This week in Science News, IBM unveiled a massive 1,000-qubit quantum chip, we discovered a lost world of lakes in the Atacama Desert, and we met a dolphin with unusual fins.
Quantum computing is poised to revolutionize our world as it matures. Its potential is huge – A As much as a computer It may complete, in just four minutes, what would take a traditional supercomputer 10,000 years to achieve. The key lies in developing the necessary chips. This week, IBM announced a major advance: a 1,000-qubit quantum chip, the second largest ever created. But surprisingly, IBM’s focus is not on this achievement. Instead, they target a segment 10 times smaller — but why?
At the crossroads between future technology and health, researchers have connected a Brain organoid In an artificial intelligence system, using neural tissue to Assist in completing mathematical tasks, which could be a step towards biocomputers. Other health stories that caught our interest this week were Epigenetic association with lifespan in mammalsIt is a rare sleep disorder. It may not be as uncommon as previously thought“And the truth that we might have been ignoring.”Long flu” For a long time.
Out into space, where an “incredible” and extremely rare gap in the constantly blowing solar wind briefly blew away the Martian atmosphere. It happened last year, but scientists now believe It can happen to Earth too. However, we don’t have to go back that far for the sun to wreak havoc on Earth – just this week Class X Flare BeastThe most powerful solar flare since 2017 exploded from the Sun, knocking out radio on Earth and unleashing a coronal ejection that could also hit our planet in the next few days.
Speaking of things colliding with Earth, new simulations suggest that Arizona’s famous Barringer Crater was formed by a meteorite. The asteroid is a cosmic “curve ball”. Elsewhere on Earth, we’ve discovered “dead” redwoods in California She came back to life After the forest fires, A A 400-million-year-old parasitic fungus frozen in timeAnd an amazing ecosystem Clear lakes and salt plains In the Puna de Atacama Desert in Argentina, which could provide a window into early life on Earth and Mars.
Other items found on the grounds this week include an 800-year-old healing bowl decorated with a two-headed dragon, a 2,200-year-old tile that provides a direct link to the history of Hanukkah, some ancient decaying human bones, and “medieval relics.” Curse Tablet “Summoning the Devil” – Found at the bottom of the toilet.
And finally, to the animal kingdom, where alongside the Antarctic sea spider, the bloodthirsty female meerkat, and the pinky white crocodile, there was the remarkable discovery of a strange dolphin in Greece that developed an interesting hook-shaped “thumb” carved out of its belly. Fins.
Want more science news? Follow our Live Science WhatsApp Channel For the latest discoveries as they happen. It’s the best way to get our expert reports on the go, but if you’re not using WhatsApp, we’re also available Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Flipboard, Instagram, Tik Tok And LinkedIn.
Picture of the week
Stunning new shots and footage that capture beauty and acrobatic skills Tens of thousands of starlings As they gather and sweep the skies of Europe. These amazing shots were captured by a Danish photographer Soren Solkerwho followed the majestic birds for six years across Europe.
Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) gather to form what are known as murmurs, named after the noise their thousands of flapping wings make during these events. It could contain a starling murmur More than a million birdsall swooping in unison to create evocative shapes in the sky.
In his ninth photographic study entitled “starling(Circle Edition, 2023), Solkær presents this “stunning ballet” in a series of photographs taken during and after sunset in Europe.
Live Science is a long read
Dr Susan O’Sullivan, a consultant neurologist at the UK’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, has spent her life treating psychosomatic illnesses, or disorders in which people experience debilitating physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a physical examination or medical investigation.
Medicine has a long and shameful history of conditions for which they cannot find a physical cause, and often dismiss them with sexist terms like “hysteria.” But this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how these real diseases arise.
Quote: “I think it’s not a problem of consciousness; it’s a problem of a lot of old disconnects.” Dr. Susan O’Sullivan.
While many people with these conditions are told that “it’s all in your head,” or dismissed as obsessive, this is a problem, O’Sullivan says. As part of her work, she aims to reduce stigma and clarify misunderstandings about psychosomatic illnesses.
Live Science spoke with O’Sullivan about why these conditions are so misunderstood, how they’re diagnosed, and… Why treatments for them often fail.