Evolution. Dark DNA.

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Scientists long assumed that new genes appear when evolution tinkers with old ones. There are studies suggesting that genes do not always evolve from existing ones, as biologists long supposed. Instead, some are fashioned from desolate stretches of the genome that do not code for any functional molecules. For example in the fish genomes, there are hints that this might be the case: the antifreeze protein — essential to the cod’s survival — has seemingly been built from scratch. (1)

In other news, a research group has discovered a novel cancer-driving mutation in the vast non-coding regions of the human cancer genome, also known as the ‘dark matter’ of human cancer DNA. (2)

Funny, but (philosophically) totally expected.

It is not the useful which produces something useful.

Look from a distance and you will see.

Everything is useless. Until they are useful in some way.

Everything is useful. Until they stop being such.

Stop defining something from its results.

And you will see light even in the deepest darkness…

Expert decisions…

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Does a mass on a mammogram indicate breast cancer? Will Serbia be a member of the EU by 2025? Will there be more floods in Germany in five years’ time? The diagnoses and predictions made by doctors, scientists, and experts often have far-reaching consequences. And in many cases, it is only years later that it is possible to say which expert made the right call most often.

An interdisciplinary research team from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries has developed a simple new method that can be used to identify the best decision-makers from a group of experts without having to know whether their decisions — past or present — are correct or incorrect. “Providing that at least half of all decisions made within the group are correct — which is typically the case in expert groups — and that each person has made about 20 yes/no decisions, this method has proved to work very well,” says Max Wolf, researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and co-author of the study.

The method was developed on the basis of insights into collective intelligence. It rests on a simple assumption: Those individuals in a group of experts who make decisions that are most similar to the decisions of others also make the best decisions. For yes/no decisions, this assumption is easily confirmed by means of mathematical modeling. To test whether the method also works in real groups, the researchers analyzed published predictions and diagnoses made by various groups in different fields. (1)

Great method. Which also seems to work.

But should we trust it?

Be aware of the things which work.

Decisions of most people tend to be correct. But from when do “most of the people” reach the correct decision on any of the great philosophical questions? The truth is never revealed to the many. For even if that seems so now, at the end you will see that the path was wrong.

We strive for live.

We are afraid of death.

And yet…

What is life?

What is death?

Trust not the many but the one man standing aside the crowd silent.

It is there that you will find the truth screaming…

Measuring laws…

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One of the fundamental physical constants, the ‘weak axial vector coupling constant’ (gA), has now been measured with very high precision for the first time. It is needed to explain nuclear fusion in the sun, to understand the formation of elements shortly after the Big Bang, or to understand important experiments in particle physics. With the help of sophisticated neutron experiments, the value of gA has now been determined with an accuracy of 0.04%. (1)

Trying to measure constants.

To formulate models.

Which need more constants.

Which we then have to measure.

Until we measure everything.

Until we have defined all constants.

What a stable world that would be.

Perfectly defined.

Perfectly modeled.

It is raining.

Let’s find shelter.

Come on.

And in that stable world.

A kid.

And in the fierce rain.

Takes a step forward.

Into the rain.

Laughing!

Ruining everything!

Liquid and Solid…

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Scientists have discovered a new state of physical matter in which atoms can exist as both solid and liquid simultaneously.

Applying high pressures and temperatures to potassium — a simple metal – creates a state in which most of the element’s atoms form a solid lattice structure, the findings show. However, the structure also contains a second set of potassium atoms that are in a fluid arrangement.

Under the right conditions, over half a dozen elements – including sodium and bismuth – are thought to be capable of existing in the newly discovered state, researchers say. (1)

Seeking flexibility.

In a cosmos which is always in motion.

In a cosmos where all is what it is.

And at the very next moment it is not.

Flexible.

Molded by thought.

Forged in existence.

Iced water.

Melted steel.

There is nothing liquid.

There is nothing solid.

Is there anything more flexible?

Could there by anything more rigid?

Rigid steel.

Hot water.

A world constantly changing.

Only because it cannot…

Dark data. Old fossils. Life long gone.

Researchers estimate that only 3 to 4 percent of recorded fossil locations from across the globe are currently accounted for in published scientific literature. Quantifying ‘dark data’ in fossil collections is a call to arms; heralds a digital revolution. (1)

Once upon life was everywhere.

Especially because we did not seek it.

Now we started cataloging it.

And we have lost it somewhere within our drawers…

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