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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 2 declined, 0 accepted (2 total, 0.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?

mugurel writes: The Atlantic reviews a thought-provoking article just published (but not yet peer-reviewed), in which neuroscientists try to gain understanding in the MOS 6502 microchip (containing 3510 transistors), using methodologies commonly applied in neuroscience. More specifically, they study typical behaviors of the chip, running games like "Space Invaders" and "Donkey Kong". A lesion study of the system, lesioning a single transistor at a time, fails to reveal functional areas of the chip that are uniquely involved in a single game. Even a big data approach like applying dimension reduction techniques on a recording the complete state of the system over time, only gives very superficial insight in the functional roles of the different parts of the chip.

With this work, the authors aim to put into perspective our hopes of understanding the brain with current neuroscientific methods.

Submission + - Plants and trees harmed by WIFI signals (webwereld.nl) 1

mugurel writes: A recent study at TU Delft, TNO, Alphen aan den Rijn, and Wageningen University (The Netherlands) shows that electromagnetic radiation as emitted by WIFI routers negatively affects plants and trees. Over the course of three months, twenty trees have been exposed to six radiation sources. The upper and lower epidermis of leafs close to the radiation sources had died at the end of the period, leading to parts of the leafs dying. Exposed corn plants showed a reduced growth in comparison to a control group. Similar deviations in plants are observed internationally in urban areas. The researchers hypothesize that the ubiquity of wireless signals (from routers and other forms of mobile communication), as well as fine particles may account for the widespread this.
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