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  • Asian elephants often leave protected areas to feed and come into conflict with humans.
  • The elephants, it turns out, can recognize the largest quantities of food by smell.
  • This insight could lead to keeping Asian elephants out of harm's way via redirection using olfactory cues.
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Surprising Science
Image source: MIT
  • MIT-affiliated researchers develop a hypersensitive glove that can capture the way in which we handle objects.
  • The data captured by the glove can be "learned" by a neural net.
  • Smart tactile interaction will be invaluable when A.I.-based robots start to interact with objects — and us.
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Technology & Innovation

Study finds sense of touch develops before birth

A study found how the "map" for the sense of touch develops in the brain.

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  • Scientists looked at brains of mice to track embryonic development of the sense of touch.
  • They found that a "map" for the sense of touch is in place before birth.
  • Human cerebral cortexes are similarly organized, indicating that the same process likely takes place.
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Mind & Brain

Objective reality may not exist, European researchers say

A new experiment shows that two observers can experience divergent realities (if they go subatomic).

Photo credit: Georgia O'Callaghan via Getty Images
  • In 1961, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a thought experiment by which the reality of two observers can diverge by measuring a single photon.
  • Researchers recently tested Wigner's thought experiment and concluded that realities can be made irreconcilable.
  • Do these results put the entire scientific method at risk? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
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Surprising Science
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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Mind & Brain