U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez draws a record-breaking 439,000 concurrent viewers when playing the video game Among Us on the streaming platform Twitch. An effort to bring out the (youth) vote, the stream lasted over three hours, garnered more than five million views in total, and at the time was the lead traffic driver to IWillVote.com. Ocasio-Cortez was joined by fellow Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar and various Twitch personalities, who had talked her into setting up an account just a day earlier.
“Dedicated to showcasing the best of international contemporary video and digital art” Daata Fair Miami has launched, and runs through Dec 13. Fusing online destination and limited edition distribution hub, the platform strikes a curious balance between an open access online exhibition and red velvet rope gallerist for artists including Petra Cortright & Jeremy Couillard, Rosa Menkman, and Alex McLeod (image: McLeod’s 2018 piece Endless Runner (NPC Cycles)).
Google AI offshoot DeepMind announces a major breakthrough in solving what biologists call the “protein folding problem”—determining a protein’s 3D shape from its amino-acid sequence. Considered one of the field’s grand challenges due to myriad possible configurations, DeepMind’s AI system AlphaFold has demonstrated it can predict protein structures with high accuracy, vastly outperforming other more laborious, costly techniques. “It’s a game-changer,” says Andrei Lupas, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany. “This will change medicine. It will change research. It will change bioengineering. It will change everything.”
A recent paper by amateur astronomer and YouTuber Alberto Caballero identifies a possible source of the Wow! signal, the curious cosmic radio blitz recorded in 1977 that expedited the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and puzzles experts to this day. Looking for “sun-like stars that might host an exoplanet capable of supporting intelligent life” in the signal’s celestial region, Caballero scanned ESA’s 1.3 billion star-strong Gaia database and found a potential match: “This candidate source, which is named 2MASS 19281982-2640123, therefore becomes an ideal target to conduct observations in the search for potentially habitable exoplanets.”