Dec 05, 2016

We just found out there are 'bees' in the sea

posted by Larra Morris

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In case you thought we’d figured out life in the oceans even a little bit, a new study published in Nature Communications sets the record straight. For the first time, scientists have found experimental evidence of underwater pollination. There are bees in the sea—or at least creatures that perform the same kind of work. 

Microscopic crustaceans and tiny marine worms help pollinate a tropical seagrass called turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum), according to research led by Brigitta van Tussenbroek at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
via Gizmodo

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Dec 05, 2016

Practice tests help you remember—even if you don’t check if you’re correct

posted by Larra Morris

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For more than a decade, neuroscientists have known that stress impairs memory performance—an effect likely due to the influence of stress-related hormones. A recent article in Science shows that a specific technique—taking practice recall tests—can help people overcome the memory problems associated with stress. And it even works if you aren't told how well you did when practicing.
via Ars Technica

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Dec 02, 2016

Subway expansion uncovers mastodon remains at least 10,000 years old

posted by Larra Morris

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Last week, a construction project for the Los Angeles subway turned into a scientific excavation after workers uncovered fossilized skull, tooth and tusk fragments from ancient elephant relatives that have been extinct for 10,000 years.

According to L.A. transit officials, remains belonging to an adult mastodon were discovered shortly before Thanksgiving, promoting officials to bring in a paleontological monitor to survey the site near the La Brea Tar Pits.
via Gizmodo

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Dec 02, 2016

Chemists officially add new elements to the periodic table

posted by Larra Morris

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Kids have to memorize four new elements, now that the powers that be in the world of chemistry have expanded the periodic table. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has accepted the official names for elements 113, 115, 117 and 118, which it recognized in late December 2015. Previously known by their unappealing placeholder names ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, the elements have been christened Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tennessine (Ts) and Oganesson (Og), respectively.
via Engadget

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Dec 01, 2016

An artificially intelligent database that learns, organizes and visualizes bird sounds ‘by ear’

posted by Larra Morris

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Coders at the Google Creative Lab are working with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to teach an experimental artificially intelligent (AI) database to learn, organize and visualize the incredibly varying sounds of different birds “by ear”, without any other information. Using data from the Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: Essential Set for North America and a t-SNE process, the AI finds sounds that are similar to each other and maps them close together.
via Laughing Squid

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Nov 30, 2016

Solar-powered two-seater plane will soar to the edge of space

posted by Larra Morris

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Solar planes have already traversed the Alps and flown around the world, but one team has its sights set a little higher: the edge of space. SolarStratos is planning to fly a solar-powered plane to an altitude of over 80,000 ft (24,000 m), from where the curvature of the Earth as well as daytime stars will be visible.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy and to explore the possibility of flying people to such altitudes using solar technology.
via New Atlas

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Nov 30, 2016

Google’s AI reads retinas to prevent blindness in diabetics

posted by Larra Morris

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Google researchers have worked with doctors to develop an AI that can automatically identify diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause blindness among adults. Using deep learning—the same breed of AI that identifies faces, animals, and objects in pictures uploaded to Google’s online services—the system detects the condition by examining retinal photos. In a recent study, it succeeded at about the same rate as human opthamologists, according to a paper published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
via Wired

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