Analysis: The Future Of Driverless Vehicles (WSJ)

While Tesla and others already offer assisted-driving features, startups Waymo, Cruise, TuSimple and Aurora are betting their autonomous vehicles will make driving a thing of the past. WSJ asked them about safety and other challenges they face. Photo composite: George Downs

Research: Importance Of Exercise & Movement For Brain Function & Health

But the connection between movement and the brain goes deeper than you might think. A revolutionary new understanding of the mind-body connection is revealing how our thoughts and emotions don’t just happen inside our heads, and that the way we move has a profound influence on how our minds operate. This opens up the possibility of using our bodies as tools to change the way we think and feel.

Evidence is starting to stack up that this is indeed the case, and it isn’t all about doing more exercise. In my new book, Move! The new science of body over mind, I explore emerging research in evolutionary biology, physiology, neuroscience and cell biology to find out which body movements affect the mind and why.

Whatever it is that you want from your mind – more creativity, improved resilience or higher self-esteem – the evidence shows that there is a way of moving the body that can help. Here is my pick of the best ways to use your body to achieve a healthier, better-functioning mind.

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Views: Tulum – Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico (4K)

Tulum is a town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It’s known for its beaches and well-preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city. The main building is a large stone structure called El Castillo (castle), perched on a rocky cliff above the white sand beach and turquoise sea. Near the ruins is the Parque Nacional Tulum, a coastal area with mangroves and cenotes (natural limestone sinkholes). 

News: Top 5 Stories For May 20, 2021 (Reuters)

May 20, 2021: Israel and Gaza, House approves Capitol probe, Abortion in Texas, U.S travel changes, and South China Sea

1. Diplomatic moves towards a ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gathered pace after President Joe Biden called for a de-escalation.

2. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to create an independent commission to probe the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters. One in six Republicans defied party leaders’ attempts to block it.

3. Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion bill that bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy and grants citizens the right to sue doctors who perform abortions past that point.

4. The Biden administration weighs changes to sweeping travel restrictions that bar much of the world’s population from coming to the United States.

5. China said a U.S. warship illegally entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea and was expelled by its forces, an assertion the United States denies.

Mediterranean Views: The Island Of Rhodes (Video)

Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, is known for its beach resorts, ancient ruins and remnants of its occupation by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. The city of Rhodes has an Old Town featuring the medieval Street of the Knights and the castlelike Palace of the Grand Masters. Captured by the Ottomans and then held by the Italians, the palace is now a history museum.

Julia arrives in the Dodecanese, a far-flung group of islands at the gateway between Europe and the East where she visits the medieval capital of Rhodes.

Science Podcast: Snow-Covered ‘Zombie Fires’, Flashy Plant Research

Smouldering fires lay dormant before bursting back into flame in spring.

In this episode:



00:56 The mysterious overwintering forest fires

Researchers have shown that fires can smoulder under snow in frozen northern forests before flaring up the following spring. Understanding how these so-called ‘zombie’ fires start and spread is vital in the fight against climate change.

Research Article: Scholten et al.

07:39 Research Highlights

Aesthetic bias means pretty plants receive the most research attention, and ancient tooth gunk reveals the evolution of the mouth microbiome.

Research Highlight: Flashy plants draw outsize share of scientists’ attention

Research Highlight: Microbes in Neanderthals’ mouths reveal their carb-laden diet

10:04 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, Voyager 1 detects a faint interstellar ‘hum’, and a trove of Neanderthal bones found in an Italian cave.

Reuters: Faraway NASA probe detects the eerie hum of interstellar space

The Guardian: Remains of nine Neanderthals found in cave south of Rome

Video: Hawaii’s surprise volcanic eruption: Lessons from Kilauea 2018

Morning News Podcast: Tokyo Olympics, Week GPS Signals, Studying Cicadas

The Tokyo Olympics are due to begin in just over two months. But with coronavirus cases climbing in recent months, 80% of Japanese people want the games to be cancelled.

The navigation signals sent by satellites like America’s GPS constellation are surprisingly weak. What happens when they’re jammed—or tricked? And in America cicadas have emerged from their underground redoubts for the first time in 17 years, for a frenzied few weeks of mating. How do you study a species that emerges fewer than six times in a century?