Today’s Fourth-of -July-Holiday stories range from Antarctica’s Only Native Insect Could Be Destined For Extinction to The Surprising Similarity Between The Brains of Humans to Octopuses to 1,000 New Microbes Unknown to Science Found Trapped in Tibetan glaciers, and much more.
Game Changer in the Search for Life –“An innovative scientific instrument developed by University of Hawaii at Mānoa researchers is expected to be a game changer in the search for life — existing or extinct — on Earth and other planets. The instrument, called a Compact Color Biofinder, uses specialized cameras to scan large areas for fluorescence signals of biological materials like amino acids, fossils, sedimentary rocks, plants, microbes, proteins and lipids.”
NASA is right to examine UFOs, writes the Washington Post editorial board. “Senior Pentagon officials in May testified in a historic congressional hearing about their own efforts to track sightings of mysterious flying objects. And the director of national intelligence issued a report last year documenting more than 140 of these perplexing events.”
By Exploring Virtual Worlds, AI Learns in New Ways--Intelligent beings learn by interacting with the world. Artificial intelligence researchers have adopted a similar strategy to teach their virtual agents new skills, reports Quanta.com
Ten years on from the Higgs boson, what is next for physics? –New particles beckon as the Large Hadron Collider returns to life. “I was actually shaking,” said Mitesh Patel, a particle physicist at Imperial College, London, as he describes the moment he saw the results. “I realized this was probably the most exciting thing I’ve done in my 20 years in particle physics.”
Explosion of life on Earth linked to heavy metal act at planet’s center –Formation of solid iron core 550m years ago restored magnetic field and protected surface, reports The Guardian. “At the center of the Earth, a giant sphere of solid iron is slowly swelling. This is the inner core and scientists have recently uncovered intriguing evidence that suggests its birth half a billion years ago may have played a key role in the evolution of life on Earth.”
95% of your behavior is primate behavior –-Frans de Waal studied apes for 50 years – here’s what most people get wrong, reports this Big Think video. “Some of his many important observations center around the evolution of morality and just how much we have in common with the animal kingdom. The idea that animals are always in conflict with one another and competing for resources is “totally wrong,” de Waal says.”
Exclusive: Sir David Attenborough Discusses The Importance Of Plants In First Look At ‘The Green Planet’ Documentary, reports ET Canada. “Yet they are as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as animals — locked in life-and-death struggles for food and light, taking part in fierce battles for territory and desperately trying to reproduce and scatter their young.”
Antarctica’s Only Native Insect Could Be Destined For Extinction as Winters Warm–“Over tens of millions of years, the wingless midge Belgica antarctica has perfected the art of freezing itself to push through the darkest and coldest of Antarctica’s winter months, carving out an exclusive niche as the continent’s only native insect,” reports Mike McCrae for Science Alert.
Life Helps Make Almost Half of Earth’s Minerals –A new origins-based system for classifying minerals reveals the huge geochemical imprint that life has left on Earth. It could help us identify other worlds with life too, reports Joanna Thompson Quanta.com –“The impact of Earth’s geology on life is easy to see, with organisms adapting to environments as different as deserts, mountains, forests and oceans. The full impact of life on geology, however, can be easy to miss.
There’s a Surprising Similarity Between The Brains of Humans And Octopuses–Scientists have already established that octopuses are smarter than your average invertebrate, but a new discovery suggests one of the reasons why: a specific molecular analogy with the human brain,” reports David Nield for Science Alert.
Nearly 1,000 new microbes unknown to science found trapped in Tibetan glaciers –-Release of ‘potentially hazardous bacteria’ could affect China and India, say scientists, reports The Independent.
Aphelion 2022: Earth will be farthest from the sun on the Fourth of July, reports Daisy Dobrijevic for space.com At aphelion, Earth will be 94.51 million miles (152.1 million kilometers) away from the sun.
Where is Attila the Hun’s tomb? reports Owen Jarus for Live Science. “Attila was leader of the Huns, a non-Christian people who lived on the Great Hungarian Plain and who eventually took over a large swath of Central Europe. Attila was sometimes referred to as “Flagellum Dei” in Latin, which is often translated as “scourge of God” but can also be called “whip of God.” He threatened, but didn’t actually sack Rome and Constantinople.”
A Refreshing Look at Egypt’s Ancient Pyramids –A downpour, a dust storm and an encounter with a lively dig team offered a photographer a new perspective on the country’s celebrated tombs. “Mark Lehner, a renowned Egyptologist, at his dig site in Giza. Dr. Lehner lives in Egypt, and his work in the field spans nearly 40 years. The New York Times.
By Exploring Virtual Worlds, AI Learns in New Ways–Intelligent beings learn by interacting with the world. Artificial intelligence researchers have adopted a similar strategy to teach their virtual agents new skills, reports Allison Whitten for Quanta.com
Perennial philosophy –Aldous Huxley argued that all religions in the world were underpinned by universal beliefs and experiences. Was he right? asks Jules Evans for Aeon.com. What if his philosophy isn’t true?
A Roman-era ‘superhighway’ is disappearing. Italy has a plan to save it. –The Appian Way symbolized the Roman Empire’s might. Now Italy is restoring the ancient road, hoping to create a pilgrimage route through history, reports National Geographic.
Curated by The Daily Galaxy Editorial Staff
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