mercoledì 31 agosto 2016

# e-tech: human- machine dialog: a step towards

<< Machines are taking over more and more tasks. Ideally, they should also be capable to support the human in case of poor performance. To intervene appropriately, the machine should understand what is going on with the human >>

<< Fraunhofer scientists have developed a diagnostic tool that recognizes user states in real time and communicates them to the machine.>>

<< A key aspect  (..) is that not only the user understands the machine, but that the machine also understands the state of the human. >>

In the model, AA << differentiates between six dimensions of user state that impact human performance: workload, motivation, situation awareness, attention, fatigue and the emotional state. >>

In addition, AA << combines these with external factors such as task, environmental factors, current level of automation and time of day, as well as individual factors—such as the user's experience. >>

Hey human, how are you doing?  Press Release. Man-machine interaction: comprehensive assessment of user states. Research News / 1.8.2016

FonT: idealmente, si potrebbero  miniaturizzare i sensori e, attraverso  compressione algoritmica, adattare il software per far girare il sistema all'interno di un OS per smartwatch /  smartphone, giusto per comodita' d'uso ...

martedì 30 agosto 2016

# s-astro: Dragonfly 44, a galaxy with a massive dark matter inside

<< an  international  team  of  astronomers  has  found  a  massive  galaxy  that  consists almost  entirely  of  dark  matter. The  galaxy,  Dragonfly  44,  is  located  in  the  nearby  Coma  constellation  and  had  been  overlooked  until  last  year  because  of  its unusual  composition:  It  is  a  diffuse  “blob”  about  the  size  of  the  Milky  Way,  but  with  far  fewer  stars >>

<< Dragonfly  44’s  mass  is  estimated  to  be  1  trillion  times  the  mass  of  the  Sun,  or  2  tredecillion  kilograms  (a  2  followed  by  42 zeros),  which  is  similar  to  the  mass  of  the  Milky  Way.  However,  only  one-hundredth  of  1%  of  that  is  in  the  form  of  stars  and “normal”  matter.  The  other  99.99%  is  in  the  form  of  dark  matter  —  a  hypothesized  material  that  remains  unseen  but  may make  up  more  than  90%  of  the  universe >>

Jim  Shelton. Scientists  discover  a  ‘dark’  Milky  Way. August  25,  2016

Pieter  van  Dokkum ,  Roberto  Abraham, et al. A high stellar velocity dispersion and ~100 globular clusters for the ultra- diffuse  galaxy dragonfly 44. ApJ  828  L6 Published 2016 August 25.

lunedì 29 agosto 2016

# s-psych: Who broke Grandma's favorite vase?

<< "Who  broke  Grandma's  favorite  vase?"  As  you  listen  to  a  chorus  of  "I  don't  know"  and  "Not  me,"  how  will you  determine  the culprit? Conventional  wisdom  says,  divide  and  conquer,  but  what  does  scientific research  show  us  about  questioning  a  group  of  people  at  one  time?  Unfortunately,  very  little. >>

Michelle  Ponto. How easy  is  it  to  spot  a  lie? Researchers  look  at  the  art  of  deception  during  group  interviews. 25 Aug 2016.

<< Investigators  often  have  multiple  suspects  to  interview  in  order  to  determine  whether  they  are  guilty  or innocent  of  a  crime.  Nevertheless,  co-offending  has  been  significantly  neglected  within  the  deception detection  literature.  The  current  review  is  the  first  of  its  kind  to  discuss  co-offending  and  the  importance  of examining  the  detection  of  deception  within  groups >>

Zarah Vernham, Par-Anders Granhag, Erik Mac Giolla. Detecting  Deception  within  Small  Groups:  A Literature  Review. Front.  Psychol. 30  June  2016  DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01012

domenica 28 agosto 2016

# s-phys: the beryllium anomaly, hypothesis of a fifth force

<< Earlier this year, an experiment in Hungary reported very unusual behavior in the decays of beryllium-8 nuclei. The experimental collaboration suggested that their results may come from the effects of a new force of nature. If confirmed, this would have far-reaching consequences on fundamental physics including grand unification, dark matter and the experimental strategy for pushing the frontier of human knowledge. >>

Nuclear  puzzle  may  be  clue  to  fifth  force. August 18, 2016.

Jonathan  L.  Feng,  Bartosz  Fornal, et al. Particle  Physics  Models  for  the  17 MeV  Anomaly  in  Beryllium  Nuclear Decays. arXiv:1608.03591v1  [hep-ph]. Submitted  on  11  Aug  2016.

Jonathan  L.  Feng,  Bartosz  Fornal, et al. Protophobic  Fifth  Force Interpretation  of  the  Observed Anomaly  in  ^8Be  Nuclear  Transitions. arXiv:1604.07411v2  [hep-ph]. Submitted  on  25  Apr  2016.

FonT: a differenza del tecnologo e della gran parte delle altre professioni (a parte l'atto artistico spontaneo, improvvisato), per chi si occupa di ricerca scientifica in qualsiasi ambito disciplinare la comparsa (e la dimostrazione sperimentale) di una "anomalia" e' da considerare sempre e in ogni caso evento ricco di informazione, percio' evento di primaria importanza, da trattare possibilmente senza pregiudizi;  in questo aspetto (fondamentale) l'umano nomade (il boscimane ad es.) e lo "scientist" sono nei fatti piu' vicini di quanto si creda ... una sorta di "cerchio" che si chiude ...

sabato 27 agosto 2016

# e-sec: a priori cracked; 'verifiable computing' vs chip manufacturing

<< Medical devices, public infrastructure and voting machines, as well as financial, military and government electronics could all be compromised long before their first use if backdoors were added to their chips during the manufacturing process.  The issue could affect CPUs, GPUs and motherboards, but also storage and memory components. These days we're seeing more companies employ cryptographic signing for their software to ensure that the code delivered to the users is identical what was written by the vendors (although not all companies are taking this to heart yet). A similar validation process is needed for hardware to ensure its integrity. >>

Lucian Armasu. University Researchers Invent Solution To Protect Chips Against Manufacturing Sabotage. August 26, 2016  4:00 PM,32569.html

Researchers design a chip that checks for  sabotage. Integrated Circuits Can Monitor Their Own Computations and Flag Defects. August 23, 2016

venerdì 26 agosto 2016

# s-phys: spontaneous oddities observed in a home-made black hole in sound

AA << observe spontaneous Hawking radiation, stimulated by quantum vacuum fluctuations, emanating from an analogue black hole in an atomic Bose–Einstein condensate. >>

Jeff Steinhauer. Observation of quantum Hawking radiation and its entanglement in an analogue black hole. Nature Physics (2016) doi:10.1038/nphys3863 Published online 15 Aug 2016

Davide Castelvecchi. Artificial black hole creates its own version of Hawking radiation. Result could be closest thing yet to an observation of the bizarre phenomenon. 15 Aug 2016.

Ron  Cowen. One-man  band:  the  solo  physicist  who  models  black holes  in  sound. Working  alone,  Jeff  Steinhauer  has  created  a  sonic  analogue  of  Hawking  radiation.  15  Aug 2016.

martedì 23 agosto 2016

# s-psych: bias in moral judgment

AA << results suggest that a victim's plight is perceived as less severe when others share it, and this bias is common to both third-party judges and victims. >>

Konis D, Haran U, et al. A Sorrow Shared Is a Sorrow Halved: Moral Judgments of Harm to Single versus Multiple Victims. Front Psychol. 2016 Aug 2;7:1142. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01142. eCollection 2016.

lunedì 22 agosto 2016

# s-brain: 70-years after; Dr. Albert revisited

<< Treating an addiction to a mind-altering substance with another mind-altering substance might seem counterintuitive, but more and more, researchers are finding ways that psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms and party drugs like ketamine could actually help people get over alcohol and drug addictions. >>

Kevin Loria. Science Doctors are talking about using psychedelic drugs to treat alcoholics. 21 Aug 2016.

Zoe  Cormier. Magic-mushroom  drug  lifts  depression  in  first  human trial. Researchers'  long  fight  to  test  psilocybin's  safety  finally  yields  fruit.  Nature.  17  May  2016. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19919.

Dr. Albert (Albert Hofmann) in: Lysergic acid diethylamide. 21 Aug 2016.

domenica 21 agosto 2016

# s-esobio: we're not finding them 'cause they've vanished inside ...

<< What if we're not finding aliens because they've already vanished from this reality into virtual worlds? >>

@singularityhub. 18 Ago 2016 10:23

<< Proposed by futurist John Smart, the theory suggests that technological civilizations — and the Fermi paradox assumes there would be many by now — don’t colonize outer space (and thus flood the cosmos with signatures we could easily find). Instead, they move toward inner space by building vast digital realities on computers much smaller than we can detect. >>

Aaron Frank. Why No Aliens?  Aug 18, 2016.

sabato 20 agosto 2016

# s-nano: self-assembly, also in nanotech

<< some nanomaterials can be coaxed into snapping themselves into desired formations-a process called self-assembly >>

AA << have just developed a way to direct the self-assembly of multiple molecular patterns within a single material, producing new nanoscale architectures.  >>

Smarter  self-assembly  opens  new  pathways  for  nanotechnology. August  8,  2016.

A. Stein, G. Wright, et al. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 12366 (2016) doi:10.1038/ncomms12366

giovedì 18 agosto 2016

# s-evol: closer to gorillas

<< Surprising  results  from  a  new  study  reveal the  heel bone  from  our  fossil relative  is  closer  related  to  gorillas. >>

<< The  new study  that  for  the  first  time  examined  the  internal  anatomy  of a  fossil  human  relative’s  heel  bone,  or  calcaneus,  shows  greater similarities  with  gorillas  than  chimpanzees >>

Wits  University. More  gorilla  than  chimp. 11  Aug 2016.

Angel Zeininger, Biren A. Patel, et al. Trabecular architecture in the StW 352 fossil hominin calcaneus. Journal of Human Evolution. Volume 97, Aug. 2016, Pages 145–158. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.05.009.

mercoledì 17 agosto 2016

# s-brain: gut feeling; brain and gut connected by neural networks

<< The study demonstrates that the immune system might be controlled using drugs originally designed to target the nervous system, such as antipsychotics. >>

Duke  University. Targeting  the  gut-brain  connection  can impact  immunity. Drugs  aimed  at  nervous  system  act  on  immune  system  as  well. Public Release 11-Aug-2016

Xiou Cao, Alejandro Aballay. Neural Inhibition of Dopaminergic Signaling Enhances Immunity in a Cell-Non-autonomous Manner. Current Biology, August 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.036

martedì 16 agosto 2016

# s-ageing: the long (and slow) life of Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) ...

<< Greenland  sharks  live  at  least  as  long  as 400  years,  and  they  reach  sexual  maturity at  the  age  of  about  150,  a  new  study reports.  The  results  place  Greenland sharks  as  the  longest-lived  vertebrates  on Earth.  The  Greenland  shark  (Somniosus microcephalus)  is  widely  distributed across  the  North  Atlantic,  with  adults reaching  lengths  of  400  to  500  centimeters (13  to  16  feet).  The  biology  of  the Greenland  shark  is  poorly  understood,  yet their  extremely  slow  growth  rates,  at  about 1  cm per  year,  hint  that  these  fish  benefit from  exceptional  longevity. >>

AAAS. Winner  of  the  longest-lived  vertebrate award  goes  to... Public release 11-Aug-2016

Julius  Nielsen, Rasmus B. Hedeholm, et al.  Eye  lens  radiocarbon  reveals  centuries  of  longevity  in  the  Greenland  shark  (Somniosus microcephalus). Science. 12  Aug  2016: Vol.  353,  Issue  6300,  pp.  702-704 DOI:  10.1126/science.aaf1703.

domenica 14 agosto 2016

# s-brain: imprinting and recalling inside a single network of brain cells with thin beam of light (as if switching on a TV ) ...

<< a set of neurons trained to fire in unison could be reactivated as much as a day later if just one neuron in the network was stimulated. >>

AA <<  injected the mouse with a virus containing light-sensitive proteins engineered to reach specific brain cells. Once inside a cell, the proteins allowed researchers to remotely activate the neuron with light, as if switching on a TV >>

<< But then I saw the results and said "Holy moly, this whole thing is plastic". We're dealing with a plastic computer that's constantly learning and changing >>  Rafael Yuste.

Researchers Reprogram Network of Brain Cells in Mice With Thin Beam of Light. Neuroscience News. August 11, 2016

Luis Carrillo-Reid, Weijian Yang, et al. Imprinting and recalling cortical ensembles. Science.12 Aug 2016: Vol. 353,  Issue  6300,  pp.  691-694 DOI:  10.1126/science.aaf7560.

sabato 13 agosto 2016

# s-brain: growing mini human brains (3D midbrain-like organoids) ...

AA << developed a method to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into a large multicellular organoid-like structure that contains distinct layers of neuronal cells expressing characteristic markers of human midbrain. >>

AA << detected electrically active and functionally mature mDA (midbrain dopaminergic) neurons and dopamine production in 3D midbrain-like organoids (MLOs). In contrast to human mDA neurons generated using 2D methods or MLOs generated from mouse embryonic stem cells, (AA) human MLOs produced neuromelanin-like granules that were structurally similar to those isolated from human substantia nigra tissues. >>

AA <<  MLOs bearing features of the human midbrain may provide a tractable in vitro system to study the human midbrain and its related diseases. >>

Junghyun Jo, Yixin Xiao, et al. Midbrain-like Organoids from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Contain Functional Dopaminergic and Neuromelanin-Producing Neurons. Cell Stem Cell. Volume 19, Issue 2, p248–257, 4 August 2016. DOI:


giovedì 11 agosto 2016

# s-behav: bringing chocolate (among Pisaura mirabilis) ...

AA << reinvestigated whether nuptial gifts may function as a shield against female attacks during mating encounters in the spider Pisaura mirabilis and whether female hunger influences the likelihood of cannibalistic attacks. The results showed that pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism was enhanced when males courted without a gift and this was independent of female hunger. >>

Soren Toft, Maria J. Albo. The shield effect: nuptial gifts protect males against pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism. The Royal Society. Biology Letters. Published 18 May 2016.DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.1082

Susan Milius.To prevent cannibalism, bring chocolate. The romantic gifts of nursery web spiders will work as self-defense.   July 26, 2016 9:00AM

FonT: in teoria di sistemi si potrebbe, dopo appropriata analisi delle dinamiche  "sottotraccia",  esportare questo complesso  comportamentale allo scopo di   "modellizzare altrove", vale a dire all'interno di contesti altri ...; in tali casi sarebbe opportuno estendere, dilatare oppure  sostituire il termine  "cannibalism" in funzione delle differenti situazioni testate ...;


about safety waves ...

martedì 9 agosto 2016

# s-astro: and come out the other side

<< One  of  the  biggest  problems  when  studying  black  holes  is  that  the  laws  of  physics  as  we  know them  cease  to  apply  in  their  deepest  regions.  Large  quantities  of  matter  and  energy  concentrate in  an  infinitely  small  space,  the  gravitational  singularity,  where  space-time  curves  towards  infinity and  all  matter  is  destroyed.  Or  is  it?  A  recent  study  (..)  suggests  that  matter  might  in  fact  survive  its  foray  into these  space  objects  and  come  out  the  other  side. >>

Do  black  holes  have  a  back  door?  R&I World. 9 Aug 2016.

Gonzalo  J  Olmo ,  D  Rubiera-Garcia   and  A  Sanchez-Puente. Impact  of  curvature  divergences  on  physical observers  in  a  wormhole  space–time  with  horizons.  Classical  and  Quantum  Gravity,  Volume  33,  Number  11. Published  28  April  2016.

lunedì 8 agosto 2016

# s-evol: smoking, mutation and evolution

<< A genetic mutation may have helped modern humans adapt to smoke exposure from fires and perhaps sparked an evolutionary advantage over their archaic competitors >>

Matt Swayne. Where there's smoke and a mutation there may be an evolutionary edge for humans. August 2, 2016

<< (..) a functionally significant change in the AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor) occurred uniquely in humans, relative to other primates, that would attenuate the response to many environmental pollutants, including chemicals present in smoke from fire use during cooking. >>

Troy D. Hubbard, Iain A. Murray, et al. Divergent Ah receptor ligand selectivity during hominin evolution. Mol Biol Evol (2016) doi: 10.1093/molbev/msw143 First published online: August 2, 2016

sabato 6 agosto 2016

# s-bot: automatically cracked ... the first "Cyber Grand Challenge"

<<  Last night, at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, seven autonomous bots proved that hacking isn't just for humans. >>

Nathaniel  Wood. Hackers  Don’t  Have  to  Be  Human  Anymore. This  Bot  Battle  Proves  It .  WIRED. 05 Aug 2016  8:57  am

<< Starting  with  over  100  teams  consisting  of  some  of  the  top security  researchers  and  hackers  in  the  world,  the Defense  Advanced  Research  Projects  Agency  (DARPA)  pit seven  teams  against  each  other  in  the  Cyber  Grand Challenge  final  event,  held  August  4  in  Las  Vegas.  During the  competition,  each  team’s  Cyber  Reasoning  System (CRS)  automatically  identified  software  flaws,  and  scanned a  purpose-built,  air-gapped  network  to  identify  affected hosts.  For  nearly  twelve  hours  teams  were  scored  based on  how capably  their  systems  protected  hosts,  scanned  the network  for  vulnerabilities  and  maintained  the  correct function  of  software. >> 06  Aug  2016


venerdì 5 agosto 2016

# s-astro: lack of Cepheids in the inner Galaxy

<<  C’è un “buco” nela  Via  Lattea: una  enorme regione priva di stelle  giovani proprio  nel cuore della  Galassia.  Un  fatto  inatteso,  che  richiederà  un profondo ripensamento sull'idea  che  abbiamo  del modo con il quale la nostra isola di stelle  si è evoluta nel tempo. >>

Luigi Bignami. Via  Lattea:  non  ci sono  stelle  giovani  al centro  della  Galassia. 02  Agosto  2016.

AA << (..) suggests a lack of Cepheids in the inner 2.5 kpc (kiloparsec) region of the Galactic disc >>

Noriyuki Matsunaga, Michael W. Feast, et al. A lack of classical Cepheids in the inner part of the Galactic disc. MNRAS (October 11, 2016) 462 (1): 414-420. doi: 10.1093/mnras/stw1548 First published online June 27, 2016

lunedì 1 agosto 2016

# n-socsci: a mix and match model at dawn of agriculture

<< Genetic analyses reveal a collection of highly distinct groups in the Near East and Europe at the dawn of agriculture. These groups mixed and migrated to form the relatively homogeneous populations seen in the region today. >>

<< They now appear to have descended from four major groups: hunter-gatherers in what is now western Europe, hunter-gatherers in eastern Europe and the Russian steppe, the Iran farming group and the Levant farming group. >>

<< The findings (..) also suggest that agriculture spread in the Near East at least in part because existing groups invented or adopted farming technologies, rather than because one population replaced another. >>

Stephanie Dutchen. Meet  the  First  Farmers. Ancient  DNA reveals  complex genetic history  of  Near  East  at  dawn of  agriculture. July  25, 2016.

Iosif Lazaridis, Dani Nadel, et al. Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East. Nature (2016). doi:10.1038/nature19310. Published online 25 July 2016