Daily briefing: Astronauts survive Soyuz failure that caused “ballistic reentry”

Daily briefing: Astronauts survive Soyuz failure that caused “ballistic reentry”

https://ift.tt/2CE2UGz

Welcome to your daily round-up of top science news. You can also get this briefing straight to your inbox: sign up here.

A view of the Soyuz MS-10 space-capsule crash site after the launch failure

A view of the Soyuz MS-10 space-capsule crash site after the launch failure

The Soyuz MS-10 space-capsule crash site.(TASS/Getty)

A Soyuz rocket carrying two people to the International Space Station (ISS) made an emergency landing today after a problem with its booster. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin are safe and well after a bruising “ballistic reentry”. Russia is suspending crewed space launches, pending an investigation, which might affect how the ISS will be resupplied and recrewed in coming months.

CTV News | 8 min read

Read more: Astronaut Peggy Whitson describes what ballistic reentry feels like in a Soyuz capsule (Houston Chronicle, from 2008)

Amazon’s experimental programme to automate judging job applicants had to be thrown out after it adopted sexist hiring biases, reports Reuters. Machine learning based on past submissions effectively taught the system to penalize words that indicated the candidate was female. For example, the word “women’s”, as in “women’s chess club captain”, were downgraded.

Reuters | 7 min read

Read more: Bias detectives: the researchers striving to make algorithms fair (Nature)

“I will have to practise not just saying the first thing that comes into my mind,” says physicist Donna Strickland about the platform that comes with winning the Nobel prize. Strickland tells Nature about how her research avoids exploding lasers, that she regrets not getting around to applying to become a full professor and why “this is a moment in history where women around the world aren’t letting much slide anymore”.

Nature | 7 min read

Read more: Physics Nobel won by laser wizardry

FEATURES & OPINION

Polygenic risk scores are diagnostic tests that add together the small — sometimes infinitesimal — contributions of tens to millions of spots on the genome. Powered by huge genomic databases such as the UK Biobank, these tests offer a promising path towards unravelling the heritability of many common conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and schizophrenia. But the approach is controversial. Risk scores can be hard for patients to understand. Scoring genes for things such as academic performance could be used to bolster social inequalities. And the databases themselves don’t tend to reflect the diversity of society.

Nature | 13 min read

Go deeper: Read expert analysis of the UK Biobank in this Nature News & Views article

Cyber-policy specialist Alexander Klimburg reviews an illuminating, timely new book that draws together for the first time the public data about Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election. The book, says Klimburg , offers a clear analysis of what a modern information war looks like — and how complicit citizens and an unwitting media helped it along.

Nature | 6 min read

A moon orbiting a planet could have a moon of its own. Astrophysicists Juna Kollmeier and Sean Raymond calculated that a “submoon” could survive in an orbit close enough that it wouldn’t be pulled away by larger celestial bodies, far enough that it would not be ripped to pieces by its host and at the perfect distance so that tidal forces would stay in balance. Both Earth’s Moon and Kepler-1625b-I (the first potential exomoon) could theoretically host such a moon-moon. But no such partnership has ever been spotted.

Planetplanet blog | 9 min read

Reference: arXiv preprint

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Alzheimer’s-prevention specialist Jessica Langbaum says that lots of social interactions and trying new, fun things are better than any brain-training app when it comes to exercising your mental muscles. (NPR)

This newsletter is always evolving — tell us what you think! Please send your feedback to briefing@nature.com.

Thanks for reading!

Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the daily Nature Briefing email newsletter

Stay up to date with what matters in science and why, handpicked from Nature and other publications worldwide.

Sign Up

TECH|SCI

via Nature https://ift.tt/2qYAXTp

October 11, 2018 at 11:48AM

What do you think about this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s