The moon’s light influences lion prey behavior, dung beetle navigation, fish growth, mass migrations and birdsong.

 

Crowds of people gather to watch an evening spectacle on beaches in Southern California: Twice a month, typically from March through August, the sand becomes carpeted with hundreds or thousands of California grunion. Writhing, flopping, silvery sardine look-alikes lunge as far onto shore as possible. As the female fish dig their tails into the sand and release eggs, males wrap around females and release sperm to fertilize those eggs. About 10 days later, the eggs hatch and the little grunion get washed out to sea.

 

This mating ritual is set to the tides, with hatching timed to the arrival of the peak high tide every two weeks. But the ultimate force choreographing this dance is the moon.

 

Many people know that the moon’s gravitational tug on the Earth drives the tides, and with them, the life cycles of coastal creatures. Yet the moon also influences life with its light.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencenews.org

On 1 January 2011, Germany introduced early benefit assessment (Frühe Nutzenbewertung) of new drugs through the reform of the market for medicinal products act (AMNOG). Its aim is to determine whether a new drug has any added benefit over standard care. The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), the main decision making body within the German statutory health insurance system, is responsible for the assessment procedure and ultimately decides on the added benefit.

The G-BA specifies the standard care based on criteria laid down in the law. According to these criteria, standard care is an approved and reimbursed intervention that is established in clinical practice and for which a benefit has been proved according to the standards of evidence based medicine (predominantly based on studies with patient relevant outcomes). If appropriate, standard care might also be watchful waiting or best supportive care.

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Using just the language in millions of old scientific papers, a machine learning algorithm was able to make completely new scientific discoveries.

 

In a study published in Nature on July 3, 2019, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used an algorithm called Word2Vec sift through scientific papers for connections humans had missed. Their algorithm then spit out predictions for possible thermoelectric materials, which convert heat to energy and are used in many heating and cooling applications.

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In July 2019, the village of Gallargues-le-Montueux located in southern France outside of Montpellier topped 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever recorded in continental France.

That sweltering heat broke the previous record of 113.2 degrees, which was set just hours before in the village of Villevieille. And those weren’t the only hot spots. Brian Kahn at Earther reports that at least 12 weather stations in France detected temperatures above 111.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the previous hottest temperature set in 2003.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.smithsonianmag.com

Theories concerning the cause of right- or left-hand preference in humans vary from purely learned behavior, to solely genetics, to a combination of the two mechanisms. The cause of handedness and its relation to the biologically specified scalp hair-whorl rotation has also been determined. The general public, consisting of mostly right-handers (RH), shows counterclockwise whorl rotation infrequently in 8.4% of individuals. Interestingly, non-right-handers (NRH, i.e., left-handers and ambidextrous) display a random mixture of clockwise and counterclockwise swirling patterns. Confirming this finding, in another independent sample of individuals chosen because of their counterclockwise rotation, one-half of them are NRH.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.genetics.org

Another genetically edited baby is due, but the world may never learn of its birth if the Chinese government decides to keep it a secret.

 

The Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong last November, was meant to debate the pros and cons of genetically engineering humans. Instead, the proceedings were turned upside down by the revelation that He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysicist, had already done it. He’d gone ahead and edited the DNA of twin girls with the powerful gene modification tool called CRISPR.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.technologyreview.com

When it comes to affairs of the heart, there are a variety of factors at play: mutual attraction, shared interests, an intangible spark that eventually leads to love. But in Darwinian terms, the recipe for reproduction is far more clinical, with animals seeking mates based on the potential evolutionary advantage—often superior cognition skills—offered by a match.

 

Now, a new study published in the journal Science suggests that female budgerigars, a species of small Australian parrots better known as budgies, employ this selective brand of logic when playing the mating game. As Nick Carne writes for Cosmos, a team of Chinese and Dutch researchers found that female budgies preferred brains over beauty and brawn. The birds would even change their selection if the previously overlooked mate learned a new trick.

 

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In ‘Application of high resolution DLP stereolithography for fabrication of tricalcium phosphate scaffolds for bone regeneration,’ researchers examine how to make complex, stable scaffolds based on β-tricalcium. Typically, there are obstacles to finding materials and techniques suitable for creating structures capable of sustaining cell life.

 

The authors are aware of the necessities in tissue engineering: the material cannot be toxic, obviously, as that would cause further health issues in a patient, biodegradability is key, with the material being absorbed along with suitable bone growth, and porosity and density must be suitable too, balanced out with proper strength.

 

DLP 3D printing has proven successful for creating scaffolds due to comprehensive irradiation over the whole cross-section, and shorter processing times in comparison to other processes. The researchers focused on DLP 3D printing for this study, in relation to the use of calcium phosphate structures that are not only complex and high resolution but also strong. The team assessed both rectilinear grid structure and hexagonal geometries (at 50 and 75 percent porosity) for mechanical properties, with complete chemical analyses performed before and after bioprinting.

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Soon, you might not need anything more specialized than a readily accessible touchscreen device and any existing data sets you have access to in order to build powerful prediction tools. A new experiment from MIT and Brown Universityresearchers have added a capability to their ‘Northstar’ interactive data system that can “instantly generate machine-learning models” to use with their exiting data sets in order to generate useful predictions.

 

One example the researchers provide is that doctors could make use of the system to make predictions about the likelihood their patients have of contracting specific diseases based on their medial history. Or, they suggest, a business owner could use their historical sales data to develop more accurate forecasts, quickly and without a ton of manual analytics work.

 

Researchers are calling this feature the Northstar system’s “virtual data scientist,” (or VDS) and it sounds like it could actually replace the human equivalent, especially in settings where one would never actually be readily available or resourced anyway. Your average doctor’s office doesn’t have a dedicated data scientist headcount, for instance, and nor do most small- to medium-sized businesses for that matter. Independently owned and operated coffee shops and retailers definitely wouldn’t otherwise have access to this kind of insight.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: techcrunch.com

A voice-recognition feature can be easily found on mobile phones these days. Oftentimes, we experience an incident where a speech recognition application is activated in the middle of a meeting or a conversation in the office. Sometimes, it is not activated at all regardless of numbers of times we call out the application. It is because a mobile phone uses a microphone which detects sound pressure to recognize voice, and it is easily affected by surrounding noise and other obstacles.

 

Professor Kilwon Cho of Chemical Engineering and Professor Yoonyoung Chung of Electronic and Electric Engineering from POSTECH successfully developed a flexible and wearable vibration responsive sensor. When this sensor is attached to a neck, it can precisely recognize voice through vibration of the neck skin and is not affected by ambient noise or the volume of sound.

 

Conventional vibration sensors recognize a voice through air vibration and the sensitivity decreases due to mechanical resonance and the damping effect, therefore they are not capable of measuring voices quantitatively. So, ambient sound or obstacles such as a mouth mask can affect its accuracy of voice recognition and it cannot be used for security authentication.

 

In this study, the research group demonstrated that the voice pressure is proportional to the acceleration of neck skin vibration at various sound pressure levels from 40 to 70 dBSPL, and they developed a vibration sensor utilizing the acceleration of skin vibration. The device, which is consists of an ultrathin polymer film and a diaphragm with tiny holes, can sense voices quantitively by measuring the acceleration of skin vibration.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org