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Benjamin Russell
Attended Yale University, New Haven, CT
Lives in Tokyo, Japan
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Benjamin Russell

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Notice to all readers of my circle: 

If you wish to read my scholar/poet persona posts in English, please either subscribe to my "English Scholar/Poet Persona Posts" collection, or just ignore my Japanese posts.

If you wish to read my otaku persona posts in Japanese, please either subscribe to my "日本語でのヲタクのペルソナによる投稿" ["Japanese Otaku Persona Posts"] collection, or just ignore my English posts.

Please try not to read an English post, follow me on its basis, then see a Japanese post (and possibly attempt to use some automatic translation tool, such as Google Translate, to decipher it), and then unfollow me on that post's basis (unfollowing me for some other reason unrelated to the Japanese post is fine).

I have two distinct personae that think differently depending on the choice of natural language.  They have different interests and different opinions that depend on their respective languages and cultures.
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Apparently, an embryonic gene, Nanog, reverses aging in adult stem cells.  This discovery has the potential to delay, and in some cases reverse, aging.

According to the article,

"To battle aging, the human body holds a reservoir of nonspecialized cells that can regenerate organs. These cells are called adult stem cells, and they are located in every tissue of the body and respond rapidly when there is a need.

"But as people age, fewer adult stem cells perform their job well, a scenario which leads to age-related disorders. Reversing the effects of aging on adult stem cells, essentially rebooting them, can help overcome this problem.

"[Stelios T.] Andreadis[, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the study's lead author, ] previously showed that the capacity of adult stem cells to form muscle and generate force declines with aging. Specifically, he examined a subcategory of muscle cells called smooth muscle cells which reside in arteries, intestines and other tissues.

"In the new study, Panagiotis Mistriotis, a graduate student in Andreadis' lab and first author of the study, introduced Nanog into aged stem cells. He found that Nanog opens two key cellular pathways: Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) and Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β).

"In turn, this jumpstarts dormant proteins (actin) into building cytoskeletons that adult stem cells need to form muscle cells that contract. Force generated by these cells ultimately helps restore the regenerative properties that adult stem cells lose due to aging.

"'Not only does Nanog have the capacity to delay aging, it has the potential in some cases to reverse it,' says Andreadis, noting that the embryonic stem cell gene worked in three different models of aging: cells isolated from aged donors, cells aged in culture, and cells isolated from patients with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

"Additionally, the researchers showed that Nanog activated the central regulator of muscle formation, serum response factor (SRF), suggesting that the same results may be applicable for skeletal, cardiac and other muscle types.

"The researchers are now focusing on identifying drugs that can replace or mimic the effects of NANOG. This will allow them to study whether aspects of aging inside the body can also be reversed. This could have implications in an array of illnesses, everything from atherosclerosis and osteoporosis to Alzheimer's disease."
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Apparently, mysterious bubbles on Belyy Island in the Kara Sea are leaking methane gas at a rate of 200 times above the norm in the atmosphere, and also contain a carbon dioxide concentration that is 20 times higher than usual.

This is catastrophic.  Unless something drastic happens immediately to reduce methane and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, I shall probably need to find a way to move underground very soon.

Very soon, I should probably start searching for an apartment building that is directly connected to an underground shopping complex so that I won't need to walk outside.  Then I shall need to find a way to move there before the weather becomes too hot to move.
 
The Arctic is leaking methane 200 times faster than usual: Massive release of gas is creating giant holes and 'trembling tundras' #Arctic #Permafrost #Methane

Russian scientists have measured the gas emitted by the mysterious bubbles - on Belyy Island, a polar bear outpost 475 miles (764km) north of the Arctic Circle in the Kara Sea.
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Although I tend not to express humor, I do enjoy sarcasm.  In particular, I especially enjoy word-play and name-play, particularly when the target is a human being.

In college, one of my professors in charge of introduction to systems programming (in C) had a first name of "Stan."  He had a habit of assigning homework assignments that took approximately 20 to 40 hours each to complete and left no free time.  He even once announced in class, "If you ever have a conflict between me and another professor, just know:  I am the more demanding professor."

Thus, I nicknamed him "S(a)tan."
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Google Translate is a disaster lying in wait for automatic translation of non-technical Japanese.  I just tested it on a Japanese-language post that I had recently written, and the translation came out as substantially indecipherable gibberish.

Whoever designed the portion of Google Translate for Japanese translation should be fired.  Immediately.  And then knocked unconscious and dumped into the river, to boot.
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嗚呼。「新宿中村屋 インドカリー香りとコクのキーマ 160g×5個」をAmazon.co.jpから「当日お急ぎ便」で午前11:30迄に注文しようとしたが、クレジットカード情報を変更している間にその時刻になってしまい、間に合わなかった。

困った事になった。ボクは太陽アレルギーで運転が出来ず、近くに店がない。おまけに夜行性だ。普通は午後6時に起床し、朝7時頃に寝る。自宅勤務の翻訳者だ。

「新宿中村屋 インドカリースパイシーチキン 200g」なら、あと7個あるが、一回の食事で2個使うので、それだと、あと3回分しかない。まだ朝食を食べていない。

そうなると、次の食事で残り5個になる。つまり、残り2回分、というわけだ。

普通は夕方8時~9時に配達してもらっている。だが、残り2回分の食事だけで32時間持つのかな?到底考えられない……。

だが、そうなると、いったい何時に配達してもらえばいいのかな?

近くでは買えない。近くにはお店がない。クルマを運転出来ない。バスは一日に1回しか通らない。タクシー代が出せない(現在金欠病)。

午前8時~12時の間はほぼ必ず寝ていて、起きられない。

昼間は出かけられない(太陽アレルギーでめまいを起こすから)。

恐らく最良の選択は明日の昼間12時~2時の配達を選択する事だろうが、それだとスケジュールがおかしくなってしまう。前回、その時刻に配達してもらった時はスケジュールがおかしくなり、その後で寝てしまって、翌朝6:30迄16時間半も寝てしまい、起きられなかった。お蔭でその日は結局は何も出来なかった。

嗚呼、どうしよう。食べ物が足りないが、出掛けられない。近くにお店がなく、バスはもう来ないし、タクシー代が出せない。

誰か、いいアイデアはない?お腹が空いているんだが。昼間に無理をして起きてしまうと、めまいをして頭が回らなくなり、その日は何も出来なくなるのだが……。
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Spider silk spun by genetically-engineered silkworms.

According to the article,

"Enter the wonderful new marvel that’s called genetic engineering. In 2000, researchers first isolated and sequenced the key proteins that create spider silk (ampullate spidroin-1, spidroin-2, and so on.) That allowed scientists to reproduce spider silk proteins in E coli bacteria, yeast and other substances in somewhat the same method as pharmaceutical firms produce proteins for medicine. However, these techniques didn’t yield spider silk in large enough quantities.

"The technology behind Dragon Silk relies in part on the work of Donald L. Jarvis, Malcolm J. Fraser, and their colleagues. As they describe in this research paper, they introduced particular pieces of spider DNA into silkworm eggs, creating a completely new kind of silkworm that can spin spider silk. This enabled them to get the silk in larger quantities."
 
U.S Army Testing Genetically Engineered Spider Silk for Armor

Spider silk is considered one of nature’s toughest substances, comparable in strength to the Kevlar plastic present in bulletproof vests but is way more flexible. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a firm from Ann Arbor, Michigan, genetically altered silkworms to manufacture a fiber that is just like pure spider silk. Last week, the firm announced a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract to test this genetically engineered silk, which they are calling Dragon Silk™ for potential use in body armor.

There is a reason that silk from worms is affordable but you possibly can’t purchase dresses made out of spider silk: spiders are cannibalistic and territorial, which makes farming them for material manufacturing ridiculously exorbitant.

Enter the wonderful new marvel that’s called genetic engineering. In 2000, researchers first isolated and sequenced the key proteins that create spider silk (ampullate spidroin-1, spidroin-2, and so on.) That allowed scientists to reproduce spider silk proteins in E coli bacteria, yeast and other substances in somewhat the same method as pharmaceutical firms produce proteins for medicine. However, these techniques didn’t yield spider silk in large enough quantities.

The technology behind Dragon Silk relies in part on the work of Donald L. Jarvis, Malcolm J. Fraser, and their colleagues. As they describe in this research paper, they introduced particular pieces of spider DNA into silkworm eggs, creating a completely new kind of silkworm that can spin spider silk. This enabled them to get the silk in larger quantities.

https://gadgtecs.com/2016/07/19/u-s-military-testing-genetically-engineered-spider-silk-for-armor/
Spider silk is considered one of nature’s toughest substances, comparable in strength to Kevlar present in bulletproof vests but it is way more flexible.
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Apparently, at least to European badgers, the human super predator is far more frightening than such large carnivores as bears, wolves, and dogs.

According to the article,

"A new study by Western University demonstrates that smaller carnivores, like European badgers, that may be prey to large carnivores, actually perceive humans as far more frightening. Globally, humans now kill smaller carnivores at much higher rates than large carnivores do, and these results indicate that smaller carnivores have learned to fear the human 'super predator' far more than they fear their traditional enemies.

...

"'Our previous research has shown that the fear large carnivores inspire can itself shape ecosystems. These new results indicate that the fear of humans, being greater, likely has even greater impacts on the environment, meaning humans may be distorting ecosystem processes even more than previously imagined,' explains [Liana] Zanette, a wildlife ecologist [from Western University's Faculty of Science]. 'These results have important implications for conservation, wildlife management and public policy.'

"By frightening their prey, large carnivores help maintain healthy ecosystems by preventing smaller carnivores from eating everything in sight, and the loss of this 'landscape of fear' adds to conservation concerns regarding the worldwide loss of large carnivores. Fear of humans has been proposed to act as a substitute, but these new results demonstrate that the fear of humans is qualitatively different and cannot be expected to fulfill the same ecosystem function.

"The team conducted the study on Europeans badgers in Wytham Woods, just outside of Oxford (UK). To experimentally compare their relative fearfulness, the team played badgers the sounds of bears, wolves, dogs and humans in their natural habitat and filmed their responses, using hidden automated speakers and cameras. Whereas hearing bears and dogs had some effect, simply hearing the sound of people speaking, in conversation, or reading passages from books, prevented most badgers from feeding entirely, and dramatically reduced the time spent feeding by those few badgers that were brave enough to venture forth -- while hearing the sound of the human 'super predator.'"
 
Bears, wolves and other large carnivores are frightening beasts but the fear they inspire in their prey pales in comparison to that caused by the human 'super predator.' A new study demonstrates that smaller carnivores, like European badgers, that may be prey to large carnivores, actually perceive humans as far more frightening.
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A hypothesis that tuberculosis may have been born out of fire.

According to the article,

"Scientists used to think that tuberculosis jumped into humans from some other animal, as is the case for many other diseases, like HIV, malaria, and Ebola. But they probably got the direction of spillover backwards: Based on current evidence, it seems that tuberculosis was first a human disease, which we then gave to other animals. All the bacterial strains that cause tuberculosis in seals, cows, rodents, and more originated from the bacteria that infected us. So where did those microbes come from?

"The environment, probably. M. tuberculosis comes from a lineage of microbes called mycobacteria, which live in soil and water. They’re  mostly harmless. Some can cause opportunistic infections when they get into people whose immune systems are weakened or whose airways have been inflamed. But such cases are rare, and the bacteria behind them rarely spread to new hosts. By contrast, M. tuberculosis is what’s called an obligate pathogen—it lives only to sicken. And it’s highly contagious, spreading through the coughs and sneezes of its sick hosts. 

"So how does an environmental microbe that occasionally causes disease become a human microbe that only causes disease? 'It has to evolve to become transmissible between people,' reasons Tanaka. 'That can be a really slow process if it doesn’t infect people very often. So maybe there’s a factor that accelerates this process, that gives the bacterium multiple chances to evolve.'

"'Fire is a pretty good candidate,' he says. For a start, it’s dirty. When inhaled, particles in smoke can cause respiratory diseases and prevent the immune system from clearing away accumulated microbes. That makes it easier for an environmental mycobacterium to infect humans. And since fire brings people together, often within poorly ventilated places, it also gives a newly infective mycobacterium the chance to find new hosts. All the right evolutionary pressures were there for pushing a harmless soil microbes into a transmissible cause of disease.

"To test this idea, [Rebecca] Chisholm and [Mark] Tanaka[, biologists at the University of New South Wales,] simulated the evolution of an ancient mycobacterium. They showed that even if that microbe needs just two mutations to become mildly transmissible between people, it’s very unlikely to accrue those under normal circumstances. But add fire to the mix—or more precisely, the increased social contact and damaged lungs that fire would cause—and the odds shoot up. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that we wielded a new technology with unintended consequences."
 
Was Tuberculosis Born Out of Fire? http://trib.al/lwFcHTY
By damaging lungs and bringing people together, fire may have turned a soil microbe into a global pathogen.
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Apparently, a new type of lithium-oxygen battery has been developed that overcomes the drawbacks of previous lithium-air batteries.

According to the article,

"Lithium-air batteries are considered highly promising technologies for electric cars and portable electronic devices because of their potential for delivering a high energy output in proportion to their weight. But such batteries have some pretty serious drawbacks: They waste much of the injected energy as heat and degrade relatively quickly. They also require expensive extra components to pump oxygen gas in and out, in an open-cell configuration that is very different from conventional sealed batteries.

"But a new variation of the battery chemistry, which could be used in a conventional, fully sealed battery, promises similar theoretical performance as lithium-air batteries, while overcoming all of these drawbacks.

"The new battery concept, called a nanolithia cathode battery, is described in the journal Nature Energy in a paper by Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; postdoc Zhi Zhu; and five others at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, and Peking University in China.

...

"Conventional lithium-air batteries draw in oxygen from the outside air to drive a chemical reaction with the battery's lithium during the discharging cycle, and this oxygen is then released again to the atmosphere during the reverse reaction in the charging cycle.

"In the new variant, the same kind of electrochemical reactions take place between lithium and oxygen during charging and discharging, but they take place without ever letting the oxygen revert to a gaseous form. Instead, the oxygen stays inside the solid and transforms directly between its three redox states, while bound in the form of three different solid chemical compounds, Li2O, Li2O2, and LiO2, which are mixed together in the form of a glass. This reduces the voltage loss by a factor of five, from 1.2 volts to 0.24 volts, so only 8 percent of the electrical energy is turned to heat. "This means faster charging for cars, as heat removal from the battery pack is less of a safety concern, as well as energy efficiency benefits," Li says.

"This approach helps overcome another issue with lithium-air batteries: As the chemical reaction involved in charging and discharging converts oxygen between gaseous and solid forms, the material goes through huge volume changes that can disrupt electrical conduction paths in the structure, severely limiting its lifetime.

"The secret to the new formulation is creating minuscule particles, at the nanometer scale (billionths of a meter), which contain both the lithium and the oxygen in the form of a glass, confined tightly within a matrix of cobalt oxide. The researchers refer to these particles as nanolithia. In this form, the transitions between LiO2, Li2O2, and Li2O can take place entirely inside the solid material, he says.

"The nanolithia particles would normally be very unstable, so the researchers embedded them within the cobalt oxide matrix, a sponge-like material with pores just a few nanometers across. The matrix stabilizes the particles and also acts as a catalyst for their transformations."
 
A new kind of lithium-oxygen battery, using glass nanoparticles of lithium oxides, could provide more energy, and much better stability and energy efficiency, report scientists.
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Perhaps I should figure out how to write a script to show a reminder in English, addressed to English-language Google+ users, to subscribe to my "English Scholar/Poet Persona Posts" Collection every time that I post anything in Japanese.

The problem with many English-language Google+ users is that, unlike many Japanese-language users, they tend to be very forgetful.  They read the reminder, stash it away in memory, then see a Japanese-language post a few days later, then think, "Ugh!  I can't read this!  Time to unsubscribe," then leave without remembering the reminder.

Most Japanese-language Google+ users can also read English, so they don't usually leave when the see English-language posts, even if they are otaku.  However, I wish to attract new Japanese-language readers to post comments in Japanese on Japanese posts, and the only way to do this is to write posts in Japanese as well.

I wish that I could permanently fix multiple reminders at the top of my circle; unfortunately, Google+ only allows me to fix one, and that is not enough without repeated reminders.

... Or maybe I should just ignore the number of my followers and allow it to fluctuate wildly every time that I switch natural languages?
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Well, I just posted another Japanese-language post.  If you do not want to see my Japanese-language posts, please restrict your subscription to my "English Scholar/Poet Persona Posts" Collection (see https://plus.google.com/collection/wRotaB), which only contains English-language posts.

I am a bilingual user who writes scholarly posts in English and otaku-related posts in Japanese.  If you do not want to see either type of post, please restrict your subscription to my appropriate Collection (1 for each type of post).

My schedule does not have enough time for me to go on a mad goose-chase for an English-language article to share every time that I contribute a Japanese-language post; neither do I wish to stop writing posts in Japanese.  If you do not wish to see Japanese-language posts, please restrict your subscription to my appropriate Collection.
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Benjamin's Collections
People
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Work
Occupation
Patent Abstract Translator
Skills
bilingual (Japanese/English), majored in computer science at Yale University, can compose _haiku_, can write programs in Scheme and C
Employment
  • Patent Abstract Translator, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Tokyo, Japan
Previously
Oceanside, CA - Honolulu, HI - Kuki-shi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - New Haven, CT - New York, NY
Story
Tagline
Scholar-aspirant who majored in computer "science." Occasionally discusses algorithms; _haiku_; Scheme, Haskell, and Smalltalk (in the context of programming language theory); astronomy; and some narratology.
Introduction
J-E patent translator in Tokyo. User of Haskell, Scheme, Squeak. Mac Pro user. Amateur programming language/philosophy of mind theorist.  Occasional animals rights activist. 東京在住の特許の翻訳家。Haskell、Scheme、Squeak言語の研究家。Mac Proのユーザー。アマチュアのプログラミング言語/心の哲学の理論家。時折、動物愛護運動家。
Bragging rights
Original author of "Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem Explained in Words of One Syllable" (see http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Math/Milnikel/boolos-godel.pdf), submitted as a term paper for a class by then-visiting professor George Boolos at Yale University in fall 1993, later published as the last chapter in _Logic, Logic, and Logic_ (Boolos, George. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999) under George Boolos' name .
Education
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT
    1994
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Ben