Magnetic north has recently shifted toward Siberia at a pace of 20 kilometers a year, but scientists have been unable to post an emergency update of the World Magnetic Model, used by cellphone GPS systems and military navigators.
After training on 17,000 publicly available photos of patients affected by more than 200 rare disorders, a computer program called DeepGestalt learned to recognize facial features linked to hundreds of genetic syndromes.
The shutdown, now in its third week, has emptied some laboratories, forced scientists from the field, upended important conferences, imperiled the flow of grant money and disrupted careful planning of time-sensitive studies.
Marc Kastner, president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance (of which the Simons Foundation is a founding member), argues that philanthropy plays a small but critical role in supporting research that government may not undertake and that it can fund explorations that might otherwise languish on the idea shelf.
The flyby of Ultima Thule has already cleared up one mystery: why the light reflecting off the snowman-shaped object does not fluctuate, as might be expected from an irregular spinning body. The reason: the rotation axis is pointed at the spacecraft.