Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms
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Mystery of how snakes lost their legs solved by reptile fossil

Mystery of how snakes lost their legs solved by reptile fossil | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Fresh analysis of a reptile fossil is helping scientists solve an evolutionary puzzle -- how snakes lost their limbs. The findings show snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as was previously suggested.

 

The 90 million-year-old skull is giving researchers vital clues about how snakes evolved. Comparisons between CT scans of the fossil and modern reptiles indicate that snakes lost their legs when their ancestors evolved to live and hunt in burrows, which many snakes still do today.

The findings show snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as was previously suggested.


Scientists used CT scans to examine the bony inner ear of Dinilysia patagonica, a 2-meter long reptile closely linked to modern snakes. These bony canals and cavities, like those in the ears of modern burrowing snakes, controlled its hearing and balance. They built 3D virtual models to compare the inner ears of the fossils with those of modern lizards and snakes. Researchers found a distinctive structure within the inner ear of animals that actively burrow, which may help them detect prey and predators. This shape was not present in modern snakes that live in water or above ground.


The findings help scientists fill gaps in the story of snake evolution, and confirm Dinilysia patagonica as the largest burrowing snake ever known. They also offer clues about a hypothetical ancestral species from which all modern snakes descended, which was likely a burrower.


Reference:

H. Yi, M. A. Norell. The burrowing origin of modern snakes. Science Advances, 2015; 1 (10): e1500743 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500743



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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A nearby black hole just erupted for the first time in 26 years and scientists are ecstatic

A nearby black hole just erupted for the first time in 26 years and scientists are ecstatic | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
They're calling it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Via SIN JONES
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Juan Carlos Cañadilla's curator insight, July 11, 2015 7:33 AM

They're calling it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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New York is the world's most wasteful megacity, in 3 charts

New York is the world's most wasteful megacity, in 3 charts | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

The city consumes more water and energy, and generates more waste, than any other huge metro.

Semiotic Sorceress's insight:

"That's according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The large research team, led by Christopher A. Kennedy of the University of Toronto, examined how 27 "megacities" (metropolitan areas with more than 10 million people) metabolize resources and create waste. Together these monster cities consume 9.3 percent of the world's electricity and produce 12.6 percent of the world's waste—even though they contain only 6.7 percent of the world's population."

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What you need to know about the Ebola outbreak

What you need to know about the Ebola outbreak | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

Questions and answers on the scale of the outbreak and the science of the Ebola virus.

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Mistaken Identity: 'Sea Anemone' Is Actually New Type of Animal

Mistaken Identity: 'Sea Anemone' Is Actually New Type of Animal | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Lurking in the deep sea is a marine creature thought to be one of the world's largest sea anemones. But the animal, which has tentacles measuring more than 6 feet (2 meters) long, isn't an anemone but rather the first known organism in a new order of animals, according to new research. In doing so, they examined the DNA of Boloceroides daphneae — discovered in 2006 in the deep Pacific Ocean — and found the creature stood out as not fitting on the sea anemone tree of life at all. Researchers have now renamed the species Relicanthus daphneae, placing it into a new order (the equivalent of Carnivoria for mammals, Crocodilia for reptiles or Actiniaria for sea anemones) within the subclass Hexacorallia, which also includes anemones, black corals and stony corals.
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How Yoga Can Help in California's Overcrowded Prisons

How Yoga Can Help in California's Overcrowded Prisons | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
In San Quentin, a yoga program helps inmates cope with anger and violence issues that are endemic in California's overcrowded prisons.
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WATCH: What If Everyone On Earth Were Piled Up In The Grand Canyon?

WATCH: What If Everyone On Earth Were Piled Up In The Grand Canyon? | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
There are a lot of people on Earth--7.2 billion, in fact. Ever wondered what it would look like if you took all of us and piled us up on the floor of the Grand Canyon?

OK, maybe that's not something you've wondered about. But the folks at the You...
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Student photographer imagines herself as a teenager from every decade in the last hundred years [20 pics]

Student photographer imagines herself as a teenager from every decade in the last hundred years [20 pics] | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
For a class project, budding photographer Annalisa Hartlaub imagined herself as a teenager in every decade since the 1920's. In one photo she is mainstream and beside it she emulates the counter-culture of the time. And for all the photos, she filtered...
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Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas — The Physics arXiv Blog — Medium

Why Physicists Are Saying  Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas — The Physics arXiv Blog — Medium | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
There’s a quiet revolution underway in theoretical physics.
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Health Check: when is 'the flu' really a cold?

Health Check: when is 'the flu' really a cold? | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Most people who think they have the flu, don’t. And some people who think they have a cold, really have the flu. So what is the difference between a cold and the flu? And does it matter? A cold is a mild…
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Do Bees Really Die After They Sting You?

Do Bees Really Die After They Sting You? | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Short answer for the overwhelmed readers with little time on their hands: Yes, some do.



Longer answer:

The process of stinging and dying is called autotomizing and only various honey bees are susceptible, not honey wasps or yellowjackets or the Honey Nut Cheerios bee. Here’s how it works: When the bee stings you, its stinging apparatus screws into your skin like a corkscrew. The bee is too weak to pull it out without tearing its abdomen apart. Interestingly, when the bee stings an animal or
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Russia will not import GMO products - PM Medvedev

Russia will not import GMO products - PM Medvedev | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.
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Why Light Inspires Ritual - Issue 11: Light - Nautilus

Why Light Inspires Ritual - Issue 11: Light - Nautilus | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Some years ago, cultural anthropologist Veronica Strang was fishing on a trip to the Orinoco River in South America. When the fish…
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Giraffes Spend Their Nights Quietly, Constantly Humming

Giraffes Spend Their Nights Quietly, Constantly Humming | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

For years, experts believed that giraffes didn’t really communicate vocally. But as it turns out, giraffes spend their nights humming to each other.


Via No Such Thing As The News
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America's epidemic of unnecessary care

America's epidemic of unnecessary care | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

Millions of people get tests, drugs, and operations that won’t make them better, may cause harm, and cost billions.

Semiotic Sorceress's insight:

"Virtually every family in the country, the research indicates, has been subject to overtesting and overtreatment in one form or another. The costs appear to take thousands of dollars out of the paychecks of every household each year. Researchers have come to refer to financial as well as physical “toxicities” of inappropriate care—including reduced spending on food, clothing, education, and shelter. Millions of people are receiving drugs that aren’t helping them, operations that aren’t going to make them better, and scans and tests that do nothing beneficial for them, and often cause harm."

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Solar power with a view: Transparent luminescent solar concentrators

Solar power with a view: Transparent luminescent solar concentrators | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

Researchers have developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a flat, clear surface.

 

Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new. These past efforts, however, have yielded poor results -- the energy production was inefficient and the materials were highly colored.

 

"No one wants to sit behind colored glass," said Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science. "It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent."

 

The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight. "We can tune these materials to pick up just the ultraviolet and the near infrared wavelengths that then 'glow' at another wavelength in the infrared," he said.


The "glowing" infrared light is guided to the edge of the plastic where it is converted to electricity by thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells. "Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye," Lunt said.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Eggshell Geode Crystals : Science Bob's Science Experiment Blog

Eggshell Geode Crystals : Science Bob's Science Experiment Blog | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
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Can making your wine listen to music improve its flavour?

Can making your wine listen to music improve its flavour? | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

Trevor Baker: It's the latest bonkers trend to come out of the viticulture industry – and although, yes, it's almost certainly nonsense, it's no stranger than a lot of ideas kicking around in the wine world,

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The drinkable book cleans and purifies water with advanced filtering paper

The drinkable book cleans and purifies water with advanced filtering paper | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it

The drinkable book serves as a tool to kill deadly waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid and E.coli, providing a 4 year source of clean drinking water.

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Under The Volcano

Under The Volcano | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Americans love Mexican food. We consume nachos, tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales and anything resembling Mexican in enormous quantities. We love Mexican beverages, happily knocking back...
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Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved

Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
A mysterious duck-like sound recorded in the ocean around Antarctica has baffled scientists for decades, but the source of the sound has finally been found, researchers say. "In the beginning, no one really knew what it was," said Denise Risch, a marine biologist at NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass. Because the sound was so repetitive, scientists first thought it might be human-made, possibly coming from submarines. The noises also occur seasonally, and have been heard simultaneously in the Eastern Weddell Sea off Antarctica and Western Australia. In February 2013, during the Southern Hemisphere's summer, Risch's colleagues tagged two Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) off of Western Antarctica with suction-cup tags.
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A Magical Miniature World Of Snails By Vyacheslav Mishchenko

A Magical Miniature World Of Snails By Vyacheslav Mishchenko | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
Talented Ukrainian nature photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko has an eye for taking photos that bring small natural worlds up to our level, showing us how the world might look if we could see it through the eyes of an ant, snail or lizard. Mishchenko's interest with the miniature natural world ...
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Photographs taken inside of instruments - Lost At E Minor: For creative people

Photographs taken inside of instruments - Lost At E Minor: For creative people | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
There’s something other-worldly about these shots by Mierswa Kluska for the Berlin Philharmonic, which take a fascinating perspective from within the acous
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New Age Bullshit Generator

New Age Bullshit Generator | Semiotic Adventures with Genetic Algorithms | Scoop.it
We are in the midst of a cosmic flowering of synchronicity that will remove the barriers to the dreamscape itself.
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