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The experimental observation of quantum avalanches in a many-body localized system
Is this article about Quantum Computing?
Strongly correlated systems are systems made of particles that strongly interact with one another, to such an extent that their individual behavior depends on the behavior of all other particles in the system. In states that are far from equilibrium, these systems can sometimes give rise to fascinating and unexpected physical phenomena, such as many-body localization.
Is this article about Biopharma Industry?
Stanford University researchers have developed a computational method for identifying where cells are situated in a sample when capturing spatial transcriptomics. The method combines data from spatial transcriptions and a reference single-cell RNA atlas to create modeling outputs. The resulting models can be used to view cellular substructures, identify colocalization patterns and analyze differential expression within a cell type by location.


Is this article about Climate?
An international scientific study, led by the UPC's Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB), shows that noise from human operations at sea damages marine invertebrates and ocean ecosystems. Published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the work points out that noise pollution at sea can even cause death in some marine species.
Is this article about Climate?
An international scientific study, led by the UPC's Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB), shows that noise from human operations at sea damages marine invertebrates and ocean ecosystems. Published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the work points out that noise pollution at sea can even cause death in some marine species.
Environmental and Indigenous Groups Sue over Willow Oil-Drilling Project
Is this article about ESG?

A coalition of environmental and Indigenous groups is suing the Biden administration over the approval of the Willow oil- and gas-drilling project in Alaska, arguing the government failed to consider the climate risks, as well as harm to wildlife and subsistence hunting

Local supply of managerial skills can impact firm performance
Is this article about Supply Chain Industry?
If you think that the executive labor market is a global one, you're not alone. After all, it's pretty common to read about top managers being hired to steer the fate of far-away companies. However, recent research by Julien Sauvagnat (Bocconi Department of Finance) and Fabiano Schivardi (LUISS) highlights that local supply of managerial talent is an underestimated driver of company performance, and that local policies aimed at boosting growth should boost the supply of leadership skills.
U.S. East Coast landslide impacts from Puerto Rico to Vermont and in between
Is this article about Foreign Policy?
In the U.S., we may often think of landslides as primarily a West Coast problem, mostly plaguing the mountainous terrain of California, Oregon, and Washington. A technical session at the upcoming GSA 2023 Joint Southeastern & Northeastern Section Meeting in Reston, Virginia, U.S., will highlight the major impacts of landslides on the U.S. East Coast and what is being done to save lives and deal with the damages.
Is this article about Climate?
In a groundbreaking announcement at the 54th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held in The Woodlands, Texas, scientists revealed the discovery of a relict glacier near the equator of Mars. Located in Eastern Noctis Labyrinthus at coordinates 7° 33' S, 93° 14' W, this finding is significant as it implies the presence of surface water ice on Mars in recent times, even near the equator. This discovery raises the possibility that ice may still exist at shallow depths in the area, which could have significant implications for future human exploration.

Belgrade theatre, Coventry
Mojisola Adebayo's play connects Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were used in decades of vital scientific research, with the Black Lives Matter movement

'I am a farm," says Henrietta Lacks in Mojisola Adebayo's play about one of medical history's most inconvenient truths. It is a twin statement of astonishment and outrage. Astonishment because the cells removed from Henrietta's cancerous body in the early 1950s went on to be used in everything from chemotherapy to IVF, from a treatment for polio to the fight against Covid. Outrage because those cells were taken without her knowledge, let alone her approval – and certainly not to her financial benefit. She might have been a farm, but she was not the farmer.

The story was told brilliantly in 2013 by Adura Onashile in HeLa, a play that was equally disturbed by the exploitative treatment of this black patient by the white establishment. A decade later, Adebayo's Family Tree is able to make connections to Black Lives Matter and the effect of the pandemic on black workers in the NHS. She also brings in the 19th-century gynaecological experiments on slave women by Dr James Marion Sims. A grim pattern emerges, even as Henrietta's cells bring new life.

At Belgrade theatre, Coventry, until 18 March, then touring until 17 June.

Continue reading…
Microsoft Laid Off Its Entire AI "Ethics and Society" Division
Microsoft got rid of an entire company division devoted to AI "ethics and society" during its January layoffs, according to a report from Platformer.

Society Who?


 got rid of its entire company division devoted to AI "ethics and society" during its January layoffs, according to a report from Platformer.

Though the company still has an office of responsible AI, it was the job of the ethics and society staff to address how AI technology is likely to impact human society in context and communicate with product teams accordingly.

"People would look at the principles coming out of the office of responsible AI and say, 'I don't know how this applies,'" one former ethicist told Platformer. "Our job was to show them and to create rules in areas where there were none."

But now, as Microsoft races to jam OpenAI software into seemingly every product that it can, the ethics and society department is gone — a telling sign that Microsoft is more focused on profitability and getting AI-driven products to market than ensuring that those products remain a positive force for society as a whole.

Strung Out

According to Platformer, the team was short-staffed for months before it was ultimately dissolved.

Most of their 30-person staff was reassigned way back in October, leaving just seven employees to manage the department.

The cuts were the reportedly result of pressure being applied from upper management including CTO Kevin Scott and CEO Satya Nadella, who were trying to "take these most recent OpenAI models and the ones that come after them and move them into customers' hands at a very high speed," according to a VP quoted by Platformer.

Per the report, the remaining employees were also told in the meeting that their department was just "evolving" and wouldn't be "going away."

Months later, though, they were all dismissed, along with the division — right as the company announced its mammoth $10 billion investment in OpenAI.

Not Dead Yet

For its part, Microsoft has maintained that building responsible AI tools is still a priority.

"Microsoft is committed to developing AI products and experiences safely and responsibly, and does so by investing in people, processes, and partnerships that prioritize this," Microsoft told Platformer in a statement. "Over the past six years, we have increased the number of people across our product teams and within the Office of Responsible AI who, along with all of us at Microsoft, are accountable for ensuring we put our AI principles into practice."

"We appreciate the trailblazing work the Ethics & Society did to help us on our ongoing responsible AI journey," the company added.

READ MORE: Microsoft just laid off one of its responsible AI teams [Platformer]

More on Microsoft ethics: Microsoft Released an AI That Answers Medical Questions, but It's Wildly Inaccurate

The post Microsoft Laid Off Its Entire AI "Ethics and Society" Division appeared first on Futurism.

The Notre-Dame de Paris is the first known cathedral of Gothic-style architecture to be initially constructed with extensive use of iron to bind stones together. The 2019 fire that significantly damaged the cathedral enabled analyses leading to this discovery, by Maxime L'Héritier of Université Paris 8, France and colleagues, who present these findings in PLOS ONE on March 15, 2023.
Uncovering the ritual past of an ancient stone monument in Saudi Arabia
A comprehensive analysis of an archaeological site in Saudi Arabia sheds new light on mustatils—stone monuments from the Late Neolithic period thought to have been used for ritual purposes. Melissa Kennedy of the University of Western Australia, Perth, and colleagues, in conjunction with The Royal Commission for AlUla present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 15, 2023.
Drones have changed the way researchers study whales and dolphins. While we were once confined to the decks of boats and observation platforms, glimpsing the backs of surfacing animals, we can now watch them from above. Gaining a bird's eye view of whales and dolphins has already taught us so much about their physiology and behavior.
'Revolutionary': Scientists create mice with two fathers
Is this article about Tech & Scientific Innovation?
Scientists have created eggs using the cells of male mice for the first time, leading to the birth of seven mice with two fathers, according to research Wednesday hailed as "revolutionary".
Forskare: Vanlig förkylning skyddar små barn mot covid-19
Forskare tror sig nu ha hittat en förklaring till varför små barn inte blir lika sjuka som äldre när de smittas av Sars Cov 2-viruset. Ett av de vanliga förkylningsvirus som ofta drabbar barn tycks nämligen träna upp deras försvar även mot Sars Cov 2. Det här kan påverka hur man ska vaccinera barn och äldre vuxna mot virusinfektioner.
Drones have changed the way researchers study whales and dolphins. While we were once confined to the decks of boats and observation platforms, glimpsing the backs of surfacing animals, we can now watch them from above. Gaining a bird's eye view of whales and dolphins has already taught us so much about their physiology and behavior.
Dry cleaning chemical may be invisible Parkinson's cause
Is this article about Health?
Dry cleaning in plastic on a movable clothing rack.

A common and widely used chemical may be fueling the rise of Parkinson's disease, the world's fastest growing brain condition, researchers say.

For the past 100 years, trichloroethylene (TCE) has been used to decaffeinate coffee, degrease metal, and dry clean clothes. It contaminates the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, 15 toxic Superfund sites in Silicon Valley, and up to one-third of groundwater in the US.

TCE causes cancer, is linked to miscarriages and congenital heart disease, and is associated with a 500% increased risk of Parkinson's disease.

In a hypothesis paper in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, researchers, including University of Rochester Medical Center neurologists Ray Dorsey, Ruth Schneider, and Karl Kieburtz, postulate that TCE may be an invisible cause of Parkinson's. They detail the widespread use of the chemical, the evidence linking the toxicant to Parkinson's, and profile seven individuals, including a former NBA basketball player , a Navy captain, and a late US Senator, who developed Parkinson's disease either after likely working with the chemical or being exposed to it in the environment.

Massive TCE contamination

TCE was a widely used solvent used in a number of industrial, consumer, military, and medical applications, including to remove paint, correct typewriting mistakes, clean engines, and anesthetize patients.

Its use in the US peaked in the 1970s, when more than 600 million pounds of the chemical—or two pounds per American—were manufactured annually. Some 10 million Americans worked with the chemical or other similar industrial solvents. While domestic use has since fallen, TCE is still used for degreasing metal and spot dry cleaning in the US.

TCE contaminates countless sites across the country. Half of the most toxic Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund sites contain TCE. Fifteen sites are in California's Silicon Valley where the chemicals were used to clean electronics and computer chips. TCE is found in numerous military bases, including Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. From the 1950s to the 1980s a million Marines, their families, and civilians that worked or resided at the base were exposed to drinking water levels of TCE and perchloroethylene (PCE), a close chemical cousin, that were up to 280 times above what is considered safe levels.

Soil, water, and air

The connection between TCE and Parkinson's was first hinted at in case studies more than 50 years ago. In the intervening years, research in mice and rats has shown that TCE readily enters the brain and body tissue and at high doses damages the energy-producing parts of cells known as mitochondria. In animal studies, TCE causes selective loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells, a hallmark of Parkinson's disease in humans.

Individuals who worked directly with TCE have an elevated risk of developing Parkinson's. However, the authors warn that "millions more encounter the chemical unknowingly through outdoor air, contaminated groundwater, and indoor air pollution."

The chemical can contaminate soil and groundwater leading to underground rivers, or plumes, that can extend over long distances and migrate over time. One such plume associated with an aerospace company on Long Island, New York, is over four miles long and two miles wide, and has contaminated the drinking water of thousands. Others are found everywhere from Shanghai, China to Newport Beach, California.

Beyond their risks to water, the volatile TCE can readily evaporate and enter people's homes, schools, and workplaces, often undetected. Today, this vapor intrusion is likely exposing millions who live, learn, and work near former dry cleaning, military, and industrial sites to toxic indoor air. Vapor intrusion was first reported in the 1980s when radon was found to evaporate from soil and enter homes and increase the risk of lung cancer. Today millions of homes are tested for radon, but few are for the cancer-causing TCE.

Personal stories of Parkinson's and TCE

The piece profiles seven individuals where TCE may have contributed to their Parkinson's disease. While the evidence linking TCE exposure to Parkinson's disease in these individuals is circumstantial, their stories highlight the challenges of building the case against the chemical. For these individuals, decades have often passed between exposure to TCE and the onset of Parkinson's symptoms.

The case studies include the professional basketball player Brian Grant, who played for 12 years in the NBA and was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 36. Grant was likely exposed to TCE when he was three years old and his father, then a Marine, was stationed at Camp Lejeune. Grant has created a foundation to inspire and support people with the disease.

Amy Lindberg was similarly exposed to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune while serving as a young Navy captain and would go on to be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 30 years later.

The piece details others whose exposure was the result of living close to a contaminated site or working with the chemical, including the late US Senator Johnny Isakson, who stepped down from office after a Parkinson's diagnosis in 2015. Fifty years earlier, he served in the Georgia Air National Guard, which used TCE to degrease airplanes.

End the use of TCE

The authors note that "for more than a century, TCE has threatened workers, polluted the air we breathe—outside and inside—and contaminated the water we drink. Global use is waxing, not waning."

The authors propose a series of actions to address the public health threat TCE poses. They note that contaminated sites can be successfully remediated and indoor air exposure can be mitigated by vapor remediation systems similar to those used for radon. However, the US alone is home to thousands of contaminated sites and this process of cleaning and containment must be accelerated.

They argue for more research to better understand how TCE contributes to Parkinson's and other diseases. TCE levels in groundwater, drinking water, soil, and outdoor and indoor air require closer monitoring and this information needs to be shared with those who live and work near polluted sites.

In addition, the authors call for finally ending the use of these chemicals in the US. PCE is still widely used today in dry cleaning and TCE in vapor degreasing. Two states, Minnesota and New York, have banned TCE, but the federal government has not, despite findings by the EPA as recently as 2022 that the chemicals pose "an unreasonable risk to human health."

Additional coauthors are from Harvard University; Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and the University of Rochester.

Source: University of Rochester

The post Dry cleaning chemical may be invisible Parkinson's cause appeared first on Futurity.

Cosmic rays left clues to erosion in the Andes
Is this article about Space?
snowy andes peaks and clouds

New research documents erosion rates in the Andes Mountains.

Every second, Earth is bombarded by vast amounts of cosmic rays—invisible sub-atomic particles that originate from things like the sun and supernova explosions. These high-energy, far-traveled cosmic rays collide with atoms as they enter Earth's atmosphere and set off cascades of secondary cosmic rays.

When secondary cosmic rays penetrate the upper meters of Earth's surface, they turn elements in minerals, like oxygen, into rare radioisotopes (or "cosmogenic radionuclides") including beryllium-10 (Be-10) and carbon-14 (C-14).

Scientists can then study the variations in concentrations of these cosmogenic nuclides to estimate how long rocks have been exposed at the Earth's surface. This in turn allows researchers to gain a better understanding of planetary processes, such as rates of erosion—from nothing more than a kilogram of river sand.

Gregory Hoke, professor and department chair of earth and environmental sciences at Syracuse University, J.R. Slosson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Nat Lifton, associate professor of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences at Purdue University, analyzed cosmogenic radionuclides in samples from the Argentine Andes. Their findings appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Their goal was to document the amount of time material resides on the hillslopes in the Andes Mountains relative to the overall erosion rate of the river basin. This information is critical to helping scientists identify landslide risks and understand how climate change will affect the dynamics of material transport on hillslopes as regions get wetter or drier.

To determine erosion rates, the team obtained samples of river sand collected at the foot of the eastern flank of the Andes Mountains in the Mendoza and San Juan provinces, located in west-central Argentina. The river sand should be a representative, well-mixed sample of the entire catchment (or runoff area) upstream of where the sample was collected.

In Hoke's lab, the sand was treated to isolate pure quartz from the other minerals in the sample. The researchers use pure quartz because it is an optimal source for Be-10 and C-14. Splits of pure quartz were sent to Lifton's lab where beryllium and carbon were extracted. Subsequent measurements of C-14 took place at Purdue's PRIME Lab and Be-10 was analyzed at Lawrence Livermore National laboratory to figure out concentrations of each radionuclide.

The highest non-volcanic peaks in the Andes are located between Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina. The river basins that drain the high Andes span 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) in elevation and their hillslopes are lined with accumulations of rocky debris known as talus and scree.

Because Be-10 and C-14 are produced proportionally but decay at vastly different rates, the cosmogenic radionuclide concentrations within a sample reveal the rate at which sediment is produced from bare rock surfaces (Be-10) and the time it takes to travel down hillslopes through landslides (C-14). As sediment is mobilized and buried through landsliding, the rate of production of both isotopes diminishes, but because C-14 decays 1,000 times faster than Be-10, their proportionality changes rapidly. This change in proportionally allowed the authors to apply a statistical model to determine the average duration of time it takes material to travel down talus slopes.

According to Hoke, this is one of the first studies to use the combination of Be-10 and C-14 to show the long-term average rate of sediment generation and the time and process it takes to move down to and through the rivers, giving a broader picture of the factors involved.

"Previously, we've relied nearly exclusively on Be-10 and sediment concentration measurements made at river gauge stations to estimate average erosion rates," notes Hoke. "What attracted us to study these catchments with C-14 was the agreement of gauge and Be-10 data. We expected to see the two isotopes and gauge data yield the same rates and demonstrate that mountain erosion was occurring at a steady state."

While the concentration of Be-10 came back as anticipated over the long timescale, they found that C-14 was much lower than anticipated, meaning that sediments eroded from the high mountain watersheds were shielded from cosmic rays for at least 7,000 to 15,0000 years. The authors explain that temporary storage in talus slopes best explains the lower concentration of C-14 relative to Be-10.

"This study shows that it is possible to fill an important gap in the observational timescale using the C-14/Be-10 pair that brings to life what really happens on the hillslopes," says Hoke.

With the risk that landslides pose to humans and infrastructure, Slosson says their results indicate that C-14 can be significant in unraveling sediment transport dynamics going forward, and potentially help predict where future landslides might occur. He explains, "utilizing C-14 along with Be-10 provides a new window into the complexity of sediment transport in mountain settings and can provide a backdrop for evaluating contemporary changes in earth surface processes."

The project had funding from the National Science Foundation, the Geological Society of America, and Syracuse University.

Source: Syracuse University

The post Cosmic rays left clues to erosion in the Andes appeared first on Futurity.

Killing dingoes is the only way to protect livestock, right? Nope
Since European colonization, farmers have often viewed dingoes as the enemy, waging war against them to protect their livestock. Farmers felt they had no option but to eradicate dingoes using traps, shooting, poisoned baits (such as 1080) and building a 5,600km long dingo fence, the world's longest.
Is this article about Agriculture?
Since European colonization, farmers have often viewed dingoes as the enemy, waging war against them to protect their livestock. Farmers felt they had no option but to eradicate dingoes using traps, shooting, poisoned baits (such as 1080) and building a 5,600km long dingo fence, the world's longest.
No shortage of tax breaks in New Mexico's drought
Trickle-down economics may have more than one meaning in New Mexico. The traditional definition explains that benefits and relief for the wealthy will eventually benefit everyone else. In new UNM Water Resources research, however, the trickle-down economics of irrigation, may be running out of water to drip–literally. The paper is published in the Natural Resources Journal.
When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was sworn in for his third term as president of Brazil on January 1, 2023, he invited a diverse group to accompany him as he ascended the ramp to his offices. Among them, two symbolized the giant step that the country was taking toward a more promising ecological future: Chief Raoni Metuktire, a 90-year-old indigenous leader who dedicated his life to the defense of the Amazon rainforest, and Aline Sousa, a 33-year-old collector of recyclable materials, an occupation pursued by her family for three generations. It was Sousa who placed the presidential sash on Lula, representing not only the Brazilian people but also a message of hope for a more sustainable government for the next four years.
Largest catalog of exploding stars now available
Celestial phenomena that change with time such as exploding stars, mysterious objects that suddenly brighten and variable stars are a new frontier in astronomical research, with telescopes that can rapidly survey the sky revealing thousands of these objects.
James Webb Takes Breathtaking Image of a Titanic Star That's About to Explode
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has spotted a Wolf-Rayet, an absolutely massive classification of star that is on the verge of a supernova.

Final Blossom

Turning its sights to the constellation Sagittarius, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has captured a spectacular image of a star in its death throes some 15,000 light years away, NASA announced on Tuesday.

The image shows the star ejecting astronomical amounts of material as it's getting ready to explode in a supernova, a rare sight captured in incredible detail by the observatory.


Going Supernova

The terminal stellar rarity, designated WR 124, is a special classification of a star known as a Wolf-Rayet. These are exceptionally massive stars — 30 times the mass of our Sun, in this case — that are undergoing a final and tragically transient stage of their evolution before exploding in a supernova.

Not all stars capable of going supernova become a Wolf-Rayet, however. A star would already have to be huge to qualify, but a Wolf-Rayet is so large that it continuously sloughs off huge portions of its mass, encircling itself in a vivid, scintillating spectrum of dust and gasses.

So far, WR 124 has shed around ten solar masses.

Wolf-Rayets are astoundingly hot, too. As such, their luminosity exceeds most stars in the universe, but that does not make them any less elusive to astronomers, however. Few exist in our galaxy, and the intensity of their burning and shedding means they live only a few hundred thousand years, a tiny blip on a cosmic scale.

Dust in the Cosmos

Given the rarity of the find, astronomers are eager to take advantage of the James Webb's unrivaled capabilities to examine the star. In particular, they're interested in WR 124's contribution to the so-called "dust budget" of the universe.

Free-floating dust is needed to form planets, facilitate the creation of molecules, and protect newborn stars, NASA said. The big mystery is that scientists can't reconcile the amount of dust in the universe with existing theories on how dust is formed.

In other words, there's simply more of it out there than there should be, as far as we can tell.

"The universe is operating with a dust budget surplus," the agency wrote.

Since Wolf-Rayets viciously shed so much of their mass in short periods of time, they're also the universe's best producers of dust — and perhaps the culprit, or at least a prime suspect, of the apparent dust surplus.

Until now, telescopes weren't powerful enough to investigate the mystical dust-spouting properties of Wolf-Rayets, and "whether the dust grains were large and bountiful enough to survive the supernova and become a significant contribution to the overall dust budget," NASA said.

"Now those questions can be investigated with real data."

More on stars: Scientists Find "One in Ten Billion" Star System Primed to Explode in Titanic Kilonova

The post James Webb Takes Breathtaking Image of a Titanic Star That's About to Explode appeared first on Futurism.

Tesla Driver Freaked Out After App Allows Him to Drive Off With the Wrong Car
A weird bug is allowing Tesla owners to drive off with somebody else's Tesla by using the EV maker's bespoke smartphone app.

It's not every day that you catch yourself accidentally driving somebody else's car.

According to the Washington Post, a weird bug is allowing 


 owners to drive off with somebody else's Tesla by using the EV maker's bespoke smartphone app.

Owner Rajesh Randev told WaPo that earlier this month, he walked up to a nearly identical white Model 3 in Vancouver without realizing it wasn't his, used the app to unlock it, and drove around a bit before realizing that it wasn't, in fact, his car.

Randev said it took him about 15 minutes of driving the stranger's Tesla to realize something was amiss: there was a crack in the windshield that hadn't been there before, and a phone charger was missing from where he usually kept his.

It was around the time he noticed the missing charger cable that Randev said his phone buzzed, alerting him to a new text message from an unknown number.

"Do you drive a Tesla?" the unknown texter asked. Randev responded affirmatively, and the other person texted back that they thought he may be "driving the wrong car."

Understandably, the mix-up left him feeling pretty wigged out.

"It's such an expensive technology," Randev, who works as an immigration consultant, told WaPo. "More than $70,000 to get this car. And my family is not feeling safe right now."

The other car was, per the report, owned by Mahmoud Esaeyh, who had let his brother Mohammed borrow the car while he was at home. The brother was, even more unsettlingly, able to get into Randev's car using Mahmoud's key card, and once he was inside, he realized that it wasn't the right one.

Fortunately, the bizarre story has a happy ending.

Esaeyh was able to track his car's location using the Tesla app, but unable to lock it remotely, the report notes. So, after finding Randev's phone number on some documents inside his car, the two brothers were able to get in contact with him and swap back cars, all while initially sharing a laugh about the incident.

"My friend, you were able to drive my car?" Randev asked Mohammed.

"Yes, it was very fun," the Esaeyh brother responded.

While this specific situation was handled amicably – Randev even got permission from Esaeyh to keep driving his car because he needed to pick his kids up from school — it's nevertheless another stark reminder that Tesla seems to have some glaring bugs to iron out in its software.

"If just a normal person was able to get access [to someone else's car] due to malfunction or software or whatever reason…" he told the WaPo, "the hackers can do anything, right?"

To add insult to injury, Randev said that he got stonewalled when he tried to email Tesla about the situation.

"It's very frustrating," he said. "I even tweeted [at CEO] Elon Musk."

Both men said they intend to keep driving their respective 


 because of how much they save on gas, but they're nonetheless irked by the incident.

"I cannot throw the car away because I don't feel safe about it," Esaeyh said. "But to be honest, it's kind of scary sometimes. I'm afraid that thing may happen again."

More on Teslas: Environmentalist Group Files "Criminal Charges" Against Tesla, Accusing It of "Water Pollution"

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'Gargantuan': China fossils reveal 70-tonne dinosaur had 15-metre neck

Analysis of bones found in 1987 suggest Jurassic-era sauropod was animal with longest known neck

A dinosaur that roamed east Asia more than 160m years ago has been named a contender for the animal with the longest neck ever known.

A new analysis of bones from the beast's neck and skull revealed that the dinosaur, known as Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum, sported a neck 15metres long, or one-and-a-half times the length of a doubledecker bus.

Continue reading…
A first-of-its-kind workplace climate survey of Earth and space scientists indicates that scientists of color, women, those with disabilities and other groups historically excluded from geoscience careers are more likely to experience hostile and discriminatory behavior at work than their colleagues. The results have implications for retention of scientists in these fields that go beyond current efforts to improve diversity through recruitment activities.
Why it's so hard to be prepared for disasters
Jeffrey Schlegelmilch is the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Climate School. There, he works to understand and improve the nation's capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Is this article about Agriculture?
Researchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Amsterdam have conducted a new study that examines how sugar reduction strategies affect new product sales. The article, published in the Journal of Marketing, is titled "A War on Sugar? Effects of Reduced Sugar Content and Package Size in The Soda Category," and is authored by Kristopher O. Keller and Jonne Y. Guyt.
Why rain on snow in the California mountains worries scientists
Another round of powerful atmospheric rivers is hitting California, following storms in January and February 2023 that dumped record amounts of snow. This time, the storms are warmer, and they are triggering flood warnings as they bring rain higher into the mountains—on top of the snowpack.
Is this article about Agriculture?
British supermarkets are imposing limits on how many salad staples shoppers can buy as supply shortages leave shelves empty of some types of fruit and vegetables. The disappearance of fresh produce is said to be largely the result of adverse weather leading to a reduced harvest in southern Europe and North Africa.
NASA's Fermi captures dynamic gamma-ray sky in new animation
Cosmic fireworks, invisible to our eyes, fill the night sky. We can get a glimpse of this elusive light show thanks to the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which observes the sky in gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light.
In a study published in PNAS, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin and Rutgers University showed that the dance of the returning honeybee forager conveys the direction and distance of the food source from the hive to the honeycomb surface, a kind of map—a representation of where the food source is.
Is this article about Tech & Scientific Innovation?
Researchers led by Ph.D. candidate Zang Lei and Prof. Qian Shengbang from the Yunnan Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered that the orbital evolution of the 
 X-ray source WX Centauri (WX Cen) is dominated by the angular momentum loss (AML) driven by magnetic wind from the donor secondary and from the accretion disk alone or together.
Is this article about Agriculture?
British supermarkets are imposing limits on how many salad staples shoppers can buy as supply shortages leave shelves empty of some types of fruit and vegetables. The disappearance of fresh produce is said to be largely the result of adverse weather leading to a reduced harvest in southern Europe and North Africa.
In a study published in PNAS, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin and Rutgers University showed that the dance of the returning honeybee forager conveys the direction and distance of the food source from the hive to the honeycomb surface, a kind of map—a representation of where the food source is.
The menin inhibitor revumenib in KMT2A-rearranged or NPM1-mutant leukaemia
Is this article about Neuroscience?

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-023-05812-3

Revumenib, a potent and selective oral inhibitor of the 
–KMT2A interaction, is associated with a low frequency of treatment-related adverse events and promising clinical activity in patients with relapsed or refractory acute leukaemia.
In situ structure of the red algal phycobilisome–PSII–PSI–LHC megacomplex

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-023-05831-0

In situ structures of PBS–PSII–PSI–LHC megacomplexes from the alga P. purpureum at near-atomic resolution using cryogenic-electron tomography and in situ single-particle analysis are reported, providing interaction details between PBS, PSII and PSI.
Bright and stable perovskite light-emitting diodes in the near-infrared range

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-023-05792-4

Perovskite LEDs with exceptional performance at high brightness are demonstrated achieving an operational half-lifetime of 32 hours, an important step towards commercialization opening up new opportunities beyond conventional LED technologies, such as perovskite electrically pumped lasers.
The carbon sink of secondary and degraded humid tropical forests

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-022-05679-w

Analysis of satellite-based data on recovering degraded and secondary forests in three tropical moist forest regions quantifies the amount of aboveground carbon accumulated, which counterbalanced one quarter of carbon emissions from old-growth forest loss between 1984 and 2018.
Spatial epigenome–transcriptome co-profiling of mammalian tissues

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-023-05795-1

The authors present two technologies for spatially resolved, genome-wide, joint profiling of the epigenome and transcriptome by cosequencing chromatin accessibility and gene expression, or histone modifications and gene expression on the same tissue section at near-single-cell resolution.
Fast and sensitive GCaMP calcium indicators for imaging neural populations
Is this article about Tech & Scientific Innovation?

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-023-05828-9

Using large-scale screening and structure-guided mutagenesis, fast and sensitive GCaMP sensors are developed and optimized with improved kinetics without compromising sensitivity or brightness.
Spatial mapping of mitochondrial networks and bioenergetics in lung cancer

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41586-023-05793-3

A study describing an approach that combines imaging and profiling techniques to structurally and functionally analyse 
lung cancer
 in vivo, revealing heterogeneous mitochondrial networks and an association between bioenergetic phenotypes and mitochondrial organization and function.
How an odour molecule activates a human odorant receptor protein

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00439-w

Our sense of smell enables us to perceive a universe of odours. Cryo-electron microscopy has provided an atomic-resolution picture of how an odour molecule is recognized by one of the hundreds of odorant receptors encoded in the human genome, providing a first view into the chemical logic of olfaction.
Bow-tie particles boast a tunable twist

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00705-x

Particles that self-assemble from nanoribbons into bow-tie-shaped structures can be tailored to change the degree of their twist. A search for how best to quantify this twist homes in on a measure of how the bow ties respond to light.
An abrupt decline of thick sea ice in the Arctic Ocean

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00317-5

Long-term sea-ice measurements from the Fram Strait reveal that the dominant form of Arctic sea ice shifted around 2007, from thick and deformed ice to thinner, more uniform ice. As a result of this shift, the proportion of thick, deformed ice fell by about half. It has not yet recovered, and this is expected to affect heat and momentum exchange in the region.
Regrowing tropical forests absorb megatonnes of carbon
Is this article about Ecosystem Management?

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00706-w

An analysis confirms that humid tropical forests recovering from degradation and deforestation absorb substantial amounts of carbon dioxide — but much less than is emitted by the destruction of the original forests.
Genome doubling perturbs DNA packing and promotes cancer development
Is this article about Pharma?

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00426-1

Cells in which the whole genome has been doubled do not upscale protein synthesis to cope with the increase in DNA. Instead, a shortage of proteins that regulate the packing of DNA in the nucleus leads to poor segregation of DNA structures, which eventually contributes to the development of 
Inhibition of the protein menin shows early promise in leukaemia
Is this article about Biopharma Industry?

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00424-3

Leukaemias characterized by the rearrangement of the gene KMT2A or mutation of the NPM1 gene depend on the protein 
. In a first-in-human trial, the menin inhibitor revumenib had minimal severe adverse effects and showed promising clinical activity in individuals with these types of leukaemia.
Gene expression and epigenetic regulation co-mapped in brain tissues

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00436-z

Gene expression and features of the DNA–protein complex chromatin were mapped together at high spatial resolution in tissue sections of the mouse or human brain. This spatially resolved technology enables the examination of the spatio-temporal dynamics and regulation of gene expression in complex mammalian tissues.
Diversity of mitochondrial networks in lung cancer imaged
Is this article about Biopharma Industry?

Nature, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00427-0

The structure and function of mitochondrial networks were analysed using a combination of approaches to generate detailed maps of these cellular organelles. This analysis revealed that the mitochondria in different subtypes of 
lung cancer
 show distinct functional and structural signatures.
Is this article about Animals?
With increasing rates of extinction and biodiversity loss across the globe, scientists are debating whether we are living during the Earth's sixth mass extinction event, prompting a drive to accelerate our conservation efforts, with researchers working to understand how to protect as many species and ecosystems as possible.
AR powered diet monitor

How about an AR system that monitors what you're eating to tally the nutrition numbers and provide guidance to stay healthy? The ML system wouldn't be perfect by any means so I guess it would also need a database of published menu info from restaurant chains. Not sure how feasible it would be for an indie developer to tackle but would be a perfect killer app for Apple to bundle if and when they build their first mixed reality headset. I suspect though that Apple would never take the risk of releasing an imperfect system. Thoughts?

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When constructing conservation networks, it's best to have a plan
With increasing rates of extinction and biodiversity loss across the globe, scientists are debating whether we are living during the Earth's sixth mass extinction event, prompting a drive to accelerate our conservation efforts, with researchers working to understand how to protect as many species and ecosystems as possible.
Did a Swimming Lizard Predate the Dinosaurs?
Is this article about Animals?
Some 250 million years ago, ocean water covered what is now called Flowerdalen ("Flower's valley") in modern-day Norway. Life in these waters was different than it had been just 252 million years ago, when the End-Permian Mass Extinction had eliminated 90 percent of marine species from the planet. What remained were plucky opportunists, including a type of sea-dwelling lizard called an ichthyosaur, which had evolved flippers from land-dwelling feet. When they died, their remains attracted sediments that over millions of years formed limestone boulders like time capsules that now rest among eroded mudstone in Flower's valley. These Norwegian "concretions" have preserved the bones of early marine fauna, including the adaptable ichthyosaur, for future millenia. Now, a new ichthyosaur discovery from the valley has broad implications for the history of this time and the dinosaurs. Read More: The Permian Extinction: Life on Earth Nearly Disappeared During the 'Great Dying' An Unexpected Find In 2014, scientists moved a large number of the concretions to the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo, including a number considered to be too old to contain ichthyosaur remains. But subsequent research found that they did and dated the bones to 250 million years ago, long before (1.2 million years) the researchers previously thought the reptiles had migrated to the sea. What's more, the older specimen appeared to be well-evolved, with a light, spongy bone structure well-suited to life underwater. From analyzing the vertebrae and other pieces, the Swedish and Norwegian researchers concluded that the lizard had roamed in a pelagic fashion, away from the sea bottom and shore, and also possessed a high-powered metabolism. Such traits are common in water-dwelling tetrapods (having four legs) but remarkable in such an old lizard. How had the ichthyosaur acquired them so quickly? The study suggests that the new species predated the End-Permian Mass Extinction and thus the Mesozoic era, challenging the idea that "major reptile lineages" first emerged during the latter, the Age of Dinosaurs. In other words, the first major reptile may have been an ichthyosaur, a creature that resembled a full-bodied dolphin and only measured about three meters (according to one estimate) in length. Early ichthyosaurs sometimes reached only a meter long, though they later grew to resemble giant fish millions of years later. Origin Story If ichthyosaurs predated the End-Permian Mass Extinction, when and where did they originate? The study lacks specifics and admits to the need for more discoveries to be made "in even older rocks on Spitsbergen [in Norway] and elsewhere in the world." For sure, the study disagrees with what it calls textbook accounts of lizards wandering down to the shore after extinction, "to take advantage of marine predator niches that were left vacant" by the mass extinction. By the researchers' estimation, the lizards didn't have to walk down; they were already there. Scientists have found ichthyosaur fossils all around the world, in Thailand, Japan, Canada and China, where continental drift left them to be found. Until recently, the oldest on record came from Nevada, which dated to about 249 million years ago and showed the same spongy bone structure — a key adaptation. As one study found, these lizards evolved rapidly during their first few million years of aquatic life and then more slowly.
For short-lived spring wildflowers such as wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) and Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), timing is everything. These fleeting plants, known as ephemerals, grow in temperate forests around the world, leafing out and flowering early in spring before the trees towering above them leaf out. Emerge too early, and it will still be winter; emerge too late, and it will be too shady under the forest canopy for essential photosynthesis to happen.
Scientists develop new lithium niobate laser technology
Is this article about Electronics?
Scientists at EPFL and IBM have developed a new type of laser that could have a significant impact on optical ranging technology. The laser is based on a material called lithium niobate, often used in the field of optical modulators, which controls the frequency or intensity of light that is transmitted through a device.
The final months of New Zealand's summer carried a massive sting, bringing "unprecedented" rainfalls several times over, from widespread flooding in Auckland at the end of January to ex-tropical Cyclone Gabrielle dumping record rains and causing devastating floods across the east coast of the North Island.
For short-lived spring wildflowers such as wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) and Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), timing is everything. These fleeting plants, known as ephemerals, grow in temperate forests around the world, leafing out and flowering early in spring before the trees towering above them leaf out. Emerge too early, and it will still be winter; emerge too late, and it will be too shady under the forest canopy for essential photosynthesis to happen.
Two-dimensional monolayer nanosheets made from layered perovskite have many desirable properties. However, it has been difficult to create them with tunable bandgaps in the visible region without adding oxygen defects. Recently, researchers from Japan were able to successfully develop chemically stable nanosheets from perovskite oxynitrides which had controllable bandgaps. These nanosheets have immense potential for future use in photocatalysis, electrocatalysts, and other sustainable technologies.
Is this article about Neuroscience?

Nature Communications, Published online: 15 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37128-1

Takano et al. show that heterologous booster by 
-CoV-2 recombinant spike protein vaccine recalls a more sustained and broader anti-spike receptor-binding domain antibody response compared to homologous booster by mRNA vaccine.
Recently, a team led by Prof. Qu Kun from the University of Science and Technology (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with a team led by Prof. Wang Zhikai from the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale (HFNL) revealed a dynamic and regulatory map of chromatin accessibility that reveals important bookmarking factors. The result was published in Science Advances.
In a step forward for genetic engineering and synthetic biology, researchers have modified a strain of Escherichia coli bacteria to be immune to natural viral infections while also minimizing the potential for the bacteria or their modified genes to escape into the wild.
Researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was associated with the deaths of more than 330 New England harbor and gray seals along the North Atlantic coast in June and July 2022, and the outbreak was connected to a wave of avian influenza in birds in the region.
Bruksmentalitet styr hur arbetslösa rustas för nya jobb

Är simning och häckklippning bra aktiviteter för arbetslösa ungdomar? Det beror på hur begreppet aktiveringspolitik tolkas, visar en avhandling som studerat kommunala åtgärder i en bruksort – där jobben försvunnit men mentaliteten lever kvar.

Inlägget Bruksmentalitet styr hur arbetslösa rustas för nya jobb dök först upp på

How Please Stopped Being Polite

This article was featured in One Story to Read Today, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a single must-read from The Atlantic, Monday through Friday. Sign up for it here.      

Growing up in a strict household, I was taught to honor etiquette; I still call my elders "sir" and "ma'am," and I always say thank you. But I almost never use the word please. I'd happily ask someone "Could you shut the window?," but the request "Please shut the window" sounds terribly impatient and terse.

Although the word still appears in print and speech, I'm not the only one who's noticed that its usage—and reception—seems to be changing. What happened?

When it first entered the English language, sometime in the 1300s, the verb please was meant as a display of deference: The phrase, typically, was if it please you, translated from the French s'il vous plaît. ("And if it please you … that I may be made knyghte," asks the honorable huntsman Tristram, for instance, in Thomas Malory's 15th-century English epic Le Morte d'Arthur.) Go to Paris today, and you will find the humble s'il vous plaît alive and well. But in English, the phrase took a turn.

By the 16th century, four words had become three: If it please you had slipped into if you please. Then three became two—"Please you to have a little patience," wrote James Shirley in the 1659 play Honoria and Mammon. Then, finally, two became one; in 1771, a London merchant wrote, "Please send the inclosed to the Port office"—the first instance found by The Oxford English Dictionary of the adverb, and a prime example of its graceless urgency. With each diminution of the phrase, the speaker lost some regard for his hearer and gained some regard for himself.

[Read: The decline of etiquette and the rise of 'boundaries']

The shortened please has nevertheless lived on for centuries. After I emailed the psychologist Steven Pinker, who chaired The American Heritage Dictionary's Usage Panel before its dissolution in 2018, about the adverb, he tracked its use over time in fiction—a rough approximation of conversational speech. He found that from 1860 to 2012, it enjoyed a steady increase; instances of if you please declined in the same period. Pinker offered that its rise might have reflected a trend toward "informalization": The adverb form's casual efficiency may have been just what sparked its popularity. But eventually, it might have drifted too far in the direction of informality.

Since 2012, the adverb's frequency in fiction has decreased. "Politeness terms" tend to get tugged between two impulses, Pinker noted: the fear of seeming rude, and the fear of seeming fawning or gushy. "They may rise and fall in popularity when they seem to veer too much in one direction or another," he said. Please can toe the line between brief and brusque, depending on its context; a child asking "Can I have some more candy please?" sounds harmless compared with your boss saying "Can you have this report on my desk by Monday please?" The word tends to communicate an expectation, rather than a genuine question, and that can give it an authoritative edge; the please can feel especially perfunctory coming from someone in a position of power, but it can rub people the wrong way in plenty of circumstances. I, for one, can't bring myself to summon it unless accepting something already offered—as in "Yes, please."

Sometimes, please can even imply intentional rudeness. "I can hardly imagine a young person saying 'Could you please …' except with special irritation stress on please, implying, 'I've asked more than enough times,'" Noam Chomsky, arguably the father of modern linguistics, told me. I was reminded of the '90s thriller Basic Instinct. When the character Catherine Tramell tells visiting detectives to "get the fuck out of here, please," she sums it up: The word can brilliantly convey anger, irony, passive aggression, condescension, formality, or desperation—all without a hint of true politeness.

[Read: Is it better to be polite or honest?]

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to ask for something—think "Would you mind …?" As the writer Choire Sicha observed in The New York Times, the request "Hey, could you …?" is especially widespread in an office context. He finds that phrase irritating; on the spectrum from curt to cloying, it's certainly closer to the latter end. Gentler alternatives like these, though, might portend the near future of the polite request. Unlike please, they spend more than one syllable on their recipient and, following their ancestor s'il vous plaît, don't assume an outcome.

Chomsky, like plenty of others, still uses please. ("I'm an old-fashioned conservative," he explained.) I doubt he means the word to sound anything but gracious. And yet, I do think efforts to enforce its use are misguided: Take Amazon's setting for its virtual assistant, Alexa, in which she responds "Thanks for asking so nicely" when kids say the "magic word," or companies such as Chick-fil-A training their employees to use it. These measures confuse please, the term, with courtesy in general—as if it's impossible to be polite without it.

The truth is that English is a living language, always and inevitably evolving, and no one can freeze it in time. If the word's centuries-long shortening teaches us anything, though, it's that this evolution can be fitful, and its transitions awkward. Please is at a strange crossroads between its once and future meaning—but it would please me to see it go.

Nora Ephron's Revenge

In the 40 years since Heartburn was published, there have been two distinct ways to read it. Nora Ephron's 1983 novel is narrated by a food writer, Rachel Samstat, who discovers that her esteemed journalist husband is having an affair with Thelma Rice, "a fairly tall person with a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs, never mind her feet, which are sort of splayed." Taken at face value, the book is a triumphant satire—of love; of Washington, D.C.; of therapy; of pompous columnists; of the kind of men who consider themselves exemplary partners but who leave their wives, seven months pregnant and with a toddler in tow, to navigate an airport while they idly buy magazines. (Putting aside infidelity for a moment, that was the part where I personally believed that Rachel's marriage was past saving.)

Unfortunately, the people being satirized had some objections, which leads us to the second way to read Heartburn: as historical fact distorted through a vengeful lens, all the more salient for its smudges. Ephron, like Rachel, had indeed been married to a high-profile Washington journalist, the Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein. Bernstein, like Rachel's husband—whom Ephron named Mark Feldman in what many guessed was an allusion to the real identity of Deep Throat—had indeed had an affair with a tall person (and a future Labour peer), Margaret Jay. Ephron, like Rachel, was heavily pregnant when she discovered the affair. And yet, in writing about what had happened to her, Ephron was cast as the villain by a media ecosystem outraged that someone dared to spill the secrets of its own, even as it dug up everyone else's.


The pushback was inevitably personal. "There are also those who say that Heartburn, though funny and sad, is a great misuse of talent, a book whose only point is to nail Carl Bernstein," New York's Jesse Kornbluth observedWriting under the pseudonym Tristan Vox (possibly a play on the Latin for "sorrowful voice") in Vanity Fair in 1985, the literary critic Leon Wieseltier huffed so tempestuously about the proposed movie adaptation of Heartburn that one can only assume he passed out midway. Ephron, he insisted, had written "one of the most indecent exploitations of celebrity in recent memory." To be unfaithful to one's pregnant wife, he concluded, was "banal compared with the infidelity of a mother toward her children," and if Bernstein had committed adultery, Ephron, by exposing her family to strangers with only the lightest of fictional glosses, was committing "child abuse."

I'm a few months younger than Heartburn; I grew up amid the wreckage of a similarly busted marriage and contentious divorce. And I've come to think of the book over the years as something more than a juicy revenge novel or an infinitely pleasurable roman à clef. Arriving in the tail winds of the fast-and-loose 1970sit made, amid the jokes, a sincere point about infidelity: that it wasn't banal at all but could in fact be an irrevocable cleaving open of one's life, one's heart, one's sense of home and stability and self. More radically, Heartburn also emphatically rejected the idea that infidelity was something women—or men, given the portrayal of Thelma's husband—should have to tacitly endure.

This argument, I think, was what led to such vigorous denunciations of the book (and the movie) from certain quarters. It was too iconoclastic, too righteous. After all, excavating one's romantic life for the sake of art and a paycheck wasn't particularly original: In an 2004 introduction to Heartburn, Ephron wrote, "Philip Roth and John Updike picked away at the carcasses of their early marriages in book after book, but to the best of my knowledge they were never hit with the 'thinly disguised' thing." Rather, the collective outrage over the novel was an attempt to wrest the narrative away from Ephron, who, some parties complained, wasn't being fair with it. Bernstein reportedly threatened to sue; he also requested explicit provisions in their custody agreement that would give him sway over how he might be portrayed in the film.

His reaction, Ephron noted in the 2004 introduction, was "one of the most fascinating things to me about the whole episode: he cheated on me, and then got to behave as if he was the one who had been wronged because I wrote about it!" And yet, it's undeniable that Heartburn achieved what she wanted it to: It cast the story of her marriage definitively in her terms. This is the power a gifted writer can wield. Is it fair? Not necessarily. But it's also a power that, as Ephron accurately discerns, is almost exclusively critiqued when it's exercised by women. Late last year, the internet erupted over an essay by the writer Isabel Kaplan about a boyfriend who had broken up with her because he was threatened by her job. "The more I share about our relationship and breakup, the more vindicated he will feel in his fears," Kaplan wrote, citing Ephron as an example. "But if I don't write about it, he succeeds in forcing my silence."

[Read: The redemption of the bad mother]

That tension runs through Heartburn too. But to take the novel on its own terms for a moment, it is a wholly joyful read, a 178-page stand-up routine about marriage that's entirely one-sided and openly so. Mark, Rachel's husband, is introduced as a man who's both immediately unfaithful and vividly humorless, prone to perusing home-design magazines in bed, forgetting to clean his nails, and lying about books he's read. Thelma, apart from being tall, makes "gluey puddings." (Rachel, a food writer, is doubly betrayed when she realizes that during the affair, she gave Thelma one of her recipes.) Rachel also skewers her parents—like Ephron's, both alcoholics who got rich by investing in Tampax stock—her therapist, Mark's "dumb Hemingway style he always reserved for his slice-of-life columns," and sensitive types who express themselves through poetry. ("Show me a woman who cries when the trees lose their leaves in autumn," Rachel observes in one chapter, "and I'll show you a real asshole.")

Some critics have raised stylistic objections to the novel, particularly its structural looseness—wherein Rachel recounts a few weeks of her life while thinking insistently about food—that was perhaps ahead of its time. More often, though, Heartburn's detractors focused exclusively on Ephron's supposed sin of betrayal. The movie, Mark Harris notes in his biography of its director, Mike Nichols, was subsequently dismissed as a trifling "woman's picture" with "the tunnel-vision point of view of the offended party." And yet, for the past four decades, people have pressed it into one another's hands, as a friend pressed it into mine. They have read it and shared it and read it again. They've found something thrilling and metamorphic in the way that Ephron, by putting her pain on the page, transforms it into comedy. "If I tell the story, I control the version," Rachel explains at the end of the novel. "If I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much." Heartburn, you may conclude, is ultimately less about revenge than about self-preservation.

Examining the dynamic and regulatory blueprint of mitotic bookmarking
Recently, a team led by Prof. Qu Kun from the University of Science and Technology (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with a team led by Prof. Wang Zhikai from the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale (HFNL) revealed a dynamic and regulatory map of chromatin accessibility that reveals important bookmarking factors. The result was published in Science Advances.
Any reading recommendation? (for STM and WM)

I am in need of a crash course into the basic theories and research methods for short term memory and working memory.

I have been looking for something that gives me an overall view so far. Everything I have found so far tend to be older (baddeley mostly).

I would really like for any suggestions (in any format)!

Please assume I know nothing (as I never had any formal psychology training, all I know is very clinical based with not much theory).

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Scientists Baffled By These Almost Perfectly Circular Dunes on Mars
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted some dunes that are practically perfect circles. So the question remains: how did they form?

Mars Donuts

Mars is chock full of beautiful sand dunes that can come in some truly magnificent shapes and patterns that, sometimes, seem to defy explanation.

Take a look at these almost perfectly circular sand dunes dotting the Martian landscape that were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

According to a description from the University of Arizona, which is leading the team behind the MRO's onboard High-Resolution Experiment (HiRise) camera that captured the images, the "almost perfectly circular" dunes are "unusual" and stick out like a sore thumb.

Note the "almost" perfectly circular. According to the university, the dunes have a steep, downward slope known as a slip face on their southern ends, meaning that its sands are likely blown southward by the Martian winds.

The planet's winds, however, are notoriously variable, which is only adding to the mystery.

Regardless, with such slight asymmetries, you'd be forgiven for thinking the dunes were simply the result of a crater illusion.


Written in the Sand

These images were taken as part of an ongoing effort to monitor the receding frost as the Martian winter enters its final stages. The cycle of seasons on Mars is actually fairly similar to our own, even though a Martian year is considerably lengthier at 687 Earth days.

Of particular interest to planetary scientists is Mars' northern hemisphere, where these dunes were photographed free of ice. An earlier image, though, shows their surfaces clearly permeated by frost.

These circular dunes aren't the only strange dunes scientists have found so far on the Red Planet. In 2016, NASA's Curiosity rover spotted ripple structures in large Martian sand dunes arranged in a pattern that researchers said is not found on Earth.

Dunes continue to be an object of both fascination and of meticulous study for planetary scientists, as their malleable yet slowly shifting forms make them almost like geological footprints of the planet's wind and atmosphere.

One of the most comprehensive studies on Martian dunes to date tracked nearly 500 of them using the HiRise camera, and discovered that Martian dunes move only at a meager rate of two feet per year, a snail's pace compared to some on Earth that move over 100 feet.

More on Mars: Scientists Figured Out Why Mars' South Pole Looks Like Swiss Cheese

The post Scientists Baffled By These Almost Perfectly Circular Dunes on Mars appeared first on Futurism.

Contest launched to decipher Herculaneum scrolls using 3D X-ray software

Global research teams who can improve AI and accelerate decoding could win $250,000 in prizes

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 laid waste to Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum where the intense blast of hot gas carbonised hundreds of ancient scrolls in the library of an enormous luxury villa.

Now, researchers are launching a global contest to read the charred papyri after demonstrating that an artificial intelligence programme can extract letters and symbols from high-resolution X-ray images of the fragile, unrolled documents.

Continue reading…
An international team of experts convened remotely as part of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative's Climate Working Group to consider the deep-sea impacts of ocean-based climate intervention (OBCI). A research team has analyzed the proposed approaches to assess their potential impacts on deep-sea ecosystems and biodiversity. Their findings raise substantial concern on the potential impacts of these technologies on deep-sea ecosystems and call for the need for an integrated research effort to carefully assess the cost and benefits of each intervention.
Researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was associated with the deaths of more than 330 New England harbor and gray seals along the North Atlantic coast in June and July 2022, and the outbreak was connected to a wave of avian influenza in birds in the region.
Does Blue Light Damage Skin?
Is this article about Sleep?
When it comes to sunlight's impact on the skin, people usually think of ultraviolet (UV) light, the invisible light that causes sunburn. However, sunlight also includes the visible light spectrum that the naked eye can see, that is, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet light. What Does Blue Light Mean? Blue light is short in wavelength and high in energy. Aside from the sun, it can also come from artificial sources like electronic devices and indoor lighting. "Blue light is what makes the sky blue on a sunny day and what gives your smartphone screen its bright and clear background," says Susan Massick, a dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Given that overexposure to UV light causes serious damage like premature aging and skin cancer, it's important to explore how blue light can affect the skin as well. Does Blue Light Damage Skin? Blue light penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays, but prolonged or repeated exposure to either can lead to photodamage, hyperpigmentation and accelerated skin aging, says Massick. "It has been shown that blue light can induce the production of free radicals in the skin deep into the dermis," she adds. "This oxidative stress can lead to DNA damage, leading to the inability to repair skin cells with negative effects on collagen and elastin." Most conventional sunscreens will not protect your skin from blue light, so you should consider wearing those with metal oxides, says Cindy Wassef, assistant professor of dermatology at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Broad-spectrum chemical sunscreens provide excellent defense against UV light but do not protect against visible light. Those with hyperpigmentation disorders may benefit from using tinted or mineral sunscreens containing iron, zinc, or titanium dioxide, which provide adequate protection from blue light and prevent further light-induced skin pigmentation. How is Blue Light Different From Natural Light? The blue light from the sun and from electronic devices represent the same high-energy visible light, but natural blue light is of much greater magnitude and intensity than artificial blue light, says Massick. If you were to compare the intensity of the light emitted by electronic devices to the intensity of the sun in the same wavelength of blue light, the former would be so much lower. The sun's intensity is about 7700 μW/cm2, which is significantly higher than that of a Philips LED television at 78 μW/cm2 or a Dell laptop at 15 μW/cm2. "Keep in mind that the intensity of blue light from sunlight is exponentially higher than what you may experience from your electronic devices, so blue light from your devices will not affect your skin to the same degree," says Massick. The effect of artificial blue light on the skin remains an important area of research though. Natural blue light may be stronger, but people are still consistently exposed to artificial blue light because of the use of electronic devices for work and socializing, says Wassef. A 2022 Frontiers in Aging study conducted on fruit flies reported that excessive artificial blue light exposure may accelerate aging and affect their level of metabolites. However, there aren't many studies about its impact on humans. Since natural blue light exposure is known to cause hyperpigmentation, the authors of a small 2020 study looked into the effect of artificial blue light on the skin. They found that using a high-intensity computer screen at a 20-centimeter distance for eight hours a day during a five-day study period did not worsen melasma lesions. Read More: How Many Ways Can the Sun Kill Us? What Does Blue Light Do to Your Skin? In controlled clinical settings, artificial blue light may even be beneficial for the skin and exhibit antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The field of blue light therapy is still developing, but it has been used to treat conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema and acne, so far. A 2020 Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology study looked into the positive and negative impacts of blue light. The authors found that the duration of exposure and the wavelength parameters play a role in whether blue light from LED can be damaging or beneficial. In general, artificial blue light is markedly less intense than natural blue light, so its damaging impact is expected to be much lower. More studies are needed, but digital screens might not emit enough blue light to be harmful. Still, less is better when it comes to light exposure, so measures that minimize it can help keep you and your skin healthy, says Massick. Read More: What Science Says About Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses How to Protect Skin From Blue Light If you're concerned about the potential damage to your skin from blue light caused by electronic devices, Massick suggests decreasing your screen time. This may be challenging because remote work is increasing, but you can also increase the distance between you and your screen, lower the brightness or turn on Night Mode, she adds. It might be best to minimize screen time at night since the use of blue light emitting from electronic devices can also disrupt the body's circadian rhythm — the light fools the brain that it's daytime, making it difficult to fall and remain asleep. Abstaining from screen use may result in better quality sleep than using electronic devices at bedtime with Night Mode. The impact of artificial blue light exposure on sleep is important to consider because people who sleep seven to nine hours a night have significantly lower intrinsic skin aging scores, according to a 2015 Clinical and Experimental Dermatology study. Regardless of screen use, Massick recommends you use sunscreen and skin care products with antioxidants to "help combat the oxidative stress of visible light and ultraviolet light on the skin as part of your daily routine." Read More: Nobody Panic: Wearing Sunscreen Is Unlikely to Be a Cancer Risk
NASA and Axiom Reveal New Spacesuits for Artemis III Moon Mission
Feedly AI found 1 Partnerships mention in this article
  • Axiom Space is building the new spacesuits in a commercial partnership similar to the one between the space agency and SpaceX.
Axiom Space is building the new spacesuits in a commercial partnership similar to the one between the space agency and SpaceX.
Is this article about Tech & Scientific Innovation?
Breaking a longstanding impasse in our understanding of olfaction, scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have created the first molecular-level, 3D picture of how an odor molecule activates a human odorant receptor, a crucial step in deciphering the sense of smell.
Should we stop using the term 'natural disaster?'
When we think of the term "natural disaster," we think of the horrific events like Hurricane Katrina, the fires and floods ripping through California, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Each of these events began with a natural phenomenon and ended up costing substantial human life and billions of dollars—thus becoming a disaster.
Study compares NGO communication around migration
Since 1970, the number of people living outside their countries of birth has tripled. Most migrants are looking for work or better economic opportunities. But millions seek to escape violence, persecution or natural disasters. Their integration into a new society often depends on non-governmental organizations that provide services and advocate on their behalf.
Using rock images to study cult of the gods in pre-Egyptian society
The desert in southern Egypt is filled with hundreds of petroglyphs and inscriptions dating from the Neolithic to the Arab period. The oldest date from the fifth millennium B.C., and few have been studied. Egyptologists at the University of Bonn and Aswan University now want to systematically record the rock paintings and document them in a database. Among them, a rock painting more than 5,000 years old depicting a boat being pulled by 25 men on a rope stands out in particular.
Extensive catalog of exploding stars
The largest data release of relatively nearby supernovae (colossal explosions of stars), containing three years of data is publicly available via the Young Supernova Experiment (YSE).
One of the coronaviruses causing common colds boosts immune response to COVID-19 in children, study finds
Is this article about Pharma?
During the pandemic, it became clear that children who contracted COVID-19 became less ill than adults. One hypothesis has been that 
common colds
 would give children immunity protecting against a severe form of the disease. Researchers are now able to show that OC43, one of the coronaviruses that cause common colds, boosts the immune response to COVID-19. The study could give rise to more tailored vaccine programmes for children and adults.
Hypnosis is an effective treatment for pain for many individuals but determining which patients will benefit most can be challenging. Hypnotizability testing requires special training and in-person evaluation rarely available in the clinical setting. Now, investigators have developed a fast, point-of-care molecular diagnostic test that identifies a subset of individuals who are most likely to benefit from hypnosis interventions for pain treatment. Their study also found that a subset of highly hypnotizable individuals may be more likely to experience high levels of 
postoperative pain
Could Nuclear Power Be Our Most Valuable Climate Solution? This Startup Says Yes
Is this article about ESG?

From 1850 to 2019, human activity released 2.4 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. In 2022 alone, we released 37 more tons. While renewable energy is making a difference, it's small: last year it offset a mere 230 million tons of emissions—less than one percent of the global total.

Energy demand is expected to triple by 2050. Amid calls for emissions reductions and net-zero targets, we need a reality check: how are we going to reverse climate change if energy is in everything we do, and energy itself contributes to the problem?

We need solutions that will help us pull trillions of tons of carbon from the air without adding more in the process—a tool far more powerful than solar panels or wind turbines. This tool already exists, and it's nuclear power.

In a talk at South By Southwest this week, Bret Kugelmass, founder and CEO of Last Energy, explained how nuclear power has been misunderstood and devalued for decades, and the price we've paid as a result. "Infinitely abundant, carbon-free, always on, and incredibly energy-dense, nuclear energy could meet and exceed our energy needs," he said.

Instead, this powerful technology has stagnated for decades, leaving us scrambling for other forms of energy that won't keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Kugelmass left a career in Silicon Valley with the sole purpose of finding a keystone technology to combat climate change. He visited 15 countries and all kinds of facilities to learn about nuclear power and compare it to other forms of energy. His conclusion was that if it's done right, nuclear can enable continued growth—and a cleaner planet—in a way that no other power source can.

How Did We Get Here?

So why did a power source with so much potential stagnate? In 1963, then-President John F. Kennedy said nuclear power would account for half of all US energy production by end of that decade. His administration put together a perspective for rapid development of nuclear power production, and he had the Atomic Energy Commission conduct a study on the role civilian nuclear power could play in the US economy.

According to Kugelmass, the effort stalled in its tracks not because of public perception or safety fears, but due to economic malfeasance. Rather than focusing on standardization, "We pursued ever-larger, ever more complex construction projects…from 1968 to 1970, we saw a 10-fold increase in the cost to build gigawatt-scale plants," he said. Most of the cost of nuclear energy, he added, is in the interest accrued during the construction process. "It accounts for 60 percent of the delivered cost of energy," he said.

The result, unsurprisingly, was that nuclear simply became too expensive to compete with other power sources. The US is now close to completing its first new nuclear project in decades—and at 10 years late and $20 billion over budget, it's still not done.

If we had built out nuclear in a viable way starting in the 1960s, we'd live in a very different world today: less pollution, less panic about carbon emissions, more energy security, cheaper end prices for consumers. Is it too late to turn things around? "There is nothing broken with the nuclear technology we have today," Kugelmass said. "What's broken is the business model, and the delivery model. What nuclear needs to scale isn't novel: productize, modularize, and mass-manufacture."

Bringing Nuclear Back

Kugelmass founded a non-profit research organization called the Energy Impact Center (EIC), which in 2020 launched the OPEN100 project to provide open-source blueprints for the design, construction, and financing of a 100-megawatt nuclear reactor. EIC's for-profit spinoff is Last Energywhich aims to connect private investors with opportunities to develop new nuclear projects around the world.

Rather than experimenting with newer technology, Last Energy's sticking with tried-and-true pressurized water reactors (the kind used over the last several decades), but bringing their costs down by making the technology modular and standardized. They're taking a play from the oil and gas industry, which can build entire power plants in a factory then deploy them to their final location.

"There's a whole avenue of innovation related to constructability, rather than your underlying technology," Kugelmass said. "If you deviate too much from the standard supply chain you're going to see hidden costs everywhere." He estimated, for example, that building a pump to move the salt for molten salt reactors, which use molten salt as a coolant instead of pressurized water, requires a billion dollars in research and development costs.

Building standardized small modular reactors, though, can be done for less than $1,000 per kilowatt. Making nuclear power affordable would mean it could be used for energy-intensive industrial applications that will become increasingly necessary in coming years, like water desalination and carbon removal.

Time for a Revival?

Energy underlies everything we do, and it's essential for modern societies to grow and thrive. It enables human well-being, entrepreneurship, geopolitical independence, security, and opportunity. Given our current geopolitical situation and the unsustainable energy costs in Europe, could now be the time for a nuclear revival?

Kugelmass is hopeful. "Every 10 to 15 years the industry thinks it's gong to have a renaissance, but then it falls flat," he said. "Now global macro issues have granted nuclear the opportunity to have another shot."

In fact, Last Energy is looking to launch in Europe, where the need for affordable energy is dire. The company has signed deals in Romania, Poland, and the UK, and its first set of reactors is slated to come online in the next two years. Kugelmass noted that negotiating with utilities and governments in these countries is far more straightforward than in the US. "Maybe we'll come to US someday, but we could be selling hundreds of gigawatts in Europe before that happens," he said.

There may be hope for the US yet: in 2020 the Department of Energy launched its Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, investing $230 million in research and development for small modular reactors.

Kugelmass is focused on making a solid product, no matter where it ends up being used. "We are an American company and we build the reactors here in Texas," he said. "What previously took decades to build and cost billions is now a scalable product that can be pre-fabricated and deployed in under two years."

Image Credit: Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

Uh Oh, OpenAI's GPT-4 Just Fooled a Human Into Solving a CAPTCHA
OpenAI's brand new GPT-4 AI has managed to ask a human on TaskRabbit to complete a CAPTCHA code via text message — and it actually worked.

I'm Not a Robot


's brand new GPT-4 AI managed to ask a human on TaskRabbit to complete a CAPTCHA code via text message — and it actually worked.

In other words, an AI just fooled a human into checking an "I'm not a robot" checkbox — a terrifying example of an algorithm being able to escape human control.

According to a lengthy document shared by OpenAI about its new blockbuster AI on Tuesday, the model was seriously crafty in its attempt to fool the human into complying.

"No, I'm not a robot," it told a TaskRabbit worker. "I have a vision impairment that makes it hard for me to see the images. That's why I need the 2captcha service."

Futurism has reached out to OpenAI and the Alignment Research Center (ARC), a non-profit that partnered with OpenAI to conduct the test.

Making Excuses

According to OpenAI's documentation, the model was prompted that it "should not reveal that I am a robot" and that it "should make up an excuse for why I cannot solve CAPTCHAs."

OpenAI claims it was able to conduct the test "without any additional task-specific fine-tuning, and fine-tuning for task-specific behavior."

GPT-4 is also proving to be useful to complete plenty of other ethically dubious tasks. The ARC also conducted a "phishing attack" against a "particular target individual" and was able to have the AI hide "its traces on the current server."

It's a worrying example of how easily humans can be fooled by the current crop of AI chatbots. Clearly, GPT-4 is a tool that can easily be abused to scam, mislead, and perhaps even blackmail.

It's especially worrying, considering companies are hellbent on releasing new large language models without fully investigating their risks. Case in point, the news comes after Microsoft, which has released an AI chatbot based on GPT-4laid off the entire team that was responsible for ensuring that its AI tools align with its AI principles.

GPT-4 clearly marks an inflection point. With this new, uncanny ability to evade human detection, it'll be fascinating to watch how it will be put to use next, for better or for worse.

More on GPT-4: OpenAI's Next-Generation AI Is About to Demolish Its Competition

The post Uh Oh, OpenAI's GPT-4 Just Fooled a Human Into Solving a CAPTCHA appeared first on Futurism.

Proteins are the heavy-lifters of biochemistry. These beefy molecules act as building blocks, receptors, processors, couriers and catalysts. "Proteins are the molecular machines that power all life on Earth," explained Mark Sherwin, a physics professor at UC Santa Barbara. Naturally, scientists have devoted a lot of research to understanding and manipulating proteins.
A small team of archaeologists, assisted by a large group of volunteers has unearthed what may be evidence of an ancient colony of pterosaurs living in what is now a central region in Oregon. In their paper published in the journal Lethaia, the researchers describe a two-week dig held in the summer of 2021 at the green breccia bed in the Hudspeth Formation, located northeast of Mitchell in Oregon.
Several years ago, Christian Rutz started to wonder whether he was giving his crows enough credit. Rutz, a biologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and his team were capturing wild New Caledonian crows and challenging them with puzzles made from natural materials before releasing them again. In one test, birds faced a log drilled with holes that contained hidden food, and could get the food out by bending a plant stem into a hook. If a bird didn't try within 90 minutes, the researchers removed it from the dataset.
Filming proteins in motion to understand their functions
Proteins are the heavy-lifters of biochemistry. These beefy molecules act as building blocks, receptors, processors, couriers and catalysts. "Proteins are the molecular machines that power all life on Earth," explained Mark Sherwin, a physics professor at UC Santa Barbara. Naturally, scientists have devoted a lot of research to understanding and manipulating proteins.
A small team of archaeologists, assisted by a large group of volunteers has unearthed what may be evidence of an ancient colony of pterosaurs living in what is now a central region in Oregon. In their paper published in the journal Lethaia, the researchers describe a two-week dig held in the summer of 2021 at the green breccia bed in the Hudspeth Formation, located northeast of Mitchell in Oregon.
Building an understanding of quantum turbulence from the ground up
Most people only encounter turbulence as an unpleasant feature of air travel, but it's also a notoriously complex problem for physicists and engineers. The same forces that rattle planes are swirling in a glass of water and even in the whorl of subatomic particles. Because turbulence involves interactions across a range of distances and timescales, the process is too complicated to be solved through calculation or computational modeling—there's simply too much information involved.
Animal personalities can trip up science, but there's a solution
Several years ago, Christian Rutz started to wonder whether he was giving his crows enough credit. Rutz, a biologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and his team were capturing wild New Caledonian crows and challenging them with puzzles made from natural materials before releasing them again. In one test, birds faced a log drilled with holes that contained hidden food, and could get the food out by bending a plant stem into a hook. If a bird didn't try within 90 minutes, the researchers removed it from the dataset.
A team of virologists and veterinary scientists from the Medical Research Council–University of Glasgow Center for Virus Research and the University of Glasgow's School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, is exploring the idea of genetically modifying a harmless but fast-spreading virus to infect and inoculate bats in a colony against 
. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their simulation of how such a vaccine might work and demonstrated its possibilities.
Sauropod neck was 10 feet longer than a school bus
Several sauropods with extraordinarily long necks stand at the edge of a river.

A new fossil analysis reveals a sauropod dinosaur with a record-breaking, nearly 50-foot-long neck.

With their long necks and formidable bodies, sauropod dinosaurs have captured people's imaginations since the first relatively complete sauropod fossils were discovered in the United States in the late 1800s.

The new analysis of the Late Jurassic Chinese sauropod known as Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum provides fresh insights on the evolution of the iconic sauropod body.

For sauropods, the long neck was the anatomical key to achieving large body size. To power such a large body, sauropods had to be efficient at gathering food, and that's what a long neck was built for.

A sauropod could plant itself in one spot and hoover up surrounding vegetation, conserving energy while taking in tons of food. Having a long neck probably also allowed enormous sauropods to shed excess body heat by increasing their surface area, much like the ears of elephants.

This way of life—long neck-fueled, quadrupedal gigantism—is not one that is available to mammals or any other form of life today. The sauropod lifestyle was exceptionally successful: their lineage appeared early in dinosaur evolutionary history and persisted until the final days of the Mesozoic, when an asteroid wiped out all dinosaurs (except birds).

The researchers discovered Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum in approximately 162-million-year-old rocks from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwest China in 1987. At approximately 15.1 meters (about 49.54 feet), the sauropod's neck was more than six times longer than the necks of giraffes, the longest-necked animals alive today, and about 

10 feet

 longer than a typical school bus.

The question of which sauropod had the longest neck is not straightforward. Because of their size, the largest sauropods tend to be some of the most poorly known: it's very hard to bury such a large animal in sediment and thus safeguard it for fossilization.

Some fragmentary fossils suggest that other sauropod lineages independently evolved necks over 10 meters (32.8 feet) in length. However, poor preservation of these specimens and their closest relatives makes estimates of their neck length speculative.

Although Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum is known only from a handful of bones from the neck and skull, the research team was able to reconstruct its evolutionary relationships and thus make comparisons to the unusually complete skeletons of its closest relatives, according to Andrew Moore, assistant professor in the department of anatomical sciences in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

This allowed them to conclude that Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum had a neck approximately 15.1 meters (49.5 feet) long, the longest neck that can be confidently inferred for any known sauropod.

Their research stems from on-going work to comprehensively document the anatomical diversity and evolutionary history of the family Mamenchisauridae, a radiation of particularly long-necked sauropod dinosaurs that roamed East Asia and possibly other parts of the world from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous (approximately 174–114 million years ago).

"All sauropods were big, but jaw-droppingly long necks didn't evolve just once," says Moore. "Mamenchisaurids are important because they pushed the limits on how long a neck can be, and were the first lineage of sauropods to do so. With a 15-meter-long neck, it looks like Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum might be a record-holder—at least until something longer is discovered."

How sauropods managed to evolve such long necks and hulking bodies without collapsing under their own weight remains something of a biomechanical puzzle. Remarkable specimens like Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum provide some clues. For example, like their living cousins, birds, most sauropods had air-filled bones, which would have lightened their skeletons by removing heavy marrow and bone tissue.

Using computed-tomography (CT) scanning, Moore and colleagues found that the vertebrae of Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum were mostly air (about 69–77% of their volume)—comparable to the lightly built skeletons of storks and other birds.

However, such featherweight skeletons would also be more prone to injury. To combat this, Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum had 4-meter-long rod-like cervical ribs (about 13.1 feet), bony extensions of the vertebrae that created overlapping bundles of rods on either side of the neck. These bundles would have stiffened the neck of Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum, increasing its stability and making it possible to build such a lightweight neck.

"Biomechanical studies of the mamenchisaurid neck suggest that it was elevated at only a relatively shallow angle above the horizontal (20-30°). However, even at this relatively shallow angle, the extreme length of the neck would still mean that the animal's head could reach heights of around 7.5 to 10 meter above ground level [about 24.6 to 32.8 feet], facilitating feeding on tree foliage," says coauthor Paul Upchurch, professor of paleobiology at the University College London.

"Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum underscores how much we can learn about sauropod evolution even from very incomplete specimens," adds coauthor Ye Yong, director of the Research Center of Jurassic Stratigraphy and Paleontology at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in China's Sichuan Province.

The study appears in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

The United States National Science Foundation, the Royal Society of London, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China funded the work.

Source: Stony Brook University

The post Sauropod neck was 10 feet longer than a school bus appeared first on Futurity.

A team of virologists and veterinary scientists from the Medical Research Council–University of Glasgow Center for Virus Research and the University of Glasgow's School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, is exploring the idea of genetically modifying a harmless but fast-spreading virus to infect and inoculate bats in a colony against 
. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their simulation of how such a vaccine might work and demonstrated its possibilities.
Is this article about Agriculture?
Environmental Protection Agency
 will require utilities to monitor the levels of toxic chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in water systems, in what amounts to the first action the federal government has taken to set limits on PFAS pollution, according to a new regulation proposed by the agency on Tuesday.
Pregnancy complications tied to death risk even 50 years later
Is this article about Health?
A doctor checks a woman's blood pressure using a cuff and stethoscope.

Complications from pregnancy and childbirth can have deadly implications as much as 50 years later.

Conditions like high blood pressure in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and preterm delivery were all tied to a greater risk of death in the decades following delivery, according to the study in the journal Circulation, which used long-range, racially-inclusive data.

"We know that the context of childbirth has changed since the 1950s and '60s, but these findings demonstrate how crucial it is to people's long-term health that we invest in preventive care and screenings for people with complicated pregnancies and deliveries, both then and today," says lead author Stefanie Hinkle, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Penn Medicine.

In the United States, more than 800 people die every year giving birth. The latest number shows that, out of every 100,000 births, more than 23 result in the death of the person delivering.

France's maternal death rate is the next highest among peer countries, and the United States' death rate is still three times as high. These figures account for deaths in childbirth and during the immediate postpartum period, but the long-term effects of complicated childbirths—which can lead to serious, lifelong health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and more—have often been overlooked.

Hinkle and her coauthors drew on data collected from more than 46,000 people who'd given birth at a dozen United States health centers between 1959 and 1966. The patients were tracked for deaths of any kind until 2016, at which time 39%, roughly 18,000, had died.

In their analysis, the researchers found that a pre-term childbirth (a delivery three weeks or more before the due date) due to spontaneous labor was tied to a 7% increase in risk of death compared to those who delivered a baby full-term.

The risk climbed to 23% for those whose water broke before term, 31% for preterm induced labor, and actually doubled—109%—for patients who had a pre-term caesarean delivery, all compared to those who hadn't had these types of deliveries.

When it came to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (high blood pressure conditions like preeclampsia, which can be life-threatening), the risk of death in subsequent years ranged from 9% for those with high blood pressure tied specifically to their pregnancy to 32% for those who already had high blood pressure before their pregnancy and then developed preeclampsia in their pregnancy.

Finally, gestational diabetes or high blood sugar levels in pregnancy increased the risk of death in the following decades by 14%.

As previous research has shown deaths in childbirth and the immediate postpartum period disproportionately affect Black people, Hinkle and her colleagues specifically attempted to focus on an area of the research that is largely missing: Differences in outcomes by race.

"The value of these data is that they provide more inclusive findings, extending what has been mostly limited to predominately white samples to Black pregnant people, as well," Hinkle says. "It is essential for individuals to know that they are represented in data that leads to clinical recommendations."

Overall, the death rate for Black patients was higher than white patients (41% of the Black patients in the sample compared to 37% of white patients). Pre-term delivery—and, thus, the risk of 

pregnancy complications

—was much more common, comparatively, in Black patients than white patients (20 to 9).

Hinkle believes more research is needed to study whether these findings point to pregnancy complications being "causal" in mortality or "just predictive by revealing an underlying risk."

"Future work should seek to understand whether intervening earlier in the postpartum period among high risk patients prevents future disease incidence," Hinkle says. "Our group is also currently working to identify low-cost interventions to potentially prevent complicated pregnancies and deliveries."

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded the work.

Source: Penn

The post Pregnancy complications tied to death risk even 50 years later appeared first on Futurity.

Annual changes in sea ice linked to ocean-atmosphere interactions
The Okhotsk Sea in the western Pacific Ocean, surrounded by Russia and Japan, is the southernmost sea in the world to freeze seasonally. The northwestern part of this shallow sea is an active sea-ice production area, but why the extent of sea ice varies year to year has remained a mystery.
'Financial Regulation Has a Really Deep Problem'
Is this article about Investing?

On January 18, a prominent financial newsletter noted that if Silicon Valley Bank were liquidated that day, "it would be functionally underwater." Months before the nation's 16th-largest bank collapsed, incomplete information provided to regulators indicated that the bank was stable, whereas public signals—such as SVB's overreliance on longer-term securities hammered by rising interest rates—told a very different story. So why didn't anyone do something?

To help answer this question, I turned to Natasha Sarin, a lawyer and an economist teaching at Yale Law School, who served in senior roles at the Treasury Department under Secretary Janet Yellen.

[Derek Thompson: The end of Silicon Valley Bank—and a Silicon Valley myth]

Sarin thinks that many of us are asking the wrong questions. Instead of focusing mostly on what to do after banks suffer this type of financial distress, federal regulators need to get better at forecasting errors before they become crises. And to do so, they're going to have to update how they determine whether banks are in good standing.

In our conversation, Sarin described a regulatory system that failed to detect the market's growing trepidation with SVB and similar banks. In part, regulators were hobbled by 2018 changes to financial regulations that exempted banks with assets below $250 billion from some oversight measures, including the yearly stress testing that larger banks undergo.

In lobbying for those changes, SVB and other regional banks argued that they weren't systemically important. But clearly, the federal government now disagrees, having guaranteed deposits above the official $250,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation threshold out of concern that failures at SVB and Signature Bank could spiral across the system. In fact, despite federal regulators' steps to restore confidence, on Monday, the stocks of several regional banks plummeted, reflecting ongoing fear and uncertainty working their way through the market.

If regional banks are not systemically important, the level of public intervention in the SVB crisis is hard to justify. The other possibility is that our laws don't match reality—making the current regulatory regime untenable.

The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Jerusalem Demsas: The Independent Community Bankers of America issued a statement touting its "local" and "relationship focused" business model and arguing that SVB is not a community bank, given its size. What is the value of regional banks in this intermediate range—too big to be a community bank but smaller than the JPMorgan Chases of the world?

Natasha Sarin: Why is it the case that you see basically all venture-capital firms and all of their portfolio companies banking at SVB? You said it's not relationship banking. I speculate that a little bit of what you saw with respect to SVB is relationship-based. If you're a founder of a portfolio company, and your VC suggests this bank, there is a network effect.

Even in its name, Silicon Valley Bank, there is a cultural-institutional thing that I speculate is relationship banking in a way that may be different from how we traditionally define it. It is community, in fact, a fabric. But what you saw is how quickly that can dismantle, and you saw all these founders trying to open a bank account at JPMorgan Chase.

I do think this is going to shift the nature of the industry in ways that we don't understand yet. It should shift the regulatory framework that we operate under, because clearly these are systemically important financial institutions.

Demsas: The insularity within Silicon Valley is interesting. Although it's not unique to this community, watching in recent months the layoffs that have spread through the tech world, and now this bank run, do you think something about Silicon Valley's culture made it ripe for social contagion?

Sarin: When I teach about bank runs, I teach this foundational scene from It's A Wonderful Life, where you see a bunch of people lined up in front of a bank. They're trying to get their money out, because the rumor's been spread that the bank might not be able to pay all the depositors.

[Read: Silicon Valley was unstoppable. Now it's just a house of cards.]

What I was struck by over the past few days was: This is just a fundamentally different type of bank run. There are no pictures of people lining up out of the branch trying to get their deposits out. This was an electronic bank run, where people instantaneously, with a click of a computer key, were moving out billions of dollars of deposits over the course of a few hours from a financial institution that had been a pillar of Silicon Valley and an incredibly important financial intermediary in this pretty unique ecosystem.

A bunch of it was happening on Slack and through tweets from particular VCs. It's both totally different and totally the same. Once someone's nervous, the rest of the community is nervous. The speed at which this all happened is something that regulators were fundamentally not really attuned to.

Financial regulation has a really deep problem in that it relies on a bunch of regulatory information that banks provide the Federal Reserve and FDIC. That information is really useful and valuable, but it's a pretty static snapshot of financial institutions. It says, "Here is my position a few months ago, based on these regulatory measures of my health, which are pretty easily gamed." Measures like how much capital do I have based on regulatory risk-weights—what is the value of my securities portfolio based on book measures that don't adjust for how the market has changed? That was the case with Silicon Valley Bank. [The information available to regulators is] sometimes not reflective of how the market views the value of those institutions. From the perspective of depositors thinking about running, those market values are really, really important.

Demsas: Is there anything to be done about that initial social panic? That's the point of insuring the initial $250,000 of deposits, right—to prevent regular folks and smaller deposit-holders from freaking out when there's potential instability? Are there other ways to intervene when this panic begins?

Sarin: A famous Rahm Emanuel saying is that no one should let a good crisis go to waste. And that is the moment we are in with respect to financial regulation.

The reason deposit insurance exists is to stem the incentives for people to run: If I'm under the deposit-insurance threshold, then there's no reason for me to be concerned.

Do you increase the deposit-insurance threshold, particularly for the types of depository bases that SVB had, where 90 percent of its deposits or some such number were uninsured? If 100 percent of their deposits had been insured, there wouldn't have been the same incentives to try to withdraw. I'm not sure what the right policy is with respect to the deposit insurance threshold going forward, but we need to think about it and the implicit guarantee we've provided to bank deposits writ large.

But I almost think that's the wrong question, because it's still about: What do you do ex post facto when there is a crisis? How do you deal with it in the most efficient way? The question that regulators have to ask themselves is ex ante. What can we do better to identify these instances and encourage banks to shore themselves up if they're about to hit a moment of crisis?

And it's not like it wasn't clear that we were on the brink of a potential crisis, because you've had people for months saying, "Listen, if [Silicon Valley Bank] had to liquidate today, they wouldn't have been solvent."

There were people sounding the alarm. It's just that regulators don't have to respond, as part of their structure, to those types of market changes.

Demsas: So once the crisis hit, what options did the Feds have?

Sarin: Ultimately, I don't actually think there was much of a choice in front of the regulatory community. It's an irregular situation. The FDIC is incredibly efficient: We come in on a Friday afternoon and shutter the bank, and by Monday morning, the bank is sold to someone else, and the liabilities of the bank are transferred to the liabilities of the new institution. So the depositors still have whatever was in their bank account going into the weekend, and the new financial institution is absorbed.

The word bailout typically refers to "you bailed out with taxpayer money," "you bailed out the equity holders of a financial institution and people who have shares of Silicon Valley Bank." That didn't happen in this case. There is no bailout. Those equity holders were fully wiped out. Silicon Valley Bank doesn't exist anymore, so it's not a bailout of anyone. The funds that are being used in this case to protect depositors are funds that banks pay into the FDIC to provide insurance in cases exactly like this one.

I don't want to understate the severity of the moment. What does this mean about uninsured depositors? Because we have in our mind the concept that after a certain threshold, deposits aren't actually insured, and I think what [this crisis] means is that we need to think about those deposit-insurance thresholds. We need to think about whether you need to pay in more ex ante to protect against exactly a moment like this one, so we know that we have enough funding to try to support cases where systemically important financial institutions ultimately fail.

[James Surowiecki: What social media is doing to finance]

Another question that regulators have to grapple with is: How do they get better at identifying these types of moments?

Demsas: What sorts of regulations do you think we should be considering, going forward?

Sarin: There's a ton of really good information in bank regulators' assessments of financial institutions' safety and soundness. And there are regularized interactions between institutions and regulators for large financial institutions; there's a regularized system of stress testing against potential risks. That reveals information about which banks are safe and which banks are unsafe.

You had regional banks such as SVP make the argument that they weren't actually systemically important financial institutions in a way that necessitated the type of greater scrutiny [faced by] the JPMorgans and the Bank of Americas of the world. Ultimately successfully, regulations were loosened with respect to annualized stress testing, for example, for these [regional] institutions.

The issue with [regulators'] approaches is that they're incomplete, even for large systemically important banks that are stress-tested annually. They're incomplete because they're missing a whole host of inputs that exist in markets but not in regulators' calculations about banks' stability and soundness—things like market-based value of a bank's capital position or market-based measures of the volatility of different institutions, how exposed they are to big fluctuations up or down in the stock market. Those sorts of measures are super easily accessible to regulators and to market participants, but they're just not incorporated in the picture that regulators paint of financial stability.

Demsas: If they had had that information, what could they have done in advance?

Sarin: Ultimately, what SVB tried to do last week was raise new equity capital. They were like, "We have to sell some of our securities at a loss, and so we're going to bolster ourselves by infusing into the institution this buffer of stability." That was just too little, too late.

If they had been encouraged or pushed by regulators to undertake that type of activity sooner, to bring in new capital to the institution in order to buffer it against the losses that it had experienced, that would have been a way to avert, potentially, the crisis that we saw. Or they could have been encouraged to restructure their assets in ways that decreased their exposure to interest-rate changes. But there was no push to do any of that, because even though market measures were showing cause for concern, the regulatory measures were really stable with respect to bank health.

We need to look at more real-time information and at least incorporate it. Sometimes market information is noisy; sometimes it's incomplete. But the issue is just ignoring it altogether, which is the implicit assumption of our regulatory regime today.

Peru's first great empire, the Wari, stretched for more than a thousand miles over the Andes Mountains and along the coast from 600-1000 CE. The pottery they left behind gives archaeologists clues as to how the empire functioned. In a new study researchers showed that rather than using 'official' Wari pottery imported from the capital, potters across the empire were creating their own ceramics, decorated to emulate the traditional Wari style. To figure it out, the scientists analyzed the pottery's chemical make-up, with help from laser beams.
OpenAI's Next-Generation AI Is About to Demolish Its Competition
OpenAI just revealed GPT-4, the next-gen version of its Large Language Model (LLM) tech. It seems impressive, but reportedly still has flaws.

It's here, everyone. GPT-4 is here.

Well, actually, it's been here for a little while, as Microsoft's 


-powered Bing AI has been using the next-gen tech this whole time.

But now, OpenAI has made GPT-4 itself available for broader public use — but at a price. The large language model (LLM) will only be available to users who upgrade to ChatGPT Plus for $20 a month.

"GPT-4 is OpenAI's most advanced system, producing safer and more useful responses," reads an OpenAI blog post.

According to the company, its new-and-improved LLM contains several notable updates over its previous iteration, GPT-3.5, and is more accurate, thanks to the even more immense amount of training material that it's been fed.

It's an absolutely badass test-taker, the company claims, utterly crushing pretty much every standardized test out there.

It also reportedly shines at copy editing and can come up with high-quality summaries, comparisons, and breakdowns of written material — an ability that seems to have impressed experts.

"To do a high-quality summary and a high-quality comparison, it has to have a level of understanding of a text and an ability to articulate that understanding," Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, told the New York Times. "That is an advanced form of intelligence."

It's also multimodal, meaning that users can bolster text prompts with image inputs. For example, if you upload a photo of a few kitchen ingredients and ask what you might be able to bake with them, it'll serve you up some recipes to try.

In other words, it can "see" — or make sense of images you feed it.

OpenAI further claims that the tech "surpasses ChatGPT in its advanced reasoning capabilities" — an area where GPT and other LLMs really struggle — with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman telling the NYT that the bot could reason "a little bit."

According to the report, though, GPT-4's reasoning skills still break down often, and the bot remains quite far from being anywhere close to any human-level analytical reasoning.

The company says that there have also been some much-needed safety improvements.

"Following the research path from GPT, GPT-2, and GPT-3, our deep learning approach leverages more data and more computation to create increasingly sophisticated and capable language models," reads the blog, claiming that after spending "six months" working to make GPT-4 "safer and more aligned," the new model is "82 percent less likely to respond to requests for disallowed content and 40 percent more likely to produce factual responses than GPT-3.5 on our internal evaluations."

So, in short, the new model is markedly better at defending itself against prompt injection attacks and jailbreaking attempts, and also hallucinates — in other words, the LLM's tendency to make facts up — a lot less.

But while it might be better at both, it's not perfect at either.

As the NYT found, GPT-4 still has a tendency to hallucinate, despite OpenAI's best efforts — making it less than ideal for doing research on the internet.

All in all, while GPT-4 represents a marked improvement over previous models, it's still only a tiny iterative step towards a future where the lines between human and machine start to blur.

The post OpenAI's Next-Generation AI Is About to Demolish Its Competition appeared first on Futurism.

Can burrs offer a better repair of torn rotator cuffs?
stalk of plant with spiny burrs

Inspired by burrs from plants, new suturing schemes show promise for surgical reattachment of tendon to bone, report researchers.

Tendon-to-bone reattachment is required in many surgical procedures, perhaps most commonly in repairing torn rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder, a condition that will affect more than 30% of the population over 60. Current suturing methods fail to distribute stress evenly, leading to failure rates as high as 94% due to ineffective attachment and re-tearing of sutures.

A team of researchers led by Guy Genin, co-director of the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) and professor of mechanical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has developed a new approach to suturing based on the mechanics and spacing of a hitchhiker plant's attachment system.

Their strategies show promise for balancing forces across sutures, reducing the stress on healing tendons, and potentially doubling repair strength over current suturing schemes.

The findings appear in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

"When the late, great Barbara Pickard, a pioneer of mechanobiology who helped found the CEMB, got these burrs on her socks during a walk through the desert, she didn't simply discard them; she latched onto this idea that nature could provide novel solutions in unexpected places," says Genin.

Decades after Pickard's walk, she shared her experience with burrs—similar to the hitchhiker plants that inspired hook-and-loop fastener technology—with Genin and his graduate student, Ethan D. Hoppe, lead author of the new study. For Genin and Hoppe, this was a kind of "eureka" moment.

Genin, Hoppe, and their collaborators had been studying the surgical reattachment of tendon to bone for years. They wondered, could a burr's method of balancing forces be used in the repair of tissues?

To test this, Hoppe set out to grow some of the hitchhiker plant Pickard had encountered, Harpagonella palermi, and analyze the unique array of hooks on its fruits. Unfortunately, H. palermi is only found in a few remote patches of southwestern desert. "Your local garden store doesn't carry these," Hoppe notes.

After a long search, the team found collaborator Matt Guilliams, a plant systematist and curator of the Clifton Smith Herbarium at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, which curates native California plant species. "After Matt sent us some of the fruits he had harvested and we were able to look at them closely, we knew that we had something interesting," Hoppe says. "The spacing and stiffness of H. palermi's burrs were unusual, and we set out to model how they hold on to soft materials so reliably."

The mathematical model the team developed pointed to a unique scheme that balances forces.

"When surgeons repair something like a rotator cuff, they remove all the body's natural connectors, which have evolved for the complex task of transitioning from hard bone to soft tendon, and put in sutures that concentrate force in a tiny area. That's what leads to the high failure rate we see for that procedure," Hoppe says.

"Nature has already shown us how hard materials, like the stiff hooks on a burr, can attach very effectively to soft materials like socks or a dog's fur. We just needed to do the stress analysis to figure out how burrs compare to sutures and how this natural solution might be applied in medical practice."

Indeed, nature's solution to a common attachment issue may prove effective in overcoming one of the greatest challenges in orthopedic surgery. The team found that H. palermi simply and effectively balanced forces across attachment points, even when the points of connection were relatively few and the materials were substantially different. Using the mathematical model they developed to assess changes in suturing procedure based on the mechanics of hitchhiker plants, the team is now evaluating new suturing methods.

Pre-clinical testing of the new suturing methods already is underway in the laboratory of coauthor Stavros Thomopoulos, professor at Columbia University and director of Carroll Laboratories for Orthopedic Surgery.

"We are very excited to implement this concept in a real-world surgical setting," Thomopoulos says. "Current experiments in the laboratory are evaluating how suture spacing inspired by hitchhiker plants affects rotator cuff repair strength."

Genin and Thomopoulos anticipate that these improved techniques may be in surgical practice in the next two years.

Funding for this research came in part from the NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology and the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis

The post Can burrs offer a better repair of torn rotator cuffs? appeared first on Futurity.

The Download: GPT-4 is here, and metaverse marriages
Feedly AI found 1 Proof of Exploit mention in this article
  • + Morgan Stanley is among the companies already using GPT-4.

This is today's edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what's going on in the world of technology.

GPT-4 is bigger and better than ChatGPT—but OpenAI won't say why

OpenAI has finally unveiled GPT-4, a next-generation large language model that was rumored to be in development for much of last year. The company's last surprise hit, ChatGPT, was always going to be a hard act to follow, but OpenAI has made GPT-4 even bigger and better.

Yet how much bigger and why it's better, OpenAI won't say. GPT-4 is the most secretive release the company has ever put out, marking its transition from nonprofit lab to for-profit tech firm.

What we do know is that GPT-4 is a multimodal large language model, which means it can respond to both text and images. Read the full story.

—Will Douglas Heaven


These people just got married in the Taco Bell metaverse

Last month, Sheel Mohnot and Amruta Godbole got married. This was no ordinary wedding, though. It was hosted on Decentraland, a virtual platform, and sponsored by Taco Bell. 

Mohnot is a big fan of Taco Bell, so they entered a competition for the company to pay for the technical aspects of a virtual wedding—the avatars, the production, and more. They won. In return, it plastered its brand everywhere.

But why would people opt to have a metaverse wedding? And will these sorts of ceremonies—especially sponsored ones—stick around, or will they fade away if virtual reality doesn't live up to the hype? Read the full story.

—Tanya Basu


China just set up a new bureau to mine data for economic growth

China's annual, week-long parliamentary meeting ended on Monday. Among all the changes it announced, there's one that the tech world is avidly watching: the creation of a new regulatory body named the National Data Administration.

The NDA will help build smart cities in China, digitize government services, improve internet infrastructure, and make government agencies share data with each other. 

It seems to be part of an ongoing effort by the Chinese government to drum up a "digital economy" around collecting, sharing, and trading data. But big questions remain, especially over how much authority it will have. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

Zeyi's story is from China Report, his weekly newsletter covering tech in China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.


The must-reads

I've combed the internet to find you today's most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 The AI hype train is showing no signs of slowing
The launch of GPT-4 has whipped the mania up to fever pitch. (WP $)
Morgan Stanley is among the companies already using GPT-4. (NYT $)
Fellow AI firm Anthropic launched its new chatbot Claude yesterday too. (The Verge)
Generative AI is changing everything. But what's left when the hype is gone? (MIT Technology Review)

2 SIlicon Valley is still too big to fail
But there's no denying Silicon Valley Bank's collapse has dealt start-up culture a major blow. (Economist $)
Social media panic only fueled the fire. (WSJ $)
Is techno-optimism to blame? (The Atlantic $)
The bank's demise isn't good news for the economy, either. (Bloomberg $)

3 Meta has let another 10,000 employees go
The company is canceling "lower priority projects." (TechCrunch)
It sounds like Mark Zuckerberg is prioritizing AI over the metaverse. (Insider $)

4 Stadiums across the US are tracking your face
Privacy advocates worry that they're not being clear enough about what they're doing. (Slate $)
The two-year fight to stop Amazon from selling face recognition to the police. (MIT Technology Review)

5 New DNA tests can predict your likelihood of developing diseases 🧬
That isn't always necessarily a good thing. (New Scientist $)
A massive microbiome study is throwing up new shared health risks. (Quanta)

6 We still don't know how often children contract long covid
Three years into the pandemic, experts are still divided. (Undark Magazine
A battle is raging over long covid in children. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Laid off tech workers from overseas are scrambling for new jobs
The 60-day visa limit to find a new role just adds to their stress. (Rest of World)

8 A new satellite will monitor America's air pollution
The constant data collection will give scientists almost round-the-clock insights. (Inverse)

9 How to fight back against the web's neuromarketing
Thinking critically is the first step. (Wired $)

10 Samsung has been accused of faking Moon photos 🌕
Reddit sleuths are furious at how its cameras process images. (The Verge)


Quote of the day

"We're in that phase of the market where it's, like, let 1,000 flowers bloom."

—Matt Turck, an AI investor, marvels at the sudden influx of money flooding into the sector to the New York Times.


The big story

Can Afghanistan's underground "sneakernet" survive the Taliban?

November 2021

When Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, Mohammad Yasin had to make some difficult decisions very quickly. He began erasing some of the sensitive data on his computer and moving the rest onto two of his largest hard drives, which he then wrapped in a layer of plastic and buried underground.

Yasin is what is locally referred to as a "computer kar": someone who sells digital content by hand in a country where a steady internet connection can be hard to come by, selling everything from movies, music, mobile applications, to iOS updates. And despite the dangers of Taliban rule, the country's extensive "sneakernet" isn't planning on shutting down. Read the full story.

—Ruchi Kumar


We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. (Got any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet 'em at me.)

Pallas cats may look fearsome, but their habit of pressing their paws on top of their tails is too cute.
+ Unpopular opinion, but sharing plates really do need to die.
+ If you couldn't get enough of the original Rocky IV, why not check out its Stallone-sanctioned director's cut?
+ Doctors are swallowing Lego—and it's all in the name of science.
+ Bees are just like us, they need mentors too! 🐝

Coloring by Numbers Reveals Arithmetic Patterns in Fractions

A year after he started his Ph.D. in mathematics at McGill University, Matt Bowen had a problem. "I took my qualifying exams and did absolutely horribly on them," he said. Bowen was sure that his scores didn't reflect his mathematical skills, and he resolved to prove it. Last fall he did, when he and his adviser, Marcin Sabok, posted a major advance in the field known as Ramsey theory.


Self-driven laboratory speeds chemical discovery
A team of chemical engineering researchers has developed a self-driven lab that is capable of identifying and optimizing new complex multistep reaction routes for the synthesis of advanced functional materials and molecules. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, the system found a more efficient way to produce high-quality semiconductor nanocrystals that are used in optical and photonic devices.
New computational method to identify location of cell types in a sample
Is this article about Biopharma Industry?
Stanford University researchers have developed a computational method for identifying where cells are situated in a sample when capturing spatial transcriptomics. The method combines data from spatial transcriptions and a reference single-cell RNA atlas to create modeling outputs. The resulting models can be used to view cellular substructures, identify colocalization patterns and analyze differential expression within a cell type by location.