Machine learning can offer new tools, fresh insights for the humanities

Enlarge / Composite image based on Jacques-Louis David’s unfinished painting, “Drawing of the Tennis Court Oath” (circa 1790). (credit: Association of Cybernetic Historians) Truly revolutionary political transformations are naturally of great interest to historians, and the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century is widely regarded as one of the most influential, serving …

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Renewables, led by wind, provided more power than coal in Germany in 2018

Enlarge / Gode wind farm off the coast of Germany. (credit: Ørsted) According to the Fraunhofer Institute, Germany’s renewable power sector produced more electricity than coal in 2018 for the first time ever, with renewables providing 40 percent of the year’s produced electricity and coal providing 38 percent. Of course, “renewables” include an aggregate of …

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Fixing photosynthesis by engineering it to recycle a toxic mistake

Enlarge / A scientist transplants engineered tobacco for testing. (credit: Brian Stauffer/University of Illinois) The vast majority of life on Earth depends, either directly or indirectly, on photosynthesis for its energy. And photosynthesis depends on an enzyme called RuBisCO, which uses carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to build sugars. So, by extension, RuBisCO may be …

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FCC gets a new Democrat, is back to full slate of five commissioners

Enlarge / Democrats vs. Republicans. (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht) The Federal Communications Commission will once again have a full lineup of five commissioners, with three Republicans and two Democrats. The FCC has had three Republicans but only one Democrat since Mignon Clyburn left the agency in May 2018. Democrat Geoffrey Starks has been in …

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