November 16, 2009

Shoot the MoonWater on the Moon
Scientists have found “significant” amounts of water in a crater at the moon’s south pole, a major discovery that will dramatically revise the characterization of the moon as a dead world and probably make it a more attractive destination for human space missions. “The moon is alive,” declared Anthony Colaprete, the chief scientist for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission. (John Johnson Jr., Tribune Newspapers)

Finding a (Genetic) Love Match—With a Cheek Swab
A couple of genetic testing companies are promising to match couples based on the DNA testing, touting the benefits of biological compatibility. The companies claim that a better biological match will mean better sex, less cheating, longer-lasting love, and perhaps even healthier children. (Associated Press)

Key to a Longer Life?
Researchers studying a group of people with an average age of 97 found they had all inherited a gene that appears to prevent cells aging. They found that the 86 people studied and their children had higher levels of an enzyme called telomerase, which is known to protect the body’s DNA from degrading. The team from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who studied an American Ashkenazi Jewish community, said that the finding could lead to anti-aging drugs. (Richard Alleyne, Telegraph)

Going to—and Sticking With—S&R Extremes
The irony is that those who claim to speak on behalf of reason on one side, and faith on the other, must abandon the professed objective, impersonal position of open-minded rationality on the one hand, or the proclaimed compassionate, inclusive position of faith on the other, in order to remain stuck in their extreme positions. (Alan Lurie, The Huffington Post)

Hobbes Now in Hebrew
While the first two parts of Leviathan have long been available in translation, the third and fourth parts—in which Hobbes addresses religion and the state—had not appeared in Hebrew. Of all the universally read works of political philosophy, why has it taken so long to translate all of Leviathan into Hebrew? In addition to the significance of the full translation to Hebrew and Israeli scholarship, what more can scholars in the rest of the world learn about Leviathan, written in 1660? (Room for Debate Blog, The New York Times)

Category: Field Notes

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