The Emergent Mind

WHAT GOES ON in the minds of babies? A lot, it turns out: long gone are the days when psychologists believed infants couldn’t use abstract thought. Recent research from the lab of Elizabeth Spelke, Berkman professor of psychology, suggests that babies can understand things about social behavior, preferences—even about people’s objectives and values. -The emergent mind, Harvard magazine

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Ο άβαξ του Λαυρίου

Μουσικολογική και αριθμητική ερμηνεία της μαρμάρινης επιγραφής που βρέθηκε στην βόρεια πλευρά της αγοράς στο λιμάνι Πασά του Λαυρίου το 1977.

Schrödinger in Space

The Schrödinger Equation makes an unlikely appearance at the astronomical scale _Caltech

Τα φάρμακα στην αρχαιότητα

Η αναζήτηση των φαρμάκων άρχισε από το περιβάλλον. Όπως και τα ζώα, ο πρωτόγονος άνθρωπος είχε πολύ ανεπτυγμένο το ένστικτο αυτοπροστασίας. Σταδιακά κυριάρχησε η παρατήρηση και ο συσχετισμός των θεραπευτικών μέσων με συγκεκριμμένες ασθένειες. Αναμφίβολα και η τύχη βοήθησε στην ανακάλυψη των φαρμάκων._ Ε. Σκαλτσά
Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια
Τομέας Φαρμακογνωσίας, Τμήμα Φαρμακευτικής

A surprising chill before the cosmic dawn

An experiment to estimate when stars began to form in the Universe suggests that gas temperatures just before stars appeared had fallen well below predicted limits, and that dark matter is not as shadowy as was thought._ Nature 555, 38-39 (2018)

The secret life of Higgs bosons

The Higgs boson has existed since the earliest moments of our universe. Its directionless field permeates all of space and entices transient particles to slow down and burgeon with mass. Without the Higgs field, there could be no stable structures; the universe would be cold, dark and lifeless.

Ancient DNA Tells Tales of Humans’ Migratory History

Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied­­ – revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past._hhmi

Φαινόμενο Dunning – Kruger: Η αυτοπεποίθηση των ανεπαρκών ανθρώπων.

Οι περισσότεροι άνθρωποι συνήθως είναι πολύ ικανοί σε ορισμένες δεξιότητες και σε κάποιες άλλες λιγότερο ικανοί (υπολείπονται). Ωστόσο, υπάρχουν ορισμένοι που υπερεκτιμούν τις γνώσεις, ή τις ικανότητές τους σε ένα συγκεκριμένο θέμα, ή δεξιότητα.

Millirobot with a talent for versatility of movement

Tiny robots need not fear obstacle courses in the future: Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a minuscule, flexible robot that can master a variety of forms of movement. Its magnetic drive allows it to walk, crawl and roll through difficult terrain. Moreover, it can transport small loads and swim on and in liquids. In future, tiny robots moving in this way could transport medication specifically to where it is needed._ Max Planck Gesellschaft.

New Egyptian dinosaur reveals ancient link between Africa and Europe

When it comes to the final days of the dinosaurs, Africa is something of a blank page. Fossils found in Africa from the Late Cretaceous, the time period from 100 to 66 million years ago, are few and far between. That means that the course of dinosaur evolution in Africa has largely remained a mystery. But in the Sahara Desert of Egypt, scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur that helps fill in those gaps: Mansourasaurus shahinae, a school-bus-length, long-necked plant-eater with bony plates embedded in its skin._ Ohio University

A new Oligo–Miocene marsupial lion from Australia and revision of the family Thylacoleonidae

A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. The findings, published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, are based on fossilised remains of the animal’s skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) found by University of New South Wales (UNSW) scientists in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote north-western Queensland. _phys.org

Scientists observe supermassive black hole in infant universe

A team of astronomers, including two from MIT, has detected the most distant supermassive black hole ever observed. The black hole sits in the center of an ultrabright quasar, the light of which was emitted just 690 million years after the Big Bang. That light has taken about 13 billion years to reach us — a span of time that is nearly equal to the age of the universe._MIT

A 100-fold leap to GigaDalton DNA nanotech

DNA bricks enable self-assembly of 3D nanostructures from 10,000 unique components, advancing DNA nanotech from Mega to GigaDalton scale

Original Release: Harvard’s Wyss Institute  •  Author: Benjamin Boettner

When water met iron deep inside the earth, it might have created conditions for life

Reservoirs of oxygen-rich iron between the Earth’s core and mantle could have played a major role in Earth’s history, including the breakup of supercontinents, drastic changes in Earth’s atmospheric makeup, and the creation of life, according to recent work from an international research team published in National Science Review. _Carnegie Science

How Language Evolves

Read a few lines of Chaucer or Shakespeare and you’ll get a sense of how the English language has changed during the past millennium. Linguists catalogue these changes and work to discern why they happened. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have been doing something similar with living things, exploring how and why certain genes have changed over generations.

In a new study published in Nature, researchers in these two academic fields have joined forces at the University of Pennsylvania to solve an essential problem of how languages evolve: determining whether language changes occur by random chance or by a selective force. _University of Pennsylvania

Unearthing a masterpiece

A University of Cincinnati team’s stunning discovery of a rare Minoan sealstone in the treasure-laden tomb of a Bronze Age Greek warrior promises to rewrite the history of ancient Greek art. _University of Cincinnati

Reading our brain chemistry

Researchers at EPFL have developed a new device and analysis method that let doctors measure the neurochemicals in a patient’s brain. The Microsystems Laboratory 4 (LMIS4)’s system involves collecting microdroplets of cerebral fluid and analyzing them to obtain chemical data that can help doctors diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases._EPFL

Neutron star merger confirms decades of predictions by Princeton researchers

On Aug. 17, the Laser Interferometry Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the fifth fingerprint of a massive disturbance in spacetime since LIGO began operations in September 2015. Unlike the first four sets of ripples, which reflected collisions between two black holes, the shape of these spacetime distortions suggested a collision between two neutron stars. _Princeton University

New evidence for dark matter makes it even more exotic

Looking at massive galaxy clusters, EPFL astronomers have observed that their brightest galaxies within them “wobble” — an unexpected phenomenon in current models. The discovery, published in MNRAS, adds to the body of evidence of dark matter beyond the Standard Cosmological Model (ΛCDM). _EPFL

How much does life weigh?

ETH researchers have developed a scale for measuring cells. It allows the weight of individual living cells, and any changes in this weight, to be determined quickly and accurately for the first time. The invention has also aroused significant interest both in and outside the field of biology. _ETH Zurich

Εύδοξος ο Κνίδιος (περ. 408 – 342 π.Χ)

Ο Εύδοξος της Κνίδου, ήταν Έλληνας μαθηματικός και αστρονόμος που εξέλιξε την αναλογική θεωρία, συνέβαλε στον εντοπισμό αστερισμών και κατ’ επέκταση στην ανάπτυξη της Παρατηρησιακής Αστρονομίας στον Ελληνικό κόσμο και καθιέρωσε το πρώτο εξελιγμένο γεωμετρικό μοντέλο των ουρανίων κινήσεων. Υπήρξε ο πλέον καινοτόμος Έλληνας μαθηματικός πριν τον Αρχιμήδη. Το έργο του αποτελεί θεμέλιο των «Στοιχείων» του Ευκλείδη και απετέλεσε βάση για την μελέτη του Αρχιμήδη επί των όγκων και των επιφανειών, ενώ η αναλογική θεωρία είναι η πρώτη ολοκληρωμένη θεωρία μεγεθών.

Self-healing materials inspired by plants

Scientists at EPFL’s Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites (LPAC) and the University of Freiburg’s Botanical Garden have studied how the flax plant heals itself after it has been wounded. As part of a cross-disciplinary EU research project, they measured changes in the plant’s mechanical properties, like stiffness and damping, and examined the plant’s self-repair mechanisms. Because natural fibers are being increasingly used to make composite materials, understanding how such mechanisms work can help scientists develop self-healing materials with better performance, drawing on methods inspired by nature. The research was recently published in PLOS ONE. _EPFL

Σχόλια θεολογικά και εικονογραφικά στην Μεταμόρφωση του Σωτήρος

Η Μεταμόρφωση του Χριστού, στην σημερινή συλλογική μνήμη του εκκλησιάσματος, ειδικά των Ελλήνων, επέχει θέση προαγγέλου της μεγάλης εορτής του θέρους, δηλαδή της Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου. Έχει επίσης συνδυαστεί, με την λαϊκή προσφορά καρπών της αμπέλου. Μια ιεροπρακτική παράδοση, η οποία δημιουργεί συνειρμούς για μια διαλεκτική με την προχριστιανική διονυσιακή / αλεξανδρινή παράδοση, σε σύνδεση, βέβαια, με την εορτή του Δεκαπενταύγουστου.

 
Η ανάγκη να απαντηθούν ερωτήματα για την πραγματική ουσία αυτού του Σημείου εξ ουρανού, δημιουργούν ένα εξόχως ενδιαφέρον υπόβαθρο, ώστε σε επίπεδο ερμηνευτικό, λειτουργικό, δογματικό και αγιογραφικό, να αποπειραθούμε να φωτίσουμε πτυχές του. Η μελέτη μας θα χωρισθεί σε δύο τμήματα. Στο πρώτο, στις βιβλικές πηγές θα παρατεθούν εκλογές από την πατερική ερμηνευτική γραμματεία. Στο δεύτερο μέρος, θα ερευνηθεί η εικονογραφική διάσταση, θα τεθούν οι προσωπικές ερμηνευτικές μας παρατηρήσεις, ενώ θα πούμε και λίγα λόγια για την διαλεκτική με την αρχαιοελληνική παράδοση, σε σχέση με την μυστηριακή λατρεία. _του Κόττη Κωνσταντίνου θεολόγου

Ο ναΐσκος της Μητρός των Μεγάλων Θεών από την Αμφίπολη ως σύγχρονη του Καστά μαρτυρία των Καβείρων

Αντικείμενο και μέθοδος:
Η μελέτη μας αυτή, κινείται επί δύο αξόνων. Ο πρώτος άξονας είναι ο ίδιος ο ανάγλυφος ναΐσκος της Μεγάλης Μητρός από την Αμφίπολη, όπου και θα δοθούν τα βασικά στοιχεία των περί αυτής κύριων δημοσιεύσεων. Κατά τον δεύτερο άξονα, θα αναλυθούν, επιμέρους, συγκεκριμένες συμπληρωματικές μορφές οι οποίες συνθέτουν αυτήν την κατηγορία των ανάγλυφων και η πιθανή σχέση και ο ρόλος τον οποίο διαδραματίζουν, ενταγμένες στην καβείρια λατρεία. Αρχικά θα επιχειρηθεί η προσέγγιση της ταυτότητας των Μεγάλων Θεών και της Μεγάλης Μητρός καθώς και των παραλληλισμών αμφοτέρων. Στην συνέχεια θα ιχνηλατήσουμε, ερμηνευτικά, την θέση και σχέση του Νεανία και της Δαδούχου, με επίκεντρο, αντίστοιχα, τον Ερμή Κάδμιλο και την Εκάτη. Τέλος θα επισημάνουμε τα ουσιώδη του χαρακτήρα των Κορυβάντων και οι επεκτάσεις τις οποίες δημιουργεί ο πυρρίχιος χορός, ιδίως σε σχέση με την μακεδονική δυναστεία την εποχή της Ολυμπιάδος. _του Κόττη Κωνσταντίνου

Brain study reveals how insects make beeline for home

Edinburgh researchers have shed light on the complex navigation system that insects use to make their way home in a straight line following long, complex journeys.

They have revealed how a network of neurons integrates every detail of changes in direction and distance covered on outbound journeys, and enables bees to return directly home. _UOE

Antikythera shipwreck yields statue pieces and mystery bronze disc

Marine archaeologists investigating the ancient shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism — a complex, bronze, geared device that predicted eclipses and showed the movements of the Sun, Moon and planets in the sky — have recovered a wealth of treasures, including bronze and marble statue pieces, a sarcophagus lid and a mysterious bronze disc decorated with a bull. The artefacts were trapped under boulders in a previously unexplored part of the site near the island of Antikythera, Greece, and the researchers think that large parts of at least seven statues are still buried nearby. _Nature News & Comment

Researchers get first look at electrons escaping atoms | The Ohio State University

Researchers have—for just a fraction of a second—glimpsed an electron’s-eye view of the world. That is, they have succeeded for the first time in tracking an electron leaving the vicinity of an atom as the atom absorbs light. In a way akin to taking “snapshots” of the process, they were able to follow how each electron’s unique momentum changed over the incredibly short span of time it took to escape its host atom and become a free electron. _OSU

Meteorites may have brought building blocks of life to Earth | McMaster Daily News

Life on Earth began somewhere between 3.7 and 4.5 billion years ago, after meteorites splashed down and leached essential elements into warm little ponds, say scientists at McMaster University and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Their calculations suggest that wet and dry cycles bonded basic molecular building blocks in the ponds’ nutrient-rich broth into self-replicating RNA molecules that constituted the first genetic code for life on the planet.

McMaster University

The ‘myth’ of language history

The ‘myth’ of language history: languages do not share a single history but different components evolve along different trajectories and at different rates.

A large-scale study of Pacific languages reveals that forces driving grammatical change are different to those driving lexical change. Grammar changes more rapidly and is especially influenced by contact with unrelated languages, while words are more resistant to change. _MPI

New Clues From Brain Structures of Mantis Shrimp | UANews

Mantis shrimp have mushroom bodies in their brains, structures that are well known from insects but not from crustaceans. The findings of a study question the most commonly held scenario retracing how brain structures evolved in arthropods._UA News

Six galaxies from when the universe’s lights came back on

New work from a research team including the director of Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory, Leopoldo Infante, has tripled the sample size of known galaxies that can teach scientists about a key period in the universe’s history, when the lights came back on after the so-called dark ages.

Πηγές, τοπωνύμια και άνθρωποι από την αρχαία Εορδαία

Ένα εγχείρημα ώστε να σταχυολογηθούν οι λίγες σωζόμενες πηγές για την αρχαία Εορδαία, αντλώντας από την αρχαία και βυζαντινή γραμματεία, τις επιγραφές και τα σχόλια. Επίκεντρο οι πόλεις και κώμες της Εορδαίας, η σύνδεση με ιστορικά γεγονότα, ανασκαφικά δεδομένα, αλλά και μια συνοπτική παράθεση πολιτών της περιοχής, επωνύμων και μη . Μια ιστορία μνήμης, πολεμώντας την λήθη. _Κόττης Κωνσταντίνος

The volatile processes that shaped Earth

Based on observations of newly-forming stars, scientists know that the solar system began as a disc of dust and gas surrounding the centrally-growing sun. The gas condensed to solids which accumulated into larger rocky bodies like asteroids and mini-planets. Over a period of 100 million years these mini-planets collided with one another and gradually accumulated into the planets we see today, including the Earth._Oxford University

Gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger observed by LIGO and Virgo

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo collaboration report the first joint detection of gravitational waves with both the LIGO and Virgo detectors. This is the fourth announced detection of a binary black hole system and the first significant gravitational-wave signal recorded by the Virgo detector, and highlights the scientific potential of a three-detector network of gravitational-wave detectors._ LIGO Caltech