Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.
One of the most attractive things about driverless cars is their potential to free up the time spent driving from A to B. People travelling by driverless cars will be able to spend their time by working or reading, instead of focused on the road, driving.
Bioethicist Matthew Liao is open to genetic engineering in theory, but he says he was rather horrified to learn that twin girls had been born in China after a researcher genetically modified their embryos to resist HIV infection.
The Fabrication City concept puts manufacturing back in the hands of communities — using 3D printers.
The part of the brain that processes visual information, the visual cortex, evolved over the course of millions of years in a world where reading and writing didn’t exist.
In most of the trillion cells that make up our bodies, 23 pairs of chromosomes store the vital strands of DNA needed to make our bodies grow and function properly. But if the amount of genetic material within our cells is a bit too much or too little, then this can potentially interfere with normal development.
“An evil suicide game” was how one newspaper described the “Momo challenge”, a so-called game that supposedly involved children receiving a series of threatening and increasingly dangerous instructions from an anonymous contact on their smartphone.
The gambler, the quantum physicist and the juror all reason about probabilities: the probability of winning, of a radioactive atom decaying, of a defendant’s guilt.
Is your face long? Wide? Big nose? Small ears? High forehead? It’s our faces that characterise how the world sees us, and how we recognise our close friends and family
A colleague of mine, a roboticist, recently proclaimed that if one could teleoperate the robot he developed in his lab, it could hold down a desk job.
Official figures are produced to serve particular ends. Their names are mere labels, with no connection to infallible underlying stable properties. Most of the time, the statistics that politicians and the media quote do not reveal scientific facts.
Mismatch between biological sex and gender identity, culminating in its severest form as gender dysphoria, has been ascribed to mental disease, family dysfunction and childhood trauma.
Never in the history of the mobile phone has there been so much hype about a new technology ahead of its launch than there is with 5G.
Suppose you toss a coin and get four heads in a row – what do you think will come up on the fifth toss? Many of us have a gut feeling that a tails is due. This feeling is called the Gambler’s Fallacy.
Has there ever been an invention so integral to our lives, and so intimate, as the smartphone? Yet they are slippery things.
I teach measurement – the quantification of things. Some people think this is the most objective of the sciences; just numbers and observations, or what many people call objective facts.
For thousands of years humans turned to nature to cure and soothe their ills. Modern science built on these ancient foundations and the “natural product discovery” programmes established by pharmaceutical companies provided us with medicines that could treat cancer, infections and more.
The Internet of Things is a popular vision of objects with internet connections sending information back and forth to make our lives easier and more comfortable.
Many Americans find themselves bombarded by expert advice to limit their screen time and break their addictions to digital devices – including enforcing and modeling this restraint for the children in their lives.
When we consider interspecies communication we usually think in terms of human-creature exchanges or interactions in which some kind of relationship has been established. But it is not uncommon for us to experience an interaction with members of the plant kingdom...
Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans.
What the internet looks like to users in the U.S. can be quite different from the online experience of people in other countries.
We’re squandering increasing amounts of time distracted by our phones. And that’s taking a serious toll on our mental and physical well-being.
Many of us have had the experience of arriving in an unfamiliar city and needing to get to a specific destination – whether it’s checking in at a hotel, meeting a friend at a local brewery, or navigating to a meeting on time.
One reason women tend to be absent from narratives of science is because it’s not as easy to find female scientists on the public record.
The media is buzzing with the surprise news that a Chinese researcher, Jainkui He, has created the world’s first genome-edited twins.
For most people today, robots and smart systems are servants that work in the background, vacuuming carpets or turning lights on and off. Or they’re machines that have taken over repetitive human jobs from assembly-line workers and bank tellers.
We connect to people around us in mysterious ways but science has proven that the heart is the biggest source of electromagnetic energy in the human body. They found there is an electromagnetic (energetic communication) between people.
The deepest dive recorded by the free-diving Bajau Laut people of Southeast Asia was to an impressive 79 metres, and the longest time spent underwater by them was just over three minutes.
Augmented reality systems show virtual objects in the real world – like cat ears and whiskers on a Snapchat selfie, or how well a particular chair might fit in a room.
Time travel to the UK in 2025: Harry is a teenager with a smartphone and Pauline is a senior citizen with Alzheimer’s who relies on smart glasses for independent living. Harry is frustrated his favorite online game is slow, and Pauline is anxious since her healthcare app is unresponsive.
Many parents want to know how much time their kids should be spending in front of screens, whether it’s their smartphones, tablets or TV. For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics had suggested a limit of two hours a day of TV for children and teens.
Smartphones, computers and social media platforms have become indispensable parts of modern life, but the technology companies that make them and write their software are under siege. In any given week, Facebook or Google or Amazon does something to erode public trust in them. Now could be a moment for the industry to make good on...
For those readers, who’ve ever had an operation – whether it was planned or an emergency – things in the real world probably felt very different to those familiar TV drama medical emergency scenes.
If you dread a day of rest from the digital world, then you probably need one. A secular sabbath is time away from your devices. It can be any day of the week, just whatever works for you.
The future won’t be made by either humans or machines alone – but by both, working together. Technologies modeled on how human brains work are already augmenting people’s abilities, and will only get more influential as society gets used to these increasingly capable machines.
It’s been a good year for apples. Across Europe the apple harvest is the biggest it has been for a decade. But the handful of apple types you see on supermarket shelves only tells part of the story.
Watching a 50th anniversary screening of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” I found myself, a mathematician and computer scientist whose research includes work related to artificial intelligence, comparing the story’s vision of the future with the world today.
Scientists Have Been Drilling Into The Ocean Floor For 50 Years And Here's What They've Found So Far
It’s stunning but true that we know more about the surface of the moon than about the Earth’s ocean floor. Much of what we do know has come from scientific ocean drilling – the systematic collection of core samples from the deep seabed.
They’re made of carbon – but there’s something almost supernatural about diamonds. Just the word diamond invokes luxury, desirability and toughness. Yet when we think of the element carbon we are more likely to think of charcoal; soft, black, opaque, earthy, light-weight.
Hundreds of thousands of people with severe hearing loss depend on surgically implanted electronic devices to recover some of their hearing. These devices, known as auditory or cochlear implants, aren’t perfect. In particular, implant users find it difficult to understand speech when there is background noise. We have a new approach to solve this problem that involves playing sound through the skin.
Your tongue is a salt detector – it dissolves the solid salt crystals sprinkled on your chips to create an intense flavour sensation. But salt is way more important than just being a food additive. Salt water is literally the most common substance on the surface of Earth, and it’s really important – for life and for the planet.
A new form of misinformation is poised to spread through online communities as the 2018 midterm election campaigns heat up. Called “deepfakes” after the pseudonymous online account that popularized the technique – which may have chosen its name because the process uses a technical method called “deep learning” – these fake videos look very realistic.
Now that school is back in session, many high schoolers have new phones, new computers and new privileges for using their devices – and new responsibilities too. High schoolers today are more technology-savvy than average adults. While many people think that young people use their devices primarily for video games and social networking, the reality today is that high schoolers use technology for learning as much as for entertainment.
Australia’s first commercial installation of printed solar cells, made using specialised semiconducting inks and printed using a conventional reel-to-reel printer, has been installed on a factory roof in Newcastle. The 200 square meter array was installed in just one day by a team of five people. No other energy solution is as lightweight, as quick to manufacture, or as easy to install on this scale.
The energy-generating potential of solar panels – and a key limitation on their use – is a result of what they’re made of. Panels made of silicon are declining in price such that in some locations they can provide electricity that costs about the same as power from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. But silicon solar panels are also bulky, rigid and brittle, so they can’t be used just anywhere.
Science is like Michelangelo. The young Michelangelo demonstrated his skill as a sculptor by carving the ravishing Pietà in the Vatican; the mature Michelangelo, having acquired and demonstrated his skill, broke free of the conventions and created his extraordinary later quasi-abstractions. Science has trod a similar path.
A newly discovered processor vulnerability could potentially put secure information at risk in any Intel-based PC manufactured since 2008. It could affect users who rely on a digital lockbox feature known as Intel Software Guard Extensions, or SGX, as well as those who use common cloud-based services.
Sales of George Orwell’s utopian novel 1984 (1949) have spiked twice recently, both times in response to political events. In early 2017, the idea of ‘alternative facts’ called to mind Winston Smith, the book’s protagonist and, as a clerk in the Ministry of Truth, a professional alternator of facts.
Why do batteries die? And, why can they only be recharged so many times before they won’t hold a useful amount of charge? This same question has probably crossed the mind of every cellphone user trying to send one last text before the screen blinks off.
Millions of people will have the opportunity to see a lunar eclipse – an event popularly known in the media as a “blood moon” – on Friday July 27.
Underpants. We tend not to talk about them but they are a fact of life (unless you go commando).
Will the intelligent algorithms of the future look like general-purpose robots, as adept at idle banter and reading maps as they are handy in the kitchen? Or will our digital assistants look more like a grab-bag of specialized gadgets...
“A red sky at night is a shepherd’s delight! A red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning.” The “red sky” proverb has endured across cultures for centuries, and modern science can explain why this is so.
The old statistics axiom that correlation doesn’t imply causation is true, but causation can be drawn from more than one correlation.
When Sudan the white rhino was put down by his carers earlier this year, it confirmed the extinction of one of the savannah’s most iconic subspecies.
Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Terminator brought rogue robots and computer systems to our cinema screens. But these days, such classic science fiction spectacles don’t seem so far removed from reality.
Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards and even rail cards, into their bodies.
Researchers say they’ve solved a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells—the intriguing potential challengers to silicon-based solar cells.
Social media are among the primary sources of news in the U.S. and across the world. Yet users are exposed to content of questionable accuracy, including conspiracy theories, clickbait, hyperpartisan content, pseudo science and even fabricated “fake news” reports.
The summer solstice marks the official start of summer. It brings the longest day and shortest night of the year for the 88 percent of Earth’s people who live in the Northern Hemisphere.
When humans’ genetic information (known as the genome) was mapped in 2003, it promised to change the world. Optimists anticipated an era in which all genetic diseases would be eradicated. Pessimists feared widespread genetic discrimination. Neither of these hopes and fears have been realised.
Paramhansa Yogananda said: We are all of us a little bit crazy, but most of us don't know it because we mix only with people with the same type of craziness as our own. It is only when differently crazy people come together that they get a chance to find out the errors in their own types of craziness!
Facebook has for the first time made available data on the scale of abusive comments posted to its site. The figures do not make for pleasurable reading.
Imagine standing in front of a wall of windows, surveying the view. “Here is the video I wanted to show you.” At the press of a button, the view vanishes and the windows transform into a high-definition TV screen.
A new water-based battery could provide a cheap way to store wind or solar energy for later, researchers say.
Currently, there are three important issues on which there is scientific consensus but controversy among laypeople: climate change, biological evolution and childhood vaccination.
We’ve heard a lot in recent months about the dark side of social media: excessive use to the point of addiction, lack of privacy, and data capture without informed consent.
Fingerprints have provided key evidence in countless cases of serious crime. But there are still some situations in which it can be difficult or impossible to recover fingerprints and this can cause a headache for forensic investigators.
The wind industry is growing quickly around the world, especially in China and the U.S., where the total amount of electricity generated by wind turbines nearly doubled between 2011 and 2017.
The term “evidence” has a fascinating linguistic and social history – and it’s a good reminder that even today the truth of scientific evidence depends on it being presented in a convincing way.
After years of being derided as a joke by car manufacturers and the public, interest in electric vehicles has increased sharply as governments around the world move to ban gasoline and diesel cars.
Before I started working on real-world robots, I wrote about their fictional and historical ancestors. This isn’t so far removed from what I do now. In factories, labs, and of course science fiction, imaginary robots keep fuelling our imagination about artificial humans and autonomous machines.
Appalachian attitudes about technology’s role in daily life are extremely sophisticated – and turn out to be both insightful and useful in a technology-centric society.
It was March 2017, and a winter storm named Stella promised to deliver up to a foot and a half of snow to New York City and parts of New Jersey.
Life’s intelligence, received through our inner guidance, is habitually interrupted or camouflaged by the mind’s chatter. A reflection of this same process is occurring worldwide, where we find ourselves in the midst of a highly magnified “technology takeover.” The universal use of technology, much like our addiction to thinking, has resulted in a constant current of information interrupting the “flow” of our life.
According to scholars throughout history, we actually aren’t living in the year that is printed on our calendars.
My first real awareness of our psychological attitudes to technology came from an unusual source: the British comedian Eddie Izzard.
As Facebook users around the world are coming to understand, some of their favorite technologies can be used against them.
Researchers have created a mathematical model that shows how selfies and other photos taken at close range can distort the appearance of the subject’s nose.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the social platform last week to announce a call-out for ideas about how to measure the health of online conversations.
The South Australian government and Tesla recently announced a large-scale solar and storage scheme that will distribute solar panels and batteries free of charge to 50,000 households.
A team of researchers in northern Australia have documented kites and falcons
We live in a world drowning in objects: households with a television in each room; kitchen cupboards stuffed with waffle makers, blenders and cappuccino whisks; drawers filled to bursting with pocket-sized devices powered by batteries – batteries which themselves take a thousand times more energy to make than they will ever provide.
Before the internet, before smart phones, teenagers and young people would seek out quizzes in comics, read problem pages in girls magazines and watch television for advice on how to be themselves.
Imagine you are about to go on vacation. You have been looking forward to it for some time. But your robotic personal assistant has other ideas.
Sitting in a bar, you start chatting to a man who issues you a challenge. He hands you five red and two black cards. After shuffling, you lay them on the bar, face down. He bets you that you cannot turn over three red cards. And to help you, he explains the odds.
The Y chromosome may be a symbol of masculinity, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is anything but strong and enduring. On the question of whether the Y chromosome will actually disappear, the scientific community, like the UK at the moment, is currently divided into the “leavers” and the “remainers”.
With sufficient investment and strategic deployment, carbon dioxide removal and storage can play a key role in keeping global warming to a level we can live with.
When you shift your attention from one thing to another, your brain “blinks” between focusing on the two things, researchers report.
Usually, a lack of proper spiritual education and moral guidance in a society is a powerful factor that allows the dark shadows easy entrance into clouded human hearts. Many people, from all professions, are so cynical that they have given up the dream of a perfect society. These people have no true vision...
Plastics have got themselves a bad name, mainly for two reasons: most are made from petroleum and they end up as litter in the environment.
How can you live the life you want to, avoiding the distractions and manipulations of others? To do so, you need to know how you work. “Know thyself”, the Ancients urged. Sadly, we are often bad at this.
How young children use screen devices, rather than how much time they spend using the devices, may be the strongest predictor of emotional or social problems connected with screen addiction, new research suggests.
Decisions span a vast range of complexity. There are really simple ones: Do I want an apple or a piece of cake with my lunch? Then there are much more complicated ones: Which car should I buy, or which career should I choose?
What is net neutrality, this policy Ajit Pai, President Trump’s chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has spent years criticizing? Here are some highlights of The Conversation’s coverage of the controversy around the concept of keeping the internet open...
We all want to know how many jobs will be threatened by the rise of robots and technology. You might feel vulnerable if your job is one that could be affected.
Gamers won’t be surprised. We and our colleagues have discovered a link between people’s ability to play video games and their general intelligence.
A new study recommends replacing all incandescent and halogen light bulbs in your home now with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LEDs.