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Scientists Say There Could Be Life on Mercury – Futurism

Mercurious

According to a study published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, theres a minuscule chance that Mercury, our Suns closest neighbor, has all it needs to host life.

It is possible that as long as there was water, the temperatures would be appropriate for the survival and possibly the origin of life, co-author Jeffrey Kargel from the Planetary Science Institute told The New York Times.

In the study, the team of researchers suggest that the Mercurys chaotic surface isnt the result of earthquakes, as the prevailing theory holds. Instead, they argue, cracks in the surface are rather caused by volatiles elements that can quickly switch from one state to another such as a liquid turning into a gas bubbling up from below.

Volatiles such as water could provide an environment friendly to life underground the surface itself is far too hot, heating up toaround 800 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

The idea of life on Mercury is still a long shot, but the researchers are hopeful.

I thought [co-author] Alexis [Rodriguez] had lost it at some point, Kargel told the Times. But the more I dug into the geologic evidence and the more I thought about the chemistry and physical conditions there, the more I realized that this idea well it might be nuts, but its not completely nuts.

READ MORE: Life on the Planet Mercury? Its Not Completely Nuts [The New York Times]

More on Mercury: Mercury Is Every Planet in the Solar Systems Closest Neighbor

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Scientists Discover That a Squid Can Edit Its Own Genetic Code – Futurism

Tentacle Hack

The next generation of genetic medicine may be inspired by a bizarre genetic trick that a small squid species uses to edit its own genome on the fly.

The longfin inshore squid can edit the RNA inside its nerve cells, Wired reports, meaning that it can drastically alter the behavior of its biological machinery as needed perhaps to help the animal rapidly adapt to new environments. Its a bizarre discovery, and one that could potentially lead to better genetic treatments for humans.

Researchers from the Marine Biological Laboratory found that the squid alters the RNA within its axons instead of the DNA within its nuclei, according to research published Monday in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. Thus far, its the only animal known to do so.

RNA editing is a hell of a lot safer than DNA editing, lead researcher Joshua Rosenthal told Wired. If you make a mistake, the RNA just turns over and goes away.

Because it happens outside the nucleus, RNA editing would be an improvement over modern genetic treatments, Wired reports. To gene-hack a patient with CRISPR, the new genetic information needs to breach not only a cells membrane but also the membrane of that cells nucleus to reach its DNA.

But it will be some time before medical doctors start to use the longfin inshore squids weird gene-hacks on people. For now, researchers still arent even sure why, exactly, the squid alters its genes.

READ MORE: Squids Gene-Editing Superpowers May Unlock Human Cures [Wired]

More on gene-hacking: George Church Told us Why Hes Listing Superhuman Gene Hacks

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Scientists Say There Could Be Life on Mercury Futurism – News Collective

Futurism.com

We still dont know if theres water on Mercury.

MercuriousAccording to a study published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, theres a minuscule chance that Mercury, our Suns closest neighbor, has all it needs to host life.It is possible that as long as there was water, the temperatures would be appropriate for the survival and possibly the origin of life, co-author Jeffrey Kargel from the Planetary Science Institute told The New York Times.Bubbling UpIn the study, the team of researchers suggest that the Mercurys chaotic surface isnt the result of earthquakes, as the prevailing theory holds. Instead, they argue, cracks in the surface are rather caused by volatiles elements that can quickly switch from one state to another such as a liquid turning into a gas bubbling up from below.Volatiles such as water could provide an environment friendly to life underground the surface itself is far too hot, heating up toaround 800 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.Not Completely NutsThe idea of life on Mercury is still a long shot, but the researchers are hopeful.I thought [co-author] Alexis [Rodriguez] had lost it at some point, Kargel told the Times. But the more I dug into the geologic evidence and the more I thought about the chemistry and physical conditions there, the more I realized that this idea well it might be nuts, but its not completely nuts.READ MORE:Life on the Planet Mercury? Its Not Completely Nuts [The New York Times]More on Mercury:Mercury Is Every Planet in the Solar Systems Closest Neighbor

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Doctors Think This May Be the First Symptom of the Coronavirus – Futurism

Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert, whos tested positive for the coronavirus, tweeted this weekend that he cant smell anything.

Gobert isnt alone. A growing number of doctors suspect that for many patients, the first symptom of the bug before a telltale cough or fever could be losing your sense of taste, smell, or both.

A fascinating new story in The New York Times tracked down growing worldwide evidence that those subtle symptoms could in many cases be harbingers of a coronavirus diagnosis. Some even went as far as to suggest that if you cant smell the garlic and onions youre sauting, you should consider acting as though you have the virus for the purposes of public health.

Almost everybody who is hospitalized has this same story, Italian doctor Marco Metra, whose hospital is treating hundreds of COVID-19 patients, told the Times. You ask about the patients wife or husband. And the patient says, My wife has just lost her smell and taste but otherwise she is well. So she is likely infected, and she is spreading it with a very mild form.

Experts have deemed the evidence sufficient that on Sunday, a prominent group of American head and neck doctors called for the loss of taste and smell to be added to the list of screening criteria for COVID-19.

Early-stage research in South Korea, China and Italy seems to corroborate the phenomenon, according to CNN, and the Times cited two researchers who said theyve observed the same thing in Germany.

There is good news, according to a professor of medicine at Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich who talked to the Times: most patients are regaining both their sense of taste and smell after the infection clears up.

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The Neo-Futurists Announce Their Digital Platform, ‘The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral’ – Broadway World

The Neo-Futurists have announced the digital version of their flagship show, The Infinite Wrench via i??Patreon currently titled as The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral Known for performing 50 weeks of the year, The Neo-Futurists took an unprecedented step to suspend performances of its "surprising, occasionally powerful, often hilarious and always entertaining" (Chicago On Stage) show, along with classes, events, and other ancillary programming in order to ensure the safety the ensemble, staff, students, and audiences as concerns regarding the containment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) evolved.

To honor the non-stop nature of The Neo-Futurists' work, the ensemble has created an easily accessible version of The Infinite Wrench by adapting current works for online audiences, which is accessible on its website, neofuturists.org

"Our work is constantly responding to what's happening in the world. As a collective that creates new material every single week, we're accustomed to constraints that lead us to new unexplored territory" said Artistic Director Kirsten Riiber. "For 31 years, we've provided a space for audiences to come together and see their experience reflected to them with honesty; and this is one of those times where staying present with our audiences, who we've never been able to do our work without, is vital."

The Neo-Futurists' ensemble members, contracted artists, and staff will continue to receive payment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be available to subscribers of The Neo-Futurists' Patreon site. Several tiers have been made available to those able and interested in supporting the organization and its various communities during this dire time. The base-level perk, which starts at just $3.00 per show, offers the opportunity for patrons to watch the show from the comfort of their own homes, where they can choose the order of the show, just like they can at the traditional Infinite Wrench.

"One of our greatest strengths is our resilience and ability to create in a small window of time, and The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral is another example of that adeptness, " said Managing Director Jorge Silva. "It is my sincerest hope that by making The Infinite Wrench accessible online and affordable, we can bring some relief to our artistic community and provide comfort to our audiences during this bewildering time."

A preview performance of The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral was published online this past Sunday, March 22, 2020 and all are invited to take part in the 'opening night performance' set for Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 8:00 PM CST. Additional options are being tailored for those interested in supporting The Neo-Futurists community outside or beyond the Patreon platform. Those interested in donating to The Neo-Futurists and their ambitious efforts should go to The Neo-Futurists' website portal.

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Why Buckminster Fuller is the ‘patron saint’ of University City Science Center – Technical.ly

University City Science Center, a nonprofit that helps innovators and entrepreneurs take their creative ideas to the marketplace, was designed to be a place of collaboration, and has only grown since its start in 1963.

The center, which moved into its new uCity Square location at the end of 2018, was slated as the next hub to be featured in Technical.lys 10-week series ahead ofPhilly Tech Week 2020 presented by Comcast thats connecting historical figures to modern spaces that embody innovation. (See how the programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computerconnect to Pennovation Works if youre not caught up.)

Alas, when we launched this series and spent the past several months planning this years Philly Tech Week events, we didnt anticipate a pandemic ripping through our region and bounding residents to their homes. (Maybe youve heard?) Accordingly, PTW20 is now postponed to later this year. But we couldnt resist sharing one more story of an innovator from Phillys past and, happily, one with the strongest connection yet to its assigned PTW hub.

The Science Centers mission has three pillars: commercializing promising companies, convening people to share and support ideas, and cultivating future talent in STEM. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) spent time there as a World Fellow in Residence during the 1970s and early 1980s.

The futurist and author behind the concept of Spaceship Earth is known for designing the geodesic dome, which you may know from the shape of Disneys Epcot Center. The Science Center honored Fuller in its inaugural class of the Innovators Walk of Fame in the art category in 2014.

David Clayton, director of in-house STEM education program FirstHand, feels like Fuller is the patron saint of the Science Center: Fuller used resources to better humanity, something Clayton believes speaks to the culture of innovation the org is trying to create.

Some of his principles are things we still look to today, said Clayton. I think its something that he was doing far ahead of time through his books, lectures and projects.

At FirstHand, Clayton works with middle school youth to give them early exposure to careers in science, design, and entrepreneurship.

Were creating a platform where young people can start to solve the problems of tomorrow and start thinking about those problems now, Clayton said. Fuller is at the roots of that.

Bucky, as hes referred to affectionately, preferred the title of design scientist over anything else. He spent his life working in multiple fields, including architecture, design and engineering, in his pursuit to make the world work for all of humanity. He often paired art with technology; the Science Center connects the two as well.

The center is home to the Esther Klein Gallery and uses creative arts to explore the intersections between art, science and technology. The gallery shows six exhibitions each year that are based on some type of art and tech. Fuller displayed his work in a solo exhibit at the gallery in the early 1980s which featured his latest invention at the time, the 4D dymaxion book case.

Bucky had a lot of really amazing ideas he put into practice, but he also had a lot of ideas that never came to fruition, said Angela McQuillan, curator of the Esther Klein Gallery. I think that just shows he wasnt afraid to experiment and be super creative.

McQuillan is also the director the Science Centers BioArt Residency program remember that engineered Lovesick virus that spreads kindness and empathy? which she founded in 2017. The program is a part of a partnership with biotech company Integral Molecular the folks trying to figure out what makes COVID-19 so infectious and was made to create interdisciplinary ideas and to get people talking about things from a different perspective and find solutions to problems. Three residents each year spend three months working alongside scientists to create a body of work for the gallery.

The Science Center continues to evolve as the needs of startup companies and entrepreneurs change over time, said Marketing Director Kristen Fitch.

Were trying to build on his legacy and not lose sight on the value of different ideas and different types of people and what they can collectively bring to the table, Fitch said.

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