The Daily Dose: Cloudy skies on Mars look just like they do on Earth

Scientists have graciously brought us one step closer to the AI apocalypse. While machines have managed to lay waste to chessmasters and Go champions, they’ve never quite been at the teamwork thing. That is, until now. Science reports that researchers have programmed AI bots that were able to not only cooperate with each other but also learn from each other. In this case, they learned a game similar to Quake. Once the best bot was identified, it obliterated its human competition. Great.

By now most people in the scientific community are aware of Chinese geneticist Je Jiankou’s misguided foray into the world of genetically modified babies. They might even be aware of the fact that many fertility clinics around the world tried to get He to teach them his methods. Just to put their dangerous requests into perspective, consider a new study that indicates that people with the trait He inserted into the babies’ genomes die younger than other people.

Forget the US-China trade war. It may as well already be over. In a brilliant show of ineptitude, the U.S. military bought knockoff gear from a Chinese company. The mistake had the potential of putting American lives at risk.

An op-ed in the journal Nature issues a call to arms for reforming the way academic journals are rated, namely according to impact factors. The author calls for “A more nuanced set of indicators would show how a journal performs across all functions. Indicators around curating, for example, might consider the expertise and diversity of the editorial board as well as the acceptance rate of submitted papers and the transparency of acceptance criteria. Indicators around data (such as data citations or reporting standards) will become more important with the advance of open science and independent analysis. Indicators around evaluating research might consider transparency of the process, as well as the number and diversity of peer reviewers and their timeliness.” Read the full commentary.

Finally, here at the Scientific Inquirer, we never tire of images beamed to us from that faraway red planet fondly known as Mars. The great thing is NASA always seems to oblige our needed fix. This time, the rovers Insight and Curiosity took a minute to stare up at the Martian clouds and send back some short video. It’s amazing how Earth-like it is. Magnificent. &

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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