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2018年4月12日 星期四

Daily Bulletin for 04/12/2018 

04/12/2018
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Caffeine Causes Widespread Brain Entropy

Christian Jarrett, R-Digest

Basic neuroscience teaches us how individual brain cells communicate with each other, like neighbours chatting over the garden fence. This is a vital part of brain function. Increasingly however neuroscientists are zooming out and studying the information processing that happens within and between neural networks across the entire brain, more akin to the complex flow of digital information constantly pulsing around the globe.

Muscle May Explain the Obesity Paradox

Ross Pomeroy, RealClearScience

Nearly twenty years ago, researchers began noticing a curious paradox in health-focused studies: despite common wisdom that being overweight or obese is unhealthy, a significant number of analyses showed that in a variety of circumstances additional weight is actually associated with a lower risk of death!

Seismic Cloak Successfully Deflects Earthquake Waves

Phil McKenna, PBS

For an experiment with such ambition, the setting couldn't have been more humble. Yet scientists from across Europe converged herea dirt lane between a farmer's field and a small wood in southern Francein the fall of 2016 to test a provocative idea: could they make the seismic waves of an earthquake disappear?

Astronomers Spot a Neutron Star 'Glitch'

John Timmer, Ars Technica

Neutron stars are the most dense form of matter in our Universe (black holes cram more stuff into a smaller space, and it's not clear if that stuff is still "matter"). A neutron star is produced by the collapse of a stellar core, which crams a bit more mass than our Sun into a sphere about 20 kilometers across.At this density, matter does strange things. Models based on theoretical considerations suggest that there's a distinct "crust" that sits atop a superfluid of subatomic particles, but it's not like we can visit one and confirm this.

The Myth of 'Learning Styles'

Olga Khazan, The Atlantic

In the early 90s, a New Zealand man named Neil Fleming decided to sort through something that had puzzled him during his time monitoring classrooms as a school inspector. In the course of watching 9,000 different classes, he noticed that only some teachers were able to reach each and every one of their students. What were they doing differently?

Expedition to Search for Shackleton's Lost Ship

David Freeman, NBC News

More than a century has passed since the Endurance, the three-masted ship of legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, sank in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica, and now researchers are getting ready for a major scientific expedition to find it.The WeddellSea Expedition 2019 will bring together an international team of scientists to look for the shipwreck, which is believed to lie about 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) under the waves in one of the planet's coldest and most forbidding environments.

Proxima Centauri Released Flare Visible to the Eye

Matt Williams, Universe Today

Since its discovery was announced in August of 2016, Proxima b has been an endless source of wonder and the target of many scientific studies. In addition to being the closest extra-solar planet to our Solar System, this terrestrial planet also orbits within Proxima Centauri's circumstellar habitable zone (aka. Goldilocks Zone). As a result, scientists have naturally sought to determine if this planet could actually be home to extra-terrestial life.

Besides the Higgs, What Else Has the LHC Found?

Ethan Siegel, Forbes

It's now just over five years since the two major collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider CMS and ATLAS jointly announced the discovery of a new particle with never-before-seen properties: the Higgs boson. It was the first fundamental scalar particle ever discovered, the first particle with spin = 0, the first particle with a rest energy of 126 GeV, and the last predicted, missing particle from the Standard Model of particle physics.

Symmetry Gets Really Interesting When Its Broken

Anthony Phillips, Aeon

A hypothetical alien visitor, sent to observe all of human culture art and architecture, music and medicine, storytelling and science would quickly conclude that we as a species are obsessed with patterns. The formal gardens of 18th-century England, the folk tales of medieval Germany and the traditional woven fabrics of Mayan civilisation have little in common, but they each owe their aesthetic appeal to being composed of smaller, identical parts arranged into a harmonious whole.

The Case Against Lectures

Brian Gallagher, Nautilus

Getting lectured is rarely, if ever, a pleasant experience. You're being told what to do and think, or even chastised. Don't lecture me, we like to say. Having to attend a lecture, thoughthat's not so bad, depending on the speaker. Hell, on the go, I listen to lectures willingly. Check out A Master List of 1,300 Free Courses From Top Universities: 45,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures, from Open Culture. It's a treasure trove.

Nazi Battleship Leaves Mark on Norway's Trees

Jonathan Amos, BBC News

The relentless campaign to find and sink Germany's WWII battleship, the Tirpitz, left its mark on the landscape that is evident even today.The largest vessel in Hitler's Kriegsmarine, it was stationed for much of the war along the Norwegian coast to deter an Allied invasion.The German navy would hide the ship in fjords and screen it with chemical fog.

Fossilized Brains Called into Question

Abby Olena, The Scientist

Finding preserved soft tissuesuch as brain or musclein fossils that are millions of years old is rare, and possibly even more so given a new suggestion that some reports of such discoveries may be misinterpretations. A study published today (April 11) in Proceedings of the Royal Society B challenges previous work identifying brain tissue in half-billion-year-old arthropods from southern China. The authors assert that the fossilized structures are actually preserved microbes, igniting debate among paleobiologists

The Unhinged Cruelty of Paul Ehrlich

Alex B. Berezow, ACSH

Do you see yourself as a worthless cockroach contributing to the collapse of human civilization? Probably not, but Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich thinks precisely that about you.Fifty years ago, he published arguably the worst book ever written, The Population Bomb, which declared that human overpopulation would cause mass starvation.

Parts of Stonehenge in Place Before Humans

Trevor Nace, Forbes

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Stonehenge may be finally solved, why did people drag massive stones tens of miles to erect Stonehenge? It has been a question anthropologists have grappled with for decades and now, it appears, the answer is because two of the giant stones were already in place for millions of years.

More Than Half of Your Body's Cells Aren't Human

James Gallagher, BBC News

Human cells make up only 43% of the body's total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists.Understanding this hidden half of ourselves - our microbiome - is rapidly transforming understanding of diseases from allergy to Parkinson's.The field is even asking questions of what it means to be "human" and is leading to new innovative treatments as a result.

Galaxy Without Dark Matter Doesn't End Modified Gravity

S. Hossenfelder, BR

Did you really have to ask?And if you had to ask, why did you have to ask me?You sent me like two million messages and comments and emails asking what I think about NGC 1052-DF2, that galaxy which supposedly doesn't contain dark matter. Thanks. I am very flattered by your faith.

The Anthropology of 'Becoming a Man'

William Buckner, Quillette

There are commonalities of human behavior that extend beyond any geographic or cultural boundary. Every known society has a sexual division of labor many facets of which are ubiquitous the world over. Some activities are universally considered to be primarily, or exclusively, the responsibility of men, such as hunting large mammals, metalworking, and warfare.
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