science, biology, humans, aging, limits, study
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Aging Might Not Be Inevitable, Scientist Says (Maria)

The author writes, “In 1997, A French woman named Jeanne Calment died at the age of 122. She was the world’s oldest verified person, according to the Gerontology Research Group. Her daily habits included drinking a glass of port wine and smoking a cigarette. … A few species, however, seem to be exempt from [the aging] rule. The hydra, a small freshwater animal with 12 tentacles, doesn’t seem to age at all. The immortal jellyfish can even age backward. ‘It suggests that aging is not inevitable and that we might be able to circumvent our natural limits if we alter our biology,’ [Nobel Prize-winning biologist Venki] Ramakrishnan says.”

Conservative-Backed Group Is Creating a List of Federal Workers It Suspects Could Resist Trump Plans (Sean)

The author writes, “From his home office in small-town Kentucky, a seasoned political operative is quietly investigating scores of federal employees suspected of being hostile to the policies of Republican Donald Trump, a highly unusual and potentially chilling effort that dovetails with broader conservative preparations for a new White House. Tom Jones and his American Accountability Foundation are digging into the backgrounds, social media posts and commentary of key high-ranking government employees, starting with the Department of Homeland Security. They’re relying in part on tips from his network of conservative contacts, including workers. In a move that alarms some, they’re preparing to publish the findings online.”

Expanding Extremist Groups in Africa Fuel Worries That They Could Attack the US or Western Allies (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Violent extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are growing in size and influence across Africa, fueling worries that as they improve their tactics they could attack the U.S. or Western allies. U.S. defense and military officials described the threats and their concerns about growing instability in Africa, where a number of coups have put ruling juntas in control, leading to the ouster of American troops and a decline in U.S. intelligence gathering.”

A Decade After Armed Standoff, the Bundys Appear To Be Above the Law (Reader Jim)

From NPR: “Ten years after staging an armed standoff with federal agents on his Nevada ranch, Cliven Bundy remains free. As does his son Ammon, despite an active warrant for Ammon from Idaho related to a harassment lawsuit.”

COVID Is Surging Right Now. Here’s What Alarms Doctors The Most. (Sean)

The author writes, “We don’t typically associate hot weather with viral illnesses, but COVID has thwarted that in recent years. This summer seems to be no exception: Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that COVID test positivity rates and emergency room visits are steadily rising, especially along both coasts. The culprit: the FLiRT variants. This family of variants, which evolved from omicron, took off in the spring. Now, they account for over 50% of infections. According to Dr. Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, this year’s summer wave got an early start ― and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.”

Bacon Ice Cream, a Handful of Butter: McDonald’s Scraps AI Drive-Through Orders After Hilarious Glitches (Dana)

From Fast Company: “McDonald’s is ditching its drive-through AI ordering system after too many customers wound up with hilarious, wonky orders from the artificial intelligence tech. The fast food giant, which had been testing voice-automated ordering systems at about 100 restaurant drive-throughs since 2021, is now booting it from the menu. It seems to be because AI, at least when it comes to taking orders as people shout them from their car windows, turns out not to be a very good listener.”


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