apr 4, 2016 - The cave lion is extinct. The bulls — a species called aurochs (pronounced “aur-ox”) — have disappeared. Their genes, however, are still present in modern cattle, and scientists have been trying to bring them back to life.

Google Introduces Perspective, a Tool for Toxic Comments

Google Introduces Perspective, a Tool for Toxic Comments

4 days ago - In this case, Google.) Perspective works by rating text comments on a “toxicity” scale from 0 to 100; that score is generated by comparing a ...
更新於2017年2月24日07:35 英國《金融時報》駐歐洲科技記者馬杜米塔•穆爾賈 報導


名為Perspective的這款免費谷歌軟件,正得到一系列新聞機構的測試,包括《紐約時報》(New York Times)、《衛報》(Guardian)、《經濟學人》(The Economist),作為幫助簡化人工審核其文章下面的評論的一種方式。

“新聞機構希望鼓勵與其內容相關的參與和討論,但發現要篩查數以百萬計的評論,甄別其中的惡意挑釁或辱罵言論需要耗費大量財力、人力以及時間,”研發這款工具的谷歌科技孵化器Jigsaw總裁賈里德•科恩(Jared Cohen)表示。


目前,該軟件供谷歌“數字新聞行動”(Digital News Initiative)涵蓋的一系列出版商使用,包括英國廣播公司(BBC)、英國《金融時報》(Financial Times)、《迴聲報》(Les Echos)和《新聞報》(La Stampa),同時在理論上可供YouTube、Twitter和Facebook等第三方社交媒體平台使用。

“從小開發者到互聯網上的最大平台,我們對與各方合作持開放態度。我們都有共享利益,並受益於健康的網上討論,”Jigsaw的產品經理CJ•亞當斯(CJ Adams)表示。




Mildred Dresselhaus, the Queen of Carbon, Dies at 86

Mildred Dresselhaus in 2012 with a bottle of vapor-grown carbon fiber. CreditEvan McGlinn for The New York Times
Mildred Dresselhaus, a professor emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose research into the fundamental properties of carbon helped transform it into the superstar of modern materials science and the nanotechnology industry, died on Monday in Cambridge, Mass. She was 86.
Her death, at Mount Auburn Hospital, was confirmed by her granddaughter Leora Cooper. No cause was given.
Nicknamed the Queen of Carbon in scientific circles, Dr. Dresselhaus was renowned for her efforts to promote the cause of women in science. She was the first woman to secure a full professorship at M.I.T., in 1968, and she worked vigorously to ensure that she would not be the last.
In 1971, she and a colleague organized the first Women’s Forum at M.I.T. to explore the roles of women in science. Two years later she won a Carnegie Foundation grant to further that cause.
Continue reading the main story
“I met Millie on my interview for a faculty job in 1984,” said Lorna Gibson, now a professor of materials science and engineering. “M.I.T. was quite intimidating then for a new female, but Millie made it all seem possible, even effortless. I knew it wouldn’t be, but she was such an approachable intellectual powerhouse, she made it seem that way.”
Today, women make up about 22 percent of M.I.T.’s faculty.
“Millie was very straightforward, no frilly stuff, and I loved that about her,” said Jacqueline K. Barton, a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. “She was always warm and supportive to me, but I also had the feeling it was important to let her know about my last good experiment.”
Dr. Dresselhaus’s own story was one of struggle and perseverance. The daughter of impoverished Jewish immigrants from Poland, she grew up humbly in the Bronx, sometimes on public assistance, but excelled in school — winning scholarships, finding a mentor in a future Nobel laureate and earning advanced degrees at leading universities.
This month, Dr. Dresselhaus found a measure of popular culture fame at the center of a General Electric TV commercial that boasts of a corporate commitment to hiring more women.
In the ad, little girls play with Millie Dresselhaus dolls and dress up in Millie Dresselhaus wigs and sweaters. Parents name their newborn girls Millie, and journalists breathlessly seek the next Dresselhaus sighting. Dr. Dresselhaus appears in the commercial as well.
“What if we treated great female scientists like they were stars?” the narrator says. “What if Millie Dresselhaus were as famous as any celebrity?”
What If Scientists Were Celebrities? - GE Video by General Electric
For its part, carbon is as capricious as any celebrity. It is the graphite of a pencil, worn down by a simple doodle. Arrayed in a three-dimensional crystal, it is a diamond, the hardest substance known.
Dr. Dresselhaus used resonant magnetic fields and lasers to map out the electronic energy structure of carbon. She investigated the traits that emerge when carbon is interwoven with other materials: Stitch in some alkali metals, for example, and carbon can become a superconductor, in which an electric current meets virtually no resistance.
Dr. Dresselhaus was a pioneer in research on fullerenes, also called buckyballs: soccer-ball-shaped cages of carbon atoms that can be used as drug delivery devices, lubricants, filters and catalysts.
She conceived the idea of rolling a single-layer sheet of carbon atoms into a hollow tube, a notion eventually realized as the nanotube — a versatile structure with the strength of steel but just one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair.
She worked on carbon ribbons, semiconductors, nonplanar monolayers of molybdenum sulfide, and the scattering and vibrational effects of tiny particles introduced into ultrathin wires.
She published more than 1,700 scientific papers, co-wrote eight books and gathered a stack of accolades as fat as a nanotube is fine.
Dr. Dresselhaus was awarded the National Medal of Science, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (bestowed by President Barack Obama), the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience, the Enrico Fermi prize and dozens of honorary doctorates. She also served as president of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and worked in the Department of Energy in the Clinton administration.
“Every morning she’d leave the house at 5:30, the first car in the parking lot every day, and everyone she collaborated with she viewed as family,” said Ms. Cooper, Dr. Dresselhaus’s granddaughter, who is a graduate student at M.I.T. “Her life and her science were intertwined.”
Dr. Dresselhaus in 2014, when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.CreditMandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
She was born Mildred Spiewak on Nov. 11, 1930, in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, the daughter of the former Ethel Teichtheil and Meyer Spiewak.
“My early years were spent in a dangerous, multiracial, low-income neighborhood,” she wrote in a biographical sketch. “My early elementary school memories up through ninth grade are of teachers struggling to maintain class discipline with occasional coverage of academics.”
For all the family’s financial hardships, Mildred and her older brother, Irving, became gifted violinists who won scholarships to music schools.
From age 6 on, Mildred took the subway long distances on her own, burdened, as she recalled, with books and musical instruments as she stumbled down steps. When somebody told her about Hunter High School, the highly selective public school in Manhattan, she wrote away for old entry exams, studied them and then aced the test.
There, her predilections were clear: “In math and science,” the yearbook declared, Mildred Spiewak is “second to none.”
1948 A tribute at Hunter High School.
After graduating she enrolled at Hunter College, where she intended to become a schoolteacher until she took an elementary physics class with Rosalyn Yalow, a future Nobel laureate, who urged her to consider a career in science.
“She was a very domineering person,” Dr. Dresselhaus said in an interview in 2012. “She had definite ideas about everything.”
Dr. Yalow, she wrote in the biographical sketch, “became a lifelong mentor.”
Dr. Dresselhaus earned a master’s degree from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she studied under the celebrated physicist Enrico Fermi. She lived in his neighborhood, and every morning they would walk to the university together talking science. The conversations were thrilling, she said, and they kept her going through a grueling program from which 75 percent of the students dropped out.
At Chicago she met Gene Dresselhaus, a fellow physicist, and married him. He survives her, as do her four children, Marianne, Carl, Paul and Eliot; and, besides Ms. Cooper, four other grandchildren, M.I.T. said.
Dr. Dresselhaus and her husband both ended up at M.I.T. in 1960, one of the few places willing to hire husband-and-wife scientists. There she worked at Lincoln Laboratory, a defense research center, where she was one of two women on a scientific staff of 1,000. “We were pretty much invisible,” she later recalled.
One reason Dr. Dresselhaus said she chose to study carbon was its relative unpopularity. “I was happy to work on a project that most people thought was hard and not that interesting,” she said. “If one day I had to be at home with a sick child, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.”

2017年2月26日 星期日

Harvard SEAS Newswire February, 2017 哈佛工程與應用科學學院月刊2月號

Read about methane on Mars, a soft robot that helps the heart beat, the future of the computational economy, and more in the February issue of Newswire: http://hvrd.me/KBCA309l0os

Methane on Mars, a soft robot that helps the heart beat, and more.

2017年2月25日 星期六

Your Brain as Laboratory: The Science of Meditation

The idea that meditation is actually a form of research is gaining respect.

Meditation has surged in popularity in recent years, from a fringe interest to a mainstream trend championed by therapists, scientists, and celebrities.

2017年2月23日 星期四

VX (nerve agent) ;Kim Jong-nam 'killed by VX nerve agent found on his face'

VX (nerve agent) - Wikipedia

VX (IUPAC name O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothioate) is an extremely toxic substance that has no known uses except in chemical warfare as a nerve agent. It is a tasteless and odorless liquid with an amber-like color.

Initium Media 端傳媒
#最新:大馬公布 #金正男 屍檢結果】http://bit.ly/2mdhPiK
#馬來西亞 警方公布初步驗屍結果,證實金正男遺體眼部、面部均含有 VX 神經毒劑。VX 神經毒劑是⋯http://bit.ly/2mdhPiK

Thomas L. Friedman細數 2007年是人類科技群星燦爛年

Thomas L. Friedman: "Thank You for Being Late" | Talks at Google
應該有翻譯義工團將如此精采的演說配中文字幕:細數2007年是人類科技群星燦爛年 (這只是百分之一內容):

2007年,亞馬遜推出電子書閱讀器Kindle,質疑紙本書末日將至的聲浪日漸高漲。當時亞馬遜創辦人貝佐斯(Jeff Bezos)硬是唱反調,咬定紙本書有其存在必要,「非常難以取代。」

Should Scientists March? George Q. Daley worries we’re ‘reverting to a pre-Enlightenment form of thinking’

This year, on Earth Day, scientists are marching on Washington to bring a "strong unifying message that science is important to our citizens." But some are worried it be too partisan.

Some worry the march will damage science's reputation as an unbiased seeker of truth.

Should Scientists March? U.S. Researchers Still Debating Pros And Cons
Some predict that this march will release much needed energy and…


George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School. (courtesy of Harvard Medical School, Stephanie Mitchell, Harvard Staff Photographer)

George Q. Daley, the new head of Harvard Medical School, knows what it's like when presidential politics collides with science. Daley was a leading stem cell scientist back in 2001 when President George W. Bush suddenly barred federal funding for research on new embryonic stem cells — a gesture to Republican antiabortion backers that, many believe, put a chill on one of the most cutting-edge areas of biology.

The move turned many scientists, unexpectedly, into activists. The diplomatic Daley helped Harvard create an institute in 2004 to work around the federal funding restrictions; California bucked the Bush administration by devoting its own state funds to the research. President Barack Obama eventually reversed the executive order in 2009, allowing federal funds to be used; today, embryonic stem cell based therapies are being tested in clinical trials, and studying them has helped unleash a wave of new medical insights.

As of Jan. 1, Daley occupies one of the highest-profile jobs in American medicine, a de facto spokesman both for research and medical practice. And he arrives at a moment when the entire field is nervous about what the Trump administration has in store. The White House seems not only indifferent to research, but also actively hostile to some strains of science; the future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain at best. Drug prices, immigration and the national research budget — all issues crucial to the medical field — are all up for debate. By nature a scientist, accustomed to gathering evidence before opining about solutions, Daley says he thinks his experiences working in a field that was marginalized by politicians may provide some useful lessons for navigating what he called a "cacophony of confusion and alternative facts."

Daley spoke to The Washington Post about his hopes and concerns as he takes the helm at Harvard Medical School — around the same time as President Trump. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Right now, there’s uneasiness in the scientific and medical communities over how evidence and research will be treated, ranging from vaccines to climate change. Having lived through a time when your work was directly politicized and targeted, what are your thoughts about how to approach a situation like that?

I think that the lessons that I learned in the early challenges and policy debates around embryonic stem cells have a lot to teach us for how to advocate forcefully in today’s world. We have to, as scientists, stick to our message, which is that science and evidence is the way to make informed decisions — whether those decisions are about advancing human health and wellness, or about advancing the environment and maintaining not only healthy air quality, but reducing risks to catastrophic climate change. These are all fundamentally, at some level, challenges and risks to human health.

If I had one worry, as we see the cacophony of confusion and alternative facts, it's that we’re reverting to a pre-Enlightenment form of thinking, which will take us back to the days of blood-letting and faith-healing. And this is wrong. This is not the way to advance health and wellness for the greatest number, not a way to face our challenges. We are facing some of the greatest global challenges today — not just with global warming, but with threats to emerging pathogens, whether it’s Ebola or Zika. And if we start to question the nature and value of things like vaccines in human health, how are we going to be able to confront the challenges of new pathogens?

[Why America’s health-care spending is projected to soar over the next decade]

Do you think that this is something that's already happening, or is it a future worry?

The storm clouds are on the horizon. If I just speak to one issue that has a very direct effect on our community: Our biomedical research enterprise, as well as our clinicians draw on the best and brightest, from not only the United States, but around the globe. We are a magnet, we’re seen as the beacon of the best, cutting-edge research and the most effective and impactful clinical training and health care delivery. I’ve met with students from Iran and Syria who are here studying and about to graduate. And they’re worried that their parents are not going to be able to come see them receive their PhD or their MD. We’re worried about the pipeline — not only of trainees who keep us at the cutting edge, but patients. Our health care centers are magnets for patients from all over the world, and in many cases from the Middle East, and it stands in the way of our mission...

Washington Post

For years, this scientist defended his field against presidential politics. Now he’s got one of the most prestigious jobs in American medicine.

Harvard scientist worries we’re ‘reverting to a pre-Enlightenment form of thinking’