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How to avoid deer fly bites, according to science

New Scientist - Hace 11 horas 21 mins
An experiment with a sticky fly trap in a Canadian forest suggests you will get more deer fly bites if you walk around than if you sit still

How a UK river serves as a natural lab for flood defence research

New Scientist - Hace 13 horas 22 mins
A river near Edinburgh, UK, has served for more than a decade as a natural laboratory for studying flood defences, providing benefits such as improved water quality worth millions of pounds

US police are selling seized phones with personal data still on them

New Scientist - Hace 15 horas 22 mins
Nude photos, bank details and stolen credit card numbers have been found on devices sold by US police forces via auction sites

What is the 'ship of Theseus' thought experiment?

Live Science - Hace 18 horas 22 mins
The Greek writer Plutarch proposed this question: If a ship's planks are replaced over time due to wear and tear until none of the original pieces remain, is it still the same ship?

Science news this week: Sinking cities and tree of life mysteries

Live Science - Hace 20 horas 21 mins
May 27, 2023: Our weekly roundup of the latest science in the news over the past few days, as well as a few fascinating articles to keep you entertained over the weekend.

Gravitational-Wave Detector LIGO Is Back

Slashdot - Science - Hace 20 horas 22 mins
After three years of upgrades, the gravitational-wave detector known as LIGO, or Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, has resumed searching for colliding black holes and other cosmic cataclysms. "The improvements should allow the facility to pick up signals from colliding black holes every two to three days, compared with once a week or so during its previous run in 2019-20," reports Nature. From the report: The Virgo detector near Pisa, Italy, which has undergone its own $9-million upgrade, was meant to join in, but technical issues are forcing its team to extend its shutdown and perform further maintenance. "Our expectation is we'll be able to restart by the end of summer or early autumn," says Virgo spokesperson Gianluca Gemme, a physicist at Italy's National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Genoa. KAGRA, a gravitational-wave detector located under Mount Ikenoyama, Japan, is also restarting on 24 May. Its technology, although more advanced -- it was inaugurated in 2020 -- is being fine-tuned, and its sensitivity is still lower than LIGO's was in 2015. Principal investigator Takaaki Kajita, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at the University of Tokyo, says that KAGRA will join LIGO's run for a month and then shut down again for another period of commissioning. At that point, the team will cool the interferometer's four main mirrors to 20 kelvin, Kajita says -- a feature that sets KAGRA apart from the other detectors that will serve as the model for next-generation observatories. In upgrades carried out before the 2019-20 run, LIGO and Virgo tackled some of this noise with a technique called light squeezing. This approach deals with inherent noise caused by the fact that light is made of individual particles: when the beams arrive at the sensor, each individual photon can arrive slightly too early or too late, which means that the laser waves don't overlap and cancel out perfectly even in the absence of gravitational waves. "It's like dropping a bucket of BBs [lead pellets]: it's going to make a loud hiss, but they all hit randomly," physicist Lee McCuller explained while showing a prototype of the LIGO interferometers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Light squeezing injects an auxiliary laser beam into the interferometer that reduces that effect. "Its photons arrive more regularly, with less noise," said McCuller, who is now at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Neuralink Announces FDA Approval of In-Human Clinical Study

Slashdot - Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 16:40
Neuralink, a neurotech startup co-founded by Elon Musk, has received FDA approval for its first in-human clinical study to test its brain implant called the Link. The implant aims to help patients with severe paralysis regain the ability to control external technologies using neural signals, potentially allowing them to communicate through mind-controlled cursors and typing. CNBC reports: "This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people," the company wrote in a tweet. The FDA and Neuralink did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. The extent of the approved trial is not known. Neuralink said in a tweet that patient recruitment for its clinical trial is not open yet. No [brain-computer interface, or BCI] company has managed to clinch the FDA's final seal of approval. But by receiving the go-ahead for a study with human patients, Neuralink is one step closer to market. Neuralink's BCI will require patients to undergo invasive brain surgery. Its system centers around the Link, a small circular implant that processes and translates neural signals. The Link is connected to a series of thin, flexible threads inserted directly into the brain tissue where they detect neural signals. Patients with Neuralink devices will learn to control it using the Neuralink app. Patients will then be able to control external mice and keyboards through a Bluetooth connection, according to the company's website.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Global flash droughts expected to increase in a warming climate

Science Daily - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 16:32
Researchers have published new findings on how our warming climate will affect the frequency of flash droughts and the risk to croplands globally.

Bird brains can flick switch to perceive Earth's magnetic field

Science Daily - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 16:32
Study from researchers at Western's Advanced Facility for Avian Research (AFAR), home to the world's first hypobaric climatic wind tunnel for bird flight, explores a brain region called cluster N that migratory birds use to perceive Earth's magnetic field. The team discovered the region is activated very flexibly, meaning these birds have an ability to process, or ignore, geomagnetic information, just as you may attend to music when you are interested or tune it out when you are not.

Absolute vs. relative efficiency: How efficient are blue LEDs, actually?

Science Daily - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 16:32
The absolute internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of indium gallium nitride (InGaN) based blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at low temperatures is often assumed to be 100%. However, a new study has found that the assumption of always perfect IQE is wrong: the IQE of an LED can be as low as 27.5%.

Why North and South Korea Have Big Ambitions in Space: An 'Unblinking Eye'

Slashdot - Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 14:01
The two Koreas are elevating a space race aimed at modernizing how each country monitors the other's improving military firepower. From a report: As hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough have dimmed in recent years, North and South Korea have grown more antagonistic toward one another and upped their displays of military might. They have traded missile tests. Pyongyang has sent drones that flew over downtown Seoul. South Korea has sharpened security and defense ties with the U.S. and Japan. The rise in tensions has elevated the importance -- and need -- for spy-satellite technology that neither country now has. South Korea cleared a significant technological marker on Thursday, launching multiple commercial satellites aboard a homegrown rocket for the first time. North Korea's Kim Jong Un regime stands poised to soon fly its first military reconnaissance satellite. Nuri, South Korea's three-stage liquid-fuel rocket, blasted off at 6:24 p.m. local time Thursday from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, a city on the country's southern coast. The 200-ton rocket launched into space and deployed eight satellites into orbit about 342 miles above Earth, about 13 minutes after liftoff. Seoul has the clear technological advantage, weapons analysts say, though Pyongyang has been quick to advance its sanctioned missile program to develop long-range rockets that can carry satellites. Both nations remain years away from having a full-fledged network of spy satellites. But attaining the technology would allow the countries to identify military targets to precisely launch strikes during potential conflict without relying on their allies' satellite technology for information. In North Korea's case, space-based satellite technology is essential for its nuclear strategy. Having eyes in the sky would serve as an additional asset to launching nuclear strikes with better accuracy, said Yang Uk, a military expert at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Seoul. Should the technology progress enough, North Korea could potentially identify nuclear strike targets in the U.S., he added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Superbug-killing Antibiotic Discovered Using AI

Slashdot - Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 12:40
Scientists have used artificial intelligence (AI) to discover a new antibiotic that can kill a deadly species of superbug. From a report: The AI helped narrow down thousands of potential chemicals to a handful that could be tested in the laboratory. The result was a potent, experimental antibiotic called abaucin, which will need further tests before being used. The researchers in Canada and the US say AI has the power to massively accelerate the discovery of new drugs. It is the latest example of how the tools of artificial intelligence can be a revolutionary force in science and medicine. Antibiotics kill bacteria. However, there has been a lack of new drugs for decades and bacteria are becoming harder to treat, as they evolve resistance to the ones we have. More than a million people a year are estimated to die from infections that resist treatment with antibiotics. The researchers focused on one of the most problematic species of bacteria - Acinetobacter baumannii, which can infect wounds and cause pneumonia. You may not have heard of it, but it is one of the three superbugs the World Health Organization has identified as a "critical" threat.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Emergence of solvated dielectrons observed for the first time

Science Daily - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 12:22
Scientists generate low-energy electrons using ultraviolet light.

Protein-based nano-'computer' evolves in ability to influence cell behavior

Science Daily - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 12:22
The first protein-based nano-computing agent that functions as a circuit has been created. The milestone puts them one step closer to developing next-generation cell-based therapies to treat diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Scientists changed scales on chicken feet to feathers by tweaking a single gene

Live Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 11:19
By targeting a single gene, scientists successfully turned chickens’ feet from scaly to feathery.

Watch the biggest supernova in 10 years explode tonight on this free telescope livestream

Live Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 11:17
A newly discovered supernova can be watched as it develops in real-time online and for free. The livestream will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT) on Friday, May 26.

We may finally know why psychological stress worsens gut inflammation

New Scientist - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 10:30
A pathway between the brain and the immune system discovered in mice could explain why prolonged stress can exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease

Heavy rains expose ancient phallus and 'imposing' face carvings at Roman fort in Spain

Live Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 09:54
A rainstorm has exposed the ancient Roman stone carvings of a phallus, face and cornucopia at a first-century fort in Spain.

Elon Musk's brain implant firm Neuralink gets approval for human trial

New Scientist - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 09:45
The brain implant company Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk among others, previously tested implants in pigs and monkeys. Now it has approval for human trials

Over half of the world's largest lakes and reservoirs are losing water

Live Science - Vie, 26/05/2023 - 09:40
The amount lost in the last 30 years is equivalent to 17 Lake Meads — the largest reservoir in the U.S.


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