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Science and Technology

If there is life on Venus, how could it have got there? Origin of life experts explain

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Shutterstock Luke Steller, UNSW and Martin Van Kranendonk, UNSW The recent discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus is exciting, as it may serve as a potential sign of life (among other possible explanations). The researchers, who published their findings in Nature Astronomy, couldn’t really explain how the phosphine got there. They explored all conceivable possibilities, including lightning, volcanoes …

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A language generation program’s ability to write articles, produce code and compose poetry has wowed scientists

GPT-3 is 10 times more complex than its predecessor. antoniokhr/iStock via Getty Images

GPT-3 is 10 times more complex than its predecessor. antoniokhr/iStock via Getty Images Prasenjit Mitra, Pennsylvania State University Seven years ago, my student and I at Penn State built a bot to write a Wikipedia article on Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s play “Chitra.” First it culled information about “Chitra” from the internet. Then it looked at existing Wikipedia entries …

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“وَشْمٌ” نباتيّ يعمل كجرس إنذار ضد مخاطر غاز الأوزون

Nature (2020) doi:10.1038/d41586-020-02593-x English article Credit: Getty ابتكر العلماء أقطابًا كهربية بحجم ظُفر الإصبع، إذا ما تمَّ تثبيتها (أو “وَشْمُها”) على أوراق الأشجار، تستطيع كشف ما يلحق بها من تلف غير مرئي بفعل تلوث الجو بغاز الأوزون الذي يتخلل ذرات الهواء في كل مكان، ويشكل خطرًا على المحاصيل الزراعية. إنَّ تعرُّض بعض محاصيل الفاكهة، ومنها العنب، لهواءٍ يبلغ تركيز الأوزون فيه …

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Password education should be age-appropriate: here’s how

Our set of best practice principles should help adults to teach the principles to children in an age-appropriate way. Shutterstock

Our set of best practice principles should help adults to teach the principles to children in an age-appropriate way. Shutterstock Karen Renaud, Rhodes University and Suzanne Prior, Abertay University Children are increasingly being exposed to, and using, technology from a very young age. This has never been more true than in 2020 when the vast majority of children worldwide have …

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COVID-19 vaccines: Open source licensing could keep Big Pharma from making huge profits off taxpayer-funded research

How many vaccines will be needed to vaccinate the world against COVID-19? Tetra Images/Getty Images

<figure> <img src=”https://images.theconversation.com/files/357982/original/file-20200914-18-qfqjei.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&rect=71%2C26%2C5911%2C4126&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip” /> <figcaption> How many vaccines will be needed to vaccinate the world against COVID-19? <span class=”attribution”><a class=”source” href=”https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/covid-19-vaccine-with-world-map-in-background-royalty-free-image/1248797862?adppopup=true”>Tetra Images/Getty Images</a></span> </figcaption> </figure> <span><a href=”https://theconversation.com/profiles/charles-m-schweik-1107510″>Charles M Schweik</a>, <em><a href=”https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-massachusetts-amherst-1563″>University of Massachusetts Amherst</a></em> and <a href=”https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-ford-1154482″>Timothy Ford</a>, <em><a href=”https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-massachusetts-lowell-1534″>University of Massachusetts Lowell</a></em></span> <p>An international, multi-billion-dollar race is underway to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and progress is <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/08/health/coronavirus-vaccine-race-intl/”>moving at …

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Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND Melinda A. Yang, University of Richmond The very first human beings originally emerged in Africa before spreading across Eurasia about 60,000 years ago. After that, the story of humankind heads down many different paths, some more well-studied than others. Eastern …

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Latest updates: Apple is trying to reclaim its major innovator status (by making you wash your hands)

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Apple Margarietha de Villiers Scheepers, University of the Sunshine Coast and Martie-Louise Verreynne, RMIT University Market commentators view Apple’s announcements at this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 (WWDC) as one of the company’s most important strategic moves of the past decade. Among the key announcements were details of the watchOS 7 – with a pandemic-inspired handwashing detection feature – and …

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Prehistoric desert footprints are earliest evidence for Homo sapiens on Arabian Peninsula

© Paul Breeze, Author provided

© Paul Breeze, Author provided Richard Clark-Wilson, Royal Holloway Humanity originated on the African continent at least 300,000 years ago. We know from fossil evidence in southern Greece and the Levant (modern-day Israel) that some early members of our species expanded beyond Africa around 200,000 years ago, and again between 120,000 to 90,000 years ago. They likely travelled through the …

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Fossil jawbone from Israel is the oldest modern human found outside Africa

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, CC BY-ND

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, CC BY-ND Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, State University of New York New fossil finds over the past few years have been forcing anthropologists to reexamine our evolutionary path to becoming human. Now the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside …

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