“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
She Changed Astronomy Forever. He Won the Nobel Prize For It –In 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell made an astounding discovery. But as a young woman in science, her role was overlooked, reports Ben Proudfoot for The New York Times.
The ‘Weirdest’ Matter, Made of Partial Particles, Defies Description –Theorists are in a frenzy over “fractons,” bizarre, but potentially useful, hypothetical particles that can only move in combination with one another, reports Thomas Lewton for Quanta.
“Something Similar to the AI Revolution May Have Happened at Other Points in the Universe” –““As humans we should be proud of any AI systems we bring to existence, as if they were our children. In just the same way as we educate our kids, we could endow such systems with the blueprint for their future interaction with the world,” observes Harvard astrophysicist, Avi Loeb in an email to The Daily Galaxy.”
Google’s quantum computer supposedly just made a time crystal, reports Chris Davies for Slash Gear –“Google’s quantum computer has been used to build a “time crystal” according to freshly-published research, a new phase of matter that upends the traditional laws of thermodynamics. Despite what the name might suggest, however, the new breakthrough won’t let Google build a time machine.Time crystals were first proposed in 2012, as systems that continuously operate out of equilibrium. Unlike other phases of matter, which are in thermal equilibrium, time crystals are stable yet the atoms which make them up are constantly evolving.”
Origin of Information –“Was Like an Extraterrestrial Invasion” reports The Daily Galaxy. ““On a geological timescale,” notes astrophysicist Caleb Scharf, “the emergence of the human “dataome” –a world of bits built of and for information–is like a sudden invasion by extraterrestrials, or an asteroid impact that precipitates a mass extinction.”
Homo Deus –A Brief History of Tomorrow
Avi Loeb’s Galileo Project Will Search for Evidence of Alien Visitation –With nearly $2 million in private funding, the controversial new initiative is targeting unidentified phenomena in Earth’s skies and beyond, reports Scientific American. Loeb revealed the Galileo Project, which aims to develop an artificial-intelligence-powered network of telescopes that can search for evidence of technological alien civilizations on or near Earth.
Harvard’s Avi Loeb Thinks We Should Study UFOs—and He’s Not Wrong –As a SETI scientist, I’m grateful that he has the freedom—and the guts—to go where few would dare to go, reports Seth Shostak for Scientific American.
Big Brains May Have Helped Birds Survive Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid –A fossil skull from a bird that lived in the time of dinosaurs sheds light on how the ancestors of modern birds escaped extinction, reports Inside Science.
A Plant That ‘Cannot Die’ Reveals Its Genetic Secrets –Events in the genome of Welwitschia have given it the ability to survive in an unforgiving desert for thousands of years, reports Richard Sima for The New York Times.
Ancient Brains: Inside the Extraordinary Preservation of a 310-Million-Year-Old Nervous System, reports Singularity Hub –“Charles Darwin famously discussed the “imperfections” of the geological record in his book On the Origin of Species. He correctly pointed out that unless conditions are just right, it’s unlikely for organisms to be preserved as fossils, even those with bones and shells. He also said “no organism wholly soft can be preserved.”
Two Red Objects Were Found in the Asteroid Belt. They Shouldn’t Be There. –The space rocks may have come from beyond Neptune, and potentially offer hints at the chaos of the early solar system, reports The New York Times.
The Ethics of a Deepfake Anthony Bourdain Voice, reports Helen Rosner for The New Yorker–“The new documentary ‘Roadrunner’ uses AI-generated audio without disclosing it to viewers. How should we feel about that? …On Friday, to help me unknot the tangle of ethical and emotional questions raised by the three bits of ‘Roadrunner’ audio (totaling a mere forty-five seconds), I spoke to two people who would be well-qualified for Neville’s hypothetical ethics panel.”
Can Consciousness Be Explained by Quantum Physics? New Research, reports Cristiane de Morais Smith for Singularity Hub –Two famous scientists “claimed that the brain’s neuronal system forms an intricate network and that the consciousness this produces should obey the rules of quantum mechanics, the theory that determines how tiny particles like electrons move around. This, they argue, could explain the mysterious complexity of human consciousness.”
These Could Be the Oldest Animal Fossils Ever Found, or Just Squiggles –Critics challenged a study’s claim that a netlike structure found in rocks in a Canadian mountain range could be an 890-million-year-old sponge fossil, reports The New York Times.
Life in Lava Caves Ignores Food from the Surface, Eats Rock Instead–Cave microbes on Earth may help guide scientists toward life on Mars, reports Inside Science.
How a Norwegian island is already living our climate change future, reports New Scientist –“Svalbard’s shifts are the most extreme example of a wider climatic change at the top of the world. In May, scientists said the Arctic is now thought to have warmed three times faster than the rest of the planet over the past half century, up on previous estimates of just over two times as fast. For parts of Earth that have warmed closer to the global average, like London and New York, Svalbard offers a window to their possible future.”
The First Mobile Phone Call Was 75 Years Ago—How Technologies Go From Breakthrough to Big Time, reports Daniel Bliss for Singularity Hub.
Ever Feel Your Skin Crawling? Maybe You Can Thank Evolution –A new study suggests that humans have a distinct, itchy defense response to ticks and other ectoparasites, reports The New York Times.