Another week of fascinating news from our Pale Blue Dot, with stories ranging from will the Webb Space Telescope’s nail-biting launch answer how we got from the Big Bang to here to without the most important equation in biochemistry life could not exist to our “bubble-wrapped” Solar System.
Webb Telescope Prepares to Ascend, With an Eye Toward Our Origins –The biggest space telescope in history aims to answer astronomy’s oldest question: How did we get from the Big Bang to here? reports Dennis Overbye for The New York Times. “There are only a few times in the history of a species when it gains the know-how, the audacity and the tools to greatly advance the interrogation of its origins. Humanity is at such a moment, astronomers say.”
Tardigrade is the first multicellular organism to be quantum entangled, reports New Scientist–“It is the first time a multicellular organism has been placed in this strange quantum state and raises questions about what it means for living things to be entangled.”
New theory of consciousness in humans, animals and artificial intelligence, reports Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum –“According to the new theory, conscious cognitive actions take place on the basis of a so-called online platform, a kind of central executive that controls subordinate platforms. The subordinate platforms can act, for example, as storage media for knowledge or activities.”
Oxford Invited an AI to Debate Its Own Ethics—What It Said Was Startling, reports Singularity Hub.
Every Night, Hordes of Sea Creatures Rise From the Deep –Jellyfish, plankton, and even sharks rise from the deep. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, reports The Atlantic.
Costa Rica’s pristine ‘Shark Island’ now a massive marine reserve –Three times the size of the country’s mainland, the reserve’s abundance of sharks, whales, turtles, and other marine life has been described as an “underwater Jurassic Park.
The Amazon is turning into savannah – we have 5 years to save it –-We have been hearing warnings about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest for decades, but experts say a catastrophic tipping point is now just over the horizon. Are they right? And if so, what can we do to pull things back? reports New Scientist.
Why “∆G = ∆H – T∆S” is the most important equation in biochemistry –∆G = ∆H – T∆S is one of the most abstract formulas in science, but it is also one of the most important. Without it, life cannot exist, reports Big Think.
What Does It Mean for AI to Understand? –-It’s simple enough for AI to seem to comprehend data, but devising a true test of a machine’s knowledge has proved difficult, reports Quanta.
Gravitational Waves Should Permanently Distort Space-Time –The “gravitational memory effect” predicts that a passing gravitational wave should forever alter the structure of space-time. Physicists have linked the phenomenon to fundamental cosmic symmetries and a potential solution to the black hole information paradox, reports Quanta.
OneZoom tree of life explorer–An interactive map of the evolutionary links between all living things known to science. Discover your favorites, see which species are under threat, and be amazed by the diversity of life on earth.
A Flaky Croissant-Shaped Bubble Surrounds Our Solar System, Scientists Say –The heliosphere surrounding our solar system appears to be more flaky and delicious than we thought, and scientists are figuring out why, reports Motherboard Vice.
What is ‘The Cloud’ and How Does it Pervade Our Lives? asks Scientific American.It governs a lot of your digital life these days, but the story of where it first materialized is likely deeper than you know.
New Clues about the Origins of Biological Intelligence –A common solution is emerging in two different fields: developmental biology and neuroscience, reports Scientific American.
Are solar storms a threat to humanity? –Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller explains how a solar storm could wipe out civilization… and what we can do to prevent catastrophe, in a Big Think video.
Human life span may have no limit, analysis of supercentenarians suggests –Statistical methods predict that old-age record could reach 130 by century’s end, reports Knowable.
Photons could be ‘split’ in two to create a weird new form of light –Physicists have shown that “splitting” particles of light into so-called Majorana bosons, a feat long thought to be mathematically impossible, may be achievable, reports New Scientist.
Did monkeys really sail the oceans on floating rafts of vegetation? –The mystery of how some species colonized new continents is as old as the theory of evolution itself. Now, with fresh clues surfacing, the rafting hypothesis might finally sink or swim.
At Last, a True Millipede That Actually Has 1,000 Legs or More –A species found deep underground in Western Australia shows that “millipede” is not always a misnomer, reports The New York Times.
Is Colorado home to an ancient astronomical observatory? The question is testing archaeological limits. –Sun Temple in Mesa Verde National Park may have allowed Ancestral Puebloans to monitor the heavens. Unraveling its mysteries requires overcoming archaeology’s troubled past, reports the Colorado Sun.