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Labeled as discuss in The Break Room, started by CraigD, Oct 19, 2020

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  1. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Out-of-control 'flying car' prototype soared 8000ft into Gatwick flight path before crashing just 40 yards away from houses during a demonstration, report reveals

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    The crew behind a prototype flying racing-car have been criticised for not meeting standards after the craft went out of control and soared 8,000ft up into a flight path for Gatwick airport before crashing back to earth, a report has revealed.

    The unmanned craft was on a low-level demonstration flight when its 22-year-old remote pilot who was flying it from the ground suddenly found it no longer responded to his remote controls just a minute after take off.

    A spotter who was part of the ground crew tried to use a 'kill switch' in a laptop to cut off power to the four rotors of the Airspeeder Mk2 car on the morning of July 4, 2019.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...type-soared-Gatwick-flight-path-crashing.html
     
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  2. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Dogs Are Teaching Machines to Sniff Out Cancer

    In a proof-of-concept study, researchers used dogs’ diagnoses of prostate cancer to inform a machine learning algorithm with the goal of one day detecting cancers with canine-level accuracy.

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    With their legendary sense of smell, dogs are adept at identifying the characteristic scents of cancers from breath, urine, and poop. But with trained cancer-sniffing pups in short supply, animals are unlikely to become widely available for routine diagnostics. Instead, Andreas Mershin wants man’s best friend to teach machine learning algorithms to sniff out diseases, and he plans to put this technology into your pocket. Mershin, a research scientist at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, says his eventual goal is to build electronic nose capability into smartphones.

    The detection of a cancer signal by electronic noses isn’t a new concept, but those that have been developed so far still can’t match the accuracy of dog’s, says Mershin. To get closer to that ability, Mershin and his interdisciplinary team establish a proof-of-concept method for the integration of canine olfaction with machine odor analysis of prostate cancer in a study published February 17 in PLOS ONE.

     
  3. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Researchers Exchange Messages with Dreamers

    Dreamers answered experimenters’ questions or solved simple math problems, showing that complex two-way communication between the dreaming and waking world is possible.

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    In a proof-of-concept study, the sleep researchers recruited volunteers who were frequent lucid dreamers or who learned lucidity-inducing techniques. While the participants snoozed, the researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) analyses of brain activity to confirm that they were asleep. In response to yes/no questions and simple math problems, six participants correctly answered a total of 29 questions with pre-arranged eye signals.

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    How did you ask questions to the dreamers?

    KA: In Germany, I asked math questions via Morse code. For example, for the question, ‘three plus one,’ would be something like ‘dih dih dih diiiih diiiih’ for ‘three,’ then ‘dih diiiih diiiih dih’ for ‘plus’ then ‘dih dih dih diiiih diiiih’ for ‘one.’ These beeping tones are presented to the subject sleeping in the sleep laboratory. And they incorporate this stimulation into their dream. For example, in their dream, they are at a bus station and there’s a ticket machine and it is beeping. And they realize, ‘Okay, this is the message from the waking world and I have to understand what math problem this is.’

    So they decode this in their dream and figure out, ‘It’s three plus one. Now I have to send the answer to this question.’ And they do this either by facial movements or by moving their eyes left and right. So in this case, the answer is four. So they move their eyes four times left and right, which can be recorded in the sleep laboratory. That’s how this communication in the German case worked.

    Other labs, the French and American labs and also the Dutch lab, they were just using spoken language. So they asked the participant, ‘What is three plus one?’ And the participant incorporated this whole spoken text into their dream, so maybe as some sort of narrator voice like in a movie. The French team also used normal questions. For example, ‘Do you like chocolate?’

    What was the main finding?
    KA: The main finding was that it is possible to interact with a sleeping person, to exchange messages . . . and have the answer in real time, without [the dreamer] waking up, transferred back to the sleep laboratory experimenter. And of course this has quite large implications. So this view that people are shut off from the waking world during sleep, this has to be updated. This is basically a new method for investigating and understanding dreams.
     
  4. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    I've been interrogated by my girlfriend when I'm asleep...
     
  5. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Hope GF didn't find out your scientific secrets.:xf.grin:
     
  6. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Who knows what 'secrets' I gave up?
    I could have told her the Moon is made of cheese for all I know LOL
     
  7. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Earth's Magnetic Field Flipped 42,000 Years Ago. The Consequences Were Dramatic

    A global period of upheaval 42,000 years ago was the result of a reversal in Earth's magnetic field, new research has found.

    According to radiocarbon preserved in ancient tree rings, several centuries' worth of climate breakdown, mass extinctions, and even changes in human behaviour can be directly linked to the last time Earth's magnetic field changed its polarity.


    During this time, the Sun's magnetic field would also have weakened several times, as it, too, experienced magnetic reversal as part of its regular cycle. These periods see less sunspot and flare activity, but the Sun's magnetic field also provides Earth with a measure of protection from cosmic rays - so, during these solar minima, cosmic ray bombardment would have increased again.

    This weakened magnetic field would have triggered substantial changes in Earth's atmospheric ozone, with dramatic consequences, including electrical storms and spectacular aurorae, and climate change around the world.


    Curiously, it also coincides with some of our oldest cave art on record, prompting the researchers to hypothesise that the Adams Event could have driven humans indoors.

    "This sudden behavioural shift in very different parts of the world is consistent with an increasing or changed use of caves during the Adams Event, potentially as shelter from the increase of ultraviolet B, potentially to harmful levels, during grandsolar minima or solar energetic particles, which might also explain an increased use of red ochre sunscreen," they wrote in their paper.

    That's somewhat speculative, of course, but it suggests that a geomagnetic reversal can be a seriously world-altering event. And recent evidence has suggested that we're currently on the verge of another.

    EDIT
    End of Neanderthals linked to flip of Earth's magnetic poles, study suggests



     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  8. eyedomainous

    eyedomainous Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    ^^ I most enjoyed the vid from this news earlier today.

    Paleopocalypse! - Narrated by Stephen Fry
     
  9. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Scientists clone the first U.S. endangered species

    Scientists have cloned the first U.S. endangered species, a black-footed ferret duplicated from the genes of an animal that died over 30 years ago.

    The slinky predator named Elizabeth Ann, born Dec. 10 and announced Thursday, is cute as a button. But watch out — unlike the domestic ferret foster mom who carried her into the world, she’s wild at heart.

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    Elizabeth Ann was born and is being raised at a Fish and Wildlife Service black-footed ferret breeding facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. She’s a genetic copy of a ferret named Willa who died in 1988 and whose remains were frozen in the early days of DNA technology.

    Cloning eventually could bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon. For now, the technique holds promise for helping endangered species including a Mongolian wild horse that was cloned and last summer born at a Texas facility.


     
  10. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Dolphins have similar personality traits to humans, study finds

    Curiosity and sociability among traits found, despite dolphins having evolved separately for millions of years


    Dolphins have developed a number of similar personality traits to humans, despite having evolved in vastly different environments, researchers have found.

    A study, published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, looked at 134 male and female bottlenose dolphins from eight facilities across the world, with each dolphin’s personality being assessed by staff at the facilities. The results of the study found a convergence of certain personality traits, especially curiosity and sociability.

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    The study has aided researchers in understanding how certain human personality traits developed independently of immediate environments. These similarities were found despite dolphins having evolved in a completely different environment from primates, with the last common ancestor living about 95m years ago.

    He said: “Dolphins, like many primates, have brains that are considerably larger than what their bodies require for basic bodily functions; this excess of brain matter essentially powers their ability to be intelligent, and intelligent species are often very curious.”
     
  11. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Drinking coffee impacts the structure of your brain, study finds

    Some drink it to stay awake, others just because they like it. Either way, coffee and other caffeine-based products remain very popular. People have debated the effects caffeine intake has on the body for years. Recent research showed that drinking coffee is good for the entire body, not just for giving your brain a boost, as long as you don’t go overboard. But a brand new study from Switzerland delivers less optimistic news about the direct effect of coffee on brain structure.

    According to the new study, regular caffeine consumption leads to a reduction in gray matter, especially in a brain region that handles memory. The side effects are transitory, however, and they don’t seem to impact memory. In fact, quitting coffee for 10 days appears to be enough to restore the gray matter volume.
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    20 healthy young individuals were chosen for the study and all of them were regular coffee drinkers. They were given tablets over two 10-day periods. During one period of the study, the pills contained caffeine. During the other period, they were placebos. 10 of the volunteers started on caffeine before switching to placebo, and the other 10 started on the placebo and then moved to caffeine. The study was a double-blind, randomized, cross-over research project, meaning the researchers and the volunteers had no idea what they were getting, but all the subjects went through both phases of the research protocol.


    The researchers found that sleep was not impacted by caffeine intake. The depth of sleep was similar regardless of whether the volunteers consumed caffeine pills or a placebo.

    But they found a significant difference in gray matter. After 10 days of placebo, the gray matter volume was greater than it was at the end of the 10-day period with caffeine tablets. Gray matter refers to the parts of the brain made of nerve cells’ bodies. It’s present towards the exterior regions of the brain, and it’s responsible for everything that happens with the body. Various regions of the brain’s gray matter control movement, speech, emotions, memory, and more. Conversely, white matter includes the neural pathways, which are nerve cell extensions that act as connectors to other nervous system regions.


     
  12. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    New plant-based plastics can be chemically recycled with near-perfect efficiency

    German chemists have developed two sustainable plastic alternatives to high-density polyethylene that can be chemically recycled more easily and nearly 10 times as efficiently, thanks to "Break points" engineered into their molecular structures.

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    The plastic compounds created by Mecking and his colleagues had chemical bonds that could be more easily broken so chemically recycling them would be more effective.

    Chemically recycling the two materials, which were forms of polyester and polycarbonate, required placing them in ethanol or methanol with a catalyst at only 120 degrees Celsius, or 150 degrees without the catalyst. The researchers then cooled and recrystallized the plastic before filtering it out. In the case of the polycarbonate, 96% of the initial material was recovered.

    In the new research, the chemists found that the recycling process worked when the plastic contained dye or fillers such as carbon fibers, both of which cause challenges in mechanical recycling. The plastics were also successfully recovered when pieces of other plastics were included in the alcohol solvent.

    Plant oils were chosen as starting materials for synthesizing the plastics primarily because of their useful long chains. They are also more sustainably sourced than the crude oil and other fossil fuels used to produce most of the world’s plastic material.





     
  13. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Scientists seem to think there is a good chance dogs are self aware.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-82309-x

    Abstract
    Mental representations of one’s own body provide useful reference when negotiating physical environmental challenges. Body-awareness is a neuro-ontogenetic precursor for higher order self-representation, but there is a lack of an ecologically valid experimental approach to it among nonhuman species. We tested dogs (N = 32) in the ‘body as an obstacle’ task. They had to pick up and give an object to their owner, whilst standing on a small mat. In the test condition we attached the object to the mat, thus the dogs had to leave the mat because otherwise they could not lift the object. Dogs came off the mat more frequently and sooner in the test condition, than in the main control condition, where the object was attached to the ground. This is the first convincing evidence of body awareness through the understanding of the consequence of own actions in a species where previously no higher-order self-representation capacity was found. We urge for an ecologically valid approach, and following of bottom-up methods, in studying modularly constructed self-representation


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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021 at 8:11 AM
  14. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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  15. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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  16. Cannuck

    Cannuck 420 friendly VIP

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  17. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    People with extremist views less able to do complex mental tasks, research suggests

    Cambridge University team say their findings could be used to spot people at risk from radicalisation

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    Our brains hold clues for the ideologies we choose to live by, according to research, which has suggested that people who espouse extremist attitudes tend to perform poorly on complex mental tasks.

    Researchers from the University of Cambridge sought to evaluate whether cognitive disposition – differences in how information is perceived and processed – sculpt ideological world-views such as political, nationalistic and dogmatic beliefs, beyond the impact of traditional demographic factors like age, race and gender.

    The study, built on previous research, included more than 330 US-based participants aged 22 to 63 who were exposed to a battery of tests – 37 neuropsychological tasks and 22 personality surveys – over the course of two weeks.

    The tasks were engineered to be neutral, not emotional or political – they involved, for instance, memorising visual shapes. The researchers then used computational modelling to extract information from that data about the participant’s perception and learning, and their ability to engage in complex and strategic mental processing.

    Overall, the researchers found that ideological attitudes mirrored cognitive decision-making, according to the study published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

    A key finding was that people with extremist attitudes tended to think about the world in black and white terms, and struggled with complex tasks that required intricate mental steps, said lead author Dr Leor Zmigrod at Cambridge’s department of psychology.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science...-to-do-complex-mental-tasks-research-suggests
     
  18. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Scientists Discover 'Ingredients For Life' in 3.5 Billion-Year-Old Rocks in Australia

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    Researchers have discovered organic molecules trapped in incredibly ancient rock formations in Australia, revealing what they say is the first detailed evidence of early chemical ingredients that could have underpinned Earth's primeval microbial life-forms.

    The discovery, made in the 3.5-billion-year-old Dresser Formation of Western Australia's Pilbara Craton, adds to a significant body of research pointing to ancient life in this part of the world – which represents one of only two pristine, exposed deposits of land on Earth dating back to the Archean Eon.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/scient...fe-in-3-5-billion-year-old-rocks-in-australia
     
  19. Sutruk

    Sutruk Top Contributor VIP

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    Watch Video From NASA’s Perseverance Rover Landing on Mars

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/22/science/mars-landing-nasa-video.html

    "On Monday, NASA released a video taken by the agency’s Perseverance spacecraft as it dropped through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday last week, ending with the successful arrival of the rover on Mars’s surface. It is the first video of its kind sent back to Earth from the planet.

    It has taken a while for the full video to make its way to Earth — the same frustration that many people have experienced while waiting to download huge files. There is no high-speed internet connection between Earth and Mars. Instead, the data had to be relayed through orbiting spacecraft passing overhead. The speed at which the data is transmitted would have been considered fast by internet users on Earth a couple of decades ago, but today the upload rate can seem glacial, especially when the file is a high-resolution video."
     
  20. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    First audio from Mars by Perseverance rover.

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/...rovides-front-row-seat-to-landing-first-audio

    New video from NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted, and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. A microphone on the rover also has provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars.

     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 3:41 AM
  21. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Astrophysicists create the most accurate 'flat map' of Earth ever

    Here are two pancake maps of Earth.

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    Earth is a sphere, so how can it be accurately portrayed on a 2D map? Simply flatten Earth into two pancakes, one depicting the Northern Hemisphere and the other the Southern, with the equator running around the edge, a new study finds.

    These two "pancakes" represent the most accurate flat map of Earth ever made, the study researchers said. Unlike other flat maps, the new circular map doesn't downsize or supersize the area of certain oceans or landmasses — for instance, many 2D maps depict Greenland as about the same size as Africa, when in fact Africa is 14 times larger, Scientific American reported.

    https://www.livescience.com/pancake-earth-flat-map.html
     
  22. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Dogs synchronize their behavior with children, but not as much as with adults, study finds

    Dogs synchronize their behavior with the children in their family, but not as much as they do with adults, a new study from Oregon State University researchers found.

    “The great news is that this study suggests dogs are paying a lot of attention to the kids that they live with,” said Oregon State animal behaviorist Monique Udell, the lead author of the study. “They are responsive to them and, in many cases, behaving in synchrony with them, indicators of positive affiliation and a foundation for building strong bonds.


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    One interesting thing we have observed is that dogs are matching their child’s behavior less frequently than what we have seen between dogs and adult caretakers, which suggests that while they may view children as social companions, there are also some differences that we need to understand better.”
     
  23. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    For only the second time, astronomers have linked an elusive particle called a high-energy neutrino to an object outside our galaxy. Using ground- and space-based facilities, including NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, they traced the neutrino to a black hole tearing apart a star, a rare cataclysmic occurrence called a tidal disruption event.

     
  24. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    NASA’S Perseverance Rover’s First 360 View of Mars (Official)



    This video shows the first 360-degree view of the landing site of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars, as captured by the rover’s color Navigation Cameras, or Navcams. The Navcams are on the remote sensing mast (or “head”) of the rover. Perseverance possesses the most cameras of any Mars rover to date, with 19 on the rover. Perseverance landed on Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. These images were obtained on February 20, 2021.

    A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.

    For more information about Perseverance, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/perseverance
    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

     
  25. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Seasonal Variation in Daylight Influences Brain Function

    A Finnish research group has studied how seasons influence the function of the brain. Researchers at the Turku PET Centre showed that the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience.

    Seasons have an impact on our emotions and social life. Negative emotions are more subdued in the summer, whereas seasonal affective disorder rates peak during the darker winter months. Opioids regulate both mood and sociability in the brain.


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    In the study conducted at the Turku PET Centre, Finland, researchers compared how the length of daylight hours affected the opioid receptors in humans and rats.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 3:32 PM

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