AI researchers from the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich have developed a bite-sized text generator capable of besting OpenAI‘s state of the art GPT-3 using only a tiny fraction of its parameters. GPT-3 is a monster of an AI system capable of responding to almost any text prompt with unique, original responses that are often surprisingly cogent. It’s an example of what incredibly talented developers can do with cutting-edge algorithms and software when given unfettered access to supercomputers. But it’s not very efficient. At least not when compared to a new system developed by LMU researchers Timo Schick and… This story continues at The Next Web
Is it really the world's oldest depiction of the cosmos? Maybe not.
(University of California - Santa Barbara) "A watched pot never boils," as the saying goes, but that was not the case for UC Santa Barbara researchers watching a "pot" of liquids formed from DNA. In fact, the opposite happened.
A fascinating new study chronicles the family histories of European Bronze Age households, revealing the presence of surprising marital practices, patterns of inheritance, and the unexpected early emergence of social inequality within these homestead farms – including the possible use of slaves or servants.“The results of our study speak to a different kind of social inequality: A hierarchy within one household, consisting of a wealthy, high-status core family and unrelated members who did not share this wealth and status,” archaeologist Alissa Mittnik, the first author of the new study and a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena and the University of Tübingen, wrote in an email to Gizmodo.Mittnik and her colleagues, including co-authors Johannes Krause, also from the Max Planck Institute and the University of Tübingen, and Philipp Stockhammer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, reached these conclusions by studying the remains of over 100 individuals who lived in Germany’s Lech Valley, located south of Augsburg, during the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age – a timespan lasting from around 4,750 to 3,320 years ago.Analysis of the skeletal remains revealed the presence of reasonably well-off “core” family members who lived alongside seemingly low-status individuals, as suggested by the quality, or lack thereof, of associated grave goods.The high-status family members were closely related and were found buried alongside valuables such as weapons and ornate jewellery.Sadly, the absence of written accounts makes it very difficult for archaeologists to discern family and household arrangements from so long ago.
Guo Xinhua wants to teach computers to echolocate.He and his colleagues have built a device, about the size of a thin laptop, that emits sound at frequencies 10 times higher than the shrillest note a piccolo can sustain.When Guo’s team aims the device at a person and fires an ultrasonic pitch, the gadget listens for the echo using its hundreds of embedded microphones.Then, employing artificial intelligence techniques, his team tries to decipher what the person is doing from the reflected sound alone.The technology is still in its infancy, but they’ve achieved some promising initial results.Based at the Wuhan University of Technology, in China, Guo’s team has tested its microphone array on four different college students and found that they can identify whether the person is sitting, standing, walking, or falling, with complete accuracy, they report in a paper published today in Applied Physics Letters.
Pioneering scientist, Georgios Papanikolaou would have been 136 years old Monday.The researcher is honored with the May 13 Google Doodle, which celebrates his birthday -- and his most important invention: the Pap smear.His methodology opened up an entirely new field of medical study known as cytopathology, which examines cells of the body to look for disease.Papanikolaou was only 15 when he started medical school.In 1910 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Munich, and three years he later immigrated to the US with his wife, Andromahi Mavrogeni.The duo found employment at Cornell University as researchers in the department of anatomy and began carrying out work studying cancers of the female reproductive system.
Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour."In a white LED, red and yellow-green phosphors are excited by the light from a blue diode.In cooperation with OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, his team has now succeeded in synthesizing a new red phosphor that has excellent luminescence properties and can make LED lighting significantly more energy-efficient.Color shift improves luminous efficacyThe powerful red phosphor Sr[Li2Al2O2N2]:Eu2+, named SALON by the researchers, meets all the requirements for the optical properties of a phosphor.As part of his doctoral thesis, he developed nitrides doped with europium that are fluorescent.
Many of the world's largest cities are built near coasts, be it along rivers or oceans.Two geographically distinct areas that are prone to dealing with the fury of flood waters, the Canadian province of Quebec and the German state of Bavaria have been collaborating for a decade to investigate the impacts of climate change on water resources."This knowledge is of fundamental importance," says Prof. Dr. Ralf Ludwig, Geography Professor at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and project leader of ClimEx."Understanding these phenomena helps us better prepare and improve adaptation to the increasing extreme events we expect to face in our future."In order to efficiently model long-term climate trends, the ClimEx collaborators are using the SuperMUC supercomputer at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ).The team published its most recent results in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, simulating the climate in Quebec and Bavaria from 1950 to 2100.
Routine sequencing has given unprecedented insight into the genetics of rare diseases, but genomics fails to diagnose up to half of patients who are tested.That's the problem German scientists tackled in a recent study in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics.Using samples from patients in four countries, and a novel database on the neutrophil proteome, they were able to make genetic diagnoses for two children with severe congenital neutropenia whom typical sequencing had failed.The patients' disease affects their neutrophils, white blood cells packed with toxic proteins to deploy against bacteria.When neutrophil development is disrupted, which Klein estimates happens to 1 in 200,000 newborns, every bacterial or fungal infection can become a life-threatening medical emergency.Postdoctoral researcher Sebastian Hesse developed a protocol to collect proteins from healthy neutrophils.
As night falls on the lowland rainforests in Madagascar, dead, decaying leaves find new life, slowly unfurling in the vanishing light.But as four scaly feet and wide, unblinking eyes emerge from behind the crinkly veil, the leaves reveal their true identities: these are leaf-tailed geckos, unparalleled masters of disguise.Now, researchers have described a species of these secretive lizards totally new to science, discovered in a protected corner of the island.Leaf-tailed geckos, genus Uroplatus, are similarly a Madagascan original.Well over a dozen species have evolved on the island, and all are equipped with impressive camouflage.In the ultimate RPG of Life, these reptiles have maxed out their stealth skill trees, appearing indistinguishable from an old leaf when at rest.
One problem that’s hard to solve, however, is how to eliminate the organ transplant waiting list, which results in the death of thousands of people every year who die before receiving the organ replacement that they desperately need.One potential solution to this problem involves transplanting organs from animals whose organs are similar in size, structure, and function to those found in humans.That might still be a way off, but a recent study carried out by researchers in Germany suggests that it’s possible.In an experiment, researchers from the Walter Brendel Center of Experimental Medicine at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians University successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons.In the final part of the trial — after the scientists had made key discoveries regarding the optimal process — four of the five baboons involved in that stage remained healthy through the three-month duration of the experiment.While it is highly probable that more work will need to be done before a human trial could be even considered, study co-author Dr. Bruno Reichart told Digital Trends that there is no reason why these findings could not one day be extrapolated to human patients.
A baboon survived 195 days after an experimental heart transplant, according to a new paper.Although organ donor numbers are rising, there are far more people who desperately need organ transplants than there are donor organs available.Scientists have proposed transplanting organs between species, or xenotransplantation, as a way to overcome these shortages.“Transplantation prolongs life and adds a high, almost unrealistic quality of life, if you can do it,” study author Bruno Reichart from LMU Munich in Germany told Gizmodo.It’s very similar to our own heart.”Past research has demonstrated that xenotransplantation is quite difficult, and the only past success the authors could find in their literature review was a single case of a baboon surviving 57 days.
Under German law, the copyright term for recordings which were made prior to January 1, 1963 has expired, meaning they have entered the public domain.Less than three minutes after uploading, I received a notification that there was a ContentID claim against my video.ContentID is a system, developed by YouTube, which checks user-uploaded videos against databases of copyrighted content in order to curb copyright infringement.This system took millions of dollars to develop and is often pointed to as a working example of upload filters by rights holders and lawmakers who wish to make such technology mandatory for every website which hosts user content online.In fact, when I replied to the claim on my introductory video stating that the claimant’s own website said that the date of the recording’s first publication was in 1962, and thus it was in the public domain, the claim was withdrawn with no further ado.I decided to open a different YouTube account “Labeltest” to share additional excerpts of copyright-free music.
This is our question on Why’d You Push That Button this week — with a long detour to defend Kim Kardashian, the tryingest social media pioneer and performance artist of our time — and we’re going to get to the bottom of it.We spoke to Alicia Eler, author of the brand-new book The Selfie Generation, and she broke down the subtle misogyny of maligning young women for making their own records of their lives.Finally, we spoke to Dr. Sarah Diefenbach, a professor of market and consumer psychology at the University of Munich.Earlier this year, she co-published a paper called “The Selfie Paradox: Nobody Seems to Like Them Yet Everyone Has Reasons to Take Them.” There’s a lot of gold in there, but we were fascinated by her finding that people who take selfies are likely to justify it to themselves as a “situational” decision — e.g.This is called the fundamental attribution error, and I vaguely recall learning about it in one of the many “communication” classes I slept or read Jezebel through in college.And there we had this interesting finding that people rated others’ selfies as very self-presentational, so they saw this kind of narcissistic attitude in it, but few had it for their own selfies.
The mechanisms that underlie early embryonic development in humans and cattle are very similar.Therefore, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers argue that bovine embryos might well be a better model for early human development than the mouse system.Many fundamental aspects of the early stages of embryonic development in humans are found to be conserved in other mammals.This is why studies carried out on animal models can help us to understand the development of the human embryo.Researchers led by Professor Eckhard Wolf, Chair of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology at the Gene Center and the Department of Veterinary Sciences at LMU, now report in the journal PNAS, that early phases of the development of bovine embryos, might offer a better system for the understanding of the earliest differentiation steps.Embryonic development in mammals begins with the division of the fertilized egg, which is then followed by several further rounds of division to form the blastocyst, a sphere of cells made up of two layers of cells surrounding a fluid-filled cavity.
Buried three storeys beneath Bavaria, the most sophisticated ring laser in the world is measuring Earth's tiny twists and turns.Known as the Rotational Motions in Seismology (ROMY), the lasers are located in Fürstenfeldbruck, 20 kilometres from Munich.Four 12-metre triangles made up of sensors, concrete and pipes take the shape of a tetrahedron."It measures, at a precision that's unprecedented, the rotation motions of the ground," says Heiner Igel, a seismologist at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and ROMY's principal investigator.Although the Earth might appear to spin smoothly and constantly, in reality it's constantly wobbling - the earthquake that struck Japan in 2011, for example, caused what's known as the Earth's figure axis to shift by as much as 17 centimetres.The Earth's spin rate and spin axis is currently measured by a system of radio dishes known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).
p At the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, the basement of the physics building is connected to the economics building by nearly half a mile’s worth of optical fiber.Starting in November 2015, researchers beamed individual photons between the buildings, over and over again for seven months, for a physics experiment that could one day help secure your data.Their immediate goal was to settle a decades-old debate in quantum mechanics: whether the phenomenon known as entanglement actually exists.Einstein famously doubted that entanglement was actually a thing and dismissed it as “spooky action at a distance.”Over the years, researchers have run all sorts of complicated experiments to poke at the theory.So researchers make them, often using lasers and special crystals, in precisely controlled settings to test that the particles behave the way prescribed by theory.
A newly described species of geckos is especially hard to get a handle on for predators, and just about anything else that might try to grab one.The Geckolepis megalepis can easily slip out of the large fish scales that make up its skin, leaving would-be lizard-eaters with little more than a mouth or a claw full of the scales.This talent isn't totally unique to this new species.Many other geckos shed their skin and even their entire tail when something grabs them, but this species seems to be able to lose its skin almost on demand and at even the lightest touch.The researchers who distinguished the new species from other geckos said Geckolepis also grow the scales back more quickly, in just a few weeks."What's really remarkable though is that these scales--which are really dense and may even be bony, and must be quite energetically costly to produce--and the skin beneath them tear away with such ease, and can be regenerated quickly and without a scar," says Mark D. Scherz, lead author of the new study and PhD student at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Many lizards are capable of detaching their tails when a predator strikes, but one group of geckos has evolved a particularly gruesome escape strategy: unusually large scales that tear off when a predator tries to take hold, allowing the tiny animals to break free.Other geckos have been observed to shed some skin in order to escape, but only if they re grasped very firmly.These guys do it actively, and at the slightest touch.Not surprisingly, the scales and the gecko skin are very well adapted to the tearing action.They re fixed to the gecko s skin along a very narrow strip, and a pre-formed splitting zone exists on an outer layer of the skin itself.The researchers, led by Mark D. Scherz from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and The Zoological State Collection Munich, hypothesize that large scales tear more easily than small scales owing to the increased surface area relative to the attachment area, and because the large scales provide more surface friction.
Researchers at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany have demonstrated a new technique called tissue clearing, which can turn the entire body of an animal transparent so that it can be examined in previously unimaginable levels of detail.We wanted to find a method of converting biological tissue into a transparent structure for high-resolution deep tissue laser scanner, Dr. Ali Ertürk, group leader at the university s Acute Brain Injury Research Group, told Digital Trends.Unlike X-rays, the technique doesn t just show the skeleton of a subject, but also its entire central nervous system.The treatment has the side effect of reducing the body to one-third of its size due to the dehydrating process, although this turned out to help the team since it made looking at it under a microscope easier.Normally, tissues are opaque because the light is scattered by the different components of the tissues which have different refractive indexes, Ruiyao Cai, a doctoral student involved in the research, explained to Digital Trends.What we did was to remove the main scattering agents: water and lipids by using alcohol and organic solvents.
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