How Ichor Therapeutics (a sort of meta-company that incubates biotech startups) is run, and how it was built from scratch (They don't use external labs)
A brief history of the last 50 years of aging research; mostly focused on what one might call "classic" aging research (That is focused around IGF-1, rapamycin, caloric restriction etc)
Speculation on how to increase antimatter production by a factor of 10 billion. Seems doable. This would be useful chiefly for spaceships I can imagine.
It is rare to see an one-off (announced at the same time) order of magnitude improvement in any technology: Tesla did just that with batteries, optimizing the battery itself but also the process to manufacture it as well as its integration into the car.
NAD is a metabolite that goes down with aging. Supplementing NAD has been proposed as an anti-aging intervention. But how strong is the evidence behind doing such thing?: A review (" despite several decades of active investigation, there is still only suggestive evidence, in the form of a few successful and sufficiently powered clinical trials, for NAD upregulation to be effective for any of the many potential indications where it may benefit patients.")
DRACOs are a class of antiviral drugs that have been shown in vitro to neutralize lots of different viruses with high efficacy . Now there's a biotech company pursuing them. Worth noting that OpenPhil looked into this one and passed.
Progress Studies: The hard question
The banking system and wider financial sector absorb trillions of dollars of implicit and explicit government subsidies every cycle.  Having worked in finance for over a decade, I am happy to say that without those subsidies, the sector would probably be smaller and many of the intelligent people employed in negative-sum games in it would probably be better used in other sectors, contributing more on the margin to human welfare and progress. (7.4% of GDP)
[...] Fixing all of those would probably make US standards of living something in the region of 50% higher – more for the UK – and give people far more freedom to be entrepreneurs in innovation clusters to drive faster growth. None of it would require inventing any new physical technology. They are ‘institutional low-hanging fruit.’ Yet they remain unfixed and many or all of them are getting worse. If we knew how in practice to actually get a government to fix these policies and laws, we could apply that to technique to many systems to increase innovation.
In this week's mad science, injecting liver cells into lymphatic nodes causes a tiny liver to grow there, partially recovering liver function.
Some theorising on what aging is, and avenues for its reversal. The latter of the papers endorses a quasi-programmed theory of aging, interesting to see Aubrey de Grey coauthoring that paper; I think the theory/view/framework has been gaining strength as of late.
Measuring the pace of partial epigenetic reprogramming over time. This is useful because it helps establish when how much reprogramming is too much (which could lead to cancer)
Reducing systemic inflammation as well as TGFb reverses the bias towards the myeloid lineage in HSCs as well as their reduced replicative capacity, one more bit of evidence towards the idea that aging of stem cells is aging of their microenvironment, not so much damaged stem cells.
How much is publishing a scientific paper worth to a researcher? (What is their willingness to pay to have one more article under their name) Around 2-5k euros (Which is a different question from how valuable a finding is)
In a world of quantitative metrics and evaluation schemes for scientists and pushback against then, what counts as "meaningful" research? The paper includes a discussion of what the drab end result of a narrow-minded quantitative approach to scientific measurement might look like. And why this came to be; to some extent is an outcome of trying to make visible and understandable (What some corners of the net would say legible) to managers and funders what the research is actually about and how important it is.
If we are right in characterizing meaningful research as essentially contested, then there cannot be a metric that captures it. A set of reasonably good proxy indicators is the best we can get. Moreover, proxy indicators target a particular conception instead of measuring the general concept. Trying to explicitly formulate the conception that forms the basis of an indicator adds context and helps in understanding what we are actually measuring. This also brings hidden conflicts between different conceptions into the open, and can be used as a starting point for discussions. [...] For instance, in their report about the development of indicators for research excellence by the European Commission, Ferretti et al. (2018) highlight that, when asked to define research excellence, many stakeholders were not able to give an answer. This is not an ideal starting point for choosing or defining metrics.
I wrote a review of immunosenescence recently. Now a few of the big names in the field (Pawelec, Gladyshev, Gorbunova, Fulop, and others) have a joint review of the evolution of the study of immunosenescence. It is in agreement with my review
Compilation of various single cell studies of aging, inflammation, and senescence
DNA breaks all the time and this gets repaired. But these mechanisms degrade with aging; and while breaks themselves might not be an issue, DNA breaking a lot can lead to epigenetic damage which in turn does lead to aging (As per Sinclair's work with the ICE mice). A recent review on that. One interesting fact I learned is that excessive upregulation of DNA repair mechanisms can actually increase DNA damage, as these mechanisms end up joining up chunks of DNA that should not be joined. Another is that -not surprised here- inflammation and senescent cells both inhibit DNA repair and increase DNA damage. Score one for the "everything is connected" view of aging.
Sam Bowman's neoliberal agenda for the 2020s: Housing, immigration, and carbon taxation.
Randomly allocating entrepreneurs to meet other entrepeneurs lead to 8% higher revenues a year after.
Asking people about their own risk preference is more predictive of real-life risk taking than what one would predict from observing behaviour in a lottery.
The US Air Force seems to have cut the development time of a new airplane from 10 years to 1. Still unconformed and not a lot of details available.
I ask Twitter: What are some large scale scientific projects that should happen?
Ryan Orbuch asks Twitter about evidence-base skincare for men. Hottest take is that showering too much is bad.
Ben Reinhardt thread-review "Where's my flying car"
Why do reviewers engage in peer review in the first place?
Teach a bacteria to avoid a substance, have a worm eat the bacteria, now the worm has learned to avoid it as well (????)
Human Artificial Chromosomes, a way to deliver 1000x more genetic information than regular gene therapy vehicles (like AAVs)
You can get the current distribution and broad shape of countries out of a simulation just accounting for terrain and a few other things.
Using ML to design optimal stellarators
One thing caloric restriction does not ameliorate: Accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain (In this case, of macaques)
Are antibiotics overrated?