DeepMind: this is as big a story that will be reported all year and it will get very little coverage. But this is huge, on so many levels. This is, to some extent, the holy grail of molecular biology:
LONDON — Alphabet-owned DeepMind has developed a piece of artificial intelligence software that can accurately predict the structure that proteins will fold into in a matter of days, solving a 50-year-old “grand challenge” that could pave the way for better understanding of diseases and drug discovery.
Every living cell has thousands of different proteins inside that keep it alive and well. Predicting the shape that a protein will fold into is important because it determines their function and nearly all diseases, including cancer and dementia, are related to how proteins function.
“Proteins are the most beautiful, gorgeous structures and the ability to predict exactly how they fold up is really very, very challenging and has occupied many people over many years,” Professor Dame Janet Thornton from the European Bioinformatics Institute told journalists on a call.
British research lab DeepMind’s “AlphaFold” AI system was entered into a competition organized by a group called CASP (Critical Assessment for Structure Prediction). It’s a community experiment organization with the mission of accelerating solutions to one problem: how to compute the 3D structure of protein molecules.
Tesla will be added to the S&P 500 in a single step despite its more than $500 billion market capitalization, S&P Dow Jones Indices said on Monday, forgoing a possible phased approach that was considered to ease the impact of adding such a large company to the U.S. stock benchmark.
The stock will be added at its full float-adjusted market capitalization before the open of trading on December 21, 2020, the index provider said. Float-adjusted means that only shares available to the public are considered when evaluating a company’s weighting. The company that Tesla will replace will be named on Dec. 11, according to a press release.
My hunch: Ralph Lauren.
Got hydrogen? Jim Cramer says Linde and Cummins.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.
A Musical Interlude: I was going to post just one Jerry Jeff Walker song, but from this album, there were simply too many that would have made the cut ... so the whole album:
Best op-ed in past few weeks: another bold strike against Iran -- the lede --
Any American intelligence operative who’s worked on Iran has to tip his hat to Israel’s Mossad. The assassination Friday of Iran’s pre-eminent atomic-bomb scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and, even more impressively, the warehouse heist of the clerical regime’s nuclear archive in January 2018, shows a level of risk-taking and accomplishment that has no U.S. parallel. In June there were large, damaging explosions at the Natanz uranium enrichment site, which probably weren’t caused by shoddy maintenance.
The Central Intelligence Agency hasn’t been a particularly bold organization in decades (the aggressive interrogation of al Qaeda members may be an exception). It isn’t only the timidity of the CIA’s senior management and Washington’s political class that enfeebles Langley; it’s the absence of a mission against a state-threatening foe that focuses the mind and attracts real talent. An Iran with nukes would threaten Israel’s existence, not America’s.
Israel has been lethally penetrating the Islamic Republic for at least a decade. Mossad now appears to have stationary surveillance and hit teams positioned in the country. Given the level of internal dissent, which has spread even among children of the original Iranian revolutionaries, it’s possible Israel has acquired valuable agents in Iran’s armed forces and security services.
Though the assassinations of Fakhrizadeh and others, such as Daryoush Rezainejad in 2011, may be the work of Iranian assets in Jerusalem’s employ—Kurds may be the most accessible and motivated—the archival theft is more likely an intrusion in which Israeli officers were on the ground in command. By comparison, it’s doubtful that the CIA has ever deployed a single nonofficial-cover officer inside Iran to sustain either intelligence collection or covert action since the failed Operation Eagle Claw hostage rescue in 1980.