Identical Twins who married identical twins say sons are genetically brothers and cousins
Identical twins can be impossible to tell apart, well try and get your head around identical twins marrying identical twins and then having sons at the same time.
The boys who are just three months apart in age are 'quaternary twins’ – which means that, while the babies are technically cousins, they’re also genetically brothers.The one-year-olds share the same DNA which means they are genetically brothers and the family is one of just 300 quaternary families in the world. More
Latest Covid Boosters Are Set to Roll Out Before Human Testing Is Completed
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize new Covid-19 booster shots this week without a staple of its normal decision-making process: data from a study showing whether the shots were safe and worked in humans.
The shots, modified to target the latest versions of the Omicron variant, won’t have finished testing in humans when the FDA makes its decisions.
Instead, the agency plans to assess the shots using data from other sources such as research in mice, the profiles of the original vaccines and the performance of earlier iterations of boosters targeting older forms of Omicron. More
Russia Says They Plan to Leave International Space Station after 2024
According to Russia’s news agency Tass, leaders at Roscosmos have decided to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024. The report said that by that time, “all obligations to partners will be fulfilled.” Additionally, Russia said they want to build their own space station.
Tass said the decision was announced today (July 26, 2022) during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the newly appointed Director General of Roscosmos Yuri Borisov. Borisov recently replaced the long-time but controversial Dmitri Rogozin, who after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, bristled at US and European opposition to the attack and threatened to drop the ISS on the countries who supported Ukraine. More
Murder Hornets Get a New Name, and for Good Reasons
A lot of insects have common names that make them easier to refer to than their hard-to-pronounce official science names. Vespa mandarinia, widely referred to as the "murder hornet," was known by the common name Asian giant hornet. The Entomological Society of America hopes that moniker will become a thing of the past.
On Monday, the ESA announced that Vespa mandarinia has been given the new common name of northern giant hornet. The organization hadn't previously adopted a formal common name for the insects. ESA said the new name will be more accurate and will avoid feeding into anti-Asian prejudice. More
Amazon shows off Alexa feature that mimics the voices of your dead relatives
Amazon has revealed an experimental Alexa feature that allows the AI assistant to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives. The company demoed the feature at its annual MARS conference, showing a video in which a child asks Alexa to read a bedtime story in the voice of his dead grandmother.
“As you saw in this experience, instead of Alexa’s voice reading the book, it’s the kid’s grandma’s voice,” said Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI. Prasad introduced the clip by saying that adding “human attributes” to AI systems was increasingly important “in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love.” More
Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression, UCL scientists find
Scientists have called into question the widespread use of antidepressants after a major review found “no clear evidence” that low serotonin levels are responsible for depression.
Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically since the 1990s, with one in six adults and 2% of teenagers in England now being prescribed them. Millions more people around the world regularly use antidepressants.
“Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence,” said the study’s lead author, Joanna Moncrieff, a professor of psychiatry at University College London and consultant psychiatrist at North East London NHS foundation trust. More
Take a leisurely drive through automotive history in Ford’s newly digitized archive
Ford is officially 119 years old, and in celebration, the Blue Oval is launching an online archive so car enthusiasts can sift through its long and storied past.
The Ford Heritage Vault is a digital database that contains more than 5,000 curated photographs and product brochures from Ford and Lincoln vehicles, spanning from the company’s founding in 1903 to its centennial in 2003.
The vault allows anyone to view and download the images for “personal use, free of charge,” Ford says. The automaker will update the archive with more automotive ephemera over time, so the vault will only grow in size. More
How species form: What the tangled history of polar bear and brown bear relations tells us
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new study is providing an enhanced look at the intertwined evolutionary histories of polar bears and brown bears.
Becoming separate species did not completely stop these animals from mating with each other. Scientists have known this for some time, but the new research draws on an expanded dataset — including DNA from an ancient polar bear tooth — to tease out more detail. The story that emerges reveals complexities similar to those that complicate human evolutionary history. More
Say hi to Proteus, Amazon’s most advanced warehouse robot yet
Amazon has unveiled its first fully autonomous mobile robot designed to help out at its distributions centers, though it’s not clear if it’ll be ready in time for the company’s fast-approaching and super-busy Prime Day shopping event.
The new robot, called Proteus, is a low-slung, wheel-based machine that trundles about on wheels. At first glance, and even second, it looks very much like a robot vacuum, but this device performs transportation tasks rather than cleaning duties. And just like a robot vacuum, Proteus uses sensors to help it navigate and avoid obstacles, including mobile ones such as humans. More
Can we think without using language?
Humans have been expressing thoughts with language for tens (or perhaps hundreds) of thousands of years. It's a hallmark of our species — so much so that scientists once speculated that the capacity for language was the key difference between us and other animals. And we've been wondering about each other's thoughts for as long as we could talk about them.
"The 'penny for your thoughts' kind of question is, I think, as old as humanity," Russell Hurlburt, a research psychologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who studies how people formulate thoughts, told Live Science. But how do scientists study the relationship between thought and language? And is it possible to think without words? More
US Air Force tests its hypersonic missile and it's five times greater than the speed of sound
The U.S. Air Force has successfully completed the test of its AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon or ARRW on May 14, the military outfit said in a press release.
Hypersonic weapons are the next frontier of warfare. Capable of traveling at speeds greater than five times that of sound, these missiles can cause much havoc. Last July, Russia claimed that it had successfully tested its hypersonic missile, Tsirkon, in a matter of just two years after it was announced.
Earlier this year, North Korea, too, announced the successful demonstration of a hypersonic gliding warhead. During the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia claimed to have used them. While these claims are hard to verify, the U.S. military's efforts have been lagging behind its adversaries in this domain, and work has been afoot to set this straight. More
Scientists grew living human skin around a robotic finger
The Terminator may be one step closer to reality. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have built a robotic finger that, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular cyborg assassin, is covered in living human skin.
The goal is to someday build robots that look like real people — albeit for more altruistic applications.
Super realistic-looking robots could more seamlessly interact with humans in medical care and service industries, say biohybrid engineer Shoji Takeuchi and his colleagues June 9 in Matter. (Whether cyborgs masked in living tissue would be more congenial or creepy is probably in the eye of the beholder.) More
The Roe v. Wade leak is bringing an onslaught of medical misinformation and dangerous DIY interventions
Since news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court is now in favor of overturning the historic Roe v. Wade decision, which would ban or significantly restrict abortion access in at least 22 states, the internet has been awash with misinformation.
Everything from fake narratives about women’s fertility, to “DIY” abortion alternatives, to conspiracy theories and misconceptions about reproductive health has permeated TikTok, Instagram and Twitter. The majority of the American public do not want to see an overturning of Roe v. Wade. For those who might need to circumvent state-imposed abortion bans, mail-order abortion pills — or abortifacients — are a key strategy.
Abortion advocates campaign for them as a way to help millions of people safely end unwanted pregnancies themselves. But among patients and doctors alike, public knowledge about abortion in the U.S. is lacking. A study conducted in 2020 showed that 36% of respondents had never heard of a medication abortion, made up of mifepristone and misoprostol, the drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to induce one. More
Road to Table: Wyoming's Got a New App for Claiming Roadkill
LANDER, Wyo. — The aroma of sizzling meat in melted butter wafts from a cast iron pan while Jaden Bales shows his favorite way to cook up the best steak cuts from a big game animal.
The deep red backstrap pieces, similar to filet mignon of beef, are organic and could hardly be more local. They're from a mule deer hit by a car just down the road from Bales' rustic home in a cottonwood grove beneath the craggy Wind River Range. Bales was able to claim the deer thanks to a new state of Wyoming mobile app that's helping get the meat from animals killed in fender benders from road to table and in the process making roads safer for critters. State wildlife and highway officials rolled out the app — possibly the first of its kind in the U.S. — this winter when Wyoming joined the 30 or so states that allow people to collect roadkill for food. More
Scientists create world’s biggest family tree linking 27 million people!
OXFORD, United Kingdom — The world’s biggest family tree linking around 27 million people has been created by scientists. The genetic model combines thousands of modern and prehistoric genomes, providing new insight into key events in human history.
The breakthrough is a major step towards mapping the entirety of human relationships, with a single lineage that traces the ancestry of all people on Earth. The family tree also has widespread implications for medical research, identifying genetic predictors of disease.
“We have basically built a huge family tree, a genealogy for all of humanity that models as exactly as we can the history that generated all the genetic variation we find in humans today. This genealogy allows us to see how every person’s genetic sequence relates to every other, along all the points of the genome,” says principal author Dr. Yan Wong in a university release. More
NASA's Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has captured dramatic footage of Phobos, Mars’ potato-shaped moon, crossing the face of the Sun. These observations can help scientists better understand the moon’s orbit and how its gravity pulls on the Martian surface, ultimately shaping the Red Planet’s crust and mantle.
Captured with Perseverance’s next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2, the 397th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, the eclipse lasted a little over 40 seconds – much shorter than a typical solar eclipse involving Earth’s Moon. (Phobos is about 157 times smaller than Earth’s Moon. Mars’ other moon, Deimos, is even smaller.) More
Love it or hate it, licorice might just hold the key to curing cancer
CHICAGO, Ill. — Offering a distinct, almost bitter flavor profile, licorice is a candy most people either love or hate. Well, just like medicine, a new study finds it might be wise to grin and bear the taste — because licorice could also be good for your health. Researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago say this polarizing candy that comes from a root may one day help prevent and even treat certain types of cancer.
Gnanasekar Munirathinam, an associate professor in the department of biomedical sciences at the College of Medicine Rockford, authored these remarkable findings while studying substances derived from the licorice plant Glycyrrhiza glabra. At that time, Prof. Munirathinam and his team were focusing specifically on the effect of licorice on prostate cancer. More
30-second COVID test proves just as accurate as a PCR test
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — An inexpensive COVID testing system could screen for the virus in just 30 seconds, researchers from the University of Florida say.
Their study reveals that the new device is just as accurate as a PCR test, which has become the gold standard during the pandemic — but takes up to 24 hours for results to arrive.
Moreover, researchers say the new device costs just $50 to build and is reusable — unlike similar rapid testing devices which are trying to cut down waiting times for COVID patients. “There is nothing available like it,” says Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.M.D., a professor in the UF College of Dentistry, in a university release. “It’s true point of care. It’s access to care. We think it will revolutionize diagnostics.” More
First ever recording of the moment someone dies reveals how our lives really do flash before us
A patient was being treated for epilepsy, hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG). The 87-year-old man's brain activity was being measured when he suddenly had a heart attack and died.
This meant the 15 minutes around his death was recorded on the EEG. In the 30 seconds either side of the patient's final heartbeat, an increase in very specific brain waves were spotted.
These waves, known as gamma oscillations, are linked to things like memory retrieval, meditation and dreaming. This could mean - although many more studies would need to take place - we might see a sort of film reel of our best memories as we die. More
NRAO and Optisys Partner Up to Produce 3D Devices for Radio Astronomy
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Recent advancements in 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) for metallic structures make it possible to print all-metal electromagnetic devices—like antennas and waveguides—on demand.
A new partnership between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Optisys, LLC, headquartered in West Valley City, Utah, will explore the potential for leveraging this technology for radio astronomy applications. In radio astronomy, the performance of antennas, waveguides, and other electromagnetic parts help determine the capability and sensitivity of radio telescopes and the quality of scientific data they deliver to researchers. The more capable and sensitive the antenna and other devices, the more scientists can learn about the Universe. NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory (CDL) is continuously testing new technologies in pursuit of building better telescopes. More
Chinese scientists create AI nanny to look after embryos in artificial womb
An artificial womb for fetuses to safely grow in, and a robotic nanny to monitor and take care of them.
All within the realm of possibility, say Chinese scientists, in what could be a breakthrough for the future of childbearing in a country facing its lowest birth rates in decades. That is, once the law allows the use of such technology.
Researchers in Suzhou, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, say they have developed an artificial intelligence system that can monitor and take care of embryos as they grow into fetuses in an artificial womb environment. This AI nanny is looking after a large number of animal embryos for now, they said in findings published in the domestic peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedical Engineering last month. More
Mystery surrounding Tutankhamun’s ‘space dagger’ made of metal from a METEORITE finally solved
The discovery backs a previous theory that the decorative shiv was gifted to King Tut’s grandfather from abroad.
The artefact's origins and the way it was manufactured remain one of the great mysteries surrounding Tut's grave goods. It's unusual in that it was made using a metal that the Egyptians would not begin to smelt for another 500 years: Iron.
In 2016, scientists determined that the chemical makeup of the 13-inch blade show that it was expertly crafted from an iron meteorite. Now an analysis from a team at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan has revealed that the object was likely made outside of Egypt. More
Water vapor detected on a 'super Neptune' planet
WASHINGTON - Scientists have discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of a recently discovered planet, NASA announced Thursday.
According to the agency, the planet, named TOI-674 b, is a bit bigger than Neptune and orbits a red-dwarf star about 150 light-years away — which is considered nearby in astronomical terms.
TOI-674 b is considered an exoplanet, or a planet around other stars, known to have water vapor in their atmospheres. The water vapor was discovered by an international team of scientists, led by Jonathan Brande of the University of Kansas, and included researchers from the NASA Ames Research Center and from IPAC and other research centers at Caltech. The discovery has been submitted to an academic journal. More
Our Language Has Gotten More Emotional. Why?
Language is getting less rational. That's the gist of new findings from researchers at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Indiana University. Their study—"The rise and fall of rationality in language," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America—found that the past 40 years have seen a shift from the language of rationality to the language of emotion.
The researchers looked at the language used in millions of English- and Spanish-language books published between 1850 and 2019, analyzing the use of 5,000 frequently used words. The rise of reasoning words like determine and conclusion and the decline of intuitive words like feel and believe could be seen starting around 1850 and lasting until the late 20th century. But over the past 40 years, this trend reversed, as words associated with intuition and emotion were used more frequently and words associated with fact-based arguments were used less frequently. More
Did Your Catalytic Converter Get Stolen? The Pandemic--and Rhodium--Could Share Some Blame
This is the most valuable metal on the planet.
More valuable than silver, gold, platinum, or even this jewelry. It’s this powder right here.
This jewelry is being treated with a thin coating of rhodium—a chemically inert, corrosion resistant metal. It protects the silver and gives it a nice shiny finish.
But you probably use rhodium, every single day, for another reason. Rhodium is a key ingredient in every car sold in the United States since around 1975. More
Scientists Have Captured Footage Of A Rare Fish That Can See Through Its Own Transparent Head
Scientists have obtained footage of a fish with a bulbous, translucent head and green orb-like eyes peering out through its forehead thousands of feet beneath the surface of Monterey Bay off the coast of California.
The barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma) is a strange organism that is rarely seen. Despite sending their remotely operated vehicles (ROV) on more than 5,600 dives in the fish’s habitat, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have only sighted the species nine times, MBARI tweeted on Dec. 9. More
What The Matrix Got Wrong About Cities of the Future
Like neo's pink, hairless body in The Matrix's great reveal, cities have been invaded by tubes for nearly their entire lives. Over the centuries, water pipes, gas pipes, steam pipes, electricity cables, and air ducts have crept across buildings and landscapes, coursing through walls, floors, and sidewalks on their way to making the modern world.
By a long margin, the water came first. Earthen conduits moved stormwater in Xi'an, China, millennia ago; lead tubes led drinking water under the stone-paved streets of classical Rome. In response to the waterborne pandemics of the 19th century, the modern European and North American city became defined by sewers and drains so extensive as to be beyond imagining. Today, when water tumbles out of the tap into your sink, it is but a cameo turn in an epic journey from faraway reservoir through final sewage treatment, across dozens—even hundreds—of miles, and months or years of time. More
NASA’s ‘Eyes on Asteroids’ Reveals Our Near-Earth Object Neighborhood
Through a new 3D real-time visualization tool, you can now explore the asteroids and comets that approach Earth’s orbital neighborhood – and the spacecraft that visit these objects – with a click or a swipe. NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids brings this data to any smartphone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection – no download required.
Thousands of asteroids and dozens of comets are discovered every single year, some of which – called near-Earth objects (NEOs) – follow orbits that pass through the inner solar system. Now totaling about 28,000, their numbers rising daily, these objects are tracked carefully by NASA-funded astronomers in case any might pose an impact threat to our planet.
The new web-based app depicts the orbits of every known NEO, providing detailed information on those objects. Using the slider at the bottom of the screen, you can travel quickly forward and backward through time to see their orbital motions. More
Cryptocurrency faces a quantum computing problem
Cryptocurrencies hold the potential to change finance, eliminating middlemen and bringing accounts to millions of unbanked people around the world. Quantum computers could upend the way pharmaceuticals and materials are designed by bringing their extraordinary power to the process.
Here's the problem: The blockchain accounting technology that powers cryptocurrencies could be vulnerable to sophisticated attacks and forged transactions if quantum computing matures faster than efforts to future-proof digital money.
Cryptocurrencies are secured by a technology called public key cryptography. The system is ubiquitous, protecting your online purchases and scrambling your communications for anyone other than the intended recipient. The technology works by combining a public key, one that anyone can see, with a private key that's for your eyes only. More
These Algorithms Look at X-Rays—and Somehow Detect Your Race
AMillions of dollars are being spent to develop artificial intelligence software that reads x-rays and other medical scans in hopes it can spot things doctors look for but sometimes miss, such as lung cancers. A new study reports that these algorithms can also see something doctors don’t look for on such scans: a patient’s race.
The study authors and other medical AI experts say the results make it more crucial than ever to check that health algorithms perform fairly on people with different racial identities. Complicating that task: The authors themselves aren’t sure what cues the algorithms they created use to predict a person’s race.
Evidence that algorithms can read race from a person’s medical scans emerged from tests on five types of imagery used in radiology research, including chest and hand x-rays and mammograms. The images included patients who identified as Black, white, and Asian. For each type of scan, the researchers trained algorithms using images labeled with a patient’s self-reported race. Then they challenged the algorithms to predict the race of patients in different, unlabeled images. More
Grow and eat your own vaccines?
The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories.
Messenger RNA or mRNA technology, used in COVID-19 vaccines, works by teaching our cells to recognize and protect us against infectious diseases.
One of the challenges with this new technology is that it must be kept cold to maintain stability during transport and storage. If this new project is successful, plant-based mRNA vaccines — which can be eaten — could overcome this challenge with the ability to be stored at room temperature. More
Lock of Sitting Bull’s hair confirms great-grandson’s identity
Lakota Sioux Chief Tatanka Iyotake, known to the English-speaking world as Sitting Bull, spent decades fighting white settlers’ attempts to push the Sioux off their lands in the Western United States. After defeating U.S. Lt. Col. George Custer’s army at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, he became a synonym for Indigenous resistance.
Now, researchers have used badly fragmented DNA from Sitting Bull’s scalp lock—a short braid kept for ceremonial purposes—to confirm that a Sioux man from South Dakota is the storied chief’s great-grandson.
But the work, more than 10 years in the making, has raised questions among scientists who worry about how Indigenous data are used in research. “It’s cool from a forensic point of view,” says Keolu Fox, a Kanaka Maoli, or Native Hawaiian, geneticist at the University of California (UC), San Diego, who was not involved in the research. “But the real question is, would Sitting Bull have been comfortable with this?” More
Evidence Indicates There’s Another Planet the Size of Mars in Our Solar System
Our solar system has more surprises in store.
The eight official planets aren't the only ones that survived the formation of our solar system, and the Earth might have another sister planet lurking somewhere in interstellar space, in a "third zone" of the solar system, according to a recent paper published in the journal Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
This means that, if Planet 9 is out there, it might have a Mars-sized company. More
Human Footprints Found in New Mexico Are 23,000 Years Old – Long Before the Ice Age Glaciers Melted
New scientific research conducted at White Sands National Park in New Mexico has uncovered the oldest known human footprints in North America. The discovery reveals evidence of human occupation in the Tularosa Basin beginning at least 23,000 years ago, thousands of years earlier than previously thought.
“These incredible discoveries illustrate that White Sands National Park is not only a world-class destination for recreation but is also a wonderful scientific laboratory that has yielded groundbreaking, fundamental research,” said Superintendent Marie Sauter. More
China wants to build a mega spaceship that’s nearly a mile long
China is investigating how to build ultra-large spacecraft that are up to 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) long. But how feasible is the idea, and what would be the use of such a massive spacecraft?
The project is part of a wider call for research proposals from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, a funding agency managed by the country's Ministry of Science and Technology. A research outline posted on the foundation's website described such enormous spaceships as "major strategic aerospace equipment for the future use of space resources, exploration of the mysteries of the universe, and long-term living in orbit."
The foundation wants scientists to conduct research into new, lightweight design methods that could limit the amount of construction material that has to be lofted into orbit, and new techniques for safely assembling such massive structures in space. If funded, the feasibility study would run for five years and have a budget of 15 million yuan ($2.3 million). More
In Argentina, giant rodents vie with the rich for top real estate
Families of a giant rodent native to South America have been invading a luxury gated community in Argentina, highlighting the country's controversial environmental and social policies.
Nordelta is a 1,600 hectare (3,950 acre) luxury private urban complex built on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on a wetland from the Parana river that is the capybara's natural habitat. Many Nordelta residents have complained about capybara's ruining manicured lawns, biting pets and causing traffic accidents. More
A billionaire wants to build a utopia in the US desert. Seems like this could go wrong
Welcome to Telosa, a $400bn “city of the future,” according to its founder, the billionaire Marc Lore. The city doesn’t exist yet, nor is it clear which state will house the experiment, but the architects of the proposed 150,000-acre project are scouting the American south-west. They’re already predicting the first residents can move in by 2030.
Telosa will eventually house 5 million people, according to its website, and benefit from a halo of utopian promises: avant-garde architecture, drought resistance, minimal environmental impact, communal resources. This hypothetical metropolis promises to take some of the most cutting-edge ideas about sustainability and urban design and make them reality. More
Rattlesnake rattles use auditory illusion to trick human brains
The menacing rattle of a rattlesnake's tail is far more sophisticated than first thought, as the sound can create an auditory illusion that suggests the venomous snake is closer to a potential threat than it really is, according to a new study.
Scientists think that rattlesnakes "rattle" the keratin structure on their tails to warn off predators, gradually increasing the frequency as a possible attacker gets closer. But now they've found the snake may have another trick in its arsenal — a sudden frequency jump in the rattling sound that it uses to fool its listener.
"Our data show that the acoustic display of rattlesnakes, which has been interpreted for decades as a simple acoustic warning signal about the presence of the snake, is in fact a far more intricate interspecies communication signal," senior study author Boris Chagnaud, a professor of neurobiology at Karl-Franzens-University Graz in Austria, said in a statement. More
Tesla May Be About To Open Up Its Superchargers For Other EVs In Europe
With the rise in electric vehicles production in the automobile industry and the increased demand for these sustainable vehicles, governments and authorities along with bigger companies are investing to facilitate the smooth execution and operation of these electric vehicles.
There is a need for better roads, infrastructure, and facilities like charging stations if the transition towards electric vehicles is expected to go without any obstructions.Owing to this explanation, Tesla will be opening its charging station in Europe soon. This charging station will be open to cars other than Tesla’s as well. This is the special feature of this station. The charging station will be made available to all the vehicles belonging to all the companies by next month. More
High-tech virtual wall is the latest defense at the US-Mexico border
SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico — The feds have turned to cutting-edge cameras developed by a virtual-reality wunderkind to help them monitor the southern border — by creating an invisible border wall.
The high-tech watch poles known as Autonomous Surveillance Towers are powered by solar energy and use artificial intelligence to detect movement along a two-mile radius, sending the information in real-time to agents patrolling the area.
And they’re now being installed at different points along the nearly 2,000 miles of the US-Mexico border.
“The ASTs are in remote locations that are difficult to reach,” Border Patrol agent Joel Freeland recently told The Post. “They operate 24-hours a day and are environmentally friendly because they rely entirely on solar power.” More
Hummingbirds Know How to Thwart Male Harassers
Jay Falk has some choice words for white-necked jacobins, the iridescent, blue-tinged hummingbirds he spent much of graduate school chasing through the Central American tropics. They’re “the show-off jerks of the hummingbird community,” he told me.
Falk, a biologist at the University of Washington, is deeply fond of the birds, who are gorgeous and clever and sassy. Sometimes, they’re brave enough to flit right up to him and inspect what he’s holding in his hand. But jacobins are also bullies, especially when they spot one of the species’ more modestly colored females, which sport green backs and mottled gray chests. These dull-feathered gals can’t even seek out a meal without being catcalled, pecked, or body slammed by their kin—acts that are sometimes about sex, sometimes about rudeness, and perhaps quite often about both. More
WHO issues new recommendations on human genome editing for the advancement of public health
Two new companion reports released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) provide the first global recommendations to help establish human genome editing as a tool for public health, with an emphasis on safety, effectiveness and ethics.
The forward-looking new reports result from the first broad, global consultation looking at somatic, germline and heritable human genome editing. The consultation, which spanned over two years, involved hundreds of participants representing diverse perspectives from around the world, including scientists and researchers, patient groups, faith leaders and indigenous peoples.
“Human genome editing has the potential to advance our ability to treat and cure disease, but the full impact will only be realized if we deploy it for the benefit of all people, instead of fueling more health inequity between and within countries,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. More
Our Genes Shape Our Gut Bacteria, New Research Shows
Our gut microbiome—the ever-changing "rain forest" of bacteria living in our intestines—is primarily affected by our lifestyle, including what we eat or the medications we take, most studies show. But a University of Notre Dame study has found a much greater genetic component at play than was once known.
In the study, published recently in Science, researchers discovered that most bacteria in the gut microbiome are heritable after looking at more than 16,000 gut microbiome profiles collected over 14 years from a long-studied population of baboons in Kenya's Amboseli National Park. However, this heritability changes over time, across seasons and with age. The team also found that several of the microbiome traits heritable in baboons are also heritable in humans. More
How do scientists calculate the age of a star?
We know quite a lot about stars. After centuries of pointing telescopes at the night sky, astronomers and amateurs alike can figure out key attributes of any star, like its mass or its composition. To calculate a star’s mass, just look it its orbital period and do a bit of algebra. To determine what it’s made of, look to the spectrum of light the star emits. But the one variable scientists haven’t quite cracked yet is time.
“The sun is the only star we know the age of,” says astronomer David Soderblom of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “Everything else is bootstrapped up from there.” Even well-studied stars surprise scientists every now and then. In 2019 when the red supergiant star Betelgeuse dimmed, astronomers weren’t sure if it was just going through a phase or if a supernova explosion was imminent. (Turns out it was just a phase.) The sun also shook things up when scientists noticed that it wasn’t behaving like other middle-aged stars. More
Rats prefer to help their own kind
Washington [US] - A decade after scientists discovered that lab rats will rescue a fellow rat in distress, but not a rat they consider an outsider, new research from the University of California, Berkeley, pinpoints the brain regions that drive rats to prioritise their nearest and dearest in times of crisis. It also suggests humans may share the same neural bias.
The findings, published on July 13, in the journal eLife, suggest that altruism, whether in rodents or humans, is motivated by social bonding and familiarity rather than sympathy or guilt. More
This device harvests power from your sweaty fingertips while you sleep
Feeling extra sweaty from a summer heat wave? Don’t worry–not all your perspiration has to go to waste. In a paper publishing July 13 in the journal Joule, researchers have developed a new device that harvests energy from the sweat on–of all places–your fingertips.
To date, the device is the most efficient on-body energy harvester ever invented, producing 300 millijoules (mJ) of energy per square centimeter without any mechanical energy input during a 10-hour sleep and an additional 30 mJ of energy with a single press of a finger. The authors say the device represents a significant step forward for self-sustainable wearable electronics. More
Indonesian Hunter-Gatherers Were Making Tiny Point Tools Thousands of Years Ago
Archaeologists from Griffith University, the University of New England and the Balai Arkeologi Sulawesi Selatan have examined a collection of stone and bone tools made by the Toaleans, a group of hunter-gatherer people who lived on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi between 1,500 and 8,000 years ago.
“The Toaleans lived in southernmost Sulawesi around 1,500-8,000 years ago,” said lead author Yinika Perston, a Ph.D. student in the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University.
“During this time, they produced several distinctive small tools that have not been found elsewhere on the island, including the so-called Maros points, which were possibly used as arrowheads and have fine tooth-like serrations.” More
Curiosity Spots Carbon Dioxide-Ice Clouds in Martian Skies
In March 2021, NASA’s Curiosity rover observed clouds made of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice at high altitudes in the atmosphere of Mars.
Clouds are typically found at the equator of Mars in the coldest time of year, when the planet is the farthest from the Sun in its oval-shaped orbit.
But two Earth years ago, the Curiosity team members spotted clouds in the Martian atmosphere earlier than expected. This year, they were ready to start documenting these early clouds from the moment they first appeared in January. More
First-known pregnant mummy discovered
Researchers have discovered the world's first-known pregnant mummy, dating from the first century in Egypt. The find was unexpected, as inscriptions on the mummy's coffin suggested the remains inside belonged to a male priest, according to a new study.
The mummy was donated to the University of Warsaw in Poland in 1826; only recently did archaeologists with the Warsaw Mummy Project conduct a detailed analysis of the mummy while studying the National Museum in Warsaw's collection of animal and human mummies.
X-ray and CT scans of the mummy revealed that the remains inside belonged to a female and did not match the coffin and cartonnage case that was made for a male. The mummy was obviously not the remains of a priest named Hor-Djehuty from ancient Thebes, whose name was inscribed onto the coffin, the researchers said. More
VW Will Design Its Own Chips For Self-Driving Cars
Volkswagen won’t settle for off-the-shelf computing power with its self-driving cars.
As Reuters (via Autoblog) reports, company chief Herbert Diess told Handelsblatt in an interview that VW will design its own high-performance chips for autonomous vehicles.
It was a matter of eking out the best possible hardware, Diess said — much like Apple and Tesla, the move would give VW “higher competence” in defining its processors.
The automaker wouldn’t build the chips themselves, but did want to own patents. The company’s software division, Cariad, would expand to develop relevant expertise. A move like this might be key to VW’s goal of becoming a more agile, tech-savvy brand. Tesla relied on standard NVIDIA hardware for earlier cars, but has shifted to custom chips that give it more control over how Full Self-Driving and Autopilot will develop. More
These mysterious stone structures in Saudi Arabia are older than the pyramids
Thousands of monumental structures built from walls of rock in Saudi Arabia are older than Egypt's pyramids and the ancient stone circles of Britain, researchers say – making them perhaps the earliest ritual landscape ever identified.
A study published Thursday in the journal Antiquity shows that the mysterious structures dotted around the desert in northwestern Saudi Arabia – called "mustatils" from the Arabic word for "rectangle" – are about 7,000 years old. That’s much older than expected, and about 2,000 years older than either Stonehenge in England or the oldest Egyptian pyramid.
“We think of them as a monumental landscape,” said Melissa Kennedy, an archaeologist at the University of Western Australia in Perth and an author of the study. “We are talking about over 1,000 mustatils.” More
Stars made of antimatter could lurk in the Milky Way
Fourteen pinpricks of light on a gamma-ray map of the sky could fit the bill for antistars, stars made of antimatter, a new study suggests.
These antistar candidates seem to give off the kind of gamma rays that are produced when antimatter — matter’s oppositely charged counterpart — meets normal matter and annihilates. This could happen on the surfaces of antistars as their gravity draws in normal matter from interstellar space, researchers report online April 20 in Physical Review D.
“If, by any chance, one can prove the existence of the antistars … that would be a major blow for the standard cosmological model,” says Pierre Salati, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Annecy-le-Vieux Laboratory of Theoretical Physics in France not involved in the work. It “would really imply a significant change in our understanding of what happened in the early universe.” More
The Story of the Soviet Z80 Processor
Before we get into the fascinating story of the Soviet (specifically the Angstrem) Z80 clone it’s good to understand a bit about the IC industry in the USSR. There were many state run institutions within the USSR that were tasked with making IC’s.
These included analogs of various western parts, some with additional enhancements, as well as domestically designed parts. In some ways these institutions competed, it was a matter of pride, and funding to come out with new and better designs, all within the confines of the Soviet system. There were also the various Warsaw Pact countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania), that were aligned with the USSR but not part of it. These countries had their own IC production, outside of the auspices and direction of the USSR. They mainly supplied their own local markets (or within other Warsaw Pact countries) but also on occasion provided ICs to the USSR proper, though one would assume an assortment of bureaucratic paperwork was needed for such transfers. More
Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech
Neanderthals -- the closest ancestor to modern humans -- possessed the ability to perceive and produce human speech, according to a new study published by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers including Binghamton University Associate Professor of Anthropology Rolf Quam and graduate student Alex Velez.
"This is one of the most important studies I have been involved in during my career," said Quam. "The results are solid and clearly show the Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech. This is one of the very few current, ongoing research lines relying on fossil evidence to study the evolution of language, a notoriously tricky subject in anthropology." More
NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s first official flight rescheduled for early Monday
NASA officials said Saturday they’re targeting Monday, April 19, for a historic flight of a small helicopter on Mars that was postponed last weekend due to a technical problem.
The 4-pound helicopter named Ingenuity is now scheduled for approximately 12:30 a.m. PDT Monday.
A livestream will begin at 3:15 a.m. PDT as the helicopter team prepares to receive the data downlink in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, NASA said Saturday, April 17.
Ingenuity was designed and built at JPL. Simi Valley-based AeroVironment designed most of the hardware. More
100-Million-Year-Old Seafloor Sediment Bacteria Have Been Resuscitated
In 2010, Japanese scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s Expedition 329 sailed into the South Pacific Gyre with a giant drill and a big question.
The gyre is a marine desert more barren than all but the aridest places on Earth. Ocean currents swirl around it, but within the gyre, the water stills and life struggles because few nutrients enter. Near the center is both the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility (made famous by H.P. Lovecraft as the home of the be-tentacled Cthulhu) and the South Pacific garbage patch. At times the closest people are astronauts passing above on the International Space Station.
The sea here is so miserly that it takes one million years for a meter of marine “snow”—corpses, poo and dust—to accumulate on the bottom. The tale of all that time can total as little as 10 centimeters. It is the least productive patch of water on the planet. More
Perseverance rover flexes its arm on Mars for the 1st time
NASA's Perseverance rover has spent a busy two weeks settling into its new home on Mars, most recently flexing its robotic arm for the first time.
Perseverance touched down on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 to begin work looking for traces of ancient life and selecting rock samples for a future mission to carry to Earth's laboratories for much more thorough examination. But before "Percy" sets off on those scientific adventures, the car-sized robot must first warm up, so to speak, testing its components and confirming nothing was damaged during the perilous landing.
"This week I’ve been doing lots of health checkouts, getting ready to get to work," NASA officials wrote in an update from the rover's Twitter account posted on March 3. "I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including instrument tests, imaging, and getting my arm moving." More
Part Robot, Part Frog: Xenobots Are the First Robots Made From Living Cells
The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, typically lives in the streams and ponds of sub-Saharan Africa, scavenging for food that it rips apart with its feet. In January, researchers at the University of Vermont and Tufts University published a report that gave the amphibian a different lot in life. They harvested its embryonic skin and heart cells and reassembled the living matter into robotic devices — transforming Xenopus into xenobot.
Xenobots are the first robots made completely of living materials. They’re designed on a supercomputer running software that emulates natural selection: Algorithms determine possible effective tissue configurations for a xenobot to perform a specified task, such as moving through fluids or carrying a payload. The most promising designs are sculpted with tiny forceps and cauterizing irons, then set free in petri dishes, where the specks of amphibian flesh live for about a week before decomposing. There are no electronics involved. More
Life after death: Physicist Michio Kaku says digital immortality is 'within reach'
Scientists have been trying to find out whether life after death is real for centuries. Most of the world's religions describe some form of an afterlife but the world of science has not reached a verdict on the issue just yet. However, outside the realm of metaphysics, scientists are exploring how technology could extend our life after death.
Michio Kaku, best-selling author and professor at The City College of New York, believes life after death can be achieved through digital means.
This does not mean science will one day allow us to stand before the Pearly Gates but, rather, technology will be able to immortalise our memories, personalities and quirks in a way that will be accessible for future generations. More
The Milky Way is probably full of dead civilizations
Most of the alien civilizations that ever dotted our galaxy have probably killed themselves off already.
That's the takeaway of a new study, published Dec. 14 to the arXiv database, which used modern astronomy and statistical modeling to map the emergence and death of intelligent life in time and space across the Milky Way. Their results amount to a more precise 2020 update of a famous equation that Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence founder Frank Drake wrote in 1961. The Drake equation, popularized by physicist Carl Sagan in his "Cosmos" miniseries, relied on a number of mystery variables — like the prevalence of planets in the universe, then an open question. More
Study: Birds Are Linked to Happiness Levels
A new study reveals that greater bird biodiversity brings greater joy to people, according to recent findings from the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. In fact, scientists concluded that conservation is just as important for human well-being as financial security.
The study, published in Ecological Economics, focused on European residents, and determined that happiness correlated with a specific number of bird species.
"According to our findings, the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species," says lead author Joel Methorst, a doctoral researcher at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, the iDiv and the Goethe University in Frankfurt. More
This Smart Toilet Will Know You by the Shape of Your Asshole
AYour butthole is like a snowflake: No two are exactly alike.
At least, that's the crux of a new scientific paper outlining the mechanisms for a smart toilet that identifies poopers based on video clips of their unique anuses.
Stanford researchers have created the panopticon of looking up your own ass, with a "smart toilet" that monitors your health by analyzing your stool, urine, and the timing of both, using four cameras and an array of sensors and identification systems. The paper, "A mountable toilet system for personalized health monitoring via the analysis of excreta," was published Monday in the journal Nature. More
How one MILLION people could live on the Red Planet
More than 87,000 people revealed their creative side as they tried to design the perfect Mars colony in the HP Mars Home Planet Rendering Challenge.
The winning entries were hand picked from the huge array of futuristic-looking, idealistic city designs - which had to show how they could support up to one million residents.
The competition challenged participants to “reinvent life on Mars” for the next giant leapt of mankind – Martian colonisation. Organised by tech company HP, the initiative pulled in architects, designers, artists and engineers from all over the globe. More
Cave Paintings Discovered Deep in Amazon Forest: The Sistine Chapel of Ancients
Tens of thousands of pristine cave paintings were recently found daubed across an eight-mile stretch of rock in a once-in-a-century discovery in Colombia’s Amazon rainforest.
Hailed as the “Sistine Chapel of the Ancients,” it’s the kind of discovery that changes the world of archaeology.
Believed to be 12,500 years old, the art is extremely detailed, and includes handprints and depictions of Ice Age megafauna like the mastodon, a relative of the mammoth, Ice Age horses, and giant ground sloths. More
Solar power stations in space could be the answer to our energy needs
It sounds like science fiction: giant solar power stations floating in space that beam down enormous amounts of energy to Earth. And for a long time, the concept – first developed by the Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, in the 1920s – was mainly an inspiration for writers.
A century later, however, scientists are making huge strides in turning the concept into reality. The European Space Agency has realised the potential of these efforts and is now looking to fund such projects, predicting that the first industrial resource we will get from space is “beamed power” More
Natural Organisms in Soil Can Power Lights With This Bio Battery
Plants already give us oxygen to breathe, but what if they could give us electricity, too? This Spanish start-up has made a bio-battery that generates electricity from soil microbes and is using plants to change the way we think of renewable energy.
In 2016, Google named Bioo (bee-oh) the most disruptive start-up of the year. The Spanish company created a bio battery that uses microbes in the soil that feed on decaying plant matter to generate enough electricity to turn on a light and power small appliances.
This is the most sustainable form of energy yet, as these microbes never stop working, never run out, and the product requires none of the potentially harmful chemicals and materials that traditional solar panels require. More
Smile, wave: Some exoplanets may be able to see us too
Three decades after Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan suggested that Voyager 1 snap Earth's picture from billions of miles away—resulting in the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph—two astronomers now offer another unique cosmic perspective:
Some exoplanets—planets from beyond our own solar system—have a direct line of sight to observe Earth's biological qualities from far, far away.
Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of Cornell's Carl Sagan Institute; and Joshua Pepper, associate professor of physics at Lehigh University, have identified 1,004 main-sequence stars (similar to our sun) that might contain Earth-like planets in their own habitable zones—all within about 300 light-years of Earth—and which should be able to detect Earth's chemical traces of life. More
Why bat scientists are socially distancing from their subjects
There’s nothing Winifred Frick likes better than crawling through guano-filled caves and coming face-to-face with bats. As chief scientist of Bat Conservation International, she is on a mission to promote understanding of bats and protect imperiled species from extinction.
For months, though, Frick has avoided research that would put her within spitting distance of bats. Her only projects to persist through the pandemic have been conducted from afar, like using acoustic monitors to eavesdrop on the animals’ squeaks and swooshes. In an era of COVID-19, that “hands-off” approach and other precautions are crucial to protect both bats and people, Frick, a biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and over two dozen other scientists argue online September 3 in PLOS Pathogens. More
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx survived its risky mission to grab a piece of an asteroid
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is a cosmic rock collector. Cheers erupted from mission control at 6:12 p.m. EDT on October 20 as scientists on Earth got word that the spacecraft had gently nudged a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu, and grabbed some of its rocks to return to Earth.
“The spacecraft did everything it was supposed to do,” said mission principal investigator Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona in Tucson on October 20 on a NASA TV webcast. “I can’t believe we actually pulled this off.” More
Beaked whales can hold their breath for over 3 hours (and possibly longer)
How long can you hold your breath? Even your best efforts can't come close to the breath-holding superpower of a Cuvier's beaked whale.
These whales were already known to dive deeper and longer than any other mammal, but new research shows that their marathon dives can last even longer than once thought.
When scientists recently examined data from thousands of whale dives, they found that one of these extreme divers held its breath for more than 3 hours, shattering the previously reported record — also held by the Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) — by over an hour. More