Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that […]
Trees dying… Don’t care…
Joshua trees facing extinction: They outlived mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But without dramatic action to reduce climate change, new research shows Joshua trees won’t survive much past this century. (1) What does it matter? Trees are eternal. We die. Worms live forever. The universe is Ephemeral. The world doesn’t care for existence. It is existence […]
Asteroids. Death. Opportunities.
When the asteroid hit, dinosaurs weren’t the only ones that suffered. Clouds of ash blocked the sun and cooled the planet’s temperature, devastating plant life. But fungi, which decompose dead stuff, did well. So what happened to the lichens, which are made of a plant and fungus living together as one organism? “We thought that […]
Natural. Unnatural. How natural…
To find out which sights specific neurons in monkeys ‘like’ best, researchers designed an algorithm, called XDREAM, that generated images that made neurons fire more than any natural images the researchers tested. As the images evolved, they started to look like distorted versions of real-world stimuli. (1) Round and round we go. Trying to understand […]
Lightning strikes twice. Life. Death. A storm still raging…
Scientists have used the LOFAR radio telescope to study the development of lightning flashes in unprecedented detail. Their work reveals that the negative charges inside a thundercloud are not discharged all in a single flash, but are in part stored alongside the leader channel at Interruptions, inside structures which the researchers have called needles. This […]
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