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Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson spices up the Super Bowl with some interesting science facts

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Super Bowl tweets

Even if you’re not particularly interested in football or sports in general, chances are that you’ve at least heard about this year’s edition of the Super Bowl. Actually, it was nearly impossible not to hear about it given that it was all over the news these last few days. I’m not that into sports myself, but somehow mister Neil deGrasse Tyson managed to get me interested in the Super Bowl with one of his latest series of tweets. The famous astrophysicist is well known for often going on Twitter and posting all sorts of interesting facts about a variety of topics and today was no different. This time around, Neil deGrasse Tyson shared his thoughts on football, roman numerals, the names “Patriots” and “SeaHawks”, TV ads, craters, zombies, and more.

For example, did you know that “a 250 lb football player, running 15 mph, has more kinetic energy than a bullet fired from an AK-47 rifle”? Well, you do now thanks to Neil deGrasse Tyson. The astrophysicist seemed a bit nostalgic about the fact that people rarely use roman numerals anymore and notes that Super Bowl XLIX may very well be their last bastion. That said, he agrees that arabic numerals are much more efficient and even gives us an example for this: 888 in roman numerals is written DCCCLXXXVIII. Quite a few more characters. Also, there is no “0” in roman numerals. As for the Super Bowl teams, Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to find it ironic that the Patriots hail from New England yet the name originates from the Americans who fought against England in the Revolutionary War. Meanwhile, the scientist shares a bit of trivia in regards to the name Sea Hawk. Apparently, this name could refer not only to an NFL team, but also to a predatory bird, a US Navy Helicopter, an Errol Flynn film, and a university mascot.

These are just a few of the interesting thoughts Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to have on a daily basis, but there are many more where those came from. Just like us common folk, the renowned astrophysicist is apparently also thinking about zombies every once in a while. “Occasionally I wonder what a football game would be like if played by Zombies. Would be slower, but oh so much more violent,” he said in one of his tweets. Perhaps next year we’ll get see two teams of zombies competing in the Super Bowl. Again, not a big sports fan, but I would definitely watch that. In the meantime, make sure you check out below some more interesting tweets from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Although George has many hobbies, he likes nothing more than to play around with cameras and other photography equipment.

Apps

Now WhatsApp users can log into two accounts simultaneously

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WhatsApp launched dual-account support today. You can switch between accounts in WhatsApp.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature on Facebook and said it would soon be available.

People used to need two phones for two WhatsApp accounts. The company now allows two accounts on one phone. App cloning lets users use multiple WhatsApp instances on Xiaomi and Oppo phones.

“Helpful for switching between accounts – such as your work and personal – now you no longer need to log out each time, carry two phones or worry about messaging from the wrong place,” the company wrote in a blog post.

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Users can add accounts under Settings > Add Account. Your second SIM or multi-SIM phone is needed for setup. Account-specific notifications and privacy settings are available, the company said.

WhatsApp discouraged fake apps to prevent fraud.

WhatsApp added Android passkey support this week, enabling access without SMS-based two-factor authentication.

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Biology

The First 3D-Printed Vegan Salmon Is In Stores

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Revo Foods’ “THE FILET – Inspired By Salmon” salmon fillet may be the first 3D-printed food to hit store shelves. said that firm CEO Robin Simsa remarked, “With the milestone of industrial-scale 3D food printing, we are entering a creative food revolution, an era where food is being crafted exactly according to customer needs.”

Mycoprotein from filamentous fungi is used to make the salmon alternative and other meat substitutes. Vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are in the product, like in animals. Is high in protein, at 9.5 grams per 100 grams, although less than conventional salmon.

Revo Foods and Mycorena developed 3D-printable mycoprotein. Years of research have led to laser-cooked cheesecakes and stacked lab-grown meats.

One reason for this push is because printed food alternatives may make food production more sustainable, which worries the fishing sector. Overfishing reduces fish populations in 34% of worldwide fish stocks.

Over 25% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions come from food production, with 31% from livestock and fish farms and 18% from supply chain components including processing and shipping. According to Revo Foods’ website, vegan salmon fillet production consumes 77 to 86% less carbon dioxide and 95% less freshwater than conventional salmon harvesting and processing.

The salmon alternative’s sales potential is unknown. In order to succeed, Revo Foods believes that such goods must “recreate an authentic taste that appeals to the flexitarian market.”

The commercial distribution of 3D-printed food could change food production.

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Artificial Intelligence

Open-source Microsoft Novel protein-generating AI EvoDiff

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All diseases are based on proteins, natural molecules that perform vital cellular functions. Characterizing proteins can reveal disease mechanisms and ways to slow or reverse them, while creating proteins can lead to new drug classes.

The lab’s protein design process is computationally and human resource-intensive. It involves creating a protein structure that could perform a specific function in the body and then finding a protein sequence that could “fold” into that structure. To function, proteins must fold correctly into three-dimensional shapes.

Not everything has to be complicated.

Microsoft introduced EvoDiff, a general-purpose framework that generates “high-fidelity,” “diverse” proteins from protein sequences, this week. Unlike other protein-generating frameworks, EvoDiff doesn’t need target protein structure, eliminating the most laborious step.

Microsoft senior researcher Kevin Yang says EvoDiff, which is open source, could be used to create enzymes for new therapeutics, drug delivery, and industrial chemical reactions.

Yang, one of EvoDiff’s co-creators, told n an email interview that the platform will advance protein engineering beyond structure-function to sequence-first design. EvoDiff shows that ‘protein sequence is all you need’ to controllably design new proteins.

A 640-million-parameter model trained on data from all protein species and functional classes underpins EvoDiff. “Parameters” are the parts of an AI model learned from training data that define its skill at a problem, in this case protein generation. The model was trained using OpenFold sequence alignment data and UniRef50, a subset of UniProt, the UniProt consortium’s protein sequence and functional information database.

Modern image-generating models like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E 2 are diffusion models like EvoDiff. EvoDiff slowly subtracts noise from a protein made almost entirely of noise to move it closer to a protein sequence.

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Beyond image generation, diffusion models are being used to design novel proteins like EvoDiff, create music, and synthesize speech.

“If there’s one thing to take away [from EvoDiff], I think it’s this idea that we can — and should — do protein generation over sequence because of the generality, scale, and modularity we can achieve,” Microsoft senior researcher Ava Amini, another co-contributor, said via email. “Our diffusion framework lets us do that and control how we design these proteins to meet functional goals.”

EvoDiff can create new proteins and fill protein design “gaps,” as Amini noted. A protein amino acid sequence that meets criteria can be generated by the model from a part that binds to another protein.

EvoDiff can synthesize “disordered proteins” that don’t fold into a three-dimensional structure because it designs proteins in “sequence space” rather than structure. Disordered proteins enhance or decrease protein activity in biology and disease, like normal proteins.

EvoDiff research isn’t peer-reviewed yet. Microsoft data scientist Sarah Alamdari says the framework needs “a lot more scaling work” before it can be used commercially.

“This is just a 640-million-parameter model, and we may see improved generation quality if we scale up to billions,” Alamdari emailed. WeAI emonstrated some coarse-grained strategies, but to achieve even finer control, we would want to condition EvoDiff on text, chemical information, or other ways to specify the desired function.”

Next, the EvoDiff team will test the model’s lab-generated proteins for viability. Those who are will start work on the next framework.

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