Michael Snyder’s genes were telling him that he might be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The Stanford University geneticist wasn’t worried: He felt healthy and didn’t have a family history of the disease. But as he monitored other aspects of his own biological data over months and years, he saw that diabetes was indeed emerging, even though he showed no symptoms.
A GPS app can plan the best route between two subway stops if it has been specifically programmed for the task. But a new artificial intelligence system can figure out how to do so on the fly by learning general rules from specific examples, researchers report October 12 in Nature.
Artificial neural networks, computer programs that mimic the human brain, are great at learning patterns...
News in Brief
A GPS app can plan the best route between two subway stops if it has been specifically programmed for the task. But a new artificial intelligence system can figure out how to do so on the fly by learning general rules from specific examples, researchers report online October 12 in Nature.
Artificial neural networks, computer programs that mimic the human brain, are great at learning...
Letters to the Editor
Rooting out terrorism08/24/2016 - 15:17 Networks, Psychology, Science & Society
Anthropologists have moved to the front lines to determine what drives people to join terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State. New research shows that the most committed ISIS fighters revere Islamic law and identify closely with a small group of comrades, Bruce Bower reported in “Deadly devotion” (SN: 7/9/16, p. 18).
Some readers noted similarities between...
Social media supporters of the Islamic State, or ISIS, form online groups that may provide clues crucial to predicting when terrorist attacks will take place, a new analysis finds.
These virtual communities drive ISIS activity on a Facebook-like site called VKontakte, say physicist Neil Johnson of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., and colleagues. VKontakte, a social...
As Superstorm Sandy threatened the East Coast of the United States in fall of 2012, people stocked up on bread and batteries. They boarded their windows. And they tweeted. During the height of the storm and its impact, between October 26 and November 10, people sent more than 20 million hurricane-related tweets.
Now, scientists have taken almost 10 million of those tweets and used them...
Part interactive field guide, part map, a new app compiles millions of records on species ranges worldwide. By pinpointing your location, the Map of Life app lets you explore plants and critters you might see nearby. Or tap around the globe to see what might be blooming in Singapore, for example. Click on a species name to reveal its range map (one shown below), as well as crowdsourced...
Don’t totally blame Facebook for worsening political divisions between liberals and conservatives. Those rifts have more to do with the news you — and your online friends — choose.
The social media site’s news-filtering program shuts out some opposing points of view, but not as much as its users do on their own, researchers report online May 7 in Science.
Facebook users often...
The benefits of working together are so widely recognized that they’re cliché. Two heads are better than one. Many hands make light work. Great minds think alike. None of us is as smart as all of us. Be a team player. If you’ve never said one of these middle management tropes, you’ve probably heard one (or seen one on an inspirational poster near the water cooler).
These phrases capture...
Guest post by Chris Riotta
Trust is often thought to be one of the most crucial building blocks to any relationship. But some lies may be good for society.
In simulations, small fibs — such as lying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings — appeared to help to build communities and form connections among individuals in a social network. Larger lies — such as lying about stealing or...