Cave-inhabiting animals are often categorized as troglobites (cave-limited species), troglophiles (species that can live their entire lives in caves, but also occur in other environments), trogloxenes (species that use caves, but cannot complete their life cycle fully in caves) and accidentals (animals not in one of the previous categories). Some scientists use a separate terminology for aquatic forms (e.g., stygobitesstygophiles, and stygoxenes).

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: theconversation.com

Most of Earth’s essential elements for life—including most of the carbon and nitrogen in you—probably came from another planet.

 

Earth’s status as the only life-sustaining planet is a result of the timing and delivery mechanism of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), and hydrogen (H). On the basis of their isotopic signatures, terrestrial volatiles are thought to have derived from carbonaceous chondrites, while the isotopic compositions of nonvolatile major and trace elements suggest that enstatite chondrite–like materials are the primary building blocks of Earth. However, the C/N ratio of the bulk silicate Earth (BSE) is superchondritic, which rules out volatile delivery by a chondritic late veneer. In addition, if delivered during the main phase of Earth’s accretion, then, owing to the greater siderophile (metal loving) nature of C relative to N, core formation should have left behind a subchondritic C/N ratio in the BSE.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

Humans use a variety of cues to infer an object’s weight, including how easily objects can be moved. For example, if we observe an object being blown down the street by the wind, we can infer that it is light. A team of scientists tested now whether New Caledonian crows make this type of inference. After training that only one type of object (either light or heavy) was rewarded when dropped into a food dispenser, birds observed pairs of novel objects (one light and one heavy) suspended from strings in front of an electric fan. The fan was either on—creating a breeze which buffeted the light, but not the heavy, object—or off, leaving both objects stationary. In subsequent test trials, birds could drop one, or both, of the novel objects into the food dispenser. Despite having no opportunity to handle these objects prior to testing, birds touched the correct object (light or heavy) first in 73% of experimental trials, and were at chance in control trials. These results suggest that birds used pre-existing knowledge about the behavior exhibited by differently weighted objects in the wind to infer their weight, using this information to guide their choices.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: royalsocietypublishing.org

What will War in Space look like in the Future

One day humanity will take to the stars, and just like it did in the sea and the air, it will bring its weapons with it. Though we can hope that the rise of mankind from the cradle of its infancy to the heavens above will be accompanied by a similar

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.thefuturist.co

Combining quantum computing with neural networks could produce AI that can make very complex decisions quickly.

 

The human brain has amazing capabilities making it in many ways more powerful than the world’s most advanced computers. So it’s not surprising that engineers have long been trying to copy it. Nowadays, artificial neural networks inspired by the structure of the brain are used to tackle some of the most difficult problems in artificial intelligence (AI). But this approach typically involves building software so information is processed in a similar way to the brain, rather than creating hardware that mimics neurons.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: theconversation.com

new study in the journal Science has found that the Earth’s oceans are warming far faster than experts had previously predicted, leading to a bleak outlook among climate scientists who say the rapid environmental shifts will lead to international disputes, humanitarian crises and deadly freak weather events.

 

The New York Times, for instance, summarized researchers’ view of the findings as “catastrophic.” “It’s spilling over far beyond just fish, it’s turned into trade wars,” Rutgers professor Malin Pinsky told the newspaper. “It’s turned into diplomatic disputes. It’s led to a breakdown in international relations in some cases.” As the greenhouse effect has intensified, according to the new research, the oceans have born the brunt of global warming. Readings suggest that 2018 will be the hottest year on record for the planet’s seas, replacing 2017 and 2016 before it.

 

The effects for weather patterns and marine life are dire, experts warn — and food shortages and displacement will leak into geopolitics long before we scorch life above the waterline as well.

“If the ocean wasn’t absorbing as much heat, the surface of the land would heat up much faster than it is right now,” Pinsky told the Times. “In fact, the ocean is saving us from massive warming right now.”

 

READ MORE: Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds [The New York Times]

Sourced through Scoop.it from: futurism.com

Neural networks are famously incomprehensible, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.”

 

If a doctor told that you needed surgery, you would want to know why — and you’d expect the explanation to make sense to you, even if you’d never gone to medical school. Been Kim, a research scientist at Google Brain, believes that we should expect nothing less from artificial intelligence. As a specialist in “interpretable” machine learning, she wants to build AI software that can explain itself to anyone.

 

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