Best of Last Week—Bronze Age megastructure found, Apple MacBook Pro hacked, the brain is not rewireable

TSG site of Kačarevo 2 showing: A) Low-lying land, B) raised sand-plateau, C) enclosure ditch, D) activity areas. Photograph and key by Barry Molloy and Darja Grosman. Credit: PLOS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0288750

By Bob Yirka, ScienceX

It was an interesting week for human behavior and history as a team of climate scientists affiliated with several institutions in China, working with a colleague from the U.S., found evidence that human-produced aerosols may overtake greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to a warmer climate and more weather extremes toward carbon neutrality by 2050. Also, a team of archaeologists from University College Dublin, working with colleagues from Portugal, the U.K., Serbia and Slovenia, uncovered a European hidden Bronze Age megastructure in the southern Carpathian Basin in Romania. And a behavioral economist at the University of Bath in the U.K., Chris Dawson, found evidence linking higher levels of unwarranted financial optimism with lower levels of cognitive ability.

In technology news, a team of robotics engineers at Chung-Ang University in South Korea demonstrated a wearable robot that can assist people with walking. And a team of cybersecurity researchers at Georgia Tech broke Apple’s new MacBook pro just weeks after its release. They successfully evaded security measures on the latest MacBook Pro by capturing private information. Also, a team of engineers at the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute developed a stretchable and efficient wearable thermoelectric energy harvester. And a team at Google’s DeepMind are seeking a consensus on what constitutes artificial general intelligence by publishing a paper on the preprint server arXiv asking other researchers to help them come up with a framework that could be used by everyone in the scientific community.

In other news, a team led by a group of medical researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that not all brain hemorrhages are caused by injured blood vessels—some, they found, are caused by aged red blood vessels interacting in brain capillaries in ways that can lead to cerebral microbleeds. Also, a team working at the Telescope Array detected the second-highest-energy cosmic ray ever in data recorded back in 2021. And finally, a pair of brain researchers, Tamar Makin with the University of Cambridge, and John Krakauer with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, claimed that the human brain is not able to “rewire” itself, despite what many scientists believe.

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