Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for September 6, 2019

in rsslog •  14 days ago  (edited)

Cloned bacteria aren't as identical as we might think; NSA reported to be working on quantum-resistant crypto; Pairing up strangers to talk politics; Satellite collision avoidance in the age of satellite mega-constellations; Steem-based photography of the Eastern Veil Nebula

Straight from my RSS feed
Whatever gets my attention

Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.


pixabay license: source.

  1. Bacterial Clones Show Surprising Individuality - Working in the lab of Roman Stocker at ETH Zurick, postdocs Mehdi Salek and Francesco Carrara conducted an experiment on cloned bacteria, by putting them through a "bacterial maze" that was designed to test their endurance. In theory, the performance for all of the bacteria should have been identical, since they were operating under identical conditions with the same cloned DNA. However, it turns out that there was a large amount of variation. As Carrara put it, "Bacteria can be genetically identical but phenotypically different." Research since the 1940s has hinted at this individuality, but the degree to which the bacteria varied in this experiment was still surprising. According to the article, a crucial unanswered question is: "The crucial question is: What is making these bacteria into distinct individuals if it isn’t their genetics? What is the source of this variation?"

  2. NSA Reportedly Developing Quantum-Resistant ‘Crypto’ - In a tweet, Bloomberg cybersecurity reporter William Turton said: "Anne Neuberger, Director of NSA’s new Cybersecurity Directorate says that the agency will propose hardware and software standards again. Also notes agency is working to build quantum resistant crypto." Before this, the NSA's only known involvement in the crypto space was in bitcoin surveillance.

  3. What happened when we paired up thousands of strangers to talk politics - This TED talk by Jochen Wegner describes "My Country Talks" and "Europe Talks", which are web sites that grew out of exercises in 2017 and 2018 when ZEIT ONLINE paired up 12,000 people in Germany to talk for hours about politics, in private, with people that disagree. In 2019, the web sites have paired up 17,000 people from 33 European countries for the same activity. According to Wegner, Two-thirds of participants said they learned something about the other's perspective, sixty percent said their view points converged, and ninety percent said they enjoyed their discussion. Wegner also says that, "Whenever two people meet to talk in person for hours without anyone else listening, they change. And so do our societies. They change little by little, discussion by discussion."

  4. One of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites almost collided with a weather satellite - The European Space Agency (ESA) says this is the first time it has had to perform a collision avoidance maneuver to avoid a "mega constellation" satellite. In a thinly veiled dig, the agency says that collision is usually only necessary to avoid things like space debris. Normally, the ESA satellite, Aeolus orbits far lower than the Starlink satellites, but according to Forbes, Starlink-44 was at lower altitude in order to practice de-orbiting techniques. Starlink currently has 60 satellites in orbit, but with plans to launch 12,000 of them, the ESA says it will automate its collision avoidance processes.

  5. STEEM The Eastern Veil Nebula - Located in the constellation Cygnus, the Eastern Veil Nebula is part of the larger Veil Nebula. In this post, @astrophoto.kevin shows his own photos of the Eastern Veil Nebula, with and without the stars edited out. The post also includes diagrams that show the Nebula's location in the sky and other nearby objects, and a photo by Mikael Svalgaard of the entire Veil Nebula complex. The photos by @astrophoto.kevin are free to share with credit, so here is one of them.

    The Eastern Veil Nebula, photo by @astrophoto.kevin

    Click through for @astrophoto.kevin's other photos, along with descriptive text.

    (A 10% beneficiary setting has been assigned to this post for @astrophoto.kevin)

In order to help make Steem the go to place for timely information on diverse topics, I invite you to discuss any of these links in the comments and/or your own response post.


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Thank you so much for picking up my post @remlaps-lite :-)
And also for the b beneficiary. I'm very delighted. :-)

You're welcome. And thank you for your post too. I am really hoping that "citizen science" continues to grow on the Steem blockchain, so I appreciate your contributions here.

Thank you :-)
A general growth of the chain would also be desirable. I have the feeling that it is getting quieter from week to week, I hope the last hardfork or SMTs will take it in a different direction.
Let's hope the best for our "small" community :-)

You got upvoted from @steemitsupporter courtesy of @thecontractor

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