Scientists discover the unique signature of a lion’s roar using machine learning

Scientists discover the unique signature of a lion’s roar using machine learning
Credit: University of Oxford

The roar of a lion is one of the most thrilling and captivating sounds of the wild. This characteristic call is typically delivered in a bout consisting of one or two soft moans followed by several loud, full-throated roars and a terminating sequence of grunts.


A team of scientists based in WildCRU at the University of Oxford, well-known for their research involving Cecil the Lion, has teamed up with colleagues in the Department of Computer Science to discover the precise ways in which each lion’s roar is distinct, identifiable and trackable.

Harnessing new machine learning techniques, the group designed a device, known as a biologger, which can be attached to an existing lion GPS collar to record audio and movement data. The biologgers allow the scientists to confidently associate each roar with the correct lion by cross-referencing movement and audio data through the large datasets of

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NASA Mars probes discover billion-year-old dune fields frozen in time

The HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped these dune fields in Valles Marineris. They’re estimated to be a billion years old


NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Mars has a roughly 4.5-billion-year history. Thanks to our robotic explorers, we have a good sense of its current climate and atmosphere. A new study of ancient sand dunes points to what it might have been like a billion years ago on the red planet. 

A team led by Planetary Science Institute (PSI) research scientist Matthew Chojnacki took a close look a wind-driven dune fields in Valles Marineris, an area of Mars known for its extensive canyons. The dunes appear to have been preserved through lithification, a geologic process that turns sediments into rock.

The team published a study on this window into the martian past in the journal

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In a field where smaller is better, researchers discover the world’s tiniest antibodies — ScienceDaily

Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK and biopharma company UCB have found a way to produce miniaturised antibodies, opening the way for a potential new class of treatments for diseases.

Until now, the smallest humanmade antibodies (known as monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs) were derived from llamas, alpacas and sharks, but the breakthrough molecules isolated from the immune cells of cows are up to five times smaller. This is thanks to an unusual feature of a bovine antibody known as a knob domain.

The potential medical implications of the new antibodies’ diminutive size are huge. For instance, they may bind to sites on pathogens that regular antibody molecules are too large to latch on to, triggering the destruction of invasive microbes. They may also be able to gain access to sites of the body which larger antibodies can’t.

Antibodies consist of chains of amino acids (the building blocks

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Astronomers discover supermassive black hole caught in a cosmic ‘spider’s web’

The bright galaxies are trapped in a cosmic web of gas that surrounds the quasar  SDSS J103027.09+052455.0


ESO/L. Calçada

The first billion years of the universe was about as chaotic as Tuesday’s first presidential debate. Galaxies were forming, gas was flowing… It was a real time. While we won’t want to look back on Tuesday too often, we do like to look back in time. And, in a cosmic sense, Earth is perfectly positioned to do so. Because of how long it takes light to travel across the universe, our telescopes can pick up the faint signals of what life was like in the universe’s very early days. 

On Thursday, astronomers announced the discovery of a massive, intriguing structure from when the universe was just 900 million years old. The structure, about 300 times the size of the Milky Way, contains a supermassive black hole that has ensnared six

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How NASA’s New Telescope Will Help Astronomers Discover Free-Floating Worlds | Science

As astronomers discover more and more planets in galaxies far, far away, they are increasingly confronted with a curious subset of orbs that are free-floating and not connected to or orbiting a particular star. Further complicating matters is that within that group, most of what they have found are gassy, Jupiter-sized (read: large), planets; few resemble rockier planets like our own Earth.

First discovered in 2003, these potential free-floating planets are elusive and difficult to detect from the existing ground-based observatories.

Soon, however, a revolutionary new telescope launching in 2025 may be able unlock the secrets of the darkness of space, where sunless worlds may even outnumber the stars. NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will be able to see even more rocky free-floating planets, potentially hundreds as small as Mars, according to research published this August in the Astronomical Journal. These lightless worlds can shine light on how

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Could Life Exist On Mars? Scientists Discover Multiple Underground Salty Ponds

KEY POINTS

  • Researchers say they have discovered a group of lakes hidden under Mars’ icy surface
  • This follows the detection of another subsurface lake in the same region in 2018
  • The findings revived the debate on whether the Red Planet has alien life or can house microorganisms

A team of Italian scientists discovered a group of three salty ponds beneath Mars’ south pole. The findings revived the debate on whether the Red Planet has alien life or at least can house microorganisms. 

The discovery of these ponds raised the possibility that microbial organisms could survive on Mars but the only hindrance was the high amount of salt concentration, which could be keeping the waters frozen, scientists said in a report published on Sept. 28 in Nature Astronomy.   

The discovery of the salty ponds was significant because their locations were close to another lake discovered in 2018. The largest of them

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Gold miners discover 100 million-year-old meteorite crater Down Under

Gold miners in the Australian Outback recently discovered a gigantic meteorite crater dating to about 100 million years ago, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Found near the Western Australian town of Ora Banda, the newly dubbed Ora Banda Impact Crater is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) across. This huge hole was likely created by a meteorite up to 660 feet (200 meters) wide, or longer than the length of two American football fields, according to Resourc.ly, a Western Australia news outlet.

When geologists at Evolution Mining, an Australian gold mining company, came across some unusual rock cores at Ora Banda, they called Jayson Meyers, the principal geophysicist, director and founder of Resource Potentials, a geophysics consulting and contracting company in Perth. Meyers examined the geologists’ drill core samples, as well as rock samples from the site, and he immediately noticed the shatter cones — telltale signs of a

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Astronomers Discover ‘Pi Earth’ With 3.14-Day Orbit

Astronomers have discovered a charming coincidence of mathematics in the heavens: An exoplanet that orbits its star every 3.14 days. The Earth-sized planet has been dubbed the “pi Earth” due to its orbiting period being close to the mathematical constant of pi (π).

Technically known as K2-315b, the planet has a radius 95% that of Earth’s and orbits a cool star that is much smaller than our sun, at about one-fifth of the size. A year there lasts only a few days as it orbits very close to its star, moving at a wild speed of 181,000 miles per hour.

“The planet moves like clockwork,” said lead author Prajwal Niraula, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a statement.

 Caption: Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days.
Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have discovered an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days. NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, Christine Daniloff, MIT

The planet was first

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Scientists discover why tarantulas come in vivid blues and greens — ScienceDaily

Why are some tarantulas so vividly coloured? Scientists have puzzled over why these large, hairy spiders, active primarily during the evening and at night-time, would sport such vibrant blue and green colouration — especially as they were long thought to be unable to differentiate between colours, let alone possess true colour vision.

In a recent study, researchers from Yale-NUS College and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) find support for new hypotheses: that these vibrant blue colours may be used to communicate between potential mates, while green colouration confers the ability to conceal among foliage. Their research also suggests that tarantulas are not as colour-blind as previously believed, and that these arachnids may be able to perceive the bright blue tones on their bodies. The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on 23 September, and is featured on the front cover of the current (30 September 2020) issue.

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