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.
Sheep are surprisingly smart. New research from the University of Cambridge shows the animals can learn to recognise people from photographs, even people they’ve never seen in real life, such as celebrities.
Most of us are familiar with the genetic differences between men and women. Men have X and Y sex chromosomes, and women have two X chromosomes. But a recent paper claims that beyond just genes on X and Y, a full third of our genome is behaving very differently in men and women.
Today the sun is shining during my commute home from work. But this weekend, public service announcements will remind us to “fall back,” ending daylight saving time by setting our clocks an hour earlier on Sunday, Nov. 5. On Nov. 6, many of us will commute home in the dark.
Humans have always used simple observations of nature to try to understand our complex environment and even the wider cosmos.
Every coastal country on Earth could meet its own domestic seafood needs through aquaculture using just a small fraction of ocean territory, a new study suggests.
Why do phones, tablets and computers always slow down as they get older, to the point that they become unusable, but when I back it up and restore it onto a brand new device, it’s fast again
You’ve probably been told it’s dangerous to open unexpected attachment files in your email – just like you shouldn’t open suspicious packages in your mailbox. But have you been warned against scanning unknown QR codes or just taking a picture with your phone
China, the world’s largest car market, is working on a timetable to stop the production and sale of vehicles powered by fossil fuels. India has declared its intention to make all new vehicles electric by 2030.
As the Federal Communications Commission takes up the issue of whether to reverse the Obama-era Open Internet Order, a key question consumers and policymakers alike are asking is: What difference do these rules make?
It should come as no surprise that the first recorded use of the number zero, recently discovered to be made as early as the 3rd or 4th century, happened in India. Mathematics on the Indian subcontinent has a rich history going back over 3,000 years and thrived for centuries before similar advances were made in Europe, with its influence meanwhile spreading to China and the Middle East.
Apple recently announced the launch of its iPhone 8 and iPhone X, which come with sleek, new features. Apple also hopes to start a new community around the iPhones.
When kids believe they can achieve success in math and reading, they are more likely to achieve high test scores in those subjects, new research suggests.
In the next few years, you will probably have your first interaction with a medical artificial intelligence (AI) system.
What do you think of when you think about mathematics? Many people find mathematics daunting. If true, this piece is for you. If not, this piece is still for you.
Research into how we can keep our brains healthy as we age has gained momentum in recent years. There is now an increased focus on the changes that we can make to our health and lifestyle...
The physics and the astrology say we are going to become even more polarized. We are here, all of us, in this time, to take sides. And by the way, it’s too late to shirk your responsibility. By even...
A total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the continental United States on Monday. Your next chance to see such an event in the US won’t occur until April 8, 2024.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that on Aug. 21, we’re in for a special cosmic treat: the Great American Eclipse of 2017.
If you you’ve never seen a solar eclipse before, you should make an effort to witness the breathtaking event on August 21
I’ve wanted to be a scientist since I was five years old. My idea of a scientist was someone in a lab, making hypotheses and testing theories.
Creating a huge global network connecting billions of individuals might be one of humanity’s greatest achievements to date, but microbes beat us to it by more than three billion years.
Genetic variation is an unavoidable feature of life. As a consequence of this – and unless you are an identical twin – you are genetically unique.
Flying warehouses, robot receptionists, smart toilets… do such innovations sound like science fiction or part of a possible reality?
It’s been 60 years since the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine gave us the promise of flying cars. But our personal mobility options remain, today and for the foreseeable future, earthbound.
American leadership in technology innovation and economic competitiveness is at risk if U.S. policymakers don’t take crucial steps to protect the country’s digital future.
A building’s primary purpose may be to keep the weather out, but most do such an effective job of this that they also inadvertently deprive us of contact with two key requirements for our well-being and effectiveness: nature and change.
We now have reached the stage of evolution where we are ready to accept the world for what it must be: a product of our united imagination. This thought is the sky above, the stars overhead, and the invisible canvas covering the world. The material science worldview is a stage in...
Researchers have developed a new kind of semiconductor alloy capable of capturing the near-infrared light located on the edge of the visible light spectrum.
Earth’s climate is changing rapidly. We know this from billions of observations, documented in thousands of journal papers and texts and summarized every few years by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Scientists have found a way to wirelessly transmit electricity to a nearby moving object.
Astronauts on the International Space Station are growing crystals that could help develop new drugs for use on Earth. Here are ten healthcare technologies that have already come from space:
Exactly what constitutes intelligence, and to what extent it is genetic, are some of the most controversial questions in science.
Science funding is intended to support the production of new knowledge and ideas that develop new technologies, improve medical treatments and strengthen the economy.
The mystery behind why your shoelaces constantly seem to untie themselves could finally have a solution.
Big Brother does “just want to help” – in Estonia, at least. In this small nation of 1.3 million people, citizens have overcome fears of an Orwellian dystopia with ubiquitous surveillance to become a highly digital society.
The development and evolution of the chemical industry is directly responsible for many of the technological advancements that have emerged since the late 19th century.
The Trump administration’s efforts to impose new immigration rules drew attention – and legal fire – for its restrictions on the ability of people born in certain majority Muslim countries
Every day countless headlines emerge from myriad sources across the globe, both warning of dire consequences and promising utopian futures – all thanks to artificial intelligence.
We live in a world that is both increasingly complex and automated.
What happens when you take your shoes and socks off and walk barefoot on the surface of the Earth? As antioxidant electrons from the Earth enter the body through the bottoms of the feet, they neutralize the free radicals widely thought to be responsible for the...
A battery made with urea, commonly found in fertilizers and mammal urine, could provide a low-cost way of storing energy produced through solar power or other forms of renewable energy for consumption during off hours.
The Volkswagen emissions scandal and past promotions of tobacco are two examples of “alternative facts” in science’s past, a researcher warns.
Over the past century, American schools have integrated an ever-more-diverse group of students. Racial integration is most prominent, but it’s not just Native Americans, blacks and Latinos who have been brought into public education.
The year 2016 will go down in history as the year in which fake news really took centre stage. It played a decisive role in major events such as the outcome of the US elections and the British Brexit vote.
A new explanation for the origin of Antarctica links two competing theories.
The technology to control a computer using only your thoughts has existed for decades. Yet we’ve made limited progress in using it for its original purpose
When a May 2016 crash killed the person operating a Tesla Model S driving in Autopilot mode, advocates of autonomous vehicles feared a slowdown in development of self-driving cars.
If unexpected packages start showing up at your door, you might want to have a word with one of your smart devices.
We humans have collectively accumulated a lot of science knowledge. While this knowledge is impressive, it’s not distributed evenly. Not even close. There are too many important issues that science has reached a consensus on that the public has not.
For many years, schools and universities have had to change the way they work and teach in order to fit in with technology. Only more recently are we seeing technology being designed and utilized specifically for education contexts.
How would you feel about getting therapy from a robot? Emotionally intelligent machines may not be as far away as it seems.
If you can imagine a future event in your life based on any one of your personal desires, that reality already exists as a possibility in the quantum field. This means that the quantum field contains a reality in which you are healthy, wealthy, and happy, and...
Today every kitchen would seem “under-equipped” without a microwave, with its efficient ability to cook, defrost and reheat a variety of different foods.
Big data is big news these days. But most organisations just end up hoarding vast reams of data, leaving them with a massive repository of unstructured – or “dark” – data that is of little use to anyone.
While the U.S. is the birthplace of the Internet, it currently falls behind other countries in making high quality broadband connections widely available.
In 2016, self-driving cars went mainstream. Uber’s autonomous vehicles became ubiquitous in neighborhoods where I live in Pittsburgh, and briefly in San Francisco
Science is one of the most remarkable inventions of humankind. It has been a source of inspiration and understanding, lifted the veil of ignorance and superstition, been a catalyst for social change and economic growth, and saved countless lives.
In light of climate change and a growing population, water authorities around the world are looking at the treatment of recycled water to achieve water security and sustainability.
Many indoor air pollutants are colorless and odorless, which means people often fail to detect them. A team of engineers at Michigan State University is testing a new technology...
Protecting individual privacy from government intrusion is older than American democracy. In 1604, the attorney general of England, Sir Edward Coke, ruled that a man’s house is his castle.
When we are in a deep slumber our brain’s activity ebbs and flows in big, obvious waves, like watching a tide of human bodies rise up and sit down around a sports stadium.
For centuries, humans have dreamed of harnessing the power of the sun to energize our lives here on Earth. But we want to go beyond collecting solar energy, and one day generate our own from a mini-sun.