Discoveries of the Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project

Biologists in the Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project have shared a trio of fascinating, innovative papers.

Manolito G. Torralba, Claire Kuelbs, Kelvin Jens Moncera, and Karen E. Nelson of the J Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, California, and Rhonda Roby of the Alameda California County Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory, used small, dry polyester swabs to gently collect microbes from centuries-old, Renaissance-style art in a private collector’s home in Florence, Italy. Their findings are published open access in the journal Microbial Ecology, “Characterizing microbial signatures on sculptures and paintings of similar provenance.”

Concurrently available are a pair of papers by David Thaler, of the University of Basel and a guest investigator in the Program for the Human Environment.  David’s papers are

“Evidence for extraordinary visual acuity in Leonardo’s comment on a dragonfly,” and “Sfumato in Leonardo’s portraits: Optical and psychophysical mechanisms.”

Thaler’s papers form part of a collection now in press as a book: Actes du Colloque International d’Amboise: Leonardo de Vinci, Anatomiste. Pionnier de l’Anatomie comparée, de la Biomécanique, de la Bionique et de la Physiognomonie, edited by Henry de Lumley, CNRS editions, Paris.

Two major newswires, Agence France Presse and Agencia EFE, each did separate stories:

Manny Torralba et al.
AFP Microbes Could ‘help Save Old Masters’ And Catch Forgers

Agencia EFE Identificar microbios en obras de arte abre la puerta a una mejor preservación

David Thaler

AFP  Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘quick eye’ may be key to Mona Lisa’s magnetism  

German version Forscher: «Schnelles Auge» half da Vinci beim Zeichnen und Malen

https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/cultura/artes-visuales/la-rapidez-visual-de-da-vinci-explicaria-la-sonrisa-de-la-mona-lisa

Agencia EFE La rapidez visual “súper desarrollada” de Da Vinci podría explicar la sonrisa de la Mona Lisa

LiveScience, United States Did Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘quick eye’ help him capture Mona Lisa’s fleeting smile?

By Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project (summary)

Genetic detectives ID microbes suspected of slowly ruining humanity’s treasures

COVID & The World Interview with Jesse Ausubel

The website Human Progress launches a new video series called The Covid Tonic. The series features conversations between renowned scholars and editor, Marian L. Tupy. The interviews focus on the global impact of COVID-19 and the continued importance of rational optimism. Episode 1 features the environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel, a Human Progress Board Member and Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University in New York City. 


Watch the full video here

2010s verbal Time Machine

Jesse evokes the decade just ended with a verbal time machine.

2010s Time Machine

Yowza!

The kombucha cheeseball airballed flyover states.

A flashmob of microbiomes pinged frenemies with fake news about emojis.

Bestie truthers in gender dysphoria friended crunchy snowflakes with selfies.

Muggles on staycation clickbaited eco grief with chai latte before Brexit.

Digerati on hoverboards vaped Bibimbop while cloud computing their carbon credits.

Locavore hashtags unfriended ringtones.

Bling ransomware exfoliated the deep state over net neutrality.

Sriracha fitbits f-bombed safe spaces with froyo in go-cups.

Uber & Lyft doxx’d bougie Anthropocene woo-woo.

The worstest guac onboarded vegan qubits.

Buzzy connectomes face-palmed oppo memes.

Unplugged vulture capitalists binge-watched paywalls.

Micro-aggressions woke the Alt-right in airplane mode.

Anti-vax traumatology misgendered #MeToo.

Sounds like a plan.  OMG LOL fuhgeddaboudit.

Jesse H. Ausubel 8 May 2020

PHE during COVID-19: IQOE, COVID game, deep carbon science

We all continue healthy and working long hours and hard, though mostly from our homes. We are catching up on lots of writing and editing but also trying to seize immediate, unique opportunities.

For example, COVID-19 may have created the reduction of additions of human noise that we dreamed about for the International Quiet Ocean Experiment. IQOE welcomes ideas about how the present quieting of the world economy may advance research in marine sound.  High-quality observations of the ocean soundscape, as well as possibly related behavior of marine life during this period, may offer unique opportunities of exceptional value.

Resuming our interest in Serious Games, we are also please to encourage a team at the Indian Institute of Technology in Tirupati that is developing SurviveCovid-19 — A Game for Improving Awareness of Social Distancing and Health Measures for Covid-19 Pandemic

Jesse has also written a foreword for Simon Mitton’s forthcoming history of deep carbon science, From Crust to Core, to be published by Cambridge U. Press. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/from-crust-to-core/E0E2E8FC30B4C784B0FB268AC4AA8371

Andrew W. Marshall Foundation begins work

The foundation promoting the strategic thinking of the late Andrew W. Marshall has begun its work to foster innovative thinking about national security. Cesare Marchetti and Jesse Ausubel prepared their study on the quantitative dynamics of human empires as the request of Mr. Marshall.

We also post Jesse’s remembrance of Andy, “Andrew Marshall and Classics,” which will appear in the forthcoming volume about Andy edited by Andrew May.