Oh Copernicus, if only you could see them now. Heliocentrism is an astronomical model which suggests that the Sun (helios = Sun in Greek) sits in the center of our Solar System and that the planets, including Earth, all revolve around it. The theory was proposed back in the 16th century by Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and later supported by other renowned astronomers such as Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei. But even though heliocentrism has been around for hundreds of years, some people are still finding it hard to grasp the notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun. According to a survey conducted by the National Science Foundation, a quarter of Americans still believe in the geocentric astronomical model, which says that actually the Sun revolves around the Earth and not the other way around.
Around 2,200 adult Americans were involved in the survey, so it’s perhaps not representative of the whole country, but it’s still a pretty decent sample of the population and the findings need to be taken into consideration. ABC News reports that this type of survey is conducted every couple of years, with this particular one being from 2012. However, the findings, along with data from similar surveys, were only revealed earlier this month at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. The survey featured nine questions related to science and the average score ended up being only 6.5. As you might imagine, many participants got a few more questions wrong besides the age-old dilemma – “does the Earth revolve around the Sun or does the Sun revolve around the Earth?”
According to the survey, only 39% of Americans believe in the Big Bang theory while belief in the theory of evolution sits at a similarly disappointing 48%. On the bright side, more than 90% of the people said that they do respect scientists and science in general, however, only about a third of participants think that scientists should receive more funding from the government. Earlier this year, another survey found that Americans are also on the fence when it comes to global warming, GMOs and many other important issues.
The First 3D-Printed Vegan Salmon Is In Stores
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.
Open-source Microsoft Novel protein-generating AI EvoDiff
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.
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.
NASA Will Make a Big Announcement About Unidentified Anomalies
NASA will release a major report on UFOs, or “unidentified anomalous phenomena” (UAP).
The briefing will be held at the agency’s Washington DC headquarters at 10:00 EDT (14:00 UTC) on Thursday, September 14. The video player below streams the discussion live.
NASA commissioned an independent study group of 16 scientific, aeronautical, and data experts led by astrophysicist David Spergel in 2022 to produce the findings.
NASA says the study group will “examine UAP from a scientific perspective and create a roadmap for how to use data and the tools of science to move our understanding of UAP forward.”
The team’s full report will be posted online by NASA 30 minutes before the briefing.
This report will be released in accordance with NASA’s openness, transparency, and scientific integrity. When the study was announced last year, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate assistant deputy associate administrator for research, Daniel Evans, said, “We take that obligation seriously and make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study.”
UAP sightings were once the domain of conspiracy theorists and sci-fi, but recent high-profile US military sightings have legitimized them.
US authorities are taking UAPs seriously because they may be Russian or Chinese experimental aircraft being tested for national security.
Also possible is extraterrestrial life. NASA is open to all possibilities, but this week’s announcement won’t reveal alien lifeforms visiting Earth.
Instead, the report may outline new protocols to help the agency collect UAP data in the future.
“The report informs NASA of future data collection opportunities to shed light on UAP’s nature and origin. The announcement’s brief NASA statement said the report is not a review or assessment of previous unidentifiable observations.
“There are currently a limited number of high-quality observations of UAP, which make it impossible to draw firm scientific conclusions about their nature,” the agency said.
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