Science and Technology links (April 29 2023)

  1. Ovaries age quickly in women. By the age of 40, most ovaries are poorly functional. However, there is an ongoing clinical trial to check whether the drug rapamycin might slow down this aging. It is one out of several initiatives to post-pospone and maybe reverse procreative aging in women.
  2. Glycine, a cheap supplement, might prolong life by activating autophagy (the process by which your body eats up old cells) and by mimicking methionine restriction (effectively mimicking caloric restriction)
  3. Pregnant women who take antidepressants might be more at risk of having a child with autism. About one in ten women takes antidepressants in the USA.
  4. Scenarios set out under the UN Climate Panel (IPCC) show human welfare will likely increase to 450% of today’s welfare over the 21st century. Climate damages will reduce this welfare an increase of merely 434%.
  5. Overall environmental knowledge and climate-specific knowledge are negatively related to climate change anxiety. In other words, people who suffer from climate-change anxiety are likely poorly informed.
  6. A lithium-air battery could have an energy density comparable to that of gasoline, and thus allow an electric car to go a long distance without recharging. There are promising laboratory results.
  7. Autonomous robots are burning unwanted weeds which might lead to higher farming productivity and lower usage of pesticides. These results are not new and the feasibility has been established. A few years ago, one of my graduate students worked on detecting weeds in a field of blueberries using deep learning.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

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

3 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (April 29 2023)”

  1. Current battery energy density is more-or-less sufficient for ground vehicles.

    Such energy densities would make electric aviation a real possibility beyond a few hundred km.

    1. A Tesla Model Y weights about 2 metric tons. Out of these 2 metric tons, about 40% is the battery. So it is not entirely wrong to describe a Tesla Model Y as a battery with wheels.

  2. Such a lithium-air battery might fundamentally change the economics of aviation, particularly if they could be swapped in and out quickly, to be charged off-line.

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