It was discovered in 2015 that the reason elephants don't get cancer is because they have 20 copies of a cancer-killing gene called TP53. In contrast, humans only have 1 copy of this cancer-killing gene. The job of this cancer-killing gene, TP53, is to destroy a possible tumor when DNA is damaged by coding for a protein to either repair the cell or kill it.

The cause for cancer are genetic mutations and according to some scientists, it takes about 10 important mutations to turn a normal cell in a human to a cancer cell. Environmental factors such as smoking, eating a bad diet, and sitting in the sun too long can also contribute to the cause of cancer as well. 

Source: National Geographic - Your Genes 

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We humans share 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees and bonobos. 

If you were to take all the DNA out of all your cells and string it together, it would measure about twice the diameter of our solar system. 

The amount of proteins an allele produces determines whether a gene is recessive or dominant.

About 1% of the total DNA carries instructions to make proteins; the rest is so-called junk DNA. 

There are approximately 20,000 genes in the human genome.

Humans share 7% of their genes with the E. coli bacterium.

Sometimes a chromosome has a missing part or extra parts. Both can cause a variety of disorders.

Source: National Geographic - Your Genes 

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Genes reside on chromosomes - long, filamentous structures buried within cells that contain tens of thousands of genes linked together in chains. Humans have forty-six such chromosomes in total - 23 from one parent and 23 from another. The entire set of genetic instructions carried by an organism is termed a genome (think of the genomes as the encyclopedia of all genes, with footnotes, annotations, instructions, and references). The human genome contains about between 21 and 23 thousand genes that provide the master instructions to build, repair, and maintain humans. 

Source: The Gene - An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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All of the gametes in a female's eggs possess X chromosomes meanwhile the male's sperm contains about half X chromosomes and half Y chromosomes therefore it is the male's sperm that ultimately determines the sex of a baby. If the male's sperm that combines with the female's egg has an X chromosome then it will form a female fertilized egg. If the male's sperm has a Y chromosome instead then it will form a male. 

Source: livescience.com/27248-chromosomes.html

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Life as we know it requires three things. Compartmentalization - you need a little membrane around your cell; Metabolism - you take in food, eat it and let that make you do things; and Replication - you need to have some information about who you are that you pass down to future generations. 

Sean Carroll thinks that we are kind of close to starting life from non-life. In the lab, compartmentalization seems pretty easy, it's not hard to make lipid bilayers that come into little cellular walls pretty easily. Metabolism and replication are hard but replication we are close to. People have made RNA life molecules in the lab. Metabolism is harder but progress is being made. 

Source: Sean Carroll on Lex Fridman's Artificial Intelligence Podcast

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As a society today (November 2019), humans create around 2.5 exabytes of new data each day. An exabyte is one quintillion bytes, which is a one with 18 zeroes after it. Or to put it another way, one exabyte is one billion gigabytes. My current phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, has 64 GB of storage capacity so that would mean that I would need 15.625 million Galaxy Note 8s to store just one exabyte of data. 

Source: https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b1j2j2r6ljl8pf/A-Mysterious-Force-Took-Over-Investing-I-Know-What-It-Is

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What is DNA and where is it inside our bodies? DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material inside humans and almost all other organisms. It is found in the cells of our bodies and nearly every cell has the same DNA. A small amount of DNA can be found in the mitochondria but most of our DNA is located in the cell nucleus.

Source: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/basics/dna

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What is aging and why do we die? Aging is the build up of genetic errors. This means that cells eventually become slower, sluggish, they go through senescence and eventually die. And that is why we die. We die because of the buildup of mistakes in our genome or our cellular activity. And the aging in our cells takes place in the mitochondria. Therefore, if these mistakes in the mitochondria could be cured it is possible we could become immortal. 

Source: Michio Kaku on the October 2019 Artificial Intelligence Podcast with Lex Fridman

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In 1900, 28% of Americans died before age 5; in 2019, it's about half of 1%. 

Source: www.collaborativefund.com/blog/three-big-things-the-most-important-forces-shaping-the-world

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The reason Silicon forms the basis of most of the electronics we use today (mobile phones, computers, etc.) is because it is a simple and abundant element on Earth which makes it very affordable and also because it is a semiconductor. Since it is a semiconductor, it can conduct electricity under some conditions and act as an insulator in others. Its electrical properties can be modified through a process called doping also. These make it an ideal material for making transistors that amplify electrical signals. 

Source: www.waferworld.com

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The moon goes around the earth, the earth goes around the sun, the sun goes around the center of the milky way, and the milky way goes around a black hole.

Source: Michio Kaku's "The Future of Humanity" Google Talk on April 10, 2019

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There used to be a lot of wonder about why female sexual climax exists at all since women don't need an orgasm to conceive but this was eventually figured out. Science discovers that the purpose of a female orgasm is to help a women select the best sperm to produce the healthiest offspring which would greatly increase the odds of the infant surviving. Researchers found that women have the most orgasms with men whose bodies are most symmetrical since this is a marker for immune competence and strong genes.

Source: Psychology Today: Celebrating 50 Years Issue (August 2017)

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Daniel Kahneman found that peoples' memories don't record events exactly as they happen. They engage in several energy saving mental shortcuts instead by time-sampling their experiences and encoding events according to how they feel at the peak of the event and at the end. This feeling of how we feel at the peak of an event and how we feel at the end of an event govern how our memories remember it. Therefore, how happy we are with our lives is a judgement we make based not on actual experience but on remembered experience time-sampled at the peak of our life and at the end. 

Source: Psychology Today: Celebrating 50 Years Issue (August 2017)

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Psychologist Martin Seligman made a giant discovery in understanding how depression works. He learned that when animals are exposed to a shock from which they can't escape they don't even bother trying to escape later on when they are free to do so and likely to succeed. After the animals were unable to control their environment, they learned that any actions they take make no difference and according to Martin, this exactly parallels the symptoms exhibited by depressed individuals.

Source: Psychology Today: Celebrating 50 Years Issue (August 2017)

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AI functions today by a set of step-by-step mathematical rules called algorithms which tell a computer how to complete a certain task and can be written so that the machines learn on there own.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) falls into different categories and two of those categories are Artificial Narrow Intelligence (Weak AI) and Artificial General Intelligence (Strong AI). Weak AI is the only kind of AI that exists in the world today (September 2019) in any real way.  It focuses on specific problems like feeding Google maps the best route to take to get to work or playing you in a game of Chess or having Siri look up the state capital of New York.  Strong AI is more of a hypothetical intelligence that could think the way a human does. It could quickly and efficiently upgrade its thinking on its own. Unlike Weak AI which does exist in the world today, Strong AI doesn't exist yet but may sometime in the future. 

Source: Popular Science: The New Artificial Intelligence Issue

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According to estimates released by J.P Morgan in late June [2019], passive strategies now control 60% of U.S. equity assets while quant funds control 20% - a staggering 80% combined. Passive titans Blackrock and Vanguard now oversee $12 trillion, up from less than $8 trillion just five years ago. And based on a recent report by Thomson Reuters, algorithmic trading systems are now responsible for 75% of global trading volume. 

Source: https://latest.13d.com/risks-passive-algorithmic-transformation-equity-markets-crisis-6ea6f6e9e271

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The waves that carry signals for the internet are the same kind of waves used for radio, TV, visible light, x-rays, and gamma rays. The difference between these waves is frequency and wavelength. Radio and TV use longer, lower frequency waves than you can see. X-rays and gamma rays are shorter and higher frequency. 

Source: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/170654/does-the-information-transfer-in-the-internet-also-work-with-waves-like-radio-an

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The first mechanical clock was invented in the 14th century in Europe. It is an invention that we all take for granted because it's been around so much longer than we have. Before the clock was invented people relied on 2 bell-ringers to keep track of time mostly for workers to know when it was time to go to work and time to go home. The bell-ringers' wages were financed by local guilds so sometimes workers would be worried that the bell-ringers were bribed by the guilds to extend the workday. And before there were bell-ringers, most workers were essentially tied to their master's land as slaves or serfs because of the difficulty to keep track of time. It wasn't until the escapement was invented which allowed for the invention of the clock due to its ability to transfer energy to the clock's pendulum at a steady rate that workers had a much better source to rely on for their work hours. 

Source: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2019/02/28/markets-are-eating-the-world/

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