Research Preview: Science Magazine – May 5, 2023

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Science Magazine – May 5, 2023 issue: The immune system protects us from cancer and infection using a powerful armamentarium that is kept in check by an array of regulatory processes. When they fail, the immune system can start attacking the host in a process known as autoimmunity. This special issue highlights recent advances in our understanding of autoimmune diseases and the regulation of immune tolerance. See the special section beginning on page 468.

When a delicate balancing act goes wrong

Antibodies that target self-antigens are an important component of certain autoimmune diseases and are sometimes used as a clinical marker for these syndromes. ILLUSTRATION: STEPHAN SCHMITZ/FOLIOART

A cardinal feature of the immune system is its ability to distinguish self from nonself. Although many early immunologists thought that its powerful defenses could rarely, if ever, be turned against the host, pioneering research on autoimmune diseases beginning in the early 1900s has documented a different reality. More than 80 different autoimmune disorders have now been described that may affect up to 5% of the population.

Russia tensions keep Arctic research on ice

Collaboration stifled as many scientists look to establish fieldwork elsewhere

Twist of fate

A physician-scientist has probed Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years. Now, he has it


The New York Review Of Books – May 25, 2023


The New York Review of Books – May 25, 2023 issue: Michael Hofmann on Goethe’s last years, Jerome Groopman on the business of biotech, Joan Acocella on Balanchine, Jed S. Rakoff on William O. Douglas’s environmentalism, Adam Hochschild on 1619 and 1776, Willa Glickman on grassroots labor unions, Brenda Wineapple on Susanna Moore, Ian Johnson on art looters, Jenny Uglow on Samuel Pepys and the wreck of the HMS Gloucester, Nicholas Guyatt on financing the Civil War, Elaine Blair on how we talk about sexual assault, poems by Eugene Ostashevsky, D. Nurske, and Ama Codjoe, and much more.

Bewitched by Goethe

In Johann Eckermann, Goethe found an amanuensis made in heaven.

Conversations with Goethe: In the Last Years of His Life by Johann Peter Eckermann, translated from the German by Allan Blunden, with an introduction and notes by Ritchie Robertson

A strange time to publish—strange time to publish anything—a translation of Eckermann’s  Conversations with Goethe (or should that be Goethe’s Conversations with Eckermann?), in six hundred static, major-key pages that can easily feel like twice as many. The big man, himself by now somewhat fallen on hard times, recorded by the little acolyte.

Saving Lives and Making a Killing

A new book reveals the split personality of the biotech industry: an altruistic enterprise that creates breakthrough treatments for patients in need, and a bare-knuckle business that seeks to generate astronomic profits and stop competitors from developing better treatments.

For Blood and Money: Billionaires, Biotech, and the Quest for a Blockbuster Drug by Nathan Vardi

A research scientist for Pharmacyclics working in a lab, Sunnyvale, California

A research scientist for Pharmacyclics, Sunnyvale, California, 2013. In For Blood and Money, Nathan Vardi writes that when Pharmacyclics—which developed ibrutinib, a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia—was bought by the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie in 2015 for $21 billion, ‘the deal…set the new high-water mark for success in the biotechnology industry.’

Previews: The Economist Magazine – May 6, 2023

Much of the Earth remains unexplored | The Economist

The Economist – May 6, 2023 issue:

Governments are living in a fiscal fantasyland

The world over, they are failing to confront the dire state of their finances

If Turkey sacks its strongman, democrats everywhere should take heart

After 20 years of increasingly autocratic rule, Recep Tayyip Erdogan risks eviction by voters

Time to engage (very carefully) with the Taliban

Isolating the mullahs is not working. The West needs a more constructive approach

Profiles: ‘Two Lochs’ – UK’s Smallest Radio Station In The Scottish Highlands

Monocle Films (May 4, 2023) – Located in the north-western corner of the Scottish Highlands, Gairloch is a coastal village of about 700 people that known for its mountains, sea loch and rugged landscape.

Monocle paid a visit to Two Lochs, reportedly Britain’s smallest commercial radio station, which is nestled on Gairloch’s shores, run by a handful of volunteers and has built a loyal fan-base of global listeners.

Airline Travel: Legacy Vs Low-Cost Carriers (WSJ)

Wall Street Journal (May 3, 2023) – United Airlines flies 988 routes globally with around 30,000 departures every week. How do airlines choose where to fly when they have so many flights every week?

Video timeline: 0:00 Meet Patrick Quayle, a global network planning executive 0:27 The hub-and-spoke network structure 2:50 The linear route system, point-to-point 4:45 When to update route networks

It turns out legacy airlines like American and Delta and low-cost airlines like Southwest and Spirit use different models when planning their route networks. WSJ asked United’s global network planning expert to explain how airlines plan and manage their routes.

Artist Views: ‘Regards du Louvre – Marine Serre’

Musée du Louvre (May 4, 2023) – As part of its contemporary programs, the Louvre has invited twenty young creative figures to present their take on the museum in the form of a 3:30 min film.

The “Louvre Looks” initiative brings together creatives under forty – whether they come from the visual arts, poetry, film, experimental music, or fashion. They created new films in the palace itself and thus reconnect with the past of the Louvre – which hosted artist studios even before it became a museum. These films go live every Thursday on YouTube. Over the course of twenty weeks, you will be given the opportunity to discover many fresh insights into the Louvre.

The fourteenth film was conceived by stylist Marine Serre. Addressing the upcycling of clothes, she has reinterpreted Quentin Metsys’ Mary Magdalen wearing a new dress, thereby creating a bridge between time periods.

  • Painter: Jean François Grébert
  • Marine Serre for Regards du Louvre
  • Creative Direction: Marine Serre
  • A Film Directed by: Beau Rivage Film
  • Music: Vivaldi, The four Seasons 3rd Movement by Wilfred Symphony Orchestra

Art History Book Profiles: ‘The Story of Art Without Men’ Author Katy Hessel

PBS NewsHour (May 3, 2023) -How many women artists can you name? That was a question Katy Hessel, then a 21-year-old art history major, asked herself. The results were disappointing. And so she set about learning and teaching herself and then others.

Art historian, author and presenter Katy Hessel poses for photos at the Falmouth Book Festival on October 19, 2022 in Falmouth, England. Her new book "The Story of Art Without Men" showcases the lives and work of women artists from the 16th century to the present. (Photo of Hessel by Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images; book cover courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company)
Art historian, author and presenter Katy Hessel 

That resulted in her new book, “The Story of Art Without Men.” Jeffrey Brown discussed the book with Hessel for our arts and culture series, CANVAS.

Aerial Views: Landscapes And Shorelines Of Albania

Clairmont Aerial Videos (May 4, 2023) – Albaniacountry in southern Europe, located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula on the Strait of Otranto, the southern entrance to the Adriatic Sea. The capital city is Tirana (Tiranë).

Albanians refer to themselves as shqiptarë—often taken to mean “sons of eagles,” though it may well refer to “those associated with the shqip (i.e., Albanian) language”—and to their country as Shqipëria. They generally consider themselves to be descendants of the ancient Illyrians, who lived in central Europe and migrated southward to the territory of Albania at the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 2000 BCE. They have lived in relative isolation and obscurity through most of their difficult history, in part because of the rugged terrain of their mountainous land but also because of a complex of historical, cultural, and social factors.

News: China-Led SCO Bloc In India, Drone Strike In Moscow, Anti-Mafia Raids

The Globalist, May 4, 2023: Lynne O’Donnell reports from Goa as the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation nations meet. Plus: Drone strikes Kremlin and anti-mafia raids across Europe, a flick through today\’s papers and the latest theatre news. 

Front Page: The New York Times- Thursday May 4, 2023


Fed Makes 10th Rate Increase and Opens Door to Pause

Cutting interest rates this year “is not in our forecast,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

The Fed raised rates by a quarter point, bringing them above 5 percent for the first time in more than 15 years.

Moscow Claims Explosions Above the Kremlin Were an Attempt to Kill Putin

Russian law enforcement officers standing guard in Red Square in Moscow on Wednesday. Two drones detonated above the Kremlin earlier in the day.

Russia said Ukraine had launched a drone attack, which Kyiv vehemently denied, accusing Russia of manufacturing a pretext for escalation.

Companies Flock to Biden’s Climate Tax Breaks, Driving Up Cost

A law to boost clean energy appears to be more potent than predicted, with big implications for both budget talks and efforts to fight climate change.

The ‘Peace Dividend’ Is Over in Europe. Now Come the Hard Tradeoffs.

Defending against an unpredictable Russia in years to come will mean bumping up against a strained social safety net and ambitious climate transition plans.