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AI may be to blame for our failure to make contact with alien civilizations
Artificial intelligence (AI) has progressed at an astounding pace over the last few years. Some scientists are now looking towards the development of artificial superintelligence (ASI)—a form of AI that would not only surpass human intelligence but would not be bound by the learning speeds of humans. ⌘ Read more

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Fresh rains pound Brazil’s flood-hit south as evacuations double
The skies opened once again Friday in southern Brazil, offering little respite for those whose homes have been swallowed by floodwaters, while the number of people forced to evacuate doubled in 24 hours. ⌘ Read more

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Q&A: Researcher exposes child labor trafficking as a hidden crime after investigating 132 victims
Children trafficked for their labor often work in public view in restaurants, laundromats, agricultural fields and water parks, but little has been known about their plight. ⌘ Read more

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Elephants use gestures and vocal cues when greeting each other, study reports
A team of animal behaviorists from the University of Vienna, the University of Portsmouth, Elephant CREW, Jafuta Reserve and the University of St Andrews has found that elephants use gestures and vocal cues when they greet one another. ⌘ Read more

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Designer peptoids mimic nature’s helices
Nature is filled with extraordinarily precise molecular shapes that fit together like a hand in glove. Proteins, for example, can assemble into a wide variety of well-defined shapes that grant them their function. ⌘ Read more

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Team compares robot-assisted language learning systems and human tutors in English conversation lessons
Advancements in large language models, robotics, and software such as text-to-speech, have made it possible to develop robots that can understand language, interact physically, and communicate verbally. These breakthroughs have opened up possibilities for robots to be used for educational purposes. However, this raises the question of whether robots are as good as human tutors. While robots offer … ⌘ Read more

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Why some receiving federal benefits don’t consider themselves poor, although poverty rates have increased
For the past 25 years, my research as a cultural anthropologist has taken me into the homes and neighborhoods of people living in poverty in cities and rural communities throughout the U.S. ⌘ Read more

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Research investigates the environment of globular cluster NGC 6355
Using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), Argentinian astronomers have investigated the environment of a galactic globular cluster known as NGC 6355. The study, presented in a paper published May 2 on the pre-print server arXiv, found that the cluster has several extra-tidal features. ⌘ Read more

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Team develops an epigenome editing toolkit to dissect the mechanisms of gene regulation
Understanding how genes are regulated at the molecular level is a central challenge in modern biology. This complex mechanism is mainly driven by the interaction between proteins called transcription factors, DNA regulatory regions, and epigenetic modifications—chemical alterations that change chromatin structure. The set of epigenetic modifications of a cell’s genome is referred to as the epigenome. ⌘ Read more

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Bleaching of coral reefs shows severe ocean circulation changes
A new paper in Oxford Open Climate Change indicates that extensive bleaching and deaths are widespread at several major coral reefs around the world. This suggests that climate change has resulted in shifting patterns in ocean circulation. Coral reefs may soon be a thing of the past. ⌘ Read more

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Global warming may boost mosquito habitats, study finds
A research team at Los Alamos National Laboratory is using computer models to simulate how climate change could expand the geographical range in which mosquitoes live, which may cause an increase in mosquito-borne illness. The study was recently published in the Journal of Climate Change and Health. ⌘ Read more

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Researchers target spermidine production to combat emerging drug resistance in Salmonella
Food-borne diseases like typhoid, caused by Salmonella Typhimurium, are a severe threat to public health, especially in India. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics has allowed this bacterium to become resistant, posing a major hurdle in treating infections. ⌘ Read more

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NASA and JAXA XRISM spot iron fingerprints in nearby active galaxy
After starting science operations in February, Japan-led XRISM (X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission) studied the monster black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 4151. ⌘ Read more

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Using AI to predict grade point average from college application essays
Jonah Berger and Olivier Toubia used natural language processing to understand what drives academic success. The authors analyzed over 20,000 college application essays from a large public university that attracts students from a range of racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and found that the semantic volume of the writing, or how much ground an application essay covered predicted college performance, as measured by gr … ⌘ Read more

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Few tenure-track jobs for engineering Ph.D.s, study finds
A study finds that most engineering Ph.D. graduates will never secure a tenure-track faculty position. Over the past 50 years, the number of full-time faculty positions in US universities has steadily declined while production of science and engineering Ph.D. graduates has nearly doubled. ⌘ Read more

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World extends run of heat records for an 11th month in a row
April was the Earth’s 11th consecutive month of record-breaking heat, with warmer weather already sweeping across Asia and a hotter-than-usual summer expected in Europe. ⌘ Read more

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Bird flu is bad for poultry and dairy cows: It’s not a dire threat for most of us—yet
Headlines are flying after the Department of Agriculture confirmed that the H5N1 bird flu virus has infected dairy cows around the country. Tests have detected the virus among cattle in nine states, mainly in Texas and New Mexico, and most recently in Colorado, said Nirav Shah, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a May 1 event held by the Council on Foreign Relations. ⌘ Read more

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Boeing’s first astronaut launch is off until late next week to replace a bad rocket valve
Boeing’s first astronaut launch is off until late next week because of a bad valve in the rocket that needs to be replaced. ⌘ Read more

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Study exposes alarming risks to Scotland’s food delivery couriers
A new study highlighting the risks encountered by food delivery couriers reveals a majority feel ‘unsafe’ when at work with every woman surveyed having experienced sexual harassment or abuse. ⌘ Read more

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New patent for bio-based polymer to be used in piezoelectric devices
UD engineers are the lead inventors on a new patent for making piezoelectric devices, such as sensors and actuators, using Nodax, a biodegradable, bio-based polymer. ⌘ Read more

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The quantum theory of gravitation, effective field theories and strings: Past and present
Gravity is one of four fundamental interactions. The most precise description of this force is still provided by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, published in 1915, an entirely classical theory. This description sets gravity apart from the other three forces—strong, weak, and electromagnetism—all described by quantum fields. Therefore, any attempt to unify the four forces must depend on a descr … ⌘ Read more

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Researchers establish commercially viable process for manufacturing with promising new class of metals
Nanostructured high entropy alloys—metals made from a chaotic mix of several different elements—show a lot of promise for use in industries such as aerospace and automotive because of their strength and stability at high temperatures compared with regular metals. ⌘ Read more

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In Brazil, 76% of deforestation in three Amazonian states occurred in a planned agricultural development zone
The Brazilian government is discussing the creation of an “agricultural development zone” at the confluence of three states in the Amazon region—Amazonas, Acre, and Rondônia (hence the proposed acronym AMACRO). ⌘ Read more

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White House environmental official tours PFAS-site in Minnesota
A member of President Joe Biden’s administration stopped in the city of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, on May 6 to talk PFAS with local officials, visiting an area that’s been at the forefront of contamination just three weeks after the Biden administration released the first-ever drinking water standards for the so-called “forever” chemical. ⌘ Read more

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Researchers explain how following the dietary guidelines is smart—for you and the climate
For the first time, Norwegian researchers have calculated what effect the average Norwegian diet has on the climate and environment and have studied the potential benefits for the climate and environment if we start following a diet in line with existing dietary guidelines. ⌘ Read more

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