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The Human Factor

The capacity of the human brain to understand data limits the generation of new data, says a paper from Claudius Gros, Gregor Kaczor, and Dimitrije Marković from Goethe University at arXiv. They collected millions of files from the Internet that corresponded to a storage volume of 284 to 675 terabytes, and studied how the file sizes were distributed. "Analyzing the file size distribution for several distinct data types we find indications that the neuropsychological capacity of the human brain to process and record information may constitute the dominant limiting factor for the overall growth of globally stored information, with real-world economic constraints having only a negligible influence," the authors write.

"In other words, global information cannot grow any faster than our ability to absorb or monitor it," The Physics arXiv Blog adds.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.