Finding your way…
A team at Facebook AI has created a reinforcement learning algorithm that lets a robot find its way in an unfamiliar environment without using a map. (1) Finding your way without a map. Is there any other way? With a map, you will always return at home. But what is home? Were you not born […]
Faster than light… So?
Faster-than-light speeds could be why gamma-ray bursts seem to go backwards in time. (1) Amazing. Isn’t it? But wait a minute. If gamma rays can do that, then why are we so keen on doing the same? And what is more… Why are we so keen on doing something that common matter can do? Do […]
The origin of life. Creation through Self.
A famous experiment in 1953 showed that amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, could have formed spontaneously under the atmospheric conditions of early Earth. However, just because molecules could form doesn’t mean that the process was likely. Now, researchers have demonstrated that energetically feasible interactions between just two small molecules — hydrogen cyanide and […]
Tools: God. Humans. Apes.
Flexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists found out that the apes carefully weighed their options. To do so the apes considered the details such as differences in quality between the two food rewards and the […]
The third eye… Light… Darkness…
Just like land plants, algae use sunlight as an energy source. Many green algae actively move in the water; they can approach the light or move away from it. For this they use special sensors (photoreceptors) with which they perceive light. The decades-long search for these light sensors led to a first success in 2002: […]
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