Abductive Reasoning

Seth Meyers makes a major scientific discovery about President Trump

Los Angeles Times

Today in Entertainment: Seth Meyers finds a new law of Trump physics; Jonathan Demme brought out performers' best Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts: The science on the Trump administration is a little closer to settled. "Late Night with Seth Meyers" offered a deep dive Wednesday night into the administration's apparent fondness for executive orders -- the president has signed 30 so far -- and highlighted how Trump the candidate was less enamored of the practice than Trump the president appears to be. "It is at this point like a law of physics," Meyers said at the beginning of one of his "A Closer Look" segments. Putting the comedy in some context: Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama averaged 45.5, 36.4 and 34.5 executive orders per year, respectively, over their eight years each in office, according to the American Presidency Project at UCSB.

Can Scientific Discovery Be Automated?


Last year, there were more than 1.2 million new papers published in the biomedical sciences alone, bringing the total number of peer-reviewed biomedical papers to over 26 million. Some recent studies found that the majority of biomedical papers were irreproducible. Automation of the scientific process could greatly increase the rate of discovery. That huge possibility hinges on an equally huge question: Can scientific discovery really be automated?

Maria Zuber: Federal government has unique role in supporting scientific discovery

MIT News

"Our unwavering commitment to promoting the progress of science has opened new windows on the universe, made possible new industries, and improved the lives of all Americans," MIT Vice President for Research Maria T. Zuber told members of the U.S. House of Representatives at a March 21 hearing of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, speaking in her role as chair of the National Science Board (NSB). In his testimony and in a question and answer session with committee members, Spies discussed how NSF might make its research portfolio more transparent and more efficient through the adoption of additional policies encouraging broad access to research data. Yamomoto highlighted important contributions from social and behavioral scientists to transdisciplinary research programs, while Zuber spoke to their role in protecting national security. NSF's geosciences program, she continued, also funds polar science and studies of the Earth's atmosphere and geosphere.

[Policy Forum] CRISPR, surrogate licensing, and scientific discovery


Several institutions are embroiled in a legal dispute over the foundational patent rights to CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, and it may take years for their competing claims to be resolved (1–4). But even before ownership of the patents is finalized, the institutions behind CRISPR have wasted no time capitalizing on the huge market for this groundbreaking technology by entering into a series of license agreements with commercial enterprises (see the figure). With respect to the potentially lucrative market for human therapeutics and treatments, each of the key CRISPR patent holders has granted exclusive rights to a spinoff or "surrogate" company formed by the institution and one of its principal researchers (5, 6). Although this model, in which a university effectively outsources the licensing and commercialization of a valuable patent portfolio to a private company, is not uncommon in the world of university technology transfer, we suggest it could rapidly bottleneck the use of CRISPR technology to discover and develop useful human therapeutics.

Abduction, Reason and Science

AITopics Original Links

This volume explores abduction (inference to explanatory hypotheses), an important but neglected topic in scientific reasoning. My aim is to inte grate philosophical, cognitive, and computational issues, while also discuss ing some cases of reasoning in science and medicine. The main thesis is that abduction is a significant kind of scientific reasoning, helpful in delineating the first principles of a new theory of science. The study of these high-level methods of abductive reasoning is situ ated at the crossroads of philosophy, epistemology, artificial intel1igence, cognitive psychology, and logic; that is, at the heart of cognitive science.

Scientific Discovery

AITopics Original Links

Important dual aspects of this research program are to contribute to both basic computer science (creativity as an ill-understood phenomenon) and scientific applications. The collaborative application of current tools, as well as explorations of new tasks, are welcome.

A Scientific Discovery That Makes Genetic Engineering Safer To Use


Bacteria have developed a defense system based on DNA sequences known as CRISPR (Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats – thank God for acronyms). The Cas protein envelopes the bacteriophage and unzips its DNA, the CRISPR RNA attaches to its matching DNA segment in the phage and the Cas protein cuts the DNA at that location. It can remove precisely defined gene segments or replace genes that cause problems with genes that don't. The most important consequence of the discovery of these anti-CRISPR proteins is that they provide a security system that allows research into genetic engineering using CRISPR-Cas9 to proceed with less chance of a mistake causing harm.

Scientific discoveries inspire amid a turbulent 2016

The Japan Times

The planet circling that star has been named Proxima Centauri b. Proxima Centauri b was discovered by astronomers working on a project called Pale Red Dot, who reported that the planet lies in the star's habitable zone, meaning that it could possess water and, maybe, life. A scientist then strokes the subject's hand and the rubber hand at the same time, and the subject's brain is tricked into thinking the rubber hand is actually their own hand. In February, meanwhile, scientists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, or ripples in the fabric of space and time that are created when massive objects move. Sceintists have suspected that gravitational waves exist ever since Albert Einstein formulated his theory of relativity, but this is the first time they have been directly detected.

More charges likely in case of abduction, bodies found

U.S. News

This photo provided by Ashland County Sheriff Office shows Shawn M. Grate. Grate, was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Ashland, Ohio in connection to the investigation of a rescued abductee and the discovery of the remains of two people in the home where he was arrested.