On Jan. 9, I had a similar feeling watching the National Football League wild-card game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. An outrageous helmet-to-helmet hit by the Steeler Ryan Shazier gave Giovani Bernard a concussion, but astonishingly, it didn’t result in a penalty — the hit was apparently within the rules. The Bengals’s Vontaze Burfict’s savage shoulder-to-helmet hit on the defenseless wide receiver Antonio Brown caused another concussion (he couldn’t play in the next week’s divisional playoff), but at least Burfict’s recklessness drew a three-game suspension.
The negative publicity surrounding the game was more evidence that, despite its colossal cultural and economic success, the N.F.L. is in deep trouble, and can’t seem to find a way out. The still accumulating evidence of brain-damaged former players — Ken Stabler, who died in July, is the most recent one to show evidence of brain trauma — is a huge legal liability. The failure of the league to take effective actions to protect the brains of current players puts it into willful-negligence territory. Other than increasing some on-field penalties, the league has done almost nothing to protect players now or in the future. And the sports media are mostly shills paid by the networks to entertain audiences and please the league, with little interest in using their pulpit for the cause of player safety.
To understand how people perceive these blends, we put together a survey and asked people to rate 88 blends. We gave them an example of a blend without telling them what words it’s made from and asked them to answer the following questions about it:
1. Do you understand what it means? If they said no, they could skip straight to the next word. 2. Understandability: Is it easy to understand what words make up this blend? 3. Naturalness: Does this combination of words sound natural to you?
We knew in advance that it’s not always easy to decide what the difference between understandability and naturalness is; presumably, difficult to understand blends are also unnatural. We’re most interested in the examples where those measures don’t line up: which blends are easy to understand but unnatural (and vice versa)? We’ll look at the difference between those two measures below. For convenience, when giving average ratings we convert the 5-point Likert scale participants used (Terrible, Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent) to a 1-5 scale. (Note for the quantitatively minded: in the actual modeling we perform, we don’t do this conversion and do not make the interval assumption or any normality assumptions regarding the data.)
Rooftop farms and greenhouses can be very expensive. Freight Farms repurposes shipping containers as hydroponic gardens using LED lights. It may be viable for high value greens that need to be fresh - think restaurants and high end consumers.
... imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in - an interesting hole I find myself in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise.
Another move to ban child marriages in Pakistan has fallen at the first hurdle. The bill to prohibit underage marriages has been withdrawn after the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) declared it un-Islamic.
The ruling party lawmaker, who moved the bill, withdrew her proposal on Thursday following staunch resistance from the council, which advises the legislature whether or not a certain law is Sharia-compliant.
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony rejected the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014 after the CII dubbed it ‘anti-Islamic’ and ‘blasphemous’.
If the results hold up in people, they could lead to an entirely new way to treat aging, says gerontology and cancer researcher Norman Sharpless at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. Most prospective antiaging treatments would require people to take a drug for decades. Periodically zapping senescent cells might temporarily turn back the clock and improve health for people who are already aging, he says. “If this paper is right, I believe it will be one of the most important aging papers ever,” Sharpless says.
Senescent cells are ones that have ceased to divide and do their usual jobs. Instead, they hunker down and pump out inflammatory chemicals that may damage surrounding tissues and promote further aging. “They’re zombie cells,” says Steven Austad, a biogerontologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. ”They’ve outlived their usefulness. They’re bad.”
Cancer biologist Jan van Deursen of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues devised the strategy for eliminating senescent cells by making the cells commit suicide. A protein called p16 builds up in senescent cells, the researchers had previously discovered. The team hooked up a gene for a protein that causes cells to kill themselves to DNA that helps turn on p16 production, so that whenever p16 was made the suicide protein was also made.
The paper appears in Nature (behind their paywall)
Darren J. Baker, Bennett G. Childs, Matej Durik, Melinde E. Wijers, Cynthia J. Sieben, Jian Zhong, Rachel A. Saltness, Karthik B. Jeganathan, Grace Casaclang Verzosa, Abdulmohammad Pezeshki, Khashayarsha Khazaie, Jordan D. Miller & Jan M. van Deursen
Cellular senescence, a stress-induced irreversible growth arrest often characterized by expression of p16Ink4a (encoded by the Ink4a/Arf locus, also known as Cdkn2a) and a distinctive secretory phenotype, prevents the proliferation of preneoplastic cells and has beneficial roles in tissue remodelling during embryogenesis and wound healing. Senescent cells accumulate in various tissues and organs over time, and have been speculated to have a role in ageing. To explore the physiological relevance and consequences of naturally occurring senescent cells, here we use a previously established transgene, INK-ATTAC, to induce apoptosis in p16Ink4a-expressing cells of wild-type mice by injection of AP20187 twice a week starting at one year of age. We show that compared to vehicle alone, AP20187 treatment extended median lifespan in both male and female mice of two distinct genetic backgrounds. The clearance of p16Ink4a-positive cells delayed tumorigenesis and attenuated age-related deterioration of several organs without apparent side effects, including kidney, heart and fat, where clearance preserved the functionality of glomeruli, cardio-protective KATP channels and adipocytes, respectively. Thus, p16Ink4a-positive cells that accumulate during adulthood negatively influence lifespan and promote age-dependent changes in several organs, and their therapeutic removal may be an attractive approach to extend healthy lifespan.