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Computer Scientists Achieve the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Cryptography

In 2018, Aayush Jain, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, traveled to Japan to give a talk about a powerful cryptographic tool he and his colleagues were developing. As he detailed the team’s approach to indistinguishability obfuscation (iO for short), one audience member raised his hand in bewilderment.

Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences.

“But I thought iO doesn’t exist?” he said.

At the time, such skepticism was widespread. Indistinguishability obfuscation, if it could be built, would be able to hide not just collections of data but the inner workings of a computer program itself, creating a sort of cryptographic master tool from which nearly every other cryptographic protocol could be built.

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A jewel of the ocean

Palau's coral reefs: a jewel of the ocean
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation published Global Reef Expedition: The Republic of Palau Final Report, which summarizes the Foundation’s research on the status of coral reefs and reef fish in Palau and provides conservation recommendations that can help preserve these outstanding coral reefs for generations to come. Credit: ©Keith Ellenbogen/iLCP

Scientists at the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) have released their findings on the state of coral reefs in Palau. Their research, based on extensive underwater surveys, found Palau’s reefs had the highest live coral cover of all the reefs studied on the Global Reef Expedition, a scientific research mission to assess the health and resiliency of coral reefs around the world. Published today, the Global Reef Expedition: The Republic of Palau Final Report summarizes the Foundation’s research on the status of coral reefs and reef fish in Palau and provides conservation recommendations that can help

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