Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave

Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave

A common misconception is that the microwave acts on the grape from the outside in, like frozen meat defrosting, says physicist Pablo Bianucci of Concordia University, who worked on grape simulations included in a paper that appears today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

How the Brain Keeps Its Memories in the Right Order

How the Brain Keeps Its Memories in the Right Order

Marc Howard , a cognitive neuroscientist now at Boston University, and Karthik Shankar , who was then one of his postdoctoral students, wanted to figure out a mathematical model of time processing: a neurologically computable function for representing the past, like a mental canvas onto which the brain could paint memories and perceptions.

Clues to Our Unknown Ancestors Are Hiding in Our Genome

Clues to Our Unknown Ancestors Are Hiding in Our Genome

“We could use an infinite amount of data to train the deep learning engine, because we were using simulations.” The researchers generated tens of thousands of simulated evolutionary histories based on differing combinations of demographic details: the number of ancestral human populations, their sizes, when they diverged from one another, their rates of intermixing and so on.

Neural Networks Need a Cookbook. Here Are the Ingredients

Neural Networks Need a Cookbook. Here Are the Ingredients

In 1989, computer scientists proved that if a neural network has only a single computational layer, but you allow that one layer to have an unlimited number of neurons, with unlimited connections between them, the network will be capable of performing any task you might ask of it.

The Punishing Polar Vortex Is Ideal for Cassie the Robot

The Punishing Polar Vortex Is Ideal for Cassie the Robot

University of Michigan “We thought the walking would be limited by the duration of the battery outdoors,” Grizzle says. (Very Game of Thrones , by the way, all the fire and now ice.) “We all want to use robots in conditions where people could be at risk,” Grizzle says.

Photo Gallery: Science Lab Or Artist Studio?

Photo Gallery: Science Lab Or Artist Studio?

"Art is a way of thinking." Related Stories Over the course of her 10 years at the Technical University Bürkle has gained a new appreciation for the artistry of scientific research, which, she discovered, is far more unruly than most people realize.

A Child’s Puzzle Helped Uncover How Magnets Really Work

A Child’s Puzzle Helped Uncover How Magnets Really Work

Just swap the labels on the tiles from numbers to up or down spins, and the puzzle becomes equivalent to a Nagaoka ferromagnet, with a hole that moves through a lattice of electrons.

For Women Job Seekers, Networking Like a Man Isn't Enough

For Women Job Seekers, Networking Like a Man Isn't Enough

“Quite frankly, most of the jobs are still male-dominated and therefore the kind of private information that's so important to help women get ahead isn't as important to men's advancement,” says Northwestern University data scientist Brian Uzzi, the lead author on the study.

Exploding Stars May Have Killed Off Prehistoric Predators

Exploding Stars May Have Killed Off Prehistoric Predators

“They are in a sweet spot for affecting ground-based life.” Melott hypothesized that a supernova around 2.6 million years ago would have increased the flow of muons streaming through the atmosphere several hundred times over.

News Article: FAO and University of Chile will promote sustainable development in the agri-food sector

FAO and University of Chile will promote sustainable development in the agri-food sector New agreement will foster knowledge-sharing and technology transfer to address climate change and food security 8 January 2019, Santiago, Chile - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the University of Chile will join efforts in the areas of research, training, and technology transfer.

Could Spider Silk Become a Natural Replacement for Plastic?

Could Spider Silk Become a Natural Replacement for Plastic?

Researchers knew from Lewis how the genes were sequenced, and knew what the silk looked like under a microscope once produced, but they didn’t know how the proteins were arranged inside those glands.

The Buzz Behind an App That Can Monitor Beehives Remotely

The Buzz Behind an App That Can Monitor Beehives Remotely

The gadget also has a few sensors, but what sets ApisProtect apart, Sueme says, is that instead of monitoring bees from outside the hive, the company embeds its technology inside the hive itself.

Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code

Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code

Ahmed Almheiri , Xi Dong and Daniel Harlow did calculations suggesting that this holographic “emergence” of space-time works just like a quantum error-correcting code.

Why Your Doctor Should Also Be a Scientist

Why Your Doctor Should Also Be a Scientist

WIRED OPINION ABOUT Kurt Amsler , PhD, is a professor of biomedical sciences at the New York Institute of Technology's College of Osteopathic Medicine. These specialized health care providers treat patients while also conducting research to develop new medicines and procedures.

One Species Loves Our Climate-Wrecking Ways: Fire Ants!

One Species Loves Our Climate-Wrecking Ways: Fire Ants!

With human-driven climate change not only heating up the world but exacerbating hurricanes and wildfires, fire ants are primed to reap their rewards. Fire ant colonies with multiple queens are denser—400 to 500 mounds an acre, instead of 40—and take more of a toll on the species around them.

3.5 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start

3.5 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start

In the past year, separate teams of researchers have dug up, pulverized and laser-blasted pieces of rock that may contain life dating to 3.7, 3.95 and maybe even 4.28 billion years ago.

California Could Soon Have Its Own Version of the Internet

California Could Soon Have Its Own Version of the Internet

Meanwhile, search results within the European Union can differ from those elsewhere due to its right to be forgotten law, and web publishers around the world are still grappling with the effect of the sweeping EU privacy regulations that took effect this year.A series of laws passed in California this year raise a new possibility: that individual US states will splinter off into their own versions of the internet.

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature Cohl Furey, a mathematical physicist at the University of Cambridge, is finding links between the Standard Model of particle physics and the octonions, numbers whose multiplication rules are encoded in a triangular diagram called the Fano plane.

Dark Matter Hunters Pivot After Years of Failed Searches

Dark Matter Hunters Pivot After Years of Failed Searches

Even DAMA’s results have been called into question: In December, Maruyama’s team published that their detector, a South-Korea based DAMA replica made of some 200 pounds of sodium iodide crystal, failed to reproduce its Italian predecessor’s results.These experiments are all designed to search for a specific dark matter candidate, a theorized class of particles known as Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs, that should be about a million times heavier than an electron.

Penguin Poop, Seen From Space, Tells Our Climate Story

Penguin Poop, Seen From Space, Tells Our Climate Story

But some researchers have found a new way to use satellites to figure out what penguins eat by capturing images of the animal’s poop deposits across Antarctica.A group of scientists studying Adélie penguins and climate change have found that the color of penguin droppings indicates whether the animals ate shrimp-like krill (reddish orange) or silverfish (blue).

As Snow Disappears, the Sierras and Rockies Are Shrinking

As Snow Disappears, the Sierras and Rockies Are Shrinking

“For the future, that percentage will keep increasing,” says Zeng, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington.LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to Climate ChangeAt the same time, the length of the snow season shrank by 34 days for the snowiest regions.

Microsoft Wants to Stop AI's 'Race to the Bottom'

Microsoft Wants to Stop AI's 'Race to the Bottom'

But Microsoft president Brad Smith took it one step further on Thursday, asking governments to regulate the use of facial-recognition technology to ensure it does not invade personal privacy or become a tool for discrimination or surveillance.Tech companies are often forced to choose between social responsibility and profits, but the consequences of facial recognition are too dire for business as usual, Smith said.

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem

Thus the fire sucks in surface winds.Researchers are using supercomputers and lookout stations like this to model the dynamics of wildfires in real time. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, atmospheric scientist Alexandra Jonko is using a supercomputer and a system called FIRETEC to model fires in extreme detail.

Rogue Scientist Says Another Crispr Pregnancy Is Under Way

Rogue Scientist Says Another Crispr Pregnancy Is Under Way

“The trial is paused due to the current situation,” says He.He is now under investigation by his own university, and other legal bodies in China.After He’s presentation, he took questions from the audience and the moderators, including Lovell-Badge and Matthew Porteus, a Stanford researcher and the scientific founder of Crispr Therapeutics, a company developing Crispr-based drugs to treat genetic diseases.

Scientist Who Crispr’d Babies Bucked His Own Ethics Policy

Scientist Who Crispr’d Babies Bucked His Own Ethics Policy

“Two beautiful little Chinese girls, Lulu and Nana, came crying into the world as healthy as any other babies a few weeks ago,” the scientist, He Jiankiu, said in the first of five promotional videos posted to YouTube hours after MIT Technology Review broke the news.LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to CrisprLulu and Nana are reported to have a genetic mutation, courtesy of Crispr, that makes it harder for HIV to invade and infect their white blood cells.

Unexpectedly Vanishing Quasars Are Mystifying Scientists

Unexpectedly Vanishing Quasars Are Mystifying Scientists

To turn the quasar off, all of that material would have to swirl inward and fall onto the black hole — a process that calculations and even observations suggest should take tens to hundreds of thousands of years.“There’s no way that the accretion should be able to shut down as quickly as we’ve seen it do,” said Paul Green, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Cosmology Is in Crisis Over How to Measure the Universe

Cosmology Is in Crisis Over How to Measure the Universe

“The other,” says Scolnic, “is that our standard model of cosmology isn’t correct.” In other words, the way humans think about the early years, maturation, and fate of the universe might be wrong somehow.Over the past few years, scientists like Scolnic have investigated those first two hypothetical misunderstandings.

The Evolutionary Importance of Neutral vs. Adaptive Genes

The Evolutionary Importance of Neutral vs. Adaptive Genes

For most of the first half of the 20th century, population geneticists largely attributed genetic differences between populations and species to adaptation through positive selection.Motoo Kimura proposed in 1968 that most mutations might be neutral in effect rather than beneficial or harmful, and that shifts in the frequency of these neutral mutations dominated evolutionary change at the genomic level.Annual ReviewsBut in 1968, the famed population geneticist Motoo Kimura resisted the adaptationist perspective with his neutral theory of molecular evolution.

Should We Let Kids Eat Dirt?

Should We Let Kids Eat Dirt?

As a parent in an era where half of my news feed cautions of the perils of living in an overly sanitized world and the other half highlights the dangers of flesh-eating bacteria, just how much exposure to soil are we supposed to give our children?

Scientists studying Weddell seal behaviour in Antarctica

Scientists studying Weddell seal behaviour in Antarctica

NIWA marine ecologist Dr Kimberly Goetz is leading two trips to Antarctica to study the seals as a way to examine the effectiveness of the newly-created Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) in conserving top predators.

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