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Science (General/Chat)

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  • IBM casts doubt on Google’s claims of quantum supremacy

    10/23/2019 2:32:11 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 12 replies ^ | By Adrian Cho Oct. 23, 2019 , 5:40 AM
    *Update, 23 October, 5:40 a.m.: A study from Google claiming quantum supremacy, accidentally leaked online last month, has now been published in Nature. The Google group reiterates its claim that its 53-qubit computer performed, in 200 seconds, an arcane task that would take 10,000 years for Summit, a supercomputer IBM built for the Department of Energy that is currently the world’s fastest. But IBM appears to have already rebutted Google’s claim. On 21 October, it announced that, by tweaking the way Summit approaches the task, it can do it far faster: in 2.5 days. IBM says the threshold for quantum...
  • A third of US Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, medicine and physics are immigrants

    10/23/2019 9:58:42 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 36 replies
    CNN ^ | 10/23/2019 | By Catherine E. Shoichet
    They live in different places, work at different universities and dedicate their careers to studying different topics. But there's one thing at least four of this year's US Nobel Prize laureates share. They're immigrants. That's in keeping with a long-running trend, according to a recent report from the National Foundation for American Policy. Immigrants have won 38% of the Nobel Prizes awarded to Americans in chemistry, medicine and physics since 2000, and 35% of the Nobel Prizes awarded to Americans in those fields since 1901, the foundation says. This year, French-born Esther Duflo and Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee -- both professors...
  • NOAA Releases 2019-2020 Winter Outlook - Favors Above Average Temps Across Much of the Country

    10/23/2019 2:32:27 AM PDT · by Libloather · 27 replies
    My State Line ^ | 10/19/19 | Candice King
    NOAA released its official winter outlook Thursday morning, predicting a higher probability for above average temperatures across much of the country, and above average precipitation for much of the Upper Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes. Forecasters say that even though colder than average temperatures are not favored, there will likely be some areas that end up with temperatures below average for the winter season (December-February). The El Niño Southern Oscillation often times influences our winter weather here in the United States, however forecasters with NOAA say we are currently in neutral conditions (neither El Niño or La Niña are present)...
  • helter’s Mysterious ‘Bear Dog’ Is Unlike Anything People Have Ever Seen Before

    10/22/2019 9:36:42 PM PDT · by imardmd1 · 28 replies
    Honest to Paws ^ | undated, net appearance 10/22/19 | Cody Mauro
    If you’re interested in eye-popping, attention-grabbing animals, look no further than hybrids. While hybrid animals like this wolf-dog are a fascinating cross of two separate species, they also reveal a host of ethical problems. < . . . > To create this “bear-dog” hybrid—who didn’t actually have any bear DNA—Russian breeders allegedly used a Chow Chow and some other sort of long-nosed stray. As animal shelter volunteer Polina Kefer put it, “This dog is a ‘badly-made’ Chow Chow.” While the four-year-old pooch might’ve looked cool to some, mentally, he was a mess. < . . . > Unfortunately, all of...
  • Germany mulls domestic spaceport

    10/22/2019 4:42:01 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 10.21.2019 | cw/rt (dpa)
    Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has signaled that the government will consider building a space launch center after German industries demanded more to investment in space research and development. “Space travel excites many people and creates thousands of jobs. We are leaders in satellite technology. Therefore, I will examine the suggestion of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) for a spaceport,” he told the mass-circulation Bild. German industry has called for the space innovation budget to more than double from €285 million ($318 million) to a level on par with France at more than €700 million. …
  • NASA's Lucy mission to study the Trojan asteroids clears critical milestone

    10/22/2019 6:16:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    | Fox News ^ | 10/21/2019 | Christopher Carbone
    Lucy team members presented the completed mission design, showing that they have met all the technical challenges of the mission and were ready to start building the actual hardware. At Lockheed Martin in Colorado over the course of four days, an independent review board, comprised of reviewers from NASA and several external organizations, heard all about the mission design. The Trojan asteroids orbit the Sun at a distance of Jupiter. The mission is set to launch in October 2021; with boosts from Earth's gravity, the spacecraft is expected to complete a 12-year journey to seven different asteroids.
  • New PragerU Video Shows 2 Scientific Reasons to Doubt Evolution

    10/22/2019 8:18:04 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 21 replies
    PJ Media ^ | October 21, 2019 | Tyler O'Neil
    New PragerU Video Shows 2 Scientific Reasons to Doubt Evolution On Monday, PragerU released a video giving two solid scientific reasons to doubt the Darwinian theory of evolution. In the video, Stephen C. Meyer, who earned a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science and who serves as a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, lays out two key flaws in the evolutionary theory that is often taught as gospel truth in may high schools and colleges.Meyer begins the video by quoting evolutionary biologist and New Atheist Richard Dawkins, who claimed that anyone who does not believe in evolution...
  • Washington Subsidies Not Helping the Wind Industry

    10/22/2019 8:17:11 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 10 replies
    Townhall ^ | 10/22/2019 | Stephen Moore
    Last week, the lobbying arm of the wind energy industry made an unsurprising, though somewhat embarrassing, announcement. It wants a longer lifeline with federal subsidies. So much for wind being the low-cost energy source of the future. Less than a year ago, the American Wind Energy Association with great fanfare issued a press statement that, as Bloomberg reported: "America's wind farms are ready to go it alone." Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican who has strongly supported the wind industry since the days of federal support began in 1992, boasted that the wind industry had finally "matured" and wind...
  • Mathematicians Have Discovered an Entirely New Way to Multiply Large Numbers

    10/22/2019 2:00:33 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 64 replies
    Science Alert ^ | 10/17/19 | Peter Dockrill
    A pair of mathematicians from Australia and France have devised an alternative way to multiply numbers together, while solving an algorithmic puzzle that has perplexed some of the greatest math minds for almost half a century. For most of us, the way we multiply relatively small numbers is by remembering our times tables – an incredibly handy aid first pioneered by the Babylonians some 4,000 years ago. But what if the numbers get bigger? Well, if the figures get unwieldy – and assuming we don't have a calculator or computer, of course – most of us would then turn to...
  • Ask Ethan: Would An Alien Civilization Classify Earth As An 'Interesting' Planet?

    10/21/2019 4:44:39 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 43 replies
    Forbes ^ | 10/19/19 | Ethan Siegel
    All across the Universe, trillions of galaxies can be seen, with each one typically containing billions and billions of stars. Here on Earth, life not only arose, thrived, and became complex and differentiated, but intelligent, technologically advanced, and even spacefaring, to a degree. But these last advances — taking us into the space and information ages — are extremely recent, and space is enormous. If an alien civilization saw us, would we even appear interesting from their perspective? Tayte Taliaferro wants to know, asking: "I was thinking about the projection of light through space. My curtain was open and I...
  • The Basket Age

    10/21/2019 1:46:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Discover mag ^ | Monday, January 01, 1996 | Shanti Menon
    There are two reasons, according to Jim Adovasio, we don’t think of baskets or textiles when we think of the Stone Age. One is that stones and bones, being far more durable, are far more common at archeological sites than artifacts made of fiber... And yet it has been around a long time, as four small pieces of clay described by Adovasio this past year make clear. Found at a site called Pavlov in the Czech Republic, they are 27,000 years old--and impressed with patterns that could only have been created by woven fibers. These artifacts push back the date...
  • Military artificial intelligence can be easily and dangerously fooled

    10/21/2019 12:29:21 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 18 replies
    MIT Technology Review ^ | 10/21/19 | Will Knight
    Last March, Chinese researchers announced an ingenious and potentially devastating attack against one of America’s most prized technological assets—a Tesla electric car. The team, from the security lab of the Chinese tech giant Tencent, demonstrated several ways to fool the AI algorithms on Tesla’s car. By subtly altering the data fed to the car’s sensors, the researchers were able to bamboozle and bewilder the artificial intelligence that runs the vehicle. In one case, a TV screen contained a hidden pattern that tricked the windshield wipers into activating. In another, lane markings on the road were ever-so-slightly modified to confuse the...
  • Ancient Babylonian 'Omen' Has Helped Scientists Verify Timing of an Epic Solar Storm

    10/21/2019 7:03:29 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 45 replies
    Science Alert ^ | 19 OCT 2019 | MIKE MCRAE
    More than 2,600 years ago, strange red clouds over Mesopotamia drew the attention of soothsayers across the land. Their royal reports have now helped confine the date of a severe solar storm that washed over the planet. Based on readings of carbon isotopes trapped in tree rings deposited around that time, astronomers already suspected there was a period of intense solar activity around the middle of the 7th century BC... And it seemed like it had pretty far-ranging effects. Earlier in the year, geologists reported similar signs of a storm from around this period in traces of radioactive particles buried...
  • Is this “one of the worst scientific scandals of all time”?

    10/21/2019 10:14:59 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 34 replies
    Cosmos ^ | 21 Oct 2019 | Stephen Fleischfresser
    ... these documents point to what Anthony Pelosi, a psychiatrist with the UK’s National Health Service in Glasgow and Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow, calls “one of the worst scientific scandals of all time.” Eysenck is revered as one of the greatest psychologists in history, his fame built on his work concerning intelligence and personality testing, known as psychometrics. He long maintained the hereditability of IQ and personality traits and was a supporter of the work of people like Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, the somewhat infamous authors of The Bell Curve, a book that amongst other things...
  • Magneto-inertial fusion experiment nears completion

    10/21/2019 7:34:43 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 40 replies ^ | 10/21/2019 | American Physical Society
    Assembly of the Plasma Liner Experiment (PLX) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is well underway with the installation of 18 of 36 plasma guns in an ambitious approach to achieving controlled nuclear fusion (Figure 1). The plasma guns are mounted on a spherical chamber, and fire supersonic jets of ionized gas inward to compress and heat a central gas target that serves as fusion fuel. In the meantime, experiments performed with the currently installed plasma guns are providing fundamental data to create simulations of colliding plasma jets, which are crucial for understanding and developing other controlled fusion schemes. Most fusion...
  • Scientists find early humans moved through Mediterranean earlier than believed

    10/20/2019 6:48:19 AM PDT · by Openurmind · 13 replies
    Science Daily/McMaster University ^ | Oct 16, 2019 | Michelle Donovan
    Scientists have unearthed new evidence in Greece proving that the island of Naxos was inhabited by Neanderthals and earlier humans at least 200,000 years ago, tens of thousands of years earlier than previously believed. The findings, published today in the journal Science Advances, are based on years of excavations and challenge current thinking about human movement in the region -- long thought to have been inaccessible and uninhabitable to anyone but modern humans. The new evidence is leading researchers to reconsider the routes our early ancestors took as they moved out of Africa into Europe and demonstrates their ability to...
  • How evolution builds genes from scratch

    10/19/2019 10:19:27 AM PDT · by null and void · 28 replies
    Nature ^ | 16 October 2019 | Adam Levy
    In the depths of winter, water temperatures in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean can sink below zero. That’s cold enough to freeze many fish, but the conditions don’t trouble the cod. A protein in its blood and tissues binds to tiny ice crystals and stops them from growing.
  • An Interesting Encounter

    10/19/2019 8:39:57 AM PDT · by Gay State Conservative · 47 replies
    Yesterday I had a free loaner while my car was in the shop.Nice,sunny day...nothing to do...I decided to drive down to Greenwich,Connecticut. For those who don't know,Greenwich is an obscenely wealthy suburb of NYC that's located right on Long Island Sound.On arrival I started walking around looking at the multi million dollar mansions (boy,I wish I had studied harder in school!). I came upon a short gravel path leading up to a small dock on the Sound. Behind me came an older woman...70s,maybe even 80...who said hello to me. We got chatting and started talking about a vacant lot that...
  • Argonne explores how ants, bees, and fruit flies can be the next big buzz in artificial intelligence

    10/19/2019 6:55:34 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 12 replies
    Argonne National Laboratory ^ | 12 Sept 2019 | DAVE BUKEY
    Powered by plutonium and drawing 400 watts of power each to run their electronics and heat, the probes still snap photos and send them back to NASA. After 42 years, though, only six of Voyager 2Â’s 10 instruments still work... Ultimately, the team aimed to better understand how to use novel and emerging materials to make chips more computationally efficient. Their efforts to design and simulate a new neuromorphic chip led Yanguas-GilÂ’s to two pivotal breakthroughs. They were able to use filters and weights that impact neural connections in real time, depending on what the system deems important and they...
  • ...Ridgecrest Quakes Caused Strain on a Major SoCal Fault; Seismologists Say It’s Not Unprecedented

    10/18/2019 8:20:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    ktla ^ | 10/19/2019 | Tracy Bloom and Chris Wolfe,
    Those earthquakes were the first major temblors to occur near the Garlock since scientists began taking records decades ago, meaning it's the first time movement -- also known as creeping -- has been detected along the fault line, according to seismologist Zachary Ross. “The Ridgecrest earthquakes initiated this movement on this Garlock Fault," he said. The study found that the sequence increased strain on the 160-mile-long fault, which spans the Mojave Desert and is capable of producing a devastating magnitude 8.0 earthquake. Orbiting radar satellites recently picked up the movement along the Garlock and acquired before and after images of...