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Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other

quaith Re:The word is "orient", not "orientate" (115 comments)

You're correct. I wasn't trying to invent a new word. Should have used "orient". Just sloppy editing on my part -- I started with a sentence that had "orientation" in it and shortened it to "orientate" while I was reworking it. Sloppy, very sloppy.

more than 4 years ago
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Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other

quaith Re:paper was in PLoS Biology not PLoS One (115 comments)

Thanks for pointing that out. My mistake. It was in PLoS Biology. I'll be more careful about distinguishing one PLoS from another in the future.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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9th Human's DNA sequenced. This one died in 2000BC

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes ""Inuk" is the ninth human to have their entire genome sequenced but unlike the previous eight, he has been dead for 4,000 years. Inuk had brown eyes and brown skin. His blood type was A+. He was one of the Saqqaq people, one of the first cultures to settle in the frozen north of the New World. From four small tufts of hair and four small pieces of bon, his genome has been sequenced by a large team of scientists from 8 countries. The team used next-generation sequencing technology to sequence 80% of the genome 20 times with the results comparable to a modern human genome in terms of quality."
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New Interactive Black Hole Simulation Published

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "The New Scientist reports on a simulation just published in the American Journal of Physics that shows how the sky would appear in the vicinity of a black hole — if an observer could actually get near one. Using real positions of around 118,000 stars, the simulation shows how the bending of light, the frequency shift, and the magnification caused by gravitational lensing and aberration in the vicinity of the black hole affect the sky's appearance. The simulation is interactive and allows the user to explore the stellar sky around the black hole. The simulation offers a couple of modes: "quasi static" or "freely falling" and the sample videos are quite spectacular. The New Scientist has a writeup, with an embedded video. The original article citation is here. The simulation, which runs on Linux or Windows, as well as sample videos can be downloaded from the University of Stuttgart website."
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Statistical Analysis of U of Chicago Graffiti

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "Quinn Dombrowski, a member of the University of Chicago's central IT staff, has been recording the graffiti left in the Joseph Regenstein Library Since September 2007. To date, she's photographed and transcribed over 620 pieces of graffiti. Over 410 of them are datable to within a week of their creation. She has now published in Inkling Magazine a statistical analysis of the entire collection covering such subjects as love, hate, despair, sex, anatomy and temporal fluctuations of each of these — after November, both love and despair graffiti drop off significantly until spring, while sex graffiti reaches its one and only peak in December before declining for the rest of the school year. The story includes links to all of the original graffiti photos which she's made freely available to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license."
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International Space Station Cupola Video Released

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "With the Space Shuttle Endeavour scheduled to be launched at 4:39 AM EST on Sunday for a trip to the International Space Station, the European Space Agency (ESA) has released a video that shows how the modules it's carrying, Node-3 ('Tranquility') and Cupola, are going to get attached. Node-3 is a connecting module. Cupola has six trapezoidal windows and circular roof that are designed to provide a unique vantage point for observing Earth. The video animations show how the station's robotic arm will be used to first put both in place as a single module, then detach Cupola from the end of Node-3 and reattach it on the Earth-facing side. With this addition, the ISS should start to look something Jules Verne would have been interested in visiting."
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CRU Emails may have been 'unintionally shared'

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "The Guardian is reporting more details on how a server of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia was hacked. This breach led to Prof. Phil Jones stepping down as head of the CRU and widespread discussion about the credibility of science. The Guardian reports that UAE has confirmed that all of this material was simply sitting in an archive on a single backup CRU server, available to be copied. Other incidents suggest the data could have been down-loadable from a public ftp site on the server. The Guardian concludes, that "if this turns out to be true, UEA may end up looking foolish. For there will be no one to arrest"."
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Europe's LHC to Run at Half-Energy through 2011

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "ScienceInsider reports that Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will run at half its maximum energy through 2011 and likely not at all in 2012. The previous plan was to ramp it up to 70% of maximum energy this year. Under the new plan, the LHC will run at 7 trillion electron-volts (TeV) through 2011. The LHC would then shut down for a year so workers could replace all of its 10,000 interconnects with redesigned ones allowing the LHC to run at its full 14 TeV capacity in 2013. The change raises hopes at the LHC’s lower-energy rival, the Tevatron Collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, of being extended through 2012 instead of being shut down next year. Fermilab researchers are hoping that their machine might collect enough data to beat the LHC to the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle key to how physicists explain the origin of mass."
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500 teraFLOPS Supercomputer from PlayStations

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "The U.S. Air Force is in the process of building a supercomputer from PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles. The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY, has already built a cluster with 336 Sony PS3s and are beefing that up by another 1,700. The Air Force plans to have the 1,700 consoles fully integrated into the system by June as part of the Department of Defense's High Performance Computer Modernization Program. Once it's finished, the supercomputing cluster should be able to deliver approximately 500 teraFLOPS of computing performance; enough to land it a spot among the top ten most-powerful supercomputers today. The total cost is expected to be about $2M.
 "

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Official State Microbes

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "It's a slow news day, so why not waste time proposing official state microbes. This list is inspired by the fact that in December, Wisconsin passed a bill giving their high honor to Lactococcus Lactis, the microbe that turns milk into cheese. There's eleven suggestions so far. The list is growing, but there's still time to make sure your state gets represented. On the Oscillator blog by Christina Agapakis"
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Decreased Water Vapor Has Offset Global Warming

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith writes "Nature reports that a team led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describe how a mysterious 10% drop in water vapor in the stratosphere since 2000 could have offset the expected warming due to greenhouse gases. The calculated offset is roughly 25%. The team's model also suggests that an increase in water vapor might have boosted earlier warming by about 30% in the 1980s and 1990s. This drop in atmospheric water vapor is now on the list of possible culprits causing average global temperatures to flatten out over the past decade, despite increasing greenhouse-gas emissions."
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New Bird-Like Theropod Found in China

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith (743256) writes "A report by GrrlScientist on a just published article in Science describes a new fossil theropod from the early Late Jurassic. Theropods are the group of meat-eating dinosaurs that include velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus Rex. GrrlScientist says in her post "Currently, most scientists think that birds are modern dinosaurs, but because small hollow bones like those of birds and small dinosaurs don't fossilize well, the early fossil record for birds is sparse." This fossil, found in China's Gobi Desert, is a three-dimensionally preserved nearly complete skeleton. It has has features of both dinosaurs and birds and strengthens the dinosaur-bird hypothesis."
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Wearable rubber films could power electronics

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith (743256) writes "Princeton researchers have published a paper that describes power-generating rubber films that could harvest the energy of walking, running and breathing to power mobile electrical devices. The material is composed of nanoribbons of lead zirconate titanate (PZT), a ceramic material that is piezoelectric. These are then embedded into silicone rubber sheets. The resulting material is highly efficient at converting mechanical energy provided by flexing into electrical energy. The researchers suggest it could be used in shoes, or placed against the lungs. I'd certainly buy a t-shirt that could power my laptop."
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Evolving robots learn to prey on each other

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith (743256) writes "Dario Floreano and Laurent Keller report in PLoS ONE how their robots were able to rapidly evolve complex behaviors such as collision-free movement, homing, predator versus prey strategies, cooperation, and even altruism. A hundred generations of selection controlled by a simple neural network were sufficient to allow robots to evolve these behaviors. Their robots initially exhibited completely uncoordinated behavior, but as they evolved, the robots were able to orientate, escape predators, and even cooperate. The authors point out that this confirms a proposal by Alan Turing who suggested in the 1950s that building machines capable of adaptation and learning would be too difficult for a human designer and could instead
be done using an evolutionary process. The robots aren't yet ready to compete in Robot Wars, but they're still pretty impressive."

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Making it hard for extraterrestrials to hear us

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith (743256) writes "US astronomer Frank Drake has told scientists at a special SETI meeting in London that earthlings are making it less likely that we will be heard in space. In the past, we used huge ground stations to broadcast radio and television signals which could be picked up relatively easily, according to astronomers calculations anyway. Now we use satellites that transmit at 75 watts and point toward Earth instead of into space. In addition, we've switched to digital which makes the transmissions even fainter. Drake has concluded that very soon, in space no one will hear us at all. I guess we'd better keep listening."
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The Twisted Evolution of the Duck Penis

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith (743256) writes "In Science Blogs Neurotopia, Scicurious describes "the twisted evolution of the duck penis". She describes an original study by Brennan, Clark, and Prum published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Ducks are one of the few types of birds to have a penis, and it seems to be the product of antagonistic co-evolution, or "sex one-upmanship." The female's oviduct has lots of blind ends and pouches, making it easy for the male's penis to get stuck in the wrong place. In return, the male's penis is flexible, allowing him to bend around and try to get through the twists and turns. This is illustrated with slow-motion motion video capture, including one where the penis goes into a spiral glass tube. The net result of the antagonistic evolution is that the males can't get very far in so they deliver the sperm where it's needed, near the cloaca."

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Republicans and Democrats do look different.

quaith quaith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

quaith (743256) writes "It's not the way they dress, but the appearance of their face. A study published in PLoS One by Nicholas O. Rule and Nalini Ambady of Tufts University used closely cropped greyscale photos of people's faces, standardized for size. Undergrads were asked to categorize each person as either a Democrat or Republican. In the first study, students were able to different Republican from Democrat senate candidates. In the second, students were able to differentiate the political affiliation of other college students. Accuracy in both studies was about 60% — not perfect, but way better than chance."
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