Accidents, natural disasters and random or targeted attacks can cripple human infrastructure. Our transportation networks, supply chains and communication networks are increasing in size and becoming more complex as our populations grow.
"Our theory explains specifically why primates developed superintelligence but dinosaurs—who faced many of the same environmental pressures and had more time to do so—did not. Dinosaurs matured in eggs, so there was no linking between intelligence and infant immaturity at birth," says Celeste Kidd.
It was 1986, and the American space agency, NASA, was reeling from the loss of seven lives. The space shuttle Challenger had broken apart about one minute after its launch.
From the transforming discovery of penicillin to the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, science progressed with mind-boggling speed even before there were computers. Much of this is down to the robustness of the scientific method: scientific results are validated by being replicated and extended by other scientists.
In the hours since I first sat down to write this piece, my laptop tells me the National Basketball Association has had to deny that it threatened to cancel its 2017 All-Star Game over a new anti-LGBT law in North Carolina – a story repeated by many news sources including the Associated Press.
Ask around – everyone has an opinion about their email and their inbox, and it’s not always positive. From information overload, zero inbox and leaked email scandals to the much-hyped triumph of workflow software like Slack and Asana, email has certainly had a bad rap recently.
Given its huge success in describing the natural world for the past 150 years, the theory of evolution is remarkably misunderstood. In a recent episode of the Australian series of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, former cricket star Shane Warne questioned the theory – asking “if humans evolved from monkeys, why haven’t today’s monkeys evolved”?
Extra, extra! The embargo’s lifted, read all about it. Rumors were flying through the blogosphere this winter: physicists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) may finally have directly detected gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Einstein 100 years ago in his general theory of relativity. Gravitational waves were predicted to be produced by cataclysmic...
Imagine your child requires a life-saving operation. You enter the hospital and are confronted with a stark choice. Do you take the traditional path with human medical staff, including doctors and nurses, where long-term trials have shown a 90% chance that..
Once the three-billion-letter-long human genome was sequenced, we rushed into a new “omics” era of biological research. Scientists are now racing to sequence the genomes (all the genes) or proteomes (all the proteins) of various organisms – and in the process are compiling massive amounts of data.
Any long-term solution will require “decarbonizing” the world energy economy – that is, shifting to power sources that use little or no fossil fuel.
Through pressure from Google, Facebook, and other major providers such as Yahoo and Apple the world wide web is slowing becoming more secure, with web services using HTTPS to encrypt web traffic by default.
"The research was just one experiment in a lab," Steve Lohr writes in the New York Times about the study, "but it does point to the larger subject of striking a balance between connectedness and isolation in the digital age."
Earlier this month, the US Broadband Opportunity Council declared that broadband is “taking its place alongside water, sewer and electricity as essential infrastructure for communities”.
Every year, people in the US throw away 2.5 billion plastic foam cups—and that’s just a fraction of the 33 million tons of plastic that Americans throw out each year.
Apps drain 28.9 percent of smartphone battery power while the screen is off, according to the first large-scale study of smartphones in everyday use.
As petroleum-based polymers foul our oceans and litter our lives, researchers seek more environmentally friendly ways to meet demand for durable, versatile materials.
“Also: please note that we NEVER link to Wikipedia,” reads the email about an article for The Conversation Africa. I’m not surprised. The same sentiment is expressed in many course documents at universities and schools.
Ever fancied having a superpower? Something you can call upon when you need it, to hand you extra information about the world? OK, it’s not X-ray vision, but your eyes do have abilities that you might not be aware of.
For such a large and culturally diverse place, Europe has surprisingly little genetic variety. Learning how and when the modern gene-pool came together has been a long journey. But thanks to new technological advances a picture is slowly coming together of repeated colonisation by peoples from the east with more efficient lifestyles.
The recent announcement by Tesla of Powerwall, its new lithium-ion (Li-ion) based residential battery storage system, has caused quite a stir. It even raises the possibility of going off-the-grid, relying upon solar panels to generate electricity, and storing it with their own battery and using it on demand.
Fans of homebrewed beer and backyard distilleries already know how to employ yeast to convert sugar into alcohol. Now, bioengineers have gone much further by completing key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer therapeutics.
Genetic factors appear to be important in determining when we turn grey. Identical twins seem to go grey at a similar age, rate and pattern, however we’re yet to identify the controlling genes.
The underwater icicles, or brinicles, are known as the "finger of death". That is a good name for them as you will see as you watch this awesome video footage. Not only does it look like a finger pointing down to the sea bed, but...
We live in an increasingly noisy world. Since even low-level noise can affect quality of life, new tools to deal with noise are welcome. “Auralisation”, the audio equivalent of visualisation, is now helping to model and improve the sound of our living and working spaces, as well as recovering the acoustics of past environments.
A battery that could treble electric car mileage and cut costs is among the innovations moving closer to reality on the frontiers of science.
Separation from iPhones can cause users serious psychological and physiological effects, including poor performance on cognitive tests, according to new research.
As wind power companies venture into ever-deeper waters, the traditional windmill-style turbine may not be the most suitable solution. It’s time to look at alternatives.
What will you and I—and our descendants—become over the next decades or centuries? Is the answer to this question self-evident? Or will we be radically different from how we are now? All that follows from this thought is conjecture, but it is more than a venture into fantasy or science fiction.
Brian is correct that his brain made him do it. It was not his legs or eyes that made him watch the movie. It also wasn’t the movie or another person that made him do it. It was his desires, which are in his brain...
Science textbooks say humans can’t see infrared light. New research, however, finds that our retinas can sense it under certain conditions. Scientists on the research team "were able to see the laser light, which was outside of the normal visible range..."
Using plants to generate electricity brings a new clean energy option to the table, but even more exciting, the company plans to expand the technology to existing wetlands and rice paddies where electricity can be generated on a larger scale. This could give power to some of the world’s poorest places.
Fast-forward about 150 years from Alice in Wonderland’s time and we all find ourselves down a version of her rabbit hole. The Maya call this the lifetime of change. I like to refer to it as the lifetime full of lifetimes of change. How many “lifetimes” have you lived within this lifetime?
Astrophysicists say questions about the sustainability of civilisation on our high-tech planet may soon be answered scientifically as a result of new data about the Earth and other planets in its galaxy.
A woman peers through goggles embedded in a large black helmet. Forest sounds emanate from various corners of the room: a bird chirping here, a breeze whispering there. She moves slowly around the room. On the wall, a flat digital forest is projected so observers can get a rough idea of her surroundings, but in her mind’s eye...
There are many more than the five “facts” that need to be fixed in school textbooks. I am not suggesting that we should start teaching 6-year-olds about matter that only appears in Nobel Prize-winning physics labs or filling the curriculum with detail on dozens of senses. But maybe we should stop telling kids fibs.
There is a major revolution under way in science today, a transformation that is both profound and fascinating. It changes our view of the world, and our concept of life and consciousness in the world. It comes at a propitious time. We know that the world we have created is unsustainable...
Police play a proverbial cat-and-mouse game with those they pursue, but also with the technology of the day they use. This game of one-upmanship, of measure and countermeasure, sees one or the other side temporarily with the upper hand.
Solar cells made from polymers have the potential to be cheap and lightweight, but scientists are struggling to make them generate electricity efficiently.
The idea that during sleep our minds shut down from the outside world is ancient and one that is still deeply anchored in our view of sleep today, despite some everyday life experiences and recent scientific discoveries that would tend to prove our brains don’t completely switch off from our environment.
We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries... Such research feeds into a long-held fascination with testing human intelligence. Yet such debates are too focused on IQ as a life-long trait that can’t be changed. Other research is beginning to show the opposite.
Every age has its wonder materials. For the Victorians, it was rubber. In the 20th century, it was plastic. And for the digitized 21st century, it may well turn out to be graphene. It’s one of the newest nano-scaled materials to have emerged from our laboratories...
Researchers may have found the way to a more comfortable life for suburbanites: garden lawns are more prolific carbon emitters than some farm crops, and keeping yourself warm uses much more energy than running an air conditioner.
Make no mistake you are under siege on the Internet, be it big government, big data, or your favorite smartphone application. Your government on the other hand stands idly by ready to turn you over for roasting on the other side by ISPs standing between you and your website of choice.
As each new computer virus attack or vulnerability comes to light, millions instinctively check their computer to see if their anti-malware application is up to date. This is a good idea and they are wise to do it but a large number of us still forget about their smartphone.
Scientists are tapping into the secret wisdom of trees—even when they don't know what they're looking for. Thomas Swetnam understands how unforeseeable insights and technological developments can lead us toward new discoveries and conclusions. “There’s the known unknown,” he says, “and then there’s the unknown unknown.”
This camera can look around corners and beyond the line of sight. The camera uses light that travels from the object to the camera indirectly, by reflecting off walls or other obstacles, to reconstruct a 3D shape.
If you’re struggling to understand the deluge of information about the Heartbleed vulnerability, you’re not alone. Some reports tell us to change all our online passwords immediately, others warn us that this could do more harm than good. There is a lot of misinformation out there.
Let’s say Martians land on the Earth and wish to understand more about humans. Someone hands them a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare and says: “When you understand what’s in there, you will understand everything important about us.”
The company New Energy Technologies is reporting a breakthrough in their see through solar window technology and it’s all about size. When New Energy began developing a solar glass coating several years ago, it started out as a solution in a vial before progressing to a tiny square. In the latest development...
Long before humans got hooked on fossil fuels, we learned how to harness the power of water to do work. Technologies that harness the energy of moving water or temperature differentials in the oceans promise to deliver abundant carbon-free electricity.
Google has teamed up with researchers at the University of Washington to create a contact lens that can measure blood glucose levels in a person’s tears and display the reading on their mobile phone. If this smart contact lens project is successful, people with diabetes may be able to stop drawing blood to measure their sugar levels.
It may be challenging to think of the Earth and other celestial bodies as conscious, yet that is the conclusion gaining momentum in quantum physics. As strange as it may seem, this is a living universe that is conscious and shares an energetic essence. Earth is our mother in more ways than one...
University of Washington researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with one researcher able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher.
You have no doubt met people whose very presence emanated an indefinable power. Perhaps you persuaded yourself that their influence was due to something perfectly ordinary: physical stature, or good looks, or reputation...
As we move to a more sustainable lifestyle, bicycling to work or to the store etc. can be an option for many. However, in many cities, riding a bicycle may seem like you're taking your life in your own hands. However, there is a happy solution...
This talk (13 min approx) is amazing... talking about our belief in a "disposable" society... disposable bottles, cans... but it seems we also believe in disposable people. Van Jones speaks of Cancer Alley, smog, 1 out of 4 people in jail, etc. THIS IS A MUST WATCH! Want to make a difference? Start with watching this video!
An engineering survey found that the road had several structural weaknesses and that it would be very costly to renovate the road, so instead, the city government decided to demolish the highway and restore the flow to the river...
Since the 1800s astronomers have noted that there is an eleven and a twenty-two-year sunspot cycle; that is, for some years there would be hardly any sunspots, and then for some years the sun's face would be as blotchy as a teenager with acne. It was discovered that sunspot emissions affected a wide variety of...
As with most technologies it is the limitation of human imagination, the need to overcome conventionalism and fend off of those with a vested financial interests in doing it the old way, that often holds back new technologies.
The 186,000 residents of the island of Samoa will go to bed on December 29th and wake up on December 31st. They will have missed a whole day! No, they won't have slept 24 hours, they will simply be experiencing the...
NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.
The magnetic field around the Earth feeds the magnetic fields around our brains and within each individual brain cell. Our memory and synaptic functions are dependent on this magnetic field remaining strong. When the field drops, things don’t work right.
You may think that in order to be happy all you need to do is pursue pleasure and avoid pain. But the central message from all the great spiritual and religious teachers is that we can do better. For example, the basic message of...
In this age of science, it is usually postulated that unless you can see it, it doesn't exist. Of course, this includes seeing with microscopes, telescopes, ultrasound, etc. However, as we know, there are other things that exist that can't be seen. Living in a humid climate, I own a dehumidifier...
Do you often see the numbers 11:11, or even various triple digits when you glance at your digital clock such as 4:44, 5:55, etc.? Have you wondered if there was any significance to this or if it was just a random occurrence? Does this have anything to do with the year 2012? There are clues to...
by Nan Moss with David Corbin. In the fall of 2003, thirty-five experienced shamanic practitioners gathered together in New York for a reunion. I felt inspired to dedicate the final ceremony of the workshop to hurricanes...
Had he lived today, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, would affirm with deeper conviction than ever: To be or not to be is indeed the question. This living blue-green planet, the home of humanity -- how long will it support us? Will we manage to evolve as a conscious social and cultural species -- or will we become extinct like the dinosaurs?
Genetic engineering -- of food and other products -- has far outrun the science that must be its first governing discipline. Therein lies the peril, the risk, and the foolhardiness. Scientists who do not recognize this chasm may be practicing 'corporate science' driven by sales, profits, proprietary secrets, and political influence-peddling.
If you choose to change the weather, you can. But why would you? Isn't there love in a storm? You see, the ego gets caught up with it. The ego judges that a storm is something bad, something not desirable. And as a result, it wants to change it. We would suggest this isn't about change as much as it is about acceptance and appreciation.
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...
New research indicates that "Brain Structure May Affect Reading Ability" - INNERSELF MAGAZINE - Creating new attitudes for the new millennium