Parasitoid Wasps Use Viruses as Biological Weapons


To protect and rear their young, some insects have transformed wild viruses into tiny biological weapons. If you puncture the ovary of a wasp called Microplitis demolitor, viruses squirt out in vast quantities, shimmering like iridescent blue toothpaste. “It’s very beautiful, and just amazing that there’s so much virus made in there,” says Gaelen Burke, an entomologist at the University of Georgia. M. demolitor  is a parasite that lays its eggs in caterpillars, and the particles in its ovaries are “domesticated” viruses that have been tuned to persist harmlessly in wasps and serve their purposes. The virus particles are injected into the caterpillar through the wasp’s stinger, along with the wasp’s own eggs. The viruses then dump their contents into the caterpillar’s cells, delivering genes that are unlike those in a normal virus. Those genes suppress the caterpillar’s immune system and control its development, turning it into a harmless nursery for the wasp’s young.


The insect world is full of species of parasitic wasps that spend their infancy eating other insects alive. And for reasons that scientists don’t fully understand, they have repeatedly adopted and tamed wild, disease-causing viruses and turned them into biological weapons. Half a dozen examples already are described, and new research hints at many more. By studying viruses at different stages of domestication, researchers today are untangling how the process unfolds.

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Mixing tradition with technology: The emergence of AI in bartending

In the vibrant world of bartending, where every cocktail tells a story and every mix is an art, a new chapter is being stirred by Artificial Intelligence (AI). This isn’t a tale of machines replacing the human touch but one where technology and tradition blend to create a new era of mixology. From AI recommendations to robotic bartenders, this blog explores how AI is not just changing the way drinks are served but is enriching the very essence of bartending.

Bartending, a craft that combines skill, creativity, and an understanding of flavors, is embracing AI, not as a replacement but as a complement. AI in bartending isn’t about removing the bartender; it’s about enhancing their capabilities and offering them new ways to delight their patrons. Consider, while there is a wide assortment of drink recipes, bartenders find more and more patrons are looking for unusual, or at least specialized, drinks based on their individual palettes. This ranges not just on the type of alcohol but the level of sweetness, bitterness, peatyness, etc. In essence, people want a strong level of individual taste presences for their drinks.

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How Generative AI Will Change The Jobs Of Artists And Designers

By definition, artists and designers are creative people. They work in these jobs because they have talent and skills that they love to share with the world.

So, it isn’t surprising that many of them are cautious or distrustful about the impact generative AI will have on their professional lives.

However, like writers, architects, and other creative professionals, many find that it creates opportunities to work more efficiently and even enhance their creativity.

Generative AI is transforming most industries, and the creative fields of art and design are certainly no exception. But by embracing it, artists, designers, illustrators, and animators could find themselves spending more of their time on the aspects of their work they are passionate about and less on the routine and mundane elements they’d rather skip over.

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Prince Rupert’s Drop | Cal Breed

Eleven years of wonder, exploration, observation, study, making, remaking, and countless hours of grinding and polishing.  Oftentimes, in the grueling tension of  discovery, beauty emerges in so many ways.  Thanks for taking the time to wonder what emerged from our collaboration with Destin and Smarter Every Day.  Cal has created twenty signed and serialized  Prince Rupert’s Drop-inspired pieces entitled, The Beauty in Tension – gradually he will produce more.

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AI could help to reveal yet undiscovered particles within data from the Large Hadron Collider


Scientists used a neural network, a type of brain-inspired machine learning algorithm, to sift through large volumes of particle collision data.


For over two decades, the ATLAS particle detector has recorded the highest energy particle collisions in the world within the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Beams of protons are accelerated around the LHC at close to the speed of light, and upon their collision at ATLAS, they produce a cascade of new particles, resulting in over a billion particle interactions per second.


Particle physicists are tasked with mining this massive and growing store of collision data for evidence of undiscovered particles. In particular, they’re searching for particles not included in the Standard Model of particle physics, our current understanding of the universe’s makeup that scientists suspect is incomplete.


As part of the ATLAS collaboration, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and their colleagues recently used a machine learning approach called anomaly detection to analyze large volumes of ATLAS data. The method has never before been applied to data from a collider experiment. It has the potential to improve the efficiency of the collaboration’s search for something new. The collaboration involves scientists from 172 research organizations.


The team leveraged a brain-inspired type of machine learning algorithm called a neural network to search the data for abnormal features, or anomalies. The technique breaks from more traditional methods of searching for new physics. It is independent of — and therefore unconstrained by — the preconceptions of scientists.

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Using design statements in AI-enhanced composition: A small institution’s approach

“When Tiffin University decided to integrate artificial intelligence tools directly into its courses and curriculum, the Center for Online and Extended…”

When Tiffin University decided to integrate artificial intelligence tools directly into its courses and curriculum, the Center for Online and Extended Learning implemented the use of design statements on written assignments. This short-term intervention is the first step in a long-term effort to ensure students learn to use AI tools ethically and responsibly.

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Why you’ll soon have a digital clone of your own –

“AI isn’t going to replace you at work. You will …”

Some of the most influential influencers on social media sites aren’t people, but computer-generated digital creations. And soon digital “people” will be commonplace in business. 

In the past, fabricated fake folks were built the old-fashioned way — using Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) AI technology (the process behind video deepfakes). Nowadays, phony friends are build using LLM-based genAI tools.

One early digital influencer on Instagram, named Lil Miquela, has been 19 years old since 2016, is worth millions of dollars and was named one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet back in 2018, despite not being a person.

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Researchers build AI-driven sarcasm detector | Artificial intelligence (AI) | The Guardian

“Being able to detect lowest form of wit could help AI interact with people more naturally, say scientists …”

Never mind that it can pass the bar exam, ace medical tests and read bedtime stories with emotion, artificial intelligence will never match the marvel of the human mind without first mastering the art of sarcasm.

But that art, it seems, may be next on the list of the technology’s dizzying capabilities. Researchers in the Netherlands have built an AI-driven sarcasm detector that can spot when the lowest form of wit, and the highest form of intelligence, is being deployed.

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Bre Furlong’s Half Empty sums up breastfeeding all too well

The photo series focuses on the ephemera that will be acutely familiar to anyone who’s breastfed, making it relatable and emotionally provocative.

Philadelphia born and raised, Bre Furlong was an experienced commercial photographer working in the ad world before she decided to go freelance at the height of the pandemic. Exactly a week later, she found out she was pregnant. “Since then I’ve been figuring out how to merge my career and motherhood, and with little sleep and lots of espresso, we’re making it happen,” she says.

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AI ethics and legal concerns in classrooms | Tech & Learning

“As AI use continues to grow in classrooms, educators need to be aware of the ethics and legal concerns involved …”

The integration of AI-powered resources and tools in education has the potential to reshape the learning landscape, offering personalized insights and rapid feedback. However, with these opportunities come critical ethical and legal concerns that educators must consider.

From unintentional data capture to the perpetuation of biases and misinformation, the risks inherent in AI implementation demand careful attention. In this context, educators play a pivotal role in safeguarding students.

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