Citation: Hybrid Human Faces Could Populate Google Street View (2008, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-07-hybrid-human-populate-google-street.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Visualizing a quantum crystal: Imaging the electronic Wigner crystal in 1-D From left to right: the original photo, a photo selected for swapping certain features, and the resulting hybrid. Due to privacy concerns, Google has been blurring the faces of people caught on Google Street View cameras. But rather than blurring people’s faces and diminishing the reality of the scene, researchers have demonstrated a new way to automatically depersonalize the faces – by creating hybrids. The new face-swapping technology, developed by Neeraj Kumar and colleagues at Columbia University in New York, finds faces in a photograph and swaps their features with those from a library of faces, such as picture-sharing sites like Flickr.com. Their software then automatically chooses one or more suitable faces for swapping the eyes, nose, and mouth out of the original image, resulting in a facial composite.As a final step, to weed out inferior replacements, the system ranks the resulting images according to how well the hybrid face fits the surrounding region in the original photograph, and chooses the highest ranked replacement for insertion.Unlike other programs, the new technique is fully automatic, and generates plausible results across a variety of lighting conditions, viewpoints, and skin tones. The researchers performed a case study in which they asked participants to identify real and fake faces from a set. They found that people are almost equally likely to classify real facial images and the hybrid facial images as being real. Of 12 people tested, 58% of the hybrid face images were misidentified as real, and 75% of real images were correctly marked real.Besides de-identifying faces, the same technology could be used by photographers for creating an optimal group photograph from several similar shots. As the researchers explain, the “burst” mode found on most cameras can take several images at once. Then, an automatic face replacement technique could be applied to swap blinking or frowning faces with better faces taken from the other images. The result would be a single composite image with all the best faces.More information on the researchers´ face-swapping technique can be found at tinyurl.com/6ehog5.via: New Scientist
More information: Possible ground fog detection from SLI imagery of Titan, arXiv:1603.04413 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1603.04413AbstractTitan, with its thick, nitrogen-dominated atmosphere, has been seen from satellite and terrestrial observations to harbour methane clouds. To investigate whether atmospheric features such as clouds could also be visible from the surface of Titan, data taken with the Side Looking Imager (SLI) on-board the Huygens probe after landing have been analysed to identify any potential atmospheric features. In total, 82 SLI images were calibrated, processed and examined for features. The calibrated images show a smooth vertical radiance gradient across the images, with no other discernible features. After mean-frame subtraction, six images contained an extended, horizontal feature that had a radiance value that lay outside the 95% confidence limit of the predicted radiance when compared to regions higher and lower in the images. The change in optical depth of these features were found to be between 0.005 and 0.014. It is considered that these features most likely originate from the presence of a fog bank close to the horizon that rises and falls during the period of observation. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2016 Phys.org
Study uncovers new approaches for sorghum breeders Journal information: Nature © 2016 Phys.org More information: Xuehui Huang et al. Genomic architecture of heterosis for yield traits in rice, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature19760AbstractIncreasing grain yield is a long-term goal in crop breeding to meet the demand for global food security. Heterosis, when a hybrid shows higher performance for a trait than both parents, offers an important strategy for crop breeding. To examine the genetic basis of heterosis for yield in rice, here we generate, sequence and record the phenotypes of 10,074 F2 lines from 17 representative hybrid rice crosses. We classify modern hybrid rice varieties into three groups, representing different hybrid breeding systems. Although we do not find any heterosis-associated loci shared across all lines, within each group, a small number of genomic loci from female parents explain a large proportion of the yield advantage of hybrids over their male parents. For some of these loci, we find support for partial dominance of heterozygous locus for yield-related traits and better-parent heterosis for overall performance when all of the grain-yield traits are considered together. These results inform on the genomic architecture of heterosis and rice hybrid breeding. Credit: Earth100/Wikipeidia (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China National Rice Research Institute has successfully mapped the genomic regions associated with yield traits in several elite rice lines as part of a study to determine the genomic architecture of heterosis. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes the laborious process they used and why they believe that their work could lead to finding a universally shared genomic region that contributes to heterosis. James Birchler with the University of Missouri offers an in depth look at the work done by the team in a News & Views piece in the same journal issue. Explore further Citation: Genomic regions associated with yield traits in elite rice lines mapped (2016, September 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-genomic-regions-yield-traits-elite.html Scientists have known for some time that when two plant species are bred together, the result is often a plant that is more fertile than either of its two parents—a phenomenon known as heterosis. Plant specialists have taken advantage of this feature to produce ever higher crop yields for a wide variety of crop plants, one of which is rice. Oddly, the genetic reasons for heterosis occurrence has never been found, though researchers have put a lot of effort into understanding it, as they believe it could lead to even higher yields or the introduction of other positive features. In this new effort, the researchers embarked on an ambitious project that they hoped would finally solve the mystery.The study consisted of collecting rice plant samples that represented 17 elite lines—they subsequently bred them to produce a first generation and then over 10,000 second-generations hybrids. The researchers studied each as they grew and produced rice and cataloged their features. Next, the team performed DNA sequencing on every one of the lines, which allowed them to compare genomic regions. As they did so, they wound up splitting the hybrids into three main groups based on the strategies that had been used to breed them.The researchers report that they were unable to identify the exact genomic architecture of heterosis, but they were able to isolate and map several genomic regions with the groups that could be associated with heteroic effects on rice grain yields. While this was not the outcome they had been hoping for, the work is still considered groundbreaking, Birchler notes, because it has shed a lot of light on the types of traits that are responsible for the phenomenon. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
© 2018 Phys.org Since the 1970s, a test developed by Gordon Gallup has been the gold standard for testing for self-awareness—researchers make a mark on a creature’s face and introduce a mirror. If the animal makes some attempt to touch or remove the mark, they are deemed to have self-awareness. Since the test first came into use, only a few animals have ever passed the test. Besides humans, the list currently includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, dolphins, elephants and pigeons. Others have responded in ways that have left their results in dispute. In this new effort, the researchers tested the relatively unknown cleaner wrasse—a tiny tropical fish. Prior research has shown that they have very good eyesight and go after parasites on the bodies of other fish. They are also very territorial.To test the fish, the researchers first placed specimens in a fish tank with a mirror and watched what happened. As expected, the fish behaved as if viewing encroachments on their territory—they tried to attack their reflections. After giving the fish time to get used to the mirror, the researchers found they began exhibiting abnormal behavior—they bobbed as if watching themselves dance. Next, the team used a gel to mark the foreheads of the test fish—marks that the fish could only see when they looked in the mirror. The researchers report that some of the test fish spent more time looking at their reflection, and that some of them actually tried scraping their face in the location of the gel, as if trying to remove it. The researchers claim this behavior indicates the fish passed the self-awareness test—they saw the mark on their forehead and tried to touch it in the only way available to them.More tests will have to be done by others to prove the behavior was as it appeared and not just an attempt by the fish to grab and eat what they perceived as a parasite affixed to the head of a nearby fish. Shrimp heal injured fish Credit: bioRxiv (2018). DOI: 10.1101/397067 Citation: Small fish passes classic self-awareness test (2018, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-small-fish-classic-self-awareness.html More information: Masanori Kohda et al. Cleaner wrasse pass the mark test. What are the implications for consciousness and self-awareness testing in animals?, bioRxiv (2018). DOI: 10.1101/397067AbstractThe ability to perceive and recognise a reflected mirror image as self (mirror self-recognition, MSR) is considered a hallmark of cognition across species. Although MSR has been reported in mammals and birds, it is not known to occur in any other major taxon. A factor potentially limiting the ability to test for MSR is that the established assay for MSR, the mark test, shows an interpretation bias towards animals with the dexterity (or limbs) required to touch a mark. Here, we show that the cleaner wrasse fish, Labroides dimidiatus, passes through all phases of the mark test: (i) social reactions towards the reflection, (ii) repeated idiosyncratic behaviours towards the mirror (contingency testing), and (iii) frequent observation of their reflection. When subsequently provided with a coloured tag, individuals attempt to remove the mark in the presence of a mirror but show no response towards transparent marks, or to coloured marks in the absence of a mirror. This remarkable finding presents a challenge to our interpretation of the mark test – do we accept that these behavioural responses in the mark test, which are taken as evidence of self-recognition in other species, mean that fish are self-aware? Or do we conclude that these behavioural patterns have a basis in a cognitive process other than self-recognition? If the former, what does this mean for our understanding of animal intelligence? If the latter, what does this mean for our application and interpretation of the mark test as a metric for animal cognitive abilities? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An international team of researchers has found a small tropical fish that is capable of passing a classic test of self-awareness. The results are published on the bioRxiv prepress server.
A small team of researchers from Scotland’s Rural College, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and Queens University in the U.K., has found that better social skills in pigs lead to shorter rank fights. They have published a paper in Royal Society Open Science describing experiments they conducted with domesticated pigs and what they found. More information: Irene Camerlink et al. Advantages of social skills for contest resolution, Royal Society Open Science (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181456 Credit: CC0 Public Domain Hong Kong to cull 6,000 pigs as first swine fever case found Explore further Citation: Better social skills in pigs found to result in reduced length of rank fights (2019, May 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-social-skills-pigs-result-length.html In the animal kingdom, fighting between members of a species or a group within a species is a common way to establish rank. But it can also lead to problems for the participants if they are injured. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if animals in the wild have a mechanism for mitigating injuries, perhaps by shortening the duration of bouts. They further wondered if the degree of socialism had an impact on rank fight length. More specifically, would animals that have learned to socialize well with other animals engage in shorter and less injurious bouts? To find out if this might be the case, the team studied domesticated pigs, which are known to engage in rank fights.The experiments involved allowing 32 piglets to visit a neighboring farm whenever they wanted to socialize with other animals, including pigs. Another 32 piglets were restricted to their own farm where they were only ever allowed to interact with their mothers. When the piglets were eight weeks old, they were placed in pens with another piglet. The researchers observed them to see how they interacted. Rank fights between pigs generally involve sniffing, walking around one another, nudging, tussling with snouts, and on some occasions, actually biting one another. A few minutes later, one of the pigs will give up and show submission to the other, establishing the rank level between the two of them.The researchers report that for the well-socialized pigs, the rank fights lasted on average just three minutes. Those that had not been allowed to socialize while growing up tended to fight longer—on average, one minute longer. They also found themselves injured one-third more often than the socialized pigs. The findings indicate that socialization in pigs allows for less severe, shorter rank fights, preventing injury among group members. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science © 2019 Science X Network
After making a mark in the Indian Rock music scene with their debut album Ghoom, Punkh, a six-member band is now ready enthrall you with their second album Karmah. While the band was here in the Capital to release the album at the Friends of Music event, we chatted with the band’s frontman Deepak Nair (Dean). Here are excerpts…Tell us about yourselves. How did you guys come together/start off?Punkh was formed in Germany under the name Guru in 2006. I was pursuing a Bachelors degree in jazz and pop music from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, when I gathered the founder members. As I moved back to India, I decided on continuing the project and joined up with some of my earlier band mates from the Delhi rock scene. This is how Punkh was formed. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What was the first big break for you guys?The first big break was being signed on by the major record label EMI Virgin Music in 2007. We released our first and self-titled album with them.Tell us something about your upcoming projects.We are presently looking forward to our second album Karmah being released in Delhi? at the platform of Friends of Music?. We have a tour planned for the same. Karmah combines heavy duty riff rock from the nu-metal era with distinct Indian elements like the sitar and soaring vocals heavily reminiscent of the Eighties. It comprises of seven tracks with the title track setting the tone for the band’s new musical statement. Apart from Karmah, we are also giving music for an upcoming independent film. Three full length songs and the background music for the entire film will are given by Punkh. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow would you define your musical philosophy?Stand for something….or you’ll fall for anything. Tell us a bit about your music, what do you think defines you guys?In simple words we feel we are the only true grit Hindi Hard rock/Metal band in India. Most Hindi bands have a commercial appeal and tend to soften and water down the edge. We have retained that. Thanks to our German producer Markus Tescke who made the sound possible. To add to this raw rock and metal power we have some soulful sitar and equally gracious shlok’s and mantras in some tracks. In our country, how easy (or difficult) is it to make a mark in the music scene? What do you think about the main issues are?I feel that in every country, all over the world, making a mark in any field you are is challenging and surely not an easy task. From being a successful actor to an entrepreneur, from being a recognised doctor to being a top notch engineer is also a difficult task. It’s a part of the deal. We have already taken our plunge and really don’t care where we land. It’s the journey and not the destination.? ?What/who inspires you?The list is endless. Musically the list starts from Freddie Mercury to Michael Jackson to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Other than that a lot of bands like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Dreamtheater, Periphery, Pink Floyd, Pantera and so on.Tell us about your best tracksGuess each of us in the band has a different favorite. Unanimously it certainly would be the title track Karmah. Other than that Insaan is the loudest and hardest hitting song and real fun to play live, the ballads like Tanhaa and Nashaa are sure favorites of most of our family members and friends What suggestions/advice would you have for newbies in music?Try and derive your own sound and USP and stick to Hindi or any Indian language as a medium. How has Delhi been for you guys?Delhi has treated us well, perhaps we feel secure in Delhi. We have been struggling and playing music in Delhi for over 15 years. We have a strong bond with the city.
Intensive bouts of exercise can lead to significant and progressive decline in sleep quality, says a new study. The researchers also found that a high carbohydrate regime reduces some, but not all, of the effects of hard training. For the study, the scientists from Loughborough University in England studied the effects of two nine-day periods of heavy training on 13 highly trained cyclists. The researchers monitored the athletes’ moods, sleep patterns and performance before, during and after exercise. To determine whether diets could counter the effects of any sleep deprivation, the athletes were also given high or moderate amounts of carbohydrate throughout the study, though none of them knew which. The researchers discovered that even as little as nine days of intense training can cause ‘significant and progressive decline in sleep quality’.“Sleep efficiency was significantly reduced during the intensified training period,” the researchers observed, with the number of times the athletes woke, throughout the night, significantly increased. The study appeared in the Journal of Sports Sciences.
Kolkata: The work to bring down the remaining portion of the caved-in Majerhat bridge begun on Wednesday with the state Public Works Department (PWD) taking all necessary steps to reduce pollution during the work.Initially, the portion of the bridge that is not within the ambit of the Railways will be brought down. The reason being as the required permission from the Railway authorities in this connection is yet to be received.It may be recalled that the middle portion of the 54-year-old bridge had caved-in on September 4. Subsequently, the state government had taken the decision to bring down the remaining structure of the bridge and to build a completely new one at the same place. The decision was taken after the preliminary report of the high-power committee was submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe state government has set a target to complete construction of the bridge within a time period of a year to give respite to the people of Behala and a major portion of South 24-Parganas from the daily woes of severe traffic congestion. Sources said the PWD engineers made an elaborate plan to ensure that the work to demolish the remaining portion of the bridge can be carried out as early as possible. It is learnt that a jaw-crusher machine will be brought from Mumbai for the work and it will help in reducing the level of pollution in the area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSenior PWD engineers went to the spot on Wednesday and supervised the work. The portion, where the demolition work started on Wednesday, has been fenced using tin sheets. “It has been done so that the debris remain inside the area that has been cordoned off,” said a senior official of the PWD. At the same time, the PWD engineers have started working on the design based on which the new bridge will come up. The design and plan of the bridge will also be given to the Railway authorities. The engineers feel that it would take around one-and-a-half months to initiate the work of the new bridge.On the other hand, at a meeting in Behala, state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said that connecting buses will operate in order to ease the traffic situation and help commuters reach their destinations smoothly.