Underlinings (#66)

Foundations of xenocryptography:

If we find signals that obey Zipf’s Law, for example, that would encourage us to go ahead and look for syntax-like structure within the signals in order to quantify how complex the candidate message actually is. […] To transmit knowledge, even a very advanced extraterrestrial civilization would still have to obey the rules of information theory. While perhaps not being able to decipher such a message because of lack of common symbols (the same problem we have with, for example, humpback whales), we would get an indication of how complex their communication system — and thereby their thought processes — may be.


A viral robbery-murder case:

In one of the most unexpected genetic thefts ever, a virus that infects bacteria appears to have stolen the gene coding for the poison of the black widow spiders. The virus, named WO, probably uses the gene to help it attack its targets. …

(That surely has to be a plausible guess.)