AI is helping us search for intelligent alien life – and we’ve already found 8 strange new signals
Australasian Science Magazine
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2m ago
Midjourney, Author provided Some 540 million years ago, diverse life forms suddenly began to emerge from the muddy ocean floors of planet Earth. This period is known as the Cambrian Explosion, and these aquatic critters are our ancient ancestors. All complex life on Earth evolved from these underwater creatures. Scientists believe all it took was an ever-so-slight increase in ocean oxygen levels above a certain threshold. We may now be in the midst of a Cambrian Explosion for artificial intelligence (AI). In the past few years, a burst of incredibly capable AI programs like... read full artic ..read more
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A tiny radioactive capsule is lost on a highway in Western Australia. Here's what you need to know
Australasian Science Magazine
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14h ago
On January 12 a truck pulled out of Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and drove 1,400km south to Perth, arriving on January 16. Nine days later, on January 25, it was discovered the truck had lost a rather special piece of cargo somewhere along the way: a tiny capsule containing a highly radioactive substance, used in a radiation gauge on the mine site. A bolt and screws in the package were also missing, and authorities suspect the fixings shook loose during the trip and the capsule fell out of the hole left by the bolt. Western Australia’s Depart ..read more
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3 in 4 people experience abuse on dating apps. How do we balance prevention with policing?
Australasian Science Magazine
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23h ago
Shutterstock A 2022 survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology found three in four app users surveyed had experienced online abuse or harassment when using dating apps. This included image-based abuse and abusive and threatening messages. A further third experienced in-person or off-app abuse from people they met on apps. These figures set the scene for a national roundtable convened on Wednesday... read full article Read related articles on: Online Feature ..read more
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Asteroid 2023 BU just passed a few thousand kilometres from Earth. Here's why that's exciting
Australasian Science Magazine
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4d ago
Asteroid 20223 BU's path in red, with green showing the orbit of geosynchronous satellites. NASA/JPL-Caltech There are hundreds of millions of asteroids in our Solar System, which means new asteroids are discovered quite frequently. It also means close... read full article Read related articles on: Online Feature ..read more
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Are your cats fighting or playing? Scientists analysed cat videos to figure out the difference
Australasian Science Magazine
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4d ago
schankz/Shutterstock Have you ever worried if the play between your cats was getting too rough? A new study published in Scientific Reports has investigated play and fighting in cats. Their aim was to use simple behaviours anyone could observe to work out what was play and what might lead to fights. This is important because the consequences of fights include injuries to animals and humans... read full article Read related articles on: Online Feature ..read more
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Philosophers have studied 'counterfactuals' for decades. Will they help us unlock the mysteries of AI?
Australasian Science Magazine
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4d ago
Counterfactuals are claims about what would happen, were something to occur in a different way. For instance, we can ask what the world would be like had the internet never been developed. Shutterstock Artificial intelligence is increasingly being rolled out all around the world to help make decisions in our lives, whether it’s loan decisions by banks, medical diagnoses, or US law enforcement predicting a... read full article Read related articles on: Online Feature ..read more
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Big Tech is firing employees by the thousands. Why? And how worried should we be?
Australasian Science Magazine
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6d ago
Tech companies are always in the news, usually touting the next big thing. However, the tech news cycle recently hasn’t been dominated by the latest gadget or innovation. Instead, layoffs are in the headlines. In the last year, more than 70,000 people globally have been laid off by Big Tech companies – and that doesn’t count the downstream effect of contractors (and other organisations) losing business as budgets tighten. What exactly led to this massive shakeout? And what does it mean for the industry, and you? What’s the damage? Since the end of the pandemic hiring spree, large numbers of em ..read more
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Fantasy football can negatively affect your wellbeing, but research shows it doesn't have to
Australasian Science Magazine
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1w ago
Erling Haaland or Harry Kane? Mo Salah or Marcus Rashford? Use the “triple captain” chip or save it? This weekend (and pretty much every weekend until the end of May), millions of people around the world will be making these sorts of decisions, hoping the right call will take them a step closer to fantasy football glory... read full article Read related articles on: Online Feature ..read more
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Our Solar System is filled with asteroids that are particularly hard to destroy, new study finds
Australasian Science Magazine
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1w ago
Itokawa, image taken by Hayabusa in 2005. JAXA A vast amount of rocks and other material are hurtling around our Solar System as asteroids and comets. If one of these came towards us, could we successfully prevent the collision between an asteroid and Earth? Well, maybe. But there appears to be one type of asteroid that might be particularly hard to destroy. Asteroids are chunks of rocky debris in space, remnants of a more violent past in our Solar System. Studying them can reveal their physical properties, clues about the ancient history of the Solar System, and threats these space rocks may ..read more
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Australia's iconic black swans have a worrying immune system deficiency, new genome study finds
Australasian Science Magazine
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1w ago
Conor O'Reagan/Unsplash For years, scientists have known bird flu kills every black swan it infects. This means if the disease made it to the Australian continent, it would be an existential threat to this iconic Aussie species. A new study published today in Genome Biology finally reveals the gene contributions that make black swans particularly prone to falling victim to infectious diseases. The relative geographic isolation of the black swan (Cygnus atratus) may have resulted in a limited immune toolbox,... read full article Read related articles on: Online Feature ..read more
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