Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for February 12, 2020

in #rsslog2 years ago

Philadelphia fintech panel says blockchain hype died down but growth continues; Harvard faculty discusses the impact of emerging technology on business; An article highlights the long under-appreciated glial brain cells; Why Valentine's Day can be hard on some relationships; and a Steeem post describing an animal trial of 3D printer of synthetic skin for burn victims

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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt, SteemPeak*, StemGeeks.

pixabay license: source.

  1. Philadelphia fintech leaders: The dream of blockchain isn't dead - Four panelists discussed the topic of blockchain at Drexel University's Lebow College of Business. Two are quoted in this article. Vanguard's John Evans noted that after the 2017 hype receded, things have been quiet, but that projects are still at work adding capabilities, and that at some point the progress will become visible and the tide will turn. Drexel's Michelle Lowry noted that a tradeoff blockchain creates a tradeoff where users get enhanced security, but they must also share more information with the public. She echoes Evans' point that progress is still happening behind the scenes. She also notes that the annual growth rate for money coming into the space is 60%, but that there are still basic and fundamental problems that need solutions at the infrastructure layer.

  2. 6 Ways That Emerging Technology Is Disrupting Business Strategy - Harvard faculty discusses the impact of emerging technology on the modern business climate. Here are the trends that they identify: (i) Frank Nagle says Talent and data are more critical than ever; (ii) Raffaella Sadun says Technology is propelling business transformation; (iii) Alexander J. MacKay suggests that Algorithms are changing the pricing game; (iv) According to David J. Collis, Platforms are upending traditional business models; (v) Rembrand M. Koning argues that Companies can test everything; and (vi) Andy Wu notes that Cloud computing is lowering barriers to entry. Click through for more detail about each of the claims. Nagle was also covered in this series on June 28, 2019 and January 18, 2020; Koning was previously included on October 10, 2019; and MacKay's research on pricing was discussed on February 4, 2020.

  3. Glial Brain Cells, Long in Neurons’ Shadow, Reveal Hidden Powers - On February 8, 2020, we learned about the role of the microglia in forgetting memories within mammalian brains. Today's article goes into more detail about glial and microglial brain cells. The article notes that 19th century researchers were not able to study the glia because they techniques that they were using to examine the brain did not provide enough resolution to see glial cells, so brain science began as the study of neurons. The name "glia" comes from latin for "glue", reflecting the opinion of early researchers that they were relatively uninteresting, in comparison to neurons. Microglia were eventually defined in four 1919 papers, but science retained a lack of curiosity about them until the 1980s. In recent decades, however, research into glia and microglia has exploded. Science now knows that they are involved with many functions, for example, "They help process memories. Some serve as immune system agents and ward off infection, while some communicate with neurons. Others are essential to brain development. Far from being mere valets to neurons, glia often take leading roles in protecting the brain’s health and directing its development. ". Shadi Sham is quoted as saying, "In the human brain, glial cells are as abundant as neurons are. Yet we know orders of magnitude less about what they do than we know about the neurons," and "Pick any question in the nervous system, and glial cells will be involved". As researchers learn about the wide variety of structures and complexity within the glial cell category, some are even suggesting that the term "glia" should be abandoned and replaced with more descriptive labels.

  4. Valentine's Day Is Bad for Relationships (and That's a Good Thing) - With apologies to Goodhart's Law, When a holiday becomes an obligation, it ceases to be a good holiday. It turns out that relationships are 2 1/2 times more likely to break up on Valentine's day. This may be because people feel coerced by the obligation and pressure of expressing their feelings for each other through gifts, or it may be because they compare their own Valentine's Day gifts to others and become dissatisfied by perceived inequities and shortcomings. For the most part, however, Valentine's Day has a higher negative on relationships that are already on the rocks to begin with. Already strong relationships don't seem to be harmed much but weaker relationships are more likely to be damaged.

    Here is the video:

    -h/t RealClear Science: Videos

  5. STEEM 3D printer that prints ARTIFICIAL SKIN for burn victims undergoes trials - In this post, @rt-international tells us about a 3D printing device that produces sheets of artificial skin for use by burn victims. The device was developed by researchers at the University of Toronto in 2018. Now, in the journal Biofabrication, the team has reported results from a trial that successfully tested the device on pigs. In the article, one of the researchers suggested that the device resembles a sci-fi looking duct tape dispenser. The article also contains an embedded video, which is below, but click through to give @rt-international an upvote. The video suggests that the device may be available in a clinical setting within about five years.

    Here is the video:

    (A 10% beneficiary setting has been assigned to this post for @rt-international.)

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