November 2017

Ridley Scott in 2015 (Photo NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, England. He started working as a director for television then moved to cinema and had his debut with “The Duellists” in 1977. He marked science fiction cinema with “Alien” (1979) and “Blade Runner” (1982). He obtained great results in other genres as well with movies such as “Thelma & Louise” (1991) and “Gladiator” (2000).

A comparison between magnetic tape and bacteria as tapes (Image courtesy Wang Lab/Columbia University Medical Center)

An article published in the journal “Science” describes the development of a system that uses the CRISPR-Cas genetic manipulation system to store information in living cells transforming them into a biological equivalent of a magnetic tape. A team of researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center modified a bacterium of the Escherichia coli family transforming it into a potential diagnostic or environmental monitoring tool thanks to its ability to record data.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

The novel “All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders was published for the first time in 2016. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel, the IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

Patricia is still a child when she starts talking to birds but she can’t control her magic skills. Laurence invented advanced equipment since his childhood and in time creates an artificial intelligence. Patricia and Laurence meet for the first time in the junior high school they attend, where they’re considered the two weirdest students.

Patricia and Laurence’s paths get separated, also because of the decisions of their idiotic parents. They meet again years later when she’s become a witch part of a cabal and he’s part of a group of geeks who invent revolutionary devices. Despite their differences, events bring them closer.

Oxygen increase measured in the Shingle Pass Limestone Formation (Image courtesy Cole Edwards)

An article published in the journal “Nature Geoscience” describes a research on the evolutionary radiation, in the sense of the quick diversification of new species, that happened in the Ordovician period, between 445-485 million years ago. Known as the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE), it led to a huge growth in the number of species and according to a team of researchers it was caused also by an 80% increase in oxygen levels in the air.

Wetworld by Mark Michalowski

The novel “Wetworld” by Mark Michalowski was published for the first time in 2007.

The Tenth Doctor wants to bring Martha Jones to a breakfast at Tiffany’s even though the two of them mean different Tiffanys. Something goes wrong and the Tardis materializes on the planet Sunday, in a swampy area where only the force field prevents the spacecraft from getting flooded.

The Doctor goes exploring and meets a girl from the human colony that settled on the planet, in the process of recovering after a tsunami caused by the fragment of a meteorite. Martha got ready for an elegant breakfast but when she leaves the Tardis she finds herself in the darkness and when she puts her hand out of the force field she gets grabbed by something that pulls her into the water.