41 articles from MONDAY 4.7.2022

Scaling the cost of government programs using a cost-per-person price tag improves comprehension by the general public

Government policies often are presented with hefty price tags, but people often zone out as more zeros are added to the total cost. A new study from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that rescaling the cost of programs can increase a person's understanding of funding choices, which may improve how people participate in the policy debate. The results are available in the July issue of the journal...

Spain, Portugal dryness 'unprecedented' in 1,200 years

Parts of Portugal and Spain are the driest they have been in a thousand years due to an atmospheric high-pressure system driven by climate change, according to research published Monday, warning of severe implications for wine and olive production.

Cern gears up for more discoveries 10 years after ‘God particle’ find

With the Higgs boson already in the bag, the Large Hadron Collider begins another period of data collectionIt’s 10 years to the day since evidence of the Higgs boson – the elusive particle associated with an invisible mass-giving field – was announced. But for Prof Daniela Bortoletto the memories are as fresh as ever.“I just remember joy. I remember that everybody was so happy. And what...

Study explores coevolution of mammals and their lice

According to a new study, the first louse to take up residence on a mammalian host likely started out as a parasite of birds. That host-jumping event tens of millions of years ago began the long association between mammals and lice, setting the stage for their coevolution and offering more opportunities for the lice to spread to other mammals.

The Higgs boson, ten years after its discovery

Ten years ago, on July 4 2012, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of a new particle with features consistent with those of the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. The discovery was a landmark in the history of science and captured the world's attention. One year later it won François Englert and Peter Higgs the...

What are whale sharks up to?

Satellite-tracking of the largest fish in the ocean offered insight into their migratory and feeding behavior, but their breeding grounds are still a mystery.

Researchers use AI to detect new family of genes in gut bacteria

Using artificial intelligence, researchers have discovered a new family of sensing genes in enteric bacteria that are linked by structure and probably function, but not genetic sequence. The findings offer a new way of identifying the role of genes in unrelated species and could lead to new ways to fight intestinal bacterial infections.

Fast and facile synthesis of antibacterial amino acid Schiff base copper complexes

Schiff base-metal complexes exhibit promising antibacterial and antioxidant properties. However, conventional methods for their preparation can be time-consuming. To reduce the reaction time and improve the quality and quantity of the products, researchers designed a new synthesis technique that uses microwave irradiation and methanol for the preparation of amino acid Schiff base copper complexes...

The big idea: should we worry about sentient AI?

A Google employee raised the alarm about a chatbot he believes is conscious. A philosopher asks if he was right to do soThere’s a children’s toy, called the See ’n Say, which haunts the memories of many people born since 1965. It’s a bulky plastic disc with a central arrow that rotates around pictures of barnyard creatures, like a clock, if time were measured in roosters and pigs....

ATLAS and CMS release results of most comprehensive studies yet of Higgs boson's properties

Today, exactly ten years after announcing the discovery of the Higgs boson, the international ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) report the results of their most comprehensive studies yet of the properties of this unique particle. The independent studies, described in two papers published today in Nature, show that the particle's properties are remarkably consistent...

Ode to the Spring review – Chinese exploration of pandemic ground zero in Wuhan

Telling five Covid-related stories, this platitudinous urban-interconnection drama offers lectures on virtue and self-sacrifice and feels like state propagandaThis interminable anthology film about the pandemic feels like being force-fed lectures on altruism, family responsibility, self-sacrifice and neighbourly forbearance by the Chinese government (which produced it). Set almost entirely in...

Russian cosmonauts display flag of occupied Luhansk region on ISS

Cosmonauts praised in February for wearing yellow uniforms in apparent show of support for UkraineRussia-Ukraine war: live updatesThe Russian cosmonauts who were lauded at the outset of the war on Ukraine in February for appearing to show their support for their invaded neighbours with yellow and blue spacesuits have been pictured on the International Space Station (ISS) holding the flags of the...