Weekly Round-up: Hats off to India, AI Proteins, Translating Mince Pies and- things can only get better?

stories that caught our notice

AI designs proteins Progress in biochemistry means progress in so many fields-medicine, agriculture, forensic science……now mix it with progress in computing sciences, and you’ve got a quantum leap. So we had to lead with this story from Nature: AI dreams up revolutionary new proteins and leave the explanations to them. The accompanying graphics are well worth a click on their own.

Huge advances in artificial intelligence (AI) mean that researchers can design completely original proteins in seconds instead of months. “The methods are already really powerful. They’re going to get more powerful,” says biochemist David Baker, who led the team that developed the process. “The question is what problems are you going to solve with them.” One application could be speeding up the creation of treatments made from these novel proteins. The first such medicine, a COVID-19 vaccine, was authorized in South Korea in June — but it took years to perfect. Nature | 8 min read

Lost in translation One of the greatest headaches for translators is when they have to convey something incredibly specific (like Yorkshire Pudding)* for the benefit of readers who have no idea at all what it might be. Here’s a wry piece from the Conversation which tells of the difficulties of translating nineteenth century English author Jane Austen for the benefit of a 20th century Chinese readership.

*we saw a translator try this once in a Spanish version of “Crete” by Anthony Beevor


Things can only get better-or can they? Any exposure to modern media, or even a scan of this very blog, will convince most reasonable people that, not only are things very bad indeed, but they could get very much worse! Well, we don’t want you all to become complacent. Time for a contrary view, and who better than one Derek Thompson whose sunny views were carried recently by The Atlantic.


Mr Peter Seymour has provided us with this link via Apple News

No more levelling up Alright it’s a bit Anglocentric. But some writers explain things so clearly that their words are a model of prose. Here Larry Elliott of the Guardian explains how the new Truss government has made London and its banking sector the centre of our national hope once more. Which reverses the ideas of Boris Johnson and his levelling up agenda, which was designed to spread wealth “up north.” Plus ca change as President Macron would say:


Hats off to India Just as the new nation finally overtakes its former Imperial masters, their cultural pride may be fully augmented by this heartwarming story from the BBC. Eight cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) have arrived from Africa ready for release into Gwalior National Park. Yes, the fast cats were once native to this land. History buffs will recall how Indian monarchs would train them as hunting animals, but they had declined to extinction by 1952. Now they’re back, faster than ever and ready to earn their keep with any number of tourist dollars, euros and yen of all sorts. Maybe not so many pounds sterling though!


#AI #protein #folding #bill gates ##cheetah #linguistics #britain #india

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