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In the United States, privacy is considered a fundamental right. Yet today our activities are followed to a degree unfathomable not long ago by way of cell phones, online behaviors, and more. As genomic technologies continue to expand, another avenue now exists by which we may potentially be scrutinized: DNA sequence. Our genetic information contains our most private details, but we leave it everywhere and share the sequence closely with dozens or even hundreds of relatives. Laura Rivard, PhD, professor of biology at the University of San Diego, discusses ways in which our DNA may "escape" from our control, what can actually be done with the sequence, and whether there is cause for concern.

In general, animal song is thought to have several specific characteristics including being restricted to males, having a territorial purpose, and being used to attract a mate. Join marine acoustics expert John Hildebrand to learn how the singing characteristics in some whale species challenges this generalization and how long term trends in whale song still present a mystery to scientists.

Social media and big data can have important practical applications in public health, disaster management, transportation, and urban planning. Data scientists are using machine learning algorithms, computer vision, and natural language processing to collect and analyze social media data (such as Facebook and YouTube) and environmental sensor/camera data to study human communications and movements. These big data technologies can be powerful tools to predict short-term future events, such as flu outbreaks, severe air pollution, traffic congestion, the weather, and patterns of disaster evacuation. At the same time, these technologies monitor users' digital footprints, opinions and geolocations. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, PhD discusses the challenges in social media analytics, including data noise and biases, fake news, and data privacy. Recorded on 03/04/2020.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of engineering that has traditionally ignored brains, but recent advances in biologically-inspired deep learning have dramatically changed AI and made it possible to solve difficult problems in vision, planning and natural language. If you talk to Alexa or use Google Translate, you have experienced deep learning in action. This new technology opens a Pandora's box of problems that we must confront regarding privacy, bias and jobs. Terry Sejnowski, PhD, explains how his research strives to understand the computational resources of brains and to build linking principles from brain to behavior using computational models.

Using natural killer, or NK cells to create safer, off-the-shelf immunotherapies to fight cancers, a summer academy to understand California's water sources and uses, a robot activated by neural signals, and more on this edition of On Beyond.

Our planet has been continually bombarded by asteroids since its formation, 4.5 billion years ago. While the frequency of large impacts has decreased, many potential Near-Earth Object threats remain undiscovered, so if or when they will impact Earth remains unknown. Fortunately, if an Earth-threatening asteroid is discovered in time, there are ways to mitigate or even prevent a disaster. Scientists at LLNL provide computer simulations in preparation these scenarios so if the time comes where an asteroid is headed our way, we will be prepared.

Glowing blue waves and unusual ocean conditions wowed the world during Southern California's recent history-making red tide event. Join Scripps Institution of Oceanography bioluminescence expert Michael Latz, Ph.D. and dive into the world of living light, get an insider's look at the most recent red tide event, and learn why scientists still have so many questions about this natural phenomenon.

Over the past two decades novel coronaviruses have spilled from the bat to the human population on three occasions. The first two breakouts in south China in 2003 and in Saudi Arabia in 2012 launched the SARS and MERS outbreaks, respectively. Both outbreaks were contained by aggressive case finding, contact tracing and quarantine activities. A third crossover of a novel coronavirus into the human population occurred in the fall of 2019. This event which is believed to have occurred around a wet market in Wuhan, China was unfortunately not efficiently contained and spread rapidly across China. Since its crossover events six months ago, the virus has infected over 4 million people and resulted in 300,000 deaths. This presentation by Dr. Chip Schooley, UC San Diego Professor of Medicine, focuses on the biology, pathogenesis and epidemiology of the SARS-2 coronavirus and containment efforts to date.


Infectious diseases have profound influences on the evolution of their host populations. In the case of humans, the host species has also shaped pathogen dynamics and virulence via a multitude of factors from changes in social organization, group size, and exploitation of varied habitats and their animals and plant resources to agriculture, technology, rapid long-distance travel, medicine and global economic integration - which all continue to shape epidemics and the human host populations. This symposium will explore how infectious agents and humans have shaped each other over the eons.

Infectious diseases have profound influences on the evolution of their host populations. In the case of humans, the host species has also shaped pathogen dynamics and virulence via a multitude of factors from changes in social organization, group size, and exploitation of varied habitats and their animals and plant resources to agriculture, technology, rapid long-distance travel, medicine and global economic integration - which all continue to shape epidemics and the human host populations. This symposium will explore how infectious agents and humans have shaped each other over the eons.

Ocean currents transport nutrients to the different regions of the ocean. But what function do the eddies that form in the water serve? What would the world look like without food waste? And: finding out who is the better gamer - a human or AI.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the world's attention just how powerful and pernicious microscopic virus particles can be. But there are also viruses that can be harnessed to fight diseases by invading and destroying harmful bacteria.

In this presentation from the course The Evolution of Infectious Diseases, professor of biology and infectious disease researcher Justin Meyer provides a detailed overview of the previous, current and future evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
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