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

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  1. Sutruk

    Sutruk Top Contributor VIP

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    In two decades, it triggered the extinction of 75% of life on Earth... what a slam!

    "The dust is all that remains of the 7-mile-wide asteroid that slammed into the planet millions of years ago, triggering the extinction of 75% of life on Earth, including all nonavian dinosaurs

    Researchers estimate that the dust kicked up by the impact circulated in the atmosphere for no more than a couple of decades—which, Gulick points out, helps time how long extinction took.

    "If you're actually going to put a clock on extinction 66 million years ago, you could easily make an argument that it all happened within a couple of decades, which is basically how long it takes for everything to starve to death," he said.
     
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  2. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Yes, on a much smaller scale humanity witnessed the eruption of Krakatoa causing crops to fail in Europe during the aptly named Dark Ages. That comparatively small eruption caused untold devastation. Now times that by a thousand...
     
  3. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Scientists begin building highly accurate digital twin of our planet

    A digital twin of our planet is to simulate the Earth system in future. It is intended to support policy-makers in taking appropriate measures to better prepare for extreme events. A new strategy paper by European scientists and ETH Zurich computer scientists shows how this can be achieved.


    [​IMG]



    To become climate neutral by 2050, the European Union launched two ambitious programmes: "Green Deal" and "DigitalStrategy". As a key component of their successful implementation, climate scientists and computer scientists launched the "Destination Earth" initiative, which will start in mid-2021 and is expected to run for up to ten years. During this period, a highly accurate digital model of the Earth is to be created, a digital twin of the Earth, to map climate development and extreme events as accurately as possible in space and time.

    Observational data will be continuously incorporated into the digital twin in order to make the digital Earth model more accurate for monitoring the evolution and predict possible future trajectories. But in addition to the observation data conventionally used for weather and climate simulations, the researchers also want to integrate new data on relevant human activities into the model. The new "Earth system model" will represent virtually all processes on the Earth's surface as realistically as possible, including the influence of humans on water, food and energy management, and the processes in the physical Earth system.
     
  4. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Ancient art reveals extinct goose
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    As a University of Queensland researcher examined a 4600-year-old Egyptian painting last year, a speckled goose caught his eye.

    UQ scientist Dr Anthony Romilio said the strange but beautiful bird was quite unlike modern red-breasted geese (Branta ruficollis), with distinct, bold colours and patterns on its body, face, breast, wings and legs.

    “The painting, Meidum Geese, has been admired since its discovery in the 1800s and described as ‘Egypt’s Mona Lisa’,” he said.


    Dr Romilio said the artwork he examined was from the tomb of Nefermaat and Itet at Meidum and was now in Cairo’s Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.

    “Art provides cultural insight, but also a valuable, graphical record of animals unknown today,” he said.
     
  5. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Exercise generates immune cells in bone

    A specialized type of bone-cell progenitor has been identified in the bone marrow, and shown to support the generation of immune cells called lymphocytes in response to movement.

    It is pretty crowded in the bone marrow. Many types of stem and progenitor cell, including progenitors of immune cells, coexist side-by-side1,2 and are supported by nearby cells that generate specialized protective environments for the stem cells, called niches. The interplay between the cells of the niche, also known as stromal cells, and early progenitors of immune cells in the bone marrow is poorly understood. Insight into how this interplay is coordinated would help us to better understand how progenitors of immune cells are generated. Writing in Nature, Shen et al.3 have solved part of the puzzle by identifying a role for movement in stimulating communication between one type of stromal cell and immune progenitors in mice, ultimately helping the animals to fight infection.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Powerful X-Rays Reveal Unique Differences in Neurons From People With Schizophrenia

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    Capturing details of brain cells on a nanometre scale, researchers have uncovered evidence that the neurons of people with schizophrenia could have unique differences in thickness and curvature, and this might even account for some of their symptoms.

    The finding comes from an analysis on just a small handful of donors, and is a long way from demonstrating how contrasting nerve cell structures might explain the neurological condition.

    But as our understanding of these unusual characteristics grows, it could lead to better methods of treatment, helping give tens of millions around the world a better quality of life.

    The study, led by researchers from Tokai University in Japan, made use of two different X-ray microscope technologies, one at the SPring-8 light source facility in Japan, the other at the US Department of Energy's Advanced Photon Source (APS).

    https://www.sciencealert.com/powerf...tures-unique-details-of-schizophrenia-neurons
     
  7. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    The interactive viewer does not appear to be working for me :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  8. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Rare bird: 'Half-male, half-female' cardinal snapped in Pennsylvania

    A bird that appears to be half-female and half-male has been photographed in Pennsylvania by a birder who rushed out with his camera when he heard a friend had spotted the northern cardinal.

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    Though not unheard of, mixed sex birds are rare.

    Male cardinals are bright red but females are pale brown, suggesting this specimen may be a mix of the two sexes.

    Retired ornithologist Jamie Hill, 69, told the BBC it was a "once-in-a-lifetime, one-in-a-million encounter".

     
  9. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    I was very intrigued by this picture so did a quick bit of research. They are known as 'half-siders'. I found an old picture of what appears to be the same species but with colours reversed!

    [​IMG]

    Explanation on how this occurs in the following article:
    https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/a-unique-feather-color-mutation/
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  10. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    A Major Ocean Current Could Be on The Verge of a Devastating 'Tipping Point'

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    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) sea currents are vital in transporting heat from the tropics to the Northern Hemisphere, but new research suggests climate change might knock the AMOC out of action much sooner than we anticipated.

    That could have profound, large-scale impacts on the planet in terms of weather patterns, upending agricultural practices, biodiversity, and economic stability across the vast areas of the world that the AMOC influences.

    The problem is the rate at which Earth is warming up and melting the ice in the Arctic: according to the researchers' new models, this speed of temperature increase means the risk of hitting the tipping point for the AMOC going dormant is now an urgent concern.

    "It is worrying news," says physicist Johannes Lohmann, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "Because if this is true, it reduces our safe operating space."

    Lohmann and his colleague Peter Ditlevsen adapted an existing ocean climate change model to study the consequences of an increased rate of freshwater input into the North Atlantic Ocean, driven by the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheets.

    The model showed that a faster rate of freshwater change could cancel out the AMOC much sooner. In a rate-induced tipping scenario like this, it's the rate at which change is occurring, rather than a specific threshold, that's most important – and once the tipping point is reached, there's no going back.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/a-majo...n-the-verge-of-a-climate-change-tipping-point
     
  11. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    This article made me think of a book I read 30-years ago titled Stark, by Ben Elton.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stark_(novel)

    It wasn't that well written being his first published novel after he worked on The Young Ones and Black Adder, but the premise was intriguing in that the Earth went down hill very very quickly after the tipping point was reached.

    There were also some very rich billionaires who were building space arks to save themselves and the select few.

    It was all sci-fi fantasy 30-years ago, but it has just hit me how seriously prophetic that book was!


    EDIT: I've just found an interesting article from 2020 - a rereading Ben Elton’s Stark as prophecy:

    https://theconversation.com/the-ear...rereading-ben-eltons-stark-as-prophecy-147256
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  12. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Researchers capture how materials break apart following an extreme shock

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    Understanding how materials deform and catastrophically fail when impacted by a powerful shock is crucial in a wide range of fields, including astrophysics, materials science and aerospace engineering. But until recently, the role of voids, or tiny pores, in such a rapid process could not be determined, requiring measurements to be taken at millionths of a billionth of a second.

    Now an international research team has used ultrabright X-rays to make the first observations of how these voids evolve and contribute to damage in copper following impact by an extreme shock. The team, including scientists from the University of Miami, the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, Imperial College London and the universities of Oxford and York published their results in Science Advances.

    "Whether these materials are in a satellite hit by a micrometeorite, a spacecraft entering the atmosphere at hypersonic speed or a jet engine exploding, they have to fully absorb all that energy without catastrophically failing," says lead author James Coakley, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Miami. "We're trying to understand what happens in a material during this type of extremely rapid failure. This experiment is the first round of attempting to do that, by looking at how the material compresses and expands during deformation before it eventually breaks apart."

    https://phys.org/news/2021-02-capture-materials-extreme.html
     
  13. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    A prototype of an intelligent underground robotic system for urban environments

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    The European research project BADGER, coordinated by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), has presented a prototype of an autonomous underground robot with intelligent navigation for urban environments.

    This robotic system is composed of two main elements: a surface vehicle with a geo-radar that is used to scan the ground, so that subterranean obstacles can be detected; and an autonomous underground robot that does the drilling work. "Once the subsoil has been scanned by the rover, using a software developed as part of the project, a work plan is drawn up and an entry and exit point for the work to be carried out is established. The next task consists of taking the robot to the place where the work will be carried out and using it to drill from one point to another," explains the BADGER project's technical manager, Santiago Martínez de la Casa, researcher at the RoboticsLab in the UC3M's Department of Systems Engineering and Automation.



    https://techxplore.com/news/2021-02-prototype-intelligent-underground-robotic-urban.html
     
  14. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    More on that UFO encounter over New Mexico on Feb 21 2021.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/mi...ect-ufo-spotted-over-new-mexico-fbi-confirms/

     
  15. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Successful engine test brings Australian space launch capability a step closer

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    An Australian research consortium has successfully tested a next generation propulsion system that could enable high-speed flight and space launch services.

    While conventional rocket engines operate by burning fuel at constant pressure, RDEs produce thrust by rapidly detonating their propellant in a ring-shaped combustor. Once started, the engine is in a self-sustaining cycle of detonation waves that travel around the combustor at supersonic speeds greater than 2.5km a second.

    Using this type of combustion has the potential to significantly increase engine efficiency and performance, with applications in rocket propulsion and high-speed airbreathing engines—similar to ramjets.

    Benefits over existing engines include better fuel efficiency, simpler flight systems and a more compact engine, allowing for larger payloads and reduced launch costs.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-02-successful-australian-space-capability-closer.html
     
  16. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Artificial sweeteners may promote antibiotic resistance

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    Common artificial sweeteners such as saccharine and aspartame could speed up the spread of antibiotic resistance, according to University of Queensland research.

    More than 117,000 tonnes of artificial sweeteners are consumed across the world each year and are accepted as safe food additives, but their effects on antibiotic resistance had been unknown.

    Associate Professor Jianhua Guo, from UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre, said scientists investigated if artificial sweeteners would encourage the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between bacteria.


    The research team tested four commonly consumed artificial sweeteners, including saccharine, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium.

    UQ PhD student Zhigang Yu said the sweeteners significantly accelerated the exchange of bacteria through a process known as conjugation.

    https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2021/02/artificial-sweeteners-may-promote-antibiotic-resistance
     
  17. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Ultraviolet ‘television’ for animals helps us better understand them

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    University of Queensland scientists have developed an ultraviolet ‘television’ display designed to help researchers better understand how animals see the world.

    Until now, standard monitors on devices like televisions or computer screens have been used to display visual stimuli in animal vision studies, but none have been able to test ultraviolet vision – the ability to see wavelengths of light shorter than 400 nanometres.

    Dr Samuel Powell from the Queensland Brain Institute's Marshall lab said this new technology will help unveil the secrets of sight in all sorts of animals, such as fish, birds and insects.

    “Human TVs generally use three colours – red, green and blue – to create images, but our newly-developed displays have five, including violet and ultraviolet,” Dr Powell said.

    “Using this display, it’s now possible to show animals simple shapes, to test their ability to tell colours apart, or their perception of motion by moving dot patterns.

    https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/...sion’-animals-helps-us-better-understand-them
     
  18. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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  19. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Conspiracy theories start to take hold at age 14, study suggests

    Conspiracy theories tend to prosper in times of crisis. When people are looking for ways to cope with uncertainty and threat, conspiracy theories may seem to offer simple answers. However, instead of making things better, conspiracy theories often make things worse.

    Over the course of history, conspiracy theories have been linked to conflict, prejudice, genocide and the rejection of important scientific advances. Recently, belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories (such as that the virus is a hoax) have been linked to vaccine rejection and reluctance to take action to stop the spread of the virus.


    Using this questionnaire, we found that adolescents in the UK seem most likely to start believing in conspiracy theories around the age of 14. In one of our studies, we found that as adolescents reach around this age, their conspiracy beliefs were higher than in younger age groups. In another study, we found that 18-year-olds displayed higher belief in conspiracy theories compared to a mixed‐age sample of older adults. It therefore seems that adolescence could be a peak time for conspiracy theorising.

    Between the ages of 11-14 and 14-16, belief in conspiracy theories increased from an average score of 3.72 to 4.67. Young people aged 16-17 also displayed a higher average (4.39) than the younger children. Furthermore, participants aged 18 reported higher conspiracy beliefs (4.06) than a mixed-age sample of older adults (3.81). Around the age of 14, conspiracy beliefs therefore appear to peak, and remain heightened into early adulthood, but then they appear to plateau.


    Why conspiracy beliefs are taking hold

    Many adolescents have been home schooled and isolated from their peer groups for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore not surprising that their social media use has significantly increased during this time. This could be the ideal situation for conspiracy theories to flourish in younger groups.
     
  20. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Titan’s Atmosphere Recreated in an Earth Laboratory

    Beyond Earth, the general scientific consensus is that the best place to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life is Mars. However, it is by no means the only place. Aside from the many extrasolar planets that have been designated as “potentially-habitable,” there are plenty of other candidates right here in our Solar System. These include the many icy satellites that are thought to have interior oceans that could harbor life.

    [​IMG]


    Among them is Titan, Saturn’s largest moon that has all kinds of organic chemistry taking place between its atmosphere and surface. For some time, scientists have suspected that the study of Titan’s atmosphere could yield vital clues to the early stages of the evolution of life on Earth. Thanks to new research led by tech-giant IBM, a team of researchers has managed to recreate atmospheric conditions on Titan in a laboratory.



    Their research is described in a paper titled “Imaging Titan’s Organic Haze at Atomic Scale,” which recently appeared in the Feb. 12th issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The research team was led by Dr. Fabian Schulz and Dr. Julien Maillard and included many colleagues from IBM Research-Zurich, the University of Paris-Saclay, the University of Rouen at Mont-Saint-Aignan, and Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society.

    What is particularly interesting is the fact that scientists believe that roughly 2.8 billion years ago, Earth’s atmosphere may have been similar. This coincides with the Mesoarchean Era, a period where photosynthetic cyanobacteria created the first reef systems and slowly converted Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide to oxygen gas (eventually leading to its current balance of nitrogen and oxygen).
     
  21. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Light unbound: Data limits could vanish with new optical antennas

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a new way to harness properties of light waves that can radically increase the amount of data they carry. They demonstrated the emission of discrete twisting laser beams from antennas made up of concentric rings roughly equal to the diameter of a human hair, small enough to be placed on computer chips.

    [​IMG]

    The new work, reported in a paper published Feb. 25 in the journal Nature Physics, throws wide open the amount of information that can be multiplexed, or simultaneously transmitted, by a coherent light source. A common example of multiplexing is the transmission of multiple telephone calls over a single wire, but there had been fundamental limits to the number of coherent twisted light waves that could be directly multiplexed.

    “It’s the first time that lasers producing twisted light have been directly multiplexed,” said study principal investigator Boubacar Kanté, the Chenming Hu Associate Professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. “We’ve been experiencing an explosion of data in our world, and the communication channels we have now will soon be insufficient for what we need. The technology we are reporting overcomes current data capacity limits through a characteristic of light called the orbital angular momentum. It is a game-changer with applications in biological imaging, quantum cryptography, high-capacity communications and sensors.”
     
  22. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    I think at the onset of puberty, young people begin formulating an internal framework of how and why the world works and their future within that world, but don't have the knowledge or experience to be able to evaluate and filter the bad information from the good.

    Still, the good information is out there and not hard to find online.

    Keep learning and eventually the internal framework of good sound knowledge should counteract the crazy theories.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  23. Cannuck

    Cannuck 420 friendly VIP

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    The Feynman Learning Technique is a great method to develop mastery over sets of information. But learning doesn’t happen in isolation. We learn not only from the books we read but also the people we talk to and the various positions, ideas, and opinions we are exposed to:

    Step 1: Pretend to teach it to a child
    Step 2: Identify gaps in your explanation
    Step 3. Organize and simplify
    Step 4: Transmit (optional)

    To "know" things in a scientific sense, the first trick has to do with deciding whether someone else truly knows their stuff or is mimicking others. (I'm quoting, lol :xf.wink:)

    The second trick has to do with dealing with uncertainty. Very few ideas in life are absolutely true. What you want is to get as close to the truth as you can with the information available. (Beware Fake news :cautious:)

    Feynman’s third trick is the realization that as we investigate whether something is true or not, new evidence and new methods of experimentation should show the effect of getting stronger and stronger, not weaker.

    The fourth trick is to ask the right question, which is not “Could this be the case?” but “Is this actually the case?” :xf.confused:

    The fifth trick is you cannot judge the probability of something happening after it’s already happened. That’s cherry-picking. You have to run the experiment forward for it to mean anything.

    The sixth trick is we must use proper statistical sampling to know whether or not we know what we’re talking about.

    The last trick is to realize that many errors people make simply come from lack of information. They don’t even know they’re missing the tools they need. It’s hard to know when you’re missing information that would change your mind. :unsure:

    https://fs.blog/2021/02/feynman-learning-technique/
     
  24. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Is this a technique that Richard Feynman actually taught, or an adaption of his concepts by a third party?

    EDIT:

    Richard had another saying that I always appreciated:
    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

    Incidentally, I just came across his official site - run by the Estate of Richard Feynman.
    http://www.richardfeynman.com/
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  25. Cannuck

    Cannuck 420 friendly VIP

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    I've simplified the main points, but from all accounts (besides the rubber ducky, lol) it's legit (y)
     

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