Thank you, readers of r/science, for helping us reach 20M subscribed redditors! It’s been a great path to 20M! Posts on r/science cover a diverse set of scientific fields; here is a chart of submissions from this year and here’s the same chart, but weighted by karma. We love to have people with expertise in the area comment on these recent scientific developments, and in an effort to highlight comments from these redditors, we have established a system for flairing people to note their expertise. For the curious, here is a breakdown of the flairs we have assigned by degree, and here is one by area of expertise. Science Verified User Program /r/science has a a system of verifying accounts for commenting, enabling trained scientists, doctors and engineers to make credible comments in /r/science. The intent of this program is to enable the general public to distinguish between an educated opinion and a random comment without a background related to the topic. What flair is available? All of the standard science disciplines would be represented, matching those in the sidebar. However, to better inform the public, the level of education is displayed in the flair too. For example, a Professor of biology is tagged as such (Professor- Biology), while a graduate student of biology is tagged as “Grad Student-Biology.” Nurses would be tagged differently than doctors, etc… We give flair for engineering, social sciences, natural sciences and even on occasion music. It’s your flair, if you finished a degree in something and you can offer some proof, we’ll consider it. The general format is: Level of education | Field | Speciality or Subfield (optional) When applying for a flair, please inform us on what you want it to say. How does one obtain flair? First, have a college degree or higher in a field that has flair available. Next, send an email with your information to email@example.com with information that establishes your claim, this can be a photo of your diploma or course registration, a business card, a verifiable email address, or some other identification. This email address is restricted access, and only mods which actively assign user flair may log in. All information will be kept in confidence and not released to the public under any circumstances. Your email will then be deleted after verification, leaving no record. For added security, you may submit an imgur link and then delete it after verification. Remember, that within the proof, you must tie your account name to the information in the picture. What is expected of a verified account? We expect a higher level of conduct than a non-verified account, if another user makes inappropriate comments they should report them to the mods who will take appropriate action Thanks for making /r/science a better place!
Hi reddit! We’re medical doctors who specialize in sexual and reproductive health. We are here to provide honest and judgement-free answers to your questions about sex, sexual health, your body, reproduction, and more. Have a question you were too embarrassed to ask your doctor or bring up in health class? Read something online but unsure if it is medically accurate? Concerned about pain, discharge, smell or safety? Ask us here! Our discussion panel guests today are: Carrie Link (u/Carrie_Link): I’m Carrie Link, MD, faculty member University of Minnesota and the medical director at Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic in Minneapolis Minnesota. I care for people throughout the entire spectrum of life, so I address sexual health frequently, from one’s sex-assigned-at-birth, through puberty and gender expression, and to the development of sexual practices. Julie Schultz (u/juschultz): I’m a Family medicine doctor working in New York City with a passion for providing comprehensive women’s health care in addition to providing full scope primary care services for children, adolescents, and adults. Ivonne McLean (u/Ivonne_McLean): Hi reddit, I am a Family Medicine physician at the Institute for Family Health in New York, where I completed a Reproductive Health Care and Advocacy Fellowship. I work with patients of all ages, provides contraception, prenatal, and miscarriage care, and have worked in rural, urban and international settings. Gillian Morris (u/gisforill): I am a family medicine trained physician with specific interests in sexual and reproductive health working in student health at a university. Shayne Poulin (u/Shayne_Poulin): My name is Shayne Poulin, I’m a family medicine doctor who provides primary care at Planned Parenthood. In my spare time I work with the Reproductive Health Access Project to integrate reproductive health into routine health care. Danielle O’Banion (u/glassesdani): I am a practicing family physician at Fenway Health in Boston, MA, where I deliver gender- and sexuality-affirming health care to people of all ages. I have particular interest in reducing stigma around STIs and sexual dysfunction, particularly sexual pain. Laura Korin (u/Laura_Korin): Hi reddit, my name is Laura Korin, MD, MPH. I was a sexual and reproductive health educator before becoming a family and preventive medicine physician and now I integrate this into both my own patient practice and in teaching family medicine residents at Montefiore Medical Center. I am also an independent physician partner to Twentyeight Health, a new online service expanding access to health care, particularly around birth control. Our guests will be answering questions throughout the day, primarily afternoon EST.
Hi Reddit, We are graduate students and postdocs in Professor Frances Arnold’s research group at Caltech. We use directed evolution, the algorithm for which Frances won the Nobel Prize last week, as a tool to engineer proteins. Directed evolution, like Darwinian evolution, is about “survival of the fittest” by selecting beneficial mutations that enhance a desired function. The key difference is that in directed evolution the person running the experiment chooses which mutations are beneficial – in other words, we choose the definition of “fittest” in “survival of the fittest.” Understanding how a protein’s sequence connects to its structure is challenging (relevant XKCD), and understanding how that structure confers function is another significant challenge. A strength of directed evolution is that one does not need to know a lot about the protein to use it; all one needs is the genetic information (the DNA that encodes the protein of interest) and a way of testing each variant for the function of interest. We don’t need to know exactly how or why the protein is able to catalyze a reaction or understand why a mutation enhances that activity. Proteins have been engineered using directed evolution for myriad uses, from higher stability for use in your laundry detergent to remove stains to producing blockbuster pharmaceutical compounds in place of less environmentally friendly syntheses. Unfortunately Frances is not able to join us for the discussion, but we are happy to answer any questions you have about directed evolution, proteins, Caltech, and beyond! Useful links on directed evolution: “What is directed evolution and why did it win the chemistry Nobel prize?” from Chemistry World C&EN Online explanation of directed evolution and phage display Frances discussing the Nobel Prize on NPR’s Science Friday TEDxUSC talk by Frances: “Sex, Evolution, and Innovation” Learn more about the Arnold Group: http://fhalab.caltech.edu/ Follow Dr. Arnold on Twitter: https://twitter.com/francesarnold Our discussion panel guests today are: Anders Knight ( /u/AndersKnight ): Anders is a fourth-year bioengineering graduate student in the Arnold lab. He works on engineering heme proteins to do carbene transfer reactions not found in nature. An open-access paper on these kinds of reactions is available here. Kari Hernandez ( /u/Kari_Hernandez ): Kari is in the 4th year of her Ph.D. and received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. Her work focuses on making useful molecules by evolving heme proteins to do non-natural reactions. Jennifer Kan ( /u/JennyKan ): Jenny is a postdoc in Frances Arnold’s lab at Caltech. Her favourite thing to do is to teach proteins to make cool bonds. Twitter: @sbjennykan Tina Boville ( /u/TinaBoville ): Tina is a postdoc in the Arnold lab evolving enzymes to make chemical building blocks called noncanonical amino acids. She is very interested in green chemistry and lab sustainability and is a fellow at the Resnick Institute. Patrick Almhjell ( /u/PatrickAlmhjell ): Patrick is a second-year graduate student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics program at Caltech, working on the same project as /u/TinaBoville. Patrick loves chemistry but not the chemistry lab, so he appreciates being able to use enzymes in water instead. An open-access review on noncanonical amino acid synthesis is available here. Kevin Yang ( /u/KevinKYang ): Kevin is a 5th year PhD student in Frances Arnold’s lab. His research focuses on using machine learning to accelerate directed evolution. Read his open-access paper on using machine learning in protein engineering. Zach Wu ( /u/zvxywu ): Zach is a 4th year graduate student in Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on developing methods for engineering proteins efficiently and understanding the sequence function relationship. Our guests will begin answering questions starting at 1:00PM PST.
Hi there, I work in the graphics department at the Financial Times website/newspaper where I have worked for over 22 years and have seen many changes in this industry over my career. My main area of interest is in cartography but you can ask me anything you want with regards to visualising data, telling stories with data, processes, software, working in a newsroom, how I got into data visualisation. Check out these links of previous work China’s polluted skies Air pollution: why London struggles to breathe Japan: the next big quake Sand castles on Jersey shore: property boom defies US flood risk Data visualisation: how the FT newsroom designs maps Global M＆A exceeds $3tn for fourth straight year Apple tests new iPhone price threshold at $999 Germany’s election results in charts and maps Due to the overwhelming response to a few of my recent posts on r/dataisbeautiful I thought it would be a good time to host an AMA Pollution in London 3D animation of pollution in China Animation of flooding caused by Ilisu Dam Proof: https://i.redd.it/dc6ab3noa9o11.jpg
With AI becoming mainstream, how will it affect the way we interact with our devices and how we communicate with each other? My name is Rana el Kaliouby, and I’m an Egyptian-American scientist and entrepreneur on a mission to humanize technology. I care deeply about ethics and trust in AI, from considering algorithmic bias to ensuring consent and data privacy. As Co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an MIT spin-off that builds artificial emotional intelligence (“Emotion AI”), my company uses cutting-edge software that analyzes complex and nuanced emotional and cognitive states from the human face and voice, ultimately engineering empathy. For me, teaching machines to measure and interpret human emotions has the potential to enhance consumer experiences, engage students and personalize their learning, allow doctors and nurses to deliver better care, increase road safety by tracking driver alertness, and enable people with autism to better communicate with their families and peers. I consider myself a role-model for young scientists who are considering careers in technology and entrepreneurship. As a female Muslim scientist who’s one of a handful of women CEOs in the tech industry, I’m a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion—- not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the only way we can design and build smart technologies for an increasingly global world. Today, I’m also a co-host on PBS NOVA’s new series “NOVA Wonders,” in which incredible scientists from all walks of life tackle some of the biggest questions about life and the cosmos. I believe that science is the vehicle for innovation, so I’m truly excited to be a part of “NOVA Wonders”—- I especially love how NOVA shows that scientists come in all shapes, colors and sizes, thus providing diverse role-models that aspiring scientists can relate to and be encouraged by. I’m a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader and I served on WEF’s Global Future Council on AI and Robotics. I’m also a member of the Partnership on AI, which is concerned with ensuring that AI benefits society and is applied for good. A former research scientist at the MIT Media Lab with a PhD in computer vision and machine learning from the University of Cambridge, I use my voice to advocate for women in tech and for beneficial uses of AI—- I’m often cited in and interviewed by top business and mainstream outlets, including The New Yorker, Wired, Forbes, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and TIME Magazine. Check out my TED talk and my Inc. column, and do make sure to watch PBS NOVA’s episode on Can we Build a Brain, which premieres May 16 on PBS! Ask me anything about being a computer scientist, deep learning, building artificial emotional intelligence, the applications of it, ethics in AI or how its like to be a woman leader in tech. Thank you!
hi reddit! I’m a graduate student in Curtis Suttle’s lab at the University of British Columbia (Canada) where our research focuses on aquatic microbiology. I study pathogens that infect protists – microscopic organisms living in aquatic environments. Amongst them are Giant Viruses that have challenged concepts of what constitutes a virus due to their enormous size and complexity. My research aims to explore the diversity and environmental role of these overlooked viruses. Further, I am interested in the evolutionary processes that have led to Giant Viruses reaching a complexity comparable to cellular organisms. In a recent paper published in the journal eLife, my colleagues and I isolated and characterized the giant Bodo saltans virus (BsV) that infects the protist Bodo saltans. Sequencing the genome of BsV revealed many previously unknown genes, a putative mechanism for genome expansion, and several unusual features, such as movable genetic elements that might help to fend off other Giant Viruses by cutting their genomes. You can read a plain-language summary of our findings. I’m here to answer questions related to our eLife paper or our research more broadly. I’ll start answering questions at 1pm EDT. AMA!
Hi! I’m Tony Hey, the chief data scientist at the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the UK and a former vice president at Microsoft. I received a doctorate in particle physics from the University of Oxford before moving into computer science, where I studied parallel computing and Big Data for science. The folks at Physics Today magazine asked me to come chat about Richard Feynman, who would have turned 100 years old today. Feynman earned a share of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics and was famous for his accessible lectures and insatiable curiosity. I first met Feynman in 1970 when I began a postdoctoral research job in theoretical particle physics at Caltech. Years later I edited a book about Feynman’s lectures on computation; check out my TEDx talk on Feynman’s contributions to computing. I’m excited to talk about Feynman’s many accomplishments in particle physics and computing and to share stories about Feynman and the exciting atmosphere at Caltech in the early 1970s. Also feel free to ask me about my career path and computer science work! I’ll be online today at 1pm EDT to answer your questions. Edit: Thanks for all the great questions! I enjoyed answering them.
Edit: Thanks everyone for the questions so far! I’ll be taking a break, but I will periodically check back throughout the rest of the day and tomorrow as well if there are any more questions! This was fun, thank you! I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. My research involves using large computer simulations to model the growth and evolution of galaxies and their supermassive black holes. My recent work, where we predict that massive galaxies like our own should host several “wandering” supermassive black holes, has recently been the subject of a press release. Given that this work has generated some interest on reddit, I thought this would be a great opportunity to answer questions about this paper, as well as supermassive black holes in general. Why do we care about supermassive black holes and how does this study help change how we understand them? I’ll be back at 1 pm ET to answer your questions, AMA!
What we do: Dark matter is a mysterious form of matter that makes up 80% of the matter in the universe. We call it dark matter because it doesn’t emit or reflect any light or radiation, so it’s basically invisible. The ADMX experiment looks for a theoretical type of dark matter known as the axion. These hypothetical particles were developed to solve problems in nuclear physics, but its properties also make it a very promising dark matter candidate. The detection of axion dark matter would solve two of the biggest mysteries in physics. ADMX is an incredibly sensitive detector that functions a lot like an AM radio and tries to “hear” a particular signal from axions. We just published results from our most recent science run, where we achieved an unprecedented sensitivity to axion dark matter that makes us the first experiment to probe the most likely areas for axions. Ask us all your axion, dark matter, and science questions! The ADMX Answering Board: University of Washington (UW) Gray Rybka: Gray is a professor at the University of Washington and a spokesperson of the ADMX experiment. He works on data taking and development of the analysis package for the main experiment housed at UW. Rakshya Khatiwada: Rakshya is a postdoc at the University of Washington. She works on the development and implementation of the current and future ADMX detectors containing cryogenic electronics package along with the system noise temperature characterization. This package houses a number of radio frequency electronics components, including quantum-noise-limited amplifiers, which allow ADMX to reach its high sensitivity. Chelsea Bartram: Chelsea is an incoming postdoc to the University of Washington. She is currently finishing her PhD at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, working on searching for CP violation in lepton number with the CALIOPE experiment. Nick Du: Nick is a graduate student at the University of Washington. He works on the main ADMX experiment developing the sensors package for the experiment and implementing a blind axion injection scheme for the experiment. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Gianpaolo Carosi: Gianpaolo is a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a spokesperson of the ADMX experiment. His group works on designing and implementing the motion control systems for the cavity and coming up with future designs for higher mass axion experiments. Nathan Woollett: Nathan is a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His group works on testing components of the ADMX cold electronics package before it gets added to the main experiment. He is also working on different detector designs for higher mass axion searches. Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) Daniel Bowring: Daniel (@doctorbowring) is a physicist at Fermilab, working to design, build, and control new types of particle accelerator. His work for ADMX focuses on detector design, and specifically on cooking up new ways to improve our signal-to-noise ratio. Akash Dixit: Akash is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. He is working on developing photon amplifier and detector technology for use in axion searches at higher masses. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Christian Boutan: Christian is a postdoc at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He started out as a graduate student at the University of Washington where he created an experiment looking for higher mass axions known as Sidecar. He now works at PNNL on designs for the next run of ADMX which will feature an array of 4 cavities tuned to the same frequency. University of California Berkeley (UCB) Sean O’Kelley: Sean O’Kelley is a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley. His lab works on developing extremely low noise amplifiers, known as Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) amplifiers. The ultra-low noise of these amplifiers is part of what allows the experiment to reach its high sensitivity. Publication: Search for Invisible Axion Dark Matter with the Axion Dark Matter Experiment Press Releases: University of Washington Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Fermilab University of California, Berkeley Social Media: Web Page Twitter Edit: Hi all! Thanks for all of your great questions. We had a lot of fun answering all of your questions! Until next time!
Hi, I’m Adam Becker, PhD, an astrophysicist and science writer. My new book, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics, is about the scientists who bucked the establishment and looked for a better way to understand what quantum mechanics is telling us about the nature of reality. It’s a history of quantum foundations from the initial development of quantum mechanics to the present, focusing on some people who don’t often get the spotlight in most books on quantum history: David Bohm, Hugh Everett III, John Bell, and the people who came after them (e.g. Clauser, Shimony, Zeh, Aspect). I’m happy to talk about all of their work: the physics, the history, the philosophy, and more. FWIW, I don’t subscribe to any particular interpretation, but I’m not a fan of the “Copenhagen interpretation” (which isn’t even a single coherent position anyhow). Please don’t shy away if you disagree. Feel free to throw whatever you’ve got at me, and let’s have a fun, engaging, and respectful conversation on one of the most contentious subjects in physics. Or just ask whatever else you want to ask—after all, this is AMA. Edit, 2PM Eastern: Gotta step away for a bit. I’ll be back in an hour or so to answer more questions. Edit, 6:25PM Eastern: Looks like I’ve answered all of your questions so far, but I’d be happy to answer more. I’ll check back in another couple of hours. Edit, 11:15PM Eastern: OK, I’m out for the night, but I’ll check in again tomorrow morning for any final questions.