Scientists have reworked the DNA of Escherichia coli to help us understand apparent redundancies in its genetic code. At four million base pairs in size, they now have the results of the most ambitious attempt at a completely synthetic form of life. For all its immense variation, life on Earth all shares a common language in
Global messaging app WhatsApp, which boasts over 1 billion users, was targeted by hackers last month in a breach that saw mobile devices attacked through the voice-calling functionality of the app. The security flaw potentially gave hackers access to private messages, location data and other personal user information. While WhatsApp hasn’t specifically stated who or how
San Francisco on Tuesday became the first city in the United States to ban the use of facial-recognition software by city agencies and the police, dealing a swift symbolic blow to a key technology rapidly being deployed by law enforcement nationwide. The 8-to-1 vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors will forbid public agencies
A new ‘biological glue’ developed by Chinese researchers could one day stop hearts and arteries from uncontrollably bleeding. Placed on an open wound and activated through UV light, this life-saving sealant rapidly morphs into a non-toxic hydrogel, capable of withstanding both slippery surfaces and the pulsing of heart tissue. The adhesive sealant hasn’t been
Scientists have measured the accuracy of two-qubit operations for the first time in silicon, bringing the world a big step closer to reliable quantum computing. The great promise of quantum computers is that they will enable a vastly more powerful and faster way of making calculations than the computing power we’ve had until now.
Numbers figure pretty high up on the list of what a computer can do well. While humans often struggle to split a restaurant bill, a modern computer can make millions of calculations in a mere second. Humans, however, have an innate and intuitive number sense that helped us, among other things, to build computers
It’s been 33 years since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant tragically blew apart in a meltdown, spreading nuclear fallout across the land. A lot has changed, but the surroundings still contain some of the most radioactive patches of soil on the planet. Last month, researchers from the University of Bristol mapped that radioactivity in
In a perfect world, plastic would never be on a one-way trip into landfill – it’s a vision we’ve strived to realise for decades. Unfortunately, some plastics just don’t recycle as easily as others, limiting how well we can reuse them in new products. But a new kind of plastic might help change all that.
A perplexing riddle affecting dozens of families in the Cleveland area has finally been solved, but not before weeks of wreaking havoc on people who – bizarre as it sounds – were unable to open their car and garage doors. In late April, residents of the town of North Olmsted, Ohio began finding that
A man in Taiwan found that his AirPod was still functional after he had accidentally swallowed it, according to a report from the Daily Mail. Ben Hsu reportedly fell asleep while wearing Apple’s wireless earbuds and found that he was missing one headphone when he woke up. He then used Apple’s tracking feature to
Personal gadgets known as “hearables,” which communicate with the neural signals passing through our ears in order to monitor and interact with our brains, are on their way. Hearables could help us focus on specific conversations, like smart hearing aids, or monitor our brain activity to treat tinnitus. That’s according to Poppy Crum, the Stanford University neuroscientist and chief
Armed with CRISPR gene-editing technology, scientists are trying to move away from performing experiments on common model organisms, like fruit flies and zebrafish, which have long defined biological research – by crafting new ones at the genetic level. But scientists who are gene hacking new animals for their research are running into logistical problems,
The widespread adoption of pasteurisation and refrigeration means we’re now used to a shelf life of two to three weeks for milk, but scientists working at Australian company Naturo just announced they’ve extended that to more than 60 days. Allegedly, Naturo’s technique doesn’t involve the heat treatment that comes with pasteurisation, and apparently “retains
Mark Zuckerberg has a new mantra: “The future is private”. It’s an extraordinary statement, given the messenger. Facebook has been mired in one privacy scandal or another almost its entire life, and the past two years have been a nonstop rollercoaster of red-hot crises. But the 34-year-old billionaire is leaning hard into a so-called
All the way back in 1999, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science was celebrating its 35th year of research, it gave itself an unusual birthday present: a large lead container, shaped like a paper bag, sculpted by legendary architect Frank Gehry. It was sealed away behind a cryptographic puzzle, specifically
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at what could be the announcement of a brain-machine interface that could one day hook human brains up to computers on Sunday. In response to a question asking for an update on Neuralink, a neurotechnology startup he founded in 2016, Musk replied that new information would be “coming soon”. A “direct cortical interface,” according
The spoken word is a powerful tool, but not all of us have the ability to use it, either due to biology or circumstances. In such cases, technology can bridge the gap – and now that gap is looking shorter than ever, with a new algorithm that turns messages meant for your muscles into legible
Even if death metal isn’t a perfect fit for you as far as music genres go, you have to admire the AI smarts behind Relentless Doppelganger – a non-stop, 24/7 YouTube livestream churning out heavy death metal generated completely by algorithms. And this is by no means a one-off trick by Dadabots, the neural
We know that self-driving cars are promising to make the roads safer and give us more time to relax, but the energy-saving and pollution-cutting benefits are also important. Now a new study suggests those benefits might not be as big as we thought. The problem, according to researchers from the University of Michigan, is
The line between human-made materials and living organisms just got more blurred. Researchers have created a new biomaterial that isn’t alive, but which exhibits three key traits for life: metabolism, self-assembly, and organisation. The new material can crawl forward like a slime mould, growing new strands from the front as the old ones at
After years of chastising us for failing to safely eject USB drives from computers, Microsoft has done the unthinkable: finally acknowledging it’s okay to yank that sucker out and live your best life. Ever since USB drives became a thing, the Windows maker has warned and admonished computer users for not safely removing external
The world watched in horror Monday night while flames tore through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. As fire consumed the roof and toppled its iconic central spire, it seemed as though the historic church could be lost forever – but it’s possible, thanks to cutting-edge imagining technology, that all hope may not be lost.
The dog-like robots from Boston Dynamics are back with another video, albeit this time the video is less focused on virality and more a demonstration of raw power. Behold, 10 robot dogs pulling a large truck: (Boston Dynamics/YouTube) Pretty intense, no? Don’t get too worried – these little guys aren’t coming to pull your
Scientists have developed a first-of-its-kind device that generates electricity from nothing other than the natural phenomenon of snowfall. Based upon the principles of the triboelectric effect, in which electrical charge is generated after two materials come into contact with one another, the researchers’ new technology exploits the fact that snow particles carry a positive electrical
In what the Israeli media is calling a “world’s first,” scientists at Tel Aviv University have 3D printed a small heart using human tissue that includes vessels, collagen, and biological molecules – a breakthrough, according to Haaretz, that they hope could one day render organ donation obsolete. The technology is still many years out
Humanity could be on the verge of an unprecedented merging of human biology with advanced technology, fusing our thoughts and knowledge directly with the cloud in real-time – and this incredible turning point may be just decades away, scientists say. In a new research paper exploring what they call the ‘human brain/cloud interface’, scientists
Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and “inappropriate” messages inside “tens of thousands” of virtual-reality controllers, including “Big Brother is Watching” and “The Masons Were Here.” Nate Mitchell, the cofounder of Oculus, the Facebook-owned VR company, said on Twitter on Friday that the company inadvertently printed some unusual messages in its Touch controllers, handheld devices for
We are just days away from the final season of Game of Thrones, and the predictions just keep rolling in. Using artificial intelligence, students at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now put in their own two cents. During a recent seminar, these budding computer scientists created an algorithm that predicts which characters
A new type of air filter has the potential to work faster, cheaper and better than any other, killing virtually all airborne bacteria and viruses in a fraction of a second. It’s a germaphobes dream, and a bullish weapon against the spread of infectious diseases, some of which, like measles, can remain suspended in the air
A team of scientists says they’ve built a quantum computer that generates a superposition of several possible futures the computer could experience. The research, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, describes how this quantum system could help futuristic artificial intelligence learn much faster than it can today – and it could mean quantum computers are finally
One of the scariest – and most troubling – iPhone problems is when your phone will not charge. But don’t panic. There are some fairly mundane reasons why this might happen, and they’re generally easy to solve. On the other hand, keep in mind that to do something even as simple as charge your
What once seemed like the moonshot vision of tech billionaires and idealistic architects could soon become a concrete solution to several of the world’s most pressing challenges. At a United Nations roundtable on Wednesday, a group of builders, engineers, and architects debuted a concept for an affordable floating city. Unlike instances in the past
Scientists have figured out how to genetically alter bacteria to churn out super-strong spider silk. Pound for pound, spider silk is much stronger than steel, but farming spiders is incredibly inefficient, according to a press release – so finding a way to mass produce the material could lead to super-strong fabrics and perhaps even next-generation
Some want to keep a clean record for future employers while others are merely following their therapist’s orders. In any case, there are plenty of reasons to take a break from Facebook. Before you do something you might regret, though, remember there is a way to deactivate your account without deleting it for good.
A prolific cybersecurity research firm says it has managed to make Tesla’s self-driving feature veer off course by sticking three small stickers on the road pavement. Keen Lab, a two-time honoree of Tesla’s “bug bounty” hall of fame program, said in a research paper on Saturday that it found two ways to trick Autopilot’s lane
A team from NASA and MIT has created a new type of airplane wing — and it could make air travel far more efficient. In a paper published in the journal Smart Materials and Structures on Monday, the researchers describe how they built an airplane wing from hundreds of identical, lightweight cube-like structures, all bolted
It’s difficult to remember a time when Google did not oversee, organize and mine every aspect of our existence, but in 2004, its new email service seemed so powerful that it couldn’t be real. Gmail’s announced features were mind-bending: a gigabyte’s worth of storage that blew away other services by 100 times. And it
Humans will always make the final decision on whether armed robots can shoot, according to a statement by the US Department of Defense. Their clarification comes amid fears about a new advanced targeting system, known as ATLAS, that will use artificial intelligence in combat vehicles to target and execute threats. While the public may
If you’ve ever made a somewhat rash online purchase after a couple of drinks then you’re not alone – a new survey says nearly 4 in 5 people who consume alcohol have shopped on the web while intoxicated. These purchases add up too, with US$444 the average annual spend for a drunk shopper, and
The founder of MoviePass is back, and this time he’s not messing around. MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes has a new startup called PreShow, and it’s using a business model straight out of A Clockwork Orange: The company’s new app helps you score free movie tickets — as long as you sit through 15 to 20
Kalashnikov’s AK-47 represents a timeless design and an instantly recognisable icon of warfare, but one thing it cannot do is fly. But Russian arms maker Almaz-Antey Business Insider, 2018 on what looks like a literal flying AK-47 drone. Images filed with the patent show a minimalist drone formed around a Kalashnikov-style rifle, and were
A chemical reaction you learned about in middle school could help solve the energy crisis. Running an electrical current through water splits it into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter of which can be used as a reliable, zero-emission fuel source. In the past, the process of purifying water beforehand was too energy intensive for
Jak Wilmot, the co-founder of Atlanta-based VR content studioDisrupt VR, spent 168 consecutive hours in a VR headset – that’s a full week – pent up in his apartment. “This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but welcome to a week in the future,” he said in a video about the experiment.
By combining math with 3D printing, researchers from Boston University have created a new material that seemingly defies logic: light and air have no trouble passing through it — but sound cannot. “The idea is that we can now mathematically design an object that can block the sounds of anything,” researcher Xin Zhang said
Facebook just had a very bad day. Facebook, including Messenger, and Instagram users across North America experienced outages for most of Wednesday, starting in the afternoon and ending late the same night. Third party outage sites suggested it affected users across the entire globe. The media reported it was perhaps the longest interruption ever
When a child first does something without being asked, their parents usually celebrate. Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) are having that moment right now. The team claims to have created the first AI-controlled robotic limb that can learn how to walk without being explicitly programmed to do so. The algorithm they
A California family is outraged that a doctor told their elderly relative his lungs were failing and he was going to die imminently – via a telepresence robot. “You might not make it home,” the doctor at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center told the patient, according to local television channel KTVU, which broke the story.
There’s a little-known feature built into your iPhone that keeps a history of everywhere you’ve been – and how many times you’ve been there. This “Significant Locations” list can be found in your settings, but it’s rather hard to find, whether purposeful or not. Apple tracks and stores where you’ve been and how often