March 17th, 2006



марсоходам предстоит апгрейд....они станут умнее. Не сходя с места.

Spirit and Opportunity have taken more than 100,000 photos, which make up more than 95% of the data sent back to Earth. But the rovers can transmit only a limited amount of data each day, and many pictures show nothing of interest.

So artificial-intelligence experts have developed software to help the robots spot the most important images. The rovers should even be able to crop the images so that only key features are sent home.
The software has taken more than a year to develop and test, using a twin rover on Earth. Testing should finish this week, says Joy Crisp, part of the rover team at JPL. The summer upload will take about five days.


и все-таки в DARPA обитают по-хорошему безбашенные товарищи...

The Pentagon's defence scientists want to create an army of cyber-insects that can be remotely controlled to check out explosives and send transmissions. The idea is to insert micro-systems at the pupa stage, when the insects can integrate them into their body, so they can be remotely controlled later. (english) (русский)

см. также Swarm Intelligence links


SciAm: Gender Gap in Monkey Cognition Closes with Training, Age

В февральском "Behavioral Neuroscience" (2005) описывают эксперименты по обучению резусов. Их разбивали на группы по полам и возрастам: до 15 лет - молодые, 15- 20 лет - средние и за 20 лет - пожилые. Лучшие когнитивные способности продемонстрировали молодые самцы (что ожидаемо).
Но! Во-первых, с возрастом различие между полами в способностях нивелировалось.
А во-вторых, тренировка молодых самок позволяла им существенно улучшить свои показатели тестов, в то время как тренировка молодых самцов их показатели не улучшала.

"A few reports in humans suggest that men show greater age-related cognitive decline relative to women. Our results in monkeys are consistent with these reports, at least concerning the specific domain of spatial cognition."


Центр галактики - известное место "со странностями". Ранее оттуда были приняты пять радио-импульсов, посланные с равными интервалами.

Radio Pulses Could Signal New Class of Astronomical Object
Nature, March 2005

"A survey of our galaxy's center has turned up evidence of what may be a new class of astronomical object. According to results published in the journal "Nature" scientists have detected an unusual burst of RADIO waves emanating from near the galactic center with characteristics that are unlike those of previously detected radio bursts.

Scott Hyman of Sweet Briar College and his colleagues analyzed data collected from years of monitoring the center of the Milky Way Galaxy using the Very Large Array telescope in New Mexico. Radio waves having wavelengths around one meter long were of particular interest to the team: between September 30 and October 1, 2002, they detected five bursts of such radiation, which repeated at constant intervals. The bursts coming from the new source, dubbed GCRT J1745-3009, each lasted about 10 minutes and repeated on a 77-minute cycle for nearly seven hours. In addition, the source is not stationary. "It [GCRT J1745-3009] has not been detected since 2002," Hyman notes, "nor is it present on earlier images."

The transitory nature of GCRT J1745-3009 has made it difficult to assign it to an existing class of object. Whatever it is, it is unique: the astronomers suggest it is either the first of a new type of object or an example of a known source acting in a novel way. Of interest to the scientists is the fact that no x-rays were detected along with the radio waves, because many astronomical sources emit both. In the future, the team plans to continue monitoring the Milky Way for further evidence of GCRT J1745-3009 using both radio and x-ray telescopes. In an accompanying commentary, Shri R. Kulkarni and E. Sterl Phinney of the California Institute of Technology note that "the manner of its discovery, and the potentially exciting interpretation, will inspire more dedicated searches for radio transients."


В районе центра Галактики растянулось магнитное поле в виде гигантской "модели" ДНК.


Astronomers Report Unprecedented Double Helix Nebula Near Center of the Milky Way
Nature, March 2006

"We see two intertwining strands wrapped around each other as in a DNA molecule," said Mark Morris, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and lead author. "Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm. Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas - space weather. What we see indicates a high degree of order."

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (images)

The Hubble Space Telescope (images)


Нашли динозавра, "обязанного" быть в перьях, а он голый! - палеонтологи задумались....


Paleontologists...have discovered a new small theropod dinosaur. The nearly complete specimen--dubbed Juravenator starki--is one of just a few known fossils representing this group, which ultimately gave rise to modern birds. Indeed, it joins just two partial skeletons of another genus as the only European examples of the tiny carnivores. Unlike the other two specimens, however, it lacks any sign of feathers, complicating what researchers thought they knew about feather evolution.

In fact, the discovery of feathers in a wide variety of coelurosaurs had led experts to posit that the entire clade had the downy covering. But Juravenator's skin impressions--seen in the middle of its tail and on its hind legs--show only scales.
This could mean that feathers evolved, were lost and then regained in the lineage or that the creature shed its coat during different seasons, the researchers write. Or it could be that Juravenator is more primitive than they suggest, argues Xing Xu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing in an accompanying commentary.

Есть ли необходимость в столь экзотичных версиях? - feathers evolved, were lost and then regained in the lineage or that the creature shed its coat during different seasons....


хорошая книга, но, к моему большому сожалению, в сети наличествует только первая глава. Мне повезло, что я имел возможность ознакомиться с книгой целиком...- Стивен Роуз с давних пор недолюбливает редукционизм и, как следствие, редукционистов. На что имеет весьма веские основания: за его плечами огромный опыт практических исследований в биохимии и нейрофизиологии.

by Steven Rose
"Lifelines : Biology Beyond Determinism"

Книга в сжатом изложении!

см. также...