Finding their voice: An insider’s view of what it’s like working for a government agency as a scientist during the anti-science Trump presidency. The author, who was reassigned by the new Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, discusses a new and damning report Science Under Siege at the Department of the Interior published by the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The report describes suppression of science, denial of climate change, the silencing and intimidation of agency staff, and attacks on science-based laws that help protect our nation’s world-class wildlife and habitats.” http://bit.ly/2AVLPo4

Another clue into the origin of syphilis: This is an old article from the summer that I just stumbled upon today. It’s from the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and deals with the evolutionary history and origin of syphillis. The debate normally splits into two camps. The first believes syphilis originated in the New World and was brought back to Europe by Columbus. The other camp theorizes that the massive 15th century pandemic had a multiregional origin. According to a new study, scientists reconstructed Treponoma pallidum genome from Post-Columbia’s period humans. “Our finding that two T. pallidum subspecies likely caused similarly skeletal manifestations in the past may suggest a more complex evolutionary history of T. pallidum than previously assumed. http://bit.ly/2AXeoSm

A new world first, only in a good way: Another scientific/medical world first has occurred that is not as depressing and morally questionable as you-know-who’s genetically modified you-know-whats. This time a woman who received a uterus transplant from a deceased donor has given birth to a healthy baby girl. http://bit.ly/2ARRfka

The dire threat of quantum computers: A new report from the United States National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine warns that the development of quantum computers will directly put current encryption methods at risk and that databases holding sensitive information, e.g. credit card information, health records, Top Secret government information. They go on to say that quantum-resistant cryptography is a ways off and “probably cannot be completed in less than 20 years.” http://bit.ly/2AXeucG

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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