January 2018

Miracle Visitors by Ian Watson (Italian Edition)

The novel “Miracle Visitors” by Ian Watson was published for the first time in 1978.

Michael Peacocke is a boy when he has an alien abduction experience. When psychologist John Deacon subjects him to a hypnotic treatment, the memories of those events emerge fully, but Dr. Deacon interprets them as a distorted sexual fantasy, not believing that they’re real memories.

When strange things start happening to Dr. John Deacon, he’s forced to revise his interpretation of Michael Peacocke’s story. However, the situation seems to get more confusing instead of clearing up. What do these events have to do with an Egyptian religious group?

Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) , Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) in Despite Yourself (Image courtesy CBS / Netflix)

“Despite Yourself” is the 10th episode of the TV show “Star Trek: Discovery” and follows “Into the Forest I Go”.

Note. This article contains spoilers about “Despite Yourself”.

While the USS Discovery ended up in a parallel universe with the need to quickly establish who are their friends and who are their enemies, Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) confronts L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) to understand what happened to him during what he remembers as the period spent in a Klingon prison.

Official portrait of John Young (Photo NASA)

On January 5 the American astronaut John Young passed away after complications from pneumonia. John Watts Young was born on September 24, 1930 in San Francisco, California, USA. As a NASA astronaut, he took part to the Gemini 3, Gemini 10, Apollo 10, Apollo 16 (spending 3 days on the Moon), STS-1 (the first of the Space Shuttle program with the Columbia), and STS-9 missions.

During his life John Young received various awards and decorations from the Navy, NASA and the American Congress. They show in part his extraordinary contribution to decades of space missions. His passing means the loss of one of the men who have been on the Moon and in general of one of the great pioneers of space travel, a man who thought that the future of the human species was in space.

Brisbane City Flood 2013 (Photo ShepsSnaps)

An article published in the journal “Computers & Geosciences” describes a research into the possibilities of combining artificial intelligence, Twitter and what is called citizen science to create early warning systems for flood-prone communities. A team of researchers from the British University of Dundee led by Roger Wang worked to create solutions that can detect as quickly as possible the first signs of danger to activate countermeasures.

Halobacterium salinarum (Image courtesy of Alexandre Bison/Harvard University)

An article published in the journal “Nature Microbiology” describes a research on the mechanisms of cell size regulation in the three domains of life: archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes. In a previous research, a team led by Ariel Amir of Harvard University discovered that bacteria from the E. coli family and eukaryotes of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as budding yeast, use the same cellular mechanisms to have uniform cell size in a population. Now, together with other collaborators, the team discovered that archaea use the same mechanisms as well.