Science 2.0

Back To The Future Of Science Fiction

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2022 - 10:06

Vernians are the true believers who think Jules Verne's books are scientific manuals rather than fantastic stories. To my knowledge, there are few, if any, true Vernians around. Still, there are neo-Vernians today who see Verne's books are scientific manuals illustrating the theories of his day. Furthermore, a Vernian process shows how to evaluate science and project itinto the engineering future. Maybe the most forgotten and valuable part of Verne's science fiction was its use in education.

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Lost Hammer And A Blueprint For Life On Mars

Science 2.0 - Jun 22 2022 - 10:06
Some areas on Mars are extremely salty, very cold, and have only a hint of oxygen - just like Earth. Yet even in the permafrost of Lost Hammer Spring in the Nunavut territory of Canada’s High Arctic, researchers have found microbes that have never been identified before

Using genomic and single cell microbiology methods, they examined their metabolisms and found that the microbial communities found living in Canada’s High Arctic can survive by eating and breathing simple inorganic compounds of a kind that have been detected on Mars - methane, sulfide, sulfate, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. 

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AI To Elephants: The Legal Question Of Who Is A Person

Science 2.0 - Jun 21 2022 - 16:06

Happy the elephant’s story is a sad one. She is currently a resident of the Bronx Zoo in the US, where the Nonhuman Rights Project (a civil rights organization) claims she is subject to unlawful detention. The campaigners sought a writ of habeas corpus on Happy’s behalf to request that she be transferred to an elephant sanctuary.

Historically, this ancient right which offers recourse to someone being detained illegally had been limited to humans. A New York court previously decided that it excluded non-human animals. So if the courts wanted to find in Happy’s favor, they would first have to agree that she was legally a person.

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Russian Energy Is Hurting Europe: Coal To The Rescue?

Science 2.0 - Jun 20 2022 - 14:06
When Germany made political hay out of abandoning nuclear power, they had a secret safety valve - Russian gas. Natural gas is wildly profitable because the solar and wind they adopted instead of nuclear needs full-time on-demand backup. And it costs them nothing politically.

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On The Impossibility Of Space Diving

Science 2.0 - Jun 20 2022 - 12:06

Since E.E. “Doc” Smith’s 1934 novel, Triplanetary, people have dreamed about performing the first space dive. As we make our first steps toward commercialising space travel, many people have started to wonder if we are any closer to achieving the first space dive. 

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A Species ‘Stock Market’ To Put A Price Tag On Biodiversity

Science 2.0 - Jun 20 2022 - 11:06
The value of bees in pollination is overstated, outside the on-demand almond grower market the pollination done by bees would be taken up by 400,000 other species if bees disappeared tomorrow, but that doesn't mean they are not an important part of the ecosystem in other ways.

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Congo Basin Peat Bank - NOT Lungs - No Impact On Breathing - One Of The Most Intact Tropical Rainforests And We Can Save It

Science 2.0 - Jun 19 2022 - 18:06

This was potentially a good article by the BBC except that sadly it used an absurd click bait title and had several serious factual errors. I recommend the Mongabay articles on the same topic as far better:

In more detail, their series:

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Time Crystals Open The Door To Quantum Computing

Science 2.0 - Jun 18 2022 - 00:06

Time crystals are quantum systems whose lowest energy-state is where its particles are in constant motion.

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Would Peer-To-Peer Charging Reduce Range Anxiety And Make Electric Cars Mainstream?

Science 2.0 - Jun 17 2022 - 15:06
One of the sillier commercials for a cell phone I have seen in recent memory is some guy shaking his head in sadness that his phone is out of battery and a kindly person places her phone on his to give him a boost. They were able to use the Qi wireless charging capability to share energy with each other.

This looked like a solution without a problem. If you are going to be that despondent without your phone, you bring one of those little charging packs, you bring a power cord, you are not shaking your head like you unwittingly got placed into an episode of "Alone" and have been dropped into Alaska with nothing but a neck gaiter and a frying pan. You are prepared.

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Polar Bear Genome From 100,000 Years Ago Shows It Was Genetically Modified

Science 2.0 - Jun 16 2022 - 13:06
Genetic admixture didn't begin in the 1970s, when insulin became the first government approved genetically modified organism (GMO) and AquAdvantage salmon, where an Atlantic salmon expresses a natural gene from a Chinook salmon to grow faster, certainly was not the first time such genetic engineering showed benefits across the ecosystem.

A new study finds that genetic admixture occurred in polar bears 100,000 years, but it did not create Frankenbears, it just created better brown bears. 

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You Don't Want To Be A Billionaire, And That's A Good Thing

Science 2.0 - Jun 16 2022 - 11:06
Some politicians and cultural activists may claim that humans are propelled by consumerism but a new paper finds that isn't true. And that it is not true is a good thing.

If we were all driven by greed, there would be no poverty. Developing nations would embrace science and have plentiful food. But the environmental strain would be tremendous.

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Kyrgyzstan Was Ground Zero For The 14th Century Black Plague

Science 2.0 - Jun 16 2022 - 11:06
In 1347, the Bubonic or Black Plague first entered the Mediterranean via trade ships transporting goods from the territories of the Golden Horde in the Black Sea.

The disease tore through Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, in some cases claiming up to 60 percent of the population. It resurged throughout the next 500 years.

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President Biden Knows Why Oil Companies Cut Production - He Told Them To, Or Else

Science 2.0 - Jun 16 2022 - 09:06
In March of this year, just after Russia invaded Ukraine, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY 12th District) canceled a meeting with oil executives that Democrats said was "their last chance to cooperate" - by cutting oil production. The federal government doesn't issue idle threats and executives were right to comply.

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President Obama Is Getting Huge Propane Backup For When Solar Power Creates Brownouts In Martha's Vineyard

Science 2.0 - Jun 15 2022 - 15:06
Former President Obama threw $72 billion at solar power companies because he believed if government threw enough money at technology, he could accomplish what scientists and engineers had not for the previous 50 years.

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The Biden Admininstration Is Mandating Condensing Furnaces - That's Bad For People And The Environment

Science 2.0 - Jun 15 2022 - 14:06
The Biden administration has issued a decree that any furnace sold after 2029 must be a "condensing" furnace, and his environmental group allies are thrilled they have locked in another win.

It may not be a win for the public.

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Old-School Statistical Learning Tools Challenge Neural Networks In Physics Problems

Science 2.0 - Jun 15 2022 - 09:06
A quick post - for now - to mention that today at 4PM CEST (about 40' from now) I will be talking at a CERN PhyStat seminar on two recent articles I published. In both cases I used old-fashioned multivariate analysis tools to solve problems that are today usually approached with deep neural networks: multivariate regression, and anomaly detection. 
The title and abstract of the seminar are as in the screenshot below:




You will be able to follow the seminar if you have CERN credentials, from the indico page at https://indico.cern.ch/event/1169738/ . Others should ask for a direct link to the zoom room privately [my email is (myfirstname)(dot)(mylastname)(at)gmail(dot)com ].

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The Wheat Crisis Shows How Weak Non-GMO Crops Are

Science 2.0 - Jun 14 2022 - 13:06
Due to war in Ukraine, which has thrown Europe into a panic, and debacles in places like Sri Lanka that banned science in favor of an organic growing process, the world has started to appreciate agricultural progress again.

Wheat is a glaring example of how crops can be left behind due to a lack of genetic engineering. Corn is affordable and so plentiful we can even ridiculously cater to environmental groups and make it a gasoline additive, while wheat is stuck in the past. And with Russia invading Ukraine, 25 percent of wheat exports are at risk.

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Homo Erectus' From Gongwangling May Have Been First For China

Science 2.0 - Jun 14 2022 - 10:06
Scientists just published a study of what may prove to be China's most ancient human fossil. The researchers employed microCT, geometric morphometry, and classical morphology techniques to investigate the remains of the maxillary and five teeth from the skull unearthed at the Chinese site of Gongwangling, on the vast plains on the northern slopes of the Quinling Mountains (province of Shaanxi, in central China) and was discovered by the scientist Woo Ju-Kang in 1963.

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