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Dennis D. McDonald
3,233 followers -
Digital strategy, collaboration, project management.
Digital strategy, collaboration, project management.

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Auto-Generated Narratives

Narrative Science has a simple demonstration of how their tool can automatically generate textual descriptions from underlying Business Intelligence. In this case, they're pulling publicly-available data on bike sharing in Chicago. 

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Horseshoe Crab Blood: The Most Important Medical Tech You've Probably Never Heard About

Horseshoe crab blood is one of the most important chemicals used in modern medicine. A chemical derived from its blood (which is blue instead of red, due to using copper where red blood uses iron), one which plays a role in the creature's unique immune system, is currently the only FDA approved chemical for testing for contamination of medical equipment and tech by Gram negative microbes, making it in many ways nearly as important as antibiotics in the modern arsenal of medicine.

Because of this, demand for the blood has skyrocketed over the years, with now over 600,000 horseshoe crabs per year harvested for this purpose.

This has not been considered a problem in itself, because the crabs aren't killed for their blood. They are captured, one-third of their blood removed, and they are returned to the waters. It has usually been claimed that they readily recover from this, and so it has been assumed this presented no threat to their populations. For this reason, in fact, it has been specifically exempt from regulations applying to non-medical harvesting of the creatures, where such regulations exist.

Unfortunately, new evidence is emerging that this conventional wisdom may be inaccurate. It seems increasingly likely that the procedure may have a variety of negative consequences for their survival, and may be putting pressure on the species, which happens to be one of the oldest on Earth.

If true, this need not necessarily end the practice entirely. Simple changes to how the crabs are handled may be enough to counter many of the apparent negative consequences. It is not clear, unfortunately, if any organization or agency can enforce regulations in this area, or if the companies involved will accept the evidence if it continues to question their rosy assumptions.

#BlindMeWithScience #HorseshoeCrab

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Published in 2006 but still relevant, I think.

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From the review: "TAG operates on several levels: as an allegory for a female subjugation, as a constantly moving travelogue through a rural Japanese countryside, and as an over-the-top violent gore-fest."

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From the review: "TAG operates on several levels: as an allegory for a female subjugation, as a constantly moving travelogue through a rural Japanese countryside, and as an over-the-top violent gore-fest."

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