These interesting studies won the 2021 Pineapple Science Prize

Winners: Primate Institute in Tokyo, Japan; Hongshan Zoo in Nanjing, China; and chimpanzees

The 2021 Pineapple Science Prize for Mathematics has been upgraded to the Art of Mathematics prize, and the winner is an unlikely primate relative who has shown remarkable feats of both. How can humans be no better at instantaneous counting than chimpanzees?

In a series of experiments, researchers at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in Japan demonstrated that Their chimpanzee, ABU, could remember random sequences of numbers quickly and accurately, far outperforming a control group of university students. That’s no mean feat. To pull off such a task, She needed not only excellent working memory, but also an understanding of abstract number symbols that represent different concepts of quantity. The probability of successfully doing this task correctly in the masking experiment is as low as 1 in 362,880. The nine Arabic digits appeared on a computer screen for a moment, then turned into white squares where they appeared, and the subjects had to touch the squares in ascending order from smallest to largest.

In addition to their mathematical abilities, chimpanzees and orangutans in captivity often show great talent for drawing, drawing with a pen dipped in paint on a piece of paper. It looks simple, but in fact it is a huge leap in the brain to connect the three-dimensional world of reality with the two-dimensional world of paper. Leshen, the star animal at Hongshan Forest Zoo in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, is the only orangutan in China who can draw. Unfortunately, Leshen died unexpectedly in June 2019 due to complications from anaesthesia, leaving behind more than 50 paintings, which attracted a lot of media coverage. Dou Haijing, a star keeper at Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo, accepted the award and gave an acceptance speech on behalf of the primate family.

Laureates: Ruan Xiulin, professor of School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

The pineapple science chemistry prize was awarded to purdue university, west lafayette campus school of mechanical engineering and nanotechnology center RuanXiuLin professor berk team, they are using barium sulphate nanoparticles and suitable ratio of acrylic acid emulsion, developed a kind of the best in the world of white paint, that can reflect off as much as 98.1% of the sun, It’s even whiter than titanium dioxide, which is more commonly known. According to Ruan, the original intention of the paint was to develop a material for radiation refrigeration, which means that the energy emitted through infrared radiation is higher than the energy absorbed from sunlight. So if you paint your house with this kind of paint, it’s not to look good, it’s to cool it down, and maybe it’ll save us money on air conditioning. As soon as ruan’s team’s achievement came out, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and attracted a lot of media attention.

Yang Xiaojing, Associate professor, School of Environmental Sciences, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)

There are obvious regional variations in human languages, namely “dialects” with ten miles of different sounds. In birds, scientists have found a similar pattern. Yang Xiaojing, an associate professor at the School of Environment at China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), has been studying bird songs. She identified a human-like “song geographic variation” in a bird called bulbul.

Bulbul is a small songbird widely distributed in China, which can be seen from the southern part of Northeast China to southern China. The voices of bulbul can be divided into three kinds: singing, singing very melodious; Call, relative song, call short and coarse, monotonous; The warning call of Bulbul was a noisy, husky and rapidly bouncing “da·da·da” sound. These sounds constitute the “language” of Bulbul. After analyzing the recording of Chinese bulbul’s song in different areas, Yang xiaojing found that different groups of Chinese bulbul had independently developed different singing styles.

The winners: PhD student Johann Ostermeier and professors Christoph Schulman and Carsten Urbach of the Agrand Institute for Astronomy, University of Bonn

One day, the young physicists at a Munich’s bar to play, they played the “throw beer mat” game, soon found that no matter how hard, can’t let those 10 cm in diameter of the beer mat like a frisbee smoothly out a distance, but will soon turn over nearly 90 degrees, and then a head. Back at the institute, they went to the trouble of designing a throwing machine, buying coasters and recording the process with high-speed cameras. In the end, the trio abstracted the flight of a beer mat into a physical formula, which led to a paper with the disclaimer that the research was “completely useless”.

The formula predicts that the beer mat will remain stable for a maximum of 0.45 seconds before flipping over. A playing card can do that only half the time, about 0.24 seconds. A CD has a longer stable flight time of 0.8 seconds, even longer than a Frisbee without aerodynamic bonuses (0.7 seconds). Many people did not expect that the stable flight for a long time is the discus, can reach about 16 seconds.

All in all, after modeling, simulation experiments, high-speed camera recordings, and data analysis, the three physicists came to the same conclusion as everyday observations: Beer coasters don’t get as far when thrown as a frisbee.

Winner: Dyson Ball Project, a domestic game representing the top level of Game development in China

The concept of “Dyson sphere” refers to the use of technology by technological civilizations to build a giant artificial structure that wraps around an entire star. In 1959, Freeman Dyson, an American physicist, published a paper in Science called “The Search for Infrared Sources of Artificial Stars”, in which he hypothesized that all the energy we currently use is essentially energy radiated from the sun. Dyson sees the Dyson ball as an inevitable solution to the growing demand for energy; If civilization continues, sooner or later energy demand will swell to the point where most or all of the star’s energy output will be needed.

Dyson Ball Project, developed by Chongqing Yuzu Cat Studio, is one such construction game in which you play as an intelligent machine exploring the universe and the goal is to build your own Dyson ball from scratch. At the beginning of the game, a star system with a single star and multiple planets will be created, and the player will be sent to the star system as an intelligent machine to build a Dyson sphere. The player takes on the role of a probe machine: after arriving at a planet in a star system, the player has to build an entire industrial system from scratch, starting with cutting down trees. From trees to coal and steel, to hydrogen energy, to fusion reactors, to interplanetary transmission system, and finally the Dyson ball, players can experience the huge complexity of this whole system, so as to have a personal knowledge of energy, industry, and interstellar development, which is undoubtedly the best embodiment of “education while fun”.

Winner: Dr Hamadi Ding, Institute of Diversity and Environmental Conservation, University of Sarawak, Malaysia, Grand Cayman Mosquito Research and Control, Cayman, Malaysia

The pineapple science prize in biology study’s first author Dr Hammadi · d is the cayman islands mosquito research and prevention and control the organization’s staff, he and mosquitoes from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan research experts, applied a new method of prevention and control of mosquito in exploring — let mosquitoes lost appetite grammy music.

Scientists put a hamster, a male mosquito that didn’t suck blood, and a hungry female together and played music. In a series of experiments, researchers found that electronic dance music can kill mosquitoes. Especially effective was the 2014 Grammy award for Best Electronic Dance music for Skrillex’s platinum single “Scary Monsters and Pretty Elves.” Females in the control group took just 30 seconds to bite a hamster, while those who had listened to the song, apparently disoriented, took an average of three minutes to bite. Not only that, its blood intake and mating frequency dropped significantly. The scientists’ explanation is that mosquitoes rely on auditory communication, particularly low-frequency buzzing, to find mates. Some electronic music mixes strong high-frequency and low-frequency sounds, effectively disrupting the mosquito’s hearing mechanisms. It is hoped that acoustic mosquito repellent will become a practical mosquito control method, thus reducing the use of chemical pesticides.

Winners: Veronica Maglieri, PhD student, Biology Ethics Group, University of Pisa, and her advisor, Assistant Professor Elizabeth Palaghi

Some scholars believe that humans addicted to mobile phones are depriving them of valuable attention. The team of Elizabeth Palaghi, a professor at the University of Pisa in Italy, investigated the science behind phone addiction in earnest.

In her daily life, Veronica found herself checking her phone for no apparent reason when people around her started fiddling with it, even when there was no need to use it. Why is that? She wanted to experiment to find out, so she and her friends went to parks, restaurants, subways and dinner parties, where they pulled out their phones and secretly watched people around them. The researchers conducted a series of undercover observations between May and September 2020, selecting a total of 184 subjects (88 women and 96 men). It turns out that when someone is around to swipe their phone, it’s like an evil thing. About 50 percent of people pick up their phone and swipe it within 30 seconds, while most people don’t get infected if they just take out their phone and don’t look at it.

As for the contagion, they point out that copycat swiping is a subconscious activity that can be seen as copying the behaviour of others. In fact, earlier scientists had noticed this strange phenomenon of unconscious mimicry and had given it a name — the “chameleon effect”. Mimics are like chameleons. Their bodies naturally change when they step into a new environment to blend in.

A problem worth thinking about is that people unconsciously imitate other people’s actions, such as yawning and shaking legs, in order to draw the distance between people and better integrate into the group. However, the imitation of looking at mobile phones will lead to the alienation of the relationship between people and people in reality. People don’t talk because they’re on their phones.

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