Science and Technology links (June 20th 2020)

  1. UCLA researchers have achieved widespread rejuvenation in old mice through blood plasma diluation, a relatively simple process.

    (…) these results establish broad tissues rejuvenation by a single replacement of old blood plasma with physiologic fluid: muscle repair was improved, fibrosis was attenuated, and inhibition of myogenic proliferation was switched to enhancement; liver adiposity and fibrosis were reduced; and hippocampal neurogenesis was increased.(…) These findings are most consistent with the conclusion that the age-altered systemic milieu inhibits the health and repair of multiple tissues in the old mice, and also exerts a dominant progeric effect on the young partners in parabiosis or blood exchange.

    They plan to conduct clinical trials in human beings “soon”.

  2. It used to be that universities would happily pay large sums to private publishers like Elsevier for access to the research articles. The prestigious MIT joins the ranks of the universities who are challenging Elsevier.
  3. Medical doctors follow clinical practice guidelines. In turn, the producers of these guidelines are often funded by the industry, and they fail to disclose it.
  4. The upcoming Sony PlayStation 5 will have a disk with a bandwidth of over 5 GB/s. For comparison, good Apple laptops typically achieve only about 2 GB/s, and older conventional disks are 10 to 20 times slower.

    Our already-low tolerance for slow and unresponsive applications and web sites will fall. Loading screens, loading bars, and similar “make the user wait” strategies will become more and more annoying. We will come to expect application updates to occur in the blink of an eye.

    Programmers used to blame disk and network performance, but these excuses will not hold in the near future. More and more, poor performance will be due to poor software engineering. I gave a talk recently on the topic: data engineering at the speed of your disk (slides).

Update: Someone objected that disks with 6Gb/s bandwidth are already commonplace and have been inexpensive for many years. That is true, but 6Gb/s is 10 times slower than 5 GB/s. Notice that ‘b’ stands for bit whereas ‘B’ stands for byte.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

4 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (June 20th 2020)”

  1. After years of research into data engineering practices, I have come to believe that the purpose of most data frameworks is to provide longer coffee breaks while the queries run.

    1. After years of research into data engineering practices, I have come
      to believe that the purpose of most data frameworks is to provide
      longer coffee breaks while the queries run.

      Just put all your data in a RDF store.

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