MastersConnection 2020
Issue 502 In This Issue November 19th, 2016

Editors Corner

Greetings,
Did you know that someone has invented a folding bicycle helmet made out of paper? It's a lot better then it sounds. It "uses a honeycomb structure to protect the head", is surprisingly solid, and is "incredibly good at absorbing impact". Click here

While we're on the subject of the human head, have you heard that scientists have confirmed, through a study of 699 subjects brains, humans have unique brain 'fingerprints'? Using a diffusion MRI to calculate the distribution of water in the white matter, they found that each persons brain has a unique local connectome, sort of like a fingerprint. Click here

On a slightly different subject, are you aware that researchers have discovered a new way to edit genes? Apparently this new method "is ten times more efficient than other methods at incorporating new DNA into cultures of dividing cells". This new method is also able to do something other methods cannot; insert DNA "into the non-dividing cells that make up the majority of adult organs and tissues". Click here

That's about it from me. Don't forget to support our advertisers so we can continue to bring you this wonderful newsletter.
Have a wonderful week.

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The articles published in these MastersConnection2020 newsletters, or on www.MastersConnection2020.com or www.MastersConnection.com, only represent the views or opinions of the person or entity whose name appears as the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the MastersConnection2020 or any of its affiliates.
Earth Watch

Um, where did all of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice just go?

Into the ocean, it seems. New satellite data show the total area of global sea ice dipping wayyy below the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s record for this time of year.

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Technology Watch

Merkel seeks to let internet companies gather more personal data on Germans
German Chancellor Angel Merkel wants to ease the country’s “restrictive” data protection laws to allow internet companies to collect more users’ personal data. “A principle of the data closeness, which we were guided by for many years, cannot be today used as a guiding idea for the development of the new products,” Merkel said during an IT conference in the German western city of Saarbruecken on Thursday, adding that this principle has already been pushed to the limit. According to German media, Germany’s data protection regulations have been long based on two principles dubbed “data economy” and “avoidance of revealing data.” Both concepts stipulate that internet companies should only collect and store a minimum of the users’ personal data and use then only if required. Now, Merkel demands a paradigm shift in Germany’s approach to data protection by saying that it concerns not only “prevention of excesses” in data use but also creation of “free space” for companies that facilitates the development of new digital products. The Chancellor also warned that a newly issued European Union Data Protection Regulation that came into effect in May should not be interpreted and applied “too restrictively” at a national level, adding that could otherwise make “big data management impossible.”

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Manhattan DA seeks to make iPhones and other gadgets accessible to law enforcement
Manhattan's district attorney wants to "end the sale and distribution of impenetrable mobile devices" through federal legislation, adding there are 400 "lawfully-seized Apple devices" in New York County that are inaccessible to investigators. In a new report, New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance repeated his desire to see federal legislation address "the risks posed by default device encryption," such as that of Apple's iOS 8, which encrypts data out of the reach of law enforcement search warrants. The report is an update of a November 2015 report that warned of the "legal and practical problems for law enforcement posed by default device" encryption. In advocating for weakened encryption standards, the report says that default encryption "does not meaningfully increase smartphone users' protection fro unauthorized hackers," nor does requiring a "smartphone manufacturer or software supplier to maintain a key to the smartphones … imperil those users."

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Something Worth Knowing

Napping before an exam is as good for your memory as cramming
You’ve got a spare hour before a big exam. How should you spend it? It seems napping is just as effective as revising, and could even have a longer-lasting impact. Repeatedly revising information to learn it makes sense. “Any kind of reactivation of a memory trace will lead to it being strengthened and reconsolidated,” says James Cousins at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. “With any memory, the more you recall it, the stronger the memory trace.” However, sleep is also thought to be vital for memory. A good night’s sleep seems to help our brains consolidate what we’ve learned in the day, and learning anything when you’re not well rested is tricky. Many people swear by a quick afternoon kip. So if you’ve got an hour free, is it better to nap or revise? Cousins, along with Michael Chee and their colleagues, also at Duke-NUS Medical School, set out to compare the two options. The team mocked-up a real student experience, and had 72 volunteers sit through presentations of about 12 different species of ants and crabs.

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On The Lighter Side

STUNNING TIME-LAPSE CAPTURES A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN NORWAY

A TOTAL SOLAR eclipse is rare. It happens just once every 18 months, is only visible from a few places on Earth, and last just minutes. You may never get to see one, but Hungarian photographer György Soponyai lets you experience the magic anyway.

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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

Every Weekend in November: Monty Python's SPAMALOT!!
The show performs Friday and Saturday nights November 18th, 25th & 26th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees November 20th & 27th at 2pm.
November 19th @ 1pm is a special kids friendly version of Spamalot. It's the same scenes, but with slight changes to the language. Some tickets still available - call (856) 677-8243 to reserve seats for this special performance. All others click the link below for tickets.
Regular Ticket price: $24.50 Discounted Tickets for Seniors, Military, and Students: $15.00
Quick Click for: SPAMALOT TICKETS

Every Tuesday in November @ 7pm: Miracles & Inspirations presented by Scott Mowry
Nov. 22nd, & 29th - is Scott Mowry translating todays news stories. Cost is $10-pay at the door.

November 20th & 27th: SeaHawks games will NOT be shown at The Triad due to Spamalot Performances.

Nov 19th & Dec 3rd @ 6pm: Conversations with Miceal
Doors open 5pm; Starts 6pm. Cost is $35 at the door. Details and registration on his website: www.ConversationsWithMiceal.com

December 10th @ 2pm & 7pm: The Magic of Christmas presented by Magician Ernie Storey
A magical time for the whole family! Kids $8, Adults $12. Special Family Packages available.
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

To stay in the know in the now…
Website - www.TheTriadArtsTheater.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/triadtheater
Email us at thetriadtheater@gmail.com

Nature Watch

This Never Before Seen Spider Looks Like a Leaf
For Matjaz Kuntner, it was just another evening trek through southwestern China's Yunnan rain forest—until his headlamp illuminated a strand of spider silk. That's not so surprising on its own. But what attracted the arachnologist's attention is the silk appeared to attach a leaf to a tree branch. After looking closer, Kuntner realized one of these leaves was actually a spider. “If there’s a web, there’s a spider,” says Kuntner, of the Smithsonian Institution and the Evolutionary Zoology Laboratory in Slovenia. (Read about a newfound tarantula that shocked scientists.) “I was so taken aback.” That's because Kuntner and colleagues suspect they've found a new species of orb-weaving spider—and the first one known to mimic a leaf. The arachnid uses its silk to attach leaves to tree branches, and then hides among the branches, according to a new study in the Journal of Arachnology. The researchers still aren't sure why the spider does this, but they believe it's likely to hide from predators or sneak up on prey.

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Scientists have discovered the tallest tropical tree in the world
Researchers have announced the discovery of the tallest tropical tree in the world, with a towering 94.1-metre (309-foot) tree in Borneo eclipsing the previous record. In addition to finding the tallest known tree in the tropics, the research also identified the next 49 tallest trees – each of which stands greater than 90 metres (295 feet) in height – making for an unprecedented 50 record-breakers in a single haul. To get an idea of how big these trees really are, the researchers say the tallest is about the length of six sperm whales – each approximately 16 metres (52 feet) long – lined up snout to fluke (head to tail). "I've been doing this for a solid 20 years now, and I have to say, this was one of the most moving experiences in my career," ecologist Gregory Asner from the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University told Mike Gaworecki at Mongabay. "This tallest tropical tree, and the 49 runners-up, are truly phenomenal expressions of the power of nature." The find comes just months after another team from Cambridge University in the UK made headlines with the discovery of a tropical tree measuring 89.5 metres (293.6 feet) in Maliau Basin, a reserve in the Bornean state of Sabah.

Click here to read full article

In The News

FOAM FLOODS MARTIN AVENUE IN SANTA CLARA AFTER ALARM MALFUNCTION
San Jose fire department says a malfunction at the San Jose airport in a new hangar has caused a malfunction which has resulted in a foam flooding the 300 block of Martin Avenue in Santa Clara. Foam stopped flowing out of the vents of the hangar around 1:30 p.m. Friday. The massive blob of fire retardant oozed out of an airport hangar after a fire alarm system malfunctioned. The foam filled the entire building before spilling onto surrounding streets. Witnesses say that it looked to a snow storm. Scientists say that it is chemically equivalent to a large bubble bath. The foam reached up to ten feet high in some places, swallowing up cars and blocking several roadways. If you are near the substance, San Jose Fire Department warns that you should not go in it as it is a known carcinogen, although it is not toxic to humans. The fire retardant can cause an irritation to the skin and eyes. The foam has flooded the hangar at San Jose airport and is blowing into surrounding surface streets. They are attributing the incident to an alarm malfunction inside an airplane hangar owned by Signature Flight Support.

Click here to read full article


Paper bike helmet wins Dyson award
A recyclable, folding cycling helmet made of paper has won this year's international James Dyson Award. The EcoHelmet is designed for people who use bike-sharing schemes and might not always have a helmet with them. Designer Isis Shiffer is delighted with the win but admits that a paper helmet may be a "tough sell". She describes herself as an "ardent but slow" cyclist and came up with the idea when she was using bike-sharing schemes around the world. "When I was exploring new cities I had no access to a helmet and I didn't want to spend $30 buying one," she told the BBC. She decided to design one, made of cheap, recyclable materials that would cost less than $5. The helmet uses a honeycomb structure to protect the head which, according to Ms Shiffer, is "incredibly good at absorbing impact". The design was tested at Imperial College in London. "They have a test rig for helmets and the professor in charge of the lab let me test out a lot of materials. It turns out it was a lot of fun. There is a frame with an anvil on the bottom and an accelerometer to measure speed and impact," explained Ms Shiffer. "It is so solid and everyone who had held it in their hands is surprised about how solid it is," she said.

Click here to read full article

Science Watch

Humans have unique brain 'fingerprints,' scientists confirm
People say "our brains are wired differently," and now a team of scientists led by Carnegie Mellon researchers have proven that's literally the case. The group developed a way to "fingerprint" the human brain using diffusion MRI and found that its structural connections are so unique, they can be used to identify individuals. According to the team's paper published in PLOS, they used the diffusion MRI results of 699 subjects' brains. Diffusion MRI is called as such, because it uses the diffusion process of water molecules in biological tissues to generate contrast in images. They then took those results and calculated the distribution of water in the point-by-point connections (called local connectome) of the brains' white matter pathways. What they found was that each person has a unique local connectome, sort of like a fingerprint. Even twins' local connectomes are only 12 percent similar to each other. To ensure that their conclusion is correct, they ran 17,000 identification tests and found that they could tell subjects from each other with nearly 100 percent accuracy.

Click here to read full article


NEW GENE-EDITING TECHNOLOGY PARTIALLY RESTORES VISION IN BLIND ANIMALS
Salk Institute researchers have discovered a holy grail of gene editing—the ability to, for the first time, insert DNA at a target location into the non-dividing cells that make up the majority of adult organs and tissues. The technique, which the team showed was able to partially restore visual responses in blind rodents, will open new avenues for basic research and a variety of treatments, such as for retinal, heart and neurological diseases. “We are very excited by the technology we discovered because it’s something that could not be done before,” says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and senior author of the paper published on November 16, 2016 in Nature. “For the first time, we can enter into cells that do not divide and modify the DNA at will. The possible applications of this discovery are vast.” Until now, techniques that modify DNA—such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system—have been most effective in dividing cells, such as those in skin or the gut, using the cells’ normal copying mechanisms. The new Salk technology is ten times more efficient than other methods at incorporating new DNA into cultures of dividing cells, making it a promising tool for both research and medicine.

Click here to read full article

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