The wars over the minimum wage literature continue
Anton Howes on how innovation spreads and can be fostered; he points to getting people in contact with inventors and innovators broadly is key. This seems right from my own experience.
Matt Clancy on the Applied Turn in economics
Does education improve health? Those two things are correlated, but the correlation is probably not causal.
Eli Dourado on environmental review slowing things down
Excessive use of professional licensing make US healthcare more expensive than it otherwise would be; and some of these are state-dependent
AIC is better than GDP at capturing the intuitive notion of standard of living than GDP does. For example Luxembourg has a GDP per capita of ~2x that of the US, but their standard of living (how much each person can consume) is lower.
Thread on the GDP per capita & productivity decoupling
Ilan Gur on why it's not possible to bring back Bell Labs and what to do instead
Dietz Vollrath on the great stagnation, that may have started earlier than most people think
One possibility is that it just so happens that around 1965 when the Boomers hit the labor market, the pace of innovation or technological change or something slowed down. And that it slowed down just enough to offset the increase in input growth, and left us with the same growth rate of output. You cannot rule that out. You could probably even make an okay case for this by talking about how the build-out of the electric grid or phone service or the interstate highway system were winding down starting in 1965?
But that also seems kind of coincidental. A different story is that the economy kept expanding at about 3.3% per year after 1965 for some fundamental reasons like continued technological change or even continued expansion in natural resource use, and that we then tried to stuff a whole outsized generation of workers into that same economy (along with extra buildings so they’d have a place to sit). Like “Okay, your parents own the company so we have to find something for you to do, so why don’t you sit here and move these papers from that file to that one.” [...]
One reason I might be wrong about all that is what happened in 2001-18. We’re looking now at the tail end of the Boomers work life. They’re kind of at their career peaks around 2000, and then start the process of extracting themselves from the workforce. You can see the drop in both labor hours growth (from 1.55 to 0.44%) and the drop in capital growth (from 3.98 to 2.54%) that occur. But output growth does not stay around 3.3%. Instead it drops to 2.05%. With the end result that productivity growth stays low, and in fact drops a little more (from 0.75 to 0.61%).
And him as well on TFP agnosticism
Why does the US have the best research universities?
Inflation is eating away the purchasing power of R01 grants
Tacit knowledge in science, a case study using the measurement of quality factors (Q) in sapphire in the context of the LIGO project
It now may be possible to monitor arbitrary protein concentrations in blood.
Liquid-Liquid phase separation and its relevance for cellular organization. Some back and forth on how good the data is behind that.
A lengthy read on noninvasive glucose monitoring
Cancer cells are having sex and we were not aware of it
A lifespan (diet) intervention is more effective than metformin at reducing the incidence of diabetes
Bruce Booth 2020 biotech review
The FDA’s CDER approved 53 new medicines in 2020, sharing 2nd place of all time with 1996 and a few approvals behind record-breaking 2018. This during a year when the FDA was massively strapped for the COVID response. Some great new medicines are now available for patients: Trodelvy for triple negative breast cancer, Danyelza for pediatric neuroblastoma, Risdiplam for SMA, and Tepezza for thyroid eye disease, to name a few. Many new medicines were approved for rare diseases again this year, like Duchenne, progeria, other others. Including rare cancers, more than two-thirds of recent approvals fit the rare disease definition. We even saw at least two infectious disease medicines for Ebola and Chagas.
Can we learn about processes in cells throughout the body just by looking at blood? Yeah, in particular a new paper looks at chromatin (How packed DNA is) to do this.
Worms can pass down memories to their progeny. And acquire memories from other worms? [Note that a friend who works close to this area thinks this lab's track record is not particularly good, even if the result itself may be true]
What is on the BioNTech vaccine and what does it do?
Doing some mitochondria lines reverses cognitive deficits? Huh?
T cells can stay around for longer by getting extra telomeres from antigen-presenting cells. HUH?
Aging as a contagious disease (within an organism)
The clock man, Steve Horvath (And a lengthy list of coauthors) has a new aging clock! This time applying to all mammals. Here Josh Mitteldorf reviews this new work (Not necessarily endorsing everything Josh says there)
Supplementing NAD (NR,NMN) is popular among anti-aging enthusiasts. But what if that increases cancer risk?
Sea lions, walruses, and seals also may get Alzheimer's. But, the author of that piece notes, should we be doing that kind of research? Are we going to be using those as animal models?
One more for the stiffening of tissues as aging hallmark
DNA repair goes down with aging. Why?
Lygenesis, a company that wants to use lymph node to grow back mini organs (think the thymus, that shrinks with age) will be doing a Phase 2 study of their therapy.
Plasma dilution has been shown to reverse some age-related deterioration before. Now, a small group of self-experimenters did an experiment to see what it does in humans.
Mitteldorf on aging clocks. Some nitpicks to make (He seems to make the same mistake I made originally with these clocks; namely that if epigenetic noise is random then the clocks wouldn't pick anything up. However this noise is biased: if a site is supposed to be methylated, aging can only either do nothing and demethylate it. The distribution of noise is not normal but more like lognormal, with a nonzero mean)
Laura Deming's immortal yeast project
Latest review of NAD metabolism in aging, including the latest findings on CD38
Various feedback loops that could explain various age-related diseases and why the get progressively worse with age
Nanoparticles carrying calcium and citrate work against cancer?
Shutting down mitochondria work against cancer?
Cancer cell metabolism during metastasis
In case you missed the excellent WSB meme magic, here's a compilation of the best.
The replication crisis: mathematics edition
David Chapman on why "the map is not the territory" is problematic
Scott Alexander on Glen Weyl and technocracy
The Jan Hendrik scandal, or how a Bell Labs scientists fooled the community for years
The road towards 63 GHz transistors?
Alvaro de Menard on expertise
Chris Olah on developing research taste
Josephson junctions are generally used as components for quantum computers. But apparently they can also be used for classical computers tome them faster and more efficient.
A reason why Israel is going faster than other countries at vaccinating, their
yoloing disregard for strict process.