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The Scientists Who Starved to Death Surrounded By Food | Amusing Planet
But the scientists hadn’t barricaded themselves in the vault with food grains to save their lives, but rather to protect these seeds from the Nazis as well as from the starving people plundering through the streets in search for anything to eat.

The collection filled 16 rooms, in which no one was allowed to remain alone. Workers guarded the storage in shifts all round the clock, numb with cold and emaciated from hunger. As the siege dragged out, one by one these heroic men started dying of hunger, but not a single grain was eaten. In January 1942, Alexander Stchukin, a peanut specialist, died at his writing table. Botanist Dmitri Ivanov also died of starvation while surrounded by several thousand packs of rice that he was guarding. By the end of the siege in the Spring of 1944, nine of them had starved to death watching over all that food. Many of the crops that we eat today came from cross-breeding with varieties the scientists saved from destruction.
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4 weeks ago by lemeb
Finally, a Problem That Only Quantum Computers Will Ever Be Able to Solve | Quanta Magazine
The new paper by Raz and Tal proves that a quantum computer needs far fewer hints than a classical computer to solve the forrelation problem. In fact, a quantum computer needs just one hint, while even with unlimited hints, there’s no algorithm in PH that can solve the problem. “This means there is a very efficient quantum algorithm that solves that problem,” said Raz. “But if you only consider classical algorithms, even if you go to very high classes of classical algorithms, they cannot.” This establishes that with an oracle, forrelation is a problem that is in BQP but not in PH.

Raz and Tal nearly achieved this result almost four years ago, but they couldn’t complete one step in their would-be proof. Then just a month ago, Tal heard a talk on a new paper on pseudorandom number generators and realized the techniques in that paper were just what he and Raz needed to finish their own. “This was the missing piece,” said Tal.
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june 2018 by lemeb
Gene editing tool hailed as the solution to disease may increase cancer risk | The Outline
The gene editing tool CRISPR, which has been hailed as the potential solution to everything from malaria to early-onset Alzheimer’s to breast cancer, may increase the risk of cancer, according to two papers published Monday in Nature Medicine. Both research teams in question found unexpected effects when cutting up DNA within cells that caused cells to start to go haywire, leading to circumstances that would create cancerous cells.
%science  #$#pharma  #t#bio 
june 2018 by lemeb
Ancient Rome’s Collapse Is Written Into Arctic Ice - The Atlantic
But for all those years, the source material for the arguments have remained largely the same. Archeologists can locate new sites and excavate for coins, plates, or jewelry; scholars can read and reread Roman writers like Cicero, Sallust, and Catullus, who all documented Caesar. These have been the techniques for learning about Rome for centuries, and they are indispensable. But lately, they have been joined by something new.

On Monday, scientists announced the discovery of an entirely new resource that has the potential to remake some of those centuries-old arguments over Roman politics and history. A team of archeologists, historians, and climate scientists have constructed a history of Rome’s lead pollution, which allows them to approximate Mediterranean economic activity from 1,100 b.c. to 800 a.d. They found it hiding thousands of miles from the Roman Forum: deep in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the enormous, miles-thick plate of ice that entombs the North Atlantic island.

In short, they have reconstructed year-by-year economic data documenting the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and Empire. The first news of the record was published Monday afternoon in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


science ftw
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may 2018 by lemeb

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