Natalia Karp plays Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor

From Wikipedia: In 1943, after the death of her husband in a bomb raid, Karp was sent to the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp where she came into contact with Amon Göth (a man who had personally shot 30-90 women and children during the liquidation of the Tarnów ghetto). On his birthday, Göth ordered her to play…

Links – May 10, 2018

Occasionally, I’ll post an eclectic assortment of links (new and old) to worthwhile material that you may have missed (i.e. content not likely to be widely covered in popular news media). º Google Duplex: An AI System for Accomplishing Real-World Tasks Over the Phone The most impressive version of task-oriented, naturalistic human speech I’ve heard (because the scope…

On autophagy

Autophagy (from the Greek “auto” and “phagy,” literally meaning “self-eating”) is an intracellular process in eukaryotes that involves the breakdown and recycling of organelles, proteins, and other molecules. Cellular components targeted for degradation are typically dysfunctional or inefficient (i.e. such degradation may represent a diversion of resources), and are enveloped by an autophagosome (a double-membraned…

A brief history of the fall of Rome

The dissolution of the Western Roman Empire is popularly perceived as a sudden and dramatic cataclysm, with the “fall” of classical civilization often precisely dated to 476 CE. In that year, so the story goes, the child Emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the barbarian warlord Odoacer who then established the first…

Hypoxia, anoxia, lactic acid fermentation, and naked mole rats…

Fermentation is the ancient and evolutionarily conserved metabolic process by which glycolytic pyruvate is reduced by the electron carrier NADH, thus regenerating NAD+ while producing any of a number organism-specific end products. For example in yeast, the fermentation end product is ethanol, while in mammals, the end product is lactate. In mammals, this process occurs…