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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

ScienceDaily: Most Popular News

In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:10 AM PST

For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. Now neuroscientists have found that one of the latest generation of 'deep neural networks' matches the primate brain.

Origin of long-standing space mystery revealed: Origin of the 'theta aurora'

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:09 AM PST

Scientists have solved a long-standing space mystery -- the origin of the 'theta aurora'. Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the Sun's effect on Earth. They are seen as colorful displays in the night sky, known as the Northern or Southern Lights. They are caused by the solar wind, a stream of plasma -- electrically charged atomic particles -- carrying its own magnetic field, interacting with the earth's magnetic field. Normally, the main region for this impressive display is the 'auroral oval', which lies at around 65-70 degrees north or south of the equator, encircling the polar caps. However, auroras can occur at even higher latitudes. One type is known as a 'theta aurora' because seen from above it looks like the Greek letter theta -- an oval with a line crossing through the center.

Life expectancy increases globally as death toll falls from major diseases

Posted: 17 Dec 2014 05:15 PM PST

People are living much longer worldwide than they were two decades ago, as death rates from infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease have fallen, according to a new, first-ever journal publication of country-specific cause-of-death data for 188 countries.

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