science, space exploration, moon lander, US, Peregrine 1, fuel leak
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Space Probe Peregrine 1 Has ‘No Chance’ of Landing on Moon: Operators (Maria)

The author writes, “The first moon lander to launch from the US in half a century has ‘no’  chance of making a successful landing on the lunar surface because of a fuel leak, its operators have announced, adding that their goal was now to travel as far as possible before losing power. Peregrine 1, …. [designed] to become the first commercial space probe to make a soft landing on the moon, suffered a ‘critical loss of propellant’ hours after liftoff on Monday owing to an ‘anomaly’ in the propulsion system, according to Astrobotic, the US company behind the project.” 

How the Rise of Deepfakes Will Impact the 2024 Presidential Elections (Russ)

The author writes, “From printing dubious newspaper articles to pushing false narratives on social media, candidates have used — and will continue to use — various avenues to stretch the truth and place themselves in a more favorable position. Political propaganda, as these tactics are so often called, has played a role in governmental elections for centuries. Even Octavian ran a propaganda campaign against Mark Anthony to become the emperor of Rome more than 2000 years ago. It’s safe to say that political propaganda is here to stay, but its role in the upcoming presidential election may look a little different. AI deepfakes have been on the rise in recent years, with the number increasing at an annual rate of 900 percent, and there’s concern about how they will impact the upcoming presidential elections.”  

Washington’s Sudanese Community Suffering Amid War That’s Displaced Millions (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “You don’t interrupt your quiet life in a Seattle suburb and book a plane ticket to war-torn Sudan unless you have a really good reason. Not right now, in the middle of a brutal conflict between rival forces that’s killed more than 12,000 people and displaced 7 million. Not right now, in the middle of a humanitarian nightmare that’s struggled to attract as much international attention and assistance as some other calamities, despite a prominent Washington congresswoman speaking up about the situation. Not right now, unless you’re a 57-year-old software consultant named Mubarak Elamin, and you have a really good reason for risking a trip to the northeast African country where you grew up, and the reason is that you have to rescue your mom.”

Leading News Outlets Are Doing the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Greenwashing (Laura)

From The Intercept: “Reuters is one of at least seven major news outlets that creates and publishes misleading promotional content for fossil fuel companies, according to a report released [in December]. Known as advertorials or native advertising, the sponsored material is created to look like a publication’s authentic editorial work, lending a veneer of journalistic credibility to the fossil fuel industry’s key climate talking points. … All of the media companies reviewed — Bloomberg, The Economist, the Financial Times, The New York Times, Politico, Reuters, and The Washington Post — consistently top lists of ‘most trusted’ news outlets.”

A New Kind of AI Copy Can Fully Replicate Famous People. The Law Is Powerless. (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “New AI-generated digital replicas of real experts expose an unnerving policy gray zone. Washington wants to fix it, but it’s not clear how.”

Cells Across the Body Talk to Each Other About Aging (Sean)

From Quanta Magazine: “Recently, a set of papers documented a new biochemical pathway that regulates aging, one based on signals passed between mitochondria, the organelles best known as the powerhouse of the cell. Working with worms, the researchers found that damage to mitochondria in brain cells triggered a repair response that was then amplified, setting off similar reactions in mitochondria throughout the worm’s body. The effect of this repair activity was to extend the organism’s life span: The worms with repaired mitochondrial damage lived 50% longer.”


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