The Daily Dose: NASA dreams of Neptune; Scientists being naughty

NASA is considering returning to Neptune in the near future. Specifically, they would like to study one of the planet’s moons, Triton. It is thought that the satellite was captured from the Kuiper Belt long ago by the planet’s gravity. Scientists also believe that the moon may have an ocean, suggesting that conditions capable of supporting life can be found far from a Star.

A combination of financial incentives are combining to make Norway one of the world’s top destinations for electric cars. Consumers receive subsidizies in the form of exemption from toll fees, tax exemptions, and rebates. The country’s imports are so significant that it may be skewing European Union electric car figures.

An article in Quanta magazine highlights the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence in science and how it is revolutionizing analysis. It focuses on one way in particular. “One such approach, known as generative modeling, can help identify the most plausible theory among competing explanations for observational data, based solely on the data, and, importantly, without any preprogrammed knowledge of what physical processes might be at work in the system under study.”

An paper about aspirin having anti-cancer properties and published in Oncology Letters in 2016 has been retracted. The researchers cite the following reasons: They published too early; their test mice were purchased from questionable sources; and most of the cited co-authors had nothing to do with the study… alrighty then.

A paper published in Nature tests a hypothesis originally proposed in 2015 that the idea of vengeful gods in religion played a role in the growth of larger societies. The new study found that, while large societies did tend to feature religions with vengeful gods, they tended to appear after the societies’ growth. This suggests that the rituals performed by the religions served as the impetus for cooperation.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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