sad look of a pig in cage laying on straw

Abstracts: Political Facebook, CRISPR in Humans, Moody Pigs, and More


• The digital director for the Trump campaign explains how Facebook and Twitter helped win them the presidency. (Wired)

The Trump campaign tested out up to 50,000 variants of its Facebook ads per day to find the most effective social media messaging. Visual: Mutlu

• Chinese scientists have become the first to test CRISPR gene-editing in a human subject. (Nature)

• While pigs with positive personalities stay optimistic no matter what, pessimistic pigs’ mood and behavior depends on whether they are living in nice pens. (LA Times)

• The Obama administration has reached a settlement with Devon Energy to cancel their leases for oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area in Montana, which contains land sacred to the Blackfeet Tribe. (Washington Post)

• A report by the International Energy Agency says that the Paris climate deal has not agreed upon large enough reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to meet its goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If president-elect Donald Trump pulls the U.S. out of the deal, reaching the goal will be even less likely. (New York Times)

• Pilot whales babysit for each other. Even male adults will look after calves, possibly to impress females and make themselves look like better potential mates. (New Scientist)

• Since 2014, Elephant Aid International has helped free 83 elephants from life in chains in Nepal by building solar-powered electric fences. The elephants used to be held captive with heavy chains that did not allowed them to move or socialize, but now the elephants can roam the larger fenced-in areas, which is much better for their health and happiness. (National Geographic)

• The shallow continental shelf underneath Antarctica could be an important carbon sink that would help slow climate change — but its carbon storage capacity will only grow if the glaciers melt. (Undark)

• And finally, when NASA’s New Horizons probe flew by Pluto last year, it found possible evidence for an ocean beneath the dwarf planet’s surface. (Scientific American)