Hexbyte Glen Cove Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way trip thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way trip

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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s fifth flight was captured on May 7, 2021, by one of the navigation cameras aboard the agency’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter ascended to a new height record of 33 feet (10 meters) flew 424 feet (129 meters) to a new landing site. This was the first time the helicopter made a one-way flight. It was airborne a total of 108 seconds. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter completed its fifth flight on the Red Planet today with its first one-way journey from Wright Brothers Field to an airfield 423 feet (129 meters) to the south. After arrival above its new airfield, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude record of 33 feet (10 meters) and captured high-resolution color images of its new neighborhood before touching down.

The flight represents the rotorcraft’s transition to its new operations demonstration phase. This phase will focus on investigating what kind of capabilities a rotorcraft operating from Mars can provide. Examples include scouting, aerial observations of areas not accessible by a rover, and detailed stereo imaging from atmospheric altitudes. These operations and the lessons learned from them could significantly benefit future aerial exploration of Mars and other worlds.

“The fifth flight of the Mars Helicopter is another great achievement for the agency,” said Bob Pearce, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. “The continuing success of Ingenuity proves the value of bringing together the strengths of diverse skill sets from across the agency to create the future, like flying an aircraft on another planet!”

The flight began at 3:26 p.m. EDT (12:26 p.m. PDT, 12:33 p.m. local Mars time) and lasted 108 seconds. The Ingenuity team chose the new landing site based on information gathered during the previous flight—the first “aerial scout” operation on another world—which enabled them to generate digital elevation maps indicating almost completely flat terrain with almost no obstructions.






NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter completed its fifth flight with a one-way journey from Wright Brothers Field to a new airfield 423 feet (129 meters) to the south on May 7, 2021. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“We bid adieu to our first Martian home, Wright Brothers Field, with grateful thanks for the support it provided to the historic first flights of a planetary rotorcraft,” said Bob Balaram, chief engineer for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at JPL. “No matter where we go from here, we will always carry with us a reminder of how much those two bicycle builders from Dayton meant to us during our pursuit of the first flight on another world.”

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s was captured after landing on May 7, 2021, by the Mastcam-Z imager, one of the instruments aboard the agency’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter ascended to a new height record of 33 feet (10 meters) and flew 424 feet (129 meters) to a new landing site. This was the helicopter’s fifth flight, and the first time the helicopter made a one-way flight. It was airborne a total of 108 seconds. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

The Wright brothers went on from proving powered, controlled flight was possible to attempting to better understand how the new technology could be employed. In a similar fashion, NASA seeks to learn more with Ingenuity how operations with next-generation helicopters could benefit future exploration of the Red Planet. This new phase will bring added risk to Ingenuity, with more one-way flights and more precision maneuvering.

Having successfully landed at its new airfield, Ingenuity will await future instructions, relayed via Perseverance, from mission controllers. The agency’s fifth rover to the fourth planet is also heading south, toward a region where it will commence science operations and sample collection. The rover team’s near-term strategy doesn’t require long drives that would leave the helicopter far behind, allowing Ingenuity to continue with this operations demonstration.

“The plan forward is to fly Ingenuity in a manner that does not reduce the pace of Perseverance science operations,” said Balaram. “We may get a couple more flights in over the next few weeks, and then the agency will evaluate how we’re doing. We have already been able to gather all the performance data that we originally came here to collect. Now, this new operations demo gives us an opportunity to further expand our knowledge of flying machines on other planets.”



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Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way trip (2021, May 8)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove California agency approves warehouse rule for air quality thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove California agency approves warehouse rule for air quality

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A semi-truck turns into an Amazon Fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Southern California air quality regulators are considering a rule that would curb emissions from trucks that ferry goods from the growing number of massive warehouses run by Amazon and other companies. Areas around the facilities have weathered increased pollution affecting largely minority communities. The “warehouse rule” will be voted on, by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)

Southern California air quality regulators on Friday approved a rule that would curb diesel emissions from thousands of trucks that ferry goods from the growing number of massive warehouses in the region run by Amazon and other companies.

Areas around the facilities have weathered increased pollution affecting their largely .

The so-called warehouse rule was approved 9-4 by the South Coast Air Quality Management District board.

It institutes a points-based system requiring about 3,000 distribution centers to choose from a menu of options to reduce or offset emissions. Those could include choices such as replacing diesel trucks and other equipment with electric models, putting in rooftop solar panels or installing air filters at nearby schools or day care centers.

“Warehouse operators could prepare and implement a custom plan specific to their site, or they could pay a mitigation fee,” the proposal read. The fees would go toward funding similar air quality improvements in surrounding neighborhoods.

South Coast district officials said they acted in order to meet federal smog-reduction deadlines in 2023 and 2031.

The Air Quality Management District said in a socioeconomic impact assessment report earlier this year that the regulations would provide public health benefits worth $2.7 billion from 2022 to 2031—including 5,800 fewer asthma attacks and 300 fewer deaths.

Environmental and activist groups praised the vote, saying it will reduce pollution while providing local clean energy jobs.

The rule “is the first step in eliminating toxic emissions from one of the nation’s largest and most profitable industries,” said a joint statement from the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, People’s Collective for Environmental Justice and the Partnership for Working Families.

“Squinting through the smog, California is charting a better future for the sake of our lungs, ” said Adrian Martinez of Earthjustice. “The health benefits will be immense, but the Indirect Source Rule is just the beginning. The way we move goods in this country has got to be electric, for the sake of clean air and a breathable future.”

A semi-truck turns into an Amazon Fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Southern California air quality regulators are considering a rule that would curb emissions from trucks that ferry goods from the growing number of massive warehouses run by Amazon and other companies. Areas around the facilities have weathered increased pollution affecting largely minority communities. The “warehouse rule” will be voted on, by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)

But the Los Angeles County Business Federation said the rule amounts to an unauthorized job-killing tax and called the Air Quality Management District’s action “irresponsible” and “a travesty.”

“The staff advised the board that this rule and tax will eliminate tens of thousands of jobs, with no evidence it will actually reduce emissions,” the business group said. “What’s more, these job losses will disproportionately impact communities of color, the same communities the board is claiming to support. This is not how public policy should be made.”

B.J. Patterson, chief executive of Pacific Mountain Logistics, which employs more than 65 people at a 200,000-square-foot (18,580-square meter) warehouse in San Bernardino, told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t know which of the compliance options his company would select.

Most of the forklifts used inside are already electric, he said, and he does not control which trucks come in and out.

Opting to pay the mitigation fees would cost his business close to $200,000 a year, he estimated.

Environmental and community groups have for years pushed for tighter regulations to help neighborhoods inundated with smog-forming nitrogen oxides from trucks driving to and from sprawling warehouse complexes owned by Amazon and other distributors across the inland region east of Los Angeles.

“These communities are often disadvantaged and people of color. So it’s part of our ongoing commitment to address the inequity, as well as addressing the overall regional air quality pollution,” Wayne Nastri, the South Coast district’s executive officer, said a day before the vote.

More than 2.4 million people live within half a mile of at least one large warehouse, and those areas have higher rates of asthma and heart attacks, and are disproportionately Black and Latino, district officials said.

Presentation of the proposal began after board members honored clean-air trailblazer William A. Burke, who is retiring after 23 years as chairman.

“Today is historical. It couldn’t be a better day to go home,” Burke said.



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Hexbyte Glen Cove Chinese rocket to tumble back to Earth in uncontrolled re-entry thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Chinese rocket to tumble back to Earth in uncontrolled re-entry

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A large segment of China’s Long March-5B rocket, pictured here during launch on April 29, is expected to make an uncontrolled reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere

A large segment of a Chinese rocket is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over the weekend, but Beijing has downplayed fears of damage on the ground and said the risk is very low.

A Long March-5B rocket launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth’s orbit on April 29.

Its 18-tonne main segment is now in freefall and experts have said it is difficult to say precisely where and when it will re-enter the atmosphere.

Russian space agency Roscosmos predicted the rocket will re-enter after 2330 GMT Saturday south of Indonesia over the Timor Sea.

The Pentagon gave a time of around 2300 GMT Saturday with a window of nine hours either side.

Chinese authorities have said most of the rocket components will likely be destroyed as it descends.

“The probability of causing harm… on the ground is extremely low,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Friday.

Although there has been fevered speculation over exactly where the rocket—or parts of it—will land, there is a good chance any debris that does not burn up will just splash down into the ocean, given that the planet is 70 percent water.

“We’re hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone,” said Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard.

Possible trajectories of the main stage of the Chinese rocket that is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere

Howard said the United States was tracking the rocket segment but “its exact entry point into the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its re-entry”.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier said the US military had no plans to shoot it down, and suggested that China had been negligent in letting it fall out of orbit.

“Given the size of the object, there will necessarily be big pieces left over,” said Florent Delefie, an astronomer at the Paris-PSL Observatory.

“The chances of debris landing on an inhabited zone are tiny, probably one in a million.”

Last year debris from another Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said that although there was no need to worry “too much”, the rocket’s design needed a re-think to stop such a scenario happening again.

“There is a real chance of damage to whatever it hits and the outside chance of a casualty,” he said.

“Having a ton of metal shards flying into the Earth at hundreds of kilometres per hour is not good practice, and China should redesign the Long-March 5B missions to avoid this.”



© 2021 AFP

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Self-generating yarn made from graphene oxide strands thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Self-generating yarn made from graphene oxide strands

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Great reed warblers fly as high as 6,000 meters over Sahara and Mediterranean thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Great reed warblers fly as high as 6,000 meters over Sahara and Mediterranean

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A team of researchers from Lund University, the University of Copenhagen and the Nature Research Centre in Lithuania has found that some great reed warblers climb as high as 6,000 meters when they fly over the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes monitoring migrating great reed warblers by affixing tiny data loggers to their backs.

Prior research has shown that there are thousands of species of that migrate across various parts of the planet to suit their needs. Among those are many songbirds, one of which is the great reed . The bird is very well known in parts of Northern Europe, where it lives in the summer. Great reed warblers have been the subject of multiple research efforts and local birdwatchers await their arrival each spring. But as the temperatures drop in the fall, the birds take flight, migrating to sites approximately 7,000 kilometers away in sub-Saharan Africa. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about two parts of their migratory journey that have not been studied—what happens when they cross the Mediterranean Sea and when and the Sahara Desert?

Prior research had shown that like many other migrators, the birds tend to fly at night and rest during the day. Noting that there would be few places to rest over a vast sea or desert, the researchers wondered how they made it across. To find out, they captured and attached very small sensors to the backs of 63 birds and then set them loose.

In studying their data (from just 14 sensors that had usable data) the researchers found that instead of landing and resting when the sun rose in the sky, the birds not only kept flying, but they climbed higher into the sky. In some instances, the birds were recorded flying as high as 6,000 meters.

The researchers note that the air is much thinner at these altitudes, and much cooler—below freezing. They suggest the birds might be climbing so high because it is the only way they can keep cool during their flight as their muscles generate constant heat. There is also the possibility that they are taking advantage of atmospheric conditions. Researchers on a prior study found that frigatebirds can stay aloft for months due to prevailing winds that allow them to fly with almost no effort.



More information:
Sissel Sjöberg et al. Extreme altitudes during diurnal flights in a nocturnal songbird migrant, Science (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abe7291

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Great reed warblers fly as high as 6,000 meters over Sahara and Mediterranean (2021, May 7)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests

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“This work lays out nicely how a phenomenon once thought to be particularly human turns out to be closely tied to behavior shared with species separated from humans by tens of millions of years,” said UCLA professor Greg Bryant. Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Human laughter is common, but it’s a somewhat mysterious part of our evolution. It’s clear to evolutionary scholars that we laugh as a part of play, signaling our cooperation or friendliness. But how did laughter evolve? And are humans the only ones who do it?

Not a chance: Animals laugh too, researchers have observed.

In a new article published in the journal Bioacoustics, primatologist and UCLA anthropology graduate student Sasha Winkler and UCLA professor of communication Greg Bryant take a closer look at the phenomenon of across the .

The pair combed through the existing on animal play , looking for mentions of vocal play signals—or what might be thought of as laughter.

They found such vocal play behavior documented in at least 65 species. That list includes a variety of primates, domestic cows and dogs, foxes, seals, and mongooses, as well as three , including parakeets and Australian magpies.

“This work lays out nicely how a phenomenon once thought to be particularly human turns out to be closely tied to behavior shared with species separated from humans by tens of millions of years,” Bryant said.

The researchers looked for information on whether the animal vocalizations were recorded as noisy or tonal, loud or quiet, high-pitched or low-pitched, short or long, a single call or a rhythmic pattern—seeking known features of play sounds.

There’s much existing documentation of play-based among , such as what is known as “play face” in primates or “play bows” in canines, the researchers noted.

Since what constitutes “play” in much of the animal kingdom is rough-and-tumble and can also resemble fighting, play sounds can help emphasize non-aggression during such physical moments, the article suggests.

“When we laugh, we are often providing information to others that we are having fun and also inviting others to join,” Winkler said. “Some scholars have suggested that this kind of vocal behavior is shared across many animals who play, and as such, laughter is our human version of an evolutionarily old vocal play signal.”

While Winkler and Bryant say that further observation and research into vocalizations would be fruitful, they also note that such observations can be hard to come by in the wild, especially for animals whose play sounds might be quieter.

Paying attention to other species in this way sheds light on the form and function of human laughter, the researchers write, and helps us to better understand the evolution of human social behavior.



More information:
Sasha L. Winkler et al. Play vocalizations and human laughter: a comparative review, Bioacoustics (2021). DOI: 10.1080/09524622.2021.1905065

Citation:
Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests (2021, May 7)
retrieved 8 May 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Touchdown! SpaceX successfully lands Starship rocket thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Touchdown! SpaceX successfully lands Starship rocket

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In this photo screengrab made from SpaceX’s live webcast shows the Starship SN15 after landing in Boca Chica, Cameron County, Texas on May 5, 2021

SpaceX managed to land its prototype Starship rocket at its Texas base without blowing it up on Wednesday, the first time it has succeeded in doing so in five attempts.

The test flight represents a major win for the hard-charging company, which eventually wants to carry crew inside Starship for missions to Mars.

“Starship landing nominal!” tweeted founder Elon Musk triumphantly, after the last four tries ended in big explosions.

“Nominal” means normal in the context of spaceflight.

The execution wasn’t quite perfect, with a small fire engulfing the base of the 50 meter- (160 feet-) high rocket, dubbed SN15, shortly after landing.

SpaceX webcaster John Insprucker explained this was “not unusual with the methane fuel we’re using,” adding engineers were still working out design issues.

The flames were quickly put out with water cannons, footage showed.

Earlier, the rocket took off at around 5:25 pm local time (2225 GMT) from the Starbase in Boca Chica in southern Texas, reached an altitude of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and performed a series of maneuvers, including a horizontal descent called a “belly flop.”

SpaceX was facing added pressure to succeed with Wednesday’s flight after NASA last month announced a version of Starship will be used as a lunar lander when the space agency returns humans to the Moon.

But the $2.9 billion contract is currently suspended after two rival companies, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Dynetics, lodged a protest.

Nevertheless, if the award is eventually confirmed, it will transform Starship from Musk’s pet project to a major tax payer-funded venture, with all the scrutiny that entails.

The first two flight tests of Starship, SN8 and SN9, both crash landed and exploded when they launched in December and February, respectively.

The next, SN10, successfully landed then blew up a few minutes later on March 3.

The video feed cut out during the test flight of the fourth, SN11, with Musk later confirming it too had exploded, this time in mid-flight.

Eventually, SpaceX plans to combine the Starship spaceship with a Super Heavy rocket, creating a fully reusable system to explore deep into our solar system.

This final version will stand 394 feet (120 meters) tall and will be able to carry 100 metric tonnes into Earth orbit—the most powerful launch vehicle ever developed.

Musk wants to use this to help realize his goal of transforming humanity into a multiplanetary species with a colony on Mars.

The planned lunar version of Starship would however serve a more modest goal—docking with a future lunar orbital station, collecting astronauts, then setting them down on the Moon.

To get the astronauts to the lunar station in the first place, NASA has a more traditional plan in mind: using its own giant SLS rocket with a crew capsule called Orion affixed on top.

But the SLS rocket has suffered severe delays and cost overruns, and observers have mused if Starship succeeds, it could one day make SLS obsolete.



© 2021 AFP

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Touchdown! SpaceX successfully lands Starship rocket (2021, May 6)
retrieved 7 May 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Pandemic, war, climate change fuel food fears thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Pandemic, war, climate change fuel food fears

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Distribution of the number of people in the world in “crisis” (phase 3 on the international food security scale) or “worse” (phases 4 and 5)

The economic cost of the global pandemic as well as conflict and climate change are fueling food security fears that in 2020 reached their highest level in five years, according to a report published Wednesday.

Last year, 155 million people in 55 countries faced acute shortages—20 million more than in 2019, according to a report by the EU, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme, which see the problem as getting steadily worse.

“We must act together to prevent an additional deterioration of the situation,” FAO director general Qu Dongyu told a video-conference, describing the New Global Report on Food Crises as a call to “urgent humanitarian action”.

He added in a tweet: “We must address the root causes and make agri-food systems more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.”

Last year saw the Global Network Against Food Crises, which groups together the three international organisations, identify 28 million people in 28 countries as suffering emergency levels of acute hunger with DR Congo, Yemen and Afghanistan worst affected.

A further 133,000 people were judged to be living in the most severe, “catastrophic” phase of food insecurity in Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Yemen.

Africa remains the continent worst hit by food shortages with 98 million people affected, or 63 percent of global cases—up from 54 percent in 2019.

“For 100 million people confronted by acute food crisis in 2020, the main cause was linked to conflicts and insecurity,” compared with 77 million in 2019, Dominique Burgeon, FAO emergencies director, told AFP.

Economic crisis was the prime reason for hunger for 40 million, compared with 24 million in 2019.

Burgeon said that “the pandemic has exacerbated vulnerabilities,” singling out Sudan, Zimbabwe and Haiti—the latter also hit by climate issues affecting the food security of some 15 million people.

With COVID restrictions still in place across much of the world, Burgeon said the coming year would be very difficult, exacerbating food security in already fragile economies.

He estimated at 142 million the number of people who would be affected in 40 of the worst-hit countries.

And with the on its way to hitting 8.5 billion by 2030, the report concluded that COVID-19 had underlined the need to make food distribution more equitable as the number of mouths to feed grows.



© 2021 AFP

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Pandemic, war, climate change fuel food fears (2021, May 6)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove US watching Chinese rocket's erratic re-entry: Pentagon thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove US watching Chinese rocket’s erratic re-entry: Pentagon

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A Long March 5B rocket carrying China’s Tianhe space station core module lifts off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on April 29, 2021

The Pentagon said Wednesday it is following the trajectory of a Chinese rocket expected to make an uncontrolled entry into the atmosphere this weekend, with the risk of crashing down in an inhabited area.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is “aware and he knows the is tracking, literally tracking this debris,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

China on Thursday launched the first of three elements for its , the CSS, which was powered by the Long March 5B rocket that is now being tracked.

The body of the rocket “is almost intact coming down,” Kirby said, adding that its re-entry is expected sometime around Saturday.

After its separation from the space station module, the rocket began to orbit the Earth in an irregular trajectory as it slowly lost altitude, making any predictions about where it will re-enter the atmosphere or fall back to the ground nearly impossible.

It could end up breaking apart upon entry, with only smaller debris bits falling to Earth—and even if the rocket falls from the sky mostly intact, there is a good chance it will just splash down into the ocean on a planet made up of 70 percent water.

But neither of those outcomes is certain, and there is a chance the rocket could crash land into an inhabited area or onto a ship.

Kirby said it is “too soon” to know whether any action, such as destroying the , can be taken if human-occupied regions are threatened.

“We’re tracking it. We’re following it as closely as we can,” he said. “It’s just a little too soon right now to know where it’s going to go or what, if anything, can be done about that.”

It is not the first time China has lost control of a space craft as it returns to Earth. The space laboratory Tiangong-1 disintegrated upon re-entry into the atmosphere in 2018, two years after it had stopped working, though Chinese authorities denied they had lost control of the ship.



© 2021 AFP

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US watching Chinese rocket’s erratic re-entry: Pentagon (2021, May 6)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Yes, you can have more than 150 friends: New study deconstructs Dunbar's number thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Yes, you can have more than 150 friends: New study deconstructs Dunbar’s number

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Does the brain limit our social capacity, in monkeys as well as humans? Credit: Johan Lind/N

An individual human can maintain stable social relationships with about 150 people. This is the proposition known as “Dunbar’s number”—that the architecture of the human brain sets an upper limit on our social lives. A new study from Stockholm University indicates that a cognitive limit on human group sizes cannot be derived in this manner.

Dunbar’s number is named after the British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who proposed the theory in the 1990s. The number 150 is based on an extrapolation of the correlation between the relative size of the neocortex and group sizes in . Some have found support for this number, while other have reported other group sizes.

“The theoretical foundation of Dunbar’s number is shaky. Other primates’ brains do not handle information exactly as do, and primate sociality is primarily explained by other factors than the , such as what they eat and who their predators are. Furthermore, humans have a large variation in the size of their social networks,” says Patrik Lindenfors, Associate Professor of Zoological Ecology at Stockholm University and the Institute for Futures Studies, and one of the authors of the study.

When the Swedish researchers repeated Dunbar’s analyses using modern statistical methods and updated data on primate brains, the results were simultaneously much larger and far lower than 150.

The average maximum group size often turned out to be lower than 150 persons. But the main problem was that the 95% confidence intervals for these estimates were between 2 and 520 people.

“It is not possible to make an estimate for humans with any precision using available methods and data,” says Andreas Wartel, co-author of the study.

“Dunbar’s number” is often cited and has had a great impact in popular culture, not the least after featuring prominently in Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point.” In 2007, Swedish media reported that the Swedish Tax Authority reorganized their offices to stay within the 150-person limit.

“This reorganization would then be based on the implicit but hopefully unintended assumption that their employees have neither family nor friends outside of work,” says Patrik Lindenfors, and adds, “I think Dunbar’s number is widely spread, also among researchers, since it’s so easy to understand. Our claim that it is not possible to calculate a number is not quite as entertaining.”

Ideas such as Dunbar’s number highlight questions about the long reach of the gene.

“Are human social interactions genetically limited via the genes’ influence on the brain’s architecture? New research on has revealed the importance of cultural inheritance for what humans do and how we think. Culture affects everything from size of social networks to whether we can play chess or if we like hiking. Just like someone can learn to remember an enormous number of decimals in the number pi, our brain can be trained in having more social contacts,” says Johan Lind, deputy director of the Centre for Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University and co-author of the study.



More information:
‘Dunbar’s number’ deconstructed, Biology Letters, royalsocietypublishing.org/doi … .1098/rsbl.2021.0158

Citation:
Yes, you can have more than 150 friends: New study deconstructs Dunbar’s number (2021, May 4)
retrieved 5 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-friends-deconstructs-dunbar.html

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