Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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The joker effect: Cooperation driven by destructive agents

The joker effect: Cooperation driven by destructive agents | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Abstract

Understanding the emergence of cooperation is a central issue in evolutionary game theory. The hardest setup for the attainment of cooperation in a population of individuals is the Public Goods game in which cooperative agents generate a common good at their own expenses, while defectors “free-ride” this good. Eventually this causes the exhaustion of the good, a situation which is bad for everybody. Previous results have shown that introducing reputation, allowing for volunteer participation, punishing defectors, rewarding cooperators or structuring agents, can enhance cooperation. Here we present a model which shows how the introduction of rare, malicious agents – that we term jokers – performing just destructive actions on the other agents induce bursts of cooperation. The appearance of jokers promotes a rock-paper-scissors dynamics, where jokers outbeat defectors and cooperators outperform jokers, which are subsequently invaded by defectors. Thus, paradoxically, the existence of destructive agents acting indiscriminately promotes cooperation.

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Will consumers embrace 'animal-free' milk produced using genetically engineered yeast? | Genetic Literacy Project

Perfect Day, a new ‘animal-free’ milk scheduled to launch at the end of next year, contains all the same components as cow’s milk, including dairy proteins
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Virus attracts bumblebees to infected plants by changing scent

Virus attracts bumblebees to infected plants by changing scent | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Plant scientists at the University of Cambridge have found that the cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) alters gene expression in the tomato plants it infects, causing changes to air-borne chemicals - the scent - emitted by the plants
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The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot

The Loudest Sound In The World Would Kill You On The Spot | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Now, nobody heard Krakatoa in England or Toronto. There wasn’t a “boom” audible in St. Petersburg. Instead, what those places recorded were spikes in atmospheric pressure — the very air tensing up and then releasing with a sigh, as the waves of sound from Krakatoa passed through. There are two important lessons about sound in there: One, you don’t have to be able to see the loudest thing in the world in order to hear it. Second, just because you can’t hear a sound doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sound is powerful and pervasive and it surrounds us all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not.

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Beepocalypse Myth Handbook: Dissecting claims of pollinator collapse | Genetic Literacy Project

After a decade of debate, the causes of the mid-2000s spike in bee deaths is coming into focus. Culprits are multifactorial, a rebuke of simplistic fingering of pesticides. Time for targeted solutions. Bee populations aren’t declining; they’re rising. According to statistics kept by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, honeybee populations in the United States, Canada and Europe have been stable or growing for the two decades neonics have been on the market.
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Scientists solve structure of cold virus linked to childhood asthma

Scientists solve structure of cold virus linked to childhood asthma | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The virus was among the first samples analyzed with a new cryo-electron microscopy system at Purdue, which was designed to operate at vastly higher resolution than previous instruments. The system allows for multiple imaging of single virus particles, rather than relying on a composite of images from thousands of individual viruses. Therefore, the system is faster, more accurate and gives higher resolution structures from less virus material.
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Meet the First Artificial Animal

Meet the First Artificial Animal | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Scientists genetically engineered and 3-D-printed a biohybrid being, opening the door further for lifelike robots and artificial intelligence.
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Transparent, flexible supercapacitors pave the way for a multitude of applications

Transparent, flexible supercapacitors pave the way for a multitude of applications | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
"The standard appearance of today's electronic devices as solid, black objects could one day change completely as researchers make electronic components that are transparent and flexible. Working toward this goal, researchers in a new study have developed transparent, flexible supercapacitors made of carbon nanotube films. The high-performance devices could one day be used to store energy for everything from wearable electronics to photovoltaics..."

Via Terheck
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Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad?

Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Fears of civilization-wide idleness are based too much on the downsides of being unemployed in a society premised on the concept of employment.
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Self-driving banks: industrial verification without industrial capex

Self-driving banks: industrial verification without industrial capex | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Thanks to blockchains, a laptop or a mobile phone is, today, as effective at running a globally-accessible application as a datacentre or a mainframe. Furthermore, with the permissioned chains, the “mining” process can be dispensed with entirely, allowing a user to run such a network with only the latent capacity of hardware you already have (in relation to which, 99% of the time it is not being used anywhere near full capacity.

In the future, we will leverage this excess capacity to both increase the reliability and uptime of our systems, and bring the marginal costs of computing to nearly zero. This will be a world in which data infrastructure runs itself without physical infrastructure.
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Using CRISPR as a recording device

Using CRISPR as a recording device | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers at Harvard University has taken another look at CRISPR and has found that it can be used as a recording device of sorts, keeping track of when and where a given bacterium has been exposed to different viruses. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their study, their findings and the ways such natural recordings might be useful.
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Omron Table Tennis Robot at Hannover Fair 2016

Omron robot playing table tennis. Remarkable reaction rate of the system.

Via Alexander Crépin
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Frontiers | Differential changes in self-reported aspects of interoceptive awareness through 3 months of contemplative training | Consciousness Research

Frontiers | Differential changes in self-reported aspects of interoceptive awareness through 3 months of contemplative training | Consciousness Research | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Interoceptive awareness (IA) comprises the awareness of signals from the inside of the body, such as the perception of heart beats, the breath, or movements of the viscera, and higher-order top–down processes including biases, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions regarding those perceptions (Cameron, 2001; Craig, 2002; Mehling et al., 2009). Interoception has been shown to be critical for the sense of self and the creation of a subjective perspective from which the world is experienced (Varela et al., 1991; Craig, 2002, 2009; Critchley et al., 2004; Berlucchi and Aglioti, 2010; Park and Tallon-Baudry, 2014). It is also important for awareness and regulation of emotions (Dunn et al., 2007; Silani et al., 2008; Herbert et al., 2011; Füstös et al., 2013; Koch and Pollatos, 2014) as well as empathy (Singer et al., 2009; Bird et al., 2010; Lamm and Singer, 2010; Terasawa et al., 2014). Furthermore, IA is critical for decision making (Sanfey et al., 2003; Dunn et al., 2010; Sütterlin et al., 2013) and self-control of behavior in various situations with impact on health and disease (Herbert et al., 2007, 2012a, 2013; Herbert and Pollatos, 2014).
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Meet the Diverse and Bizarre “Stars” of the Deep Sea


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meet-diverse-and-bizarre-stars-deep-sea-180959056/#ABJFmSVR0IVk8DDD.99
Give the gift o...

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The Tyranny of Simple Explanations

The Tyranny of Simple Explanations | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Occam’s razor was never meant for paring nature down to some beautiful, parsimonious core of truth. Because science is so difficult and messy, the allure of a philosophical tool for clearing a path or pruning the thickets is obvious. In their readiness to find spurious applications of Occam’s razor in the history of science, or to enlist, dismiss, or reshape the razor at will to shore up their preferences, scientists reveal their seduction by this vision.

But they should resist it. The value of keeping assumptions to a minimum is cognitive, not ontological: It helps you to think. A theory is not “better” if it is simpler—but it might well be more useful, and that counts for much more.
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How did primate brains get so big?

How did primate brains get so big? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Virtual brains reconstructed from ancient, kiwi-sized primate skulls could help resolve one of the most intriguing evolutionary mysteries: how modern primates developed large brains.
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IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons

IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
They behave like biological neurons, including low power usage and dense scaling.
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The Horrifying Reason Siberia Is Dealing With an Anthrax Outbreak

The Horrifying Reason Siberia Is Dealing With an Anthrax Outbreak | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In a news report that could easily be the plot of a cult horror movie, an anthrax outbreak has swept the remote Yamalo-Nenets district of western Siberia, killing 1,500 reindeer since Sunday. a new field of study called “resurrection ecology” has sprung up around the discovery that certain bacteria, fungi, plants, and even animals will sometimes thaw out after long periods of suspended animation—up to millions of years, if the preservation conditions are good—and go about their business again.
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Okeanos Explorer | Expeditions | NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas | Expedition Education Module

Okeanos Explorer | Expeditions | NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas | Expedition Education Module | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
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Pea plants demonstrate ability to 'gamble'—a first in plants

Pea plants demonstrate ability to 'gamble'—a first in plants | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
An international team of scientists from Oxford University, UK, and Tel-Hai College, Israel, has shown that pea plants can demonstrate sensitivity to risk - namely, that they can make adaptive choices... Efrat Dener, now a master's student at Ben Gurion University, Israel, and the study's first author, said: "Like most people, including even experienced farmers and gardeners, I used to look at plants as passive receivers of circumstances. This line of experiments illustrates how wrong that view is: living organisms are designed by natural selection to exploit their opportunities, and this often implies a great deal of flexibility."
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Super-sticky saliva helps chameleons catch huge prey, scientists say

Super-sticky saliva helps chameleons catch huge prey, scientists say | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Super-sticky saliva helps chameleons catch huge prey, scientists say
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How Budget Cuts Brought Back Syphilis

How Budget Cuts Brought Back Syphilis | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The 18th-century ailment was on the brink of elimination before budget cuts helped resurrect it.
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What are ecosystem applications?

What are ecosystem applications? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
we are entering into the third generation of collective process management tooling which will focus on extending the benefits of software defined relationships for businesses of many different sizes. This generation of tooling, which will be led by the companies we currently label “blockchain” and “smart contract” companies, will leverage the economies of redundancy over data and data processing power which networks of peers can provide. This generation of software will emphasize the “Ecosystem” as the center of part of the universe.
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A Complex Predicament: How Our Energy, Economic and Ecological Systems are Connected

A Complex Predicament: How Our Energy, Economic and Ecological Systems are Connected | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
I am reposting, in their entirety, the ten articles I wrote that were published in SHIFT magazine (which is now on hiatus) between 2013 and 2015, since some of the links have changed and so that my blog contains the … Continue reading →...
Via Jürgen Kanz
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The secret history of ancient toilets

The secret history of ancient toilets | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In 1913, when Italian excavator Giacomo Boni excavated this room, toilets were an unmentionable topic. In his report, he seems to mistake the remains of the holey benches for something much more sensational: part of an elaborate mechanism that, he speculated, would have pumped water and provided power for the palace above. Boni's prudish sensibilities wouldn't let him recognize what was before his very eyes, says Jansen. “He couldn't imagine it was a toilet.”
Sharrock's insight:
Prudish sensibilities can get in the way of valuable information. There is a history of plumbing that impacts health and traditions. With teenagers, this may be capture their imaginations and their interest. Every kid uses a toilet. This could be a way to get students interested in the knowledge and challenges of living in an ancient civilization. 
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What's the deal with eating avocado seeds? | Fox News

What's the deal with eating avocado seeds? | Fox News | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The research on avocado seed consumption is very limited. In the studies that do exist, scientists conclude that additional research needs to be done to determine whether it’s safe or beneficial to eat them. Additionally, the existing studies have focused on the potential benefits of avocado seed extracts, rather than the consumption of the seed itself, and they provide information only on lab testing, not on clinical data.
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Clinical trials are important because they are trials on actual people. 
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