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Mar 28, 2023

Associative learning in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis

Posted by in category: evolution

The ability to learn and form memories allows animals to adapt their behavior based on previous experiences. Associative learning, the process through which organisms learn about the relationship between two distinct events, has been extensively studied in various animal taxa. However, the existence of associative learning, prior to the emergence of centralized nervous systems in bilaterian animals, remains unclear. Cnidarians such as sea anemones or jellyfish possess a nerve net, which lacks centralization. As the sister group to bilaterians, they are particularly well suited for studying the evolution of nervous system functions. Here, we probe the capacity of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis to form associative memories by using a classical conditioning approach. We developed a protocol combining light as the conditioned stimulus with an electric shock as the aversive unconditioned stimulus. After repetitive training, animals exhibited a conditioned response to light alone—indicating that they learned the association. In contrast, all control conditions did not form associative memories. Besides shedding light on an aspect of cnidarian behavior, these results root associative learning before the emergence of NS centralization in the metazoan lineage and raise fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of cognition in brainless animals.

Mar 28, 2023

Hacking phones remotely without touching via new inaudible ultrasound attack

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones, robotics/AI

The Near–Ultrasound Invisible Trojan, or NUIT, was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs as a technique to secretly convey harmful orders to voice assistants on smartphones and smart speakers.

If you watch videos on YouTube on your smart TV, then that television must have a speaker, right? According to Guinevere Chen, associate professor and co-author of the NUIT article, “the sound of NUIT harmful orders will [be] inaudible, and it may attack your mobile phone as well as connect with your Google Assistant or Alexa devices.” “That may also happen in Zooms during meetings. During the meeting, if someone were to unmute themself, they would be able to implant the attack signal that would allow them to hack your phone, which was placed next to your computer.

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Mar 28, 2023

Twitter’s source code leaked on GitHub, revealing proprietary information and security flaws

Posted by in category: security

The social media behemoth Twitter was recently dealt a significant setback when significant portions of its source code were published online and made public. The corporation proceeded promptly to notify GitHub, an online collaboration platform for software engineers, of a copyright violation in order to get the stolen code removed from the site. It is not known how long the code had been available online, although it seems to have been accessible to the public for a number of months.

Twitter has filed a petition with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California requesting that the court require GitHub to disclose the identity of the individual who is responsible for spreading the code as well as any other users that downloaded it.

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Mar 28, 2023

WooCommerce’s serious vulnerability allows unauthorized wordpress website takeover

Posted by in category: business

A serious flaw has been found in WooCommerce, a popular plug-in for managing online businesses that are built on the WordPress platform. This flaw might enable cybercriminals to take control of websites. Nevertheless, the WooCommerce team has provided fixes, and attackers are able to reverse-engineer the patch. Technical specifics concerning the vulnerability have not yet been disclosed. There are presently approximately 500,000 active installations of the WooCommerce Payments plug-in, which is the component that includes the vulnerability. The creators of WooCommerce have stated that managed WordPress hosting providers such as, Pressable, and WPVIP have automatically updated websites that are hosted on their platforms. But, if the other websites don’t already have automatic updates turned on, the administrators of those websites should immediately apply the update that is specific to their version.

Any versions of WooCommerce Payments that were created after 4.8.0, which was published at the end of September, are susceptible to the vulnerability. The following updated versions were made available by Automattic: 4.8.2, 4.9.1, 5.0.4, 5.1.3, 5.2.2, 5.3.1, 5.4.1, 5.5.2 and 5.6.2.

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Mar 28, 2023

Windows, Ubuntu, and VMWare Workstation hacked on last day of Pwn2Own

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

On the third day of the Pwn2Own hacking contest, security researchers were awarded $185,000 after demonstrating 5 zero-day exploits targeting Windows 11, Ubuntu Desktop, and the VMware Workstation virtualization software.

The highlight of the day was the Ubuntu Desktop operating system getting hacked three times by three different teams, although one of them was a collision with the exploit being previously known.

The three working Ubuntu zero-day were demoed by Kyle Zeng of ASU SEFCOM (a double free bug), Mingi Cho of Theori (a Use-After-Free vulnerability), and Bien Pham (@bienpnn) of Qrious Security.

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Mar 27, 2023

Traversable wormhole dynamics on a quantum processor

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Year 2022 😗

A sparsified SYK model is constructed using learning techniques and the corresponding traversable wormhole dynamics are observed, representing a step towards a program for studying quantum gravity in the laboratory.

Mar 27, 2023

Scientists build ‘baby’ wormhole as sci-fi moves closer to fact

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, quantum physics, space travel

Year 2022 😗

WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) — In science fiction — think films and TV like “Interstellar” and “Star Trek” — wormholes in the cosmos serve as portals through space and time for spacecraft to traverse unimaginable distances with ease. If only it were that simple.

Scientists have long pursued a deeper understanding of wormholes and now appear to be making progress. Researchers announced on Wednesday that they forged two miniscule simulated black holes — those extraordinarily dense celestial objects with gravity so powerful that not even light can escape — in a quantum computer and transmitted a message between them through what amounted to a tunnel in space-time.

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Mar 27, 2023

Advances in brain modeling open a path to digital twin approaches for brain medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

In the current edition of The Lancet Neurology, researchers of the Human Brain Project (HBP) present the novel clinical uses of advanced brain modeling methods. Computational brain modeling techniques that integrate the measured data of a patient have been developed by researchers at AMU Marseille as part of the HBP. The models can be used as predictive tools to virtually test clinical hypotheses and strategies.

To create personalized models, the researchers use a called The Virtual Brain (TVB), which HBP scientist Viktor Jirsa has developed together with collaborators. For each patient, the computational models are created from data of the individually measured anatomy, structural connectivity and brain dynamics.

The approach has been first applied in epilepsy, and a major clinical trial is currently ongoing. The TVB technology enables clinicians to simulate the spread of abnormal activity during in a patient’s brain, helping them to better identify the target areas. In January, the team had presented the detailed methodology of the epilepsy work on the cover of Science Translational Medicine.

Mar 27, 2023

Delivering more compassionate care in intensive care medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, health

In the intensive care unit (ICU), critically ill patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary care team. Compassionate and caring behaviors on the part of the care team result in better outcomes for patients and their families, and care providers entering the demanding field of medicine because they wish to help people and relieve suffering. However, studies have demonstrated deficiencies in delivering compassionate health care. Evidence suggests that physicians may miss up to 90% of opportunities to respond to patients with compassion.

To determine what factors drive and enhance compassionate care behaviors in the ICU setting and which factors drain and negate caring attitudes and behaviors, Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM, and a colleague conducted an observational, qualitative study of an international panel of intensive and critical . The researcher-clinicians report in PLOS ONE that while ICU physicians and nurses feel a deep moral imperative to deliver the highest level of compassionate care, pressures of capacity strain, lack of staff, lack of compassionate skills training and a heavy emphasis on electronic health record maintenance present significant hurdles to achieving that goal.

“Studies done on physician compassion from a patient perspective emphasize listening and awareness of the patient’s , which not only builds trust within the patient-physician relationship but also enhances resilience amongst the care team and prevents burnout,” said Siddiqui, an anesthesiologist at BIDMC. “Our aim was to describe compassionate behaviors in the ICU, study the factors that enhance and those that drain such behaviors with an aim to enable recommendations for practice and training.”

Mar 27, 2023

How can Europe tackle its unfinished tuberculosis business?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, economics

In 2015, European countries formulated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aimed to end TB by 2030. However, in September 2018, global leaders at the first United Nations (UN) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against TB agreed on an ambitious target of eradicating TB by 2022. They strategized that increased access to TB treatment and preventive measures would help achieve their goal quickly. Another measure adopted to progress the TB eradication goal was increasing the funds related to TB research and services.

An uneven progress regarding TB eradication by 2030 was observed in some European regions by the World Health Organization (WHO). Although the majority of Western European countries were on track for TB elimination, Eastern European and Central Asian countries reported a high number of incidences of drug-resistant (DR) TB.

In the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA), TB prevalence is low. Based on the TB surveillance conducted in Europe, out of 30 countries, 24 reported less than 10 TB cases per 100,000 population in 2021. These countries have been encouraged to maintain this low rate and attain the pre-elimination phase of less than 10 TB cases per million population per year. A recent Eurosurveillance journal editorial discussed the progress in the EU/EEA, between 2018 and 2021, towards achieving the 2030 targets for TB elimination.

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