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The human body is complex; it’s got 206 bones, more than 600 muscles, and learning to control it all takes years of practice.

And so when scientists decided to train a neural network to control a simulated futuristic human body, they simplified the body a bit. Researchers figured they didn’t need all 600+ muscles, so they narrowed it down to 346 that contribute to how our joints move.

After building out the simplified digital human body, researchers started training it, teaching an algorithm to control the skeleton through various tasks ranging from walking to cartwheeling. And the AI learned fast, quickly understanding how to coordinate the muscles.

Once the artificial intelligence had the movements down, researchers started to change the parameters to see how it would respond: making the weights a little heavier, having it jump a little higher, and pelting it with simulated balls that the digital human shook off until finally toppling over.

Researchers tweaked muscles to simulate ailments and simulated surgeries to see how the AI would react.

Whatever the researchers threw at it, the AI adapted.

Learn more about why and how this work could shape the future of physical therapy, surgery, robotics, and overall, the future of mankind in this episode of Elements.

#Robotics #ArtificialIntelligence #HumanBody #Therapy #Seeker #Science #Elements

What Happens When Bone Regeneration Goes Wrong - https://youtu.be/lApqklFkv9c

Read More:
Scalable Muscle-Actuated Human Simulation and Control
http://mrl.snu.ac.kr/research/ProjectScalable/Paper.pdf
"This work aims to build a comprehensive musculoskeletal model
and its control system that reproduces realistic human movements
driven by muscle contraction dynamics."

What is the strongest muscle in the human body?
https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/muscles.html
"Most sources state that there are over 650 named skeletal muscles in the human body, although some figures go up to as many as 840. The dissension comes from those that count the muscles within a complex muscle."

Scalable Muscle-actuated Human Simulation and Control
http://mrl.snu.ac.kr/research/ProjectScalable/Page.htm
"The key technical contribution is a scalable, two-level imitation learning algorithm that can deal with a comprehensive full-body musculoskeletal model with 346 muscles. We demonstrate the predictive simulation of dynamic motor skills under anatomical conditions including bone deformity, muscle weakness, contracture, and the use of a prosthesis."

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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Scientists recently captured the smallest MRI ever while scanning an individual atom. The technique successfully reached a breakthrough level of resolution in the world of microscopy, the detailed MRI can reveal single atoms as well as different types of atoms based on their magnetic interactions.

This breakthrough has potential applications in all kinds of fields, like quantum computing where it could be used to design atomic-scale methods of storing info or when it comes to drug development, the ability to control individual atoms could potentially be used to study how proteins fold and then lead to the development of drugs for diseases like Alzheimers.

In a sense, the researchers combined a version of an MRI machine with a special instrument called a scanning tunneling microscope, which turned out to be a match made in microscopy heaven.

An MRI scanner creates an extremely strong magnetic field around whatever it’s trying to image, temporarily re-aligning the protons in your body with that magnetic field. Then the MRI machine pulses the sample (or patient) with a radiofrequency, which pulls the protons slightly out of alignment with the magnetic field. And after the brief radiofrequency pulse is over, the protons snap back into alignment with the field, and the energy that’s released as the protons move back into place with the magnetic field is what is detected and visualized by the machine.

And a scanning tunneling microscope is used for imaging really tiny surfaces, and it can pick up certain properties like size and molecular structure.

So, take the classic MRI, add a scanning tunneling microscope and you’ve got yourself the world’s smallest MRI machine.

Scientists used the magnetized microscope to scan a metal wafer of iron and titanium, and while a magnetic field was applied to the wafer, a radiofrequency pulse was activated and deactivated making the electrons emit energy that could be visualized.

So what does this kind of breakthrough really mean, how is it a step up from previous attempts to capture images of tiny things, and what does it look like? Find out more on this episode of Elements.

#MRI #Atoms #Breakthrough #Seeker #Elements #Science

Why Elon Musk Wants to Implant an Electrical Wire in Your Brain - https://youtu.be/VIWaIJllptc

Read More:
Scientists perform world's smallest MRI on single atoms
https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2019/07/01/Scientists-perform-worlds-smallest-MRI-on-single-atoms/5911562010117/
"Scientists attached another spin cluster to the microscope's tip and passed it over the atomic sample. Like magnets, the spins of the atoms and clusters attracted and repelled each other as the cluster passed from one side to the other. By imaging the magnetic interaction, scientists were able to create an MRI of the individual atoms."

Scientists Took an M.R.I. Scan of an Atom
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/science/microscope-atom-magnetic-mri.html
"The tip of a scanning tunneling microscope is just a few atoms wide. And it moves along the surface of a sample, it picks up details about the size and conformation of molecules."

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
https://www.nibib.nih.gov/science-education/science-topics/magnetic-resonance-imaging-mri
"MRIs employ powerful magnets which produce a strong magnetic field that forces protons in the body to align with that field. When a radiofrequency current is then pulsed through the patient, the protons are stimulated, and spin out of equilibrium, straining against the pull of the magnetic field. "

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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Simply put, typhoid is a bacterial infection that comes largely from contaminated food, water, or sewage.

Typhoid fever is caused by a salmonella bacteria, but not the salmonella that is transmitted via infected animals and consumes usually on raw meat or eggs. Typhoid is different in that it only infects humans, but it’s also pretty good at surviving outside of its human host until it gets picked up again, like by someone drinking contaminated water.

When you consume salmonella, if you’re a healthy person with a lot of gastric acid, your stomach acid will kill those salmonella preventing you from getting sick, but children, and some adults, who don't produce a lot of stomach acid have a higher susceptibility of getting a typhoid infection.

If the typhoid bacteria aren’t killed by stomach acid like they should, they travel to the terminal part of the small intestine and enter the cells lining the intestines. This provokes a massive immune response.

The typhoid bacteria get into lymphoid tissue underlying the enterocytes, called Peyer’s patches, and then into the bloodstream and the typhoid bacteria spread widely to many organs of the body, especially the liver, spleen, and bone marrow.
 
The bacteria spreads ferociously to other organs like the brain, heart, and pancreas and inflammation in these areas can cause pancreatitis, meningitis, and a whole host of other problems.

These are the most serious complications of typhoid and they happen after already being sick for 2-3 weeks. Leading up to this, the patient feels extreme fatigue set in and a fever that can gradually increase to dangerously high levels.

Other typhoid fever symptoms include headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and a rash.

Learn more about typhoid bacteria, how it spreads, and how to treat it on this episode of SICK.

#Typhoid #Bacteria #SICK #Seeker #Science #Health
________
SICK is a new series that looks at how diseases actually work inside our body. We'll be visiting medical centers and talking to top researchers and doctors to uncover the mysteries of viruses, bacteria, fungi and our own immune system. Come back every Tuesday for a new episode and let us know in the comments which diseases you think we should cover next.
____________________

Read More:
They Swallowed Live Typhoid Bacteria - On Purpose
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/health/typhoid-vaccine-trial.html

Typhoid Fever: Pathogenesis and Immunologic Control
https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM197009242831306

Mary Mallon (1869-1938) and the history of typhoid fever
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959940/
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A team of scientists managed to use a laser pulse to create a crystal with giant repeating structures that are much larger than those in ordinary crystals, what’s known as a “supercrystal.”

But lasers have actually been used to transform materials into more ordered states of matter for decades, what made this instance particularly special was that this supercrystal could stay in that state for at least a year (potentially even longer had the study lasted longer).

This is one of the first examples of a material that achieved long-term stability after being rearranged using such a short laser pulse, and the key? A lot of frustration.

When blasted by photons from a laser, the electrons in matter get excited, before minimizing their energy again and quickly returning to their normal state. In that heightened phase, or on the way back down, the material might have properties the scientists are looking for, but scientists have to act fast to spot them because the properties might not stick around for long.

Scientists started with a crystal substrate they would use to grow single atomic layers of their material made of lead titanate and strontium titanate.

The scientists were looking for hidden states of matter by taking it out of its comfortable state, also known as its ground state. With the added energy from a sub-picosecond pulse of light the material arranged itself into repeating unit cells with a volume a million times greater than the lead titanate or strontium titanate it was based on.

It wasn’t just a crystal anymore. It was a supercrystal.

Learn more about the supercrystal and what it could mean for future research and the understanding of materials on this episode of Elements.

#Lasers #Supercrystal #StateOfMatter #Seeker #Elements #Science

This New State of Matter Is a Liquid and a Solid at the Same Time!
https://youtu.be/Quuc9_qDMWs

Read More:

Supercrystal: A hidden phase of matter created by a burst of light
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190318121052.htm
"Frustration" plus a pulse of laser light resulted in a stable 'supercrystal' created by a team of researchers led by Penn State and Argonne National Laboratory, together with University of California, Berkeley, and two other national laboratories.."

Supercrystal. Creating a new state of matter
https://medium.com/predict/supercrystal-creating-a-new-state-of-matter-a24589e6b9b9
"Finding these states is done by a pump-probe technique when a laser fires a photon of blue light at the sample for 100 femtoseconds. The pump light excites the electrons into a higher energy state and is quickly followed by a probe light, which is a gentler pulse of light that reads the state of the material."

Physicists Captured a Hidden 'Supercrystal' State of Matter With a Laser Burst
https://www.sciencealert.com/with-a-burst-of-light-physicists-have-brought-a-supercrystal-into-being
"You can't make supercrystals out of any old matter. The team used alternating layers of single-atom thick lead titanate and strontium titanate, stacked into a three-dimensional structure. They grew these layers on a base (substrate) of dysprosium scandium oxide, whose crystals are in between the size of crystals formed by the two other materials."

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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Supermassive black holes are…huge. The Milky Way’s own supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, is approximately 4 million times the mass of our sun. And the black holes scientists just discovered are way, way larger.

It’s the first time such massive black holes have been spotted this close together (approximately 1,400 light years apart), and it could help scientists detect a hum of gravitational background noise.

As the two supermassive black holes draw closer together in a death spiral, the black holes will begin sending gravitational waves rippling through spacetime. Those cosmic ripples will join the as-yet-undetected background noise of gravitational waves from other supermassive black holes.

This historical collision will produce some waves more than 1 million times louder than those detected by LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory).

Detecting the gravitational wave background will help resolve some of the biggest unknowns in astronomy, such as how often galaxies merge and whether supermassive black hole pairs merge at all or become stuck in a near-endless waltz around one another.

Learn more about this potentially monumental moment on this episode of Elements.

#BlackHoles #Galaxy #Space #Seeker #Elements #Science

We FINALLY Know What a Black Hole Looks Like
https://youtu.be/szRLfEuOctw

Read More:

Princeton scientists spot two supermassive black holes on collision course with each other
https://www.princeton.edu/news/2019/07/10/princeton-scientists-spot-two-supermassive-black-holes-collision-course-each-other
"Astronomers have discovered a distant pair of titanic black holes on a collision course. Each black hole’s mass is more than 800 million times that of our sun. As the two gradually draw closer together in a death spiral, they will begin sending gravitational waves rippling through space-time."

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction
https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211
"Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed."

Supermassive Black Hole Discovery Could Help Answer The Final Parsec Problem
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridaineparnell/2019/07/11/supermassive-black-hole-discovery-could-help-answer-the-final-parsec-problem/ #7570c3b77d3e
"Once supermassive black holes get close enough to each other, they stop swapping gas and stars and stealing each other’s energy and everything slows right down. The final parsec problem theory suggests that all black hole binaries will stall out at around a parsec apart (3.2 light years) and time will stretch out into as-good-as-infinity."

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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Seeker near-endless waltz around one another.

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Until recently, only seven volcanoes out of 1,500 active volcanoes worldwide were known to have lakes of bubbling lava, but in July 2019 scientists discovered an eighth. The most recent lava lake discovery is in a volcanic mountain called Mount Michael, and it’s located on one of the South Sandwich Islands roughly 1,000 miles from Antarctica.

The lake of lava in the Mount Michael volcano was discovered as a result of decades of satellite imagery, as no one has ever summited the volcanic mountain on account of the incredibly steep sides.

In the ‘90s and early 2000s, thermal anomalies were spotted on Mount Michael but the image quality was not advanced enough to make a certain conclusion. But from 2003 to 2018, various missions collected new, better data that allowed researchers to conclude the volcano was home to a lake of lava approximately 70 to 150 meters across, and potentially as hot as nearly 1,300 degrees celsius.

While Mount Michael is fairly remote, and doesn’t pose a threat to anyone, new lava lake discoveries offer the opportunity for further study and clues on how to avoid volcanic disasters in the future.

On this episode of Elements, learn more about the eighth known lava lake in the world, how the mountain’s lava lakes were discovered, and how Mount Michael’s discovery can help us respond to and predict potential volcanic disasters in the future.

#Volcano #LavaLakes #Discovery #Seeker #Elements #Science

The Mystifying Structures Hidden Within Earth’s Mantle
https://youtu.be/ghq104tF3ZY

Read More:
Rare Lava Lake Found on Top of Sub-Antarctic Volcano
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rare-lava-lake-found-top-sub-antarctic-volcano-180972576/
"The new lava lake is found on the summit of Mount Michael on Saunders Island, which is part of the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands."

Evidence for a lava lake on Mt. Michael volcano, Saunders Island (South Sandwich Islands) from Landsat, Sentinel-2 and ASTER satellite imagery
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377027318305742?via %3Dihub
"Mt. Michael is an active stratovolcano on Saunders Island in the South Sandwich Islands; a remote, oceanic island arc in the southern Atlantic Ocean, bordering the Southern Ocean."

The Most Dangerous Volcano in the World: A tale of Nyiragongo
http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/most-dangerous-volcano-world-tale-nyiragongo
"On the 10th of January, 1977, the crater wall holding the lava lake ruptured. (The exact reason this happened has not yet been well understood, and this is why Nyiragongo still needs to be studied, to predict if this can happen again.) Within 30 mins, the entire lava lake had drained, sending an estimated 3 to 5 million cubic meters of lava to the north, west, and south of Nyiragongo."

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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*Correction: While no evidence of new elements has been found in asteroids, they can indeed contain minerals that are impossible to form on Earth. We apologize for this error.

Asteroids could become the intergalactic pit stops for exploring the universe. They have the potential to become cosmic gas stations, and even the building blocks for habitats on Mars.

Asteroids can be huge, and they're almost everywhere in space. Asteroid mining could yield materials like platinum, iron, nickel, and cobalt; rare minerals; water; and even minerals that are impossible to form on Earth.

And while there are numerous kinds of valuable minerals on asteroids, the first and most important thing we need to do is learn how to extract water. Water is found in Carbonaceous asteroids, also known as C-type asteroids.

A water source in our planetary neighborhood could be a source of hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel and life support systems; a tool to shield us from radiation; and even a supply of drinking water for astronauts. The problem is that C-type asteroids are a bit tricky to find: the asteroids are incredibly dark. The good news is, all the sunlight they don't reflect gets absorbed, warms the asteroids up, and they glow in the infrared.

That's why NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing the Near-Earth Object Camera, or NEOCam, which, in addition to identifying potentially hazardous Near-Earth Objects, will be able to comb the infrared for evidence of C-type asteroids. 

But what do we have to do to actually achieve asteroid mining? Find out more in this episode of How Close Are We?

Read More:
Cosmic Detective Work: Why We Care About Space Rocks
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/cosmic-detective-work-why-we-care-about-space-rocks
"From distant, icy comets to the asteroid that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, each space rock contains clues to epic events that shaped the solar system as we know it today -- including life on Earth."

Asteroid mining might actually be better for the environment
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612311/asteroid-mining-might-actually-be-better-for-the-environment/
"The first study of its environmental impact suggests that extracting resources such as platinum from asteroids might be cleaner than doing so on Earth."

Asteroid-Mining Plan Would Bake Water Out of Bagged-Up Space Rocks
https://www.space.com/30582-asteroid-mining-water-propulsion.html
"This water, in turn, could provide relatively cheap and accessible propellant for voyaging spacecraft, lowering the cost of spaceflight significantly."

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Your skeleton has the difficult task of being strong and hard enough to hold your whole body up, but bendy and shock-absorbing enough not to shatter upon minor impact.

On this episode of SICK, we sit down with Dr. Suneela Vegunta, a women’s health provider with Mayo Clinic, to discuss what happens when the formation of healthy bones is interrupted.

Healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. The bones are a matrix of flexible collagen protein with harder minerals, calcium and phosphate, laid down on top—so it naturally has little gaps in it. But if something interrupts the formation of healthy bone, the gaps get bigger, like in osteoporosis, which literally means ‘porous bone.’

Bones are a living, dynamic tissue, constantly regenerating themselves to stay healthy. This is called bone remodeling, and occurs throughout our entire lives—in fact, approximately every ten years, your entire skeleton has been replaced with new, healthy bone...thanks to specialized cells.

A few essential ingredients are necessary to keep this bone-forming process in balance, mainly calcium. Your whole body relies on calcium in some form or another, so when you are not consuming enough calcium, your body will cannibalize the calcium it needs and it will take it from your bones.

All kinds of things can impair your body’s ability to absorb calcium: too much protein, salt, acid, and/or caffeine in your diet can all block the absorption of calcium for use in building healthy bones. So can habits that are bad for your body in many ways, like smoking. So healthy bones start with a healthy lifestyle that builds up our bone density as much as we can.

Here’s the thing: Osteoporosis has no symptoms. So you won’t know that you have osteoporosis until your bone fractures when it shouldn’t, a.k.a. a fragility fracture.

Learn more about osteoporosis and how to keep your bones healthy on this episode of SICK.
#Health #Bones #Osteoporosis #Seeker #Sick #Science
____________________
SICK is a new series that looks at how diseases actually work inside our body. We'll be visiting medical centers and talking to top researchers and doctors to uncover the mysteries of viruses, bacteria, fungi and our own immune system. Come back every Tuesday for a new episode and let us know in the comments which diseases you think we should cover next.
____________________

Read More:
Calcium intake and bone mineral density
https://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4183.full.pdf +html

Exercise interventions: defusing the world's osteoporosis time bomb
https://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?pid=S0042-96862003001100010& ;amp;script=sci_abstract

The Basics of Bone in Health and Disease
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45504/
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NASA’s next solar system exploration mission will send a drone-like rotorcraft, called the Dragonfly drone, to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

The Dragonfly team won NASA’s New Frontiers competition, the same program that the New Horizons spacecraft participated in. NASA considers this competition a representation of the critical step in the advancement of solar system and space exploration.

The Dragonfly mission is led by a team out of John Hopkins University, but it was an international collaboration to get the unique duel quadcopter design.The spacecraft is expected to touch down in 2034 in the moon’s dune fields and then fly to dozens of different locations.

Once on the ground, the Dragonfly drone will use various instruments to identify the terrain’s chemical composition, listen for Titanquakes, monitor atmospheric conditions, and more.

Dragonfly’s ultimate destination is the Selk impact crater, where there’s evidence of past liquid water and complex organic molecules.

The nuclear drone is expected to launch in 2026. Learn more about the Dragonfly nuclear drone, the Dragonfly mission, and what scientists hope to find on Saturn’s moon, Titan, in this episode of Countdown To Launch.

NASA’s Crazy Plan to Send a Space Submarine to Titan
https://youtu.be/UYusz-MIJ4c

Read More:
NASA drone will soar over Saturn's largest moon
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02027-3
"The nuclear-powered Dragonfly can fly tens of kilometres in less than an hour, allowing it to cover ground much faster than a wheeled rover could. Over the course of a two-year mission, the drone could traverse hundreds of kilometres."

Titan
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/moons/saturn-moons/titan/overview/
"Titan has clouds, rain, rivers, lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons like methane and ethane. The largest seas are hundreds of feet deep and hundreds of miles wide. Beneath Titan’s thick crust of water ice is more liquid—an ocean primarily of water rather than methane."

Huygens
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/huygens/in-depth/
"ESA's Huygen's probe was designed to study the smog-like atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon Titan as it parachuted to the surface. It also carried cameras to photograph the moon's surface. Huygen's traveled to Saturn aboard NASA's Cassini orbiter."

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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Glaciologists from across the globe are working on a multi-year project, a.k.a. Ice Memory Project, collecting ice cores from glaciers to create a global archive of glacier ice in Antarctica before it melts.

The Ice Memory Project’s goal is to preserve the information that has been locked away deep inside a glacier, developing over centuries of snowfall before the glaciers melt, so generations to come can better understand climate change and the climate crisis Earth is facing.

When places like Greenland can lose a record-breaking 12.5 billion tons of ice in one day, preserving this extensive record of ice cores is pivotal in building models that could help scientists predict how our climate could shift and change in the future.

The scientists embarking on these expeditions often go to remote areas and have to face anything from polar bears to a lot of harsh, unpredictable weather conditions.

The project team has already embarked on numerous field missions over the last few years, trekking across continents and trying to collect as many ice cores as possible.

Learn more about how scientists and the Ice Memory Project are uncovering the information embedded in the glaciers, interpreting it, and working to preserve it for future generations on this episode of Focal Point.

#Glaciers #IceMelt #Antarctica #ClimateChange #FocalPoint #Seeker #Science

Read More:
Greenland Lost 12.5 Billion Tons of Ice in a Single Day
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/greenland-lost-record-breaking-125-billion-tons-ice-single-day-180972808/
“The momentous single-day melt followed another record-breaking episode recorded the day before. According to the Polar Portal, a monitoring website run by Danish polar research institutions in conjunction with the NSIDC, the ice sheet shed more than 10 billion tons of ice from 60 percent of its surface on Wednesday, July 31.”

The Ancient Memories Trapped in the World’s Glaciers
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190417-preserving-ice-from-glaciers-being-melted-by-climate-change
“The tongues of ice on the world’s highest mountains are melting away, but we might be able to save the precious archive of information trapped within them before global warming causes it to disappear forever.”

NASA: An introduction to ice cores
https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2616/core-questions-an-introduction-to-ice-cores/
“When archaeologists want to learn about the history of an ancient civilization, they dig deeply into the soil, searching for tools and artifacts to complete the story. Scientists who study Earth’s past climates, called paleoclimatologists, take a similar approach. However, instead of digging into the soil, they look for clues about our planet’s climate history by studying coral reefs, digging into ocean and lake floor sediment and drilling deeply into glaciers and ice sheets.”
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Elon Musk’s Neuralink presentation in July 2019 discussed what the company has been up to. Neuralink is developing a brain-machine interface, or BMI, that would be implanted into patients who are paralyzed to help them control their electronics and use robotic limbs. Musk and Neuralink even envision a future where people who are able-bodied also have BMIs that will allow them to communicate with artificial intelligence more efficiently.

But BMIs are nothing new, they’ve been around for more than a decade. In the past, BMIs have used an array of stiff needles with electrodes to detect neural activity, but Neuralink’s brain implant is a bit different.

Neuralink’s implants would use flexible threads—thin, cellophane-like filaments containing electrodes—which would measure between 4 to 6 micrometers in width and would allow a higher volume of data to be transferred. Neuralink’s implants will be more difficult to insert but could be less invasive and damaging.

But Neuralink’s goals don’t stop at these implants, Musk and the company also hope to replace the physical drill that is needed to pierce the skull to access the brain, with lasers.

Is Musk’s goal to make the human relationship with AI a symbiotic one possible? Or is he looking at such a big picture he’s painting off-canvas?

Learn more about what Neuralink and Musk have been up to on this episode of Elements.

#ElonMusk #Neuralink #AI #Seeker #Elements #Science

How Close Are We to Controlling Machines With Our Minds?
https://youtu.be/O0IjaXuTUz0

Read More:

What’s new and what isn’t about Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613974/neuralink-whats-new-and-what-isnt-elon-musks-brain-computer-interface/
"Musk and company showed off a miniature, dedicated computer chip whose job it is to turn the electrical noise from neurons into crisp digital signals."

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Wants ‘Sewing Machine-Like’ Robots to Wire Brains to the Internet
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/technology/neuralink-elon-musk.html?login=email& ;amp;auth=login-email
"One of Neuralink’s distinguishing techniques is that it places flexible threads of electrodes in proximity to neurons, the tiny cells that are the basic building blocks of the brain."

Paralyzed man sips beer using robot arm he controls with his mind
https://www.theverge.com/2015/5/21/8639905/brain-control-robot-arm-paralyzed-quadriplegic
"Instead, his group targeted a different area in the brain, one he'd studied in animals, called the posterior parietal cortex. While the primary motor cortex focuses on specific muscle movements, the posterior parietal cortex is about planning movements."

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Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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The North and South poles are often thought of as the centers of magnetic North and magnetic South, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The magnetic North and South are really mobile and magnetic North, in particular, is moving faster than we originally thought it could.

The prevailing theory about why our planet has a magnetic field, or magnetosphere, in the first place is called dynamo theory. Dynamo theory says the reason behind Earth’s magnetosphere is because of what lies underneath the crust.

It’s the idea that the molten metals of Earth’s outer core, like iron, are being swirled all around the Earth’s interior, around the solid inner core, continuously creating electric currents as charged particles move through this liquid metal, and—in combination with the rotation of the Earth—becomes what’s called a dynamo: the source of a magnetic field.

So because the liquid that creates the magnetosphere is always shifting, so are the magnetic poles.

The science community is coming up with creative and experimental ways to to figure out the reasoning behind the magnetic poles shifting so quickly, and to further probe the Earth’s magnetic behavior.

Earth’s magnetic field has flipped entirely in the past, we are long overdue for some magnetic migration, and it is happening at a rapid pace. So what does a shifting magnetic field actually mean for us? Learn more on this episode of Elements.

#Magnetic #Earth #DynamoTheory #Seeker #Elements #Science

Read More:
Magnetic North, Geomagnetic and Magnetic Poles
http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/poles/polesexp.html
“These poles are drifting according to slow and smooth change in the geomagnetic field called "the geomagnetic secular variation."

Are the Earth's magnetic poles moving? How do navigators adjust to this change?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-the-earths-magnetic-p/
"The magnetic poles are quite distant from their geographic counterparts. The North magnetic pole is located to the south in Northern Canada; the geographic South pole is at the center of the Antarctic continent, but the magnetic pole is hundreds of miles away, near the coast. In regions near the magnetic poles, compasses are virtually useless."

The north pole is moving and if it flips, life on Earth is in trouble
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24232360-700-the-north-pole-is-moving-and-if-it-flips-life-on-earth-is-in-trouble/
"When a magnetic rock formation such as feldspar gets hot and then cools again, crystals within it align themselves with the prevailing field of the time. “Certain crystals have magnetic inclusions within them and they are excellent recorders of the magnetic field."

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Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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When it comes to some diseases, like pneumonia, the way the body defends itself can have unintended consequences.

The symptoms of pneumonia, like shortness of breath, fever, a cough, fatigue, and more, can vary greatly in severity.The effects of walking pneumonia or atypical pneumonia can be so mild, someone might not even know they have it. In other cases, the infection can lead to death.

Pneumonia doesn’t just refer to a single virus or bacteria. The causes of pneumonia can include a number of different bacteria, viruses, or even fungi, the most common being the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae. So when we’re talking about pneumonia, we’re really referring to something that is happening to our lungs.

Children under five, adults older than 65, and anyone with a compromised immune system are the most at risk. And when it comes to life or death as a result of pneumonia, access to health care or lack thereof is key.

Learn more about the disease nicknamed the “captain of the men of death” on this episode of SICK.
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SICK is a new series that looks at how diseases actually work inside our body. We'll be visiting medical centers and talking to top researchers and doctors to uncover the mysteries of viruses, bacteria, fungi and our own immune system. Come back every Tuesday for a new episode and let us know in the comments which diseases you think we should cover next.
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Read More:
The ‘captain of the men of death’, Streptococcus pneumoniae, fights oxidative stress outside the ‘city wall’
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3914527/

Integrative Physiology of Pneumonia
https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00032.2017

Evolution of the immune system in humans from infancy to old age
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707740/
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Supermassive black holes with up to 10 billion times the mass of our sun are thought to be at the center of most large galaxies.

As the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole sucks in material, it can create a ring of superheated matter brighter than a galaxy itself called a quasar. Because a quasar is so bright and can be seen from so far away, quasars looks almost like stars, hence the name, which comes from “quasi-stellar radio source.”

Astronomers long thought that a quasar was the signal of a galaxy’s demise, the sign of a passive dead galaxy where no more stars will form.That’s because the magnetic field surrounding the gas can get twisted up, steering gas away from the black hole and launching it into space, shutting off the gas supply the galaxy needs to form new stars.

Quasars only last as long as their fuel source allows, and after they run out of gas a faint galaxy is all that’s left behind.

But is it possible, somewhere in that span, the galaxy gets one last hurrah? The recent discovery of cold quasars has changed how we think galaxies end their life cycles.

Find out more with Julian on this episode of Elements.

We Just Discovered How the Milky Way’s Twin Was Destroyed
https://youtu.be/hNEWm6lWho0

Read More:
'Cold Quasars' May Be at the End of Their Lives, But They Can Still Birth Stars
https://www.space.com/cold-quasars-galaxies-still-forming-stars.html
"Combining all those data sources, the scientists' investigation revealed that about 10% of galaxies with accreting supermassive black holes still held onto a supply of cold gas and made new stars."

Quasar
https://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/Q/Quasar
"They are thought to be powered by supermassive black holes (black holes with a mass of more than one billion solar masses) which lie at the center of massive galaxies."

Astrophysicist announces her discovery that could rewrite story of how galaxies die
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/uok-aah061019.php
"The KU astrophysicist suspected the "cold quasars" in her survey represented a brief period yet to be recognized in the end-phases of a galaxy's lifespan -- in terms of a human life, the fleeting "cold quasar" phase may something akin to a galaxy's retirement party."

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Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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» Check out Daniel Kennefick's book, "No Shadow of a Doubt: The 1919 Eclipse That Confirmed Einstein's Theory of Relativity" https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Doubt-Confirmed-Einsteins-Relativity-ebook/dp/B07K63DV5M

Eclipses are grand celestial events, a chance to witness the mechanics of our solar system in action. An eclipse gives scientists a unique opportunity to study light as it passes near the Sun. Eclipses also play an important role in the timeline of scientific discovery.

Over one hundred years ago, during the same time as World War I, Albert Einstein, relatively unknown at the time, introduced a new theory that would completely shift our understanding of space, time, and motion.

Einstein’s theory of relativity predicted that the Sun’s gravitational field would bend the starlight’s path, making the stars appear slightly out of place in a photo, by 1.75 arc seconds to be exact.

If Isaac Newton and his law of universal gravitation was correct, it’d only be by half as much.

Learn more about the space quest and solar eclipse that proved Einstein’s theory of relativity, changed physics forever, and made Einstein famous in this episode of Focal Point.

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