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.
If you get your news from social media, as most Americans do, you are exposed to a daily dose of hoaxes, rumors, conspiracy theories and misleading news.
Until now, there’s been no way to control all sorts of devices, wirelessly, via the internet because there’s been no two-way radio smart and small enough to make this possible. A new technology called HitchHike could change that.
Communities would be better off investing in electric vehicles that run on batteries instead of hydrogen fuel cells. The reason? Hydrogen offers few additional energy benefits besides clean transportation.
The internet is full of dark places. There are websites where people gather to share illegal images, buy illicit drugs and air offensive opinions that wouldn’t be tolerated on most mainstream sites.
Polysorbate, a safe additive found in everything from ice cream to cosmetics, seems to slow the toxic effects of E. coli poisoning.
Aquaculture is in the spotlight again, with an ABC investigation raising concerns over the sustainability of the expansion of Tasmania’s salmon-farming industry.
A new system can teach people Morse code within four hours using a series of vibrations felt near the ear.
A new design for solar cells that uses inexpensive, commonly available materials could rival and even outperform conventional cells made of silicon.
We humans like to think of ourselves as on the top of the heap compared to all the other living things on our planet.
We often hear about the dark web being linked to terrorist plots, drug deals, knife sales and child pornography, but beyond this it can be hard to fully understand how the dark web works and what it looks like.
Did you know that you actually “see” the world upside down? Well, you do. You just don’t know it because your brain has fiddled around with your perceptions so that you think you see the world right-side up. This is one of many examples of how the brain rethinks what it sees.
China recently launched a satellite into orbit with a unique feature: it has the ability to send information securely, not with mathematical encryption but by using the fundamental laws of physics.
There is a replicability crisis in science – unidentified “false positives” are pervading even our top research journals.
Why do we think that climate sceptics are irrational? A major reason is that almost none of them have any genuine expertise in climate science (most have no scientific expertise at all), yet they’re confident that they know better than the scientists.
An electric car currently relies on a complex interplay of both batteries and supercapacitors to provide the energy it needs to go places. But chemists are developing a new material that could change that.
Despite being trapped in Moscow, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden often ambles through meeting rooms and conference halls in New York City.
Modern humans started spreading from Africa to Europe, Asia and Australia some 100,000 years ago – a process that took about 70,000 years.
With hydrogen power stations in California, a new Japanese consumer car and portable hydrogen fuel cells for electronics, hydrogen as a zero emission fuel source is now finally becoming a reality for the average consumer.
Imagine driving a car, using a heads-up display projection on the windshield to navigate through an unfamiliar city
Researchers working with swarm robots say it is now possible for machines to learn how natural or artificial systems work by observing them—without being told what to look for.
A new catalyst could make biodegradable plastics derived from renewable materials—promising alternatives to plastics made from oil.
One year ago Tesla Motors announced plans to build its Gigafactory to produce huge numbers of batteries, giving life to the old saying, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.”
Over the years, citizen scientists have provided vital data and contributed in invaluable ways to various scientific quests. But they’re typically relegated to helping traditional scientists complete tasks the pros don’t have the time or resources to deal with on their own.
Amazon recently began to offer same-day delivery in selected metropolitan areas. This may be good for many customers, but the rollout shows how computerized decision-making can also deliver a strong dose of discrimination.
What would your ideal robot be like? One that can change nappies and tell bedtime stories to your child? Perhaps you’d prefer a butler that can polish silver and mix the perfect cocktail?
Recently Sandfire Resources, a gold and copper producer based in Western Australia, announced its new solar power plant will soon start powering its DeGrussa mine. By replacing diesel power, the 10-megawatt power station, with 34,000 panels and lithium storage batteries, is expected to reduce the mine’s carbon emissions by 15%.
Would you want to alter your future children’s genes to make them smarter, stronger or better-looking?
The director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, Thomas Jordan, made an announcement recently that would have sent a chill down the spine of every Californian: that the San Andreas fault appears to be in a critical state and as such, could generate a large earthquake imminently.
The irony of internet freedom was on full display shortly after midnight July 16 in Turkey when President Erdogan used FaceTime and independent TV news to call for public resistance against the military coup that aimed to depose him.
When children learn how to tie their shoelaces, they do so in discrete steps—making a loop or tugging at the lace. After enough repetition, our brain turns these steps into “chunks.”
Research shows that a student’s genetic makeup can have a strong influence on their academic performance.
We live, we are so often told, in an information age. It is an era obsessed with space, time and speed, in which social media inculcates virtual lives that run parallel to our “real” lives and in which communications technologies collapse distances around the globe.
The smartphone in your hand enables you to record a video, edit it and send it around the world. With your phone, you can navigate in cities, buy a car, track your vital signs and accomplish thousands of other tasks. And so?
Mobile phone data may reveal an underlying mathematical connection between how we move and how we communicate. This could make it easier to predict how diseases—and even ideas—spread through a population.
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.