Current Chaos News and Events

Current Chaos News and Events, Chaos News Articles.
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Making sense of the mass data generated from firing neurons
Scientists reveal technological breakthrough which may help answer key questions about how animals process information and adapt to environmental changes. Researchers at the University of Sussex and University of Kyoto have developed a new framework capable of analysing the masses of data created when studying the thousands of neutrons within an animal's brain. (2021-02-19)

Origin of life -- Did Darwinian evolution begin before life itself?
A study done by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich physicists demonstrates that fundamental characteristics of polymeric molecules, such as their subunit composition, are sufficient to trigger selection processes in a plausible prebiotic setting. (2021-02-19)

The effect of natural disasters on criminal--and charitable--activity in the USA
While media has popularized a notion of widespread looting and chaos in the wake of major disasters, the researchers found that communities impacted by disasters actually experience a decrease in crime. Their article also found a marked increase in philanthropic activity amongst people that live nearby disaster areas but weren't directly affected by the disaster. (2021-02-16)

School closures may not reduce coronavirus deaths as much as expected
School closures, the loss of public spaces, and having to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused major disruptions in people's lives all over the world. After running thousands of simulations of the pandemic response in New York City with variations in social distancing behavior, researchers suggest a reduction in fatal coronavirus cases can be achieved without the need for so much social disruption. They discuss the impacts of the closures in the journal Chaos. (2021-02-09)

Ensuring healthy family mealtimes is important - and complicated
Mealtimes are a central aspect of family life, affecting the health and wellbeing of both children and adults. Although the benefits of healthy mealtimes are straightforward, helping all families realize those benefits is quite complicated, new research from University of Illinois shows. (2021-02-04)

Ural Federal University scientists discover ways to increase oil production efficiency
The study of the researchers of Ural Federal University Department of Technical Physics can make the oil production more efficient and anticipate consequences of environmental emergencies (2021-02-01)

Studying chaos with one of the world's fastest cameras
Lihong Wang demonstrates how his ultrafast camera technology might aid in the study of unpredictable systems. (2021-01-13)

Controlling cardiac waves with light to better understand abnormally rapid heart rhythms
Over 300,000 people die each year in the US due to sudden cardiac death. In many cases, sudden cardiac death is caused by abnormally rapid heart rhythms called tachycardias, which means the heart cannot pump adequate blood to the body. In Chaos, researchers use mice to study tachycardias and find there are intrinsic mechanisms that exist in heart tissue that they hypothesize lead to the self-termination of rapid cardiac rhythm. (2020-12-22)

'Chaotic' way to create insectlike gaits for robots
Researchers are embracing chaos and nonlinear physics to create insectlike gaits for tiny robots -- complete with a locomotion controller to provide a brain-machine interface. Biology and physics are permeated by universal phenomena fundamentally grounded in nonlinear physics, and it inspired the researchers' work. In the journal Chaos, the group describes using a system of three nonlinear differential equations as a building block for central pattern generators to control the gait of a robotic insect. (2020-12-15)

Researchers discover a new superhighway system in the Solar System
Researchers have discovered a new superhighway network to travel through the Solar System much faster than was previously possible. Such routes can drive comets and asteroids near Jupiter to Neptune's distance in under a decade and to 100 astronomical units in less than a century. They could be used to send spacecraft to the far reaches of our planetary system relatively fast, and to monitor and understand near-Earth objects that might collide with our planet. (2020-12-09)

Enriching research in ecology and evolution through nine 'flavors' of history
In a recent article in The Quarterly Review of Biology, ''Beyond Equilibria: The Neglected Role of History in Ecology and Evolution,'' author Hamish G. Spencer argues for a revitalized view of history. This historical view is a response to current research in the field of ecology and evolution, which is dominated by an ahistorical view of dynamic systems. (2020-11-23)

In a pandemic, migration away from dense cities more effective than closing borders
During the COVID-19 pandemic, closing national borders and borders between states and regions has been prevalent. But does it help? In a paper in Chaos, researchers decided to put this hypothesis to the test and discover if confinement and travels bans are really effective ways to limit the spread of a pandemic disease. Specifically, they focused on the movement of people from larger cities to smaller ones and tested the results of this one-way migration. (2020-11-17)

Smartphone use offers tool to treat MS, other diseases
Monitoring how patients with multiple sclerosis or other degenerative diseases use their smartphones could provide valuable information to help get them better treatment. In the journal Chaos, researchers used an app to record the keystroke dynamics of a control group and those of subjects in various stages of MS treatment. In doing so, they observed changes in the way people with MS typed that were not seen in subjects who did not have the disease. (2020-11-17)

Robotic AI learns to be spontaneous
Autonomous functions for robots, such as spontaneity, are highly sought after. Many control mechanisms for autonomous robots are inspired by the functions of animals, including humans. Roboticists often design robot behaviors using predefined modules and control methodologies, which makes them task-specific, limiting their flexibility. Researchers offer an alternative machine learning-based method for designing spontaneous behaviors by capitalizing on complex temporal patterns, like neural activities of animal brains. They hope to see their design implemented in robotic platforms to improve their autonomous capabilities. (2020-11-11)

Smart devices to schedule electricity use may prevent blackouts
Power plants generate electricity and send it into power lines that distribute energy to nodes where it can be used. But if the electricity load is more than the system's capacity, transmission can fail, leading to a cascade of failures throughout the electric grid. In the journal Chaos, researchers show demand side control may be an effective solution to stabilizing the reliability of power grids that use a mix of energy generation sources. (2020-11-10)

Female mongooses start battles for chance to mate
Female banded mongooses lead their groups into fights then try to mate with enemy males in the chaos of battle, new research shows. (2020-11-09)

Random effects key to containing epidemics
To control an epidemic, authorities will often impose varying degrees of lockdown. In the journal Chaos, scientists have discovered, using mathematics and computer simulations, why dividing a large population into multiple subpopulations that do not intermix can help contain outbreaks without imposing contact restrictions within those local communities. When infection numbers are high, random effects can be ignored. But subdividing a population can create communities so small that the random effects matter. (2020-10-27)

Interactions within larger social groups can cause tipping points in contagion flow
Contagion processes, such as opinion formation or disease spread, can reach a tipping point, where the contagion either rapidly spreads or dies out. When modeling these processes, it is difficult to capture this complex transition. In the journal Chaos, researchers studied the parameters of these transitions by including three-person group interactions in a contagion model called the susceptible-infected-susceptible model. In this model, an infected person who recovers from an infection can be reinfected. (2020-10-20)

One way to prevent cancer: map the fundamentals of how cells go awry
Wilmot Cancer Institute scientists focused on proteins involved in breast and brain cancer and melanoma, and made a new discovery. (2020-10-20)

New study highlights the role of risk communication in coping with COVID-19
New research from the International Joint Laboratory of Cognitive and Behavioural Scienc (iLCBC) at ZZNU demonstrates the importance of risk communication aimed at encouraging appropriate countermeasures against virus outbreaks. (2020-10-16)

Finding right drug balance for Parkinson's patients
Parkinson's disease is most commonly treated with levodopa, but the benefits wear off as the disease progresses and high doses can result in dyskinesia, which are involuntary and uncontrollable movements. To better understand the underlying reasons behind these effects, researchers created a model of the interactions between levodopa, dopamine, and the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in Parkinson's disease. They discuss their findings in the journal Chaos. (2020-09-29)

COVID-19: Second wave for some; others remain in first wave
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some locations have experienced decreasing numbers of cases followed by an increase. In the journal Chaos, mathematicians report a method to analyze these numbers for evidence of a first or second wave. The authors studied data from all 50 U.S. states plus D.C. for the seven-month period from Jan. 21 to July 31. They found 31 states and D.C. were experiencing a second wave as of the end of July. (2020-09-22)

Quantum shake
There they were, in all their weird quantum glory: ultracold lithium atoms in the optical trap operated by UC Santa Barbara undergraduate student Alec Cao and his colleagues in David Weld's atomic physics group. Held by lasers in a regular, lattice formation and ''driven'' by pulses of energy, these atoms were doing crazy things. (2020-09-09)

Betrayal or cooperation? Analytical investigation of behavior drivers
At the macroscopic level, there are numerous examples of people cooperating to form groupings. Yet at the basic two-person level, people tend to betray each other, as found in games like the prisoner's dilemma, even though people would receive a better payoff if they cooperated among themselves. The topic of cooperation and how and when people start trusting one another has been studied numerically, and in the journal Chaos, researchers investigate what drives cooperation analytically. (2020-09-08)

New mathematical method shows how climate change led to fall of ancient civilization
A Rochester Institute of Technology researcher developed a mathematical method that shows climate change likely caused the rise and fall of an ancient civilization. In an article recently featured in the journal Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, Nishant Malik, assistant professor in RIT's School of Mathematical Sciences, outlined the new technique he developed and showed how shifting monsoon patterns led to the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, a Bronze Age civilization contemporary to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. (2020-09-03)

Why does COVID-19 impact only some organs, not others?
In severe cases of COVID-19, damage can spread beyond the lungs and into other organs, such as the heart, liver, kidney and parts of the neurological system. Beyond these specific sets of organs, however, the virus seems to lack impact. Ernesto Estrada aimed to uncover an explanation as to how it is possible for these damages to propagate selectively rather than affecting the entire body. He discusses his findings in the journal Chaos. (2020-08-11)

Optimizing neural networks on a brain-inspired computer
Neural networks in both biological settings and artificial intelligence distribute computation across their neurons to solve complex tasks. New research now shows how so-called 'critical states' can be used to optimize artificial neural networks running on brain-inspired neuromorphic hardware. The study was carried out by scientists from Heidelberg University working within the Human Brain Project, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS). The results have been published in Nature Communications. (2020-07-22)

Twitter data reveals global communication network
Twitter mentions show distinct community structure patterns resulting from communication preferences of individuals affected by physical distance between users and commonalities, such as shared language and history. While previous investigations have identified patterns using other data, such as mobile phone usage and Facebook friend connections, research from the New England Complex Systems Institute looks at the collective effect of message transfer in the global community. The group's results are reported in the journal Chaos. (2020-07-21)

Can social unrest, riot dynamics be modeled?
Episodes of social unrest rippled throughout Chile in 2019. Researchers specializing in economics, mathematics and physics in Chile and the U.K. banded together to explore the surprising social dynamics people were experiencing. In the journal Chaos, the team reports that social media is changing the rules of the game, and previously applied epidemic-like models, on their own, may no longer be enough to explain current rioting dynamics. (2020-07-21)

Collective behavior research reveals secrets of successful football teams
Collective behaviour researchers have applied a new tool for analysing the movement of football players that goes beyond looking at individual athletes to capturing how the team operates as a whole. The tool, which comes from statistical physics but has never been used for sports analysis, finds clear differences in collective dynamics between winning and losing teams and can even predict the market value of players. (2020-07-10)

Countries group into clusters as COVID-19 outbreak spreads
Mathematicians based in Australia and China have developed a method to analyze the large amount of data accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technique, described in the journal Chaos, can identify anomalous countries -- those that are more successful than expected at responding to the pandemic and those that are particularly unsuccessful. The investigators analyzed the data with a variation of a statistical technique known as a cluster analysis. (2020-06-30)

Brexit's and research networks: Lower efficiency, reorganization of research communities
Brexit has affected trade and security, but scientists wanted to know how it might also affect the EU Framework Programmes for Research, known as Horizon 2020. In this week's Chaos, authors examined a network of 19,200 research organizations to determine how removing U.K. organizations affects three Horizon 2020 programs: Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Changes. They looked at percolation theory, and networks were examined in terms of global efficiency, local efficiency and mesoscopic-scale effects. (2020-06-23)

Teaching physics to neural networks removes 'chaos blindness'
Teaching physics to neural networks enables those networks to better adapt to chaos within their environment. The work has implications for improved artificial intelligence (AI) applications ranging from medical diagnostics to automated drone piloting. (2020-06-19)

Higher parental stress linked to low screen-time enforcement, research finds
When parents are under stress, household rules about screen time often get abandoned, new University of Guelph research finds. (2020-06-15)

Targeting SARS-CoV-2 enzyme with inhibitors
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, many researchers are studying epidemiological models to predict its propagation. However, a mathematician and expert in complex systems decided to focus on finding targets within SARS-CoV-2 for new drugs to attack. In the journal Chaos, he discusses the dramatic increase in the sensitivity of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 to small disturbances, which made him suspect there is a role for inhibitors to play in killing the virus. (2020-06-09)

Scientists propose new naming system for uncultivated bacteria and archa
The long-standing rules for assigning scientific names to bacteria and archaea are overdue for an update, according to a new consensus statement backed by 119 microbiologists from around the globe. The existing naming system only recognizes species that can be grown from cultures in laboratories, a problematic requirement for microbiologists who study bacteria and archaea in the wild. A new article in Nature Microbiology presents the rationale for updating existing regulations. (2020-06-08)

Limits on evolution revealed by statistical physics
What is and is not possible for natural evolution may be explained using models and calculations from theoretical physics, say researchers in Japan. To explain this the limits of evolution, researchers simplified the natural world to fit idealized physics models and searched for any mathematical structure within biological complexity. (2020-05-29)

Critical transition theory shows flickering in heart before atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation ranks among the most common heart conditions, and episodes are difficult to predict. Researchers have proposed a way to define cardiac state and have studied the dynamics before the cardiac rhythm changes from normal sinus to AF rhythm and vice versa. The work, appearing in Chaos and based on critical transition theory, looks to provide an early warning for those with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation with potential implications for future wearable devices. (2020-05-26)

UVA, Peking Univ. and Cal Tech team achieves broadest microcomb spectral span on record
Xu Yi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia, collaborated with Yun-Feng Xiao's group from Peking University and researchers at Caltech to achieve the broadest recorded spectral span in a microcomb. Their peer-reviewed paper, ''Chaos-assisted two-octave-spanning microcombs,'' was published May 11, 2020, in Nature Communications. (2020-05-21)

Modeling COVID-19 data must be done with extreme care
As the virus causing COVID-19 began its devastating spread, an international team of scientists was alarmed by the lack of uniform approaches by various countries' epidemiologists. Data modeling to predict the numbers of likely infections varied widely. In the journal Chaos, the group describes why modeling and extrapolating the evolution of COVID-19 outbreaks in near real time is an enormous scientific challenge that requires a deep understanding of the nonlinearities underlying the dynamics of epidemics. (2020-05-19)

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