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October 2 2014

This Physicist Says She Has Proof Black Holes Simply Don't Exist


Scientists have lots of bizarre theories about black holes. Black holes gobble up everything that gets too close, even light. They can cause time to slow. They contain entire universes.

But here's something about black holes you might not have heard: they simply don't exist.

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October 2 2014

If the Large Hadron Collider made music, what would it sound like?


Helping scientists to discover the Higgs boson was, it seems, just one of the Large Hadron Collider’s talents. It turns out that CERN’s particle accelerator can write a decent tune too.

Seven physicists from the facility have proved it by translating data collected by the Large Hadron Collider’s four experiments – ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHCb – into music using “data sonification” technology.

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October 2 2014

Living close to wind farms could cause hearing damage


Living close to wind farms may lead to severe hearing damage or even deafness, according to new research which warns of the possible danger posed by low frequency noise.

The physical composition of inner ear was “drastically” altered following exposure to low frequency noise, like that emitted by wind turbines, a study has found.

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October 2 2014

Your Sense of Smell Could Predict When You'll Die


If you want to know how long you'll live, your nose might help you sniff out the answer, a new study suggests.

In a study of older adults, researchers have found a link between the inability to identify certain scents— like peppermint or fish — and an increased risk of mortality over the next five years. Known as "olfactory dysfunction," the loss of smell is an even stronger predictor of when a person will likely die than conditions such as heart failure, cancer or lung disease, according to researchers at the University of Chicago.

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October 1 2014

Microsoft is trying to predict the future, and so far it's succeeding


Back in June, Microsoft gave Windows Phone's personal assistant the ability to make predictions on World Cup games. It started off as a fun little novelty — the AI inside your phone is making a guess! — but it quickly became a lot more than that: the assistant, Cortana, was actually predicting the outcomes correctly. It ended up nailing all 15 of the knockout games.

That's because Cortana's data was coming from Microsoft's own research arm, and Microsoft is now looking to invest more heavily in its ability to predict the future.

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October 1 2014

Meet Amelia: the computer that's after your job


A new artificially intelligent computer system called 'Amelia' – that can read and understand text, follow processes, solve problems and learn from experience – could replace humans in a wide range of low-level jobs

In February 2011 an artificially intelligent computer system called IBM Watson astonished audiences worldwide by beating the two all-time greatest Jeopardy champions at their own game.

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October 1 2014

Your Digital Twin Could Be Making Your Decisions


In a recent and intriguing article at Business Insider, futurist John Smart makes a bold prediction in regard to near-future technology: Within five years, we could each have a “digital twin” — an online version of ourselves that will make decisions for us in a world of information overload.

Of course, futurists are prone to bold predictions. It’s literally part of the job. But the implications of Smart’s ideas have an eerie ring of plausibility. The basic gist is that, as personal digital assistants like Siri and Cortana evolve, they’ll learn our habits and preferences at the same time that we’re delegating more and more tasks to them.

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October 1 2014

Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells


Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature's most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team has taken a major step in developing long-sought polymer architecture to boost power-conversion efficiency of light to electricity for use in electronic devices.

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October 1 2014

Smart, eco-friendly new battery made of seeds and pine resin


Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative.


Related: Battery system will be able to light 2,500 homes

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October 1 2014

This little Spanish island will run on 100% renewable energy within months


El Hierro, a tiny Spanish island off the west coast of Africa, has done away with fossil fuels. In just a few months time, the entire island will be running on 100 percent renewable energy - from the power of wind and water.


Related: Solar Energy Could Dominate Electricity by 2050

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October 1 2014

Harvesting energy from walking


A device that fits into a shoe harvests the energy made by walking and successfully uses it in watch batteries.

At the Center for Research in Advanced Materials (CIMAV), scientists decided to "capture" the energy produced by people walking. They designed a pill-shaped cylinder adapted to a shoe in order to store the mechanical-vibrational energy the person generates when walking.

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October 1 2014

Bats may mistake wind turbines for trees


Some species of bats may mistake wind turbines for tall trees, and follow seemingly familiar air flow patterns to their doom.

US researchers used thermal and infra-red surveillance cameras to observe bat behaviour around three wind turbines over three months, and report their results in today's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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October 1 2014

Could a Life-Sized TV Control Your Dog’s Brain?


This question was not proposed by a mad scientist bent on world doggie domination. The idea to see whether dogs follow life-sized videos is actually entirely sensible.

Researchers studying non-human animals want to know whether their species of interest will attend to artificial stimuli—like photographs, slides or films—because if a species realistically attends to artificial stimuli, you can have more control over stimulus presentation, and you can even manipulate and ask questions about the stimulus itself.

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October 1 2014

First evidence that reptiles can learn through imitation


New research has for the first time provided evidence that reptiles could be capable of social learning through imitation.

The ability to acquire new skills through the 'true imitation' of others' behaviour is thought to be unique to humans and advanced primates, such as chimpanzees.

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October 1 2014

Chimp social network shows how new ideas catch on


Three years ago, an adult chimpanzee called Nick dipped a piece of moss into a watering hole in Uganda's Budongo Forest. Watched by a female, Nambi, he lifted the moss to his mouth and squeezed the water out. Nambi copied him and, over the next six days, moss sponging began to spread through the community. A chimp trend was born.


Alt: Wild chimps ape each other with a new 'tool' - and reveal how their culture evolves

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October 1 2014

Multitudes of mighty sea monkeys move oceans, study says


Every evening, sunset signals the start of dinner for billions of wiggling sea monkeys living in the ocean. As these sea monkeys – which are not actually monkeys but a type of shrimp – swarm to the surface in one large, culminating force, they may contribute as much power to ocean currents as the wind and tides do, a new study reports.

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October 1 2014

Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags Is Enacted In California


Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the U.S.

"This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last.".

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News desk archive...

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