Michał Słupski



Wood wide web: Trees' social networks are mapped
  • Using machine-learning to make sense of millions of direct observations, researchers have visualized the “wood wide web” for the first time ever.
  • This web is a complex network of underground mycorrhizal fungi (plant symbiotes), roots and bacteria which connect plants to one another.
  • It exists under every forest and wood, and scientists are studying it because of its’ role in climate change.
  • The first global map of the "wood wide web" will support efforts like the UN’s trillion tree campaign, as it shows what type of trees to plant in different areas of the world.

Passion trumps love for sex in relationships
  • New psychological study suggests that women hold exclusive power over the frequency of sex in relationships.
  • And how often they want to have sex depends exclusively on how passionate their relationships are.
  • It turns out that no other factors - happiness, level of commitment, intimacy, trust - are as important as passion.
  • The study included 92 couples aged 19 to 30, who have been together from one month to nine years.
  • However these findings probably don’t apply to all cultures, just those in which gender equality and female sexual control prevail.

Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel
  • Decades-long search finally over, thanks to groundbreaking discovery of the process governing how methanotrophic bacteria change methane to fuel.
  • Team found that an enzyme responsible for methane-methanol conversion activates this reaction at a site with just one copper ion.
  • Identifying the correct metal ion provides a foundation to understand what could be the most game-changing reaction for global warming.
  • This reaction could remove harmful methane from the environment, and provide usable fuel - without using additional energy to do so.
  • Current methane-methanol processes are inefficient, requiring extreme pressure and temperatures to work.

Math teachers should be more like football coaches
  • Ph.D. candidate in mathematics from the MIT proposes a new approach for math teachers - learn to inspire kids as football coaches do.
  • Nobody expects math teachers to even tell kids about the brightest minds in math history, let alone inspire them to reach similar goals.
  • Whereas a growing body of research is proving that students need more than a great study plan - they need passionate teachers, a sense of purpose, and support.
  • The author suggests that both students and teachers could benefit from this new approach.

"Shooting the Messenger" is a psychological reality – share bad news and people will like you less
  • In 11 experiments putting people in various situations, researchers have found that we don’t like people who deliver bad news.
  • The effect is even stronger when bad news are unexpected or illogical.
  • People might "shoot the messenger" because they believe the messenger is evil - even when it doesn’t make sense.
  • Overall, this confirms that "shooting the messenger" isn’t a thing of medieval fairytales, but a real psychological phenomenon.
  • Study authors say this makes life harder for people, who might miss out on important advice if they instantly dislike bearers of bad news.



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