Notes on Engineering Health, November 2021

First Five

Fish have wide variations in life span even within closely related species. One such example is the rockfish species found along North Pacific coasts, which have life spans ranging from 11 to more than 200 years. Kolora et al. sequenced and performed a genomic analysis of 88 rockfish species, including long-read sequencing of the genomes of six species (see the Perspective by Lu et al.). From this analysis, the authors unmasked the genetic drivers of longevity evolution, including immunity and DNA repair-related pathways. Copy number expansion in the butyrophilin gene family was shown to be positively associated with life span, and population historical dynamics and life histories correlated differently between long- and short-lived species. These results support the idea that inflammation may modulate the aging process in these fish.

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Digitalis Commons

It has been the historic responsibility of the social sciences to investigate human societies. Fulfilling this responsibility requires social theories, measurement models and social data. Most existing theories and measurement models in the social sciences were not developed with the deep societal reach of algorithms in mind. The emergence of ‘algorithmically infused societies’ — societies whose very fabric is co-shaped by algorithmic and human behaviour — raises three key challenges: the insufficient quality of measurements, the complex consequences of (mis)measurements, and the limits of existing social theories.

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