What you might have missed


The brightest light in the Universe, bisexual behaviour of animals and where AI meets ethics – here are some highlights from a week in science. 


Bees generate asymmetric waves, which they use to propel themselves forward, research shows. Read the full story here

CHRIS ROH AND MORY GHARIB / CALTECH

Here's a snapshot of a few stories we particularly enjoyed. Click on the links to read them in full. You can also see all the week's yarns here.


The brightest light in the Universe

A violent explosion in a galaxy seven billion light-years away has broken the record for the brightest source of high-energy light in the Universe.

Read the full story here.


Were animal ancestors bisexual?

The paradox of same-sex relations in animals and humans has long confounded evolutionary scientists because it produces no offspring and, by their reasoning, should thus have been snuffed out through the laws of natural selection.

Read the full story here.


How to behave in school

Mass animal behaviour is a marvel – but what makes individuals decide which way to go?

Researchers from Southeast University, China, and China University of Mining and Technology have studied synchronised flights of pigeon flocks in an effort to explain the mechanisms behind coordinated behaviour.

Read the full story here.


Where AI and ethics meet

Many have dreamed up sets of principles to guide AI researchers and help them negotiate the maze of human morality and ethics. Now, a paper in Nature Machine Intelligence throws a spanner in the works by claiming that such high principles, while laudable, will not give us the ethical AI society we need.

Read the full story here.


Did drought fell the great Assyrian Empire?

Two centuries of dominance by the Neo-Assyrian Empire might have been undone by a 60-year megadrought, US researchers say.

Read the full story here.


Getting some SVO for your (auto) SUV

Recently, a team led by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) started exploring whether self-driving cars can be programmed to classify the social personalities of other drivers.

Read the full story here.


And here's our image of the week

Natasha Hurley-Walker (ICRAR/Curtin) / GLEAM.

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in outback Western Australia captured this spectacular new view of the Milky Way, showing what our galaxy would look like if human eyes could see radio waves.

Read the full story here.

To view all this week's featured images, click here.

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/latest
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/the-brightest-light-in-the-universe
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/were-animal-ancestors-bisexual
  4. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/how-to-behave-in-school
  5. https://cosmosmagazine.com/society/where-ai-and-ethics-meet
  6. https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/did-drought-fell-the-great-assyrian-empire
  7. https://cosmosmagazine.com/the-future/getting-some-svo-for-your-auto-suv
  8. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/the-milky-way-as-you-ve-never-seen-it
  9. https://cosmosmagazine.com/sections/image-of-the-day
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