What will be the role of humans in a world of intelligent robots? | Letters

Further automation of the retail sector raises issues far beyond the needless luxuries of choice, convenience and speed of delivery (Amazon to test drone deliveries in British skies, 27 July). I wonder if the “demand” for stuff to be delivered by robot to our door within 30 minutes of ordering really exists – is modern satisfaction really that shallow? But in an increasingly automated society, where are the wages to buy these goods going to come from?

While Brexit showed that politicians were detached from the anger of the dispossessed of this country, where are they on the automation of yet more of the jobs that so many people depend on? It seems they are keen to race headlong into a very misty future.

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via What will be the role of humans in a world of intelligent robots? | Letters

Old planets always get too hot or cold for life in the end

Searching for alien life on planets orbiting older stars may be fruitless - they nearly always lose their liquid water with time
via Old planets always get too hot or cold for life in the end

How drones are learning to find their own way in the world

From delivering pizzas to tracking whales, we have high hopes for drones. Here are three advances that will help them live up to the buzz
via How drones are learning to find their own way in the world

We’re on the cusp of a gene editing revolution, are we ready?

Beware the backlash, if fast-moving technologies for editing rogue genes outpace public acceptance
via We’re on the cusp of a gene editing revolution, are we ready?

First locally transmitted Zika case confirmed in continental US

Four people have been infected with the virus from mosquitoes in Florida, near Miami. It's the first time that Zika has been spread in the US by local mosquitoes, rather than by travel
via First locally transmitted Zika case confirmed in continental US

Video Friday: Artificial Evolution, Legged Machines, and Delivery Robots in Silicon Valley



Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: Artificial Evolution, Legged Machines, and Delivery Robots in Silicon Valley

Ocean-cleaning sea bins will gobble up plastic waste to recycle

Bins designed to suck up debris floating on the sea are in the final stages of testing, shame they won’t make it to Rio in time to clean up dirty waters at the Olympics
via Ocean-cleaning sea bins will gobble up plastic waste to recycle

Now you see me: true invisibility cloak impossible to build

New calculations say an invisibility cloak would only work for a tiny sliver of light, and would make all other wavelengths grow brighter
via Now you see me: true invisibility cloak impossible to build

Why Hinkley Point is a nuclear folly of Titanic proportions

The French firm EDF has approved plans for a massive nuclear reactor in the UK, but the UK government is hesitating. Let’s hope it scuppers the project, says Michael Le Page
via Why Hinkley Point is a nuclear folly of Titanic proportions

How robot swarms are learning to find what we lose at sea

As we perfect wireless underwater communication, robots will criss-cross the abyss finding everything from lost planes to chemical leaks
via How robot swarms are learning to find what we lose at sea

Autoimmune diseases may be side effect of a strong immune system

We finally have evidence from human studies that disorders like lupus could be a by-product of being well protected against other diseases
via Autoimmune diseases may be side effect of a strong immune system

Feedback: Why the UK will be in a pickle this summer

Plus karmic justice sought for crystal thief, attack of the mall drones, what tree huggers are up to, the animal that smells of cheap cologne, and more
via Feedback: Why the UK will be in a pickle this summer

Smarter every day: Increasing intelligence changed how we see IQ

Identical twins raised apart have similar IQ – so intelligence is all about genes? Not so, said James Flynn. His latest book picks apart nature and nurture
via Smarter every day: Increasing intelligence changed how we see IQ

Deep-sea ecosystems still under threat despite UN protection

Some of the world's most hidden but precious places are still not being adequately protected from fishing trawlers, despite 10 years of UN resolutions to protect them
via Deep-sea ecosystems still under threat despite UN protection

Inbreeding has destroyed the English bulldog’s genetic diversity

Decades of extreme selection and inbreeding mean there is little genetic variation left to save the English bulldog from its many severe health problems
via Inbreeding has destroyed the English bulldog’s genetic diversity

Winograd Schema Challenge Results: AI Common Sense Still a Problem, For Now



A Turing Test alternative, the Winograd Schema Challenge aims to determine how well AI handles common sense reasoning
via Winograd Schema Challenge Results: AI Common Sense Still a Problem, For Now

Bacteria made to turn sewage into clean water – and electricity

A self-powered waste water treatment plant using microbes has just passed its biggest test, bringing household-level water recycling a step closer
via Bacteria made to turn sewage into clean water – and electricity

Is tech racist? The fight back against digital discrimination

From soap dispensers that don't recognise black skin, to algorithms that discriminate and #airbnbwhileblack, some popular tech has a race problem we need to address
via Is tech racist? The fight back against digital discrimination

Fossil tumour is oldest evidence of human cancer discovered yet

A 1.7 million year-old ancient human foot bone found in South Africa shows signs of osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer
via Fossil tumour is oldest evidence of human cancer discovered yet

Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface

Kate Ravilious takes an 8-minute lift ride to an underground lab in Yorkshire, UK, doing research that could help NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission find life
via Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface

Save the world’s largest living thing: build a fence around it

The most massive organism on Earth lives in Utah, and it is in danger of being eaten to death. The answer might simply be to build a fence around it
via Save the world’s largest living thing: build a fence around it

Detective gulls sniff out illegally dumped trash from the skies

Attracted by the smell of ripe organic waste, seagulls fitted with GPS trackers led scientists to hard-to-spot illegal dumping sites
via Detective gulls sniff out illegally dumped trash from the skies

Crows are first animals spotted using tools to carry objects

Brainy New Caledonian crows have figured out how to carry objects too large to move with their beaks by using a stick
via Crows are first animals spotted using tools to carry objects

Theresa May reassures UK scientists in wake of Brexit fears

In a letter addressed to the Royal Society and its former president Paul Nurse, the prime minister says that the government’s 'ongoing commitment to science and research remains steadfast'.
via Theresa May reassures UK scientists in wake of Brexit fears

Vast undersea eruption revealed by wiring up a sea-floor volcano

Seventy per cent of volcanic activity goes on underwater. Now we’ve wrapped one Pacific volcano in cables to find out what makes it tick
via Vast undersea eruption revealed by wiring up a sea-floor volcano

CRISPR genome editing could save sight by tweaking DNA

A test of the CRISPR technique in mice shows that it has real promise for treating hereditary eye diseases, although several hurdles remain
via CRISPR genome editing could save sight by tweaking DNA

Aerial pictures reveal England’s ancient archaeological sites

Photography from light aircraft is allowing archaeologists to uncover the intricate details of buried historic sites
via Aerial pictures reveal England’s ancient archaeological sites

Desk job death risk is eliminated by an hour’s walk or cycle

People who spend eight or more hours sitting a day are 60 per cent more likely to die prematurely – but doing moderate exercise counteracts this risk
via Desk job death risk is eliminated by an hour’s walk or cycle

How drones are learning to find their own way in the world

From delivering pizzas to tracking whales, we have high hopes for drones. Here are three advances that will help them live up to the buzz
via How drones are learning to find their own way in the world

Spiky new ant species is named after Game of Thrones dragons

Two newly named species of ant from New Guinea have big spines behind their necks that are full of muscle, which could help supporting their giant heads
via Spiky new ant species is named after Game of Thrones dragons

Red wolf may lose endangered status because it’s just a hybrid

Not being a recognisable species could lose the red wolf its conservation status, despite being the only carrier of genes from extinct southern grey wolves
via Red wolf may lose endangered status because it’s just a hybrid

Squishy cubes with a secret smile could be used for prosthetics

A rubber metamaterial that reveals hidden patterns when squashed could help build artificial limbs that move in the right direction
via Squishy cubes with a secret smile could be used for prosthetics

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is making its atmosphere hotter

A mysterious hot spot in Jupiter's atmosphere may be caused by waves linked to its most famous feature
via Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is making its atmosphere hotter

Universal ancestor of all life on Earth was only half alive

The identification of genes likely to belong to the common ancestor of life suggests its biochemistry was incomplete, forcing it to cling to undersea vents
via Universal ancestor of all life on Earth was only half alive

Legal ketone sports supplement pushes athletes further, faster

When rowers and cyclists consumed a supplement drink, they moved faster, broke world records, and beat many of their personal bests
via Legal ketone sports supplement pushes athletes further, faster

The White House talks AI, but does it understand?

Recent White House workshops reveal the government's anxiety and unease over placing decisions in the hands of algorithms, says Brendan Byrne
via The White House talks AI, but does it understand?

Torn-apart galaxy may be exacting revenge on the Milky Way

The satellite Sagittarius dwarf galaxy may have been massive enough to warp the disc of our galaxy – payback for the fact the Milky Way is ripping it apart
via Torn-apart galaxy may be exacting revenge on the Milky Way

Old planets always get too hot or cold for life in the end

Searching for alien life on planets orbiting older stars may be fruitless - they nearly always lose their liquid water with time
via Old planets always get too hot or cold for life in the end

Unprecedented Alzheimer’s drug slows disease by 80 per cent

A drug that targets tau tangles in the brain has produced strong results in a large clinical trial, slowing the progression of the disease in hundreds of people
via Unprecedented Alzheimer’s drug slows disease by 80 per cent

Hammerhead sharks roll over and swim sideways to save energy

Uniquely among sharks, the great hammerhead has an unusually long dorsal fin that appears to make it more efficient for it to swim rolled over
via Hammerhead sharks roll over and swim sideways to save energy

You are junk: Why it’s not your genes that make you human

Genes make proteins make us – that was the received wisdom. But from big brains to opposable thumbs, some of our signature traits could come from elsewhere
via You are junk: Why it’s not your genes that make you human

Orangutan learns to mimic human conversation for the first time

‘Rocky’ the ginger ape has astonished experts by producing sounds similar to words, a feat that might help us study the evolutionary origins of human speech
via Orangutan learns to mimic human conversation for the first time

Dr Robot will see you soon – cartoon

Replacing surgical staff with automated technologies is becoming a more realistic prospect

Continue reading...
via Dr Robot will see you soon – cartoon

Controversial pesticides may be lowering the sperm count of bees

Widely used neonicotinoid pesticides may harm the fertility and viability of male honeybees, contributing to the collapse of bee populations
via Controversial pesticides may be lowering the sperm count of bees

Amazon to Test Delivery Drone Autonomy in the U.K.



It's not working yet in the United States, so why not move autonomous delivery to the U.K. and hope for better luck?
via Amazon to Test Delivery Drone Autonomy in the U.K.

Deepest-ever reef survey by divers discovers new fish species

Two marine biologists beat the record for the deepest underwater survey carried out by human divers, investigating a little-studied ecosystem full of new species
via Deepest-ever reef survey by divers discovers new fish species

The Future of Robotic Surgery: Snake-Like Bots That Glide Into Orifices



But don't expect these robots to steer themselves through the body any time soon
via The Future of Robotic Surgery: Snake-Like Bots That Glide Into Orifices

Bye bye Philae! Comet team to lose touch with lander for good

The intrepid comet lander is finally going quiet - but you will have a chance to pay your respects
via Bye bye Philae! Comet team to lose touch with lander for good

Missing craters on Ceres may have been smoothed by a mud facial

Ceres has surprisingly few large craters for a dwarf planet located in an asteroid belt, but its muddy composition could have wiped away the biggest impacts
via Missing craters on Ceres may have been smoothed by a mud facial

Dolly the sheep’s poor health may not have been due to cloning

Four sheep cloned from the same animal as Dolly are all in good health at the age of 9, suggesting Dolly’s osteoarthritis may not have been caused by cloning
via Dolly the sheep’s poor health may not have been due to cloning

New Zealand to wipe out all rats as part of alien eradication

The country’s prime minister calls the NZ$28 million venture to wipe out rats, stoats and possums by 2050 the most ambitious conservation project ever attempted
via New Zealand to wipe out all rats as part of alien eradication

Whooping crane recovery puts human chick ‘parents’ out of a job

Humans in costume reared captive chicks and flew in light aircraft to guide the cranes' migration, but now the population has grown it's back to nature's way
via Whooping crane recovery puts human chick ‘parents’ out of a job

I was there at Ebola’s bloody beginning

Forty years ago, Peter Piot raced to the scene of an outbreak of an unknown deadly disease. What he discovered gave him his life's purpose
via I was there at Ebola’s bloody beginning

Amazon to begin UK delivery drone trials to make them safer

The firm wants to deliver parcels to private addresses over a short distance as part of its Prime Air initiative - now it will get the chance to test its technology
via Amazon to begin UK delivery drone trials to make them safer

Storks dine out on giant landfill sites instead of migrating

White storks traditionally make the annual epic migration from Europe to West Africa - but some have wised up to the fact that there’s an easy meal much closer to home
via Storks dine out on giant landfill sites instead of migrating

US and UK fall behind in largest ever global study of height

While English-speaking countries have high rates of obesity, their citizens are nowhere near as tall as the average heights of the Netherlands and Latvia
via US and UK fall behind in largest ever global study of height

Single-Actuator Wave Robot Zips Around with High Speed Wiggles



This could be the first robot ever to do the worm
via Single-Actuator Wave Robot Zips Around with High Speed Wiggles

Revealed: the teenage brain upgrades that occur before adulthood

Editing, pruning and strengthening of neuron connections in adolescent brains makes for sleeker performance – but errors may cause schizophrenia
via Revealed: the teenage brain upgrades that occur before adulthood

Visit MetaWorld – the virtual world that exists after you leave

MetaWorld is a VR setting designed for hanging out with other people – or playing chess, hot-air ballooning and meditating. Chris Baraniuk steps inside
via Visit MetaWorld – the virtual world that exists after you leave

Six science fiction novels you should be reading

This year's crop of Arthur C. Clarke award hopefuls will grip you and not let go
via Six science fiction novels you should be reading

Astronauts prepare for Mars mission at the bottom of the sea

An international crew of astronauts dove to the Aquarius Reef Base to try out technologies for future journeys to Mars
via Astronauts prepare for Mars mission at the bottom of the sea

Neanderthal skulls and brains may have developed just like ours

The way that skull shape changed as Neanderthals grew up suggests that they were just as smart as us, although it's still a contentious finding
via Neanderthal skulls and brains may have developed just like ours

Universal ancestor of all life on Earth was only half alive

The identification of genes likely to belong to the common ancestor of life suggests its biochemistry was incomplete, forcing it to cling to undersea vents
via Universal ancestor of all life on Earth was only half alive

Mystery ancient human ancestor found in Australasian family tree

A genome analysis suggests that Asian and Pacific human populations share a single origin and their ancestors might have bred with Homo erectus
via Mystery ancient human ancestor found in Australasian family tree

Most powerful obesity gene yet boosts risk by 40 per cent

A genetic variant common among people in Samoa may have evolved to support their ancestors on long island voyages in the South Pacific
via Most powerful obesity gene yet boosts risk by 40 per cent

Zika epidemic could burn out in 3 years but return in a decade

Herd immunity could drive the Zika epidemic in South and Central America to an end, but some 93 million people could be infected before then
via Zika epidemic could burn out in 3 years but return in a decade

We’re discovering new ways to detect if someone is lying

Eye contact and language cues really can give away whether a person is telling a fib - but we usually aren’t much better at guessing than if we just flipped a coin
via We’re discovering new ways to detect if someone is lying

California’s fires force evacuation of people and exotic animals

The wildfires have destroyed at least 18 houses in northern Los Angeles and a movie set so far
via California’s fires force evacuation of people and exotic animals

We took his-and-hers fertility tests – this is what it was like

Should couples curious to know the implications of postponing parenthood take a fertility test? Jessica Hamzelou and her boyfriend tried one to find out
via We took his-and-hers fertility tests – this is what it was like

Dingo cannibalism makes for a dog-eat-dog world in Australia

Australia’s wild dogs have been caught on camera for the first time savaging dead dingoes, a rare case of cannibalism unprovoked by hunger
via Dingo cannibalism makes for a dog-eat-dog world in Australia

Ghastly weather: What Frankenstein can tell us on climate change

How should we respond to our ever-more-stormy planet? Read the Romantics, says Boyd Tonkin
via Ghastly weather: What Frankenstein can tell us on climate change

Planet Nine may have tilted entire solar system except the sun

The sun's spin isn't totally upright compared with the orbits of the planets. Could this be because a jealous, distant world shoved its siblings?
via Planet Nine may have tilted entire solar system except the sun

Why your NHS surgeon could be a robot in the future

Day-to-day interactions between humans and machines may well become commonplace in hospitals within a decade

Long waiting times, staff shortages, exorbitant agency fees, doctors’ working hours: it’s no secret that the NHS is facing a labour crisis. Post-Brexit it could very well get worse, with the NHS Confederation now warning of a reluctance by EU doctors and nurses to come and work in the UK.

Difficult times call for radical measures. So, with an estimated staff shortfall of 50,000 for the NHS in England, is it time to start thinking seriously about the mass adoption of robotics and other automated technologies in the health service?

Working with automated technology can improve efficiency and thus allow personnel to use their skills to greater effect

Related: How air pollution affects your health - infographic

Continue reading...
via Why your NHS surgeon could be a robot in the future

A field guide to technology gone feral

Tech systems are so interwoven that even if we could understand their complexity, they change too fast to keep up. We have to study them like an ecology, says a new book
via A field guide to technology gone feral

Video Friday: BratWurst Bot, Facebook Drone, and Powerline Ape



Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: BratWurst Bot, Facebook Drone, and Powerline Ape

Einstein’s clock: The doomed black hole to set your watch by

Every 12 years, a black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy completes an orbit around an even bigger black hole, marking this with a violent outburst
via Einstein’s clock: The doomed black hole to set your watch by

Dragnet to find Turkey coup plotters is harming academic freedom

The autonomy of research and academic institutions in Turkey has long been under attack but is now facing an existential threat, says Caghan Kizil
via Dragnet to find Turkey coup plotters is harming academic freedom

Sanders turns the heat up to make Clinton a real climate champ

The Democrats' platform will be tougher on climate change than Hillary Clinton might like, a welcome outcome of Bernie Sanders' popularity, says Matthew Nisbet
via Sanders turns the heat up to make Clinton a real climate champ

No more space race rhetoric: it’s not just about the US any more

Increasingly nationalistic language around space exploration is distracting us from science that we can only do collaboratively, says Lisa Grossman
via No more space race rhetoric: it’s not just about the US any more

Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface

Kate Ravilious takes an 8-minute lift ride to an underground lab in Yorkshire, UK, doing research that could help NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission find life
via Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface

Seismic shift: Can we cloak cities from earthquakes?

From underground musical pipes to swaying metal rods and strategically planted trees, these megaprojects could conquer earthquakes and tame tsunamis
via Seismic shift: Can we cloak cities from earthquakes?

Feedback: Weak-handed Millennials struggling to get a grip

Plus why a dog bowl makes a great hat, patriotic Italian scientists rehabilitate pasta, the war on skin, chemical-free farming with Cerys Matthews and more
via Feedback: Weak-handed Millennials struggling to get a grip

Who should we believe when it comes to fertility?

Difficult choices over when to start a family are not made any easier by conflicting signals from doctors and fertility clinics
via Who should we believe when it comes to fertility?

Cosmological conceits blossom under Finland’s midnight sun

Finland's first cosmologically minded art exhibition traces the fault line between our scientific understanding of the world and our love of it
via Cosmological conceits blossom under Finland’s midnight sun

Alcohol linked to at least seven cancers – not just liver cancer

The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of cancers like breast and colon cancer. But research suggests that there is no "safe" level of consumption
via Alcohol linked to at least seven cancers – not just liver cancer

Double hand transplant carried out in the UK for first time

Chris King has become the first person in the UK to receive two hand transplants, in an operation that took eight surgeons 12 hours to complete
via Double hand transplant carried out in the UK for first time

AI needs oversight – time to set standards for autonomous tech

Questions are being asked about the safety of autonomous systems in cars, robots and drones. We need a regulator for the AI era, says Paul Marks
via AI needs oversight – time to set standards for autonomous tech

IAM Robotics Takes on Automated Warehouse Picking



A Pittsburgh startup wants to build a robot that can pick items off of shelves, the holy grail of warehouse fulfillment
via IAM Robotics Takes on Automated Warehouse Picking

Meet the robot champion being house-trained in a Korean lab

What's next for the winner of the world's toughest robot challenge? Hal Hodson catches up with last year's DARPA Challenge star
via Meet the robot champion being house-trained in a Korean lab

Mars rover Curiosity gets license to shoot its laser at will

After nearly four years on the Red Planet, the Curiosity rover has received an upgrade from NASA allowing it to use its ChemCam laser without human intervention
via Mars rover Curiosity gets license to shoot its laser at will

Forest flying takes drone swarms to places once off limits

For drone swarms, forests are the ultimate challenge. Avoiding trees and shrubs while keeping formation shows they could tackle almost any obstacle course
via Forest flying takes drone swarms to places once off limits

City slicker monkeys are overweight and have high cholesterol

Urban living means plentiful fruit trees and many sugary snacks for Colombia’s tamarin monkeys – but they pay the price for this unhealthy diet
via City slicker monkeys are overweight and have high cholesterol

Hubble telescope looks back in time to see far-off galaxies

NASA's greatest telescope has turned its eye on a distant patch of the universe, revealing a gaggle of galaxies, some of which date back to 1 billion years after the big bang
via Hubble telescope looks back in time to see far-off galaxies

Brain training game for troops tackles effects of combat trauma

The Israeli army has announced that by the end of the year its soldiers will play a game designed to prevent PTSD as part of their combat training
via Brain training game for troops tackles effects of combat trauma

Eating each other’s faeces helps earwig young survive famine

The odd feeding behaviour may even help keep the young insects together in a primitive form of social living
via Eating each other’s faeces helps earwig young survive famine

Fertility facts: How late can you leave it to have a baby?

You want kids, just not yet. So here’s how to work out when to start trying – and whether you should take a fertility test
via Fertility facts: How late can you leave it to have a baby?

Huge boom in teen HIV cases could cause epidemic to spiral

Many teens with HIV in South Africa have had the virus all their lives. Initiatives are now springing into action to help prevent further teen infections
via Huge boom in teen HIV cases could cause epidemic to spiral

Dark matter no-show puts favoured particles on death row

The LUX experiment has seen no sign of WIMPs, the leading candidate for dark matter. That means the elusive particles are running out of hiding places
via Dark matter no-show puts favoured particles on death row

Should people who are not terminally ill have the right to die?

The debate around extending assisted suicide to people who experience unbearable mental suffering, rather than physical suffering, is an ethical minefield
via Should people who are not terminally ill have the right to die?

The long scientific voyage of Tudor warship the Mary Rose

Henry VIII’s favourite warship is on view again, and it’s been a long battle to get to a point where people can breathe the same air as the ship’s ancient timbers
via The long scientific voyage of Tudor warship the Mary Rose

Water-bottle bees cool the hive after their overheated mates beg

After a hot day, some honeybees become living water tanks – they store water in their gut in anticipation of demand from their sisters
via Water-bottle bees cool the hive after their overheated mates beg

Baidu uses millions of users’ location data to make predictions

The Chinese search giant has analysed vast amounts of phone location data to monitor employment, consumer behaviour, and even Apple sales
via Baidu uses millions of users’ location data to make predictions

Let’s ditch the idea that only home-cooked food is good for kids

Kids' ready meals fared well compared with home-cooked in a new study - another reason to stop shaming mums who buy convenience foods, says Anthony Warner
via Let’s ditch the idea that only home-cooked food is good for kids

Self-destructing bacteria are engineered to kill cancer cells

Harnessing Salmonella strains that can live without oxygen could provide a much-needed weapon against the parts of a tumour that are hardest to attack
via Self-destructing bacteria are engineered to kill cancer cells

Error fix for long-lived qubits brings quantum computers nearer

For the first time, researchers are able to extend the lifetime of a quantum bit, or qubit, using error correction – an essential step to useful quantum computers
via Error fix for long-lived qubits brings quantum computers nearer

One part of Antarctica has been cooling since 1998 – here’s why

The once fast-warming Antarctic Peninsula has cooled over the past 18 years thanks to shifting winds – but global warming will soon override their effect
via One part of Antarctica has been cooling since 1998 – here’s why

Stitching a drone’s view of the world into 3D maps as it flies

Combining multiple images from a drone-mounted camera gives highly detailed models of the ground – and this can now be done in real time
via Stitching a drone’s view of the world into 3D maps as it flies

Menopause reversal restores periods and produces fertile eggs

Women who have already passed through the menopause may be able to have children following a blood treatment usually used to heal wounds
via Menopause reversal restores periods and produces fertile eggs

Internet 3.0: How we take back control from the giants

Monster companies run the internet and gorge on our data. But what if we abolished the server farms and ran it ourselves?
via Internet 3.0: How we take back control from the giants

First superatom molecules pave way for new breed of electronics

Sets of superatoms have been linked up to make molecules for the first time – these could be the building blocks for new kinds of magnetic or conductive materials
via First superatom molecules pave way for new breed of electronics

Too much light weakens bones and changes immune system

Research in mice suggests that continuous exposure to light has wide-ranging effects on health, a worrying finding for people who do shift work
via Too much light weakens bones and changes immune system

UK’s £1 billion cut to carbon storage could cost £30 billion

The government cancelled its support for carbon capture and storage technology last year, without which, the costs of meeting its climate targets will skyrocket
via UK’s £1 billion cut to carbon storage could cost £30 billion

Boozy primates seek out nectar with the highest alcohol content

Aye-ayes and a slow loris preferred artificial nectar with more booze in lab tests, suggesting that tippling is an ancient strategy for primates
via Boozy primates seek out nectar with the highest alcohol content

Dingo cannibalism makes for a dog-eat-dog world in Australia

Australia’s wild dogs have been caught on camera for the first time savaging dead dingoes, a rare case of cannibalism unprovoked by hunger
via Dingo cannibalism makes for a dog-eat-dog world in Australia

Planet Nine may have tilted entire solar system except the sun

The sun's spin isn't totally upright compared with the orbits of the planets. Could this be because a jealous, distant world shoved its siblings?
via Planet Nine may have tilted entire solar system except the sun

Meet the philosopher ducklings that indulge in abstract thought

Unexpectedly, ducklings recognise and remember relationships between “same” or “different” objects and colours, showing they can grasp abstract concepts
via Meet the philosopher ducklings that indulge in abstract thought

Fossils, islands and forests added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Designation of several new sites around the world as having outstanding natural value to humanity could aid conservation and bring in money from tourists
via Fossils, islands and forests added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Do more now to deliver on climate promises, world leaders told

The Elders, a group of prominent dignitaries, have issued a statement calling on governments to stop backtracking on the Paris summit's commitments
via Do more now to deliver on climate promises, world leaders told

Wheeled Robot With Soft Rotary Motors Is 100% Squishy



This soft robot demonstrates a new kind of soft locomotion not found in nature
via Wheeled Robot With Soft Rotary Motors Is 100% Squishy

Next-gen Mars orbiters to help human missions become more real

NASA has funded studies to investigate how new orbiter spacecraft can best serve a human ground crew on Mars for a potential mission in the 2020s
via Next-gen Mars orbiters to help human missions become more real

Humans decimating the diversity of life should worry us all

A global limit set for safe biodiversity loss may be a blunt tool, but we still need to worry about breaching it far and wide says Georgina Mace
via Humans decimating the diversity of life should worry us all

Optimism over cancer treatments should always be cautious

Efforts to turn everyday drugs into cancer treatments bring a glimmer of hope, but dangers of hype too
via Optimism over cancer treatments should always be cautious

Well-travelled chimps more likely to pick up tools and innovate

What makes some apes pick up tools and others not has perplexed scientists, but hunger brought on by travel appears to be a big motivator
via Well-travelled chimps more likely to pick up tools and innovate

The exotic animals that bankrolled the forgotten evolutionist

A Sulawesi hornbill is just one of 100,000 myriad animals that Alfred Russell Wallace collected to fund his research into the origin of species
via The exotic animals that bankrolled the forgotten evolutionist

Hummingbirds’ unique way of seeing prevents them from crashing

  Dare-devil fliers that can hover, fly backwards and go at more than 50 kilometres per hour rarely crash – here’s why  
via Hummingbirds’ unique way of seeing prevents them from crashing

How to expose a fake nuke without revealing what’s inside

Nuclear arms inspectors want to know that nations are dismantling real nuclear weapons, not decoys. Now there's a new way to verify that without revealing state secrets
via How to expose a fake nuke without revealing what’s inside

László Moholy-Nagy: Transmuting technology into art

Hungary’s László Moholy-Nagy pioneered the use of cutting-edge materials and technology in art. But what really mattered to him was investigation
via László Moholy-Nagy: Transmuting technology into art

Starving bald eagle chicks hint at ecosystem collapse in Florida

Florida Bay eagles feed their chicks much less food than birds in other regions, nest cameras reveal, suggesting the ecosystem doesn’t have enough of their prey
via Starving bald eagle chicks hint at ecosystem collapse in Florida

Russia engaged in ‘state-directed’ Olympic doping, finds probe

The results of a two-month investigation into Russia's tampering with samples will lead to further calls for the nation to be banned from the Rio Olympics
via Russia engaged in ‘state-directed’ Olympic doping, finds probe

Obese grandfathers pass on their susceptibility to junk food

Having an obese grandfather can make mice more likely to develop diabetes and other weight-related disorders, an effect that may be down to sperm epigenetics
via Obese grandfathers pass on their susceptibility to junk food

Thousands of fMRI brain studies in doubt due to software flaws

Historic software flaws could render thousands of fMRI studies inaccurate, but researchers failing to use the right statistical methods is a big problem too
via Thousands of fMRI brain studies in doubt due to software flaws

Why Tactile Intelligence Is the Future of Robotic Grasping

Better tactile capabilities, not just vision, will let robots grasp any object
via Why Tactile Intelligence Is the Future of Robotic Grasping

I help repurpose everyday drugs like aspirin to fight cancer

Specialist drugs are getting outwitted by cancer. Pan Pantziarka says a solution may be right under our noses
via I help repurpose everyday drugs like aspirin to fight cancer

SpaceX launches DNA sequencer and new docking port to the ISS

A Falcon 9 rocket has just blasted off NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching a Dragon capsule to the ISS before landing back on the ground
via SpaceX launches DNA sequencer and new docking port to the ISS

Einstein’s clock: The doomed black hole to set your watch by

Every 12 years, a black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy completes an orbit around an even bigger black hole, marking this with a violent outburst
via Einstein’s clock: The doomed black hole to set your watch by

How to become a citizen archaeologist tracking Stone Age Britons

On England’s cold shores, citizen archaeologists spot artefacts before tides sweep them away forever. Join in and you might change history, finds Joshua Howgego
via How to become a citizen archaeologist tracking Stone Age Britons

Jellyfish as you’ve never seen them – meet the underwater aliens

Immortal, boat-capsizing and jet propelled – jellyfish are among the strangest creatures in the sea. Here are some of the many faces of an animal we’re only beginning to understand
via Jellyfish as you’ve never seen them – meet the underwater aliens

Kiss of death marks young ant rivals for worker kill squad

Rather than killing youthful competitors themselves, some male ants get their nest-mates to do it for them
via Kiss of death marks young ant rivals for worker kill squad

There will be shrapnel: the return of Robot Wars

It was the 00s show where DIY robot fought to the death. Now MMA for machines back and we visited the set to watch the sparks fly

A city famous for its shipyards, Glasgow seems like an appropriate place to relaunch a scuttled franchise. Today, on the banks of the river Clyde, a huge rented warehouse echoes with a renewed chorus of heavy industry. The high-pitched whine of power tools, showers of sparks and the percussive donk of metal smashing against metal would be familiar to a retired welder. The same might not be said of the 500-strong crowd jabbing foam fingers in the air and lustily singing along to Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust.

Related: BBC's Robot Wars reboot to bring in more high-tech fighting machines

Related: Robot Wars… reactivate! It’s the perfect time for a new series

Continue reading...
via There will be shrapnel: the return of Robot Wars

Hololens augmented reality to foil hack attacks in factories

AR headsets help workers by letting them tap into skills they don't have, visually guiding them to solve physical problems using expertise from people who aren't there
via Hololens augmented reality to foil hack attacks in factories

Smarter police interviews could help reduce racial tension

Institutional racism happens one decision at a time. Improving police dispatcher training might help stop police officers making bad decisions based on race
via Smarter police interviews could help reduce racial tension

Mysterious swoosh caused by pulsars hugging companions close

A pair of dead stars give off bizarre radio signals, which could be the calling card of ultra-dense companions orbiting them at near the speed of light
via Mysterious swoosh caused by pulsars hugging companions close

Baby stars grow big and strong by eating their own burst bubbles

A new simulation suggests the most massive stars in the universe got so big by taking advantage of the same physics that makes mushroom clouds
via Baby stars grow big and strong by eating their own burst bubbles

Are humans still evolving? Growing evidence suggests we are

Natural selection was long thought over for humans, but new work relating education and reproductive success indicates it is still at work, says John Hawks
via Are humans still evolving? Growing evidence suggests we are

First evidence that GM mosquitoes reduce disease

A trial in Brazil suggests that the approach not only reduces the number of mosquitoes, it also reduces the number of people who get dengue
via First evidence that GM mosquitoes reduce disease

Video Friday: Robotic Telepresence, Pepper Helper, and a Long Journey

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: Robotic Telepresence, Pepper Helper, and a Long Journey

Are your sperm up to scratch? Phone microscope lets you check

A cheap clip-on microscope could spare some men a potentially embarrassing visit to a fertility clinic
via Are your sperm up to scratch? Phone microscope lets you check

What Theresa May’s new cabinet really means for climate change

There is no mention of climate change in the UK’s cabinet reshuffle, but new ministers may herald a positive change from David Cameron’s poor climate record
via What Theresa May’s new cabinet really means for climate change

Lung bacteria’s sense of touch tells them when to turn nasty

Pseudomonas bacteria decide to become virulent when they sense they are in contact with a surface - a finding that could help people with cystic fibrosis
via Lung bacteria’s sense of touch tells them when to turn nasty

Feedback: Things can only get better, claim UK politicians

Moving averages, quantum encryption, gay cures and terrorist toddlers – a leadership contest like no other. Plus Wangland, elephants in high heels, and more
via Feedback: Things can only get better, claim UK politicians

Meet the philosopher ducklings that indulge in abstract thought

Unexpectedly, ducklings recognise and remember relationships between “same” or “different” objects and colours, showing they can grasp abstract concepts
via Meet the philosopher ducklings that indulge in abstract thought

How inequality is poisoning the world – and how to end it

From spending habits, to notions about hard work, and even who should end up in jail, inequality infests our world – so argue three new books
via How inequality is poisoning the world – and how to end it

Saving the ozone layer is warming the planet but it can be fixed

We saved the ozone layer, but in doing so unleashed more global warming with the 1987 agreement to replace CFCs with HFCs. Now, we’re set to fix the problem
via Saving the ozone layer is warming the planet but it can be fixed

Donald Trump is bending reality to get into the American psyche

When politics is dominated by insults and fear, it taps into primitive value systems and minds struggling with a fast-changing world, says James Hoggan
via Donald Trump is bending reality to get into the American psyche

Too much light weakens bones and changes immune system

Research in mice suggests that continuous exposure to light has wide-ranging effects on health, a worrying finding for people who do shift work
via Too much light weakens bones and changes immune system

Largest-ever map of 1.2 million galaxies measures dark energy

A decade-long survey of galaxies in the universe has revealed the crispest measurements yet of how dark energy drives the expansion fo the universe
via Largest-ever map of 1.2 million galaxies measures dark energy

Seven ways to skin Schrödinger’s cat

Quantum physicists just can't agree on how to handle the fundamental uncertainty that apparently underpins reality. We round up their best attempts so far
via Seven ways to skin Schrödinger’s cat

Pokémon Go away: Who owns the augmented reality we play in?

Since hugely popular mobile game Pokémon Go launched, digital monsters have popped up in private homes, police stations and even Auschwitz – the law may need a rethink
via Pokémon Go away: Who owns the augmented reality we play in?

Five incredible things we know about Pluto since 2015’s fly-by

New Horizons buzzed by Pluto and its moons last July, giving us a front-row seat to see icy peaks, towering atmospheric haze, a kilometres-deep canyon and more
via Five incredible things we know about Pluto since 2015’s fly-by

SwagBot to Herd Cattle on Australian Ranches

Animals don't much like this spindly all-terrain robotic cowboy, but ranchers will love it
via SwagBot to Herd Cattle on Australian Ranches

Will AI’s bubble pop? Deep learning’s hype machine in overdrive

The hype around artificial intelligence is building – but we don't yet know if it will fulfil its potential, says Sally Adee
via Will AI’s bubble pop? Deep learning’s hype machine in overdrive

Gorillas may have evolved a way to beat a cheating berry plant

A "deceitful" West African plant makes super-sweet, but low-calorie berries to attract animals that disperse their seeds. Gorillas can see through the ploy – at least, that’s the theory
via Gorillas may have evolved a way to beat a cheating berry plant

Jellymageddon: Can we stop the rise of the jellyfish?

Acoustic shocks, electrocution, and robot shredders – extreme measures are being considered to tackle the increasing numbers of jellyfish in the oceans
via Jellymageddon: Can we stop the rise of the jellyfish?

Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers

The ancient tribes of the Eurasian steppes that helped lay the foundations of Europe might have initiated a cross-continental trade in cannabis
via Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers

Computer says no? Europeans can now challenge that decision

New European Union rules will allow ordinary people to challenge the algorithms that run our lives, but the sheer complexity of computing will be an obstacle
via Computer says no? Europeans can now challenge that decision

T. rex lookalike suggests that tiny arms developed for a purpose

A new species of dinosaur, Gualicho shinya, had tiny arms like T. rex despite coming from a separate continent, suggesting this feature evolved for a reason
via T. rex lookalike suggests that tiny arms developed for a purpose

Baby star illuminates icy wall between rocky planets and giants

A newborn star's fiery temper tantrum pushed its "snow line" far enough out that astronomers could spot it
via Baby star illuminates icy wall between rocky planets and giants

The musical harmonies you like depend on where you’re from

To Western ears, dissonant chords are harsh and jarring, but members of a native Amazonian society don’t judge them any worse than chords we find pleasing
via The musical harmonies you like depend on where you’re from

Graphene sheets open like a flower’s petals when poked

The unexpected discovery of self-folding abilities in graphene suggests we’re closer to making the single-atom sheets into useful electronic components
via Graphene sheets open like a flower’s petals when poked

Driverless cars learn from landscape pics before going off-road

Highly variable terrain makes off-road driving harder for robots, but training them to identify navigable ground in photos gives them a head start
via Driverless cars learn from landscape pics before going off-road

Win an amazing Sphero SPRK Edition robot

Five programmable Sphero SPRK Edition robots are up for grabs in this competition from New Scientist and Sphero
via Win an amazing Sphero SPRK Edition robot

Collapse: Has quantum theory’s greatest mystery been solved?

Our best theory of reality says things only become real when we look at them. Understanding how the universe came to be requires a better explanation
via Collapse: Has quantum theory’s greatest mystery been solved?

Too cute to lose: Saving the rarest mammal from extinction

How can we ensure that future generations will still hear the haunting dawn song of the gorgeous Hainan gibbon? Sam Turvey has a plan
via Too cute to lose: Saving the rarest mammal from extinction

Mystery of what sleep does to our brains may finally be solved

The purpose of sleep may be to weaken the new brain connections we form during the day, ensuring we have enough capacity to form more memories when we wake up
via Mystery of what sleep does to our brains may finally be solved

Why granny’s only robot will be a sex robot

We need home care bots far more than we need sex robots, but guess which one we're more likely to get
via Why granny’s only robot will be a sex robot

UK doctors may officially warn women of vaginal birth risks

Following a UK Supreme Court ruling in 2015, doctors are considering offering pregnant women official advice on the risks of vaginal birth as well as caesarean sections
via UK doctors may officially warn women of vaginal birth risks

Evolutionary forces are causing a boom in bad science

Evolutionary analysis suggests that the way researchers are rewarded, and the competitive environment they work in, are pushing them to do worse research
via Evolutionary forces are causing a boom in bad science

Milky Way’s bulge may have been formed by the galaxy buckling

The origin of the bump at the centre of many disc galaxies has long puzzled astronomers, but now there’s evidence it could be due to a cosmic kink
via Milky Way’s bulge may have been formed by the galaxy buckling

Tim Peake: Robots won’t replace me for 100 years

Fresh from his mission on the International Space Station, British ESA astronaut Tim Peake will be at New Scientist Live to talk about his time in space. Here’s a taster
via Tim Peake: Robots won’t replace me for 100 years

Cattle-herding robot Swagbot makes debut on Australian farms

The newest member of Australia’s farm robot fleet is able to herd cows, tow heavy trailers, and traverse rugged terrain
via Cattle-herding robot Swagbot makes debut on Australian farms

US could be set to tackle opioid painkiller epidemic at last

A bill intended to reduce prescription drug and heroin deaths could be approved by the US Senate this week, but may be hampered by inadequate funding
via US could be set to tackle opioid painkiller epidemic at last

Are you turning your child into a self-loving narcissist?

There’s a narcissism epidemic going on. Do your children think a little too much of themselves? Here’s how to tell what your parenting may be creating
via Are you turning your child into a self-loving narcissist?

DURUS Brings Human-Like Gait (and Fancy Shoes) to Hyper-Efficient Robots

A slick walking gait makes the DURUS humanoid robot even more efficient
via DURUS Brings Human-Like Gait (and Fancy Shoes) to Hyper-Efficient Robots

Hundreds of mystery human skulls sold on eBay for up to $5500

eBay has been forced to change its policy to shut down a lucrative market for skulls on the internet, with about two new posts on the site every day
via Hundreds of mystery human skulls sold on eBay for up to $5500

Never-before-seen sea creatures filmed in world’s deepest abyss

A mind-boggling variety of strange, unidentified living things has been spotted in the deep seas of the Mariana trench
via Never-before-seen sea creatures filmed in world’s deepest abyss

Watch the first ever footage of wild coral kissing and fighting

An underwater microscope is capturing videos of sea-floor shenanigans, such as coral turf wars and algae taking over bleached reefs, in never-before-seen detail
via Watch the first ever footage of wild coral kissing and fighting

Why do we sleep? Naps might free up space for learning more

The purpose of sleep may be to weaken the new brain connections we form during the day, ensuring we have enough capacity to form more memories when we wake up
via Why do we sleep? Naps might free up space for learning more

Genetically Engineered Rat Cells Make This Robot Stingray Swim

This fully controllable robotic ray is powered by a gold skeleton and light-activated cells
via Genetically Engineered Rat Cells Make This Robot Stingray Swim

Trick or tweet, or both? How social media is messing up politics

Misinformation that goes viral online could be undermining the democratic process. Is this something we can fix?
via Trick or tweet, or both? How social media is messing up politics

Toxic algal bloom triggers state of emergency in Florida

The 85-square-kilometre bloom of blue-green algae is putting people and wildlife at risk, and Florida’s governor has asked for it to be declared a federal emergency
via Toxic algal bloom triggers state of emergency in Florida

Nomad’s land: Journey into the rugged heart of the Sahara

The mountainous Tibesti holds clues to a verdant past – but terrain and politics have kept scientists out. Exclusive photos show what geologists found this year
via Nomad’s land: Journey into the rugged heart of the Sahara

Climate change may not be all bad for UK’s economy, report says

A government advisory body has called for urgent action to prepare for climate change risks, but has also highlighted opportunities
via Climate change may not be all bad for UK’s economy, report says

Silencing ‘Spider-Man gene’ makes flies stick to walls and die

Scientists have discovered a gene called spidey that regulates flies’ protective shield, without which they get stuck to walls
via Silencing ‘Spider-Man gene’ makes flies stick to walls and die

Trying to save ‘doomed’ species isn’t futile if we learn from it

Some argue we should focus conservation where it’s more likely to be a success, but saving extremely rare species will become a more common problem in the future
via Trying to save ‘doomed’ species isn’t futile if we learn from it

Shocking beauty: The unexpected charms of the high-voltage lab

The giant impulse generator and antique electrical components at the Technical University of Denmark are worthy of an art gallery
via Shocking beauty: The unexpected charms of the high-voltage lab

Dallas police chief says he received death threats after sniper shooting – video

David Brown says he received death threats directed at himself and his family ‘almost immediately after’ the fatal shooting of five police officers by Micah Johnson. The Dallas police chief says the use of a Northrop Grumman tactical robot to kill the gunman wasn’t an ethical dilemma for him and he would ‘do it again to save our officers’ lives’

Continue reading...
via Dallas police chief says he received death threats after sniper shooting – video

Resurrected radio dish could guide GPS on the moon

Two spaceflight companies want guide satellites in lunar orbit using the giant satellite dish that brought Britain its first TV images
via Resurrected radio dish could guide GPS on the moon

Soil organisms alone can determine which plants grow where

The living communities under the land can determine what kinds of plants thrive about the ground – and giving “soil shots” to land can shape its restoration
via Soil organisms alone can determine which plants grow where

Setbacks force HIV researchers to focus on remission, not cures

A series of experimental setbacks have knocked hopes of ridding people of HIV permanently, with researchers now hoping for improved remission
via Setbacks force HIV researchers to focus on remission, not cures

Anki to Release Impressive Feature-Packed SDK for Cozmo Robot

Cozmo's SDK offers access to some surprisingly sophisticated features on this little robot
via Anki to Release Impressive Feature-Packed SDK for Cozmo Robot

Capuchin monkeys may have taught us how to eat cashew nuts

Stones found in Brazil seem to be nutcrackers used by monkeys hundreds of years ago, hinting that human settlers could have copied them to enjoy the nuts
via Capuchin monkeys may have taught us how to eat cashew nuts

Next PM Theresa May often demands the scientifically impossible

Theresa May is set to become leader of the Conservative party and thus UK prime minister on Wednesday, but her record on science and technology issues is poor
via Next PM Theresa May often demands the scientifically impossible

Pomegranate by-product boosts muscles and may fight ageing

Urolithin A makes worms live longer and mice run further, and may be the first chemical discovered that can improve the quality of ageing muscle
via Pomegranate by-product boosts muscles and may fight ageing

Do androids dream of aesthetic creep? Hail the robots of post-human art

Goshka Macuga’s uncanny android is just the latest in an army of artist’s robots that began invading 100 years ago with one question: what is it to be human?

The androids have arrived, at least a century after modern art prophesied them. Artificial humans are advancing from the screens and pages of science fiction into our art galleries to look their flesh and blood cousins eerily in the eye.

Artist Goshka Macuga, shortlisted for the Turner prize in 2008, has created a talking android for her latest exhibition at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin. It has black hair and bushy beard and talks philosophy: an intellectualtake on the Action Man toys I used to play with as a child. Macuga’s robot has all the spooky uncanniness of a synthetic person with a realistically moulded face and bionic arms. Most robots have futuristic names, or cosy ones to suggest they are cute and friendly. Macuga’s creation is called To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll.

Continue reading...
via Do androids dream of aesthetic creep? Hail the robots of post-human art

Water waves travel back in time to retrace their ripples

Researchers have discovered that jolting waves can send them rippling back to where they came from like a movie in reverse
via Water waves travel back in time to retrace their ripples

Our universe could be reborn as a bouncing baby cosmos

A new model shows how the universe could survive a "big bounce" rather than a big bang, without the need for complex new physics
via Our universe could be reborn as a bouncing baby cosmos

Tesla Autopilot Crash: Why We Should Worry About a Single Death

Elon Musk says we should focus on the thousands of lives that could be saved by robot cars, but ethics is more than math
via Tesla Autopilot Crash: Why We Should Worry About a Single Death

Evolutionary forces are causing a boom in bad science

Evolutionary analysis suggests that the way researchers are rewarded, and the competitive environment they work in, are pushing them to do worse research
via Evolutionary forces are causing a boom in bad science

Should the Police Have Robot Suicide-Bombers?

Weaponized police robots could change the character of law enforcement and require a broader debate
via Should the Police Have Robot Suicide-Bombers?

How to bring out your best to beat narcissistic jobseekers

In a world where everyone is self-promoting, you need to show that you are the best person for that job or contract. These are the proven methods
via How to bring out your best to beat narcissistic jobseekers

New Scientist Live tickets are on sale now

Secure your place at our festival this September packed with debates, exhibits, demos and lots more
via New Scientist Live tickets are on sale now

Pokémon Go is massive data-gathering, augmented reality hit

A new version of the classic Pokémon game series has proved incredibly popular as it lets players hunt cartoon monsters in the real world
via Pokémon Go is massive data-gathering, augmented reality hit

Meet the world’s cutest and most endangered animals

From Asian unicorns to lemurs that eat nothing but poisonous bamboo shoots, there’s a wide range of animals facing extinction
via Meet the world’s cutest and most endangered animals

A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

Neil deGrasse Tyson imagines a country called Rationalia, a society where policy is based on the weight of evidence. That's a bad idea, says Jeffrey Guhin
via A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

The 100-Year Life: How to make longevity a blessing, not a curse

Half the babies born in wealthier countries since 2000 will see their 100th birthday, changing everything from work and economics to our relationships, says a new book
via The 100-Year Life: How to make longevity a blessing, not a curse

Mystery of 101-year-old master pianist who has dementia

Somehow an elderly woman who struggles to recognise people or where she is can tap in to the musical training of her youth to play nearly 400 songs by ear
via Mystery of 101-year-old master pianist who has dementia

Watch Adam Savage’s Pedal-Powered Beest Machine Take Its First Steps

Adam Savage from MythBusters spent three days building a pedal-powered Strandbeest-type machine. Will it walk?
via Watch Adam Savage’s Pedal-Powered Beest Machine Take Its First Steps

Doctors should warn women about the real risks of childbirth

Vaginal births carry unique risks that caesarean sections can avoid. Obstetricians’ leaders should be open about that
via Doctors should warn women about the real risks of childbirth

Missing the natural world? Just add multimedia

Future Mars explorers may not know much about art, but artist Mark Ware believes he can make something they will like
via Missing the natural world? Just add multimedia

Video Friday: RoboCup Finals, Crowdsourced Robotics, and Growing Drones in Vats

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: RoboCup Finals, Crowdsourced Robotics, and Growing Drones in Vats

The unknown effect of the pill on teenage bones and brains

Thousands of teenage girls worldwide take hormonal contraception. But despite changes in legislation, we still don't know what this does to their bodies
via The unknown effect of the pill on teenage bones and brains

Secret sexual liaisons explain mystery of night-singing birds

Field sparrows are normally active by day, but the males sing at night in the hope of fling with a partnered female
via Secret sexual liaisons explain mystery of night-singing birds

Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history

Police’s lethal use of bomb-disposal robot in Thursday’s ambush worries legal experts who say it creates gray area in use of deadly force by law enforcement

For what experts are calling the first time in history, US police have used a robot in a show of lethal force. Early Friday morning, Dallas police used a bomb-disposal robot with an explosive device on its manipulator arm to kill a suspect after five police officers were murdered and seven others wounded.

“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” Dallas police chief David Brown told reporters.

Related: Dallas police shooting: officials identify suspect killed in standoff – live

Continue reading...
via Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history

Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history

Police’s lethal use of bomb-disposal robot in Thursday’s ambush worries legal experts who say it creates gray area in use of deadly force by law enforcement

For what experts are calling the first time in history, US police have used a robot in a show of lethal force. Early Friday morning, Dallas police used a bomb-disposal robot with an explosive device on its manipulator arm to kill a suspect after five police officers were murdered and seven others wounded.

“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” Dallas police chief David Brown told reporters.

Related: Dallas police shooting: officials identify suspect killed in standoff – live

Continue reading...
via Use of police robot to kill Dallas shooting suspect believed to be first in US history

DNA sequencing turns rivers into ecosystem surveillance systems

Rather than counting species by eye, some ecologists sample the DNA they shed to quickly get a roll call of an entire ecosystem
via DNA sequencing turns rivers into ecosystem surveillance systems

Antibiotic resistance discovered in the guts of ancient mummies

The presence of antimicrobial resistance genes in 1000-year-old Incan remains suggest resistance was common hundreds of years before we discovered penicillin
via Antibiotic resistance discovered in the guts of ancient mummies

Perfect storm hits Taiwan as China sees worst floods in 20 years

Super-typhoon Nepartak has hit Taiwan’s east coast hard. It is expected to make landfall in China which is struggling with its worst floods since 1998
via Perfect storm hits Taiwan as China sees worst floods in 20 years

UK doctors may officially warn women of vaginal birth risks

Following a UK Supreme Court ruling in 2015, doctors are considering offering pregnant women official advice on the risks of vaginal birth as well as caesarean sections
via UK doctors may officially warn women of vaginal birth risks

Cosmic carve-up: Law and plunder on the final frontier

The US wants to press ahead with asteroid mining, but rights to the riches buried in space are a grey area. How should we draw up rules for harvesting the heavens?
via Cosmic carve-up: Law and plunder on the final frontier

Feedback: Zika fears unleash a plague of dubious deterrents

Plus: an organic snack food with natural poison, Dan Dare and the Hyperloop, sipping on synthetic natural water, the uphill task of losing weight, and more
via Feedback: Zika fears unleash a plague of dubious deterrents

Antidepressants on trial: Are they a wonder or a danger?

Argument rages over the benefits and risks of Prozac and other SSRIs. New books from a psychiatrist and a former patient give the cases for and against
via Antidepressants on trial: Are they a wonder or a danger?

Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

The discovery of gut bacteria that need the calming chemical GABA to survive could explain why bacteria seem to influence our mood
via Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

Watch a cyborg stingray made of rat heart cells swim using light

A living machine that moves like a stingray and is controlled via light-sensitive cells could help us understand heart disease
via Watch a cyborg stingray made of rat heart cells swim using light

Biggest ever die-off of ocean forests triggered by warming seas

Kelp forests crucial to marine life are disappearing fast in Australia as rapidly warming oceans transform the ecosystems
via Biggest ever die-off of ocean forests triggered by warming seas

Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers

The ancient tribes of the Eurasian steppes that helped lay the foundations of Europe might have initiated a cross-continental trade in cannabis
via Founders of Western civilisation were prehistoric dope dealers

A Cyborg Stingray Made of Rat Muscles and Gold

Living muscle cells and pulses of light power this tiny cyborg ray through an obstacle course
via A Cyborg Stingray Made of Rat Muscles and Gold

Made of gold, powered by heart cells of rats – meet the robo-ray

Tiny robotic stingray gives hope to scientists they can create artificial creatures and ultimately build a human heart

With a flash of light and a ripple of fin, the small aquatic robot set off across the water and into the annals of science as the latest advance in artificial creatures.

A melding of tissue and technology, the robot in question resembles a miniature stingray. It has a thin rubbery body, a skeleton of gold, and an unusual power source: a sheet of heart cells that contract when illuminated with pulses of blue light.

Continue reading...
via Made of gold, powered by heart cells of rats – meet the robo-ray

Memories of favourite locations have a special place in brain

The hippocampus is a brain area important for general navigation, and now it seems that mice use a specific part of it to store significant locations
via Memories of favourite locations have a special place in brain

Cochlear implants boosted by gene therapy plus tiny LEDs

Researchers are using optogenetics and miniature lights to improve devices that allow deaf people to hear sounds
via Cochlear implants boosted by gene therapy plus tiny LEDs

Three-parent-babies might have health problems in later life

A study in mice suggests that mitochondrial replacement can adversely affect ageing and metabolism, but it is not clear if this would happen in people too
via Three-parent-babies might have health problems in later life

Time for more 2016: leap second will be added to year’s end

Can't get enough of 2016? You're in luck. A gradual change in the Earth's rotation means we need to add an extra second to keep time in order
via Time for more 2016: leap second will be added to year’s end

Too cute to lose: Saving the rarest mammal from extinction

How can we ensure that future generations will still hear the haunting dawn song of the gorgeous Hainan gibbon? Sam Turvey has a plan
via Too cute to lose: Saving the rarest mammal from extinction

Wallaby wearable tech probes how light pollution affects sleep

The animals inhabit either side of a Western Australian island, half of which has dark nights and the other half light pollution. How does this affect sleep?
via Wallaby wearable tech probes how light pollution affects sleep

New railway threatens Nairobi’s unique urban wildlife park

Kenyan conservationists are battling a plan to route a rail line through Nairobi National Park – another case of development whittling away at nature reserves
via New railway threatens Nairobi’s unique urban wildlife park

UK will struggle to meet climate target if fracking goes ahead

Delayed report says fracking will not necessarily bust the UK’s carbon budget but the strict conditions it sets out effectively rule out a fracking boom
via UK will struggle to meet climate target if fracking goes ahead

Doomed Japanese satellite glimpsed galactic wind before it died

The Hitomi spacecraft only lasted a few weeks in space, but still managed to map gusts of plasma flowing in the Perseus cluster of galaxies
via Doomed Japanese satellite glimpsed galactic wind before it died

Women’s heavy periods could be explained by missing protein

A protein that helps repair the uterus lining is lacking in women with heavy periods, a finding that could lead to new treatments
via Women’s heavy periods could be explained by missing protein

A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

Neil deGrasse Tyson imagines a country called Rationalia, a society where policy is based on the weight of evidence. That's a bad idea, says Jeffrey Guhin
via A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

Google’s new NHS deal is start of machine learning marketplace

Google’s DeepMind will train AI to spot eye disease using NHS data. The terms of the partnership show how such deals could benefit both sides
via Google’s new NHS deal is start of machine learning marketplace

Food from rubbish dumps is turning bears into couch potatoes

Wild bears in Turkey are becoming slouches, forsaking forest foraging and migration for easy pickings on garbage dumps near a city
via Food from rubbish dumps is turning bears into couch potatoes

UK’s plastic rubbish ends up in fragile Arctic ecosystems

Plastic rubbish from the UK spends two years drifting in sea before reaching the Arctic, one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet
via UK’s plastic rubbish ends up in fragile Arctic ecosystems

All about me: How to be a successful narcissist

Self-love is a gift that keeps giving in our competitive world – if it’s the right sort. The good news is that we can all learn to blow our own trumpet
via All about me: How to be a successful narcissist

How to draw… the future

None of us really know what is to come. How will our lives transform and will robots be involved? Neill Cameron asks us to imagine – the possibilities are endless!

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via How to draw… the future

Antidepressant drug use in England has doubled in a decade

61 million prescriptions for antidepressant drugs, including citalopram and fluoxetine, were filled in England in 2015, up from 29 million in 2005
via Antidepressant drug use in England has doubled in a decade

Rafting allowed this sea slug to conquer the world’s oceans

Unlike most other nudibranchs, which are restricted to the sea floor, Fiona pinnata travels the oceans by hitching a ride on anything that passes
via Rafting allowed this sea slug to conquer the world’s oceans

Wonder what your plants are ‘saying’? Device lets you listen in

A small device lets researchers, farmers and amateur plant lovers listen in to electrical changes inside their plants – Penny Sarchet tried it out
via Wonder what your plants are ‘saying’? Device lets you listen in

Amazon moves one step closer toward army of warehouse robots

Robotics competition prize for best warehouse-working ‘picker’ machine awarded to robot designed by Dutch team

Amazon’s progress toward an army of helpful robots is one step closer: a prize for the best warehouse-working “picker” machine has gone to a robot designed by a team from TU Delft Robotics Institute and Delft Robotics, both based in the Netherlands.

The competition was held in conjunction with Germany’s Robocup in Leipzig. Announced on Monday, the winners took home $25,000, while the university of Bonn’s NimbRo won $10,000 for second place and Japanese firm PFN was awarded $5,000 for third.

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via Amazon moves one step closer toward army of warehouse robots

Deep-sea alliance set to probe Earth’s final frontier

A new international effort to survey the depths of the ocean will kick off with submersible dives in Bermuda this month
via Deep-sea alliance set to probe Earth’s final frontier

9 things you need to know about cryogenically freezing your body

Fancy freezing your body after death? This is what you’re dying to know about what it involves, what it costs and the chances of reanimation
via 9 things you need to know about cryogenically freezing your body

Team Delft Wins Amazon Picking Challenge

Year two of the Amazon Picking Challenge results in robots that are much, much closer to taking over for humans
via Team Delft Wins Amazon Picking Challenge

Zambia to push ahead with controversial plan to cull 2000 hippos

Plan to kill 2000 hippos over five years may be going ahead after all, despite its suspension in June and objections by animal welfare groups
via Zambia to push ahead with controversial plan to cull 2000 hippos

Put the butter knife down and step away from the ‘sat fat’

A major US study has undermined the increasingly vocal claims that saturated fat in food poses no risk to health, says Ian Johnson
via Put the butter knife down and step away from the ‘sat fat’

Turtle herpes outbreak hints at Great Barrier Reef contamination

Tumours linked to herpesvirus are increasingly affecting some populations of turtles in Australia and Florida – and pollution may be the cause
via Turtle herpes outbreak hints at Great Barrier Reef contamination

Trying to get pregnant? There’s no need to lie still afterwards

The idea that women are more likely to conceive if they lie down after a semen injection is a myth – semen doesn’t fall out when you stand up
via Trying to get pregnant? There’s no need to lie still afterwards

I want to put your death on ice so that you can live again

Max More cryogenically preserves people's bodies and heads in the hope that one day they can be brought back to life. It doesn't make him popular
via I want to put your death on ice so that you can live again

NASA’s Juno probe enters near-perfect orbit around Jupiter

The spacecraft has been flying for five years, but has finally made it into orbit around the gas giant, where it will investigate some of Jupiter’s biggest mysteries
via NASA’s Juno probe enters near-perfect orbit around Jupiter

It’s safe to prescribe fewer antibiotics for coughs and colds

A study of 610 general practices has found that efforts to curb the spread of antibiotic resistance do not lead to more complications like meningitis
via It’s safe to prescribe fewer antibiotics for coughs and colds

China builds world’s largest radio telescope to hunt for aliens

The gigantic 500-metre disc will boost the search for extraterrestrial life, dark matter and distant pulsars
via China builds world’s largest radio telescope to hunt for aliens

Turtle herpes outbreak hints at Great Barrier Reef contamination

Tumours linked to herpesvirus are increasingly affecting some populations of turtles in Australia and Florida – and pollution may be the cause
via Turtle herpes outbreak hints at Great Barrier Reef contamination

Blue jeans frog strikes a dramatic pose in Costa Rica

Cristobal Serrano found a strawberry poison-dart frog posed like a public speaker. He put a tiny spotlight flash on it for its moment on the stage
via Blue jeans frog strikes a dramatic pose in Costa Rica

Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

The discovery of gut bacteria that need the calming chemical GABA to survive could explain why bacteria seem to influence our mood
via Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

NASA approves new far-flung destination for Pluto space probe

Post-Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is now officially homing in on a primitive red object in the Kuiper belt
via NASA approves new far-flung destination for Pluto space probe

Driverless cars require the toughest of testing | Letters

Your editorial (Humans must not become back-seat drivers for computers, 2 July) reaches the right conclusions that cars will be safer when humans no longer drive, but there is much more to it than recognising large white articulated trucks, paper bags or aggressive drivers. Doesn’t the software need a driving test?

The pressure for autonomous driving comes from the Googles, Baidus and Apples of this world, who want the drivers’ time to surf the web or download their music. They want totally autonomous vehicles, without steering wheels, that will revolutionise transport for the old, the young and the disabled. The car companies are being pushed, reluctantly, into this revolution, clinging on to their marketing pitch of selling the “driving experience” and keeping the steering wheel available for the driver to use. No revolution here for the old, young and disabled.

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via Driverless cars require the toughest of testing | Letters

Some people choose to be frozen at death. Here’s how it happens

How do you freeze a body so that one day it could come back to life? Here's how the experts intervene within seconds to stop nature taking its course
via Some people choose to be frozen at death. Here’s how it happens

What explains Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right?

The rise in nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiments worldwide feels like an alarming change to many. Psychology helps to explain how it happened so quickly
via What explains Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right?

Neutrinos hint at why antimatter didn’t blow up the universe

Results from two experiments looking at elusive neutrinos imply their matter and antimatter versions behave differently, which might explain how we came to be
via Neutrinos hint at why antimatter didn’t blow up the universe

Up close with the awesome power of NASA’s biggest ever rocket

NASA's new rocket booster has just passed its final ground test before its maiden flight. But will it ever make it into deep space, asks Mika McKinnon
via Up close with the awesome power of NASA’s biggest ever rocket

Fiery exoplanet may see a trillion lightning flashes in an hour

Volcanic eruptions could drive furious lightning storms on Kepler-10b, a volcanic exoplanet not much larger than Earth
via Fiery exoplanet may see a trillion lightning flashes in an hour

Filthy Romans: Dirty secrets of the bath-obsessed ancients

The Romans brought their famous baths and toilets to three continents, so how come they left places more unhygienic than they found them?
via Filthy Romans: Dirty secrets of the bath-obsessed ancients

Googly-eyed robots rule: Why it’s vital to make us like them

Engineers are right to design robots that create an emotional response in humans as these machines become part of everyday life, says Jamais Cascio
via Googly-eyed robots rule: Why it’s vital to make us like them

Bacteria ‘gardeners’ farm algae to harvest when food runs out

A common type of marine microbe uses clever chemistry to nurture algae as well as break them down for food
via Bacteria ‘gardeners’ farm algae to harvest when food runs out

A visual tour of the weird world of the cryogenically frozen

From freezers in the basement to sheds in the garden, cryonics and the promise of a second life has captured many imaginations. Here are some of those stories
via A visual tour of the weird world of the cryogenically frozen

Robot Amelia – a glimpse of the future for local government

Enfield council’s decision to recruit an AI to deliver local authority services paves the way for more automation. But how will this affect human employees?

The north London borough of Enfield is to introduce a new employee called Amelia, it was announced earlier this month. Amelia will work on frontline council services, taking resident queries, handling requests for permits and authenticating licenses.

But that wasn’t what gave cause for a public announcement. Amelia has a more unusual characteristic: she’s a robot.

Related: I was made to feel not good enough to interview for my own job at the Tate

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via Robot Amelia – a glimpse of the future for local government

Illusion makes people ‘feel’ force field around their body

A twist on the classic rubber hand illusion lets you sense the invisible buffer zone around the body protecting us from dangers invading our personal space
via Illusion makes people ‘feel’ force field around their body

Face to face in the Arctic with a terrifying new sublime

The "sublime" power of nature once filled us with awe. Now we run the planet, the picture has changed and is even more terrifying, says Sumit Paul-Choudhury
via Face to face in the Arctic with a terrifying new sublime

Fatal Tesla Self-Driving Car Crash Reminds Us That Robots Aren't Perfect

The first fatal crash involving Tesla's Autopilot system highlights the contradictory expectations of vehicle autonomy
via Fatal Tesla Self-Driving Car Crash Reminds Us That Robots Aren't Perfect

Watch a Cygnus spacecraft burn up as it re-enters the atmosphere

Researchers chased an uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft in an aeroplane in order to watch its fiery re-entry and destruction. The view was spectacular
via Watch a Cygnus spacecraft burn up as it re-enters the atmosphere

Video Friday: Pneumatic RoboDog, Drone Crash, and Nao With Eyebrows

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: Pneumatic RoboDog, Drone Crash, and Nao With Eyebrows

Impossible vanishing stars could be signs of advanced alien life

Finding extraterrestrial civilisations with technology far beyond our own could be as simple as catching stars or galaxies in a disappearing act
via Impossible vanishing stars could be signs of advanced alien life

First evidence that synaesthesia gives colour to sign language

People with synaesthesia can associate colours and tastes with written words. Now, for the first time, we’ve discovered this can also happen for sign language
via First evidence that synaesthesia gives colour to sign language

Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

The discovery of gut bacteria that need the calming chemical GABA to survive could explain why bacteria seem to influence our mood
via Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

The discovery of gut bacteria that need the calming chemical GABA to survive could explain why bacteria seem to influence our mood
via Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

NASA’s Juno spacecraft gears up for a whirlwind tour of Jupiter

On 4 July, the Juno probe must fire its thrusters to