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GESDA's best pick from the press, web and science journals, in relation to GESDA's thematic platforms

03-09 October 2020

A GESDA product curated by Olivier Dessibourg
NOTE: The next BestReads edition will be sent on 23 October 2020

Humanity, now more than ever, is facing global challenges (especially with regards to the Covid-19 crisis), putting people and the planet under stress and in great uncertainty. Simultaneously, the world is experiencing breakthroughs in science and technology at an unprecedented pace, which are sometimes hard to grasp. Anticipation, therefore, is key to build the future with the aim of early and fully exploiting this scientific potential for the well-being and inclusive development of all. The Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator was founded in Geneva in 2019 to tackle this issue.

GESDA's ambition is to first anticipate and identify these cutting-edge advances in science and technology throughout various domains (Quantum revolution & advanced AI, Human augmentation, Ecoregeneration and Geoengineering, Science and Diplomacy). Based on this scientific outlook, it will, with its Diplomacy community, translate potential leaps in science and tech into tools that can bring effective and socially-inclusive solutions to emerging challenges. Most importantly, this process will be achieved not only by scientists or diplomats, but will include actors of various professional origins and mindsets (from philanthropy, industry, citizens, to youth).


> Two female CRISPR scientists make history, winning Nobel Prize in chemistry for genome-editing discovery // 07.10.2020, STATnews
The Nobel Prize in chemistry 2020 has been awarded to biochemist Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley), and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier (Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology), for their 2012 discovery that a bacterial immune system called CRISPR can be repurposed to edit DNA, the molecule of heredity.

> The CRISPR story: how a basic research discovery changed science and led to a Nobel // 07.10.2020, STATnews

> The CRISPR Nobel was about more than two women scientists. It was about all of them  (OPINION) // 08.10.2020, STATnews

> The Heroes of CRISPR (PERSPECTIVE, by Eric Lander) // 2016, Cell

> Leopoldina president Gerald Haug congratulates Academy member Emmanuelle Charpentier // 07.10.2020, Leopoldina press release
Gerald Haug is a Moderator of GESDA’s Academic Forum Platform 3, dedicated to Eco-regeneration and Geo-engineering.



> What’s new in Gartner’s hype cycle for AI, 2020 // 04.10.2020, Forbes
Two dominant themes emerge from the combination of 30 diverse AI technologies in this year's Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2020. The first theme is the democratization or broader adoption of AI across organizations. The greater the democratization of AI, the greater the importance of developers and DevOps to create enterprise-grade applications. The second theme is the industrialization of AI platforms. Reusability, scalability, safety and responsible use of AI and AI governance are the catalysts contributing to the second theme. 



> The Responsibility100 Index // 08.10.2020, Tortoise 
A ranking of the FTSE 100 companies on their commitment to key social, environmental and ethical objectives, inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).


> L’Estonie vient en aide à l’OMS pour un «big bang» numérique // 05.10.2020, Le Temps
Le premier ministre d’Estonie Jüri Ratas et le directeur de l’OMS Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ont signé lundi un protocole d’entente pour développer un certificat digital international de vaccination. Un outil qui serait très utile dans la mise en œuvre d’une campagne de vaccination contre le Covid-19.

EDITORIAL:  La révolution digitale de la santé globale sur les fonts baptismaux

(©All right reserved)


Platform 1: Quantum revolution and advanced AI


> Le LHC découvrira-t-il la matière noire avec des ordinateurs quantiques ? // 05.10.2020, Futura Sciences

Informatique quantique: une nouvelle révolution grâce au graphène // 02.20.2020, Futura Sciences

Inductors enter the world of quantum mechanics // 08.10.2020, Nature

Generating photons for communication in a quantum computing system // 07.10.2020, MIT press release

Artificial intelligence

> How GPT-3 is shaping our AI future (PODCAST) // October 2020, Harvard Business Review

With ‘nutrition labels’ and an anthropologist’s eye, Duke pioneers a new approach to AI in medicine // 05.10.2020, STAT+

Nvidia is building the UK’s fastest supercomputer to use for AI research in health // 05.10.2020, The Next Web

Philosophy of AI and the role of digital design // October, ETH Zürich blog

Rethinking risk and compliance for the Age of AI // 30.09.2020, WEF

> Europe too ‘defeatist’ on artificial intelligence, says head of European Parliament’s new AI committee // 08.10.2020, Science|Business

(©All right reserved)

Platform 2: Human augmentation


> Neuroscientists discover a molecular mechanism that allows memories to form // 05.10.2020, MIT
Based on an article in Nature Neurosciences

Discovery of a new key player in long-term memory // 07.10.2020, Nature

Maternal microbes support fetal brain wiring // 08.10.2020, Nature

Microglia modulate neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases // 02.10.2020, Science

Millimetre-precision drug delivery to the brain // 05.10.2020, ETH Zürich press release

New clues about the link between stress and depression // 02.10.2020, Karolinska Institute press release

Coaxing stem cells to repair the spinal cord // 02.10.2020, Science


Deep learning takes on synthetic biology // 07.10.2020, Wyss Institute Harvard press release
Based on an article in Nature Communications

Enzymatic DNA synthesis enters new phase // 05.10.2020, Nature

Genetic tracing 'barcode' is rapidly revealing COVID-19's journey and evolution // 02.20.2020, Drexel University press release

Hidden DNA fragment the 'trigger switch' for male development // 02.10.2020, University of Queensland press release

Longevity & Health

New nanotechnology design provides hope for personalized vaccination for treating cancer // 02.10.2020, University of Chicago Medical Center

Could a poo transplant one day be the secret of eternal youth? // 02.10.2020, University of East Anglia

Artificial lung helps investigate how COVID-19 causes blood clots // 07.10.2020, EPFL press release

Could someone hack my microchip implant? // 05.10.2020, Gizmodo

(©All right reserved)

Platform 3: Eco-regeneration and geoengineering

Resources & Energy

Differences in carbon emissions reduction between countries pursuing renewable electricity versus nuclear power // 05.10.2020, Nature Energy

Engineered electrode material moves battery research closer to 'holy grail' // 08.10.2020, University of science and technology of China press release

Generating renewable hydrogen fuel from the sea // 06.10.2020, NSF

Global food production poses an increasing climate threat // 07.10.2020, Nature

Plant agrodiversity to the rescue // 05.10.2020, Nature Climate Change

> Deep-seabed mining lastingly disrupts the seafloor food web // 08.10.2020, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology press release

Climate & Environment

Circular Cities Declaration // 05.10.2020
Major Cities sign the European Circular Cities Declaration recognising the need and the role cities play to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Europe. The declaration, signed in Mannheim, Germany, by over 20 towns and cities, includes commitments to reducing waste, water, and energy use, as well as building materials, by reusing or recycling.

Why you may already be living in a smart city // 05.10.2020,

Geneva's strong message for more resilient cities // 08.10.2020, GenevaSolutions

A comprehensive quantification of global nitrous oxide sources and sinks // 08.10.2020, Nature

> Prince William and Sir David Attenborough join forces on 'Earthshot' prize // 08.10.2020, BBC

As sea-ice retreats to record low, Arctic shipping reaches new high // 06.10.2020, Barents Observer

--- Special section: Carbon Capture & Storage ---

> Carbon capture 'moonshot' moves closer, as billions of dollars pour in // 07.10.2020, The Guardian

> Asbestos could be a powerful weapon against climate change (you read that right) // 06.10.2020, MIT Technology Review

Carbon storage from the lab // 05.10.2020, University of Freiburg press release

Lego-like assembly of zeolitic membranes improves carbon capture // 05.10.2020, EPFL press release
Based on a Nature Materials article

Lighting the path to recycling carbon dioxide // 05.10.2020, KAUST press release

Rhizosphere activity in an old-growth forest reacts rapidly to changes in soil moisture and shapes whole-tree carbon allocation // 06.10.2020, PNAS


How machine learning made hops-free hoppy beer (and other synbio wonders) possible // 06.10.2020, Singularity Hub


Earth: the final countdown – Using space to save the planet // 02.10.2020, SpaceWatch.Global

Celestial property rights: How we can achieve a new, commerce-fueled space age (OPINION) // 26.09.2020, SpaceNews

Russia wants super-heavy launcher based on Amur // 08.10.2020, SpaceWatch.Global

The chair of the House Science space subcommittee said Tuesday NASA has not convinced her it has a viable plan for returning humans to the moon by 2024 // 07.10.2020, SpaceNews


Platform 4: Science and Diplomacy

Science and politics are inseparable // 08.10.2020, Nature

From AI to facial recognition: how China is setting the rules in new tech // 07.10.2020, Financial Times

Japan’s new prime minister picks fight with Science Council // 05.10.2020, Science

Climate change doesn’t have to stoke conflict // 28.09.2020, Foreign Affairs

United States appears to walk back on threats to withdraw from World Health Organization – Calls for countries to adopt ‘Roadmap for Reform’ // 05.10.2020, Health Policy Watch

EU expands powers to block Chinese and US companies from Horizon Europe // 01.10.2020, Science|Business

Digital transformation a hot topic at the UN General Assembly // 07.10.2020, Geneva.Solutions

Twenty years on: International humanitarian law and the protection of civilians against the effects of cyber operations during armed conflicts // September 2020, IRCC

How to fix the GDPR's frustration of global biomedical research // 02.10.2020, Science


> Here are seven takeaways from the House's sweeping report concluding Silicon Valley is too powerful // 07.10.2020, Washington Post

L'époque: Dieu et la Silicon Valley (PODCAST) // 03.10.2020, RTS

How Trump damaged science — and why it could take decades to recover // 05.10.2020, Nature

What a Joe Biden presidency would mean for five key science issues // 01.10.2020, Nature

The making of the Biohub // September 2020, Nature Biotechnology
The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is both an institute and an academic network devoted to accelerating research via cutting edge technologies and open science. Its focus on single-cell analysis and infectious disease has placed it front and center in the pandemic.

The global pandemic has renewed trust in science // October 2020, report by 3M
The report, which has been released for the past three years, surveyed 1,000 people across 14 countries before the pandemic (in August-October 2019) and another 1,000 people in 11 countries between July-August 2020. Nearly 90% of people now trust science and scientists and 77% support increased funding for the field. More than half now say science is important to their everyday lives, compared to 44% who said the same last year. Nearly 55% of individuals now say that the pandemic has made them more likely to advocate for science, compared to 20% last year. Responses to the prompt "I am skeptical of science" has also dropped from 35% to 28% this year. (STATnews)

With to-do list checked off, U.S. physicists ask, ‘What’s next?’ // 02.10.2020, Science

(©All right reserved)


Peter Maurer on the climate emergency, new funding and the decarbonisation of the ICRC // 09.10.2020, Geneva.Solutions
An in-depth conversation with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. (Photo: ICRC)

Matthias Egger réélu // 07.09.2020, SNF press release.
Le Comité du Conseil de fondation du Fonds national suisse (FNS) a réélu Matthias Egger à la présidence du Conseil national de la recherche pour la période 2021-2024. En janvier 2021, le professeur d’épidémiologie et de médecine sociale à l’Université de Berne entamera ainsi son deuxième mandat de quatre ans. (Photo: DR)

Helping poorer nations develop cleanly and adapt to climate threats is "not charity but a global act of self-interest", says Patricia Espinosa // 05.10.2020, Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Rich nations are failing on promises to help poorer ones meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, U.N. climate chief said on Monday. (Photo: DR)

Open Geneva: Bringing the Silicon Valley spirit to Geneva (PODCAST) // 07.10.2020, Geneva.Solutions
Open Geneva is an association created to promote open innovation in the greater Geneva area. Its president Thomas Maillart believes in the power of a community of innovators. (Photo: DR)


> La «Trust Valley» suisse voit grand, entre Vaud et Genève // 08.10.2020, Le Temps
EPFL press release in English, et en français

WEF 2021 to be held in the luxury Swiss resort of Bürgenstock // 07.10.2020,

Les publications scientifiques en Suisse, 2008–2018 // Septembre 2020, SEFRI
Aujourd’hui, les publications scientifiques ont généralement plusieurs autrices et auteurs ; en Suisse, 80% des publications sont coécrites. La plupart des partenariats s’étendent au-delà des frontières du pays : selon un rapport du Secrétariat d’Etat à la formation, à la recherche et à l’innovation, plus de 84% des publications scientifiques ont été produites avec des partenaires étrangers dans les années 2014 à 2018, alors que les partenariats internes au pays ont représenté 15,6%. 48% des coautrices et coauteurs sont des scientifiques europé 

‘Science-Switzerland’ launched on LinkedIn // 30.09.2020, SwissNex China
'Science-Switzerland' is newly launched on LinkedIn. Discover highlights on education, new discoveries in science, and intelligence on the latest top-of-the-line technologies and innovational strengths of Switzerland.


> Launch of the International Digital Health & AI Research (I-DAIR) Collaborative // 13.10.2020, Online Event, 5pm CET, organized by the Graduate Institute
Fondation Botnar is supporting the incubation phase of the new International Digital Health & Artificial Intelligence Research Collaborative (I-DAIR) hosted at the Global Health Centre. The aim of I-DAIR is to promote responsible and inclusive artificial intelligence research and digital technology development for health by establishing a neutral, trusted platform for enabling global research collaborations on digitally-enabled health. A set of initial partnerships have been forged with global partners such as the World Health Organization, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, PATH, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Wadhwani AI and CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology. Join us on 13 October 2020 to learn more about I-DAIR and its development.

> Economic evaluation of exome and genome sequencing in child health // 15.10.2020, 6pm CET, organized by the CDC

> Launch of TED Countdown initiative // 10.10.2020, 15pm CET
Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action.

Forward Forward
Have a very nice and fruitful week! :-)
Copyright ©  2020, All rights reserved for the selection. All rights reserved by the respective media for articles reproduction.
Selection of an article in this press review doesn't mean endorsement by GESDA.

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