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Oct 1, 2023

Researchers create a tiny boson-fermnion quantum engine that works

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Undefined undefined/iStock.

Ultimate in miniaturization.

Oct 1, 2023

Austin Energy program revs up electric vehicle tech in 150+ Central Texas schools

Posted by in categories: education, energy, sustainability, transportation

For nearly five years, Austin Energy’s EVs for Schools program has provided access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure and related technology curriculum to more than 150 schools across Central Texas. Now, AE is gearing up for the rollout of its upgraded program, adapted to meet the changing landscape of EV technology.

Oct 1, 2023

Indian spacecraft heads towards center of solar system

Posted by in category: space

India’s sun-monitoring spacecraft has crossed a landmark point on its journey to escape “the sphere of Earth’s influence”, its space agency said, days after the disappointment of its moon rover failing to awaken.

The Aditya-L1 mission, which started its four-month journey towards the center of the solar system on September 2, carries instruments to observe the sun’s outermost layers.

“The spacecraft has escaped the sphere of Earth’s influence,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement late Saturday.

Oct 1, 2023

Micro Robot Disregards Gears, Embraces Explosions

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a tiny, proof of concept robot that moves its four limbs by rapidly igniting a combination of methane and oxygen inside flexible joints.

The device can’t do much more than blow each limb outward with a varying amount of force, but that’s enough to be able to steer and move the little unit. It has enough power to make some very impressive jumps. The ability to navigate even with such limited actuators is reminiscent of hopped-up bristebots.

Continue reading “Micro Robot Disregards Gears, Embraces Explosions” »

Oct 1, 2023

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications

Posted by in category: information science

This article explores the research question: ‘What are ChatGPT’s human-like traits as perceived by society?’ Thematic analyses of insights from 452 individuals worldwide yielded two categories of traits. Category 1 entails social traits, where ChatGPT embodies the social roles of ‘author’ (imitating human phrasing and paraphrasing practices) and ‘interactor’ (simulating human collaboration and emotion). Category 2 encompasses political traits, with ChatGPT assuming the political roles of ‘agent’ (emulating human cognition and identity) and ‘influencer’ (mimicking human diplomacy and consultation). When asked, ChatGPT confirmed the possession of these human-like traits (except for one trait). Thus, ChatGPT displays human-like qualities, humanising itself through the ‘game of algorithms’.

Oct 1, 2023

I’ve Been Thinking by Daniel C Dennett review — an engaging, vexing memoir with a humility bypass

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The veteran US philosopher renowned for his theories of consciousness is an intriguing figure but too prone to ‘professorial preening’.

Oct 1, 2023

To Defend the Genome, These Cells Destroy Their Own DNA

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

In a recent study, scientists stained the DNA of this worm hatchling to hunt down segments of DNA that they’d seen deleted from its genome earlier in development. The deleted fragments (red) survive only in germline cells in the worm’s gonads.

To figure out what was going on, Delattre’s lab looked at the DNA of an adult worm. The researchers compared the genomes of M. belari’s germline cells — the specialized reproductive cells like sperm and eggs — with the genomes of the worm’s somatic (nonreproductive) cells. The somatic genomes were missing long strings of sequences present in germline genomes. Sometime between the embryo’s growth from seven cells to 32, huge chunks of DNA had vanished.

The scientists then watched nematode embryos develop under a microscope. As the cells grew and replicated their genomes, they broke 20 chromosomes down into fragments and then reassembled them into 40 miniature chromosomes. Most of the fragments rejoined in this new, smaller genome — but a substantial fraction were left out.

Continue reading “To Defend the Genome, These Cells Destroy Their Own DNA” »

Oct 1, 2023

How to Use ChatGPT’s New Image Features

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI

OpenAI recently announced an upgrade to ChatGPT (Apple, Android) that adds two features: AI voice options to hear the chatbot responding to your prompts, and image analysis capabilities. The image function is similar to what’s already available for free with Google’s Bard chatbot.

Even after hours of testing the limits and capabilities of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot still manages to surprise and scare me at the same time. Yes, I was quite impressed with the web browsing beta offered through ChatGPT Plus, but I remained anxious about the tool’s ramifications for people who write for money online, among many other concerns. The new image feature arriving for OpenAI’s subscribers left me with similarly mixed feelings.

While I’ve not yet had the opportunity to experiment with the new audio capabilities (other great reporters on staff have), I was able to test the soon-to-arrive image features. Here’s how to use the new image search coming to ChatGPT and some tips to help you start out.

Oct 1, 2023

NASA Begins Plans for $1 Billion Spacecraft to Safely Pull International Space Station Back To Earth

Posted by in categories: innovation, space

NASA has officially called upon companies to submit designs for a so-called U.S. Deorbit Vehicle (USDV) for the International Space Station (ISS). This pioneering spacecraft would have the crucial mission of safely bringing the ISS back to Earth, marking the ISS’s planned retirement.

The unprecedented project comes with an estimated price tag “a little short of about $1 billion,” as reported earlier this year by Kathy Lueders, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations.

Although initial considerations revolved around employing Russian spaceships for this monumental task, NASA, in a strategic shift, opened the floor this month to proposals from U.S. industry. The deadline for these innovative submissions is set for November 17, following the initiation of the call for designs on September 20.

Oct 1, 2023

Scientists just proved that ‘monster’ black hole M87 is spinning — confirming Einstein’s relativity yet again

Posted by in category: cosmology

Astronomers have found the first direct evidence of a black hole spinning, and it’s confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity yet again.

The discovery was made by studying powerful jets of energy beamed from the solar system-size black hole at the center of the neighboring Messier 87 galaxy. The black hole, called M87, is the best studied black hole to date and the first to ever be directly imaged in 2019, with its “donut hole” shadow crowned by a fuzzy halo of light.

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