Science (category filter × )

Elusive mathematical mystery one step closer to being solved

quantamagazine.org
  • New clues to a notoriously unsolvable mathematical conundrum.
  • Mathematician Terence Tao used Partial Differential Equations to model the progression of the Collatz conjecture.
  • The key question therein is whether all numbers reach 1 after a process of multiplying by 3 and adding 1 (if it’s odd) and dividing by 2 (if it’s even).
  • Tao’s answer is that almost all numbers eventually reach a value close to 1.
  • It’s the closest that anybody has gotten to solving the Collatz conjecture, but it’s still not complete, and will probably require more than differential equations to solve.

Degeneration of neurons in rat brains stopped with pre- and probiotic treatment

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Rat-based study of whether modifying gut microbiota could help neurons in the brain live longer.
  • After being a treatment of pro- and prebiotics, the rat brains showed some improvement.
  • It shows that loss of memory and cognition can indeed be slowed down by modifying the gut microbiota (at least in rats).
  • Further studies will attempt to apply these findings in order to derive treatments against neurodegeneration and inflammation caused by aging and strokes.

Complex organ models grown in the lab

uni-wuerzburg.de
  • For the first time, scientists have grown organoids which have functional blood vessels, connective tissue, and even organ-specific immune cells.
  • This could lead to a reduction of animal and human experiments, where these organoids could be used to study diseases and treatments.
  • It could also become a new standard for growing tissue for transplants.

AI Copernicus ‘discovers’ that Earth orbits the Sun

nature.com
  • Neural network inspired by brain structure, developed to help solve contradictions in quantum mechanics, comes up with Copernicus-style formulas for Mars’s trajectory.
  • While it created the formulas by itself, it doesn’t understand them — a human still needs to interpret the results.
  • The network consists of two sub-networks, one of them learns from data, and the other uses those learnings to make new predictions and test them.
  • In the future, it’s possible that it could discover new laws of physics, but most importantly it could remove contradictions from current quantum mechanics laws.

Brain Takes Just 100 To 300 Milliseconds To Recognize Familiar Music

sciencebeta.com
  • Study on 5 men and 5 women provides new clues to how we recognize familiar music.
  • Researchers played a familiar and unfamiliar song to study participants to measure the speed with which our brains respond to music that we know.
  • Recognition took between 100ms and 300ms on average, and started with rapid pupil dilation, followed by cortical activation related to memory retrieval.
  • The process of how the brain recognizes familiar music is a fascinating phenomenon, understanding it might lead to new music-based

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  • Science Science (56) Elusive mathematical mystery one step closer to being solved
  • Psychology Psychology (61) Psychedelics improve our psychological wellbeing
  • Cosmos Cosmos (28) Huge black hole found, shouldn’t even exist
  • History History (14) Humans survived off rodents in the mountains during the last ice age, study says
  • Society Society (62) ISPs want to spy on your internet usage, and Google is trying to protect you from it
  • Medicine Medicine (58) New chemicals discovered in cannabis, showing how little we still know about cannabis because of nonsensical laws
  • Technology Technology (65) Device from University of Hong Kong makes electricity from waste heat
  • Nature Nature (43) Single-cell organisms might be able to process information and make decisions