(TMU) – A strange report surfaced recently in a medical journal and it has observers absolutely baffled. Filled with incredible claims about a black hole at the center of the Earth which may be altering human genetics, the paper has been dismissed as a hoax. But is that all there is to it?
Entitled “A Black Hole at the Center of Earth Plays the Role of the Biggest System of Telecommunication for Connecting DNAs, Dark DNAs and Molecules of Water on 4+N- Dimensional Manifold,” the original paper in question was published by 13 different authors in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences.
In the paper’s abstract, things get weird right from the start.
“Recently, some scientists from NASA have claimed that there may be a black hole like structure at the centre of the earth,” it begins.
Additional papers began to surface with similarly outlandish claims. For example, one stated:
“The earth’s core is the biggest system of telecommunication which exchanges waves with all DNAs and molecules of water. Imaging of DNAs on the interior of the metal of the core produces a DNA black brane with around 109 times longer than the core of the earth which is compacted and creates a structure similar to a black hole or black brane. We have shown that this DNA black brane is the main cause of high temperature of core and magnetic of earth.”
Another paper asserts, “First group couple to our universe from one side and produce matters like some genes of DNAs and couple to an anti-universe from another side with opposite sign and create anti-matters like some anti-genes of anti-DNAs.”
Since the publication, Macedonian Journal of Medical Science, is not well known and the papers have not been peer-reviewed, it would appear that the journal was subject to an elaborate prank that exposed a shoddy editorial pipeline. But others believe this may go beyond a hoax or a conspiratorial satire; analysts on Twitter have suggested a group of scientists used these publications to test the peer-review system of the journal–an activity called “peer-review-tricking,” which may involve advanced forms of algorithmic artificial intelligence.
Others wondered whether or not the publisher is, in fact, a “predatory journal,” or a publication that feigns having a peer-review process, even though it will publish articles and papers for profit.
According to IFLSCIENCE! One of the authors, Torello Lotti, previously authored a paper about predatory journals. There is speculation that new advanced text-generation algorithms like GPT-2 and GPT-3, which have astounded technology reporters with their abilities, could have been used to create a trial balloon article to see if it can pass the smell test of professional publication.
In addition to the black hole claims, the odd papers assert the following:
“Each DNA has two parts which one can be seen on the four-dimensional universe, and another one has existed in extra dimensions, and only it’s e_ects is observed.”
“This dark part of DNA called as a dark DNA in an extra dimension.”
The followup paper is entitled “Formation of Neural Circuits in an Expanded Version of Darwin’s Theory: Effects of DNAs in Extra Dimensions and within the Earth’s Core on Neural Networks” and discusses “stringy black anti-DNA” and “radiated signals of neural circuits in a chick embryo.”
So, what is going on here? Trolling, a good old-fashioned hoax (that could, unfortunately, help to further cast doubts on scientific papers), or a strange AI experiment?
Chinese Military Satellite Smashed by Russian Rocket in “Major Confirmed Orbital Collision”
In an incident that is likely illustrative of things to come, Chinese military satellite 1-02 was smashed after it appears to have collided into the debris from a disintegrating Russian rocket.
The collision, which occurred earlier this year, shows the increasing danger of space junk such as satellite parts and other miscellaneous jetsam littering the Earth’s orbit. An estimated 8,000 metric tons of space debris pose the risk of destroying functional equipment such as weather forecasting systems, telecoms and GPS systems – and even manned space travel missions – if the problem isn’t reined in.
The fate of the Chinese satellite was uncovered by Harvard astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
The breakup of Yunhai 1-02 was initially reported by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS). However, it wasn’t until recently that McDowell found out what caused the breakup.
The astrophysicist soon found that it was destroyed by space junk that originated from a Russian Zenit-2 rocket that had launched a spy satellite in 1996. On Aug. 14, McDowell found a strange entry in a database on Space-Track.org: “Collided with satellite.”
“This is a new kind of comment entry — haven’t seen such a comment for any other satellites before,” McDowell tweeted.
“A quick analysis of the TLEs show that Yunhai 1-02 (44547) and [the debris object] passed within 1 km of each other (so within the uncertainty of the TLEs) at 0741 UTC Mar 18, exactly when 18SPCS reports Yunhai broke up,” he added, noting that this “looks to be the first major confirmed orbital collision in a decade.”
However, the Yunhai satellite still remains functional and is transmitting radio signals, notes Space.com.
The incident shows the growing likelihood of such collisions in the high-traffic, littered near-Earth orbital zone.
“Collisions are proportional to the square of the number of things in orbit,” McDowell explained. “That is to say, if you have 10 times as many satellites, you’re going to get 100 times as many collisions.”
He added: “So, as the traffic density goes up, collisions are going to go from being a minor constituent of the space junk problem to being the major constituent. That’s just math.”
A worst-case scenario of such collisions is known as the “Kessler Syndrome,” and describes the possibility of one collision setting in motion a chain of collisions. Such a disaster was the premise of the 2013 film “Gravity.”
One hopes that things don’t reach that point.
In the meantime, however, there have been a number of initiatives meant to tackle the growing problem of space debris, such as the ELSA-d spacecraft launched in a demonstration mission earlier this year.
Boston Dynamics Drops New Video Of 5-Foot Atlas Humanoid Robot Effortlessly Doing Parkour
Robot maker Boston Dynamics has released new video of its two-legged Atlas robot effortlessly completing a parkour obstacle course, offering a new display of its humanoid machines’ unsettling repertoire.
In the video, a pair of Atlas robots can be seen leaping over large gaps, vaulting beams, and even performing backflips. The robot can even be seen jumping over a board while using its arm to remain steady.
While the display seems like anything but “free” running – as the original developers of parkour had envisioned – the routine does seem like an impressive, if terrifying, display of effective coding that took months to perfect, according to the Hyundai-owned robotics firm.
“It’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour, it’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video,” said Atlas control lead Benjamin Stephens.
See for yourself:
Unlike its robotic dog Spot, which controversially hit New York City streets last year before being pulled, Atlas isn’t a production robot. Instead, it’s a research model meant to see how far the limits of robotics can be pushed.
In the past, Boston Dynamics has displayed the robot’s feats with videos of Atlas jogging and even busting out some cool dance moves.
Team lead Scott Kuindersma said in a statement that in about two decades, we can expect to coexist with robots that move “with grace, reliability, and work alongside humans to enrich our lives.”
Until then, some of us will continue to reserve our right to feel a bit queasy about the prospect of people being chased down by these skilled free-running (and dancing) machines.
South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash
What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?
It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.
The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.
The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.
“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”
The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.
Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.
Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.