What you might have missed: self aware babies, autonomous excavators, blood physics and female science

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Babies (wearing an EEG cap) are self-aware at 4 months

A baby wearing an EEG cap for the study. Engraved with parent. Credit: University of Birmingham.

Babies as young as 4 months can understand how their body interacts with the world around them, a Research in Scientific reports.

Dr Julia Orioli, a psychologist at the university, said: “During the first months of life, before babies have even learned to find objects, the multisensory brain is wired to make connections between what babies see and what they feel.” Birmingham, UK

“This means they are aware of the space around them and how their body interacts with that space. This is sometimes called personal space.

Orioli and colleagues strapped babies to EEG caps that measured their brain activity while watching a video of a ball rolling toward them. As the ball approaches, a device vibrates on their hand (signaling touch), which triggers brain activity that indicates a tactile object.

Without the video of the ball, no brain activity occurred.

Working with newborns is challenging because they spend most of their time sleeping and eating, but we are starting to have some success working with this age group, and it will be fun to see that babies are just babies. A few days old, their bodies have a basic understanding of space. If so, we may be looking at the origins of human consciousness,” says Orio.

An autonomous robot builds a giant wall

Aerial view of dry stone wall in the park
Aerial view of Circularity Park in Oberglat by Eberhard AG, 2021-2022 © Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Eberhard AG. Photo: Mark Schneider

Swiss researchers used an excavator called HEAP (Hydraulic Excavator for Self Purpose) to build a 6 meter high dry stone wall.

The excavator uses sensors to map the construction site and locate rocks for construction.

It then scans every stone it picks up, determining its weight, shape and gravity to calculate where it fits on the wall. Then he places each stone.

It is a paper describing the research. Published in Science Robotics.

“Robotic automation of masonry construction has the potential to restore broad viability to an otherwise expensive and time-consuming knowledge-intensive activity, allowing for the use of non-toxic, low-energy, local and natural materials that reflect regional traditions and provide an enhanced sense of place,” the authors wrote in their paper. Write on.

Excavation lifting a large stone
Menzies Muck selects and scans each rock, in Oberglatt, Eberhard AG, 2021-2022 Circularity Park, © Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Eberhard AG. Photo: Mark Schneider

Blood stains provide important clues to crime scenes

Blood sample analysis It is a useful way to reconstruct crime scenes and is now being used by forensic analysts.

A team of US researchers has established new physics about the way blood droplets form, providing a better understanding of crime scenes.

The study, Published in fluid physics, It consists of a “tail” of blood lipids: blood hitting the ground at an angle forms an elliptical drop at one end.

“These exercises are typically just used to determine the direction the droplet traveled, and are otherwise ignored,” said study co-author James Bird, an associate professor at Boston University.

Bird and his colleagues found that the length of the tail can tell scientists about the size, speed and angle of the blood drop, using high-speed experiments.

“The tail lengths include additional independent information that helps analysts reconstruct where the blood drop came from,” says Bird.

Six different blood drops with time stamp
Within milliseconds, a small drop of blood impacts a hard surface and forms a stain. Of special interest is the one that grows on the right side and deviates from the boundary of the other oval stain. Credit: James C. a bird

Small natural reserves get some help from night moths

Plants in small natural reserves may struggle to attract the pollen they need for dispersal, but a Research It was reported in Austral Ecology He found that the moths of the night can take their speed.

“Our study found that a variety of night-flying moths, including species common to the Adelaide Hills, visit flowers and pollinate this plant in small and large conservation populations,” said lead author Dr Alex Blackle, who recently completed his Ph.D. Flinders University.

“We found that this plant’s reproduction in small populations was similar to that measured in large plant populations.”

This emphasizes the importance of scarce natural resources.

“It’s not always clear whether plants can reproduce successfully and survive long-term in such small patches, and low plant fertility in small patches becomes a conservation issue,” says Blackle.

Nature conservation
Eucalyptus forest growing on a field site in Nuruti Reserve – the smallest reserve used in the study is 1.40 ha.

Female scientists are still less likely to be cited, but the gap is closing

The gender gap is closing – but slowly – after a team of US researchers analyzed 5.8 million authors of scientific papers.

It is the study. Published in PLOS Biology.

The researchers found that 3.8 million of the authors were men and 2.0 million were women. Men were nearly 4 times more likely to be authors before 1992, but 1.36 times more likely to be authors after 2011.

Lead author Professor John Ioannidis of Stanford University said: “Our work shows that inequality between men and women at the highest levels of scientific citation impact has been decreasing over time.





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