Things don’t make sense UNTIL THEY DO (mitochondria in the eye, from wired.com)

John Ball via wired.com

https://www.wired.com/story/mitochondria-double-as-tiny-lenses-in-the-eye/

In medical school, we all learned that the back of the eye, the retina that gathers and converts light from photons into electric signals in neurons, were cluttered with cell bodies and mitochondria that seemed to BLOCK light to the photo-receptors. We all sat around and puzzled “huh, why is that” and, in 1986, had no answer from the textbook.

Well, science progresses, and NOW there is an incredible answer, from the retinas of squirrels. Thanks to our brilliant basic science colleagues.

In a grand case of convergent evolution, birds circling high overhead, mosquitoes buzzing around their delicious human victims, and you reading this article have all independently evolved related optical functions—adaptations that bring a sharp and vibrant world to the eye of the beholder.

Yasemin Sapakoglu (wired.com)

Using CRISPR gene editing to affect epigenetics?

https://www.wired.com/story/a-new-kind-of-genome-editing-is-here-to-fine-tune-dna/

Here’s another editing function that we humans now have over our own genes. Cool advances by scientists to advance the frontier.

Epigenetics is the study of the chemical changes that happen to DNA throughout a lifetime, which in turn affect the expression of genes. These changes can occur as a result of a person’s behavior (such as through diet or smoking) or environmental exposures (such as to toxins or ultraviolet rays). Epigenetics is a kind of molecular memory that reflects the experiences that we’ve encountered over many years. It’s the reason why, among identical twins who share the same DNA code, one may develop cancer while the other remains healthy.

Emily Mullen, WIRED.com

Creativity DOES NOT come from our laptops

For all the great mind mapping tools out there, for all the shiny new apps that covet my attention, when it comes to creative thinking, designing things, or brainstorming a new talk, paper is it. #whyinformatics #hitsm #hcldr

Here are some examples:

Designing my Failure Resumé talk

Designing my AI talk

Designing my Sprint talk

Attending the Stanford Design Thinking for Social Systems

Of course, you should know that it is never this clean, never this simple. You don’t see the crumpled sheets, the trash can overflowing, the angry scribbles, the hair torn out and the yelling into the void. No, you don’t see it.

I’ll give John Cleese the last, inspiring words on this.

We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we DO know is that we do not get them from our laptops.

John Cleese
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