Is there an equation for intelligence? Yes. It’s F = T ∇ Sτ.
Wanna know what in the world that means? Watch a physicist explain it here»
Yosemite HD II
Background: This week features a special issue marking the 100th anniversary of X-ray crystallography. The importance of crystallography in modern science cannot be overstated, but it’s not exactly a household term, so if you are not familiar with the topic, here is a fun, short explanatory video by the Guardian.
Design challenge: We decided to create a graphic spread (top image above, and pdf here) that would show the evolution of crystallography over the past century.
The spread was to contain: 1) a timeline of major discoveries and and technological advances; 2) a graphic explaining the basic science behind crystallography; and 3) graphs to show the rise in structural discoveries over the years, and the improvement in resolutions achieved over time.
We started with a few sketches by the editor (second image above).
The first challenge was to filter through a vast amount of information and establish how much we could fit onto a double-page spread. I outlined a split-page arrangement, with a guide to the number of timeline entries we could have along with pictures, and positioned the intro text with explainer graphic on the left, and the data graphs on the right. These were aligned in the same timescale as the timeline below. This structural alignment of time had to be made clear in the final layout, otherwise it was in danger of being missed behind all the information on page.
Intro illustration (last image above):
Here the challenge was to produce an attractive graphic, that combined the basic experimental set up used in early crystallography experiments, the technical aspects of x-ray interference through crystal structures, and the concept of diffracted x rays then being detected on a screen. We also wanted to include a real x-ray diffraction pattern from the first crystallography experiment. Because of the complex science involved, arranging these elements together took many iterations and revisions.
If you visit the graphic online, you can either download the print spread, or view some of the images as 3D videos.
(PS. The story behind the 100th anniversary cover illustration can be found here.)
As the researchers suggest, the fact that the causes of the first and second pandemics were two independent strains passed from rodents to humans demonstrates how rodents can act as reservoirs for diverse strains of the plague bacteria. And theoretically, these new strains could be passed into human populations today.
Because of its relative absence in developed nations, there is a false belief that plague has been eradicated, but this is not the case. Plague infections do still occur in humans today, predominately in African and Asian countries. Despite being potentially fatal, plague can now be effectively treated with prompt antibiotics. Understanding the different strains of bacteria that have caused pandemics in the past is important for planning for possible future pandemics and antibiotic development.
This study does reinforce the importance of combatting the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. If we use antibiotics incorrectly now, such as not completing a full course of antibiotics as prescribed, or using them for conditions that would have got better anyway without the need for treatment, we could end up powerless if a new dangerous and deadly strain of the plague did emerge."
The conversion process, which Obokata has named STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency), requires only that the cells be shocked with a dose of sublethal stress, such as low pH or mechanical force, in order to trigger a remarkable transformation, in which the cells shrink, lose the functional characteristics specific to their somatic cell type, and enter a state of stem cell-like pluripotency. Such STAP cells show all the hallmarks of pluripotency, and contribute to chimeric mice and germline transmission when injected into early stage embryos.
Even more interestingly, STAP cells show a level of plasticity that exceeds that even of ESCs and iPSCs, in that they can give rise to cells of both embryonic and extraembryonic lineages; other pluripotent stem cells typically only generate embryonic lineage cells. STAP cells also differ from stem cells in their lower ability to proliferate in culture, but Obokata found that by adding different factors to STAP culture medium, she was able to cause them to transform into either ‘STAP stem cells,’ which behaved very much like embryonic stem cells, or a second form of stem cell capable of both generating extra-embryonic lineages and long-term culture."
先日（1月24日）、Code for Japanのワークショップ「あなたの街でもCode for Japan Brigadeをたちあげよう」のイベントを開催しましたので、そのレポートになります。
1.イントロダクション by CfJ代表 関
Discovered by the same people who brought you the modern computer.
Read more. [Image: ijzerman/Flickr]
A dynamic graph of character relationships displays the evolution of connections between characters throughout the book. Emotional strength and valence of each sentence are shown in a color-coded sentiment plot. Hovering over the sentence bars reveals the text of the original sentences. The emotional path of each character through the book can be traced by clicking on the character names in the graph. This highlights the corresponding sentences in the sentiment plot where that character appears.
Pair with the original literary visualization, Stephanie Posavec’s 2009 visual analysis of Kerouac’s On The Road.
And now to the how: my primary social network presence is on Blogger, publishing and curating the Rationally Speaking blog (and accompanying podcast, co-hosted by Julia Galef, which can be found on a different platform). Here I publish at least one long (typically 2,000 words or more) post per week (with additional ones courtesy of a number of collaborators) and respond as thoughtfully as I can to at least two rounds, sometimes more, of comments posted by readers. This is were you want to be if you’d like to engage in a serious, in-depth conversation with me.
Secondarily, I am also very active on Twitter. That platform, however, is entirely different in nature, and — contra what some people seem to think — it is most definitely not suitable for discussions. I use it primarily to broadcast my own work or works of others that I find interesting, as well as to discover writings that may be of interest to me. If you follow me on Twitter and wish to interact via that platform, by all means, give it a try. But I will rarely engage in “discussions,” particularly if they seem to be informed by a hostile tone. I will be happy, though — time permitting — to quickly answer requests for clarification or for further resources on whatever topic happens to be at hand.
I can also be found on Google+, but I just don’t have a lot of time to interact on a third platform, so I rarely engage in conversations there, instead re-directing interested people to the blog. Sorry, but there are only so many hours (and so much to read!) in a philosopher’s life!
Finally, you will find me on Facebook, but please do not ask me for friendship there. I made the decision some time ago to reserve Facebook for interactions with family and close friends, so if you ask me you will get a polite response that directs you to Twitter instead."
ASTOUNDING: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + … = -1/12 (by Numberphile)
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