Science and Technology links (January 19th, 2019)

  1. Losing even just a bit of weight can be enough to restore fertility in women.
  2. Digital technology does not appear to have a significant negative effect on teenagers, according to an article published by Nature.
  3. According to an article published by Nature, woody vegetation cover over sub-Saharan Africa increased by 8% over the past three decades. This is part of a larger trend: the Earth is getting greener.
  4. The number of children in India has peaked. This suggests that the population of India will peak soon as well.
  5. Scientists are looking for chemical factors that either decrease or increase with age: normalizing these factors could slow or reverse aging. Nature reports on a factor called MANF which decreases with age in mice, human beings and flies. It seems than MANF supplements could have anti-aging benefits.
  6. Netflix is approaching 150 million subscribers. This means that about 2% of the world’s population is made of Netflix subscribers. This almost certainly underestimates the true reach of Netflix.
  7. In an article in the reputed Guardian newspaper from 2004, we can read:

    A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world. (…) Already (…) the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war.

  8. Our brains are made of white and grey matter. Obesity correlates with lower gray matter volume in the brain.
  9. Men and women have (statistically) different cognitive abilities, with women being better at verbal tasks whereas men are better at spatial tasks. This survey concludes that homosexuals have abilities closer to the other sex:

    The meta-analysis revealed that homosexual men performed like heterosexual women in both male-favouring (e.g., spatial cognition) and female-favouring (e.g., verbal fluency) cognitive tests, while homosexual women performed like heterosexual men only in male-favouring tests. The magnitude of the sexual orientation difference varied across cognitive domains (larger for spatial abilities).

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

One thought on “Science and Technology links (January 19th, 2019)”

  1. A copy of the report for the Pentagon is at https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/An_Abrupt_Climate_Change_Scenario_and_Its_Impl.pdf . It presents “a climate change scenario that although not the most likely, is plausible. … In this report, as an alternative to the scenarios of gradual climatic warming that are so common, we outline an abrupt climate change scenario patterned after the 100-year event that occurred about 8,200 years ago.”

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