Journals


Relationship of gender differences in preferences to economic development and gender equality

Science

The relationships are predicted from local polynomial regressions. Shaded areas indicate 95% confidence intervals. Preferences concerning time, risk, and social interactions systematically shape human behavior and contribute to differential economic and social outcomes between women and men. We present a global investigation of gender differences in six fundamental preferences. Our data consist of measures of willingness to take risks, patience, altruism, positive and negative reciprocity, and trust for 80,000 individuals in 76 representative country samples. Gender differences in preferences were positively related to economic development and gender equality. This finding suggests that greater availability of and gender-equal access to material and social resources favor the manifestation of gender-differentiated preferences across countries. Fundamental preferences such as altruism, risk-taking, reciprocity, patience, or trust constitute the foundation of choice theories and govern human behavior.


Why Doesn't Ancient Fiction Talk About Feelings? - Issue 65: In Plain Sight

Nautilus

Reading medieval literature, it's hard not to be impressed with how much the characters get done--as when we read about King Harold doing battle in one of the Sagas of the Icelanders, written in about 1230. The first sentence bristles with purposeful action: "King Harold proclaimed a general levy, and gathered a fleet, summoning his forces far and wide through the land." By the end of the third paragraph, the king has launched his fleet against a rebel army, fought numerous battles involving "much slaughter in either host," bound up the wounds of his men, dispensed rewards to the loyal, and "was supreme over all Norway." What the saga doesn't tell us is how Harold felt about any of this, whether his drive to conquer was fueled by a tyrannical father's barely concealed contempt, or whether his legacy ultimately surpassed or fell short of his deepest hopes. In his short story "Forever Overhead," the 13-year-old protagonist takes 12 pages to walk across the deck of a public swimming pool, wait in line at the high diving board, climb the ladder, and prepare to jump.


The Robot Economy Will Run on Blockchain - Issue 65: In Plain Sight

Nautilus

Our future will be bright, fast--and full of robots. It'll be more Asimov than Terminator: servant robots, more or less similar to us. Some will be upright androids, but most will be boxes filled with computer chips running software agents. And there will be a lot of them. Forecasts predict that, within just three years, we'll have 1.7 million robots in industry, 32 million in our households, and 400,000 in professional offices.1 Robots will begin to run our factories.


Did Uber Steal Google's Intellectual Property?

The New Yorker

In the spring of 2011, a small group of engineers working on a secretive project at Google received an e-mail from a colleague. Anthony is going to get fired. Several of the recipients gathered in one of the self-serve espresso bars that dot the company's headquarters, and traded rumors suggesting that Anthony Levandowski--one of the company's most talented and best-known employees--had finally gone too far. Levandowski was a gifted engineer who frequently spoke to newspapers and magazines, including this one, about the future of robotics. On the Google campus, he was easy to pick out: he was six feet seven and wore the same drab clothes every day--jeans and a gray T-shirt--which, in Silicon Valley, signalled that he preferred to conserve his cognitive energies for loftier pursuits.


When Pop-Up Books Taught Popular Science

The Atlantic

Today, books with pop-up illustrations--flaps to be lifted, tabs to be pulled, and wheels to be turned--form a small niche of the book market. Mostly, pop-up books are meant to get young children interested in books and reading. Once that interest is kindled, they are discarded for more sophisticated reading material. The charm and whimsy of pop-ups might seem far removed from the dry seriousness of technical literature. But during the first three centuries of printing, from about 1450 to 1750, most pop-ups appeared in scientific books.


Why Futurism Has a Cultural Blindspot - Issue 65: In Plain Sight

Nautilus

In early 1999, during the halftime of a University of Washington basketball game, a time capsule from 1927 was opened. Among the contents of this portal to the past were some yellowing newspapers, a Mercury dime, a student handbook, and a building permit. The crowd promptly erupted into boos. One student declared the items "dumb." Such disappointment in time capsules seems to run endemic, suggests William E. Jarvis in his book Time Capsules: A Cultural History.


Pan-tumor genomic biomarkers for PD-1 checkpoint blockade-based immunotherapy

Science

Clinical trial data can provide a wealth of information about how drugs work. Yet such information often belongs to pharmaceutical companies and is rarely accessible to the scientific community at large. Cristescu et al. provide exploratory analysis of a cancer genomics dataset, collected from four separate clinical trials of Merck's PD-1 immunotherapy drug, pembrolizumab. This informative public resource examines more than 300 patient samples representing 22 different tumor types. Two widely used signatures that currently predict immunotherapy response are tumor mutational burden and a "hot" T cell–inflamed microenvironment. The study analyzed these two proposed biomarkers in combination to see what predictive clinical utility they may hold. Immunotherapy targeting the programmed cell death protein–1 (PD-1) axis elicits durable antitumor responses in multiple cancer types. However, clinical responses vary, and biomarkers predictive of response may help to identify patients who will derive the greatest therapeutic benefit. Clinically validated biomarkers predictive of response to the anti–PD-1 monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab include PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in specific cancers and high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) regardless of tumor type. Tumor mutational burden (TMB) and T cell–inflamed gene expression profile (GEP) are emerging predictive biomarkers for pembrolizumab. Both PD-L1 and GEP are inflammatory biomarkers indicative of a T cell–inflamed tumor microenvironment (TME), whereas TMB and MSI-H are indirect measures of tumor antigenicity generated by somatic tumor mutations.


Learning from diminutive ligand design

Science

One strategy for understanding the origin of life is proposing simple replacements for the complex biomolecules that have developed through billions of years of evolution. Ferredoxins are small proteins that contain simple, cubic clusters of iron and sulfur atoms and act as mobile electron carriers in cells. Kim et al. designed a 12-residue peptide with alternating D and L amino acids that can replicate the placement of cysteine ligands found in many natural ferredoxins. After reconstitution with iron and sulfur, the peptides bound a single iron-sulfur cluster. The resulting minimal, artificial ferredoxin exhibited a redox potential compatible with some biological processes.


Building blocks of the human brain

Science

The human cerebral cortex includes billions of neurons organized into six sheetlike layers. More than a century ago, Santiago Ramón y Cajal appreciated the astonishing diversity of cell types in the brain, but even today, it is unclear how the different neuronal cell types are assembled and distributed across the distinct anatomical areas of the cortex to support its diverse functions. We know that excitatory neurons of the cortex are born from a uniform population of radial glia. During development, radial glia line the fluid-filled ventricles and extend long fibers that connect with the outer pial surface. Newborn neurons migrate along radial glia fibers to the outer layers of the tissue, where they form the cerebral cortex.


Honest Dating Profiles of Punctuation Marks

The New Yorker

Yes, I've read the "Comma Sutra," but I only bend one way, so please don't ask. Quotation Mark My last girlfriend "dumped" me because she said I didn't "know" myself well enough to "get" what to do with myself, let "alone" a "girlfriend." Plus, she said it was "annoying" how I kept "coming up" with "sayings" that I thought were "deep." Other things to know about me: I don't "believe" in love. Also, "Love is a sentence.