Brooks Hays
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Scientists combine light, superconductors to power large-scale AI

Scientists combine light, superconductors to power large-scale AI

According to at least one researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, superconductors are superior to semiconductors as a medium for integrating optical and electronic components. Photo by Jeffrey Michael ShainlineTo build the next generation of artificial intelligence systems, at least one scientist wants to combine photonic components with superconducting electronics.The development of AI models capable of approximating human cognition have traditionally relied on semiconductors, but the process of combining optical and electronic components on silicon chips is beset...

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Brooks Hays
Apr 20
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Scientists figure out why Brazil nuts always rise to top of grain pile

Scientists figure out why Brazil nuts always rise to top of grain pile

Among nuts in a pile, or in a bag, Brazil nuts tend to end up at the top over time -- and researchers have finally figured out that their shape is what helps them climb the pile. Photo courtesy of Max PixelIf you're not a fan of Brazil nuts, the initial handful from a bag of mixed nuts can be frustrating. While it may not be a consolation to frustrated snackers, scientists have finally figured out why Brazil nuts and other large nuts rise to the top.The phenomenon known as the 'Brazil-nut effect' can be observed in freshly opened boxes of cereal, too, with the largest components rising to...

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Brooks Hays
Apr 19
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Older adults are more likely to help others than younger adults

Older adults are more likely to help others than younger adults

A volunteer packs a box of food to be distributed to people in need at the Capital Area Food Bank on April 9, 2020, in Washington, D.C. New research suggests older adults are more willing than their younger peers to exert effort on someone else's behalf. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI |Need a helping hand? Science says look for an older adult.According to a new study published Friday , effortful prosocial behavior -- a willingness to exert physical effort on behalf of someone else -- is more common among older adults."A lot of research has focused on the negative changes that happen as people...

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Brooks Hays
Apr 16
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50-million-year-old assassin bug fossil features near-perfectly preserved genitalia

50-million-year-old assassin bug fossil features near-perfectly preserved genitalia

Recovered in Colorado, this fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs, which has been named Aphelicophontes danjuddi. Photo by Palaeontological AssociationPaleontologists have recovered a 50-million-year-old assassin bug fossil featuring near-perfectly preserved genitalia, a rarity.Though the ancient insect's pygophore, a genital capsule, is no bigger than a grain of rice, researchers were able to clearly see the genitalia's internal features.The prehistoric assassin bug's unique features, its pygophore and its banded legs, required scientists to...

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Brooks Hays
Jan 20
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Early, steady investment in wind, solar best way to decarbonize economy

Early, steady investment in wind, solar best way to decarbonize economy

Significantly scaling up wind and solar energy -- sooner and faster -- is key to preventing catastrophic increases in global temperatures, researchers say. panels on a roof top. File Photo by Craig Russell/ShutterstockTo decarbonize the economy, European researchers recommend early, steady efforts to "electrify" economic sectors with wind and solar energy.For the study, researchers at Aarhus University used high-resolution data to model the decarbonization of the sector-coupled European energy system -- that is the energy that heats and cools buildings, fuels transport and powers...

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Brooks Hays
Dec 4
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Peatland conservation may prevent new diseases from jumping to humans

Peatland conservation may prevent new diseases from jumping to humans

Local fishers paddle through the smoky haze from peatland fires in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.Photo by Suzanne Turnock/Borneo Nature FoundationIn a new paper, scientists argue tropical peatland areas have been mostly ignored as potential settings for new diseases to jump from animals to humans.According to the authors of the new study, published Tuesday , better protecting and restoring tropical peat-swamp forests could help curb the effects of the current pandemic, and also prevent the emergence of future zoonotic diseases.COVID-19 has changed the way we look at the world -- and...

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Brooks Hays
Nov 17
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Wrinkle-faced male bats lower their face masks when they mate

Wrinkle-faced male bats lower their face masks when they mate

Male wrinkle-faced bats have a white haired flap of skin that works like a face mask that can be pulled up and down over the bottom half the bat's face. Photo by Marco TschapkaWhen copulating, male wrinkle-faced bats pull down a mask-like flap of facial skin, according to new research -- the first-ever behavioral survey of wrinkle-faced bats in their natural habitat.Until now, scientists didn't know much about the mating patterns of wrinkle-faced bats, Centurio senex, a species that lives among the caves of Mexico, Central America and northern South America."Bats are small, nocturnal and...

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Brooks Hays
Nov 11
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Study: Sicker livestock emit more methane, accelerating climate change

Study: Sicker livestock emit more methane, accelerating climate change

Rising temperatures could boost livestock methane emissions, new research warns. Photo by Shutterbug75/Warming temperatures may inspire a feedback loop of climate-altering flatulence, according to a new paper published Wednesday .Over the last decade, atmospheric methane concentrations have risen dramatically, and studies suggest livestock and their digestive systems are responsible for roughly half of the increase in methane emissions.Scientists suggest the problem is likely to get worse as temperatures rise.According to the new paper, a review of scientific literature on livestock health...

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Brooks Hays
Oct 7
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