Science and Technology links (August 1st 2020)

  1. In Japan, a large dam is being constructed almost entirely by robots.
  2. Naked mole rats are mammals that do not age in the sense that their fitness and mortality follows a flat curve, and not a Gompertz curve. Senescent cells are large dysfunctional cells that we tend to accumulate as we age. Researchers report that naked mole rats have few senescent cells. It may be because their senescent cells are less resilient than that of mice.
  3. Mice consuming a little bit of alcohol regularly live longer and less likely to become obese.
  4. Cable TV is dying and the COVID-19 pandemic does appear to be helping. AT&T lost 900,000 cable subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 while Comcast lost 477,000 cable subscribers in the second quarter.
  5. Yeast cells age in one of two distinct, mutually exclusive ways.
  6. Smallpox was killer:

    In America, smallpox is usually associated with the decimation of Native Americans, but Europeans were not immune to the disease. As late as the 18th century, for example, smallpox killed about 400,000 Europeans annually. The overall mortality rate was 20% to 60%. Among infants, it was more than 80% and was one of the reasons for the low overall life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

Daniel Lemire, "Science and Technology links (August 1st 2020)," in Daniel Lemire's blog, August 1, 2020.

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Daniel Lemire

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

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