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New Caledonian crows infer the weight of objects from observing their movements in a breeze
Humans use a variety of cues to infer an object's weight, including how easily objects can be moved. For example, if we observe an object being blown down the street by the wind, we can infer that it is light. A team of scientists tested now whether New Caledonian crows make this type of inferenc...
Google’s AI Can Help Predict Where Earthquake Aftershocks Are Most Likely
The destruction that a large earthquake can cause often doesn’t end when the ground stops shaking. Many produce aftershocks, smaller tremors hours or even days later caused by the ground’s reaction to the first quake.
 
These aftershocks can sometimes cause more damage than the primary quake. And...
Google Brain Is Morphing Into A Translator for Artificial Intelligence
Neural networks are famously incomprehensible, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.”  
If a doctor told that you needed surgery, you would want to know why — and you’d expect the explanation to make sense to you, even if you’d never gone to medical school. Been Kim, a research scie...
Scientists Are Warning: Warming Oceans Will Lead to a “Catastrophic” Future
A new study in the journal Science has found that the Earth’s oceans are warming far faster than experts had previously predicted, leading to a bleak outlook among climate scientists who say the rapid environmental shifts will lead to international disputes, humanitarian crises and deadly freak w...
Quantum brain computer: Scientists are planning to create a quantum computer that acts like a brain
Combining quantum computing with neural networks could produce AI that can make very complex decisions quickly.  
The human brain has amazing capabilities making it in many ways more powerful than the world’s most advanced computers. So it’s not surprising that engineers have long been trying to ...
AI Can Make Sure Cancer Patients Get Just Enough (but Not Too Much) Treatment
Patients with glioblastoma, a malignant tumor in the brain or spinal cord, typically live no more than five years after receiving their diagnosis. And those five years can be painful — in an effort to minimize the tumor, doctors often prescribe a combination of radiation therapy and drugs that ca...
We're one step closer to deciphering rodent languages
UW researchers developed a software called DeepSqueak—derived from self-driving car technology—to demystify mouse and rat communication and monitor how our furry analogs fare in the lab.  
Rodents like mice and rats have been staple creatures for laboratory research for nearly a century for good ...
A new method uses ultrashort deep-ultraviolet pulses to accurately probe real-time chirality chan...
Distinguishing between left-handed and right-handed (“chiral”) molecules is crucial in chemistry and the life sciences, and is commonly done using a method called circular dichroism. However, during biochemical reactions the chiral character of molecules may change. EPFL scientists have for the f...
Astronomers Clock a Black Hole Spinning at Half the Speed of Light
Researchers have used X-rays to calculated how fast a black hole spins, something that might help them see what happens as black holes age.  
Black holes are massive beasts that annihilate anything that dares to cross them. We don’t know a whole lot about these invisible, terrifying bodies, but a...
First Direct Evidence That Stars Like Our Sun Turn Into Crystals In The Final Stages Of Their Lives
Fifty years after the idea was proposed, astronomers find direct evidence that white dwarfs - the dense, stellar corpses of sun-like stars - can crystallize.
 
Stars like our sun can turn into crystals in the final stages of their lives, bringing a whole new meaning to those glittering jewels in ...
Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected
Astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada. The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown.
 
Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the...
Dark Energy Survey completes six-year mission
After six years of scanning in depth about a quarter of the southern skies, and cataloguing hundreds of millions of distant galaxies, the Dark Energy Survey will finish taking data tomorrow.
 
DES is an international collaboration that began mapping a 5000-square-degree area of the sky on August ...
Automatic Speaker Recognition using Transfer Learning AI
Even with today’s frequent technological breakthroughs in speech-interactive devices (e.g., Siri and Alexa), few companies have tried enabling multi-user profiles. Google Home has been the most ambitious in this area, allowing up to six user profiles. The recent boom of this technology is what ma...
How do Aliens See us? One-Pixel Views of Earth Reveal Seasonal Changes
By averaging satellite images of the Earth down to a single pixel, researchers trace how the planet’s mean color varies over time, results that inform observations of distant exoplanets.  
When Al Gore, then U.S. vice president, originally proposed the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) sate...
CRISPR might soon create spicy tomatoes by switching on their chili genes
Looking for perfect heat and lots of it? Gene engineers in Brazil think they might be able to create eye-watering tomatoes.
 
Even though chili peppers and tomato plants diverged from a common ancestor millions of years ago, tomatoes still possess the genetic pathway needed to make capsaicinoids,...
Engineers can now reverse-engineer 3D models
A system that uses a technique called constructive solid geometry (CSG) is allowing MIT researchers to deconstruct objects and turn them into 3D models, thereby allowing them to reverse-engineer complex things.The system appeared in a paper entitled “InverseCSG: Automatic Conversion of 3D Models ...
Humans and Leaf-Cutter Ants Contribute to Global Warming through Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Humans are not the only animals to build elaborate housing and grow crops—or to add carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere through their industry. A new study shows that the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes is also a master builder and cultivator and a significant source of greenhouse gas emission...
Our body may cure itself of diabetes in the future
Researchers have found that neighboring cells can take over functions of damaged or missing insulin-producing cells. The discovery may lead to new treatments for diabetes.
 
Diabetes is caused by damaged or non-existing insulin cells inability to produce insulin, a hormone that is necessary in re...
Inexpensive, efficient bi-metallic electro-catalysts may open floodgates for hydrogen fuel
Investigations into non-precious metal catalysts for hydrogen evolution are ongoing. Here, the authors report that a hierarchical nanoporous copper-titanium bimetallic electrocatalyst is able to produce hydrogen from water under a mild overpotential at more than twice the rate of state-of-the-art...
Wireless ‘pacemaker for the brain’ could be new standard treatment for neurological disorders
Scientists have developed a ew device which can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time.
 
A new neurostimulator developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time, potentially...
Feisty hummingbirds prioritize fighting over feeding: Some male hummingbirds have weaponized thei...
Most hummingbirds have bills and tongues exquisitely designed to slip inside a flower, lap up nectar and squeeze every last drop of precious sugar water from their tongue to fuel their frenetic lifestyle.But in the tropics of South America, University of California, Berkeley, scientists are findi...
Bees can count with a very small number of nerve cells in their brains
Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London. In order to understand how bees count, the researchers simulated a very simple miniature 'brain' on a computer with just four nerve c...
NASA's first mission to the Kuiper Belt: New Horizon Spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year's Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that holds keys to understanding the origins of the solar system.
 
"Congratulations to NASA's New Horizons...
Researchers Make World's Smallest Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board with DNA
It was just about a year ago that Caltech scientists in the laboratory of Lulu Qian, assistant professor of bioengineering, announced they had used a technique known as DNA origami to create tiles that could be designed to self-assemble into larger nanostructures that carry predesigned patterns. ...
3D-printed robot hand ‘plays’ the piano
Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. And while the robot is no virtuoso, it demonstrates just how challenging it is to replicate all the abilities of a human hand, and how much complex movement can still b...
An Energy-Efficient Way to Stay Warm: Sew High-Tech Heating Patches to Your Clothes
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes -- while significantly reducing your electric bill and carbon footprint?
 
Engineers at Rutgers and Oregon State University have found a cost-effective way to make thin, durabl...
Peering into Australopithecus’ 3.67 million-year-old brain
First ever endocast reconstruction of the nearly complete brain of the hominin known as Little Foot reveals a small brain combining ape-like and human-like features.
 
MicroCT scans of the Australopithecus fossil known as Little Foot shows that the brain of this ancient human relative was small a...
Sound waves levitate multiple objects – future technology for contactless medical procedures
Surgeons won't be shrunk and sent into the body like in the 1960s Sci-Fi, Fantastic Voyage, but could program a specialised array of mini-speakers to create an intricate sound field that 'traps' and manipulates selected objects in ‘acoustic tweezers’ for manipulation within tissue.
 
Advancements...
Our universe: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension
Uppsala University researchers have devised a new model for the Universe -- one that may solve the enigma of dark energy. Their new article, published in Physical Review Letters, proposes a new structural concept, including dark energy, for a universe that rides on an expanding bubble in an addit...
Scientists program proteins to pair precisely
Proteins have now been engineered in the lab to zip together in much the same way that  DNA molecules zip up to form a double helix.  The technique, whose development was led by University of Washington School of Medicine scientists, could enable the design of protein nanomachines that can potent...
The Immune System’s Fountain of Youth
If only we could keep our bodies young, healthy and energetic, even as we attain the wisdom of our years. New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests this dream could be at least partly obtainable in the future. The results of this research, led by Prof. Valery Krizhanovsky and Dr....
Chemists discover a new type of quasicrystal whose existence was thought to be impossible
Brown University researchers have discovered a new type of quasicrystal, a class of materials whose existence was thought to be impossible until the 1980s.
 
The strange class of materials known as quasicrystals has a new member. In a paper published on Thursday, Dec. 20, in Science, researchers ...
A New Type of DNA Testing Is Entering Crime Investigations
In April, a citizen scientist named Barbara Rae-Venter used a little-known genealogy website called GEDMatch to help investigators find a man they’d been looking for for nearly 40 years: The Golden State Killer. In the months since, law enforcement agencies across the country have flocked to the ...
Follow New Horizons' Historic Flyby of Ultima Thule
For the past 13 years, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has been bolting away from the sun at speeds in excess of 31,000 miles per hour, charting a course for the fringes of our solar system. In 2015, it made a close pass of Pluto, returning the highest resolution images of the erstwhile planet the...
Machine Learning Can Create Fake ‘Master Key’ Fingerprints
Just like a lock can be picked, any biometric scanner can be fooled. Researchers have shown for years that the popular fingerprint sensors used to guard smartphones can be tricked sometimes, using a lifted print or a person's digitized fingerprint data. But new findings from computer scientists a...
Treated superalloys demonstrate unprecedented heat resistance
Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory have discovered how to make “superalloys” even more super, extending useful life by thousands of hours. The discovery could improve materials performance for electrical generators and nuclear reactors. The key is to heat and cool the superalloy in a specif...
Matter Sucked in by Black Holes May Travel into the Future to Get Spit Back Out
A new theory tries to explain the mysterious phenomena that exists at the center of black holes.  
Black holes are among the most mysterious places in the universe; locations where the very fabric of space and time are warped so badly that not even light can escape from them. According to Einstei...
China’s ‘artificial sun’ heated to over 100 million degrees
Scientists in China have reported a major breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion technology, which would harness power through the same processes that occur within stars. At the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor in Hefei, China, researchers managed to heat hydroge...
The Clock That Will Last 10,000 Years With Minimal Maintenance
Designed by Danny Hillis, the Clock is designed to run for ten millennia with minimal maintenance and interruption. The Clock is powered by mechanical energy harvested from sunlight as well as the people that visit it. The primary materials used in the Clock are marine grade 316 stainless steel, ...
Learning your genetic risks can make measurable changes to the way your body works
"The mindset of being genetically at risk or protected can alter how we feel, what we do, and—as this study shows—how our bodies respond."  
Millions of people in the United States alone have submitted their DNA for analysis and received information that not only predicts their risk for disease b...
How the Brain's Face Code Might Unlock the Mysteries of Perception
Doris Tsao mastered facial recognition in the brain. Now she’s looking to determine the neural code for everything we see.
  More of facial recognition  
Arctic Lakes Are Vanishing by the Hundreds
The rapidly warming Arctic is no stranger to loss. Climate change is gradually claiming some of its most iconic features, from melting glaciers in Greenland to shrinking sea ice in the ocean.
But some casualties may be more surprising than others.
Research suggests that small lakes and ponds acro...
An autonomous robot swarm has self-organized by acting like natural cells
Hundreds of tiny robots have been made to work as a team, inspired by the biological principles of self-organization.  
Researchers have managed to get swarms of 300 robots to self-organize without following a preset pattern. The only programming each coin-size robot received was some basic rules...
Gigantic fungus is alive since ice age and weighs 400 tons
A gigantic fungus that lives under the ground in a Michigan forest is even larger than initially estimated and may have been around for at least 2500 years.
 
A huge underground fungus that is one of the largest living organisms on the planet has turned out to be both bigger and older than though...
Searching for the Source of Planarians’ Regenerative Powers
Using a technique that involves analyzing thousands of single cells, scientists have figured out a new way to capture a stem cell that underlies flatworm regeneration.  
Proliferating cells known as neoblasts include pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) that sustain tissue homeostasis and regeneration o...
The sugar that makes up DNA could be made in space
For the first time, scientists have made 2-deoxyribose, the sugar that makes up the backbone of DNA, under cosmic conditions in the lab by blasting ice with radiation. The result, reported December 18 in Nature Communications, suggests that there are several ways for prebiotic chemistry to take p...
Fastest-Ever Cell Contractions Observed in Primitive Invertebrate Without Muscles or Nerves
The microscopic marine animal Trichoplax adhaerens may use rapid changes in cell shape to avoid being ripped apart by forces in the ocean.  
Most animals rely on changes in cell shape to move tissues around during development, but these alterations are usually slow and are rare in adult animals. ...
​Organic food is worse for the climate than conventionally farmed food
Organically farmed food has a bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed food, due to the greater areas of land required. This is the finding of a new international study involving Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, published in the journal Nature.
 
The researchers developed a new ...
Rare microbe leads scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life
Canadian researchers have discovered a new kind of organism that's so different from other living things that it doesn't fit into the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, or any other kingdom used to classify known organisms. Two species of the microscopic organisms, called hemimastigotes, were fou...
5,000 robots will map the universe in 3D
How do you create the largest 3-D map of the universe? It’s as easy as teaching 5,000 robots how to “dance.” DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, is an experiment that will target millions of distant galaxies by automatically swiveling fiber-optic positioners (the robots) to point at t...
Hop, Don't Roll: How the Tiny Japanese Rovers on Asteroid Ryugu Move
Two tiny Japanese rovers began exploring the surface of the big asteroid Ryugu recently — but they're not roving in the traditional sense of the term. The little robots, called MINERVA-II1A and MINERVA-II1B, touched down on Sept. 21, 2018, after separating from their Hayabusa2 mothership, which h...
Scientists uncover massive, diverse ecosystem deep beneath Earth’s surface
To survive in the hostile underworld deep beneath Earth’s surface, organisms must be hardy enough to take on extreme pressure, blistering heat, a complete absence of sunlight, and minimal food. Now, hundreds of scientists from the Deep Carbon Observatory say their 10-year study looking for life i...
First-ever baby born from a uterus transplanted after death
For the first time, a woman who received a uterus from a deceased donor has successfully given birth—an important milestone for the young field of uterus transplantation, STAT reports. Researchers at the University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil, transplanted the uterus of a 45-year-old woman ...
Parrot Genome Analysis Reveals Insights Into Longevity and Cognition
Parrots are famously talkative, and a blue-fronted Amazon parrot named Moises -- or at least its genome -- is telling scientists volumes about the longevity and highly developed cognitive abilities that give parrots so much in common with humans. Perhaps someday, it will also provide clues about ...
Genome-wide study of hair color in UK Biobank explains most of the SNP heritability for red, brow...
Natural hair color within European populations is a complex genetic trait. Previous work has established that MC1R variants are the principal genetic cause of red hair color, but with variable penetrance. Here, a group of geneticists have now extensively mapped the genes responsible for human hai...
COSINE-100 Dark Matter WIMP Experiment
Astrophysical evidence suggests that the universe contains a large amount of non-luminous dark matter, yet no definite signal of it has been observed despite concerted efforts by many experimental groups. One exception to this is the long-debated claim by the DArk MAtter (DAMA) collaboration, whi...
Researchers create tiny droplets of early universe matter
Scientists have generated an ultra-hot state of matter called a quark gluon plasma in three shapes and sizes: circles, ellipses and triangles.   The study, published today in Nature Physics, stems from the work of an international team of scientists and focuses on a liquid-like state of matter c...
Learning to fly: This colorful web is the most complete look yet at a fruit fly’s brain cells
Scientists compiled 21 million images to craft the highest-resolution view yet of the fruit fly brain.  
If the secret to getting the perfect photo is taking a lot of shots, then one lucky fruit fly is the subject of a masterpiece.
Using high-speed electron microscopy, scientists took 21 milli...
Cholesterol traces suggest these mysterious fossils were animals, not fungi
Cholesterol clinched it: A group of strange Precambrian fossils are among the oldest known animals in the rock record. Organic molecules preserved with fossils of the genus Dickinsonia confirm that the creatures were animals rather than fungi or lichen, a study in the Sept. 21 Science says. Resea...
Neutrino found in Antarctica provides astronomy breakthrough by tracing its origin to a blazar
For the first time, scientists traced the origins of a neutrino that traveled 3.7 billion light-years to Earth and was found in the Antarctic ice by the IceCube detector.   Scientists and observatories around the world were able to trace the neutrino to a galaxy with a supermassive, rapidly spinn...
A Cyclic Universe? Avoidance of the Big Bang Singularity Based on a New Version of the Generalize...
There are many scientific and non-scientific varieties of the answer about what came before Big Bang. In this paper, theorists investigate the effects of a new version of the generalized uncertainty principle (modified GUP) on the dynamics of the Universe. As the modified GUP will modify the rela...
The Arctic Ocean has lost 95 percent of its oldest ice — a startling sign of what’s to come
Over the past three decades of global warming, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95 percent, according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card.
 
The finding suggests that the sea at the top of the world has already morphe...
In 200 years, humans reversed a climate trend lasting 50 million years, study says
What do scientists see when comparing our future climate with the past? In less than 200 years, humans have reversed a multimillion-year cooling trend, new research suggests. If global warming continues unchecked, Earth in 2030 could resemble its former self from 3 million years ago, according t...
Thousands of Unstudied Plants May Be at Risk of Extinction
Plants often get short shrift in conservation circles, but machine learning could help botanists save tens of thousands of species.  
Pleurothallis portillae is one odd-looking orchid. Sporting a small nub of a flower nestled in a long, bulbous leaf that droops like a pair of string beans, it’s c...
Next U.S. moon landing will be by private companies, not NASA
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Thursday that nine U.S. companies will compete to deliver experiments to the lunar surface. The space agency will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting there, he said.
 
The goal is to get small science and technology...
A Neuromorphic Star Is Born: The World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer
The human brain is a complex, organic machine comprised of electrochemical signals pulsing rapidly through a neural network highway. Its functions and mechanics have enthralled and puzzled scientists and thinkers as far back as the ancient Egyptians in 17th-century B.C. In early November, centuri...
SUBSEA, the Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog Program
Exciting new discoveries on Ocean Worlds in our Solar System, in particular on Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa, have helped bring together ocean explorers with interplanetary explorer counterparts. These scientists recognize that terrestrial features and systems on Ea...
Smithsonian researchers name new ocean zone: The rariphotic
Based on the unique fish fauna observed from a manned submersible on a southern Caribbean reef system in Curaçao, Smithsonian explorers defined a new ocean-life zone, the rariphotic, between 130 and 309 meters (about 400 to 1,000 feet) below the surface. The rariphotic occurs just below a previou...
A Traversable Wormhole: Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes
In 1985, when Carl Sagan was writing the novel Contact, he needed to quickly transport his protagonist Dr. Ellie Arroway from Earth to the star Vega. He had her enter a black hole and exit light-years away, but he didn’t know if this made any sense. The Cornell University astrophysicist and telev...
Engineers developing a HAL 9000-type AI system for monitoring planetary base stations
A team of engineers at TRACLabs Inc. in the U.S. is making inroads toward the creation of a planetary base station monitoring system similar in some respects to Hal 9000—the infamous AI system in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In this case, it is called cognitive architecture for space agents (...
'Sun in a box' would store renewable energy for the grid
MIT engineers have come up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand. The system may be designed to power a small city not just when the sun is up or the wind is high, but around the ...
Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland's accelerating ice melt
Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland.
 
Run-off from this vast northern ice sheet – currently the biggest single source of meltwater adding to the volume ...
New discovery complicates efforts to measure universe's expansion
A study led by Texas Tech University shows that supersoft X-ray emissions can come from accretion as well as nuclear fusion.  
Supersoft X-ray emission – a very strong level of the weakest X-rays – has long been considered a result of nuclear fusion on the surface of a white dwarf, a small, very ...
Giant tortoise genomes provide insights into longevity and age-related disease
The genomes of two long-lived giant tortoises, including Lonesome George, reveal candidate genes and pathways associated with their development, gigantism and longevity.   Lonesome George's species may have died with him in 2012, but he and other giant tortoises of the Galapagos are still provid...