Never-Before-Seen Microbes Locked In Glacier Ice Could Spark A Wave Of New Pandemics If Released

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Although glaciers look barren, hundreds of microbial species call them home. Many of them are ancient—having roamed free thousands of years ago—and alien to researchers. Because we haven’t encountered them before, they could potentially cause a slew of pandemics if they escape their icy prisons. This poses a problem: the Earth is warming faster than ever before, accelerating their release. These microbes can make their way into human populations through freshwater; for instance, the Tibetan Plateau glaciers feed into three major rivers running through the most populated countries on earth. Read full article here

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Societal Issues

AI Predicts Crime A Week In Advance With 90 Per Cent Accuracy

An artificial intelligence model built by Ishanu Chattopadhyay and his colleagues analysed crime data in Chicago from 2014 to 2016 and managed to predict future levels of crime down to the nearest 300 metres, a week before they actually happened. While extremely useful, this artificial intelligence has been shown to expose racial prejudice in law enforcement. Hopefully, as the study’s data and methodology have been made available for others to evaluate, these prejudices can be avoided in the next iteration. Read full article here


Automated Identification Of Chicken Distress

Did you know that chickens make distinct sounds when they’re stressed? Chicken raisers painstakingly identify these calls manually to figure out how their chickens are faring—a sort of state of the chicknation, if you will. However, those days of manual identification might be nearing an end after a group of researchers developed an AI primed to identify stressed chicken noises. Called light-VGG11, the AI seems like a promising solution for those with large flocks of chickens after it accurately identified chicken distress calls among other recorded chicken calls. Read full article here

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