Hundreds of tiny islands around Scotland didn't arise naturally.They're fakes that were constructed out of boulders, clay and timbers by Neolithic people about 5,600 years ago, a new study finds.Researchers have known about these artificial islands, known as crannogs, for decades.But many archaeologists thought that the crannogs were made more recently, in the Iron Age about 2,800 years ago.[In Photos: Anglo-Saxon Island Settlement Discovered]Initially, many researchers thought that Scotland's crannogs were built around 800 B.C.
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After all these years, it does sort of feel like we all live on this yellow submarine.The intrepid Boaty McBoatface is back in the news yet again now that the first scientific findings using data from the internet's fave autonomous sub have been published.Back in April of 2017, the mini-sub with the goofy name spent three days maneuvering through the dark, cold and mountainous waters of the Southern Ocean.Over 180 kilometers (112 miles) it measured the temperature, salt content and turbulence of the water at the bottom of this foreboding sea.Boaty's data helped scientists make a connection between intensifying winds over the Southern Ocean and rising sea levels.Basically, winds near the bottom of the world have been getting stronger thanks to the Antarctic hole in the ozone layer and rising greenhouse gas emissions.
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A national consortium has been awarded additional funding to cement the UK's position as a global leader in offshore renewable energy (ORE) innovation and research.The Supergen ORE hub was created in July 2018 to bring together a network of academic, industrial and policy stakeholders to champion and maintain the UK's wave, tidal and offshore wind expertise.It was initially awarded £5million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and has now received an additional £4million in EPSRC funding to expand the support it offers researchers working across the country.It includes academics from the University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Hull, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Southampton, University of Strathclyde, and the University of Warwick.It is also working with an advisory board, made up of industry leaders, policy makers and other key stakeholders, to ensure it is addressing the key challenges faced by companies in the ORE sector.Through that, it aims to build a collaborative approach that can address any technical, environmental and interdisciplinary challenges, which require a coordinated response at a national and regional level.
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Given that the Lone Star State ranks sixth in heat-trapping carbon emissions worldwide, just behind Germany and ahead of South Korea, the idea sounds pretty far-fetched.Texas’ oil industry continues to find new places to drill offshore, where methane and carbon dioxide that escape during the drilling process also boost greenhouse gases that are wreaking havoc on Earth’s climate.For the past few weeks, marine researchers from several European countries have been injecting CO2 into the seabed and watching how much and how fast it bubbles up through the sediments into the water.“This is not a solution for climate change, but a mitigation process until we change the way we live,” says Doug Connelly, a marine geologist at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton and coordinator of the STEM-CCS experiment.“The winds are 15 to 20 knots, we have nine pieces of equipment on the seabed, and we are trying to recover them.”Connelly is testing new methods of detecting CO2 bubbles using two kinds of listening devices.
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In a surprise televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s first successful test of an anti-satellite weapon, which the government used to destroy its own satellite.India’s 3-minute test, called Mission Shakti, was initiated from an island near the country’s east coast, the foreign ministry said in a statement.The test was done at a low altitude to ensure the resulting debris would “decay and fall back onto the Earth within weeks,” wrote the ministry, and not remain in space where it could damage other equipment in orbit.In a tweet, professor Hugh Lewis, Head of the Astronautics Research Group at the University of Southampton, said “this is not the act of a responsible space nation.I expect swift and strong condemnation will follow.”And, yes, I use the same language when talking about similar actions that other nations have taken in the past.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s nothing inherently wrong with being a psychopath, and all AI agents are artificial psychopaths simply because they lack the full range of neurotypical human emotion.A trio of researchers from the University of Waterloo recently conducted an experiment to determine how displays of emotion can help AI manipulate humans into cooperation.If one of them snitches and the other doesn’t, the non-betrayer gets three years and the snitch walks.If neither one snitches, they each only get one year on a lesser charge.And instead of prison sentences they used gold, so the point was to get the highest score possible, as opposed to the lowest.Scientists from the Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Southampton sorted 190 student volunteers into four groups comprised of different ratios of neurotypical students and those displaying traits of psychopathy.
For most of us, warm, still weather is reason to celebrate – an opportunity to bunk off work early to enjoy the great outdoors, preferably with a drink in hand.But for people with asthma, an unseasonably warm snap can be something to dread, especially if it’s accompanied with an increase in air pollution.“When the pollution levels are high, I find my breath gets very short even when I am just walking,” says Becky Saunders, 32, from South London.If I run outside my lungs feel like they are on fire.”As temperatures reach 15 C across much of the UK towards the end of this week, the campaign group Clean Air in London has issued an “orange” air pollution warning for Friday and a “red/high” alert for Saturday, advising “endurance athletes and vulnerable people” – including asthmatics – to check updates and health advice.Defra’s nationwide pollution forecast also currently shows moderate to high levels are on the way, and could last for as long as two weeks.
Excavations at two quarries in Wales, known to be the source of the Stonehenge 'bluestones', provide new evidence of megalith quarrying 5,000 years ago, according to a new UCL-led study.Geologists have long known that 42 of Stonehenge's smaller stones, known as 'bluestones', came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, west Wales.The discovery has been made by a team of archaeologists and geologists from UCL, Bournemouth University, University of Southampton, University of the Highlands and Islands and National Museum of Wales, which have been investigating the sites for eight years.The largest quarry was found almost 180 miles away from Stonehenge on the outcrop of Carn Goedog, on the north slope of the Preseli hills.At least five of Stonehenge's bluestones, and probably more, came from Carn Goedog," said geologist Dr Richard Bevins (National Museum of Wales).Although most of their equipment is likely to have consisted of perishable ropes and wooden wedges, mallets and levers, they left behind other tools such as hammer stones and stone wedges.
Hyperlinks slow down reading speed only when the linked word is unfamiliar, an effect that is independent of link color, according to new research published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Gemma Fitzsimmons, Mark Weal, and Dennis Drieghe of the University of Southampton in the UK.The effect is likely due to the reader's perception that the unfamiliar word may carry special importance in the sentence when formatted as a hyperlink.Since the internet's earliest days, hyperlinks have most often been formatted as blue text, but web designers have had little data on how this choice affects readability and comprehension.To explore this question, the authors performed three experiments in which they tracked the eye movements of volunteers every millisecond as they read text on a computer screen, determining how long readers dwelt on individual words, how often they skipped a word, and how often they re-read part or all of a sentence.The researchers found that a single colored word was skipped less often than other words in the sentence, suggesting it signals the word may have special importance.The choice of specific color didn't affect how long readers spent on a word, except if the word was gray, and to a lesser extent green, which both increased fixation time, presumably because they provide less contrast with the screen background.
Asteroids have been hitting the Earth for nearly 1 billion years, but the atmosphere has largely shielded the planet from some catastrophic events.However, some space rocks make their way through — including the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.But a new study notes that, over the past 290 million years, asteroids have been impacting the Earth at triple the rate they were previously and scientists aren't sure why.After looking at 1 billion years' worth of asteroid impacts on both the Earth and Moon, researchers found that dinosaurs' fate was perhaps an inevitability.NASA PLANS TO CRASH A SATELLITE INTO AN ASTEROID"It's perhaps fair to say it was a date with destiny for the dinosaurs -- their downfall was somewhat inevitable given the surge of large space rocks colliding with Earth," Thomas Gernon, associate professor of Earth Science at the University of Southampton and the study's co-author said in a statement.
Inventor of the internet protocols TCP/IP Vint Cerf and inventor of the web Tim Berners-Lee have spent the past 20 years talking in pragmatic but highly optimistic tones about the global networks they helped give birth to."We may be building a fragile, brittle future," he warned the audience, asking: "What happens when we fail?"Vice-chancellor of the UK's University of Southampton and practical optimist Wendy Hall despaired about "what is happening to our children and to ourselves."All agree on one thing however: Right now there is a serious battle for heart and minds, the future of the internet and global society itself.Every speaker noted competing visions from three main sources: The US, Europe and China.Ives noted that the "Silicon Valley free for all" that the US represents – with limited or no regulation – is not doing so great.
A study of hurricane-hit areas of the United States has revealed a trend of larger homes being built to replace smaller ones in the years following a storm.Lead researcher Dr Eli Lazarus, of the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton, says: "Our findings highlight a 'building back bigger' trend in zones known to be prone to damage from extreme wind conditions and storm surge flooding.This practice creates an intensification of coastal risk - through increased, high-value property being exposed to major damage or destruction."A team of scientists from the UK and US measured changes in residential-building footprints at five locations on the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts which have collectively suffered the effects of six hurricane systems between 2003 and 2012.The areas examined were Mantoloking (New Jersey), Hatteras and Frisco (North Carolina), Santa Rosa Island (Florida), Dauphin Island (Alabama) and Bolivar (Texas).Each of the locations are developed coastal barriers (landforms which protect against the sea) in designated flood-hazard areas, featuring mainly single family residential buildings.
Since May 10, the French Geological Survey has been keeping an eye on a collection of earthquakes taking place just off the island’s eastern shores, which peaked with a magnitude 5.8 shake.Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton, highlighted the phenomenon in a November 12 tweet.“Something biggggg, yet strangely slow, sent seismic rumblings around the surface of much of the planet yesterday,” he wrote.To date, no one is quite sure what caused it.Some experts baffled by the seismic enigma have not-so-seriously suggested that perhaps, finally, it’s sea monsters.The strange sound was almost certainly not Godzilla taking a submarine stroll, but scientists are starting to coalesce around what they suspect may be the answer: strange and unseen movements of magma, far beneath the seafloor.
How will we guarantee that, in a million years, humanity—or intelligent non-humans—will be able to access this information and understand what the 21st century was like?The possibilities run the gamut from ceramic tiles to hard drives on the Moon, each more fantastical than the next.Any that do survive over the longer term are liable to get destroyed by the inexorable march of plate tectonics.“All the happy endings of these stories could become bad, you know?”Hard drives are certainly durable, but powerful magnetic fields can render them inoperable.One privately-funded endeavour, the Memory of Mankind (MoM), is going back to basics.
Researchers have discovered what they say is the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea.The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project announced the discovery of an ancient Greek trading vessel off the coast of Bulgaria at a depth of 1.2 miles.Their experts spent three years surveying over 772 square miles of the Black Sea before the great find."A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2 km [1.2 miles] of water, is something I would never have believed possible," said project co-lead Professor Jon Adams, of the U.K.'s University of Southampton, in a statement."This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world."Oxygen-free conditions in the water have preserved the ship, which the group says has been carbon-dated to more than 2,400 years ago.
Medical papers’ verbiage makes them difficult to digest quickly.In fact, according to a recent study, they’ve become demonstrably more difficult to read over the past century thanks to a rise in science-specific jargon; the authors concluded that about one-fifth of texts were “beyond the grasp” even of people who studied English for 17 years.That’s why Maciej Szpakowski, a graduate in acoustical engineering and computer science from the University of Southampton, founded Researchably (previously FuseMind), a startup that employs artificial intelligence (AI) — specifically natural language processing — to parse and extract from research papers key bits of information.Researchably’s solution is designed for pharmaceutical companies, Szpakowski explained, whose researchers spend countless hours (as many as 1,500 annually) analyzing and reviewing scientific journal articles.“Biomedical research communicated in published literature underpins the pharma industry.“The improvement at Sanofi is remarkable.
This is the moment a snorkeler swimming in Scotland spotted a huge dorsal fin behind his pal - and realized a massive shark was directly behind them.Will Clark, from Somerset, was swimming in waters around the Inner Hebrides archipelago last month when he captured the perfectly-timed snap.But luckily for the divers the colossal creature that had come to greet them was not a deadly great white but a harmless basking shark.Second only to whale sharks as the biggest fish in the ocean, basking sharks are gentle giants and survive on a human-free diet of plankton and small crustaceans.Property manager Will, 48, said: "I’m always astounded these encounters are possible in British waters."You have to be ever so stealthy and stay still when they can see you, otherwise they just swim down and disappear.
Thanks to rapid high throughput data analysis at sea, it was possible to identify biological hotspots at the Hydrate Ridge Region off the coast of Oregon, quickly enough to survey and sample them, within days following the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) imaging survey.The team aboard research vessel Falkor used a form of Artificial Intelligence, unsupervised clustering, to analyze AUV-acquired seafloor images and identify target areas for more detailed photogrammetric AUV surveys and focused interactive hotspot sampling with ROV SuBastian."Developing totally new operational workflows is risky, however, it is very relevant for applications such as seafloor monitoring, ecosystem survey and planning the installation and decommissioning of seafloor infrastructure," said Thornton.The idea behind this Adaptive Robotics mission was not to upturn the structure of how things are done at sea, but simply to remove bottlenecks in the flow of information and data-processing using computational methods and Artificial Intelligence.The algorithms used are able to rapidly produce simple summaries of observations, and form subsequent deployment plans.This way, scientists can respond to dynamic changes in the environment and target areas that will lead to the biggest operational, scientific, or environmental management gains.
A new study from a British university has revealed that the Tasmanian devil is under severe threat from a newly emerged contagious cancer, which could be catastrophic for the animal’s survival in the wild.Scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK have announced that a secondary cancer found in the animals — first thought to be circulating in a small population of the marsupials — could now do more damage to an already weakened population.New research led by University of Southampton biological scientist Dr Hannah Siddle, published in eLife, has shown that this cancer has the potential to cause irreversible carnage to the world’s largest remaining marsupial carnivore.“There is a real threat that this contagious cancer could now spread very rapidly through the population,” Dr. Siddle said.“The Tasmanian devil has already been decimated by one contagious cancer and these latest findings could jeopardize its future in the wild.”For more than 20 years, Tasmanian devils have been suffering from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), which causes close to 100 per cent mortality in the species.
The Bermuda Triangle can be easily explained, says an ocean scientist, noting that the area does not deserve its “mysterious” reputation.The body of water, infamous as a place where many vessels have sunk, stretches across a western part of the North Atlantic between Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.The area, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, has claimed over 1,000 lives in the last 100 years, according to The Sun.Recent research conducted by scientists in the U.K. noted that a natural “rogue wave” phenomenon could play a part in the Bermuda Triangle’s reputation.“Rogue waves are one explanation and they do occur in the Bermuda region but by no means uniquely here — they are far more common off the Cape of Good Hope (off the South tip of Africa),” explained Dr. Simon Boxall, an oceanographer and principal teaching fellow at the U.K.’s University of Southampton.“They were things of myth and sailors’ tales, but since the introduction of satellite systems capable of measuring waves there have been a number as big as 30 m (100 feet) measured and verified.”
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