Neural networks are everywhere today. They are used to drive vehicles, classify images, translate texts, determine your shopping preferences, or finding your quickest route to the supermarket. Their power at making sense of small or large datasets alike is enabling great progress in a number of areas of human knowledge, too. Yet there is nothing magical about them, and in fact what makes them powerful is something that has been around for century: differential calculus.
Scientists just published a study of what may prove to be China's most ancient human fossil. The researchers employed microCT, geometric morphometry, and classical morphology techniques to investigate the remains of the maxillary and five teeth from the skull unearthed at the Chinese site of Gongwangling, on the vast plains on the northern slopes of the Quinling Mountains (province of Shaanxi, in central China) and was discovered by the scientist Woo Ju-Kang in 1963.
Though activists try to portray farmers as slathering pesticides and fertilizer on land, anyone who has farmed know it is just the opposite; land is their greatest asset and given price competition they need to control costs and inputs as much as possible.
A new paper says Generation X adults in the United States are more likely to have a greater number of chronic health conditions than those that preceded them, which will please environmental groups who claim that everything from pesticides to natural gas to cell phones is killing us, but is not science.

There are two issues to think about. One is that diagnoses don't mean much. If you get a diagnosis of chronic lyme disease, it does not mean that is suddenly a real disease, and life expectancy is basically meaningless.
It's difficult to imagine that a simple dietary intervention could mean less Alzheimer’s disease but that is why observational studies and epidemiology claims are placed into the exploratory pile until science can take a look.

A new paper correlates people with a higher  red blood cell (RBC) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA levels as 49% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease vs. those with lower levels, especially for those carrying the ApoE4 gene, which is also a risk factor for Alzheimer's. You know that correlation is not causation so modifying two risk factors with unclear biological meaning may or not be better than doing nothing and hoping for the best. 
A new study correlates SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells to lung function and those who suffer from long-term COVID symptoms, which impacts an unclear number of people.

The study found that patients suffering from long COVID symptoms had virus-specific T cell levels more than 100 times higher than those who recovered from the disease.
When I explain to the public (in this blog, or at public conferences or schools) how the Large Hadron Collider operates, I have to gloss over a lot of detail that is unnecessary to grasp the important concepts, which enable other discussions on interesting subnuclear physics. This is good practice, and it also saves me from having to study details I have forgotten along the way - they say that what you are left with when you forget everything is culture, and I tend to agree. I have a good culture in particle physics and that's all I need to do some science popularization ;-)
About 94 percent of the universe is not detectable matter and the universe is expanding. Those two facts alone are how scientists recognize that gravity as we know it does not work at the very large scale.

It also does not work at the very small. Various bits of speculation, hypothesis, and science-fiction have tried to account for macro effects and they get lumped under generic blanket terms like 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' but experimental physics leads the charge in turning science from fantasy into reality. A new paper has made a step closer to understanding the quantum excitation known as the axial Higgs mode, which unlike the Higgs Boson has a magnetic moment. There is no end to theoretical claims about an axial Higgs mode but reality has been more elusive. 
One thing electric car owners who have lost the mystique tell you is that you live your life around them. Some report going to a store like Costco to charge their cars, they need new service panels at their house, and one owner famously blew up his Tesla with dynamite rather than pay $22,000 to replace the batteries when they wore out. An article in the Wall Street Journal was by someone excited to rent an electric car for a trip, only to find they spent more time charging it than sleeping.
As the twentythree regular readers of this blog know [(c) A.Manzoni], in recent times I have moved the main focus of my research to advanced applications of deep learning to fundamental science. That does not mean that I am not continuing to participate in the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider - that remains the main focus of my research; but it does mean that what remains of my brain functionalities is mostly invested in thinking about future applications of today's and tomorrow's computer science innovations.