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Apr 18, 2024

How a Single Gene Could Become a Volume Knob for Pain

Posted by in category: genetics

Harnessing rare genetic mutations could help end America’s opioid epidemic.

Apr 18, 2024

Symmetry’s guide to AI in particle physics and astrophysics

Posted by in categories: internet, particle physics, robotics/AI

On November 30, 2022, Silicon Valley-based company OpenAI launched its artificial-intelligence-powered chatbot, ChatGPT. Overnight, AI transformed in the popular imagination from a science fiction trope to something anyone with an internet connection could try. ChatGPT was free to use, and it responded to typed prompts naturally enough to seem almost human. After the launch of the chatbot, worldwide Google searches for the term “AI” began a steep climb that still does not seem to have reached its peak.

Physicists were some of the earliest developers and adopters of technologies now welcomed under the wide umbrella term “AI.” Particle physicists and astrophysicists, with their enormous collections of data and the need to efficiently analyze it, are just the sort of people who benefit from the automation AI provides.

So we at Symmetry, an online magazine about particle physics and astrophysics, decided to explore the topic and publish a series on artificial intelligence. We looked at the many forms AI has taken; the ways the technology has helped shape the science (and vice versa); and the ways scientists use AI to advance experimental and theoretical physics, to improve the operation of particle accelerators and telescopes, and to train the next generation of physics students. You can expect to see the result of that exploration here in the coming weeks.

Apr 18, 2024

CBN: A Potential Neuroprotective Compound from Cannabis

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

Cannabinol (CBN) is a chemical found in cannabis that exhibits milder psychoactive properties than most cannabis chemicals, though research pertaining to its medical applications remains limited. Now, a team of researchers led by The Salk Institute for Biological Studies have published a study in Redox Biology that addresses the potential for CBN to serve as a method for neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, the researchers produced four CBN analogs that exhibited greater neuroprotective capabilities compared to the traditional CBN molecule and tested them on Drosophila fruit flies. In the end, the researchers discovered these CBN analogs possessed neuroprotective capabilities that surpassed traditional CBN molecules, including the treating of traumatic brain injuries. While not tested during this study, these CBN analogs could be used to also treat a myriad of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

“Our findings help demonstrate the therapeutic potential of CBN, as well as the scientific opportunity we have to replicate and refine its drug-like properties,” said Dr. Pamela Maher, who is a research professor in the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk and a co-author on the study. “Could we one day give this CBN analog to football players the day before a big game, or to car accident survivors as they arrive in the hospital? We’re excited to see how effective these compounds might be in protecting the brain from further damage.”

Apr 18, 2024

Rapidly Dropping Battery Prices, Cheaper Electric Vehicles, & Solar Energy Ahead

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Battery prices are dropping significantly, leading to a future of cheaper electric vehicles, battery storage, solar energy, and cleaner air Questions to inspire discussion What is the impact of dropping battery prices? —Dropping battery prices will lead to cheaper electric vehicles, battery storage, solar energy, and.

Apr 18, 2024

Magic Mushrooms Are Expanding Minds and Advancing an Emerging Field of Science

Posted by in category: science

Science on psychedelic fungi is thawing after decades of prohibition. Here’s what we know so far.

Apr 18, 2024

Scientists Thought They Knew What Uranus and Neptune Were Made Of. They Were Fooled

Posted by in category: space

New research unveils a surprising twist in the composition of our Solar System’s distant giants.

Apr 18, 2024

Maserati Will Only Sell EVs by 2028

Posted by in category: futurism

Maserati’s “Folgore Day” kicks off the beginning of its journey to full electrification by 2028 and launches the GranCabrio Folgore.

Apr 18, 2024

ATLAS explores Z boson production with heavy-flavour quarks

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, particle physics

More than 40 years since its discovery, the Z boson remains a cornerstone of particle physics research. Through its production alongside heavy-flavour quarks (bottom and charm quarks), the Z boson provides a unique window into the internal dynamics of a proton’s constituents. Specifically, it allows researchers to probe the heavy-flavour contributions to “Parton Distribution Functions” (PDFs), which describe how a proton’s momentum is distributed among its constituent quarks and gluons. Using the full LHC Run-2 dataset, the ATLAS Collaboration measured Z boson production in association with both bottom (b) and charm © quarks, the latter for the first time in ATLAS. In their new result, physicists studied Z boson decays into electron or muon pairs produced in association with “jets” of particles. They focused on jets arising from the hadronisation of b or c quarks, creating two jet “flavours”: b-jets and c-jets. Physicists developed a new multivariate algorithm that was able to identify the jet-flavour, allowing them to measure the production of both Z+b-jets and Z+c-jets processes. Researchers then took this one step further and applied a specialised fit procedure, called the ‘flavour-fit’, to determine the large background contribution due to Z production together with other flavour jets. This method is driven by data and allows a precise description of the jet flavours for every studied observable. This led to a significant improvement in the precision of the results, allowing a more stringent comparison with theoretical predictions. The Z boson provides a unique window into the internal dynamics of a proton’s constituents. So, what did they find? ATLAS researchers measured the production rates (or “cross sections”) of several physics observables. These results were then compared with theoretical predictions, probing various approaches to describe the quark distributions in protons, the most recent computational improvements in QCD calculations and the effect of different treatments of the quark masses in the predictions. For example, Figure 1a shows the differential cross section for Z+1 b-jet production as a function of the transverse momentum of the most energetic b-jet in the event. Results show that predictions treating the b-quarks as massless (blue squares and red triangles) provide the best agreement with measurements. Z+2 b-jets angular observables are in general well understood, while some discrepancies with data appear in the invariant mass of the 2 b-jets, whose spectrum is not well modelled by the studied predictions. Figure 1: Measured fiducial cross-section as a function of a) leading b-jet pT for Z+b-jets events and b) leading c-jet x_F (its momentum along the beam axis relative to the initial proton momentum) for Z+c-jets events. Data (black) are compared with several theoretical predictions testing different theoretical flavour schemes, high order accuracy calculations and intrinsic charm models. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN) Studying Z+c-jets production offered a unique possibility to investigate the hypothesis of intrinsic (valence-like) components of c-quarks in the proton. With this result, the ATLAS Collaboration contributes to the long-standing debate on the existence of this phenomenon, currently supported by experimental measurements from the LHCb Collaboration. As shown in Figure 1b, the Z+c-jets results were compared with several hypotheses for intrinsic charm content. Due to the larger experimental and theoretical uncertainty on Z+c-jets processes, the current result makes no strong statement on the intrinsic c-quark component in the proton. However, it does improve physicists’ sensitivity to this effect, as the new data will be used in future by PDF fitting groups to set tighter constraints on the intrinsic charm distribution in the proton. Overall, the new ATLAS result provides deep insights for refining theoretical predictions, thereby fostering a deeper understanding of the dynamics of heavy-flavour quark content in the proton. About the event display: Display of a candidate Z boson decaying to two muons alongside two b-jets, recorded by the ATLAS detector at a centre-of-mass collision energy of 13 TeV. Blue cones indicate the b-jets, and the red lines indicate the muon tracks. Starting from the centre of the ATLAS detector, the reconstructed tracks of the charged particles in the inner detector are shown as cyan lines. The energy deposits in the electromagnetic (the green layer) and hadronic (the red layer) calorimeters are shown as yellow boxes. The hits in the muon spectrometer (the outer blue layer) are shown as light blue blocks. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN) Learn more Measurements of the production cross-section for a Z boson in association with b-or c-jets in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV with the ATLAS detector (arXiv:2403.15093, see figures) Measurements of the production cross-section for a boson in association with in proton–proton collisions at 13 TeV (JHEP 7 (2020) 44, arXiv:2003.11960) LHCb Collaboration, Study of Z Bosons Produced in Association with Charm in the Forward Region (Phys. Rev. Lett. 128 (2022) 82,001, arXiv:2109.08084) See also the full list of ATLAS physics results.

Apr 18, 2024

Sweden becomes 38th country to sign NASA’s Artemis Accords for moon exploration

Posted by in category: space

NASA keeps adding nations to its international commitment for responsible moon exploration.

Apr 18, 2024

Getting ready for artificial general intelligence with examples

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI, transportation

Imagine a world where machines aren’t confined to pre-programmed tasks but operate with human-like autonomy and competence. A world where computer minds pilot self-driving cars, delve into complex scientific research, provide personalized customer service and even explore the unknown.

This is the potential of artificial general intelligence (AGI), a hypothetical technology that may be poised to revolutionize nearly every aspect of human life and work. While AGI remains theoretical, organizations can take proactive steps to prepare for its arrival by building a robust data infrastructure and fostering a collaborative environment where humans and AI work together seamlessly.

AGI, sometimes referred to as strong AI, is the science-fiction version of artificial intelligence (AI), where artificial machine intelligence achieves human-level learning, perception and cognitive flexibility. But, unlike humans, AGIs don’t experience fatigue or have biological needs and can constantly learn and process information at unimaginable speeds. The prospect of developing synthetic minds that can learn and solve complex problems promises to revolutionize and disrupt many industries as machine intelligence continues to assume tasks once thought the exclusive purview of human intelligence and cognitive abilities.

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