Artificial Night-Lights Are Growing, Getting Brighter Environment Technology 

Artificial Night-Lights Are Growing, Getting Brighter

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore As soon as it gets dark, street lights, which have become widespread in the developed world—and are rapidly expanding in the developing world—are switched on. Indeed, since the second half of the twentieth century, Earth has become brighter at night. Now, new satellite-based research shows that our outdoor artificial night-lights are still spreading to more areas on Earth and have gotten brighter over the past few years. How night-lights impact the world Outdoor lighting is regarded as a necessity, especially in highly populated areas, but artificial…

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Science Policy Challenges, Part Four: Information Overload Science Policy Technology 

Science Policy Challenges, Part Four: Information Overload

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic This is the fourth in a series of four articles by Dr. Jonathan Trinastic in our new Science Policy section. In 2002, human civilization duplicated or recorded 23 exabytes of data (that’s 23 followed by 18 zeros, or 23 billion gigabytes). That may sound like a lot, but fast-forward to 2017, and we are manipulating this much data in just one week. The amount of information at our fingertips is staggering, whether it be about Stephen Curry’s clutch 3-point field goal percentage at home against winning…

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Flow Cytometry Going With the Flow Biology Technology 

Flow Cytometry: Going with the Flow

By Cathy Seiler @cyc55 Sara Bowen, PhD, is a biochemist with what can only be described as a giddy excitement for her job. She runs the flow cytometry facility at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona, and she positively lights up when talking about “flow” and her lasers. An analogy to understand flow cytometry is to think about a stream filled with lots of different fish: big fish and small fish, black fish and white fish. To better understand the characteristics of the fish in the stream,…

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power grid, science policy, energy Physics Science Policy Technology 

Science Policy Challenges, Part Two: A Strained Grid

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic This is the second in a series of four articles by Dr. Jonathan Trinastic in our new Science Policy section. Just over a year ago, over 230,000 Ukrainians lost connection to their country’s electricity grid after hackers took control of computers and shut down regional substations. The attack had been planned for months, likely by an experienced and well-funded team. Such an organized assault could soon be seen somewhere in the United States. “Everything about this attack was repeatable in the United States,” said Robert Lee,…

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Geometry of Consciousness: Multi-dimensional Math Trip Biology Engineering Technology 

Geometry of Consciousness: Multi-dimensional Math Trip

By Amanda Alvarez @neuroamanda What if you could visualize consciousness as a geometrical pattern that shifts and morphs over time? A group of scientists think they can build such a “consciousness meter” using complex mathematics, and they have just published their approach in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They think that consciousness can be boiled down to the sum of information processing steps happening in the brain, and that if this can be measured and captured mathematically, we can arrive at an objective way to assess consciousness…

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Scientists and Social Media Science Policy Technology 

Scientists and Social Media

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Dr. Bill Sullivan is a Showalter Professor of Pharmacology, Toxicology, Microbiology, and Immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. That’s an impressive job title, but it’s not his only one. Bill is also a blogger. Social media is an efficient way for research scientists to connect with the public at large. Scientists have tools at their disposal to reach out to millions of people, involve citizen scientists in projects, and collaborate with colleagues. Yet social media use is often stigmatized. Since Bill actively uses social…

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Artificial Intelligence System Wins at Poker Technology 

Artificial Intelligence System Wins at Poker

By Katherine Lindemann Poker isn’t like other games artificial intelligence has mastered, such as chess and go. In poker, each player has different information from the others and, thus, a different perspective on the game. This means poker more closely mirrors the kinds of decisions we make in real life but also presents a huge challenge for AI. Now, an AI system called DeepStack has succeeded in untangling this imperfect information, refining its own strategy to win against professional players at a rate nearly 10 times that of a human…

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Reusable Lab on a Chip Costs One Cent Health Technology 

Reusable Lab on a Chip Costs One Cent

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Scientists have developed a reusable lab on a chip (LOC) that can be printed using an inkjet printer at an unprecedented cost of one cent. This biochip has the potential to revolutionize health care in developing countries by allowing for the early diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and cancer. Using small samples, the LOC platform can be used to rapidly detect such diseases by isolating and characterizing rare cells and molecules. Poor access to early diagnostic equipment results in increased breast…

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GotScience Book Review Book Reviews Technology 

Book Review: When We Are No More

Title: When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future Author: Abby Smith Rumsey Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing On sale: March 2016 Best for: 16+ Reviewed by: Norman Rusin for GotScience.org, a Science Connected publication Reviewer’s rating: 3 out of 5 Introduction Imagine a world in which all the knowledge produced and amassed by humankind is finally digitized. One day a natural catastrophe destroys all the servers that are preserving that data. What will the future hold for humankind? Now, imagine a world where human life is no…

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Nanostructured Honeycomb Creates Electricity from Light Physics Technology 

Nanostructured Honeycomb Creates Electricity from Light

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic Zoom in to the nanometer scale—less than the width of a human hair—and you might think the new device designed by a team of scientists led by Lei Zhang is a honeycomb. Upon closer inspection, you would find that the hexagonal structure is made of gold and that a long string of organic molecules winds up and down through each hexagonal space. And one more thing: this device, so perfectly structured in the world of atoms and molecules, can create electricity from light. These researchers from…

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