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Zack Snyder is turning Norse myths into anime for Netflix

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Wesley Coller and Zack’s spouse Deborah will produce the present.

There is definitely motive to be cautious when Snyder has a combined observe report. Oliva is well-known for titles like Batman: The Darkish Knight Returns, although, and the subject material of gods and Vikings might play into their strengths. If nothing else, this reinforces Netflix’s dedication to anime — even when it does not please everybody.

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Innovation

Brain interfaces aren’t nearly as easy as Elon Musk makes them seem

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Implanted know-how would possibly at some point profit individuals with sure sicknesses, nonetheless neuroscientists have a tough time envisioning the way it will apply to the overall inhabitants, no matter how good the know-how turns into. (Deposit Pictures/)

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s firm growing brain-machine interfaces, displayed its know-how for the primary time this week. The brand new system comprises hundreds of electrodes embedded into versatile, tiny, threads, that are then implanted into the mind by a novel, “stitching machine”-like robotic. A paper, credited to Musk and Neuralink, describes the know-how and preliminary experiments testing it in rats. In a presentation this week, Musk mentioned that it has additionally been examined in monkeys.

The primary was efficiently implanted in a human mind in 2006. Through the years, these interfaces have allowed topics to regulate robotic arms, amongst different duties. Consultants say this new system developed by Musk—the threads, and the sheer variety of electrodes that they permit for—marks a step ahead, although roadblocks stay.

“The tech is best than a whole lot of the stuff now we have now, however I see a whole lot of hurdles to beat,” says Chengyuan Wu, a neurosurgeon at Jefferson College Hospitals in Philadelphia who works with implanted units. “I don’t know if they’ve a secret sauce they’re not sharing, or if it’s an oversight—I hope it’s the previous.”

For instance, scientists nonetheless wrestle to maintain electrodes embedded within the mind working for prolonged durations of time. “While you put issues within the mind, you need them to be small, and fewer invasive,” Wu says. “However small issues are typically extra fragile.” In different brain-machine interfaces, he says, electrodes and the sign they transmit degrade over time. Overseas objects additionally set off mind cells to reply as if there’s been tissue injury, inflicting scar tissue. “The physique’s pure response is to wall off the implants, and you’ve got a tougher time getting a sign. You are listening via a thicker wall,” Wu says.

Throughout that course of, referred to as gliosis, cells within the mind additionally swell and produce indicators that may have ripple results via the mind, says Bryan Jones, a neuroscientist and affiliate professor of ophthalmology and visible sciences on the College of Utah. It may also change the best way circuits within the mind operate. Fundamental neuroscience analysis isn’t far sufficient alongside to know precisely what the consequences can be, he says. “We have to take a look at a few of these fundamental mechanisms.”

Wu additionally needs to understand how simply the system will be eliminated. “Will all these threads keep intact, or will it get caught within the mind? It sounds cool and all, however if you get all the way down to the nuts and bolts, there are considerations,” he says.

The Neuralink paper mentions that the know-how might assist sufferers with spinal wire accidents management linked units. Nevertheless, on the presentation, Musk described implanting these units in wholesome individuals, making the procedures as protected and customary as Lasik eye surgical procedure. That’s a serious psychological hurdle, says Wu, who at the moment struggles to persuade sufferers with epilepsy to have mind surgical procedure to enhance their high quality of life. All surgical procedure comes with danger of bleeding and an infection, however with mind surgical procedure in areas of the mind key for regular motion and functioning, these dangers can have main implications. Even with surgical procedure for epilepsy, for instance, which doesn’t contain motion facilities of the mind, there’s a danger. “What in case you get a hemorrhage within the motor cortex? You may paralyze sufferers in any other case shifting advantageous,” Wu says. These implants can be proposed for wholesome individuals, and there’s by no means zero danger, he says.

“It’s not only a technical query, there’s an moral dimension,” says Bin He, who heads the Biomedical Purposeful Imaging and Neuroengineering Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon College. Whereas implanted know-how would possibly profit individuals with sure sicknesses, He says he has a tough time envisioning the way it will apply to the overall inhabitants, no matter how good the know-how turns into. “There’s all the time uncertainty if we’re going to trigger injury to the mind,” he says.

He works on non-invasive approaches to brain-machine interfaces. As a result of the electrodes are situated outdoors of the cranium in these programs, the sign is tougher to interpret. Nevertheless, He says, advances in machine studying and synthetic intelligence have improved the method: Final month his workforce printed a examine displaying they have been capable of develop a tool that would management a robotic arm. “It is a functionality solely beforehand demonstrated by invasive programs.” Even when non-invasive programs have been much less exact, they nonetheless may be a more sensible choice, He says. “If you are able to do the job you would like, and you do not have to have a mind implant, which might you select?”

Musk says that he goals for the corporate’s know-how, which has been examined in rats and monkeys, to be implanted in human topics by the top of the yr—which consultants say is probably going unrealistic. “The timeline is slightly aggressive,” Wu says. He says he wouldn’t anticipate human testing for round three years.

Analysis into brain-machine interfaces has been shifting shortly, however having somebody like Musk concerned within the subject has the potential to push issues alongside much more shortly, Wu says—so long as the connection is collaborative. “Issues aren’t going to maneuver ahead primarily based on one establishment and one firm,” he says. “If Elon Musk is keen to say, right here’s the know-how, let’s all use it, and leverages the experience at completely different labs, it might push issues even additional.” With out that, he says, not a lot will occur. “We’ll proceed to function in silos.”

It’s additionally necessary to withstand the hype that Musk brings, Jones says. “It’s necessary to be reasonable with this,” he says. “Let’s not make guarantees we are able to’t maintain with the science.”

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US networks improved in early 2019 with help from 5G upgrades

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The reason could possibly be a simple one. For essentially the most half, carriers have been in a rush to both launch their 5G networks or broaden what little 5G service they’d. That meant upgrading their infrastructure to deal with 5G’s additional calls for and enhancing high quality for everybody, whether or not it was name high quality or obtain speeds.

This does not let suppliers off the hook. Even the seven p.c determine nonetheless quantities to a number of pissed off prospects, and there are sure to be areas the place a service has poorer-than-usual protection. Nonetheless, it is a optimistic signal — let’s simply hope that there is not a repeat of what occurred with LTE, the place the initially blistering networks slowed down as capability didn’t sustain with demand.

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Innovation

Florida is a preview of our climate change future

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The Florida Downside: A Particular Report. Struggling crops. Salty aquifers. Invading wildlife. Piles of lifeless fish. The Sunshine State feels the squeeze of environmental change on its seashores, farms, wetlands, and cities. However what afflicts the peninsula predicts the perils that can strike north and west of Apalachicola, and so it calls for our consideration. If Florida is in bother, then so are all of us.


Overcrowding (Common Science/)

Making room for everybody

Elizabeth Fleming, Senior Florida Consultant of Defenders of Wildlife. As advised to Kaitlin Sullivan.

Florida is without doubt one of the fastest-growing states within the nation. Over the previous 30 years, the inhabitants—up by almost 2.5 million since 2010—has spurred builders to transform forests and wetlands into suburbs, airports, and universities. These new hardscapes, that are most prevalent in Collier County on the southwestern shore, threaten biodiversity, improve flood threat, and squeeze endangered species just like the Florida panther into tight quarters with people. As a conservationist, I’ve been combating for years to guard the cats’ territory so their numbers can develop.

Till the mid-20th century, the general public noticed the wildcats as vicious predators, so the state issued a $5-per-head bounty. Their tally dwindled as little as 20; at the moment, a recovering delight of about 230 lives on the southern tip of the state. However as Florida grows, builders and the federal government contemplate the place to place individuals, not panthers. On the Gulf aspect, suburban blocks abut the wilderness. The planning is so poor that I’ve seen big-cat crossing indicators between Walmarts and subdivisions; it’s no shock that vehicles are the species’ prime man-made killer.

A patchwork of private and non-private acreage farther inland may be the one place the cats can go to thrive. However the area isn’t a protected haven: House owners stand to show a revenue by changing it to farms or homes.

In 2005, as predicted, builders began chipping away. First, the federal government authorized the Ave Maria deliberate group. We responded with a lawsuit, making an attempt to protect the world for the panther and 18 different species, together with the japanese indigo snake and the sandhill crane. Fairly than get held up in courtroom, the contractors wished to work with us.

We’ve partnered with the 11 landowners to draft a long-term constructing blueprint for a 152,000-​acre chunk in central Collier. The plan will permit for extra roads—but in addition wildlife bridges. And homeowners will develop solely 45,000 acres, leaving 107,000 acres of open neighborhoodless land.

If we will’t strike the proper steadiness right here, the error may have ripple results as a result of a few of these property homeowners even have land elsewhere in Florida. If this isn’t a constructive expertise for them, they might again out solely or cease us from defending different areas essential to the delicate panther inhabitants.

Invasive Species
Invasive Species (Common Science/)

Why did it must be snakes?

Ian Bartoszek, Wildlife Biologist on the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. As advised to Jessica Boddy.

Burmese pythons have invaded South Florida. Within the 5 years between 2013 and 2018, my workforce of biologists eliminated greater than 500 snakes (some 12,000 kilos price) in 55 sq. miles of wilderness exterior Naples, which sits on the Gulf aspect of the state, not removed from the Everglades. The reptiles, primarily the offspring of escaped pets, have made it so far as the Keys and are slithering their means as much as the central a part of the state, disrupting ecosystems as they go. All our native fauna is on their menu. Nobody actually is aware of what the way forward for the Everglades—and past—appears like if we will’t get these predators in test. However first, we have to get a way of how a lot wildlife they devour as they unfold.

The state does ship some bounty hunters into the Glades after the snakes, however that received’t resolve the issue. We have to know the place they’re, what they eat, and the way a lot havoc they wreak on meals chains so the state can develop a plan to mitigate their impression. Sadly, the reptiles are completely tailored to Florida’s surroundings: Their cryptic coloring makes it straightforward for them to cover among the many thick and wild flora. You may be standing subsequent to a 100-pound snake coiled up underneath the grass and by no means realize it was there. So we’ve enlisted some two dozen male pythons, with surgically implanted homing beacons, to guide us to nests of females.

We euthanize a number of the ones we entice and lower them open to catalog their food regimen. It’s like a criminal offense scene. I’ve gone into one’s abdomen and had a dozen bobcat claws spill out into my palms. Inside one other we discovered a gator—and with it the remnants of a turtle and snail that had been the gator’s personal supper. We’ve proof of the snakes consuming greater than 24 species of mammals and 36 kinds of birds.

Seeing them feed is much more ugly. I as soon as got here throughout a small, 31-pound feminine devouring a 35-pound fawn. It was arduous to not look away, however we needed to contemplate: If an animal of this dimension is downing such massive prey, what may an even bigger one do? Burmese pythons can develop to round 20 ft lengthy and weigh in extra of 200 kilos. They even feast on different pure predators. It’s solely a matter of time earlier than we discover one with an endangered Florida
panther in its stomach.

Failing Crops
Failing Crops (Common Science/)

A fresh-squeezed nightmare

Gee Roe, Assistant Director of Agriculture Operations at W.G. Roe & Sons farm. As advised to Corinne Iozzio.

The 2017-18 season was set to be a bounce-back 12 months for Florida oranges. We’d had virtually a decade of decline because of a bacterial an infection known as citrus greening, which clogs the veins of the plant and stops vitamins from reaching the fruit. However tweaks to irrigation and diet gave the impression to be yielding a more healthy crop. Then, Hurricane Irma took essentially the most harmful path potential: by the middle of the state, the guts of the trade. My ­household’s been rising since 1920, and it was by far one among our worst years.

Greening stresses timber. They appear to react by producing far more fruit than they’re able to, and wind up ditching a part of the payload a few month earlier than harvest. Ultimately, we’ll get about half of what wholesome crops would bear; what’s left is smaller, incorporates 10 to 20 % much less sugar, and has a greenish tinge. For sick timber, adversity—like chilly climate or dry soil—​has an amplified impact.

When Irma got here by in September 2017, the crop was solely about two months from harvest. After the storm, fruit and leaves blanketed the bottom. One grove misplaced about 75 % of its yield. Even our farms farther north, which didn’t take a significant blow from Irma, had an off 12 months: A few months later, a freeze killed an enormous chunk of the late-season crop.

Between fruit loss, care upgrades, and the specter of extra and worsening storms, we will barely break even. Spotty high quality hurts our financial prospects extra, inflicting the state to lose market share to locations like California. Botanists are working arduous to mitigate greening. However some farmers have already offered their land and fled the trade earlier than shedding every thing.

Unsafe Water
Unsafe Water (Common Science/)

Salt in an open aquifer

René Value, Hydrologist and Chair of the Division of Earth and Atmosphere at Florida Worldwide College. As advised to Eleanor Cummins.

The 21 million residents of Florida get the overwhelming majority of their ingesting water from two aquifers: The Biscayne, which sits under the Everglades, feeds the south, and the bigger Floridian aquifer system provides areas north of that. If the stream have been working correctly, the bottom would filter rainwater, and the purified liquid would land in our subterranean reservoirs, which people would then attain through wells and pumps.

However our contemporary water faces many stresses. A booming inhabitants overtaxes wells, and sudden downpours unfold pollution like fertilizer runoff into the provision. All of the whereas, the ocean has superior farther inland than ever earlier than, pouring saltwater into these struggling reserves. The pattern impacts the entire state, however most urgently, it threatens those that faucet the Biscayne—the two.5 million residents of
Miami-Dade County.

Since shifting to South Florida in 1997, I’ve accomplished three surveys of the ocean’s advance into the Biscayne aquifer. We analyze well-water samples for chemical signatures indicating salinity, after which map how far the salt water moved. From 2001 to 2011, the creep was sluggish and regular, however its clip has doubled, totaling virtually 4 inches since 2011.

It should take main work to revive contemporary water or preserve what we’ve. The South Florida Water Administration District makes use of our stories to assist monitor the wetlands and pull levers to regulate the provision. For instance, they’ll entice extra rain in ditches to have on standby. Or they’ll rehab mangroves within the Glades, which could assist gird towards saltwater. It’s an enormous job, however I’m optimistic, although we’ve rather a lot to determine.

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