Dogs Can Differentiate Between Languages, Study Finds:
Enikő Kubinyi, Eötvös Loránd University
Dog brains can detect speech and show different activity patterns to familiar and unfamiliar languages, according to a new brain imaging study. This is the first demonstration that a non-human brain can differentiate two languages. In the study at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, 18 dog brain responses were read to see how they responded to speech and non-speech patterns. When comparing brain responses to speech and non-speech, researchers found different distinct activity patterns in dogs’ primary auditory cortex. In addition to speech detection, dog brains could also distinguish between Spanish and Hungarian. These language-specific activity patterns were found in another brain region, the secondary auditory cortex. Interestingly, the older the dog was, the better their brain distinguished between the familiar and the unfamiliar language.
Study finds that black hole inner horizons can be charged or discharged:
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain
Researchers at the University of Leipzig have recently carried out a study examining the vacuum polarization induced by a quantum-charged scalar field near the inner horizon of a charged black hole. The results of their analyses, published in Physical Review Letters, suggest that at a charged black hole's inner horizon, the quantum charged current could be either positive or negative. Christiane Klein, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “If a black hole is electrically charged or rotating, its interior has an interesting feature: Inside the black hole, there is a surface with properties resembling those of the event horizon (i.e., the outer edge) of the black hole. It is therefore called the inner horizon." Essentially, up to a black hole's inner horizon, the spacetime and everything happening within it can be theoretically predicted based on knowledge of the state of the universe at some point in the past, which physicists refer to as 'initial data’. Based on theoretical predictions, however, an observer crossing a black hole's inner horizon could bypass the central singularity of the black hole, where space and time become infinitely curved, and re-exit into a different universe (initial data becomes void). It was found to be plausible for a human to enter the inner horizon only if the strength of the singularity (point of greatest charge, quantum force) is weak enough. The researchers also found that the event horizon (outer edge) had significantly different properties than the inner horizon in terms of charge and reaction to quantum conditions. If anything, much of black holes is still not understood, but at some time in the future, it may be possible to weaken the black hole’s inner horizon enough to travel to different points in time, alternate universes, or even completely different worlds.
A disinfectant made from sawdust mows down deadly microbes:
JYPSYGEN/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
A new, sustainable disinfectant made from sawdust and water can knock out more than 99 percent of some disease-causing microbes, including anthrax and several strains of flu. Most disinfectants like chlorine are environmentally dangerous and even more, environmentally friendly ones like phenol are too intensive and expensive to make. However, there are phenol structures in wood, which are part of plant cell walls, that could serve as a cheaper and more widely available alternative. Environmental engineer Shicheng Zhang of Fudan University in Shanghai and colleagues cooked mixtures of water and sawdust for one hour under pressure and filtered them. Depending on a disinfectant’s concentration, it could zap more than 99 percent of the microbes of E.coli, Anthrax, and Influenza. Furthermore, the phenol soup they created may also damage bacteria and viruses' proteins.