The 57-year-old orca was captured over 50 years ago at the age of 4 from the Pacific coast near Seattle. She retired last spring from performing in exhibition shows.
(Image credit: Nuri Vallbona/AP)
Microphones capture ultrasonic crackles from plants that are water-deprived or injured
In an unfortunate turn of events, ex-NASA astronaut and current podcaster Clayton Anderson has been caught favoriting a spate of transphobic tweets — and right around Trans Day of Visibility, no less.
These harmful astronaut-approved posts, which Futurism has independently verified still have "likes" from Anderson, were first pointed out earlier in the week by Amiko Kelly, the wife of Clayton's fellow ex-astronaut Scott Kelly.
"Don't be like Astro Clay," Kelly, herself a former NASA-er, tweeted in tandem with screenshots of three super gross posts the astronaut-turned-podcaster had liked.
In one, former Donald Trump advisor Dinesh D'Souza compares, complete with a typo, being trans to someone believing they're Napoleon Bonaparte.
In another, a poster makes a shitty joke about a trans woman who was assaulted by a TSA agent at an airport — a story that's made the rounds in the right-wing over-hype cycle. We're not linking to either of these tweets, or any of the others we documented Clayton liking, because frankly they're disgusting and don't deserve more eyeballs on them.
After Kelly's callout, NASA Watch's Keith Cowing joined in condemning the hateful rhetoric that the astronaut seems to be co-signing with his fav's.
"I grew up thinking that astronauts should be looked up to," Cowing posted. "After 60+ years I still hold that to be true. Astronauts are among the finest of the finest."
"But not all of you are," he continued, tagging Clayton. "Be better than this."
Cowing went on to note that after he criticized the former astronaut, he was blocked by the account for the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska, which is run by Clayton.
"One less unwelcoming place to visit," the NASA blogger quipped.
It's really excellent to see aerospace types come out in support of trans rights, not only because today is Trans Day of Visibility, but also because legal, rhetorical, and physical attacks against trans people keep getting worse and worse.
We agree with Cowing and Kelly: Clayton, who didn't reply to a request for comment, should be ashamed to be endorsing such bigoted beliefs, and it's important that people know it.
More on space politics: White House Freaked Out Over Elon Musk's Selfie With Top Russian Propagandist
The post Former NASA Astronaut Caught Faving Transphobic Tweets appeared first on Futurism.
Nature Communications, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37399-8Human parechovirus genotype A3 (PeV-A3) can cause severe diseases in neonates and young infants. Here, Watanabe et al. identify a host factor
Close to 5 million people follow Influencers in the Wild. The popular Instagram account makes fun of the work that goes into having a certain other kind of popular Instagram account: A typical post catches a woman (and usually, her butt) posing for photos in public, often surrounded by people but usually operating in total ignorance or disregard of them. In the comments, viewers—aghast at the goofiness and self-obsession on display—like to say that it's time for a proverbial asteroid to come and deliver the Earth to its proverbial fiery end.
Influencers in the Wild has been turned into a board game with the tagline "Go places. Gain followers. Get famous. (no talent required)" And you get it because social-media influencers have always been, to some degree, a cultural joke. They get paid to post photos of themselves and to share their lives, which is something most of us do for free. It's not real work.
But it is, actually. Influencers and other content creators are vital assets for social-media companies such as Instagram, which has courted them with juicy cuts of ad revenue in a bid to stay relevant, and TikTok, which flew some of its most famous creators out to D.C. last week to lobby for its very existence. In some ways, their work makes them the peers of those in the broader platform-based gig economy, which includes anybody else whose income is dependent on an app—Uber drivers, DoorDash bikers, TaskRabbit handymen, etc. But though some categories of workers whose jobs are similarly reliant on apps have been able, to an extent, to get around their lack of official employee status and put direct pressure on tech companies to improve their working conditions, content creators so far have not. (Of course, the work is very different: Deliveries and car rides happen in physical space, with the attendant occupational hazards, and influencers have a lot more individual control over how they monetize themselves across platforms.)
Instead, online creators are facing a kind of existential crisis. They have never been more valuable to their home platforms, yet they're still struggling to turn that value into meaningful leverage. For years now, the wide middle range of creators—the people who can make some money on social media, even if they have not attained superstardom—have complained about product changes, opaque algorithms with shifting priorities, and arbitrary content-moderation decisions that limit their reach. Will the relationship between influencers and the internet ever change?
Some in the industry are determined to prove that it could. They're trying, not for the first time, to organize an incredibly diffuse group of individual personalities. And the attempt is, also not for the first time, going up against stark odds. This industry is all about the establishment and marketing of personal brands in unforgiving feeds—it would seem to forbid worker solidarity. But it is also at a crucial turning point. After more than 10 years of instability, clout-chasing, and competition, something has to give. As a creator, your market value is set by your metrics—but there could be greater strength in a different kind of number.
[Read: The internet, but for hot people]
Some influencers even think they should unionize. TikTok creators started discussing the possibility last fall, and Emily Hund, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the online creator economy since its beginning, explicitly advocates for unionization in her new book, The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media.
Creators must "recognize themselves as the cultural laborers they are and organize accordingly," Hund writes. She contextualizes the rise of influencers and the beginning of the social-media age in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the cratering of traditional media, and the beginnings of the platform-based gig economy. As certain kinds of stable and reliable work disappeared for many, making money on social media became a viable alternative. "The influencer industry is both a symptom of and a response to the economic precarity and upheaval in social institutions that have characterized the early twenty-first century," she writes.
To describe the type of work that influencers do, she draws on a range of academic papers that have proposed similar concepts such as "aspirational labor" and "visibility labor." "Risk is shouldered by the individual," she writes, "self-promotional, always-on work styles are the norm; labor is oriented toward nebulous future payouts; and inequalities of gender, race, and class persist." The work is hyper-personal and amorphous, which makes it an awkward fit with the ranking and quantification that take place on a huge platform like Instagram or YouTube.
With these issues in mind, a TikTok creator who goes by JeGaysus is currently part of the effort to organize a TikTok union around pay and transparency issues. (He asked to be identified by his username because he's previously received online threats.) So far, the group has about 400 interested people in an active Discord chat. "It's kind of hard to say what revenue creators should have because it's a closed book," he told me. He said creators are frustrated because they have no recourse—they can't call TikTok when they have a problem. "They have that email, email@example.com," he said, " but you can write to it and you're never going to hear from them." (TikTok did not return a request for comment, and hasn't previously addressed the possibility of a union directly. "We look to our creator community for valuable feedback and continue to listen as we work to evolve our offerings to better serve their needs," a spokesperson told Business Insider when asked about the would-be union last year.)
Although this would-be union is focused on the relationship between creators and the platform, influencers have also been incorporated into Hollywood's Screen Actors Guild. Some creators have been hesitant to join, wary of things like union dues and eligibility requirements, but others have been enthusiastic. Anybody who makes videos for brands can use the guild's "influencer agreement" to put their deals under the purview of the union. "Not a single day goes by, Monday through Friday, in which I'm not speaking to an influencer who isn't yet a SAG-AFTRA member about covering their brand deals through our Influencer Agreement," Shaine Griffin, the guild's manager of contract strategic initiatives, told me. (SAG-AFTRA declined to say how many influencers had joined the union; Giselle Ugarte, a TikTok creator and talent manager, told me that she didn't know anyone who had.)
In the past, when posters have flirted with unionization, it hasn't been very successful or even particularly literal. In 2019, Instagram-meme creators received press attention for forming a sort of union, which they called "IG Meme Union Local 69-420." Their Instagram account posted union flyers (a raised fist gripping a smartphone) playing off of retro aesthetics and adding modern messages such as "Smash the algorithm." (One riffed on the then-popular "I'm baby" meme with the phrase "Alone we am baby but together we am united.") The short-lived "union" wasn't really a union, though—it was more like a club or a thought experiment. It was mostly interested in getting people's deleted posts or accounts reinstated by the platform, and its goals didn't have anything to do with pay.
A more serious previous effort, the Internet Creators Guild, was started by the popular YouTuber Hank Green in 2016, primarily with the intention of helping creators protect themselves in the "cut-throat" world of brand deals and confusing contract language. Green's group met with YouTube to discuss its ever-changing monetization policies, but Satchell Drakes, a YouTuber and former member of the guild's board, told me that nothing really came out of the relationship. ("The free catering was always good though," he joked.) The Guild shut down after three years, citing a lack of interest particularly among the already successful. "Creators with big audiences often don't feel the need for support from a collective voice," a farewell letter noted.
[Read: The GIF is on its deathbed ]
In this way, not much has changed in the past few years. It's still the case that the biggest influencers have nothing much to gain from joining forces with those below them. They have their own agents, managers, entertainment lawyers, and leverage. "They are small businesses on their own and they don't need help from others," Jon Pfeiffer, a Los Angeles–based lawyer who represents online creators, told me. "It's only if you're starting out or you're a micro-influencer that you want to band together for strength in numbers." He started representing influencers in 2015—mostly taking on clients in the 1-to-5-million-follower range—and said "not one client" has ever asked him about an industry association or other groups they could join.
In short, the recent history of influencer coordination has not been a series of victories. Even so, these efforts are emblematic of something: Influencers tend to care and complain about the same issues, and have for years. They've started to make modest progress with the public. Popular understanding of concepts like the "attention economy" have given them and their followers some language to express how performance translates into value for platforms. And they are beginning to test boundaries by experimenting, for example, with strikes of a sort.
In the summer of 2021, Black content creators on TikTok organized a protest against the pattern of white creators profiting off of dances choreographed by Black performers. They agreed to announce publicly that they would not be coming up with a new viral dance to go with the latest Megan Thee Stallion single. But as the New York Times story about the strike noted, as the industry is currently set up, if a creator doesn't post new content for a day or a week, TikTok isn't the party that's going to be hurt by it. Only the individuals who give up views and their spot in the mysterious algorithmic ranking would be making a sacrifice. "That was obviously the most successful 'strike' in the space so far because they were able to gain a lot of visibility," Hund told me. "But many individuals had very valid reasons for not participating and I think before there can be a more meaningful strike, there has to be more meaningful solidarity building amongst the influencers."
When I spoke with JeGaysus about this, he said he wasn't sure if a true TikTok strike would ever be possible. Even if his proposed union were able to persuade 10,000 creators to not post for some amount of time, the platform wouldn't feel much of anything. "As soon as those 10,000 accounts step away for a week, there's another 40,000 accounts making videos," he said. "Even if you had Charli D'Amelio, there's 5,000 other 18-year-old girls who are going to be doing a dance trend."
What content makers require is a cultural shift, Drakes, the YouTuber, argues. This has already started—platform ad-revenue sharing is now a norm, while at one point the idea of creators being paid directly by social-media platforms was seen as ridiculous. But he's still waiting for a crucial last step: for creators to be seen as workers and for them to see one another that way. That has to happen before the average person will identify content creation as work. "I think it's really easy to draw an analogue between a cab driver and an Uber driver," he said. "It's a little bit harder for people to conceptualize their friend making YouTube videos as the same thing as a late-night-show host—and in many ways it's not, but the protections should be similar."
This type of labor may be looked down upon simply because everyone who uses these platforms is subject to the same flood of data. Maybe you've fretted over the number of likes you've received on an Instagram post; a professional influencer might do the same thing, though their concern comes from a different place. You're being vain; they're worrying about their livelihood. "People still roll their eyes at the influencer, creator economy," Ugarte, the TikTok-talent manager, told me. But maybe that's just a phase.
increases the likelihood of developing
, a new study shows.
The findings suggest there may be an allergic pathway that can be targeted with existing drugs.
"Our findings provide the foundation for future interventional studies that could identify the first treatment to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis," says Matthew Baker, an assistant professor of immunology and rheumatology at Stanford University and first author of the paper in Annals of the
Osteoarthritis is widespread, affecting more than 50 million people in the US with no known treatment that can prevent its progression. The condition can require expensive joint replacement surgeries, lead to disabilities, and significantly affect quality of life.
Its burden on the health care system continues to rise, says Baker, with an aging population and higher rates of obesity.
Increased risk of osteoarthritis
Scientists previously thought that osteoarthritis developed from the wear and tear of cartilage. But William Robinson, chief of the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford, found inflammation in the tissue of people with
Robinson found that mast cells, activated by a foreign-invader-detector antibody called IgE, release histamine and tryptase, which are key factors that contribute to allergic inflammation. Tryptase, particularly, appears to play a key role in exacerbating osteoarthritis.
Because it appeared that osteoarthritis was caused by allergic inflammation, Baker and colleagues decided to study insurance claims data to retroactively track those with atopic disease, in which a person develops an exaggerated immune response to otherwise harmless substances. They focused on asthma and eczema.
The researchers found people who had no osteoarthritis for two years and were afterward diagnosed with asthma or eczema, then followed them. For a control group, they followed patients who also had two years without osteoarthritis but had no subsequent diagnosis of asthma or eczema.
The researchers then matched each diagnosed person to someone in the control group with similar demographics, outpatient visit frequency, presence of other diseases, and several additional factors, to see who developed osteoarthritis. In the primary cohort, each group ended up having about 110,000 patients.
The authors found that if a patient had asthma or eczema, there was a 58% increased risk of developing osteoarthritis over about 10 years. If they had both asthma and eczema, the risk increased to 115%.
To see the effect of another
, one that isn't mediated by allergens, the researchers compared chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—in which airflow from the lungs is constricted—with asthma.
They found that asthma patients had an 83% increased risk of developing osteoarthritis compared with COPD patients. They concluded that lung disease without an allergic response doesn't predispose one to osteoarthritis, again suggesting that the activation of allergic pathways is the critical factor.
The claims data from the primary analysis did not include body mass index, a risk factor for osteoarthritis, so the researchers validated their results in an independent data set using the Stanford Research Repository. The results were similar, demonstrating that allergic diseases increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis, even after taking into account the key variable of body mass index.
Existing medications for asthma attacks and for mast cell activation syndrome—a condition in which a patient experiences repeated episodes of anaphylaxis symptoms—could be candidates for treatment of osteoarthritis, according to Baker. These medications inhibit mast cells and allergic cytokines (byproducts of mast cells that cause inflammation).
"We now have a strong basis for studying this as an intervention, to see if targeting pathways like inhibiting mast cells or allergic cytokines can actually reduce the development and, or progression of osteoarthritis," Baker says.
Additional coauthors are from Chinook Therapeutics in Seattle, Boston University School of Medicine, and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.
The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education funded the work.
Source: Stanford University
The post Asthma and eczema linked to higher osteoarthritis risk appeared first on Futurity.
The anti-artificial intelligence push continues in Italy, which just moved to temporarily ban OpenAI's
pending a data privacy investigation.
The Italian Data Protection Authority announced in a press release today that it has blocked ChatGPT and opened an investigation into OpenAI over concerns about the way the company processes user data after a data breach in March led to the leak of users' chatlogs and credit card information.
"In its order, the [agency] highlights that no information is provided to users and data subjects whose data are collected by OpenAI," the English version of the press release reads. "More importantly, there appears to be no legal basis underpinning the massive collection and processing of personal data in order to 'train' the algorithms on which the platform relies."
Along with the data breach, the agency also cited OpenAI's apparent failure to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the landmark European Union privacy law that greatly restricts companies' ability to collect data on EU residents, as one of its reasons for the ban.
As Futurism readers may recall, this is the second time in recent months that Italian data privacy regulators have put the kibosh on an AI service.
In early February, the same agency banned the AI chatbot "companion" app Replika over what it said were similarly shady data collection practices.
Soon after, Replika stopped offering sexual chats (which, to be fair, had their own issues), though those ended up coming back online last weekend. It doesn't, however, appear that Italy has un-blocked the app yet.
Like with its Replika ban, the GDPR also cited concerns over children being exposed to inappropriate material on ChatGPT as another of its reasons for instituting its ban and opening an investigation.
More on AI issues: GPT-4 Was Deeply Racist Before OpenAI Muzzled It
The post Mama Mia! Italy Has Banned ChatGPT! appeared first on Futurism.
The Hole Picture
By observing the orbits of stars in their pull, astronomers say they've found evidence that black holes are surrounded by substantial amounts of dark matter, according to a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Dark matter is tricky to study because you can't observe it directly — even though it's believed to make up some 27 percent of the universe, dwarfing the mere five percent of ordinary, or baryonic, matter that we can see.
We can, however, observe dark matter's gravitational influence, which is where the stars come into play. The researchers looked at two nearby black holes, each forming a binary system where a companion star continues to orbit it. Normally, the orbits of these companion stars should gradually decay at an extremely minor rate of around 0.02 milliseconds per year.
In reality, what they observed blew that out of the water: an astonishingly higher rate of one millisecond per year — 50 times the theoretical estimation.
Those findings, the researchers suspect, reeked of some dark matter meddling. So to corroborate the hunch, the researchers ran a computer simulation of a dark matter dynamical friction model, which helps calculate the loss of momentum of objects in space due to what is, in effect, "drag" caused by gravity.
They soon found that the simulated rate of orbital decay based on the dark gravity model lined up "precisely" with the rates of decay they observed in the companion stars, indicating that large amounts of dark matter, which would produce enough gravity to tamper with nearby orbits, are clumping around black holes.
"This is the first-ever study to apply the 'dynamical friction model' in an effort to validate and prove the existence of dark matter surrounding black holes," Chan Man-ho, an astrophysicist at the Education University of Hong Kong, said in a statement. "The study provides an important new direction for future dark matter research."
The team's findings are some of the best evidence yet of a long-theorized "density spike" near black holes that should form from accreting dark matter.
Chan notes that previous studies relied on detecting gamma rays and gravitational waves, which are mostly produced by rare events like black hole mergers. Understandably, that doesn't yield a lot of data for scientists to work with. Stars orbiting a black hole, on the other hand, are a little easier to come by.
"In the Milky Way Galaxy alone, there are at least 18 binary systems akin to our research subjects, which can provide rich information to help unravel the mystery of dark matter," Chan said.
More on dark matter: Physicists Say There May Be Entire Planets Made of Dark Matter
The post Black Holes May Be Engulfed In Dark Matter, Scientists Find appeared first on Futurism.
An extensive system of air sacs, evolved over and over, let dinosaurs grow larger without sacrificing strength
A new report reevaluating the long-feared "population bomb" has found not only that such an explosion in birthrates is unlikely given our current trajectory, but also that the global population will likely peak within this century before falling.
In a new study commissioned by the non-governmental organization Club of Rome and carried out by the Earth4All nonprofit collective, researchers found that, due to "a paradigm shift in demographics over the past 50 years," population growth rates worldwide have been far more sluggish than Paul and Anne Ehrlich expected when they published "The Population Bomb" in 1968, a volume which spurred fears of overpopulation for generations.
While the Ehrlichs' book correctly predicted a quadrupling of the global population to its current standing of about eight billion, Earth4All's press release notes, there's little fear that it will again double to 16 billion — and in fact, we might not even get up to nine billion before it starts shrinking instead.
"The global population could peak at a much lower level — around nine billion — by mid-century," the collective predicts. "And if the world invests more in economic development, education, and health, the global population could fall to levels at which everyone on Earth can have sustainable access to clean energy, shelter, food, and water."
"The bomb will have been defused," the press release declares — but there is, as always, a catch.
"This [research] gives us evidence to believe the population bomb won't go off, but we still face significant challenges from an environmental perspective," Ben Callegari, one of the report's authors, told The Guardian. "We need a lot of effort to address the current development paradigm of overconsumption and overproduction, which are bigger problems than population."
Earth4All and its benefactors see two likely scenarios playing out in the future: either governments continue going about business as usual and fail to head off "regional societal collapse," especially in "the most vulnerable, badly governed and ecologically vulnerable economies," or countries begin taxing their wealthiest citizens to invest in social services and education, which would have something of a positive spillover effect on the environment and civil rights.
Overpopulation, in short, isn't going to be what destroys the planet as people used to think — but the choices people in power make now absolutely still could.
More on population control: Shocking Study Finds 99 Percent of the World Population Is Breathing Harmful Air
The post There Will Be Fewer People Alive in 2100 Than Now, Experts Predict appeared first on Futurism.
An extensive system of air sacs, evolved over and over, let dinosaurs grow larger without sacrificing strength
Scientific Reports, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-32640-2Author Correction: The abundances of LTF and SOD2 in amniotic fluid are potential biomarkers of gestational age and
A new drug may offer steady weight loss without common, unwanted side-effects, research in lab animals shows.
The experimental anti-obesity drug could decrease appetite and normalize blood glucose levels.
The drug, delivered by injection, works without causing nausea and vomiting, which are frequent side effects of current weight-loss and diabetes drugs.
The new peptide treatment not only reduces food consumption but also increases the burn rate of calories, causing significant and consistent weight loss in laboratory animals, says Robert Doyle, professor of chemistry at Syracuse University and associate professor of pharmacology at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
Gastric bypass and related procedures cause a reboot of the endocrine system, resulting in weight loss, but surgery is not suitable or available for all who could benefit from it.
"With this new drug treatment, we aim to chemically replicate the benefits of surgery without patients having to undergo surgery," Doyle says.
Current anti-obesity drugs don't reliably achieve long-term weight loss for all patients and often cause significant side effects, and many patients must stop taking them (about 70% within two years).
"With other drugs, patients often have to limit the amount they can take because they cannot tolerate more," says Doyle. "There is a need for a drug that will work for everybody and guarantee a steady, uniform minimum level of weight loss. This new treatment, which could be injected in humans once a week, would be a way to lose a given percent of your weight and not feel sick while doing it."
The researchers created the peptide drug GEP44 in the laboratory, comprising 44 amino acids that target three different weight-loss and glucoregulatory receptor pathways at the same time.
The drug caused obese rats to eat up to 80% less than they would typically eat. By the end of one 16-day study, they lost an average of 12% of their weight. The drug did not induce vomiting in shrews, a mammalian model that—unlike rats—is capable of vomiting.
The researchers have filed for patents and plan to test the compound in primates.
Doyle and co-principal investigator Christian Roth of Seattle Children's Research Institute presented their results at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in March.
The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs of the US Department of Defense funded the work.
Source: Syracuse University
The post Experimental drug gets rats to eat less appeared first on Futurity.
A nanotechnology journal has retracted two papers coauthored by a scientist in France who is accused of manipulating or reusing graphs and figures in nearly two dozen instances, Retraction Watch has learned.
The scientist, Jolanda Spadavecchia (pictured, is research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). In December, an article in the newspaper Le Monde described allegations of misconduct in Spadavecchia's lab.
Spadavecchia is second author of one of the retracted papers, "Interaction of Thermus thermophilus ArsC enzyme and gold nanoparticles naked-eye assays speciation between As(III) and As(V);" she is senior author of the other, "One-pot synthesis of a gold nanoparticle–Vmh2 hydrophobin nanobiocomplex for glucose monitoring."
The papers were published in Nanotechnology in 2015 and 2016, respectively. They have been cited 19 and 18 times, according to Clarivate's Web of Science.
The retraction notices appeared online March 30. They state that an investigation by the journal's publisher, IOP Publishing, found that a figure in each report was "duplicated from another source without disclosure."
In the 2016 paper, an electron-microscopy image was apparently copied from the 2015 paper; that paper contained a histogram from a 2013 paper on which Spadavecchia was an author.
The duplications in the two papers are not isolated incidents. In an open letter to CNRS published on Dorothy Bishop's blog, the psychologist and scientific sleuth, along with 16 other researchers, responded to the recent article in Le Monde about misconduct in Spadavecchia's lab. They pointed to 23 instances, noted in an appendix to their letter, where commenters on PubPeer flagged Spadavecchia's studies for image duplication and manipulation. A search for Spadavecchia's name on PubPeer yields more than 30 results with at least one comment.
Only one of Spadavecchia's studies had been retracted until now. That article, "Design and Synthesis of Gold-Gadolinium-Core-Shell Nanoparticles as Contrast Agent: a Smart Way to Future Nanomaterials for Nanomedicine Applications," was pulled by the International Journal of Nanomedicine in 2022 for problematic data presented in histograms. The journal's editors determined that "this part of the article was integral to the study and the admission of these errors, because of the miscalculation, meant the data was unreliable," according to the retraction notice.
In their letter, Bishop and her coauthors wrote that although CNRS did decide to take disciplinary action against Spadavecchia, the organization removed her from her lab for only a month. According to the letter, such "institutional malaise":
allows those who are prepared to cheat to compete with other scientists to gain positions of influence, and so perpetuate further misconduct, while damaging the prospects of honest scientists who obtain less striking results.
We were not able to reach Jane Politi, the first author of both papers in Nanotechnology. Spadavecchia did not respond to an email from Retraction Watch.
Nanotechnology's retraction notices state that:
The authors have provided explanations and offered to make a correction; however, these do not adequately explain the re-use of the image and raise more concerns about the integrity of the work. As such IOP Publishing and the Editor in Chief agree this article should be retracted. IOP Publishing express thanks to the anonymous whistleblower and subject experts who were consulted during the investigation.The authors disagree with this retraction.
Luca De Stefano of the Italian National Research Council, the senior author of the 2015 paper, said the papers should have been corrected, not retracted. Of the duplication of the image from the 2015 paper, he told us in an email:
I don't know what exactly was the mistake at the basis of this error (since I was not the corresponding author of the paper at that time), but I offered to IOP the replication of the AuNPs synthesis and a new SEM image to correct the one found in the second (in order of time) paper published, but they refused. I agree that it is on all the authors' responsibility to check the material submitted for publication but in international cooperation work unfortunately it could happen with such kind of mistake. I simply believe that replicability is much more important, this is the reason for my proposal against the retraction. If the result is replicable, the figure is only a mistake.
IOP said that the authors attributed the mistake to an unnamed student. A spokesperson for the publisher told us that the authors originally suggested updating the image caption, "claiming the similarities occurred because they reused nanoparticles from the previous study," although the methods included in the newer study were different from the former.
The spokesperson said the authors claimed the different methods would not affect the size or distribution of the nanoparticles. The authors also requested to change the synthesis description in the 2016 paper's methods section, IOP said, which outside experts worried would change the results of the study. The authors then offered to create new images with the stated methods.
The authors did not explain how a histogram in the 2015 study was duplicated from a 2013 paper, according to the IOP spokesperson. They simply suggested replacing the histogram with a new one using the correct data, which were notably different. Both circumstances, the spokesperson said, were concerning enough to warrant retracting the studies.
De Stefano declined to comment on how the histogram was duplicated because he was not an author of the 2013 study, but reiterated that in his view the paper should have been corrected, not retracted, since the experiment could be replicated.
Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that's not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New research digs into when and how horses spread and flourished in the western US.
Until now, the accepted theory of horses arriving to the Great Plains and Northern Rockies was shaped by word of mouth and lore.
The new research, published in Science, establishes the expansion of the domesticated horse through DNA evidence.
The researchers compared genetic samples from horse remains at archeological sites to the genetics of rare, early horse breeds similar to those that came over with early settlers. They found familial ties indicating that horses arrived with Europeans and then made their way west during the 17th century. Horses were not out west 10,000 years ago when nomadic people first arrived in North America.
Some archaeological evidence like bones, horseshoes, and colonial items have been found in various locations across the US and occasionally in deposits west of the Mississippi. However, when it came to whether horses were always in the western US or if they came over with Europeans and Spaniards and made it from the East Coast to the Rockies, horses left an open book.
Horses themselves and horsemanship seemed to have spread west faster than Europeans did, the researchers also found. Some of the early horse fossils showed horses were established in the Great Plains before the European and Spanish made their way west. More research needs to be done to understand just how this happened, but it's another fascinating finding.
Besides filling in some blanks in the history books, this research has real implications for how horses are selected for breeding today.
"We can see aspects of genetic selection from 3,000 years ago that are likely important for a good temperament and a strong back in our horses today," says Samantha Brooks, associate professor of equine genetics at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) whose lab collected DNA samples for the study and helped analyze the data.
"Those are things horse people still struggle with today. The more we learn about genetics that control those aspects of horse health, the better off we can take care of our horses today."
The new findings shed light on the role horses played in Indigenous cultures. Horses have been a significant part of many Native American cultures, but this research clarifies when and how horses were integrated into their lives.
"European nations valued the horse, but horses did not become a life changing cultural icon to them as it did to the Indigenous people," Brooks. "The horse suited the nomadic plains lifestyle so remarkably well."
Nomadic people may not have made it to North America 10,000 years ago with horses in hand, but somehow their way of life was so well suited to the horse that once it arrived in the western US plains, it thrived as part of the Native American culture.
"Some tribal historians thought it was possible that the horses found out west were genetically distinct from the lineage that arrived with Spanish and European colonizers, but the data showed that is unlikely," says Brooks.
"This is almost a more remarkable finding. The level of skill the Native peoples have with horse handling and management is truly impressive, and this study tells us that they developed that skill in a relatively short amount of time."
One of the fossilized horses used in the study was found to have sustained a skull fracture at some point in its life that was unrelated to its later death. An injury like that would have almost certainly required supportive care in order to survive, a testament to how tough these early horses had to be, and to how well Indigenous communities cared for the animals.
"Native people adapted and flourished as a horse culture in the blink of a historical eye," says Brooks.
The researchers thank the Livestock Conservancy and owners and breeders of rare horse breeds such as the Galiceño, Marsh Tacky, and Florida Cracker Horse that contributed genetic samples to the study. Without those samples, this research would not have been possible.
Source: University of Florida
The post When did horses get to the western US? appeared first on Futurity.
- FDA approves drug for cats with allergic skin disease
- FDA approves drug for cats with allergic skin disease
As you might be aware, this very site (Reddit) is expected to file for IPO later this year, and a part of me is ironically hoping that it results in improvements to the moderation system, which allows individual moderators the ability to ban users for minor rule violations without consequences. Although we've seen with Twitter that the market can pressure sites to censor certain content, I think that shareholders wouldn't like the idea of a user base that can be deplatformed for off-topic discussions. Otoh, relying on self-appointed unpaid mods is cheap, and leaders from both ends of the political spectrum have been pushing for governmental censorship and/or libel reform that could suppress free speech regardless. So, what's next, on Reddit and other platforms?
|submitted by /u/EverythingisGravy
|submitted by /u/acutelychronicpanic
Quantum computers suffer from a fatal problem: errors in quantum computation due to quantum physics errors in the computation process.
errors in quantum computation.
Well, vectors in quantum gates are complicated.
so let's skip it.
To solve this quantum computation error is 'quantum error correction'
By analogy, 100 qubits with errors to create 1 qubit with less or no error.
Usually, this process is called physical qubits, and the error-free qubit is called a logical qubit.
This logical qubit determines the algorithm by which quantum error correction is applied, and the material type, such as ion trap or superconductor. case-by-case, but
applicable to high-level quantum algorithms
error-free logical qubits are estimated to require about 100,000 physical qubits.
But there's a catch.
All quantum error correction to date has been based on the amount of gates (computation) used to correct errors.
gates (computation) used to correct the error, more errors are introduced than corrected (or corrected).
An example is laser fusion, right?
In that case, the amount of electrical energy from the laser that is applied to the fusion
is more than the amount of energy gained through fusion.
So it's like having a bigger belly button than your stomach.
You don't break even.
But oh my.
Today, a team of researchers from
broke through this break-even point.
If you take the amount of quantum computation that goes into quantum error correction and set it to one.
the quantum error-corrected value exceeds 1 for the first time in history.
In other words, the break-even point has been crossed.
Quantum error correction, which was previously only theoretical, is now a reality.
Of course, this doesn't mean
"Come back tomorrow morning and throw away your computer, quantum computers are gods."
The important thing is that
the more quantum error correction you do, the more errors you get.
but now the more you correct for quantum errors, the less error you get.
This means that as the number of qubits increases, the likelihood of error decreasing is very high.
If you multiply 1 by 1.01 a million times, you can't get below 1.
1 multiplied by 0.99 just once will get you just below 1.
This can be considered a major breakthrough
??? : What the fuck is 0.99?
>> If you multiply 1 by 0.99 just one thousand times, you get 0.0000431712.
|submitted by /u/DisasterousGiraffe
|submitted by /u/lesbian-beekeeper
One solution I have in mind for the AI replacement of jobs causing both massive unemployment and the collapse of consumption relies on the potential for AI to correct the oldest weakness of any endeavor which is human error while also being able to consider every factor relevant in a decision making proccess. What I want to say with this is that the future of labour as a whole would consist of performing your current job with AI assistance correcting your mistakes and reminding you of every relevant factor in the decision making proccess in order to both produce less flawed results and make things in shorter spans of time. This would potentially lead to either shorter work schedules or overall higher productivity and with greater advancements in AI eventually to both and as AI assistance becomes widespread this could also lead to a rise in consumption as well. Also an argument could be made about how learning to interact with the AI assistent means higher wages should be given.
The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation has generated concerns about job loss across various sectors. However, these technologies also present an opportunity to improve productivity and create new job opportunities. This text will explore how different collar color jobs can adapt and prosper in the AI-driven future.
White and Yellow Collar Jobs:
For intellectual jobs such as white and yellow collar professions, the human touch remains indispensable. As corporations adopt AI for increased efficiency, there will be a growing need for employees who can facilitate communication and maintain relationships between the corporation and its clients. This surge in productivity will also lead to more projects and an expanded client base, creating new job opportunities.
Furthermore, AI can be leveraged to improve the quality and personalization of services. Professionals in these fields will need to continually update their skills and knowledge to stay relevant and maximize the benefits of AI integration.
Blue and Grey Collar Jobs:
Manual labor jobs, such as blue and grey collar positions, can also benefit from AI and technology advancements. While humanoid robots with intricate components, like hands, may be costly, other technological innovations can support workers in various industries.
For instance, augmented reality (AR) glasses can help workers access real-time information without needing to memorize or make notations. This technology can improve efficiency by reducing the risk of errors and confusion in tasks like cooking or remembering orders.
Moreover, AI-enhanced tools can help workers and contractors complete tasks more quickly and effectively. These tools, which are often more affordable than fully automated robots, can be used by human workers to optimize their performance. By embracing these innovations, manual laborers can increase their value in the workforce and secure their positions.
Red Collar Jobs:
Red collar workers, who are typically involved in emergency services, also have a unique opportunity to benefit from AI and technology. While AI can assist with data analysis and decision-making, the human factor remains crucial in high-pressure situations that require empathy, intuition, and adaptability. By integrating AI into their roles, red collar workers can enhance their capabilities and better serve their communities.
The AI revolution presents both challenges and opportunities for various collar color jobs. By focusing on the unique strengths of human workers and embracing the potential of AI and technology, professionals in white, yellow, blue, grey, and red collar jobs can adapt and thrive in the evolving job market. The key lies in recognizing the complementary nature of human skills and AI, and leveraging this synergy to maximize productivity and job satisfaction.
|submitted by /u/landlord2213
has announced that it will cut a total of 675 jobs — a staggering 85 percent of its workforce — in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today.
Earlier this year, Richard Branson's satellite launch outfit failed to deliver its first satellites into orbit. The setback clearly has cost the company dearly, with it revealing in a regulatory filing earlier this month that it was pausing all work and trying to "conserve capital."
Shares fell by more than 44 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday, per the BBC, adding insult to injury.
In short, the company is facing a deep crisis, expecting to pay out $8.8 million in severance and benefits payments as well as another $6.5 million in other HR-related costs.
"Unfortunately, we've not been able to secure the funding to provide a clear path for this company," Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart told employees, as quoted by CNBC. "We have no choice but to implement immediate, dramatic and extremely painful changes."
Virgin Orbit has struggled to secure funding, especially following its January mishap. According to a February investigation, the rocket's fuel filter became dislodged during launch, causing it to overheat and triggering malfunctions.
But it's not all doom and gloom. The company has already successfully launched satellites on four occasions so far for both commercial partners and US defense contractors.
Where the severe job cuts leave the venture remains to be seen — but given the circumstances, the company could soon have its reckoning.
More on Virgin Orbit: Virgin's Satellite Launch Company Is in Deep Financial Doo-Doo
The post Richard Branson Sacks 85% of Virgin Orbit appeared first on Futurism.
One of the world's loudest artificial intelligence critics has issued a stark call to not only put a pause on AI but to militantly put an end to it — before it ends us instead.
In an op-ed for Time magazine,
researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, who has for more than two decades been warning about the dystopian future that will come when we achieve Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), is once again ringing the alarm bells.
Yudkowsky said that while he lauds the signatories of the Future of Life Institute's recent open letter — which include SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and onetime presidential candidate Andrew Yang — calling for a six-month pause on AI advancement to take stock, he himself didn't sign it because it doesn't go far enough.
"I refrained from signing because I think the letter is understating the seriousness of the situation," the ML researcher wrote, "and asking for too little to solve it."
As a longtime researcher into AGI, Yudkowsky says that he's less concerned about "human-competitive" AI than "what happens after."
"Key thresholds there may not be obvious," he wrote, "we definitely can't calculate in advance what happens when, and it currently seems imaginable that a research lab would cross critical lines without noticing."
Once criticized in Bloomberg for being an AI "doomer," Yudkowsky says he's not the only person "steeped in these issues" who believes that "the most likely result of building a superhumanly smart AI, under anything remotely like the current circumstances, is that literally everyone on Earth will die."
He has the receipts to back it up, too, citing an expert survey in which a bunch of the respondents were deeply concerned about the "existential risks" posed by AI.
These risks aren't, Yudkowsky wrote in Time, just remote possibilities.
"It's not that you can't, in principle, survive creating something much smarter than you," he mused, "it's that it would require precision and preparation and new scientific insights, and probably not having AI systems composed of giant inscrutable arrays of fractional numbers."
There is, to Yudkowsky's mind, but one solution to the impending existential threat of a "hostile" superhuman AGI: "just shut it all down," by any means necessary.
"Shut down all the large GPU clusters (the large computer farms where the most powerful AIs are refined)," he wrote. "Shut down all the large training runs. Put a ceiling on how much computing power anyone is allowed to use in training an AI system, and move it downward over the coming years to compensate for more efficient training algorithms. No exceptions for governments and militaries."
If anyone violates these future anti-AI sanctions, the ML researcher wrote, there should be hell to pay.
"If intelligence says that a country outside the agreement is building a GPU cluster, be less scared of a shooting conflict between nations than of the moratorium being violated," he advised. "Be willing to destroy a rogue datacenter by airstrike."
Citing an exchange with his partner and mother of his child, Yudkowsky said that the couple is worried that their daughter Nina won't survive to adulthood if people keep building smarter and smarter AIs — and urged those who also express trepidation about it to adopt a similarly hard line because, if they don't, that "means their own kids are going to die too."
It's not difficult to see, with the "but what about the children" posturing, why Bloomberg's Ellen Huet called Yudkowsky a "doomer" after he got into it with OpenAI's Sam Altman on Twitter. t
Nevertheless, if someone who's veritably dedicated their life to studying the dangers of the dystopian AI future says we're getting close to the thing he's been warning about, his take may be worth a listen.
More on AI dystopia: Deranged New AI Has No Guardrails Whatsoever, Proudly Praises Hitler
The post Machine Learning Expert Calls for Bombing Data Centers to Stop Rise of AI appeared first on Futurism.
Both slang for "super fan" and the title of a terrifying Eminem song, the term stan refers to a distinctly modern phenomenon depicted in the controversial new Amazon Prime series Swarm. In the horror-comedy created by Atlanta's Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, a young woman takes lethal revenge on people who talk poorly about her favorite pop star. A smartphone enables her to constantly consume content by her beloved singer—and to smash the skulls of people who make nasty jokes on Twitter.
Swarm's contemporary trappings are a bit of a feint, however. The show portrays a kind of devotion that's old, even ancient. The most famous examples of fans who stalk and murder predate the modern internet (RIP John Lennon and Selena Quintanilla). And given that no known stan has ever massacred a bunch of haters, to find a real-life precedent for the actions of the show's anti-hero, Dre (played with blank-eyed brilliance by Dominique Fishback), you have to look beyond pop music. Questing around the nation, smiting anyone she sees as a heretic, Dre resembles a holy crusader, or a terrorist. Swarm is about religion, and it condemns the sin of idolatry.
[Read: Atlanta and the anxiety of fame]
To see condemnation in this series is to differ, slightly, from many readings of Swarm thus far. The show's audacious filmmaking, writing, and acting have earned deserving admiration, but many reviews posit that Swarm raises more questions than it answers. Some viewers have critiqued Glover and Nabers for—among many other things—neither seeming to understand fan culture nor having many coherent thoughts about it. Glover himself alleges that their show isn't making an argument about our own world. He told Vulture, "I don't want people to study this and be like, 'Oh, this is a very true depiction of blank.'"
Yet nearly every episode begins with an assertion of truth, in text reading This is not a work of fiction and Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is intentional. The fashions, music, and biographical details of the fictional superstar Ni'Jah closely resemble those of Beyoncé. The casting of Billie Eilish, Paris Jackson, and Chloe Bailey—a pop star, a pop star's progeny, and a pop star's protégé, respectively—heightens a sense of meta-commentary. On some level, this is a work by famous people expressing something about the very people who admire them.
Almost explicitly, the show pursues plot-level mystery along with a broader cultural mystery: Why is Dre this way?, which is a way of asking, Why are some fans so extreme? The sixth episode takes a formal detour into the style of a true-crime docuseries. A detective hunts to find Dre and understand her motives. "There are usually some factors that contribute to a child lashing out," explains a social worker who once knew Dre, growing angry at the nosy cop who's digging for more insight. "You need there to be a reason she was so messed up so you don't have to sweep your own front door and realize that you are just as flawed." This monologue is double-speak, directed unmistakably at the audience.
As it turns out, there is not a reason for Dre's crimes. There are many. Acute grief is foremost. Childhood bullying and abandonment lie under that. A number of characters remark that something is off about Dre—code for perceived mental-health conditions. The show even flirts with the cliché of killer queerness, leading viewers to wonder if Dre's admiration for Ni'Jah expresses her long-thwarted desire for women. These personal issues are fed by cultural ones: the distortions of social media; the holes in our social safety net; the prejudices facing Black women. The bottom line is that society's many failings have left Dre starved for belonging and connection. A shimmering visage on her phone screen, singing about liberation and love, fills that hunger. Stanning, Swarm says, is a symptom of a sickness we all help cause.
That this sickness is spiritual would be obvious even without Dre encountering a New Age cult midway through the season. At one point we see a fan refer to Ni'Jah as both a goddess and a sister, similar to how real pop fans intermix deification with cries of "Mom," and similar to how various real-world faiths regard higher powers as parental figures. The conflation helps explain Dre's behavior: Killing to protect one's family, and murder by extremists in defense of faith, are not abnormal in history. Swarm gets progressively more disturbing as it untangles the inhumane logic of righteous violence, showing how the hope for otherworldly redemption—in heaven or a backstage pass—can choke off someone's ability to accept real love when it's offered. The finale's title: "Only God Makes Happy Endings."
Swarm's take on these matters is bold but not fresh. Op-ed pages and church pulpits are hardly lacking for sermons saying that celebrity worship reflects community collapse and secular emptiness. Conspiracy theorists have filled the internet with feverish, bloody fantasies of self-deifying stars hypnotizing the masses. Swarm uses satirical extremity to offer a jolting reminder, a soul-deep yuck—perhaps in hopes that viewers check how much of themselves they see in Dre. A scene in Episode 6, in which another of Ni'Jah's superfans is interviewed, captures this. The fan mulls whether he would kill in the name of his idol—and appears hilariously unsure about his final answer of no.
Swarm pointedly downplays the upsides of fandom: the authentic community, the nourishing sense of purpose. And it flattens the artist-celebrity into the glistening silhouette of Ni'Jah rather than recognize that the canniest stars create obsession by flaunting complication and flaws—as Beyoncé has, as Glover has, as Eilish has. The show's stark, stylized polemic is all the more chilling given how eagerly it draws attention to its own authorship by fawned-over entertainers. The message is the same one Eminem offered in "Stan," a song imagining his biggest fan to be a monster. Many of our modern gods are, quite clearly, afraid of their congregants.
My friend and colleague John Jefferson, who has died aged 75 of Parkinson's disease, was a distinguished scientist and talented amateur musician. Coming from an unremarkable background, and overcoming early disadvantage, he produced several significant papers in theoretical physics.
John's studies were wide-ranging and included high-temperature superconductors and the fundamental physics of quantum computers. He supervised numerous PhD students and postdoctoral fellows at the Defence, Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera), Malvern, and was a visiting professor at King's College London, and Lancaster and Oxford universities.Continue reading…
The first outbreak this year was in Equatorial Guinea, which has seen 20 deaths already. Now there are cases reported in Tanzania as well for this infectious disease with a high fatality rate.
(Image credit: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Definition of Burn
While the Twitter world waits for owner Elon Musk's next controversial decree, the trolling geniuses behind the
dictionary's social presence have provided some much-needed comedic relief.
"People who subscribe to Merriam-Webster Red will get exclusive access to the real definitions," the famous dictionary's account tweeted — a clear dunk on Twitter Blue, the infamous subscription service that may soon be the sole determinator as to whether someone can get a blue verification checkmark.
Musk's Twitter Blue gambit once again made headlines this week after the site owner announced that soon, only those who subscribe to the paid service will be able to be featured in the social network's "For You" suggestions and vote in polls (after near-universal condemnation, he walked it back slightly).
Earlier this month, Twitter announced that the site will begin removing verification from "legacy" verified accounts, or those who got their blue checkmarks from the admittedly fraught system that was in place before Musk took over the site.
As you can imagine, both of these announcements have been met with serious pushback, and perhaps as a half-baked prophecy, Merriam-Webster also joked about a rollback of its own, too.
"It has been brought to our attention that we've been giving everyone the real definitions since 1828," the follow-up tweet read. "Merriam-Webster Red has been discontinued."
The jokes didn't stop there, though. When someone asked whether they'd get their $8 back, the account responded with the Merriam-Webster dictionary link to the word "NO" — a clear dig at Musk's mercurial and cash-grabby management strategy.
This is, of course, far from the first time Merriam-Webster's social media manager has garnered press for being hilarious — but we must admit, this one was particularly tickling.
More on Musk: Elon Musk Reportedly Tried to Take Over OpenAI Several Years Ago, But Failed
The post Elon Musk Brutally Owned by Merriam-Webster Dictionary appeared first on Futurism.
The origins of April Fools' Day are no joke.
Saturday is April Fools' Day, a day to be extra skeptical if you come across something out of the ordinary or that seems hard to believe.
Angus Kress Gillespie, a folklorist and professor of American studies at Rutgers University, shares the explanation that most historians believe and explains why we mark the day with tricks and practical jokes:
The post Do you know the origin of April Fools' Day? appeared first on Futurity.
- A small company, Astrolab, announced a deal with SpaceX to send a robotic version of its transport vehicle to the lunar surface and help deploy other company's payloads.
- California to Require Half of All Heavy Trucks Sold by 2035 to Be Electric
Scientific Reports, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-32420-yPublisher Correction: An efficient antenna system with improved radiation for multi-standard/multi-mode 5G cellular communications
Scientific Reports, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-32430-wAuthor Correction: ERP and attachment dimensions as predictors of seeking care or food comfort in stressful situations
Scientific Reports, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-32419-5Author Correction: Biotechnology methods for succession of bacterial communities in polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated soils and isolation novel PCBs-degrading bacteria
Well, that was fast.
has confirmed that it's squeezing ads into the answers of its Bing AI chatbot, which it only introduced last month — an expected but surprisingly cash-grabby addition to a product that still needs a lot of finetuning.
In a blog post published Wednesday, the company revealed that it's "exploring placing ads in the chat experience to share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response."
For instance, when Google engineer Debarghya Das asked the chatbot about finding the cheapest car Honda makes, the Bing AI included a link to ad partner TrueCar. Great — AI results polluted with pay-to-play inclusions.
Be prepared to see Microsoft experiment with different ways to squeeze ads into its chatbot's answers.
"Since the new Bing is in preview, there may be some variability in how it's currently showing up," Caitlin Roulston, a director of communications at Microsoft, told The Verge. "We're still exploring new opportunities for ad experiences and will share more over time."
The move sheds light on Microsoft's real motivations for its newfangled AI chatbot. Despite the very real risks the tech poses — Microsoft is clearly still struggling to find a way to meaningfully integrate AI into its Bing search engine — the tech giant is racing ahead to monetize a big trend.
And who can blame them? Who knows how long the AI hype train will keep going for? There's always a chance the tech could suffer the same fate as the metaverse and crypto — at which point it could already be too late to turn it into a cash cow.
More on Bing: Microsoft's Stunning Copilot AI Demo Could Change Office Work Forever
The post Microsoft Already Jamming Ads Into Bing AI Results appeared first on Futurism.
Listen up, peons: the only reason Boston's second-biggest movie star Matt Damon even did that Crypto.com ad for the 2022 Super Bowl was to raise money for his charity, capiche?
In an interview with the Associated Press, Damon opened up about his now-infamous "fortune favors the brave" ad from last year's big game and insisted that the "story behind" it had everything to do with philanthropy.
According to the "Bourne Identity" star, the prior year had been a "down" one at Water.org, his microgrant charity that helps people in the developing world access clean water and sanitation products. So when he was offered a still-undisclosed amount from the Singapore-based crypto barons, he jumped at the chance — but for charity, of course!
"I did that commercial in an attempt to raise money for Water.org," Damon told the AP while on the red carpet for some event in Los Angeles earlier this week, adding that he gave his "whole salary" to the org.
The actor also said that Crypto.com also donated a cool $1 million to Water.org — seriously, what's up with including the whole ".com" and ".org" in the branding for both of these? — and as Bloomberg reported back in 2021, that donation did, in fact, happen.
"I have a lot of gratitude for what they did for our foundation," Damon said.
While we're sure the "Good Will Hunting" star is sincere, we prefer the thanks issued in the top comment left under AP's YouTube video of the interview.
"Thank you Matt Damon," the comment reads, "for helping people lose their money."
More on crypto: FTX Founder Suffers Personal Nightmare as Courts Cut Him Off From League of Legends
The post Matt Damon Says He Only Did That Crypto Super Bowl Ad Because He's Brave and Selfless appeared first on Futurism.
What about California captures the imagination of American writers? The state—the country's most populous, and one of its most diverse—provides fodder for every sort of author.
This week, Ross Perlin wrote about Malcolm Harris's new book, Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World, which argues that the titular city, as well as Silicon Valley at large, is responsible for "wreaking havoc on the planet and immiserating so many of its people." But Perlin is slightly more optimistic: He thinks we could leverage the state's history to positively change the course of its future. Californian geography can also affect us deeply, the science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson argues. His book The High Sierra: A Love Story is a celebration of the Sierra Nevada, and explores a phenomenon he calls "psychogeology": "the feelings and perceptions caused by the exposed rock, the light, the thinner air at altitude." As Verlyn Klinkenborg wrote in July, Robinson's book not only details his own sublime encounters but shows us how we might find "our own transcendence."
Back at sea level, Anthony Veasna So's story collection, Afterparties, evokes a completely different world, in what one character calls the "asshole of California": In So's fiction, Stockton and its outskirts are filled with relatives, insular communities, and family-run businesses. His characters are second-generation Cambodian Americans living in the "patchy remembrance" of the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge, and yet, according to the writer Zoë Hu, they are "just as likely to roll their eyes as they are to flinch" in response to stories about Cambodia's concentration camps.
The "California writer" is an archetype that could not exist without Joan Didion. She was born in Sacramento and spent time in Berkeley, but is perhaps most associated with the southern part of the state. Last year, Caitlin Flanagan visited the places she lived, looking for the "Joan Didion who invented Los Angeles in the '60s as an expression of paranoia, danger, drugs, and the movie business." Around the same time, Eve Babitz invented a Los Angeles of her own. Babitz trafficked in gossip; in L.A., she wrote, "we don't like news, we like artifice." Both writers, who died in 2021 within days of each other, were undeniably shaped by the city. But their work also created a version of it—and of the Golden State—that lives on in the minds of their readers.
Every Friday in the Books Briefing, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas. Know other book lovers who might like this guide? Forward them this email.
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What We're Reading
Illustration by Matt Chase / The Atlantic. Source: Getty.
Is Silicon Valley beyond redemption?
"California is worth fighting for, and so is Silicon Valley. If not at Stanford and in Palo Alto, the dynamic and destructive love triangle between technology, capitalism, and higher education would surely be happening somewhere else. (An Austin System might be even worse.)"
📚 Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism and the World, by Malcolm Harris
Dennis Stockton / Magnum
A love letter to the 'best mountain range on earth'
"[Kim Stanley] Robinson is no stranger to epiphany; many of his earliest Sierra outings included an acid trip along the way. But he never tries to lead us into the experience of epiphany, however it manifests itself. He's alert to his own emotions but willing to stand outside them a little, not to diminish them but to understand how they complement his modest, pervasive rationality."
📚 The High Sierra: A Love Story, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Getty; The Atlantic
Welcome to the afterparty of the American dream
"Rather than stage his characters in easily comprehensible postures, gathering them around the mythic American dream at self-serious angles, [Anthony Veasna So] shows them to us as they loll about in the dream's afterparty. Here the lights are dimmer, the truths blurrier, the hangover incoming.."
📚 Afterparties, by Anthony Veasna So
Illustration by Wayde McIntosh
"I wanted to feel close to her—not to the mega-celebrity, very rich, New York Joan Didion. I wanted to feel close to the girl who came from Nowhere, California (have you ever been to Sacramento?), and blasted herself into the center of everything. I wanted to feel close to the young woman who'd gone to Berkeley, and studied with professors I knew, and relied on them—as I had once relied on them—to show her a path."
📚 Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion
📚 The White Album, by Joan Didion
📚 Democracy, by Joan Didion
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The 'L.A. Woman' reveals herself
"Gossip, [Eve] Babitz suggests, is a different, subaltern way of knowing—disdained by the (male) structures of power, but with a power (and an appeal) all its own."
📚 Eve's Hollywood, by Eve Babitz
📚 Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, the Flesh, and L.A., by Eve Babitz
📚 I Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz, by Eve Babitz
About us: This week's newsletter is written by Maya Chung. The book she's reading next is The Birthday Party, by Laurent Mauvignier.
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When Tess Camp was pregnant with her second child, she knew she would need to get to the hospital fast when the baby came. Her first labor had been short for a first-time mother (seven hours), and second babies tend to be in more of a hurry. Even so, she was not prepared for what happened: One day, at 40 weeks, she started feeling what she thought was just pregnancy back pain. Then her water broke, and 12 minutes later, she was holding a baby in her arms.
Needless to say, she didn't make it into the hospital in time. But the first contraction after Camp's water broke at home had been so intense—"immediate horrific pain; I could barely talk"—that she and her husband rushed into the car. He drove through town like a madman, running red lights. They were turning into the ER when she saw the baby's head between her legs. Her husband tore out of the car, yelling for help. A security guard ran over to a terrified Camp in the passenger's seat, and in that moment, her son slipped out and into the security guard's hands. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. An ER nurse finally appeared to take the baby—still blue and limp—and resuscitated him right on the curb.
What Camp experienced is called "precipitous labor," when a baby is born after fewer than three hours of regular contractions. It is uncommon but not entirely rare, occurring in about 3 percent of deliveries, usually in second, third, or later labors. Having had a previous fast birth, like Camp did, increases the chances of precipitous labor. But otherwise, doctors can't predict for sure who will have one, especially among first-time moms with no previous birth experience. Like many topics in pregnancy and childbirth, precipitous labor remains understudied.
Counterintuitively, perhaps, an extremely fast labor is not always a better one. It can even be a terrible one. "It felt like being hit by a truck and dragged along behind," says Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks, a doula and childbirth-class instructor who had precipitous labor with her two children. "People would tell me I was lucky, and I don't feel like that. I tell my students, 'I don't really wish for you to have this kind of labor.'" In normal labor, each contraction gradually opens the cervix and prods the baby out. In precipitous labor, the cervix still has to open just as wide, and the baby still has to move just as far—but in much less time. It's like running the length of a marathon at the punishing pace of a sprint.
Babies born through precipitous labor tend to do just fine, but the process can be traumatic for the mother's body. In the normal course of labor, says Tamika Auguste, an ob-gyn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the back-and-forth movement of the baby's head during contractions stretches the perineum, a layer of tissue especially likely to tear in childbirth. In one study, precipitous labor multiplied the odds of a severe third-degree perineal tear by 25 and the odds of postpartum hemorrhaging by almost 35. (Precipitous labor is also responsible for one of the most horrifying case reports I have ever come across, whose title contains the phrase "severed external anal sphincter.")
Even for ER doctors, "a precipitous delivery is right up there with some of the most stressful events that we managed," says Joelle Borhart, an emergency-medicine doctor also at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Precipitous labor can happen so fast that even if the mother makes it to the hospital, there is sometimes no time to transfer her from the ER to the labor-and-delivery unit. ER staff are trained in childbirth, but it's not what they do on a daily basis. Borhart says the emergency department at her large hospital in Washington, D.C., gets about one case a month. Brian Sharp, an emergency-medicine physician at UW Health—a large academic hospital in Madison, Wisconsin—told me his hospital averages a little over once a year; the smaller community site where he also works just had its first case of precipitous labor in years. The rarity of these events means that hospitals aren't always the most prepared. When Camp arrived with her baby almost born at the entrance of the ER, the hospital sent out the wrong code, mistakenly suggesting that there had been an abduction. No one from labor and delivery came to meet her, because they were counting babies to make sure none had gone missing. The hospital later reviewed her case, Camp told me, to figure out how to improve the response in future situations.
All of this means that precipitous labor can be psychologically distressing too. When Bryn Huntpalmer, who runs the podcast The Birth Hour and a childbirth course, talks with postpartum mothers, "more times than not, the person who shares their precipitous labor has that shell-shocked view of it." Some of the mothers I interviewed talked about feeling out of control and deeply disconnected from their bodies. "I couldn't get words out. I couldn't open my eyes. I couldn't control what my arms were doing," says Shannon Burke, who had precipitous labor with her second child. "I couldn't do anything." For many people, the experience of childbirth is an experience of ceding control, of letting our most animal instincts take over. But in normal labor, this is at least a gradual process; you can joke and laugh and walk in the early phases, and only hours in, when you've mentally prepared yourself, do the screaming and vomiting take over. Burke remembers her 24-hour first labor fondly, in fact; she spent the early phase at home with her mother and sister, readying the house for the baby. With her precipitous labor, she had no time for any of that. She plunged straight into full-blown pain.
"There's no buildup to prepare your mind and body," Huntpalmer, the podcaster, who herself went through precipitous labor, told me. "Everything was so compressed." But in talking about her experience—and talking since on The Birth Hour with hundreds of women about their experiences—she ultimately came to see her precipitous labor as affirming, too: Her body knew what to do. "It was so hands-off from my midwife. I was able to just kind of do it all myself," she says. Emily Geller, who delivered her second baby during precipitous labor in a car, told me the same. She had what she felt was an unnecessary C-section with her first child, so she wanted a natural vaginal birth this time—and she did have one, just faster than she planned. It was empowering, she said, to know that she could do it after all.
When Camp got pregnant with her third child, though, she did not want to give birth in the car again. Her husband was terrified too—he kept saying he was going to rent a trailer so they could spend the final weeks of her pregnancy sleeping in the hospital parking lot. "It's $150 a week to rent a trailer," she remembers him telling her. They didn't do that, but she did schedule an induction at 39 weeks. Her daughter was born after two pushes.
Nature Communications, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37597-4Developing stable catalysts for industrial-scale current densities is challenging. Here, the authors report self-supported laminate electrodes composed of nanoporous bimetallic iron-cobalt alloy/oxyhydroxide and cerium oxynitride hybrid that can catalyze the oxygen evolution reaction at high current densities.
Nature Communications, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37557-yCells maintain a narrow physiological pH by exchanging intracellular bicarbonate for extracellular chloride. Here, authors determine the cryo-EM structures of human anion exchanger 2 (AE2) in five major operating states and one transitional state, to collectively demonstrate the process of pH-balancing.
Nature Communications, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37539-0The high dimensionality of ion mobility (IM)-resolved metabolomics data presents a great challenge to data processing. Here, authors develop a mass spectrum-oriented bottom-up assembly algorithm and the end-to-end computational framework Met4DX for IM-resolved metabolomics.
Forskare har upptäckt att vissa T-celler i blodet kan producera acetylkolin, som hjälper till att reglera blodtryck och inflammation i kroppen. Det kan också finnas en koppling mellan immuncellerna och tillfrisknande för IVA-patienter.
Inlägget T-celler kan dämpa inflammation i blodkärlen dök först upp på forskning.se.
The German cockroach evolved to live only in human environments. This roach is very good at adapting to pest control methods — even if it means changing its mating rituals.
(Image credit: Ayako Wada-Katsumata)
Research in the jungle of New Guinea reveals two species of birds that carry a powerful neurotoxin.
"These birds contain a neurotoxin that they can both tolerate and store in their feathers," says Knud Jønsson of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, who worked with Kasun Bodawatta of the University of Copenhagan.
The bird species have each developed the ability to consume toxic food and turn that into a poison of their own.
The species in question are the regent whistler (Pachycephala schlegelii), a species that belongs to a family of birds with a wide distribution and easily recognizable song well known across the Indo-Pacific region, and the rufous-naped bellbird (Aleadryas rufinucha).
"We were really surprised to find these birds to be poisonous as no new poisonous bird species has been discovered in over two decades. Particularly, because these two bird species are so common in this part of the world," says Jønsson. The findings appear in the journal Molecular Ecology.
Poison frogs and poison birds
Most people are familiar with South and Central America's iconic poison dart frogs—especially the golden poison frog. These small, brightly colored amphibians can kill a human at the slightest touch. The discovery of the same type of toxin in birds' skin and feathers demonstrates that the frog toxin is more widespread than once believed.
"It's a bit like cutting onions—but with a nerve agent, I guess."
The poison is called Batrachotoxin. It's an incredibly potent neurotoxin that, in higher concentrations leads to muscle cramps and cardiac arrest nearly immediately after contact.
"The bird's toxin is the same type as that found in frogs, which is a neurotoxin that, by forcing sodium channels in skeletal muscle tissue to remain open, can cause violent convulsions and ultimately death," explains Bodawatta.
South America's poison dart frogs use their toxin to protect them from predators. Though the level of toxicity of the New Guinean birds is less lethal, it may still serve a defensive purpose, but the adaptive significance for the birds is yet uncertain.
"Knud thought I was sad and having a rough time on the trip when they found me with a runny nose and tears in my eyes. In fact, I was just sitting there taking feather samples from a Pitohui, one of the most poisonous birds on the planet. Removing birds from the net isn't bad, but when samples need to be taken in a confined environment, you can feel something in your eyes and nose. It's a bit like cutting onions—but with a nerve agent, I guess," laughs Bodawatta.
"The locals aren't fond of spicy food and steer clear of these birds, because, according to them, their meat burns in the mouth like chili. In fact, that's how researchers first became aware of them. And the toxin can be felt when holding onto one of them. It feels kind of unpleasant and hanging on to one for long isn't an appealing option. This could indicate that the poison serves them as a deterrence of those who would want to eat them to some degree," explains Jønsson.
How do birds live with the poison?
There is a distinction in biology between the two ways that animals deploy poisons. There are poisonous animals that produce toxins in their bodies and others that absorb toxins from their surroundings. Like the frogs, the birds belong to the latter category. Both are believed to acquire toxins from what they eat. Beetles containing the toxin have been found in the stomachs of some of the birds. But the source of the toxin itself has yet to be determined.
What makes it possible for these birds to have a toxin in their bodies without themselves being harmed? The researchers studied this with inspiration from poison dart frogs, whose genetic mutations prevent the toxin from keeping their sodium channels open, and thereby preventing cramps.
"So, it was natural to investigate whether the birds had mutations in the same genes. Interestingly enough, the answer is yes and no. The birds have mutations in the area that regulates sodium channels, which we expect gives them this ability to tolerate the toxin, but not in the exact same places as the frogs," says Bodawatta.
He adds: "Finding these mutations that can reduce the binding affinity of Batrathotoxin in poisonous birds in similar places as in poison dart frogs, is quite cool. And it showed that in order to adapt to this Batrachotoxin lifestyle, you need some sort of adaptation in these sodium channels".
Therefore, these studies of the birds Multiple mutations in the Nav1.4 sodium channel of New Guinean toxic birds provide autoresistance to deadly batrachotoxin establish that while their neurotoxin is similar to that of the South American poison dart frogs, the birds developed their resistance and ability to carry it in the bodies independently of the frogs. This is an example of what biologists refer to as convergent evolution.
Connections to shellfish poisoning?
This basic research will primarily contribute to a better understanding of New Guinea's birds and how different animal species not only acquire a resistance to toxins but use them as a defense mechanism.
Other aspects of the research have the potential to help ordinary people. The toxin conquered by the birds over time is closely related to other toxins, such as the one responsible for shellfish poisoning.
"Obviously, we are in no position to claim that this research has uncovered the holy grail of shellfish poisoning or similar poisonings, but as far as basic research, it is a small piece of a puzzle that can help explain how these toxins work in cells and in the body. And, how the bodies of certain animals have evolved to tolerate them," says Jønsson
Source: University of Copenhagen
The post These birds carry poison in their feathers appeared first on Futurity.
Self-driving cars are taking longer to arrive on our roads than we thought they would. Auto industry experts and tech companies predicted they'd be here by 2020 and go mainstream by 2021. But it turns out that putting cars on the road without drivers is a far more complicated endeavor than initially envisioned, and we're still inching very slowly towards a vision of autonomous individual transport.
But the extended timeline hasn't discouraged researchers and engineers, who are hard at work figuring out how to make self-driving cars efficient, affordable, and most importantly, safe. To that end, a research team from the University of Michigan recently had a novel idea: expose driverless cars to terrible drivers. They described their approach in a paper published last week in Nature.
It may not be too hard for self-driving algorithms to get down the basics of operating a vehicle, but what throws them (and humans) is egregious road behavior from other drivers, and random hazardous scenarios (a cyclist suddenly veers into the middle of the road; a child runs in front of a car to retrieve a toy; an animal trots right into your headlights out of nowhere).
Luckily these aren't too common, which is why they're considered edge cases—rare occurrences that pop up when you're not expecting them. Edge cases account for a lot of the risk on the road, but they're hard to categorize or plan for since they're not highly likely for drivers to encounter. Human drivers are often able to react to these scenarios in time to avoid fatalities, but teaching algorithms to do the same is a bit of a tall order.
As Henry Liu, the paper's lead author, put it, "For human drivers, we might have…one fatality per 100 million miles. So if you want to validate an autonomous vehicle to safety performances better than human drivers, then statistically you really need billions of miles."
Rather than driving billions of miles to build up an adequate sample of edge cases, why not cut straight to the chase and build a virtual environment that's full of them?
That's exactly what Liu's team did. They built a virtual environment filled with cars, trucks, deer, cyclists, and pedestrians. Their test tracks—both highway and urban—used augmented reality to combine simulated background vehicles with physical road infrastructure and a real autonomous test car, with the augmented reality obstacles being fed into the car's sensors so the car would react as if they were real.
The team skewed the training data to focus on dangerous driving, calling the approach "dense deep-reinforcement-learning." The situations the car encountered weren't pre-programmed, but were generated by the AI, so as it goes along the AI learns how to better test the vehicle.
The system learned to identify hazards (and filter out non-hazards) far faster than conventionally-trained self-driving algorithms. The team wrote that their AI agents were able to "accelerate the evaluation process by multiple orders of magnitude, 10³ to 10⁵ times faster."
Training self-driving algorithms in a fully virtual environment isn't a new concept, but the Michigan team's focus on complex scenarios provides a safe way to expose autonomous cars to dangerous situations. The team also built up a training data set of edge cases for other "safety-critical autonomous systems" to use.
With a few more tools like this, perhaps self-driving cars will be here sooner than we're now predicting.
Image Credit: Nature/Henry Liu et. al.
- To test this, Hill is teaming up with Andrew Somerville, assistant professor of archaeology at Iowa State who is an expert in dietary reconstruction using bone geochemistry.
The recent discovery of a sabertooth cat skull in southwest Iowa is the first evidence the prehistoric predator once inhabited the state.
The chance of finding any fossilized remains from a sabertooth cat is slim, says Matthew Hill, an associate professor of archaeology at Iowa State and expert on animal bones. The remarkably well-preserved skull found in Page County is even rarer, and its discovery offers clues about the iconic Ice Age species before its extinction roughly 12-13,000 years ago.
"The skull is a really big deal," says Hill. "Finds of this animal are widely scattered and usually represented by an isolated tooth or bone. This skull from the East Nishnabotna River is in near perfect condition. It's exquisite."
Hill analyzed the specimen in collaboration with David Easterla, professor emeritus of biology at Northwest Missouri State University. Their findings appear in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.
The researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the cat died at the end of the Ice Age between 13,605 and 13,460 years ago. Hill says it may have been one of the last sabertooths to walk the planet as glaciers receded and temperatures rose.
"We think southwest Iowa during this period was a parkland with patches of trees interspersed with grassy openings, somewhat similar to central Canada today," says Hill. "The cat would have lived alongside other extinct animals like dire wolf, giant short-faced bear, long-nosed peccary, flat-headed peccary, stag-moose, muskox, and giant ground sloth, and maybe a few bison and mammoth."
Sabertooth fossil clues
Hill and Easterla believe the skull belonged to a subadult (2-3 year old) male when it died. Gaps between the skull's boney plates indicate its head was still growing, and the permanent teeth don't show much wear from cutting and chewing. To figure out its sex, they compared its skull measurements with adult male and female sabertooth skulls from the Rancho La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.
Hill explains sabertooth were sexually dimorphic, meaning males were larger than females. Since the Iowa skull is larger than many male skulls from the tar pits, the researchers argue it belonged to a male. They estimate the Iowa cat weighed about 550 pounds at death and may have approached 650 pounds as an adult in prime physical condition. In comparison, the average adult male African lion weighs about 400 pounds.
How the sabertooth cat died is not clear. But a broken canine might offer a clue. Hill and Easterla speculate the animal was seriously injured while attacking prey, which ultimately proved fatal within days of the trauma.
Small patches of worn-down bone on top of the skull indicate it slid along a river-bottom before coming to rest and then buried for thousands of years.
"We can learn a lot from these types of fossils. They hold clues about the ecology of the animals, and how they respond to dramatic climate change and the appearance of a new predator and competitor on the landscape, including people," says Hill. "Iowa is a fantastic laboratory to do research on extinct Ice Age animals and the people who were just beginning to share the landscape with them."
Research opportunities with the sabertooth cat skull don't end with the published analysis, the researchers say.
Hill suspects the cat's primary prey was Jefferson's giant ground sloth, which were common in Iowa during the Ice Age. They'd sit beside trees and bushes and pull in leaves and buds to eat. At 8-to-10 feet tall and over 2,200 pounds, giant ground sloths were massive. Hill believes only a large predator armed with "absolutely lethal jaws and claws" and legs designed for pouncing could hunt them regularly.
To test this, Hill is teaming up with Andrew Somerville, assistant professor of archaeology at Iowa State who is an expert in dietary reconstruction using bone geochemistry. Together, they're developing a stable isotope mixing model with samples from the sabertooth cat, other carnivores, and herbivores (e.g., Jefferson's ground sloth, muskox, stag-moose.)
"You are what you eat, and it's locked in your bones," says Hill.
Stable isotopes make it possible for researchers to know what plants herbivores eat and, in turn, what herbivores carnivores eat. They can piece together local food webs and how species filled ecological niches.
"So, maybe the sabertooth was primarily eating giant ground sloth, dire wolves, primarily moose, and short-faced bears, a little bit of everything. Andrew and I are going to figure it out," says Hill.
The researchers expect to publish their findings in the coming year.
Source: Iowa State University
The post 'Near-perfect' sabertooth cat skull is first sign they lived in Iowa appeared first on Futurity.
Nature, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/d41586-023-00941-1Genomes uncovered from centuries-old East African towns revise conclusions of colonial science.
Scientific Reports, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-31194-7Author Correction: Nox2 dependent redox-regulation of microglial response to amyloid-β stimulation and microgliosis in aging
Scientific Reports, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41598-023-32249-5Atypical connectivity
Social work professor Tracey Marchese has practical advice on how speaking to children about school shootings and violence.
"Telling the child what the adults think they need to know can actually cause the child more anxiety."
Marchese, professor practice in the School of Social Work in Syracuse University's Falk College, studies trauma, PTSD, mental health, and mind-body wellness.
She answers three questions below with advice on best ways to discuss traumatic events:
The post How to discuss school shootings with your kids appeared first on Futurity.
Nature Communications, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37472-2Authors present a fibre Bragg grating-based all-pass spectral phase filter with an unprecedented frequency resolution of 1 GHz, at least 10× improvement compared to a standard optical waveshaper. Using the all-fibre phase filter, fully passive NOT and XNOR logic operations are experimentally demonstrated at ultrafast speeds with few-fJ/bit energy consumption.
Artificial-intelligence-powered image-generating systems are making fake photographs so hard to detect that we need AI to catch them
Functional neurological disorders are very real, and medical compassion is an important part of treatment
How I learned to stop worrying and love the next Earth-threatening asteroid.
Microphones capture ultrasonic crackles from plants that are water-deprived or injured
Artificial-intelligence-powered image-generating systems are making fake photographs so hard to detect that we need AI to catch them
As more people turn to chat-based AIs for medical advice, it remains to be seen how these tools stack up against—or could complement—human doctors
As we are slowly enetering the genes modification era I started to wonder, what if we could alter the melanin levels in our body? Telling our cells to produce more or less melanin seems rather easy (at least compared to other things).
So what would happen if that were true? Changing your eyes, hair and skin color would become part of the aesthetic medicine offer. Would that be a good or a bad thing? How would that affect racism?
|submitted by /u/chrisdh79
As we collectively gasp at the very real prospect of watching artificial intelligence absorb many of the jobs that we presently take for granted, it's clear that we urgently need to begin the formidable task of re-organizing the way society distributes wealth. A universal basic income (UBI) is a policy that would give every citizen a regular and unconditional cash payment, regardless of their income, employment, or family situation. UBI has many flaws, chief among them is a reliance on taxation for funding. In a world where corporations routinely pay nothing in taxes, convincing them to fund a UBI out of the goodness of their hearts amounts to wasted effort. Additionally, it puts citizens in a subservient position, making them reliant on the whims of the ruling class to disperse payments. The power dynamic would be even worse than it already is. Here's my point, UBI is a terrible deal. We need to go much, MUCH bigger. We need to collectively own a piece of the pie, the WHOLE pie.
Meet the Universal Basic Dividend.
A universal basic dividend (UBD) is similar to UBI, but with one crucial difference: it would be funded by a portion of the profits made by large corporations through publicly subsidized innovations. This difference makes UBD superior to UBI for several reasons. First, UBD would be more fair and efficient, as it would capture the value of the common goods that society provides to corporations, such as natural resources, knowledge, culture, and institutions. Second, UBD would be more sustainable and responsible, as it would not require a massive increase in taxation or public debt, but rather a redistribution of existing wealth. Third, UBD would be more dynamic and progressive, as it would reward innovation and entrepreneurship, and create a stake for everyone in the future of society. UBD is a better way to ensure a decent income floor for everyone, while also sharing the benefits of economic growth and innovation.
We may only get one shot at renegotiating the social contract before it's too late.
Functional neurological disorders are very real, and medical compassion is an important part of treatment
Nature Communications, Published online: 31 March 2023; doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37562-1The biological plausibility of backpropagation and its relationship with synaptic plasticity remain open questions. The authors propose a meta-learning approach to discover interpretable plasticity rules to train neural networks under biological constraints. The meta-learned rules boost the learning efficiency via bio-inspired synaptic plasticity.