Highlights of the week of October 2-8

Last time updated
Highlights of the week of October 2-8

Nearly all the names of the 2023 Nobel laureates have been announced, an artificial intelligence scandal is brewing in Bulgaria, and astrophysicists are speculating about barely known space objects.

Nobel Prize 2023

The awarding of the world's most famous and prestigious scientific prizes is almost over. The names of the winners in all disciplines are already known, except for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Information on this nomination will be published on Monday, October 9.

The most outstanding scientists in 2023 are

  1. Physics — Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier "for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter";
  2. Medicine — Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19”;
  3. Chemistry — Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov “for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots”;
  4. Literature — Jon Fosse “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”;
  5. The Nobel Peace Prize 2023 — Narges Mohammadi “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all”.

Deepfake Bulgarian Prime Minister

On October 4, it became known that Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov had invited citizens to join a specific investment scheme on his Facebook page. The suspicious activity, of course, did not go unnoticed.

An official statement of rejection was immediately issued, confirming that the Prime Minister had never urged anyone to leave their personal data or other information on social media sites. Victims of cybercriminals are encouraged to contact law enforcement.

The creators of the deepfake video simulated an excerpt from a news release, using an animated and voiced image of the politician created by a neural network. This is not the first case of misuse of artificial intelligence: earlier, the Writers Association filed a class action lawsuit against ChatGPT.

Space journeys

Long-distance space travel is still out of reach for humans. It is unlikely that it will become possible in the next few decades. However, studying the processes and bodies that are capable of making such journeys can help us understand how life originated in the solar system.

Already in 2017, scientists have observed an object that appeared from outside our galaxy, flew past the sun and then quickly moved away from it. It was apparently not made of frozen nitrogen and did not look like a comet. It did not leave any electromagnetic trace behind it. The mystery of this celestial body is still not completely solved, but scientists believe that the orbit of Neptune can cross up to 10,000 objects from other systems per day.

It is possible that some of them may contain microorganisms or even microscopic animals that can survive the harsh conditions of space. For example, such Earth life forms are tardigrades and some species of lichens, spores and bacteria.

Further development of theories about alien life and its search is possible after studying samples from any of these objects. However, so far such a mission seems extremely difficult because of high speeds and errors in calculations.

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We took photos from these sources: space, galaxies, nebula, stars.

Authors: Aleksandr, Kadriia

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