Tag Archives: science

Gender Activists ask not to Give Skeletons A Gender Or Categorize Their Race as it leads to white supremacy

It’s unclear how the deceased defined themselves when they were living, gender campaigners demand scientists stop classifying ancient human remains as either male or female. Additionally, woke warriors have asked that archaeologists stop classifying the racial composition of remains because doing so “contributes to white supremacy.”

Last night, critics claimed that such demands would force the current ideology “where it doesn’t belong” and result in a rewriting of history.

How dare you assume the gender of ancient skeletons! | The Spectator  Australia

Traditionally, archaeologists use established scientific techniques like bone structure and DNA analysis to identify features like age, gender, and race when human remains are excavated.

This broadens the scope of academic inquiry and enables anthropologists and historians to understand more about the subject.

However, modern academics are increasingly classifying ancient skeletons as “non-binary” or “gender-neutral.”

Archaeologists “must center the flexibility of gender in their archaeological activity,” according to the Black Trowel Collective of American “anarchist archaeologists.”

Ancient Skeletons Found Holding Hands in England - ABC News

It is obvious from archaeological, historical, and ethnographic sources that human gender is highly variable and that people have historically been at ease with a spectrum of genders beyond modern “masculine” and “feminine” binaries, according to the group’s declaration on “trans liberation.”

Emeritus professor of history at the University of Exeter, Jeremy Black said: ‘It is an absurd proposition, as the difference between genders, just as the difference between religious, social and national groups, are key motors in history.’

Ancient skeletons are increasingly being labelled as ¿non-binary¿ or ¿gender-neutral¿ by trendy academics. Pictured, a skeleton in Hertfordshire was found under a planned football pitch

He further added: ‘This very ideological approach to knowledge means that we’re in danger of making knowledge itself simply a matter of political preference.’ European researchers suggested last year that 1,000-year-old remains found in Finland belonged to a non-binary person because items around the bones, such as a sword, suggested the person was male, while jewelry suggested the remains were female.

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent said: ‘If you look at history, one of the foundations of civilization is the distinction between man and woman, whether it be in the Bible or yin and yang in Chinese philosophy, so when you distort that you get a completely different version of what has happened.

‘Should this dangerous dogma be accepted, it means that when children learn about Greek, Roman, or other ancient civilizations they get a falsified picture. 

(File Photo) Woke campaigners argued human remains found by archaeologists should not be given a gender because it could not be known how the person identified in life

‘You have to fight back against this because if it is accepted then the whole academic enterprise turns into an empty pursuit of ideological objectives.’

Earlier this year, a US study encouraged scientists to avoid classifying human remains by race, calling it “hazardous.” The authors claimed that because of ingrained racial biases, “ancestry estimation adds to white supremacy” and “may actually hinder identification efforts.”

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Scientists Are Turning Dead Spiders Into ‘Necrobots’ And We Are So Freaked Out

When graduate student in mechanical engineering Faye Yap noticed a dead spider curled up in the corridor, she had the strange idea that it would be used as a robotics component.

Some people’s worst scenario may involve turning dead spiders into mechanical grippers, yet it might have real advantages. Spider legs are able to gently and securely grasp huge, delicate, and asymmetrically shaped objects without damaging them.

The mechanical engineers at Rice University were inspired after coming across curled up spiders while moving things about in their laboratory. Lead author Faye Yap (pictured) wanted to find out why it was that the arachnids' legs curl inwards after they die

Therefore, Yap and her colleagues at Rice University developed a method to make a dead wolf spider’s legs unfold and grab onto objects in partnership with mechanical engineer Daniel Preston.

They gave this new branch of robotics the name “necrobotics.”

Jodie Louise WitchinnReadin's review of City of Fae

Strangely, spider legs are not extended by muscles but rather by hydraulic pressure. When the prosoma chamber, also known as the cephalothorax, contracts, inner body fluid is forced into the legs, causing them to lengthen.

So, using a glob of superglue, the scientists sealed the needle’s tip after inserting it into the spider’s prosoma chamber. The spider’s legs could be made to go through their whole range of motion in less than a second by just inflating the syringe with a tiny puff of air.

“We took the spider, we placed the needle in it not knowing what was going to happen,” says Yap in a video on the Rice University website.

“We had an estimate of where we wanted to place the needle. And when we did, it worked, the first time, right off the bat. I don’t even know how to describe it, that moment.”

spiderrobot 2

The scientists succeeded in getting the dead spider to grasp a tiny ball, and they utilized that experiment to calculate the highest grip force, which was 0.35 millinewtons.

They then performed a demonstration in which a dead spider was used to pick up fragile items and electronics, removing a jumper wire from an electric breadboard and moving a block of polyurethane foam afterward.

Additionally, they demonstrated that the spider could support the weight of another spider of a similar size.

Scientists transform dead spiders into 'necrobots' that can serve as mechanical  grippers | UK Times

When a spider dies, the hydraulic system ceases to function because it extends its legs by applying hydraulic pressure from its cephalothorax. The spider curls up when the flexor muscles in its legs develop into rigor Mortis because they can only move in one direction.

While manufacturing the majority of man-made robotics components is highly sophisticated, spiders are already quite complex and, sadly for arachnophobes, are readily available.

“The concept of necrobotics proposed in this work takes advantage of unique designs created by nature that can be complicated or even impossible to replicate artificially,” the researchers say in their paper.

Since spiders can be biodegraded, utilizing them as robot parts would reduce waste in the robotics industry.

Engineers first tapped into the spider's prosoma chamber with a needle, attaching it with a dab of superglue. The other end of the needle was connected to one of the lab's test rigs or a handheld syringe, which delivered a minute amount of air to activate the legs almost instantly
Left: A scanning electron microscope image of the articular membrane of a spider's patellofemoral joint, that has inspired the design of many soft flexible joints. Right: A hypodermic needle is inserted into the prosoma of the spider and sealed with glue

“One of the applications we could see this being used for is micro-manipulation, and that could include things like micro-electronic devices,” says Preston in the video. 

“We think that’s related to issues with dehydration of the joints. We think we can overcome that by applying polymeric coatings,” explains Preston. 

Researchers Turn Dead Spiders Into 'Necrobotic' Grippers - CNET

When the wolf spiders were coated in beeswax, the researchers found that over the course of 10 days, their mass decreased 17 times less than the uncoated spider, indicating that the beeswax increased water retention and prolonged hydraulic system function.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Debris from a massive 21 Ton Chinese booster rocket could fall to Earth early next week

According to US Space Command, which is monitoring the rocket’s course, the remains of the enormous Chinese rocket that delivered a new module to its space station on Monday are predicted to fall to Earth early next week.

At 2:22 p.m. local time on Sunday, July 24, the Wentian laboratory module, which weighed 21 tonnes, was launched from Hainan Island aboard a Long March 5B rocket. The module successfully docked with China’s orbital outpost.

Yet another out-of-control Chinese rocket is sparking concern — a year after one of Beijing's spacecrafts showered debris over the Indian Ocean

After finishing its mission, the rocket commenced an erratic drop through the atmosphere of Earth, and it is unclear where it will land. This is the third time that the nation has been charged with improperly managing space debris from its rocket stage because of the uncontrolled descent.

“It’s a 20-tonne metal object. Although it will break up as it enters the atmosphere, numerous pieces — some of them quite large — will reach the surface,” said Michael Byers, a professor at the University of British Columbia and author of a recent study on the risk of casualties from space debris.

Experts fear that debris from a 21-ton Long March 5B rocket, which was launched to space on Sunday (pictured), may fail to fully burn up as it re-enters Earth's atmosphere

Space debris poses extremely minimal risk to humans, Byers explained, but it’s possible that larger parts could cause damage if it lands in inhabited regions.

“This risk is entirely avoidable since technologies and mission designs now exist that can provide controlled reentries (usually into remote areas of oceans) instead of uncontrolled and therefore entire random ones,” he said via email.

He continued by saying that the rocket’s re-entry zone was physically restricted to latitudes between 41 degrees south and 41 degrees north of the equator.

According to a spokeswoman for the US Space Command, the US will monitor the Chinese rocket’s return to Earth.

Based on varying atmospheric conditions, the exact entry point of the rocket stage into Earth’s atmosphere “cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry,” the spokesperson said, but it is estimated to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere around August 1.

Daily reports on the location of the 18th Space Defense Squadron, a US military unit that monitors reentries, will also be given.

According to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, space debris that weighs more than 2.2 tonnes is frequently carried to a precise place during its first orbit around the planet.

“The point is that things that big are normally not put in orbit without an active control system,” he said.

The Wentian lab module was launched atop a Long March 5B rocket from Hainan Island at 2:22 p.m. local time on Sunday, July 24.

With “no active control system and no re-startable engine to boost it back down to Earth… it just tumbles along in orbit and eventually burns up due to friction with the atmosphere.”

China was heavily criticized last year for its handling of space debris after it launched another module on a similar rocket. Its remnants plunged into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives 10 days after the launch.

NASA said China failed to “meet responsible standards.”

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at the time.

In response to criticism, China accused the US of “acting against their conscience” and being “anti-intellectual” by “hyping up anxieties” regarding the rocket descent.

2020 saw the uncontrolled re-entry of a Chinese rocket core, which weighed close to 20 tonnes and flew over Los Angeles and Central Park in New York City before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Every day, space debris like defunct satellites reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, but most of it is undetected because it burns up before it can impact the earth.

Only larger space debris, such as spacecraft and rocket parts, poses even a slight risk to people and ground-based infrastructure.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Chinese scientists develop robot fish that gobble up microplastics

Chinese researchers have created tiny robot fish that consume microplastics as an innovative method of reducing ocean pollution.

These tiny, touchable bots, which measure just 1.3 cm, can already ingest microplastics in shallow water, according to a group of Chinese researchers from Sichuan University in the southwest of the country.

A fish-shaped robot moves under the direction of a near-infrared light in this screen grab provided on Tuesday.—Reuters

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic that separate from larger objects like bottles or synthetic garments. They are almost omnipresent on Earth and pose a hazard to both human and animal health as well as the environment.

The tiny particles have been identified in human blood, lungs, and even developing fetuses in addition to finding their way into the food and water we consume.

According to Wang Yuyan, one of the researchers who built the bot, scientists in China are now trying to enable the robot fish to collect microplastics deeper in the water, above the surface, and to offer data that analyses marine pollution in real-time.

Chinese scientists make robot fish to 'eat' microplastics in polluted  Oceans | Mint

“We developed such a lightweight miniaturized robot. It can be used in many ways, for example in biomedical or hazardous operations, such as a small robot that can be localized to a part of your body to help you eliminate some disease”.

The black robot fish is exposed to light, which helps it move its body and fins. To prevent the fish from striking other animals or even ships, scientists can control it using light.

Being constructed of polyurethane, which is also biocompatible, it can be safely digested if it is accidentally consumed by other fish, according to Wang.

Chinese scientists develop robot fish that gobble up microplastics |  Technology

Even when it is injured, the fish has the capacity to absorb contaminants and repair itself. It can swim faster than the majority of artificial soft robots—up to 2.76 body lengths per second.

“We are mostly working on collection. It is like a sampling robot and it can be used repeatedly,” Wang said.

At the United Nations Ocean Conference last month, experts and environmentalists warned that plastic waste was an increasing menace to both humans and marine life.

According to studies, 11 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, and if manufacturing and use of disposable containers are not decreased, that number might quadruple by 2040.

Source: euronews.com

NASA Observatory Captures Stunning Solar Eclipse from Space

With the help of its exceptional vantage point in orbit, the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) was able to take spectacular pictures of a partial solar eclipse. Yesterday at 1:20 AM ET, the NASA satellite captured images of the moon crossing in front of the sun, a celestial phenomenon that was only visible to the SDO.

The moon covered 67 percent of the star’s scorching surface at its greatest extent during the transit, which lasted for around 35 minutes.

solar eclipse

The spacecraft then returned a series of images of the event that showed “lunar mountains backlit by solar fire,” reports Space Weather.

The Leibnitz and Doerfel mountain ranges have been recognized by bumps and abnormalities on the moon’s surface as they passed by.

A topography map from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was compared to the close-up photos of the moon crossing the sun by Patricio Leon of Santiago, Chile.

Patricio Leon, from Santiago, Chile, compared the close-up images of the moon moving across the sun to a topography map from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter He was able to identify the Leibnitz and Doerfel mountain ranges near the moon's south pole during the eclipse

During the eclipse, he was able to make out the Leibnitz and Doerfel mountain ranges that are close to the south pole of the moon.

“At the peak of the eclipse, the Moon covered 67 percent of the sun, and lunar mountains were backlit by solar fire,” writes Space Weather.

“High-resolution images like these can help the SDO science team better understand the telescope. They reveal how light diffracts around SDO’s optics and filter support grids.

“Once these are calibrated, it is possible to correct SDO data for instrumental effects and sharpen images of the sun even more than before.”

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which was launched in 2010, keeps an eye on the sun using a fleet of satellites and takes photos of it every 0.75 seconds.

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), pictured here in illustration, studies how solar activity is created and how space weather results from that activity

It also investigates the magnetic field, atmosphere, sunspots, and other features of the sun that affect activity during the course of the sun’s 11-year cycle.

One of the many incredible images the SDO has provided

As it appears to be entering a particularly active phase of its 11-year cycle of activity, which started in 2019 and is predicted to peak in 2025, the sun has been experiencing increased activity for some months.

At the height of the solar activity cycle, the magnetic poles of the sun flip, and the magnetic field is carried through the solar system by a solar wind made up of charged particles.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Elon Musk’s humanoid Tesla robot predicted to be ready by September

Elon Musk, the tech mogul, has been in the news a lot lately. Earlier he reached the deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, his name emerged in the blockbuster defamation Trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. This time, he is in the spotlight for something big to renounce its way into the future of Artificial Intelligence.

By the end of September, Tesla plans to have a functioning humanoid robot prototype. A second Tesla “AI DAY” with “many cool updates” from the company’s projects has been scheduled for August 19, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla Optimus

The self-driving program was the main emphasis of the previous year’s presentation, which also revealed plans for the “Tesla Bot” humanoid robot, also known as “Tesla Optimus.”

The second AI Day was then delayed to Sept. 30, with Musk writing on Twitter: “we may have an Optimus prototype working by then.”

Musk stated that the business is “tracking” toward a functional prototype during a Tuesday interview at the Qatar Economic Forum.

Elon Musk

“Well, I hope that we will have an interesting prototype to show people,” he said.

“We have a very talented team at Tesla that I’m working with closely to have a prototype humanoid robot ready by the end of September.

The Tesla bot is set to include the Autopilot computer used in the company's electric cars, which will allow the humanoid to recognised real-world things. But the robot will have its own customised sensors and actuators

“And I think we are tracking to that point.”

He also emphasized that they would showcase other things at the event to prove that Tesla is a “real-world AI company.”

Tesla Optimus

“We have these sort of AI Day events to just emphasize that Tesla is a lot more than a car company and that we are, in my view, the leading real-world AI company that exists.”

In other interviews, Musk stated that he thinks the first iteration of the bot, which would be able to carry out duties like grocery shopping, will start production sometime in 2023.

He outlined how Optimus was created so that humans could outrun and defeat it if necessary, but he made sure to emphasize that because of its decentralized control system, it wouldn’t be a threat to anyone.

Tesla Optimus

Previously, Musk stated on the Lex Fridman podcast that his Tesla Bots might someday serve as both friends and employees.

He said: “It could develop a personality over time that is unique.

“It’s not like all the robots are the same.”

He added: “That personality could evolve to match the owner, or whatever you want to call it.”

Updates on Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer, which was presented at AI Day the previous year, are also anticipated.

Last August, Musk (pictured) said the bot would be able to handle a range of jobs - from attaching bolts to cars with a wrench, to picking up groceries in shops

A broad update on the company’s self-driving initiative, the first practical use of Tesla’s AI, is also anticipated. In order to direct technology toward assisting the public, Musk suggested for an agency to supervise and govern the development of AI.

Source: dailymail.co.uk