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A Particle Detector, ANITA, Has Spotted A New Particle

Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna or ANITA is a particle detector. A team of physicists at Antarctica use Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna to search high-energy particles from space. ANITA floats on a helium balloon at an altitude of 37 kilometres for about a month at a time and collects radio waves. The way it works is simple. When high-energy particles from space, including lightweight, ghostly particles called neutrinos, interact Antarctica’s ice, which produces radio waves. That radiowaves are picked up by ANITA’s antennas. Now all physicists have to do is look for its frequency, wavelength and all those data to tell which particles radio wave it is.

September 2018 ANITA spotted two unusual signals something that standard physics is at a loss to explain. A team of physicists at Penn State report about this online on September 25 at The result of that findings hints at the possibility of new particles beyond those catalogued in the standard model, the theory that describes the various elementary particles that make up the matter. We can say that these weird particles from space may defy physicists’ standard model. Now Particle Physicists might be going to modify the standard model or they might have to come up with new.

The two puzzling signals appear to be from extremely energetic neutrinos shooting skyward from within the Earth. A neutrino coming up from below isn’t inherently surprising: Low-energy neutrinos interact with matter so weakly that they can zip through the entire planet. But high-energy neutrinos can’t pass through as much material as lower-energy neutrinos can. So although high-energy neutrinos can skim the edges of the planet, they won’t survive a pass straight through.

The steep angle of the particles’ paths suggests that the neutrinos travelled through several thousands of kilometres of Earth too much for a high-energy neutrino to make it out the other side. That’s according to computer simulations in the new study, by researchers who are not members of the ANITA collaboration. ANITA researchers have been looking for a way to explain the signals with neutrinos, says Derek Fox, a co-author of the study. But according to Fox and colleagues’ simulations, “those attempts must fail.”

A high-energy particle could make such a long trek through the Earth only if it were even more reticent to interact with matter than neutrinos are. A hypothetical heavy particle called a stau, proposed in a theory called supersymmetry could fit the bill, Fox and colleagues say. After being created on the other side of the planet by a high-energy neutrino slamming into the Earth, a stau could make it through unscathed before decaying into lighter particles that would eventually result in the signals detected by ANITA.

“It’s still possible that there is a very mundane reason that we are seeing these events in ANITA,” says ANITA physicist Stephanie Wissel of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Other spacefaring particles called cosmic rays, which rain down from above, produce similar signatures in ANITA. A basic misunderstanding of the physics behind cosmic rays’ signatures could explain the observations, Wissel says.

Backing up their claim, Fox and colleagues also identify three events in another Antarctic neutrino detector that they say have some similarly puzzling properties. But the leader of that experiment, physicist Francis Halzen of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, isn’t convinced. “These events are of course worth paying attention to,” he says, but he doesn’t see any evidence that they require a new explanation.

What’s needed is more data, physicists say. The ANITA team plans to send the detector up for another Antarctic balloon ride, says ANITA physicist Amy Connolly of Ohio State University in Columbus. “My view is that we should keep trying to find a mundane explanation for these events.”

The standard model has been confirmed time and time again, so physicists are loathe to abandon it without overwhelming evidence. “The case that ANITA is seeing something weird is strong,” says astrophysicist John Beacom, also of Ohio State. But “I always bet for the standard model.”

Still, these events have such extreme energies that they are reaching into realms not accessible at particle colliders like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Beacom says. “There’s a lot we just don’t know about how physics works at these high energies.”

Also Read:- How Dangerous Is AI?

How Dangerous Is AI?

Let's get one fact straight it's only a matter of time before we successfully create an AI that surpasses the intelligence of a human being. This event is known as the singularity and estimates for this event to happen range from anywhere between 10 and 50 years from now.

So, what happens next is yet to be discovered but there are two prevailing theories. The first one is Humanity is fast-tracked for more amazing technological innovation than we have experienced in our entire history. The second one is Extinction at the hands of a sentient super AI who is indifferent to our survival. But anything can happen, so don’t take this two are options. As I said, “what happens next is yet to be discovered.”

Let's back up a little bit before judging AI Let’s understand it a little bit. AI, there are a few distinctions to make when talking about at the top advanced AI and on the low of the intelligence spectrum, there's weak or narrow AI. Software that is a useful fairly limited range of tasks. Alexa, Siri and all the other personal assistants are the most obvious examples but we're actually surrounded by narrow Al.

Your Netflix caters to your taste in movies and TV. Amazon predicts the kind of products you like based on your browsing habits and your purchase history.  Machine learning algorithms represent another form of narrow Al any program that can adapt based upon user interaction can be lumped into this category. This type of artificial intelligence is rarely considered a threat take Siri, for example, there's no real intelligence there no mind and no self-awareness she’ll answer some questions for you but she is completely useless outside the scope of even fairly simple ones.

Moving up one level we have artificial general intelligence or AGI. This type of AI is able to apply it's intelligence to a much wider range of applications and can successfully perform any intellectual activity as human do. This level of AI is generally the use for projects aiming to develop an advanced artificial intelligence. Academics often referred to AGI with the ability to experience consciousness as strong AI. Think Hal from 2001 space Odyssey or the t800 from Terminator or Ava from ex-machine. These are machines or software that are just as intelligent or more intelligent than humans. But they have not entered a state of runaway self- improvement that would lead to the next stage of AI. As of 2018 there were at least 40 organisations around the world actively researching AGI.

Now let’s talk about the big one artificial super-intelligence, this is the level of AI that some of the world's leading experts believe could spell the end of mankind. A super-intelligence would be smarter and more capable than all humanities greatest minds put together and getting more every second. These AI would seem like God's to us mere mortals. Infinite knowledge, the ability to perform countless tasks at once, giving instant answers to questions we haven't even thought of yet.

The biggest question we have thought of regarding a super AI is whether or not it will be friendly? When we think of modern AI we think of giving it a task and it will perform that task then waiting for the next command. It's not friendly or unfriendly it is just build to perform its task.  What happens when we have vastly more capable AI and we task it with ending world hunger?  The easiest solution for the AI would be to eliminate humans and thus end world hunger for good. That may sound like a far-fetched example but consider how the AI would see the humans.

We look at insects and have little regards for their lives because they're insignificant and more importantly far less intelligent than we are. We step on ants without a moment's hesitation. How would an entity millions of times more intelligent than humans be likely to treat us? We tend to disregard the danger because we assume AI will be human-like.  After all, we're making it in our own image this arrogance could lead us to develop a sentient machine that would see our existence as nothing more than a nuisance.

 A parasite that causes more damage than anything else on the planet. In that regard, the machine would be right and if it considered us as a threat to its own existence it's unlikely that we could do anything to stop our ultimate destruction.

How can we stop a being that has access to all of our knowledge and more it can control our computer systems can create and destroy at will by using our always existing infrastructure or worse by building its own that is far beyond human understanding?  If this super AI is truly sentient it would be able to communicate with us but whether we would even merit that communication is up in the air. This is why some of the leading experts true artificial intelligence To be our final invention the greatest achievement in history that leads to our own destruction.

One thing that movies and TV tend to get wrong about destructive AI is that it always seems to take the form of a humanoid robot.  In reality, a super AI would have no need for a single human shaped enclosure. A sentient software based AI could travel instantly between electronic devices and inhabit many of them at once making it impossible to get rid of and we might be dead before we even realise the mistake we had made of course this may not come to pass.

Human has a way of surviving our most destructive inventions at least so far and even using that some technology to improve our lives. The same could be true of artificial intelligence if we could develop an AGI and train it to experience human emotions such as empathy, We could potentially create the most powerful force for good in the history of mankind. A  benevolent AI whose only task is to improve the lives of humans and work towards a greater good could make for a future free of disease hunger and suffering. This AI wouldn't even have to be fully sentient. If it was intelligent enough to be turned loose on difficult problems but lacked any kind of native or self-awareness as long as we are careful with instructions. We could have an incredibly useful software-based assistant that could be put to work over a very wide range of applications. We could even integrate with this AI in the future by augmenting our brains to run the software. Kind of like a super advanced personal assistant in your head able to fetch answers teach you new things and help you make important decisions. No one's really sure what will happen when we finally reach the singularity but whatever happens, it will change the course of history forever.
Also Read:-AI | How AI Learn

IQ Test | How We Determine How Smart You Are?

IQ, intelligence quotient, is defined as a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—“catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do. In short, IQ means how smart/intelligent you are.

IQ test or Intelligence test which gives you a score and we think that’s it. But the reality is different. If a person can do Quick Reasoning, Quick Problem Solving then that person is considered as a smart or higher IQ person. That’s partially true IQ depends on many factor Brain and Knowledge is just two variable of a bigger equation. Intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, is a very general mental capability.

Your intelligence and smartness surely depend on how much knowledge you have. But if you are not wise enough then IQ test Score is valueless. We all know that wisdom comes with Knowledge and Experience. So while cognitive abilities(e.g., abstract reasoning, working memory, vocabulary, visual-spatial mental rotation) of our brain is a dominant part of our intelligence factor, non-cognitive part of our brain dictate our action.

So what else we have to consider to know our IQ level?
The answer is simple consider IQ Test Score along with family income, socioeconomic status, school and occupational performance, military training assignments, law-abidingness, healthful habits, illness, and morality, welfare, psychopathology, crime, inattentiveness, boredom, delinquency, and poverty. And you can now tell someone's IQ level accurately.

That’s the problem. Those above mentions part of someone’s life can’t be represented in numbers or in 1&0, they can’t be comprehend. We have failed to understand ourselves 100%. If we ever understand ourselves fully then we will be able to predict IQ Score 100% accurately. Till that day today's IQ Test is best we have got.

Any single person’s IQ test performance is itself a measure of many things in addition to their intellectual functioning across a range of cognition, including the person’s duration of education, motivation, level of test anxiety, self-belief, history of traumatic experience and opportunities, language, and many other things that are strongly connected to the very outcomes we are trying to predict. So take an IQ test today and start to understand yourself and improve as well as gain more knowledge and wisdom.
Also Read:-  What Is The The Point Of Space Exploration?

Asteroid Mining | Future Mining Industry

From a common person's perspective it might seem like a stuff of science fiction, But in reality, that’s the future. All natural resources are limited, while recycling is a logical option but everything can’t be recycled. For most of the element found on Earth are rare, like Gold and Platinum. Mineral-like Gold and Platinum aren’t only costly but has many uses like Gold’s stable nature and Platinum’s resistance toward heat. We are not only going to mine mineral and bring back to earth, in future on our journey to the distant planet we might fuel our rocket there or we might build huge spacecraft in space from metal mined from Space Rock. Also, there are much other application and utility of Asteroid Mining.

Asteroid holds many different kinds of elements with them. Depending on their type, asteroids can contain everything from water (useful for long-term space exploration missions) to nickel and cobalt or even valuable metals like gold or platinum. These are often in much higher concentrations than we would find on Earth. It has been estimated that a one-kilometre diameter asteroid may contain up to 7,500 tons of platinum, with a value of upwards of $150 billion. And there are around 9,000 known asteroids are currently travelling in orbit close to the Earth, and some 1,000 new ones are discovered each year. That’s a pretty good reason to get excited about Space Mining.

We already know there is Quadrillion worth of resources out there in Space. So why we are not in Gold Rush to mine Space Resources. Actually, the gold rush has already been started there are plenty of big names ranging from Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos who are very, very interested and already started working. SpaceX, Blue Origin, NASA, ESA, Roscosmos & CNSA are already working to make The Moon a warehouse in space to store and refine metal before sending it to Earth.

It might seem like a very costly way. If I put it simply,  the pricey part of this isn’t the R&D that goes into working out how to do asteroid mining. Nor is it the launches that take place to actually the achieve the goal. Instead, the really expensive bit is getting the materials back to Earth once we’ve mined them. Transporting mined product to earth is a time efficient way. It might take more than a decade to bring them back to Earth. It is a very Time-consuming process with current technology. Asteroid mining technology is not yet fully ready there are some prototypes but their efficiency is also not known yet.

Alphabet’s Larry Page has his eyes on this Space Mining project. He is talking and working with Deep space industry as well as investing money in Asteroid Mining technology. Deep Space Industries is another leader, with plans to develop technologies which will make it easier for governments and other private companies to gain access to orbit. Deep Space Industries has said that much of what it plans to mine would be used in space, rather than brought back to Earth.

Then there are the likes of TransAstra Corporation, the U.K.’s Asteroid Mining Corporation, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket system, and more. Some days it seems you can throw a space rock without hitting one of these companies!

 Right now, companies are coming up with ways to gather information about the asteroids in our orbit so as to determine their composition. After this, they will need to establish the most cost-effective way to launch a craft capable of carrying out the mining extraction itself.

ALSO READ:- Finding Life On Jupiter’s Icy Moon Europa

Aeolus: Monitoring Weather And Wind Pattern With Laser From Space

The technology which took 16 years to develop, Now finally in space chasing the wind with a laser. The British-built Aeolus satellite has begun firing its laser down on Earth to gather weather information. Aeolus satellite was launched from the Kourou spaceport in French, Guiana.

After some initial testing scientists will start processing the satellite's wind data and include it in weather models for weather forecast. Its maps are expected to bring significant improvements in the accuracy of medium-range forecasts - those that look a few days ahead.

"It's a euphoric feeling and a proud moment to reach this milestone after overcoming the first technical challenge to build, launch and operate this complex wind lidar," said Dr Mark Drinkwater, who heads ESA's Earth and Mission Science Division. 

 Most of the Wind data comes from multiple patchy sources like weather balloons. Aeolus will be the first system to gather wind information all across the globe, from the ground up to 30 km in altitude. It will provide latest weather update 24*7 now on. 

Aeolus gather weather reports by beaming a powerful ultraviolet laser down into the atmosphere. With the aid of a telescope and a sensitive detector, it will then look for the way the pulsed beam's light is scattered back off air molecules, water droplets and dust particles. This should reveal basic details about air movement and numerical weather models will be adjusted to take account of it.

Aeolus lunch in 2007 was cancelled because engineers struggled to get the ultraviolet laser to work in the conditions it would experience in orbit, and there were many who thought the satellite would never fly. But now with new designs and new technologies scientist make Aeolus happen - which explains why the laser's first operation in orbit has been greeted with such joy.

Now all that is left to do is to integrate all wind and weather data coming from Aeolus to weather models and get the most accurate weather forecast for today.

Also Read:- NASA's Parker Solar Probe


In the year 1803, Thomas Young’s double-slit experiment confirmed the wave nature of light which overturned the great Isaac Newton’s ideas about the nature of light. But Newton’s theory that light is made of corpuscles (which we call Photon now) was not wrong either. Particle Nature as well as Wave Nature, we say it wave-particle duality. Quantum mechanics explain the Duality.

The foundation of quantum physics was laid down by Max Planck in 1900. After that, It is clear that light is made of tiny, indivisible units, or quanta, of energy, which we call photons. But Young’s double-slit is correct so what is really happening? We are not done with this one there are many more like single particles of matter, such as electrons and neutrons. This are raising fundamental questions about the very nature of reality. 
So, What Does Quantum Theory Actually Tell Us about Reality?

In the modern quantum form, Young’s experiment involves beaming individual particles of light or matter at two slits or openings cut into an otherwise opaque barrier. On the other side of the barrier is a screen that records the arrival of the particles (say, a photographic plate in the case of photons). Common sense leads us to expect that photons should go through one slit or the other and pile up behind each slit.

They don’t. Rather, they go to certain parts of the screen and avoid others, creating alternating bands of light and dark. These so-called interference fringes, the kind you get when two sets of waves overlap. When the crests of one wave line up with the crests of another, you get constructive interference (bright bands), and when the crests align with troughs you get destructive interference (darkness). 

Mathematically speaking what goes through both slits is not a physical particle or a physical wave but something called a wave function an abstract mathematical function that represents the photon’s state (in this case its position). The wave function behaves like a wave. It hits the two slits, and new waves emanate from each slit on the other side, spread and eventually interfere with each other. The combined wave function can be used to work out the probabilities of where one might find the photon.

The photon has a high probability of being found where the two wave functions constructively interfere and is unlikely to be found in regions of destructive interference. The measurement in this case the interaction of the wave function with the photographic plate is said to “collapse” the wave function. It goes from being spread out before measurement to peaking at one of those places where the photon materializes upon measurement. 

This apparent measurement induced collapse of the wave function is the source of many conceptual difficulties in quantum mechanics. Before the collapse, there’s no way to tell with certainty where the photon will land; it can appear at any one of the places of non-zero probability. There’s no way to chart the photon’s trajectory from the source to the detector.

Heisenberg, interpreted the mathematics to mean that reality doesn’t exist until observed. “The idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist, independently of whether or not we observe them ... is impossible,” he wrote. John Wheeler, too, used a variant of the double-slit experiment to argue that “no elementary quantum phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is a registered (‘observed,’ ‘indelibly recorded’) phenomenon.”

But quantum theory is entirely unclear about what constitutes a “measurement.” It simply postulates that the measuring device must be classical, without defining where such a boundary between the classical and quantum lies, thus leaving the door open for those who think that human consciousness needs to be invoked for collapse. Last May, Henry Stapp and colleagues argued, in this forum, that the double-slit experiment and its modern variants provide evidence that “a conscious observer may be indispensable” to make sense of the quantum realm and that a transpersonal mind underlies the material world.

But these experiments don’t constitute empirical evidence for such claims. In the double-slit experiment done with single photons, all one can do is verify the probabilistic predictions of the mathematics. If the probabilities are borne out over the course of sending tens of thousands of identical photons through the double slit, the theory claims that each photon’s wave function collapse thanks to an ill-defined process called measurement. That’s all.

Also, there are other ways of interpreting the double-slit experiment. Take the de Broglie-Bohm theory, which says that reality is both wave and particle. A photon heads towards the double slit with a definite position at all times and goes through one slit or the other; so each photon has a trajectory. It’s riding a pilot wave, which goes through both slits, interferes and then guides the photon to a location of the constructive interference.

In 1979, Chris Dewdney and colleagues at Birkbeck College, London, simulated the theory’s prediction for the trajectories of particles going through the double slit. In the past decade, experimentalists have verified that such trajectories exist, albeit by using a controversial technique called weak measurements. The controversy notwithstanding, the experiments show that the de Broglie-Bohm theory remains in the running as an explanation for the behavior of the quantum world.

The theory does not need observers or measurements or a non-material consciousness. Neither do so-called collapse theories, which argue that wavefunctions collapse randomly: the more the number of particles in the quantum system, the more likely the collapse. Observers merely discover the outcome. Markus Arndt’s team at the University of Vienna in Austria has been testing these theories by sending larger and larger molecules through the double slit. Collapse theories predict that when particles of matter become more massive than some threshold, they cannot remain in a quantum superposition of going through both slits at once, and this will destroy the interference pattern. Arndt’s team has sent a molecule with more than 800 atoms through the double slit, and they still see interference. The search for the threshold continues.

Roger Penrose has his own version of a collapse theory, in which the more massive the mass of the object in superposition, the faster it’ll collapse to one state or the other, because of gravitational instabilities. Again, it’s an observer-independent theory. No consciousness needed. Dirk Bouwmeester at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is testing Penrose’s idea with a version of the double-slit experiment. 

Conceptually, the idea is to not just put a photon into a superposition of going through two slits at once, but to also put one of the slits in a superposition of being in two locations at once. According to Penrose, the displaced slit will either stay in superposition or collapse while the photon is in flight, leading to different types of interference patterns. The collapse will depend on the mass of the slits. Bouwmeester has been at work on this experiment for a decade and may soon be able to verify or refute Penrose’s claims.

If nothing else, these experiments are showing that we cannot yet make any claims about the nature of reality, even if the claims are well-motivated mathematically or philosophically. And given that neuroscientists and philosophers of mind don’t agree on the nature of consciousness, claims that it collapses wave functions are premature at best and misleading and wrong at worst.

Also Read:- How Birds Navigate Their Path ? | Quantum Compass

Finding Life On Jupiter’s Icy Moon Europa

Europa has been one of the top contenders for extraterrestrial life, primarily because of its subsurface ocean. Approximately 100 kilometres deep, the ocean might be in contact with a rocky seafloor that is rich in the elements and energy needed for sustaining life. Possible traces of life may lie just centimetres below the moon’s icy surface.

The problematic part in this search is getting a probe down to that ocean since Europa is encased in a dense ice shell perhaps 25 km thick. Planetary scientists have bandied about concepts of complicated drills to get a submarine-like craft down to the ocean.

New research published in the journal Nature gives us hope to found life just below the icy surface. Microbes or other traces of life on Europa might be found just below the icy surface even though the moon is blasted by radiation from Jupiter that can break down organic materials.

Even in the harshest radiation zones on Europa,  it would be sufficient to simply dig to 10-20 centimetres, to reach material that has not been heavily affected by radiation. There we might find evidence of life. At the more irradiated equatorial regions, however, the protected depth would increase to several tens of centimetres.

lead author Tom Nordheim from Caltech and his colleagues modelled the effect of energetic particles impacting Europa’s surface and then calculated estimates from laboratory data on how quickly radiation destroys amino acids. They found that that at mid-to-high latitudes, Europa’s ice provides enough protection — acting as a shield against the radiation — that amino acids could persist at detectable levels just 1–3 cm below the surface, even over a 10-million-year timescale.

The environment around Jupiter is intense with radiation, as charged particles are trapped in the giant planet’s magnetosphere and form powerful radiation belts. These belts are similar to Earth's Van Allen belts but are many millions of times stronger.

The icy moon is covered with cracks and fissures, and observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Galileo mission have shown that some of these cracks had separated. Dark, icy material appeared to have flowed into the opened gaps. In 2016, Hubble also found evidence of plums of water vapour being expelled from the ice surface of Europa.

Kevin Hand from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who also participated in the research, has long been studying Europa. In a 2013 paper co-authored with planetary science Mike Brown, Hand concluded that the surface of Europa might “taste” a lot like ocean water here on Earth — infused with salts, such as magnesium sulfates. If there is a chemical exchange between the ocean and surface, it would make for a rich chemical environment.

Meteoritic impacts over a 10-million-year timescale would expose and mix materials from shallower depths that had been exposed to more intense irradiation with material from greater depths exposed to less irradiation, lessening the effect of the ice’s protection.

But the ice and minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures at Europa’s surface provide a shield. Laboratory studies conducted by Nordheim and his colleagues found that amino acids contained within water ice at low temperatures display “substantially reduced destruction rates,” according to their paper.

Finding Life on Jupiter’s Moon Europa may be as Easy as Scratching the Surface. But we have to look closer to find evidence.

Also Read:- What Is The The Point Of Space Exploration?

Why Binturong Smells Like Buttered Popcorn

Wandering through the forests of south-east Asia and you might suddenly wonder if there's a movie theatre nearby. That's because part of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia are home to the Binturong - a cat like a carnivore with pee smells like buttered popcorn. Yum? 

Binturong or Bearcats as they are sometimes called, though, they aren't closely related to bears or cats like to hang out high in the trees of dense forests where they can avoid ground-dwelling predators while they snack on fruit, insects, small rodents or leaves. They're covered on shaggy black fur with long goofy tufts behind their ears and they have grasping or prehensile tails which they use to clamber along branches.

But probably their most distinctive feature is their popcorney smell which mostly comes from the urine they use to mark their territories. They leave scent marks by squatting and spraying urine onto their legs and bushy tail and then rubbing those onto nearby branches. They can also use a specialized gland near their anus called the perineal gland for this. But researchers think the scent released from there are different and less appetizing.

The tasty smell of their pee is thanks to a chemical is called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, or just 2-AP for short. It's an organic heterocyclic aroma compound and an online, which is basically just a fancy chemistry way of saying it's a chemical that has a smell, contains carbon atoms, has a circular structure made from multiple elements and there's a double bond a with a nitrogen atom thrown in somewhere. 

In popcorn 2-AP forms when high heat causes a reaction between the kernel's sugars and amino acids - a chemical process known as the Maillard reaction. But Binturong isn't exactly caramelizing their pee. So biologists aren't sure how they make it, though they think bacteria in the gut or near the urethral opening might be involved. 

It's also possible other compounds contribute to the buttery aroma, but when researchers identified a bunch of different components of Binturong urine in 2016, 2-AP was the only one found in all the samples. And it hung around at room temperature meaning it would probably also hung around for a while on a tree.

 What's really interesting, though, is that male Binturong urine had a lot more 2-AP than female urine and researchers were able to link the level of 2-AP in an animal's urine to the amount of the sex hormone and androstenedione swishing around In their blood. Males have more of this hormone in their blood than females overall, but levels of it increase In females when they're on heat- right when they're most fertile. 

That means other Binturong might be able to tell whether there's a territorial male or a female ready for mating nearby from how popcorn-y the branch they're scurrying on smells! 
While knowing what's behind the Binturongs unique buttery smell is pretty cool all by itself, it might also be kind of important because Binturong population have declined more than 30% over the last couple of decades. So, if 2-AP puts these vulnerable animals in the mood or signals when a female is fertile, it could conservationist breed them in captivity. And that could help ensure these wonderfully weird animals keep forests smelling like popcorn for centuries to come. 

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This Probable Membrane Can Trap Insects

A Coffee filter’s job is pretty simple - hold back the large, bitter grounds, and let the liquid coffee through. Scientists have now invented a new technique that flips the script, holding back small particles but letting larger ones pass. Instead of sorting particles by size, this reverse filter sorts them by kinetic energy - larger, heavier objects with more force break through the barrier while lighter, slower objects don't.

Inspired by the process of phagocytosis when our cells swallow foreign objects - the barrier itself is made of a self-healing liquid, similar to a cell membrane. To make the magical membrane researchers need only a metal ring and two ingredients: deionized water and sodium dodecyl sulfate ( SDS),  a compound commonly used in laundry detergent. 
When researchers tested their filter, they found it could be repeatedly penetrated without rupturing, even after 3 hours of constant prodding. It could also hold back gas while letting bigger objects through and even kept the lid on a beaker full of scrambling fruit flies. And by varying the concentration of SDS, scientists could finely tune the surface tension of the membrane- the key to its remarkable abilities. 

At very high levels of tension, only the larger or faster - moving particles make it through before the liquid seals together again. But at low levels of tension, smaller or slower-moving particles can do the same thing. That means scientists could use it in a variety of ways: as a surgical membrane that blocks out dust and germs, a barrier against infection - transmitting insects, or even as a thin film that could trap odours in a waterless toilet. 

What's more, the membrane can clear itself: small, trapped particles are easily transported across it's slanting surface and off to the side, keeping the membrane free of contaminants. The resulting filter may make for more successful surgeries and better odor eaters. But if you want the perfect cup of joe, you might want to stick to an old fashion filter.

Also Read:-What Is The The Point Of Space Exploration?

What Is The The Point Of Space Exploration?

If you are interested in space exploration you have probably had a conversation with someone who thinks it’s a waste of time and money. Why would we go to space when we can't even take care of our current home? Why should we spend money to visit another planet when there are starving children around the world? To be fair these are reasonable questions.

So, now we are going to address those concerns and discuss whether space exploration is a productive way to spend our valuable resources or not?

 Let's start with the idea that money spends on space missions. NASA’s budget for the past several years has hovered around half a percent (0.05%) of total U.S discretionary budget a little under 21 billion dollars sounds like a lot of money. We could spend that money to built shelters or schools or something right. Sure, but let's look at some other areas of spending that might also contribute. Consumers spent 22.8 Billion dollars on McDonald’s last year over 2 billion dollars more than NASA  gets in 2017. In the U.S alone people spent a hundred and twenty billions dollars on tobacco mainly cigarettes that's six times NASA's annual budget.

Now if we consider these three areas of spending which do you more contribute more to society what does are spending on McDonald's give us a quick lunch and insane rates of obesity what about tobacco just cancer really. What about space missions nothing much just weather satellites, GPS, LED lighting, water purification system, home insulation, wireless headsets, freeze-dried food, the modern smoke detector of the computer mouse and countless other incredibly useful tools and facets of modern society that we take for granted today.

Every year NASA releases a publication called ‘spin-off’ which catalogues civilian uses of technology developed by NASA or in partnership with them. The list is extensive and includes a number of technologies that greatly reduce the amount of suffering in a place like Africa where clean water is hard to come by. So the next time someone claims that we're wasting money that can be improving our lives here on earth remind them all of the tools that have been developed as a direct result of the space industry. Even based on this one point space exploration is objectively not a waste of money because it contributes so much more useful technology than many other industries. 

As with a lot of things people have this noble misguided idea that we could relocate money from some source of spending to help solve problems around the world. For example, they’ll say things like we could dig a thousand well with that amount of money the idea is nice but it’s naive do you really think if we didn’t allocate half of percent(0.5%) of the budget to space research,  it'd be spent on humanitarian endeavours. NO instead it would likely to tossed into the enormous defence budget to be spent on fighter jets or tomahawk missiles. This is like when you didn't finish your dinner as a kid and your mother would say they are starving kids who would love to eat that, well yeah that's true but what exactly am I supposed to do about it. I can't exactly mail them my leftover broccoli.

 With space spending, it's an even more ridiculous claim because the technology we developed for the space mission is directly and measurably benefitting at-risk and struggling population around the world so really not spending the money on the space industries would be decidedly worse than spending it and letting the technology find civilian uses.
Another big complaint some critics have is that we treat the Earth so poorly and we've done so much damage already that it should be our number one priority. We can all agree on this point we have been poor stewards of our home planet.  We have floating islands of trash in the oceans. We are speeding up climates change at an alarming rate thanks to fossil fuel use and industrial animal farming. We are already experiencing the consequences of erratically damaged global climate and we think we would do it better elsewhere in the universe. It's a fair point but only on the surface. Yes, our greed and consumerism have done likely irreparable harm to the Earth. But you know how we can help by switching to renewable energy sources like solar and you Know where you figure out the best way to manufacture and super efficient solar technology. The freezing vacuum of space thanks to the space industry we are able to utilize and benefit from incredibly efficient solar arrays here on earth helping reduce the need for energy from fossil fuels in the future. 

We could slowly move our manufacturing off the earth and into space to further reduce environmental impact on a slightly unrelated note if someone says space exploration is a waste of money because we're destroying the earth. Remind them to vote for a representative that has a strong green energy platform. If we like the politicians that respect the earth. The situation will gradually improve and we'll see more renewable energy replacing fossil fuels and we will leave the earth a greener place for future generations. Which will allow them the luxury of really applying their minds to more advanced challenges of space exploration another response to the idea that leaving the earth is a waste of money is that as far as we know we're the only sentient life in the universe.

If someday a massive planet-killing asteroid comes our way then that's it's  0ur species as well as every other species on earth is done.  I guess you could say if everyone is dead then no one is suffering but that doesn't really count. By spending the money on space mission today, We're building the groundwork for future generations to establish colonies elsewhere in the solar statement giving humanity a backup in case the earth gets obliterated in a freak possible natural disasters or nuclear war. 

Finally, the most honest answer to the question of why bother leaving the earth is just because what we do humans have always explored. “CURIOSITY” What's over that mountain what is across this ocean. We overcome obstacles not because we have to but because we want to. We have this innate drive to learn to explore to become the best version of ourselves and space exploration is the natural extension of our story and history of adventure and knowing the unknown. 

So, the next time discussion with someone who thinks space exploration is pointless you have some answers. 

The technology we developed for space missions has innumerable uses here on earth - including green energy and humanitarian tools we spend a fraction of a percent of the annual budget on NASA and get so much more out of it than from other vastly more expensive industries. We are paving the way two help ensure the survival of humanity both on earth and among the stars and it's part of our nature to boldly go where no one has gone before. Those sound like pretty good reasons for me to explore space.

Ice Cliff Underneath Mars Surface

Colin Dundas is a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. For more than a decade, he has had a daily routine: inspecting a dozen or so high-resolution images beamed back every day from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). A few years ago, something surprising popped out from those images, an indication of ice cliff underneath mars.

What Dundas saw that day, and subsequently found at seven other sites, are steep cliffs, up to 100 meters tall, that expose what appears to be nearly pure ice. The discovery points to large stores of underground ice buried only a meter or two below the surface at surprisingly low Martian latitudes. “This kind of ice is more widespread than previously thought,” says Dundas, who, with his co-authors, describes the cliffs this week in Science. Each cliff seems to be the naked face of a glacier, tantalizing scientists with the promise of a layer-cake record of past martian climates and space enthusiasts with a potential resource for future human bases.

Finding ice on Mars is nothing new. Ice covers the poles, and a radar instrument on the MRO has detected signatures of thick, buried ice across the planet’s belly. Some researchers suggested these deposits could be the remnants of glaciers that existed millions of years ago when the planet’s spin axis and orbit were different. But the depth of the ice and whether it exists as relatively pure sheets or as granules frozen in the pore spaces of Martian soil have been uncertain.

A decade ago, researchers using the MRO spotted a related clue: pools of seemingly pure ice in the floors of small craters carved out by fresh meteorite impacts. But it was unclear whether these frozen pools were connected to the buried glaciers or were merely isolated patches. At the ice cliffs, Dundas and his team could see the glaciers in cross section, and they patiently revisited the sites to see how they changed over time.

They found that the ice persisted through the Martian summer when any ephemeral frost would have vaporized. And last year, the MRO caught several boulders tumbling out of one of the cliff faces, suggesting that gradual erosion had released them from a massive ice deposit. Evidently, the near-surface ice and the large subsurface deposits are one and the same, says Ali Bramson, a co-author and graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “This deep, thick, pure ice extends almost all the way up to the surface.”

Banding and subtly varying shades of blue suggest that the slabs of ice are stacked. That implies that the deposits built up over many seasons as layers of snow were compressed in a previous climate cycle, says Susan Conway, a planetary geologist at the University of Nantes in France. Winds then buried the ice sheets in grit. “It’s the only reasonable explanation,” she says.

Drilling a core from one of these deposits and returning it to Earth would offer a treasure trove of information to geologists about the past Martian climate, says G. Scott Hubbard, a space scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “That preserved record would be of extreme importance to go back to,” he says.

These sites are “very exciting” for potential human bases as well, says Angel Abbud-Madrid, director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, who led a recent NASA study exploring potential landing sites for astronauts. Water is a crucial resource for astronauts, because it could be combined with carbon dioxide, the main ingredient in Mars’s atmosphere, to create oxygen to breathe and methane, a rocket propellant. And although researchers suspected the subsurface glaciers existed, they would only be a useful resource if they were no more than a few meters below the surface. The ice cliffs promise abundant, accessible ice, Abbud-Madrid says.

The cliffs are all found at latitudes about 55° north or south, however, which grow frigid and dark in the Martian winter—unpromising latitudes for a solar-powered human base. For this reason, the NASA study was limited to sites to within 50° of the equator. Now, Hubbard wants NASA’s human exploration program to look for similar cliffs closer to the equator. “What’s the cutoff point?” he asks. He hopes the next surprise will be ice closer to the Martian tropics.

Also Read:-Discovery Of Twelve New Moons Orbiting Jupiter

Venom, How It Helps Us? Why Scientist Are Looking For New Source Of Venom?

Venom, How It Helps Us? Why Scientist Are Looking For New Source Of Venom?
Venom, Venomous; These words may make you think of a thick fluid, milk from the fangs of a dangerous snake. but the latest venom science is turning to new sources of venom: Centipedes, Assassin Bugs and Stealthy Cone Snails.

With the rise of tools that let scientists explore all the proteins, peptides and small molecules that make up venom. Scientists have been able to deconstruct the potent toxic cocktails made by the world’s tiniest mixologists. Some of those include rare animals that aren’t easy to raise in the lab.most venomous animals aren’t so rare. There are more than 220,000 species that brew up their own toxic mixes - from all branches of the family tree.

For a long time, researchers focused on only a small set of venomous animals: Spiders, snakes, scorpions and some cone snails looking for new therapeutics and for clues as to how venom victim pairs evolved.

How does venom change an animal's behaviour?  
Does the killer juice make you less afraid of intimidating beasties?
Why do some animals like the assassin bug evolve two venoms one for defending itself and one for killing its prey?

The arms race between predator and resistant prey has led to complex venoms that are incredibly precise in their targeting, fast-acting, and potent all useful characteristics for medicines.

The toxins in venoms tend to either attack the nervous system, paralyzing muscles, lungs, sometimes blinding their prey or they disrupt blood coagulation causing blood to coagulate quickly or preventing coagulation, Either can be deadly.

Such venoms have helped scientists understand these systems themselves. A classic example is using puffer fish venom to find a channel important to nerve signalling. The targeting ability of these venoms and their strong effects on the body have also led to 6 venom-based drugs that have already have been approved. including a  drug for diabetes from the venom of the Gila monster and a painkiller derived from the venom of the so-called magical cone snail.

Now, scientists are looking to these new sources of venom like the sea anemone to treat autoimmune diseases and the deathstalker scorpion for an entirely different use imaging brain tumours during surgery.

Someday, scientists might just catch up with these ancient chemists. But don’t count on it. 

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MIT Researchers Have Developed A Completely Passive Solar-Powered Way Of Combating Ice Buildup

From aeroplane wings to overhead power lines to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic failure. But preventing that buildup usually requires energy-intensive heating systems or chemical sprays that are environmentally harmful. But with this new solar-powered way everything going to change.

The system is remarkably simple, based on a three-layered material that can be applied or even sprayed onto the surfaces to be treated. It collects solar radiation, converts it to heat, and spreads that heat around so that the melting is not just confined to the areas exposed directly to the sunlight. And, once applied, it requires no further action or power source. It can even do its de-icing work at night, using artificial lighting.

This new system is described in the journal Science Advances, in a paper by MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering Kripa Varanasi and postdocs Susmita Dash and Jolet de Ruiter.

The usual de-icing sprays for aircraft and other applications use ethylene glycol, a chemical that is environmentally unfriendly. Airlines don't like to use active heating, both for cost and safety reasons. The team of researchers have investigated the use of superhydrophobic surfaces to prevent icing passively, but those coatings can be impaired by frost formation, which tends to fill the microscopic textures that give the surface its ice-shedding properties.

It's not necessary to produce enough heat to melt the bulk of the ice that forms, the team found. All that's needed is for the boundary layer, right where the ice meets the surface, to melt enough to create a thin layer of water, which will make the surface slippery enough so any ice will just slide right off. This is what the team has achieved with this three-layered material they've developed.

The team carried out extensive tests, including real-world outdoor testing of the materials and detailed laboratory measurements, to prove the effectiveness of the system. So It’s not some Sci-fi thing, but a real one.

The top layer is an absorber, which traps incoming sunlight and converts it to heat. The material the team used is highly efficient, absorbing 95 percent of the incident sunlight, and losing only 3 percent to re-radiation.In principle, that layer could in itself help to prevent frost formation, but with two limitations: It would only work in the areas directly in sunlight, and much of the heat would be lost back into the substrate material, But it would not help with the de-icing.

So, the team added a spreader layer very thin layer of aluminium, just 400 micrometres thick, which is heated by the absorber layer above it and very efficiently spreads that heat out laterally to cover the entire surface. The material which they have selected has a very quick thermal response so that the heating takes place faster than the freezing.

Finally, the bottom layer is simply foam insulation, to keep any of that heat from being wasted downward and keep it where it's needed, at the surface.

The three layers, all made of inexpensive commercially available material, are then bonded together and can be bonded to the surface that needs to be protected. For some applications, the materials could instead be sprayed onto a surface, one layer at a time.

The system could even find wider commercial uses, such as panels to prevent icing on roofs of homes, schools, and other buildings. Varanasi said that the team is planning to continue work on the system, testing it for longevity and for optimal methods of application. But the basic system could essentially be applied almost immediately for some uses, especially stationary applications.

More Info:- Photothermal trap utilizing solar illumination for ice mitigation-

Also Read:- Are We Going To Travel In An Affordable Supersonic Aeroplane Soon?

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