Daniel Lemire is a computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ) in Montreal. His research is focused on software performance and data engineering. He is a techno-optimist.
Science and Technology links (March 9th 2019)
In 2007-2008, the recipient of a bone-marrow therapy (Timothy Brown) was cured of HIV. Another person was cured following a bone marrow transplant. And then yet another. The trick to it seems that some of us are naturally immune to the HIV virus. If we donate some of our bone marrow to an HIV-infected individual, it appears that we cure them. So it is effectively a gene therapy. Bone-marrow transplantations are never going to be dirt cheap, but it should be possible to do genetic manipulations to achieve the same result, at much lower cost. News agencies seem to report that it makes three people who might have been cured, but there is also another patient, who might have been cured credibly earlier after receiving hydroxyurea.
Most commodity processors have instructions that can operate over wide registers, processing a large number of bits per instruction. We call them SIMD instructions. The ARM processors in your phone have 128-bit instructions whereas Intel processors are up to 512-bit instructions. The wider the registers, the faster you can go; you can also use them to save on power usage. This week I learned that some Qualcomm processors (found in Android phones) support 1024-bit SIMD instructions. (Credit: Wunkolo)