According to a study by the University of California at Berkeley, traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo index only about 0.2% of the Internet. The remaining 99.8%, known as the “deep Web,” is a vast body of public and subscription-based information that traditional search engines can’t access. With Infovell, users search with key phrases up to 25,000 words long, rather than keywords. Image credit: Infovell. To dig into this “invisible” information, scientists have developed a new search engine called Infovell geared at helping researchers find often obscure data in the deep Web. As scientists working on the Human Genome Project, Infovell´s founders designed the new searching technology based on methods in genomics research. Instead of using keywords, Infovell accepts much longer search terms, and in any language.”There are no ´keywords´ in genetics,” explains Infovell´s Web site. “New unique and powerful techniques have been developed to extract knowledge from genes. Now, through Infovell, these techniques have, for the first time, been applied to language and other symbol systems, shattering long-held barriers in search and leapfrogging the capabilities of current search providers to deliver the World´s Research Engine.”While keywords may work fine for the general public looking for popular and accessible content, they don´t often meet the needs of researchers looking for specific data. As information in the deep web continues to grow, Infovell explains that a one-size-fits-all approach to searching will make academic searching even more challenging.One reason is the nature of deep Web sites themselves. While many popular Web sites are specifically designed to be search-engine friendly, a lot of deep Web content is unstructured, making it difficult for keyword-based search engines to index. Further, the deep Web does not receive much traffic, meaning these pages don´t have many incoming links and therefore aren´t ranked highly by systems such as Google´s PageRank. And for private sites, barriers such as registration and subscription requirements also make it difficult for search engines to access them. Searching with keywords also presents a trade-off between being too general and getting millions of irrelevant results, or being too specific and not getting any results at all. After getting results, users then have to sift through many pages looking for what they need.But with Infovell, users search with “KeyPhrases,” from paragraphs to whole documents or even sets of documents up to 25,000 words. Because it´s born out of the world of genomics, Infovell is also language-independent. Users can search in English, Chinese, Arabic, or even mathematical symbols, chemical formulas, or musical notes. “The key requirement is that the information is in digital format, and it can be stored in a linear, sequential and segregated manner,” according to Infovell´s site.Infovell´s technology allows users to locate the most current and comprehensive documents and published articles from billions of pages, with topics including life sciences, medicine, patents, industry news, and other reference content. Currently, some researchers use advanced search options provided by individual sites to try to get around keyword search engines. However, these search engines require users to learn special syntax, and only work for the site they´re at. The advantage of Infovell is that it doesn´t require special training (and it doesn´t use Boolean operators, taxonomies or clustering); rather, it is easy to use and can search everything at once. Although Infovell is not the first attempt at a search engine for crawling the deep Web, its developers hope that researchers will benefit from Infovell´s advantages more in the future, especially as the deep Web continues to grow. Infovell is being demonstrated at DEMOfall08, a conference for emerging technologies taking place in San Diego on September 7-9. Users can sign up for a 30-day risk-free trial at Infovell´s Web site, and Infovell is initially available on a subscription basis. Later this year, Infovell will release a free beta version on a limited basis without some of the advanced features in the premium version.More information: www.infovell.comVia: www.networkworld.com Citation: Infovell’s ‘research engine’ finds deep Web pages that Google, Yahoo miss (2008, September 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-infovell-deep-web-pages-google.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Right now, there are experiments going on in many laboratories, attempting to determine whether axionlike particles really do exist. One is happening at CERN, and that is the experiment Burrage is most interested in. “The experimenters are using what is called the CERN Axion Solar Telescope,” she says. “It has a cap on the end of a telescope pointed at the sun that would keep out photons. Axionlike particles, though, would pass through the cap. Then a magnetic field would be passed through the telescope, changing any axionlike particles into photons. If you could see light, even with the cap on, it would be a good indicator of the existence of these particles.” Other experiments are going on at Fermi Lab and at DESY, and involve a similar process that would result in the appearance of light “passing through” a thick barrier.At the present time, though, Burrage and her colleagues are interested in looking at the dimming results of other astronomical objects. “We are interested in the lab results of the experiments with axionlike particles, but we are not involved. Instead, we are looking to see if other types of astronomical objects are affected as the way active galactic nuclei are. If these effects are seen in observations of other objects, the case for axionlike particles is strengthened.”More information: Clare Burrage, Anne-Christine Davis, Douglas J. Shaw, “Active Galactic Nuclei Shed Light on Axionlike Particles,” Physical Review Letters (2009). Avialable online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.201101 . Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Galactic nuclei offer some indication of axionlike particles (2009, May 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-05-galactic-nuclei-indication-axionlike-particles.html (PhysOrg.com) — “Axionlike particles are interesting because they come up regularly when scientists study string theory. By looking at their properties, you hope to learn about string theory, or some other unified theory of physics. From a cosmological point of view, axionlike particles are of interest because they could be connected to dark energy,” Clare Burrage tells PhysOrg.com. The main hiccup in this study of axionlike particles, however, is the fact that their existence – much like their cousins, axions – has yet to be proven. Explore further Burrage is a scientist at Deutsches Elektonen-Synchrotron DESY in Hamburg, Germany. She believes that some cosmological evidence for axionlike particles might have been found. Along with Anne-Christine Davis at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, U.K., and Douglas Shaw at Queen Mary University of London, Burrage has been studying luminosity relations in active galactic nuclei. The team believes that their results offer a good case for the existence of axionlike particles, which are thought to have low mass and weak interactions. Their work is available in Physical Review Letters: “Active Galactic Nuclei Shed Light on Axionlike Particles.”“For a long time, it has been speculated that a magnetic field could be used to change photons into axionlike particles. It is possible to look for these particles in the laboratory, and it is also possible to look for them using astronomy. We are looking for axionlike particles in astronomy, first by comparing observations of active galactic nuclei to what we expect to be the effects of the presence of axionlike particles.”Active galactic nuclei are compact regions at the centers of galaxies. These nuclei are characterized by higher than normal luminosity. Using galactic centers for reference has long been a practice when discovering distant objects and determining cosmic evolution. Burrage and her peers suggest that active galactic nuclei appear dimmer than they should, due to the presence of axionlike particles. “We have seen in the past that if photons pass through a magnetic field, like one might have near galactic nuclei, and they are converted to axionlike particles, you would lose a lot of light,” she explains. “You would see a much dimmer object than expected. That is what we are seeing when we look at the precision measurements we have studied.”Burrage points out that, while the results of this data crunching are encouraging, they are not conclusive. “The problem with astronomy is that you can’t go out and poke the galaxy,” she says. “There’s a lot about the physics that we don’t understand. There could be another explanation that mimics the effects we are looking for. We need to see it in the lab as well, if we want to back up our assertion that we are dealing with axionlike particles.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Is dark matter made of axions?
(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at Daresbury science park in Britain have offered a glimpse into what might be the future of nuclear energy production by showcasing a scaled down particle accelerator; one, that when combined with others just like it, could produce nuclear energy based on thorium, rather than uranium. Dubbed the Electron Machine with Many Applications (EMMA), the accelerator, a much smaller version of the kind used in physics research, such as the Large Hadron Collider, could be used to provide an accelerated beam necessary for the type of nuclear reaction used in a theoretical thorium plant. The EMMA ring in relation to the main ERLP (ALICE) accelerator. Thorium, named for the Norse god of thunder, is a silver-white metal found in abundance all over the planet, and is only very slightly radioactive and as such is a member of the elements known as actinides which, like uranium, occasionally spin off particles which make it useful for energy production. But unlike uranium, thorium is relatively clean because it decays much faster leaving far less reactive byproducts behind; and because it requires a constant bombardment of particles to keep it reacting, is incapable of producing a meltdown; something on the minds of people in the aftermath the Fukushima disaster.That’s where EMMA enters the picture. To produce the constant stream of particles needed to keep a thorium reaction going, an accelerator is needed, but it wouldn’t have to be the huge billion dollar kind, more like the kind you could fit in your garage, or in this case in a lab on the boggy Cheshire flatland, just east of Liverpool, where reporters from the U.K. newspaper Mail, were recently given a tour. They report that EMMA is “an object of scientific beauty…” Scientists have known since the 1950’s that thorium could be used to produce electricity, just as uranium is today; what kept them from doing so was the desire to use technology that could be used in conjunction with atomic weapons, which pushed thorium research aside due to its impracticality for such applications. Today however, things have obviously changed, several countries besides Britain are taking a very hard look at thorium and the ways it could be put to good use and at small particle accelerators too; the team in Britain is also currently at work designing the Particle Accelerator for Medical Applications (Pamela) to be used to help treat hard to reach cancer in patients. © 2010 PhysOrg.com A future energy giant? India’s thorium-based nuclear plans Explore further Citation: New pint sized particle accelerator leads the way to clean nuclear energy (2011, June 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-pint-sized-particle-nuclear-energy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Toward a pill to enable celiac patients to eat foods containing gluten © 2013 Phys.org Explore further More information: Sustained gastrointestinal activity of dendronized polymer–enzyme conjugates, Nature Chemistry (2013) doi:10.1038/nchem.1675AbstractMethods to stabilize and retain enzyme activity in the gastrointestinal tract are investigated rarely because of the difficulty of protecting proteins from an environment that has evolved to promote their digestion. Preventing the degradation of enzymes under these conditions, however, is critical for the development of new protein-based oral therapies. Here we show that covalent conjugation to polymers can stabilize orally administered therapeutic enzymes at different locations in the gastrointestinal tract. Architecturally and functionally diverse polymers are used to protect enzymes sterically from inactivation and to promote interactions with mucin on the stomach wall. Using this approach the in vivo activity of enzymes can be sustained for several hours in the stomach and/or in the small intestine. These findings provide new insight and a firm basis for the development of new therapeutic and imaging strategies based on orally administered proteins using a simple and accessible technology. Journal information: Nature Chemistry Citation: Polymers could help enzymes treat diseases (2013, June 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-polymers-enzymes-diseases.html Enzymes lose their structure and break up into their component parts easily. To correct this problem, biochemists have been attaching polymers to enzymes for decades. This makes the enzymes stable enough for use in pharmaceuticals. Doctors tend to administer these modified enzymes by injection or other non-oral routes, so they do not have to pass through the GI tract. Some oral medications contain enzymes; these have coatings to prevent stomach acid from attacking them. However, it is hard to predict how well the coatings will work in individual patients, so such medicines are not very reliable.Recently, scientists modified an enzyme that breaks down phenylalanine, the amino acid that causes a problem for people with phenylketonuria (PKU), by combining it with the polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG). When given orally, this polymer-enzyme conjugate helped reduce phenylalanine levels in mice with PKU. Leroux’s team, which had been studying celiac disease, tried to see if it could achieve similar results by attaching polymers to enzymes that break down gluten, the protein that triggers the disease. An enzyme that digests gluten before it reaches the small intestine would benefit celiac sufferers greatly. Enzymes known as proline-specific endopeptidases (PEPs) break down gluten. However, they are denaturized and deactivated in the stomach. The researchers tried to stabilize different types of PEPs by attaching different polymers to them. They labeled the modified enzymes with a fluorescent substance and fed them to rats. Enzymes attached to dendronized polymers, which have a linear main chain and dendron-type side chain, remained active in the rats’ stomachs for more than three hours. The researchers think that the dendronized polymers may provide a protective effect by adhering to the mucus in the stomach lining. They are now performing further studies on mutated enzymes to gain a better understanding of how the polymers prevent enzymes from degrading. Schematic depiction of the behaviour of MX–polymer conjugates in the GI tract. After oral administration, MX–PG1 interacts with the negatively charged gastric mucin layer, which results in strong mucoadhesion. MX–PDL, MX–PAA and MX–mPEG do not (or only weakly) interact with the mucin layer. Credit: (c) Nature Chemistry (2013) doi:10.1038/nchem.1675 (Phys.org) —Conditions such as celiac disease, phenylketonuria, lactose intolerance and exocrine pancreatic disease involve abnormal enzyme activity. Enzymes administered orally could help sufferers. However, because enzymes, like all proteins, break down in the stomach and small intestine, they cannot usually survive in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract long enough to be effective. In a study published in Nature Chemistry, Jean-Christophe Leroux and his colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology report they have found polymers that, when attached to enzymes, will prevent the enzymes from degrading in the GI tract. The research paves the way for new medical treatments. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
© 2013 Phys.org More information: Evidence for supernova injection into the solar nebula and the decoupling of r-process nucleosynthesis, PNAS, Published online before print October 7, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307759110AbstractThe isotopic composition of our Solar System reflects the blending of materials derived from numerous past nucleosynthetic events, each characterized by a distinct isotopic signature. We show that the isotopic compositions of elements spanning a large mass range in the earliest formed solids in our Solar System, calcium–aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), are uniform, and yet distinct from the average Solar System composition. Relative to younger objects in the Solar System, CAIs contain positive r-process anomalies in isotopes A < 140 and negative r-process anomalies in isotopes A > 140. This fundamental difference in the isotopic character of CAIs around mass 140 necessitates (i) the existence of multiple sources for r-process nucleosynthesis and (ii) the injection of supernova material into a reservoir untapped by CAIs. A scenario of late supernova injection into the protoplanetary disk is consistent with formation of our Solar System in an active star-forming region of the galaxy. Early solar system garnet-like mineral named for Livermore cosmochemist A 520g individual of the Allende meteorite shower. Credit: H. Raab / Wikipedia. Explore further (Phys.org) —A combined team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Arizona State University has found isotopic evidence of a supernova inside of a meteorite that fell to Earth in 1969. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the team describes how isotopes found in the Allende meteorite differ from those found on Earth or on the moon, suggesting they came directly from a supernova rather than from a debris field that followed. Scientists agree that our solar system formed approximately four and a half billion years ago—how exactly it happened, however, is still a matter of debate. Most agree that it was likely the result of one or more stars exploding, because the heavy matter that makes up our planet is only known to form in stars, or when they explode as a supernova. Research has even led to a theory describing how three types of isotopes come about: p-, s- and r-processes, from which all matter heavier than nickel is made. In this new effort, the researchers found isotopes inside the Allende meteorite that conform to the r-process; this they contend, suggests that the isotopic material very likely came about directly when a supernova exploded. The rest of the meteorite (the outer shell) likely came about as debris from the explosion followed sometime later. This discovery has added new details to theories about the way our solar system came to exist.One theory suggests that a single supernova explosion led to the creation of our sun and later the planets as debris from the explosions entered the system. Another suggests that our sun could have been created by more than one supernova, all of which would have likely contributed, via debris, to the matter that coalesced into planets. The material in the Allende meteorite helps refine such theories by narrowing the window of its injection into our system to a relatively small time frame—perhaps as small as 20 to 50 thousand years.Clumps inside the meteorite, known as inclusions, are believed to represent some of the oldest material in the solar system and offer the best evidence possible of what was happening as our solar system was being created. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Reexamination of Allende meteorite reveals isotopic evidence of supernova (2013, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-reexamination-allende-meteorite-reveals-isotopic.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Journal information: Earth and Planetary Science Letters Citation: Meteorite find may be ‘missing half’ of interstellar collision (2014, July 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-07-meteorite-interstellar-collision.html For several years scientists have debated the reason behind a lull, then sudden resurgence of biodiversity on planet Earth a little over 500 million years ago—some suggest the resurgence was due to a sudden major increase in the number of meteorite impacts. The increase, theorists suggest, came about due to an impact between two asteroids, likely somewhere between Jupiter and Mars. Debris from the remains of one of those objects is believed to be the source of L chondrites, which have been found in many places around the globe. But, until now, no evidence of the other asteroid has been found on Earth, putting a damper on the theory—some have suggested the second asteroid simply vaporized on impact. The meteorite found in Sweden has reignited interest, however, because it’s possible it is a piece of that second asteroid (because it appears to have been part of the same meteor shower as the L chondrites), which if true, will add a lot of credence to the entire theory that seeks to explain the sudden resurgence of life during the early part of the Ordovician period.The meteorite was found by quarry workers three years ago—other meteorites have been found in the same quarry before, but all of them were L chondrites. It was different from the other’s, the researchers noted, after studying its crystals, but was in the same rock layer and dating in the lab, suggesting it arrived during the same time period as part of a wider meteor shower. While still in the same class of primitive achondrites as L chondrites, it’s not exactly the same because of small differences in its elemental composition. The team is hopeful that the finding suggests that others will be found, hopefully some that can offer more evidence of their origin.The unique meteorite has not been given an official name yet—for now it’s simply being referred to as the “mysterious object.” The Thorsberg quarry and the Mysterious Object. (A) Thorsberg quarry on June 15, 2013. The Österplana church is seen in the back. (B) The Mysterious Object from the Glaskarten 3 bed. The meteorite is 8 × 6.5 × 2 cm in size. It was found in the youngest quarried bed of the Thorsberg quarry, at the top of the section. Credit: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 400, 15 August 2014, Pages 145–152. Explore further Research shows collision created Chelyabinsk asteroid (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from the U.S., Sweden and Switzerland studying a meteorite found in a Swedish quarry is reporting that the rock is unlike anything else ever found. In their paper published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, they suggest the meteorite might just be evidence of a collision between two asteroids millions of years ago. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: A fossil winonaite-like meteorite in Ordovician limestone: A piece of the impactor that broke up the L-chondrite parent body? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 400, 15 August 2014, Pages 145–152. www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0012821X14003367AbstractAbout a quarter of all meteorites falling on Earth today originate from the breakup of the L-chondrite parent body ∼470 Ma ago, the largest documented breakup in the asteroid belt in the past ∼3 Ga. A window into the flux of meteorites to Earth shortly after this event comes from the recovery of about 100 fossil L chondrites (1–21 cm in diameter) in a quarry of mid-Ordovician limestone in southern Sweden. Here we report on the first non-L-chondritic meteorite from the quarry, an 8 cm large winonaite-related meteorite of a type not known among present-day meteorite falls and finds. The noble gas data for relict spinels recovered from the meteorite show that it may be a remnant of the body that hit and broke up the L-chondrite parent body, creating one of the major asteroid families in the asteroid belt. After two decades of systematic recovery of fossil meteorites and relict extraterrestrial spinel grains from marine limestone, it appears that the meteorite flux to Earth in the mid-Ordovician was very different from that of today. © 2014 Phys.org
Credit: CC0 Public Domain More information: Robotic space exploration agents, Science Robotics (2017). robotics.sciencemag.org/lookup … /scirobotics.aan4831AbstractLimitations on interplanetary communications create operations latencies and slow progress in planetary surface missions, with particular challenges to narrow–field-of-view science instruments requiring precise targeting. The AEGIS (Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science) autonomous targeting system has been in routine use on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover since May 2016, selecting targets for the ChemCam remote geochemical spectrometer instrument. AEGIS operates in two modes; in autonomous target selection, it identifies geological targets in images from the rover’s navigation cameras, choosing for itself targets that match the parameters specified by mission scientists the most, and immediately measures them with ChemCam, without Earth in the loop. In autonomous pointing refinement, the system corrects small pointing errors on the order of a few milliradians in observations targeted by operators on Earth, allowing very small features to be observed reliably on the first attempt. AEGIS consistently recognizes and selects the geological materials requested of it, parsing and interpreting geological scenes in tens to hundreds of seconds with very limited computing resources. Performance in autonomously selecting the most desired target material over the last 2.5 kilometers of driving into previously unexplored terrain exceeds 93% (where ~24% is expected without intelligent targeting), and all observations resulted in a successful geochemical observation. The system has substantially reduced lost time on the mission and markedly increased the pace of data collection with ChemCam. AEGIS autonomy has rapidly been adopted as an exploration tool by the mission scientists and has influenced their strategy for exploring the rover’s environment. Despite recent successes, such as placing roving robots on Mars and sending craft to Venus, Saturn and other parts of the solar system, space scientists all agree that space science is still difficult. It is not easy to design a craft capable of venturing out to distant points in space and have them work as designed. All manner of difficulties must be imagined and measures taken to account for them. In the future, Chien and Wegstff suggest, things are only going to get more difficult as scientists send craft farther into space. Doing so, they suggest, will require more probes, which means they will have to be a lot smarter—in many situations, they may have to carry out their entire mission without intervention from humans back on Earth. They will have to be able to learn, too, so that they can change how they go about their activities. This, the pair notes, means that they will have to be equipped with advanced artificial intelligence systems that are capable of understanding requirements and carrying out activities autonomously that will serve to achieve desired goals.Such systems, for example, will need to be able to identify situations like the difference between normal planetary conditions and a storm that has arisen. Or they might need to be able to recognize changes in season, the difference between snow and ice, or when water is moving. They will need to be able to use their tools to look at their surroundings and to choose the best parts to study, and perhaps use what they find to conduct further studies.Adding intelligence to robotic probes, the researchers suggest, could enable probes sent to places as far away as Alpha Centauri, which would take so long that the generation of scientists receiving the data will succeed the generation that launched the mission. Because of that, the probe will need to know how to do everything itself. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: JPL scientists predict future space probes will have artificial intelligence to operate autonomously (2017, June 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-jpl-scientists-future-space-probes.html NASA develops AI for future exploration of extraterrestrial subsurface oceans Journal information: Science Robotics © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A pair of space scientists working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology has written a Focus piece for the journal Science Robotics. Steve Chien and Kiri Wagstaff suggest that future space probes will be given enough intelligence to carry out much of their mission without prompts from people back on Earth. Explore further
520-million-year-old arthropod brains turn paleontology on its head © 2018 Phys.org The fossils are from Kerygmachela kierkegaardi, a type of sea creature that lived from approximately 521 to 514 million years ago. The creatures were approximately 25 centimeters in length, had large eyes and had 11 feather-shaped swimming flaps on their sides. They also had a long, thin tail, long twin appendages on their round heads, which they apparently used for grasping prey, and, as this new evidence shows, a single-segment brain. It is the brain that is newsworthy in this new effort—prior fossilized samples of Kerygmachela have been found before, but this is the first time that fossilized brains have been uncovered. The fossilized brains, the team notes, are made of thin carbon films.The team reports that they found 15 fossilized brains in all, some of which also had associated fossilized nervous system tissue. Because the brains had just one segment, it is assumed that they were less complex than those with three segments, suggesting limited behavioral attributes. These findings call into question the assumption that the common ancestor of all arthropods and vertebrates had three-segmented brains. But, the team also notes, despite having just one segment, the creature clearly had enough brain power to survive during the Cambrian explosion. They also note that the creature’s large eyes represent an intermediate evolutionary step between creatures with very simple eyes and those with eyes that are far more complex.The fossils were located at a site named Sirius Passet on the northern tip of Greenland. The researchers found them by canvassing shale plots on land and using hammers to crack apart layers of shale which had protected the fossils from the elements over millions of years, allowing for the preservation of the fossilize brains. The fossilized brains represent some of the oldest ever found. Journal information: Nature Communications More information: Tae-Yoon S. Park et al. Brain and eyes of Kerygmachela reveal protocerebral ancestry of the panarthropod head, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03464-wAbstractRecent discoveries of fossil nervous tissue in Cambrian fossils have allowed researchers to trace the origin and evolution of the complex arthropod head and brain based on stem groups close to the origin of the clade, rather than on extant, highly derived members. Here we show that Kerygmachela from Sirius Passet, North Greenland, a primitive stem-group euarthropod, exhibits a diminutive (protocerebral) brain that innervates both the eyes and frontal appendages. It has been surmised, based on developmental evidence, that the ancestor of vertebrates and arthropods had a tripartite brain, which is refuted by the fossil evidence presented here. Furthermore, based on the discovery of eyes in Kerygmachela, we suggest that the complex compound eyes in arthropods evolved from simple ocelli, present in onychophorans and tardigrades, rather than through the incorporation of a set of modified limbs. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Fossilized brains of ancient sea creatures found in northern Greenland (2018, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-fossilized-brains-ancient-sea-creatures.html A team of researchers from Korea, the U.K. and Denmark has found fossilized brains of sea creatures that lived during the Cambrian explosion. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes features of the brains and why they believe their findings may overturn a commonly held belief about the ancestry of panarthropods and invertebrate panarthropods and also vertebrates. Reconstruction of Kerygmachela kierkegaardi. a Dorsal reconstruction of the head region with the central nervous system (orange), anterior neural projection (yellow), and muscular pharynx (blue). b Artistic reconstruction of K. kierkegaardi. el eye lobe, mo mouth opening, nap anterior neural projection, nb branching of nerve, nc nerve cord, nfa frontal appendage nervous tract, npc protocerebrum, nop optic nerve, phr pharynx. Artwork by Rebecca Gelernter (nearbirdstudios.com). Credit: Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03464-w
Citation: Study confirms that island birds have bigger brains (2018, August 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-island-birds-bigger-brains.html The researchers next wondered why island living might produce birds with bigger brains, and presumably, higher intelligence. They theorized that it seemed plausible that factors such as isolation, an inability to disperse, and a need to expand their niche might cause such a change. They note that isolation would result in a different life history and also would prevent the birds from moving elsewhere should conditions become rough on occasion. They also noted that island life might be more erratic than birds on the mainland experienced, forcing them to look for new ways to find food and otherwise survive. To visualize their theory, the group built a model that depicted birds living under such circumstances. The simulation showed the outcome they expected—the development of larger brains. The researchers note that there has been anecdotal evidence suggesting that birds living on islands have bigger brains than similar birds on the mainland—and two studies carried out to discover if this were true. But both studies turned out to be flawed, which meant there was no real evidence backing up such claims. To learn more, the team searched databases that contained information on 11,554 bird specimens that included brain size data on 110 species living on islands, and 1,821 living on continents. Analysis of the data showed that birds living on islands did have larger brains (relative to body size) on average than continental birds. But this finding led them to the obvious question of whether living on an island caused larger brain growth or whether larger-brained birds were more likely to make their way to an island in the first place. To find the answer to this question, the team went back to the database. This time, they compared the birds by brains size, how closely related they were, and also, of course, where they lived. In so doing, they found that birds evolving over time on an island had bigger brains than their cousins who had stayed home. The researchers claim this suggests very strongly that island life has increased brain size in birds. Picture of a Kea (Nestor notabilis) in the mountains of the South island of New Zealand. Known for their flexible behaviours, Kea’s have one of the biggest brains of the order Psittaciformes. Credit: Jon Sullivan Explore further Bigger brains outsmart harsh climates More information: Ferran Sayol et al. Predictable evolution towards larger brains in birds colonizing oceanic islands, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05280-8AbstractTheory and evidence suggest that some selective pressures are more common on islands than in adjacent mainland habitats, leading evolution to follow predictable trends. The existence of predictable evolutionary trends has nonetheless been difficult to demonstrate, mainly because of the challenge of separating in situ evolution from sorting processes derived from colonization events. Here we use brain size measurements of >1900 avian species to reveal the existence of one such trend: increased brain size in island dwellers. Based on sister-taxa comparisons and phylogenetic ancestral trait estimations, we show that species living on islands have relatively larger brains than their mainland relatives and that these differences mainly reflect in situ evolution rather than varying colonization success. Our findings reinforce the view that in some instances evolution may be predictable, and yield insight into why some animals evolve larger brains despite substantial energetic and developmental costs. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 Phys.org Picture of a female New Zealand Tomtit (Petroica macrocephala) perching on a branch in South island. It’s specific name, literally means “big head”, referring to its large head in comparison to other members of its genus. Credit: Jon Sullivan A team of researchers from Sweden, Canada and Spain has found evidence suggesting that birds that live on islands tend to have bigger brains than their mainland cousins. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their analysis of data on over 1800 bird species and what they found. Journal information: Nature Communications
What is all about a teenager’s passion? How many of them kick start their pursuit of dreams right from the moment as a budding enthusiast? Are they all about getting glued to their play stations on the couch? Not all of them. A 16 year old Delhi inspiration Ayush Ansal has begun his venture of becoming an author with his first novel The Gentlemen of Finance released at the Indian Habitat Center this 3 April. Ayush, born and brought up in New Delhi is pursuing his secondary education in Gordonstoun, Scotland. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Stein Auditorium of IHC was packed with an young legion interspersed with their vanguards presided by the Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, an young Sachin Pilot, who unveiled the book. The Other guests of honor were Dr Nick Argent, Director, The British School, Vanita Uppal, Principal, Secondary, The British School and the Kapish Mishra, Managing Director, Rupa Publications.Sushil Ansal, Chancellor, Ansal University welcomed the gathering and felicitated the author in his pursuit of his dream and to develop his skills as a big wheel, as the title of the book suggests. Sachin Pilot congratulated Ayush on his efforts and to continue his pursuit of heart and mind.Ayush, an avid guitarist, who has titled the chapters of his book with his favorite songs believes that his emphasis on dedication and determination has led to him being able to balance the demands of academics with other interests.