Best of Last Week – Robots let bees and fish talk, stopping superbugs on the ISS and why time flies as we age
It was a big week for technology development, as a team led by a group at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne described an experiment in which robots enabled bees and fish to talk to each other—robots in Austria and Switzerland allowed the two very different species to coordinate their decisions. Also, a team at MIT announced that they had developed algorithm designs that optimized machine-learning models up to 200 times faster than traditional methods—they will be presenting their ideas at this year's International Conference on Learning Representations. And a team with members from the University of California, Maynooth University and the California Institute of Technology reported that they had created programmable, self-assembling DNA that self-assembles into patterns by running their own programs. Also, a team at Stanford University reported a way to create a hydrogen fuel from seawater—it involves solar power and electrodes.
In other news, a team with members from Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, the University Freiburg and the Institute of Biomedical Problems reported that superbugs have colonized the International Space Station—but there's a silver lining. They found that applying a silver and ruthenium-based antimicrobial coating effectively killed bacteria on a spaced-based toilet door handle. Also, the Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation reported that many sharks are closer to extinction than feared—17 out of 58 species were classified as facing extinction. And a team at the University of Cambridge found that inflammation links heart disease and depression—they found that people with heart disease are more likely to suffer from depression. Also, a team led by groups at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Norwegian Research Centre, reported that changes in the Atlantic ocean's "conveyor belt" foretell abrupt climate changes by four centuries—and suggest it could be happening again. And a team of physicists at Syracuse University revealed why matter dominates the universe—because matter and antimatter decay differently for some particles.
And finally, if you are like countless others and find that time seems to pass more quickly as you get older, you might want to check out the results of a study done by a team at Duke University—they explain why time flies as we age.
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