Dr. Thompson is using natural selection to create novel microchip designs.
One interesting insight involves one evolved design that didn't seem like it should work at all:
It seems that evolution had not merely selected the best code for the task, it had also advocated those programs which took advantage of the electromagnetic quirks of that specific microchip environment. The five separate logic cells were clearly crucial to the chip's operation, but they were interacting with the main circuitry through some unorthodox method– most likely via the subtle magnetic fields that are created when electrons flow through circuitry, an effect known as magnetic flux. There was also evidence that the circuit was not relying solely on the transistors' absolute ON and OFF positions like a typical chip; it was capitalizing upon analogue shades of gray along with the digital black and white.
Vox has an article up about the recent fraud by Michael LaCour in his "study" featuring gay canvassers.
It contains this tidbit about David Broockman who exposed the fraud:
Broockman was consistently told by friends and advisers to keep quiet about his concerns lest he earn a reputation as a troublemaker, or — perhaps worse — someone who merely replicates and investigates others’ research rather than plant a flag of his own.
I have to say that someone who "merely" replicates studies is super awesome in my eyes. This probably stems from my interest in meta-science…science about science…but someone out there replicating research and making science better is my hero.
How the biggest fraud in political science nearly got missed
Why power dynamics and poorly designed incentive structures in science could have caused a recently retracted Science article to stay on the record.
Additionally, it's frustrating when an introvert explains that this isn't the case and it's taken as if there's something wrong with the introvert.
Will the uploader try those again at some point? It's in the middle of uploading 11,000 photos and videos but I have no idea which ones it was that failed…
The Least Religious Generation – ScienceBlog.com
May 28, 2015 | ScienceBlog.com In what may be the largest study ever conducted on changes in Americans’ religious involvement, researchers led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean …
The floating turd mystery that still haunts NASA
46 years later, it’s still unsolved.
Persistence of Long-Term Memory in Vitrified and Revived C. elegans
Abstract follows with some paragraph breaks because abstracts are always so dense!
Can memory be retained after cryopreservation? Our research has attempted to answer this long-standing question by using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a well-known model organism for biological research that has generated revolutionary findings but has not been tested for memory retention after cryopreservation.
Our study’s goal was to test C. elegans’ memory recall after vitrification and reviving. Using a method of sensory imprinting in the young C. elegans we established that learning acquired through olfactory cues shapes the animal’s behavior and the learning is retained at the adult stage after vitrification.
Our research method included olfactory imprinting with the chemical benzaldehyde (C6H5CHO) for phase-sense olfactory imprinting at the L1 stage, the fast cooling SafeSpeed method for vitrification at the L2 stage, reviving, and a chemotaxis assay for testing memory retention of learning at the adult stage. Our results in testing memory retention after cryopreservation show that the mechanisms that regulate the odorant imprinting (a form of long-term memory) in C. elegans have not been modified by the process of vitrification or by slow freezing.
Also, this journal does not seem to get along with Google+'s scraping of links as seen in the below error message.
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