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chinadaily.com.cn 2019-01-21 14:54


>AI can guess your sexuality
Artificial intelligence (AI) can accurately guess whether people are gay or straight based on photos of their faces, according to new research suggesting that machines can have significantly better "gaydar" than humans. The study from Stanford University found that a computer algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women. It also found that gay men and women tended to have "gender-atypical" features, expressions and "grooming styles", essentially meaning gay men appeared more feminine and vice versa. The data also identified certain trends, including that gay men had narrower jaws, longer noses and larger foreheads than straight men, and that gay women had larger jaws and smaller foreheads compared to straight women.


Li Yuzhen, 105, works in a vintage photo studio in the town of Lianhua, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.[Photo/Official Weibo account of Guilin Evening News]

>People can live up to 115
Researchers claim to have discovered the maximum age "ceiling" for human lifespan - women live to a maximum of 115.7 years, while men can hope for 114.1 years at the most. Despite the growing life expectancy, as a result of better nutrition, living conditions and medical care, Dutch scientists have said our longevity cannot keep extending forever. Lifespan is the term used to describe how long an individual lives, while life expectancy is the average duration of life individuals in an age group can expect to have - a measure of societal wellbeing. The research by statisticians at Tilburg and Rotterdam's Erasmus universities said, however, there were still a few people who have bent the norm, like French woman Jeanne Calment who died at the ripe old age of 122 years and 164 days in 1997.



>Plastic fibers in tap water
Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health. Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analyzed by scientists for an investigation by nonprofit organization Orb Media. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibers. The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates. European nations including the UK, Germany and France had the lowest contamination rate, but this was still 72%. "We don't know what the [health] impact of microplastic is," said Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. Microplastics can attract bacteria in sewage. Mahon said: "Some studies have shown there are more harmful pathogens on microplastics downstream of wastewater treatment plants."
全球多个国家的自来水被发现受到塑料微粒污染,科学家呼吁就其对健康的影响开展紧急研究。参与非营利组织Orb Media的一项调查的科学家们对来自10余个国家的大量自来水样本进行了分析。总体来说,83%的样本受到了塑料纤维的污染。美国自来水的污染率最高,达94%。污染率第二高的国家是黎巴嫩和印度。英国、德国、法国等欧洲国家的污染率最低,但其数值仍高达72%。高威梅雅理工学院的马洪表示:"我们不清楚塑料微粒对健康会有什么影响。"塑料微粒会吸引污水中的细菌。马洪称,部分研究已显示,污水处理厂下游的塑料微粒中的有害病原体更多。


A grizzly bear at the Bronx Zoo in New York on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.[Photo/IC]

>Grizzly bears go vegetarian
Grizzly bears have stopped eating salmon in favor of elderberries after being forced to make a choice due to climate change. Warming temperatures meant that the berries are ripening earlier than usual, at exactly the same time as the freshwater streams on Alaska's Kodiak Island are overflowing with sockeye salmon. The island's brown bears typically feed first on salmon in early summer, followed by elderberries in late August and September. A study from the Oregon State University found that during the unusually warm summer of 2014, the bears, which would traditionally kill up to 75% of the salmon, were nowhere to be seen near the streams. Instead, they were in the hills busy munching on berries. Biologists warned that changes caused by a warming planet were behind the bears' unusual behavior and could affect the entire ecosystem. The researchers found that the forests around the streams suffered because the bears' fish carcasses were no longer there to enrich the soil.

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