Orange Tangent Study

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Kameelah Janan Rasheed

➕ Week 004: August 16, 2021

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This week: Faked warship locations, spiders using spider webs as extended cognitive systems, gene-hacked mosquitos, and ants that shrink their brains to become queens 

Phantom Warships Are Courting Chaos in Conflict Zones

(WIRED | Mark Harris | July 29, 2021)

“According to analysis conducted by conservation technology nonprofit SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch, over 100 warships from at least 14 European countries, Russia, and the US appear to have had their locations faked, sometimes for days at a time, since August 2020.”

The Thoughts of a Spiderweb

(Quanta Magazine | Joshua Sokol | May 23, 2017)

“They argued in a review paper, published in the journal Animal Cognition, that a spider’s web is at least an adjustable part of its sensory apparatus, and at most an extension of the spider’s cognitive system. This would make the web a model example of extended cognition, an idea first proposed by the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in 1998 to apply to human thought.”

Residents Furious at Release of 500 Million Gene-Hacked Mosquitoes

(Futurism | Dan Robitzski | April 26, 2021)

“Oxitec, with the cooperation of the Environmental Protection Agency and local governments, plans to release 500 million mosquitoes, into each of which its scientists have inserted a gene called OX5034 [...] Oxitec says the mosquitoes, all males — which don’t bite humans — will then breed with wild females, which do bite. But they’ll pass on the OX5034 gene, a hereditary payload that prevents any female offspring from reaching adulthood. The theory is that the more the gene-hacked mosquitoes and their descendants reproduce, the fewer biting female mosquitoes there will be in the area.”

These Ants Shrink Their Brains for a Chance to Become Queen

(The New York Times | Annie Roth | July 19, 2018)

“Although other insects, including honeybees, have been known to possess the ability to increase their brain size, the Indian jumping ant is the first insect known to be capable of both increases and decreases in brain size. The researchers behind the study say that females of the ant species use this ability to prepare their bodies for reproduction.”
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