2019年2月7日 星期四

Daily Bulletin for 02/07/2019 

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The Richest Man Who Ever Lived

Jason Daley, Smithsonian

The title of richest person on Earth seems to ping-pong between tech titans every few years. But for all their wealth, Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates won't come close to being the richest human of all timethat would mean besting people like Augustus Caesar who personally owned all of Egypt for a period or Song Dynasty Emperor Shenzong, whose domain at one point accounted for 25 to 30 percent of global GDP.

How We Identified Brain Patterns of Consciousness

Davinia Fernndez-Espejo, Conv

Humans have learned to travel through space, eradicate diseases and understand nature at the breathtakingly tiny level of fundamental particles. Yet we have no idea how consciousness our ability to experience and learn about the world in this way and report it to others arises in the brain.

Did Our Ancestors Think Like Us?

Joshua Conrad Jackson, Psychology Today

Imagine that you are a time-traveler, able to travel back roughly 100,000 years to the age of the first anatomically modern homo sapiens. Imagine stepping out of your time machine and standing face to face with one of your ancestors: Another human with a brain just as big as yours, and genes virtually identical to your genes.

An Area of Psychology Where Results Actually Replicate

Christian Jarrett, R-Digest

While psychology has been mired in a replication crisis recently based on the failure of contemporary researchers to recreate some of its most cherished findings there have been pockets of good news for certain sub-disciplines in the field. For instance, some replication efforts in cognitive psychology and experimental philosophy or X-phi have been more successful, suggesting that results in these areas are more robust.

Odd Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Numbers

Kevin Hartnett, Quanta

In 1983 the prolific conjecturer Paul Erd?s posed a math problem: Take any set of numbers you like. These could be the whole numbers from 1 to 12, the first 10,000 prime numbers, or the dates of every birthday in your extended family. Arrange these numbers in a square grid, with your list of numbers arranged both across the bottom and up one side. Then fill in the grid with either the sums or the products of the crosswise pairs.

Growing Up Unvaccinated

Jane Roberts, Undark

In many ways, Ethan Lindenberger is like most other teenagers. A high school senior in Norwalk, Ohio, he runs his school's debate club, is a member of his local church, and is planning to start college in the fall. But unlike many of his peers, the 18-year-old did not receive several of what are considered standard and, doctors and public health officials say, crucially important childhood vaccinations.

Cancer Treatment at Home Is Coming Soon

Justin Bekelman & Nathan Handley, Stat

Imagine having cancer and being told that most of your treatment will happen in your home instead of a high-tech cancer center. That may sound preposterous, but it's closer to happening than you might think.

Call for Mass Retraction of Organ Transplant Science

Melissa Davey, The Guardian

A world-first study has called for the mass retraction of more than 400 scientific papers on organ transplantation, amid fears the organs were obtained unethically from Chinese prisoners.The Australian-led study exposes a mass failure of English language medical journals to comply with international ethical standards in place to ensure organ donors provide consent for transplantation.

World Heading for Warmest Period on Record

Matt McGrath, BBC News

The world is in the middle of what is likely to be the warmest 10 years since records began in 1850, say scientists.The Met Office is forecasting that temperatures for each of the next five years are likely to be 1C or more above pre-industrial levels.In the next five years there's also a chance we'll see a year in which the average global temperature rise could be greater than 1.5C.

Have We Mismeasured the Universe?

Corey Powell, Scientific American

In the beginning, all of space rang like a bell.It was the immediate aftermath of the big bang, and the universe was filled with a torrid plasmaan energetic soup of particles and radiation. Although that plasma was remarkably smooth, it wasn't completely smooth. There were slight density and pressure gradients that pushed material around, says Lloyd Knox, a cosmologist at the University of California, Davis, and when stuff gets pushed around, those are sound waves.

Silent Neurons: The Dark Matter of the Brain?

Neuroskeptic, Discover

Now here's a paper with an interesting title: The dark matter of the brainAuthor Saak V. Ovsepian argues that the great majority of nerve cells in the intact brain do not fire action potentials, i.e., are permanently silent. This is a remarkable claim, and it raises the question of what these silent neurons are doing. However, I didn't find myself convinced of the existence of this dark matter'.

Lab-Grown Meat Lacks Basic Research

Elie Dolgin, Nature News

Private investment in lab-grown meat is soaring as companies chase the promise of boundless and delicious nuggets, steaks and burgers cultured in vitro rather than reared on the hoof. Clean-meat start-ups have raked in tens of millions of dollars in the last two years from billionaires such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and the agriculture giants Cargill and Tyson.

Straw Bans Won't Solve Plastic Pollution

Andrew Glover, Quillette

The presence of plastic in our oceans has been a growing problem for decades. But only in recent years has it found its way into the public consciousness. In one well-publicized case last year, scientists in Spain discovered the washed-up body of a sperm whale that contained 29 kilos of plastica grim intestinal haul that included dozens of plastic bags and a fuel container.

Snakes May Have Driven the Evolution of Primate Vision

Lynne A Isbell, Aeon

Evolution has favoured the modification and expansion of primate vision. Compared with other mammals, primates have, for example, greater depth perception from having forward-facing eyes with extensively overlapping visual fields, sharper visual acuity, more areas in the brain that are involved with vision, and, in some primates, trichromatic colour vision, which enables them to distinguish red from green hues.

The Self Is Not Entirely Lost in Dementia

Christian Jarrett, Research Digest

In the past when scholars have reflected on the psychological impact of dementia they have frequently referred to the loss of the self in dramatic and devastating terms, using language such as the unbecoming of the self or the disintegration of the self. In a new review released as a preprint at PsyArXiv, an international team of psychologists led by Muireann Irish at the University of Sydney challenge this bleak picture which they attribute to the common, but mistaken, assumption that without memory, there can be no self (as encapsulated by the line from Hume:...

AAAS' Confusing Behavior on Glyphosate

Alex Berezow, ACSH

The AAAS, which stands for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is one of the foremost pro-science organizations in the world. Not only does it advocate for good science and science policy, it publishes the prestigious journal Science, read by millions of scientists around the world.

Fragile DNA Enables New Adaptations to Evolve Quickly

Viviane Callier, Quanta

Evolutionary biologists have puzzled over why nature, with vast genetic resources at its disposal, sometimes seems stuck in a rut. Against the odds, separate species and populations independently evolve the same solutions to life's challenges, and the same genes are recruited to mutate and enable certain adaptations again and again.
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