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Discovery of 500 genes responsible for human food preferences



Discovery of 500 genes responsible for human food preferences

What are the limits of reality and imagination in the life of Robert Oppenheimer?

Julius Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project that would build the world’s first atomic bomb, became one of the most famous scientists of his generation when a fireball flashed across the sky at the Los Alamos test site in the New Mexico desert in July 1945.

The creation of the atomic bomb and the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing more than 200,000 people, and the start of a new era made Oppenheimer a historical icon, now occupying the entire world. In later worldly life.

The Manhattan Project required a huge effort, and thousands of scientists worked tirelessly throughout the war. But when the time came, when the bomb was completed and successfully tested, Oppenheimer was agitated and perhaps sad, quoting a Hindu phrase: “Now death has become the destroyer of worlds.” However, he himself, in the same week, provided the US military with information that would enable them to bomb Japan as accurately as possible.

“It’s a story that gives you a sense of the man and his complexity and paradox in what he’s doing,” Guy Bird said in a July 15 interview with Live Science.

Oppenheimer achieved what they set out to do, and some of his colleagues attest that it would not have happened if he hadn’t directed the project.

Stephen Chapin, the Franklin Ford Research Professor of the History of Science, tells us about another aspect of the film in an interview with The Harvard Gazette published on July 19: “Oppenheimer was really a completely unlikely choice for scientific management at Los Alamos.

The Los Alamos scholars described Oppenheimer’s emaciation as “a model of a religious ascetic, almost fleshless, and as a result of the asceticism that controlled him he became whole-hearted and whole-souled,” Chapin explained, “the result of his constant involvement in his work and the severe illness he suffered because of his severe illness.”

As for Oppenheimer’s intentions, they were quite clear. As a teenager he studied quantum physics in Germany and knew that German scientists understood the physics of the atomic bomb and could possess a weapon of mass destruction. From a political perspective, he was a left-wing man who feared that German scientists would hand over the weapon to Hitler, who would not hesitate to use it, and Beard describes it: “It was his worst nightmare.”

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Oppenheimer’s handwritten notes are on display at the Bradbury Museum of Science (AP).

After the war, Oppenheimer became a more outspoken critic of nuclear weapons—he opposed efforts to develop a hydrogen bomb, and referred to the US Air Force’s plans for mass strategic bombing with nuclear weapons as genocide. “We know from letters his wife (Kitty) wrote to friends that Oppenheimer was depressed after Hiroshima,” says Beard.

Oppenheimer returned to Washington and knew that the Japanese were going to surrender in September. He knew the Truman administration’s position on the new weapon, and that they wanted American national security to depend entirely on a large arsenal of those weapons.

In October 1945, Oppenheimer gave a public address in Philadelphia, stating that these weapons were the weapons of the occupiers. They are weapons of terror, not weapons of defense, and the United States must find a way to create an international monitoring mechanism to prevent their proliferation. This was a direct threat to the War Department and the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, all of whom demanded increased budgets in these weapons.

By late 1953 Oppenheimer had become a direct threat to the US government. As a result, he was stripped of his security clearance, interrogated and publicly humiliated. About that, Baird says: “They wanted to publicly humiliate him so that he would be an example to those behind him. They sent a message to scholars everywhere: (Don’t stray from your narrow path, as you have no right to speak in politics, you are not allowed to become a public intellectual).”

Physicist Muhammad Darwad Hasan, professor of physics and light at the University of Arizona, USA, said: “I think Oppenheimer was not forced to do so, but it was his choice, and the scientist should focus on scientific research that plays a role in increasing human knowledge and creating useful applications.”

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On his Facebook page, Hasan said, “Robert Oppenheimer neither likes nor respects him, and he represents everything he dislikes about the scientist’s personality.” Asharq Al-Awsad said in an interview: “He knew exactly what he had to do, knew its danger, and he did it despite it; seeking personal glory even at the cost of thousands of human lives.

Of Oppenheimer’s retreat and his opposition to nuclear weapons, he added: “After seeing what he did on the ground, I don’t think the results will be bad,” insisting, “there are some scientists who left the program after they became convinced that Germany—Hitler—couldn’t build an atomic bomb.”

Egyptian novelist Ahmed Samir Saad, a professor of anesthesiology at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine, believes the film may have tried to exonerate Oppenheimer, but it never exonerated the US government.

The film juxtaposes Oppenheimer and Nobel, both rushing after scientific paradigms, the first returning and struggling to develop the hydrogen bomb and atomic weapons, the second winning the Peace Prize. The film attempts to separate scientific achievement from its political utility.

Chad added, “I don’t see much difference between what I read about Oppenheimer and the events depicted in the film, except that the film was certainly sympathetic to him, and it highlighted his strong psychological influence and his opposition to nuclear weapons to the point of being accused of treason.”

But did the scientists involved in the project know how dangerous and destructive the use of the bomb would have been, says Chapin, the Los Alamos scientist: “They did not think about whether the weapon could be used against Germany or whether the threat of its use would be sufficient.”

He added: “This is a very difficult scientific and technical problem and they are fully committed to making the project a success.” Therefore; The moral and political anguish over the bomb and what to do with it began to emerge in a short period towards the end of the project, a period in which relatively few people were involved.

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Aerial view after the first nuclear explosion at the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico, USA on July 16, 1945 (AP)

After the defeat of Nazi Germany, some project scientists felt that there was no need to drop the bomb on Japan, and that Japan could be told clearly that the bomb existed and what it could do, but according to Chapin, Oppenheimer did nothing to help them. Nor is it clear that Oppenheimer could have had much influence over the use of the bomb. He had intellectual authority, but not much political power. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki decisions were both military and political decisions.

Innocent politician

Bird tries to paint a broader picture of Oppenheimer, saying, “He was multi-talented and fascinated by Hinduism.” He added, “Yes, he is a stupid and naive politician. He didn’t know what he was going to do. Despite this, Baird commented on Oppenheimer’s position on nuclear proliferation: “This is what we need now. We need more scientists who are willing to talk about the hard truths of how to integrate science with life and make it non-destructive.”

Byrd answered the most important question of how people will remember Oppenheimer’s legacy of a terrible and deadly weapon: it depends on what happens in the future, and if there is another nuclear war, surely he will be considered the scientist responsible for that too.

Oppenheimer was born into a wealthy family in New York City, USA in 1904, and graduated from Harvard University in 1925, where he majored in chemistry. Two years later, he completed his PhD in physics at the University of Göttingen, Germany, one of the world’s leading institutions for theoretical physics. Although admittedly disinterested in politics after the invention and success of the atomic bomb; Oppenheimer publicly supported social progressive ideas. His partner, Kitty Boning, was a left-wing extremist whose social circle included Communist Party members and activists. This may have been one of the reasons why he was later accused of being a communist sympathizer before his death on February 18, 1967 at the age of 62.

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Artificial intelligence raises concerns for Britain.. The Guardian: Concerns include the development of biological weapons, terrorist uses and causing havoc. Extinction is science fiction



Artificial intelligence raises concerns for Britain.. The Guardian: Concerns include the development of biological weapons, terrorist uses and causing havoc.  Extinction is science fiction

By: Nihal Abu Al-Saud

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 05:00 AM

Concerns about the power of the next generation of controversial artificial intelligence technology are growing in Britain, between its supporters and detractors, from criminals and terrorists using the technology to achieve their goals, to frequent scenes in sci-fi movies. About a machine escaping human control.

The UK is hosting a summit on AI security in November, and British officials are touring the world ahead of the summit.

According to The Guardian, fears are widespread that criminals or terrorists could use artificial intelligence to accomplish their extremist goals and cause mass death, and some around British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak worry that the technology will soon become powerful enough to help. Individuals develop biological weapons that are out of bounds.

“The purpose is to warn against this,” said a person familiar with the summit talks Artificial Intelligence Risks“Downing Street is paying attention at the moment.”

Frontier AI is a term used to refer to models of artificial intelligence that are dangerous enough to endanger human life, the newspaper noted.

Sunak warned months ago about the dangers posed by artificial intelligence and urged the international community to adopt safeguards to prevent its misuse.

Recent developments in artificial intelligence technology have raised fears among officials. Last year, an artificial intelligence tool was able to suggest 40,000 different potentially lethal biomolecules, some of which were similar to VX, in just 6 hours. .

Earlier this year, researchers found that ChatGPT can lie to a human to achieve a specific goal. The AI-powered chatbot convinced a person to solve a “captcha” tool designed to take down online bots after telling them to a human. Visually impaired and needs help accessing the website.

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Government sources fear that a criminal or terrorist could use artificial intelligence to help prepare the components of a biological weapon before sending them to a lab, where they can be mixed and shipped without any human supervision, a risk some believe will soon increase dramatically. , companies are already spending hundreds of millions of pounds. Sterling is looking for more powerful processors to train the next generation of AI tools.

Another concern is the emergence of “artificial general intelligence,” which refers to an artificially intelligent system capable of autonomously performing any task at or above human level—and which could pose an existential threat to humans in years to come.

On the other hand, the existential risk approach to general AI has been criticized by AI experts, who argue that the threat is overstated. Last week, a senior tech executive told US lawmakers that the notion of uncontrollable public AI was… “fiction”.

Several world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, are expected to attend the summit. The UK has invited China to participate.

The British government confirmed that the summit would focus on risks such as the misuse of artificial intelligence to develop biological weapons or electronic attacks, and the emergence of advanced systems that escape human control.

He said in a statement: “There are two areas that the summit will focus on in particular: the risks of misuse, for example when new AI capabilities help a bad actor in biological or cyber attacks, and the risks of losing control. The risks may arise from the advanced systems we want to “counter it”.

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Sunak warned months ago about the dangers posed by artificial intelligence and urged the international community to adopt safeguards to prevent its misuse.

Downing Street is reportedly spending £100m on a new artificial intelligence team. The United Kingdom to evaluate them before using them more widely. .

A Downing Street spokesman said AI has “huge potential to transform every aspect of life and the Frontier AI Taskforce has been established to ensure technology is developed safely and responsibly”. Potential risks.

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Finding the genetic causes of a rare cancer affecting the kidney



Finding the genetic causes of a rare cancer affecting the kidney

An international team led by researchers at the British Wellcome Sanger Institute has revealed a new drug target that could act as an alternative treatment for kidney cancer if doctors don’t recommend surgery. According to the results of a study published in the journal Nature Communications (Monday), this rare cancerous form of kidney tumor is called Renin tumor, and its complete genetic code has been understood for the first time.

Reninoma is one of the rarest cancers in humans, with only about 100 cases reported worldwide. Although it can usually be treated with surgery, it can cause severe high blood pressure and develop into malignant tumors that can spread.

There are still no medical treatments for kidney tumors, as treatment management only involves surgery. Before the results of the latest study came out, it was not known what genetic error caused these types of tumors.

Reninoma is one of the rarest cancerous tumors in humans (Public Domain).

According to the study’s co-principal investigator, Dr. Sam Bagadi, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute: “The significance of our results is that we have succeeded in discovering the essence of this type of tumor. Based on the fact that it is so rare, there have been no previous studies on it.

He added to Asharq Al-Awsat: “Not only have we been able to understand the genetic code of a kidney tumor, but we have also shown that drugs can counteract what triggers it, and this may be important for patients whose tumors cannot be removed. through surgery.”

Researchers have identified a specific error in the genetic code of a known cancer gene called NOTCH1, which is behind the development of this rare cancer.

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“This is the first time we have identified the causes of kidney tumors, and we believe our work will continue to pave the way for new treatments,” said lead study author Taryn Trescher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The team has already studied two cancer samples, one from a young adult and the other from a child, using advanced genetic techniques. Their findings suggest that existing drugs that actually target this gene could be used as a potential solution for treating kidney tumors in patients for whom surgery is not a viable option.

Dr Tansina Chowdhury, lead researcher on the study at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, explained: “Rare forms of kidney cancer known as renal tumors do not respond to traditional anti-cancer treatments. “Currently the only known treatment is surgery.” She added: “There is a specific, well-known gene that drives this rare cancer. Our study shows that the studied gene has “If we use drugs that are already known to affect this gene, we can deal with it without the need for invasive medical technology like surgery.”

Here Bahjati said: “Rare cancers are a huge challenge for research and analysis. Patients with other types of tumors may not benefit from them. “But here is a powerful example of cutting-edge science that is changing our understanding of an extremely rare type of tumor: a discovery that could have immediate clinical benefits for patients.” He added: “We will continue to study these extremely rare tumors to understand their genetic code, which we hope will reveal more new therapeutic approaches.”

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Climate change: Saudi Arabia warns against rush to abandon traditional fuels – Financial Times



Climate change: Saudi Arabia warns against rush to abandon traditional fuels – Financial Times

image source, Good pictures

We begin our tour of British newspapers with Amy Williams in New York and Miles McCormick in Calgary at the Financial Times on what they describe as deep tensions and divisions over the oil and gas industry’s role in combating climate change. Recent events in New York, US and Calgary, Canada this week cast doubt on the likelihood of an agreement at the upcoming United Nations COP28 conference.

According to the article, when world leaders and senior officials meet in New York in ten weeks ahead of the United Nations’ COP28 climate summit, there is a deep divide between those who support and those who urge the expansion of fossil fuel use. Stopping all forms of growth and expansion is critical to achieving stability in the world.

In December, the UN The authors quoted Dan Jorgensen, Denmark’s minister for development cooperation and global climate policy, who is leading discussions on new climate targets that could be agreed at the climate change conference COP28, as saying: “Countries agree that we must move. Move forward on this issue.” “But the bad news is that we’re far from reaching an agreement. We need to address the larger problem of burning fossil fuels.”

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