How EPFL Made Pleurobot the Most Salamanderish Robot Ever

A new paper details just how salamander-like Pleurobot really is
via How EPFL Made Pleurobot the Most Salamanderish Robot Ever

Roller-coasting birds soar for months and may snooze while aloft

With help from mid-ocean air currents, frigatebirds can stay airborne for up to 63 days – and it seems they’re able to snooze while soaring
via Roller-coasting birds soar for months and may snooze while aloft

Gene editing could destroy herpes viruses living inside you

The CRISPR technique is a new weapon against dormant herpes viruses in the body, which cause cold sores and can be implicated in blindness and cancer
via Gene editing could destroy herpes viruses living inside you

Huge newfound deposit of helium will keep MRI scanners running

Helium prospectors have uncovered a massive source of the vanishing gas, vital for MRI scanners, the Large Hadron Collider, NASA rocket fuel… and balloons
via Huge newfound deposit of helium will keep MRI scanners running

NASA approves five more years for Hubble Space Telescope

Extra funds for the world’s most famous observatory mean it will be able to work in tandem with its upcoming successor, the James Webb Space Telescope
via NASA approves five more years for Hubble Space Telescope

When is an animal a person? Neuroscience tries to set the rules

Do chimps deserve legal rights? It’s a question that advances in neuroscience mean we can no longer ignore
via When is an animal a person? Neuroscience tries to set the rules

Massive stunning aurora glows over Jupiter’s north pole

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a glowing ultraviolet aurora at Jupiter, just in time for the arrival of NASA's Juno probe
via Massive stunning aurora glows over Jupiter’s north pole

Football on the brain

What sets top footballers apart from their peers? Strength and speed certainly matter, but evidence suggests the real difference is in the players' minds
via Football on the brain

Hot ice: The invisible threat making planes fall out of the sky

Why did Air France flight 447 plunge into the Atlantic? Only now are we close to understanding a stealthy phenomenon that has been downing planes for decades
via Hot ice: The invisible threat making planes fall out of the sky

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

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

Football on the brain

What sets top footballers apart from their peers? Strength and speed certainly matter, but evidence suggests the real difference is in the players' minds
via Football on the brain

Homebrew meteorites reveal origins of Mercury’s weird crust

Mixing up a fake powdered version of rare meteorites in the lab has shown how a freak surface feature arose from deep within the planet
via Homebrew meteorites reveal origins of Mercury’s weird crust

Prehistoric tombs may have doubled as star-gazing observatories

Ancient corridor-like “passage graves” could have helped early tribes see stars as they first rise above the horizon by blocking out the ambient light
via Prehistoric tombs may have doubled as star-gazing observatories

Robot eyes and humans fix on different things to decode a scene

Tracking neural networks that process images shows that they concentrate on different areas from us, but making them more human-like might not improve their skills
via Robot eyes and humans fix on different things to decode a scene

Rip up the rule book and let NASA’s Mars rover check ‘life’ zone

Contamination fears should not stop NASA sending its Mars rover to examine a nearby area that might contain water… and life, says Dirk Schulze-Makuch
via Rip up the rule book and let NASA’s Mars rover check ‘life’ zone

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

Green lining? Five ways Brexit could be good for the environment

Feeling despondent after the referendum result? Brexit may be bad in many ways, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a disaster for the environment
via Green lining? Five ways Brexit could be good for the environment

Ark of the immortals: The future-proof plan to freeze out death

In Comfort, Texas, a disaster-proof complex will house 50,000 frozen people with plans to bring them back from the dead – and will help others to stay alive
via Ark of the immortals: The future-proof plan to freeze out death

Post Brexit, experts need to reassert their value to society

Trying to change someone’s mind by giving them the facts usually just makes them dig in. For reason to triumph, scientists need to learn to engage with emotion
via Post Brexit, experts need to reassert their value to society

Hear! Here! Headphones will now help you navigate the world

A new generation of devices promises to revolutionise the way we interact with computers – and silence crying babies
via Hear! Here! Headphones will now help you navigate the world

You can touch the heart of physics without doing the hard bits

Carlo Rovelli reflects on why time is fundamentally human, and how physics is like music – you don't have to be able to create it to appreciate it
via You can touch the heart of physics without doing the hard bits

Beautifully preserved feathers belonged to tiny flying dinosaurs

Detailed amber fossils of wings from dinosaurs just 3.5 centimetres long suggest they flew like today’s birds. Such finds let us probe how flight evolved
via Beautifully preserved feathers belonged to tiny flying dinosaurs

Zika vaccine protects mice, but may increase risk of dengue

One dose protects mice from Zika but may put people at greater risk of dengue. A more targeted approach may protect against both diseases
via Zika vaccine protects mice, but may increase risk of dengue

Walmart and Five Elements Robotics Working on Robotic Shopping Cart

We like the idea of an autonomous shopping cart, but getting it to work will be a challenge
via Walmart and Five Elements Robotics Working on Robotic Shopping Cart

Sexing it app: The erotic video games that explore sexuality

So many films and books involve sex scenes, so why not games? These interactive experiences can deal with serious issues in a way that’s more than just pushing buttons
via Sexing it app: The erotic video games that explore sexuality

Strange ‘dark hydrogen’ may exist deep inside giant gas planets

Experiments on Earth reveal a new state of hydrogen that doesn’t reflect or absorb light – which could explain how planets like Jupiter cooled after formation
via Strange ‘dark hydrogen’ may exist deep inside giant gas planets

What happens if we pay everyone just to live?

Think universal basic income is a pipe dream? Experiments all over the world are already showing its potential to transform society for the better
via What happens if we pay everyone just to live?

New life form discovered in saliva is linked to human disease

Bacteria that parasitise other bacteria have been found for the first time, and are linked to gum disease, cystic fibrosis and antimicrobial resistance
via New life form discovered in saliva is linked to human disease

End of an era: Photos show decline of the US newspaper industry

Photographer Will Steacy has charted the changes at The Philadelphia Inquirer in the face of technological upheaval – something that could soon affect us all
via End of an era: Photos show decline of the US newspaper industry

Huge newfound deposit of helium will keep MRI scanners running

Helium prospectors have uncovered a massive source of the vanishing gas, vital for MRI scanners, the Large Hadron Collider, NASA rocket fuel… and balloons
via Huge newfound deposit of helium will keep MRI scanners running

Anki's Cozmo: the Intelligent Robotic Toy You've Always Wanted, Maybe

Cozmo promises intelligence, personality, and fun, but is it enough to hold your interest?
via Anki's Cozmo: the Intelligent Robotic Toy You've Always Wanted, Maybe

Angry scientists must fight to pick up the pieces after Brexit

Brexit is the heartbreaking outcome of a misinformed debate. Scientists must fight to pick up the pieces, says Mike Galsworthy
via Angry scientists must fight to pick up the pieces after Brexit

Supreme Court strikes down abortion restrictions in Texas

In a major victory for pro-choice advocates, the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law today
via Supreme Court strikes down abortion restrictions in Texas

People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain

A twist on the famous Libet free will experiments suggests that people who meditate have more access to the unconscious brain
via People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain

The Snowbot: how Edward Snowden gets around his exile

Thanks to a ‘telepresence robot’, the expelled whistleblower can virtually attend galleries, festivals and talks in the US. Just don’t try to give him a hug

Name: Snowbot.

Age: Four years old.

Continue reading...
via The Snowbot: how Edward Snowden gets around his exile

Infographic: The Future of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Autonomous underwater vehicles could survey pipelines—or perform military missions
via Infographic: The Future of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

How the size and shape of your glass affects how much you drink

You drink more slowly from a straight glass than a curved one, but more quickly from a large glass than a small one – effects your local pub might by exploiting
via How the size and shape of your glass affects how much you drink

China plans for space station with most powerful rocket launch

The country has just tested its new Long March-7 rocket and a prototype version of its next-generation crew capsule ahead of its planned space station
via China plans for space station with most powerful rocket launch

Can machines take our jobs without ruining our lives?

Models, cooks, managers, lawyers – artificial intelligence is capable of doing a widening array of our jobs. But maybe that’s not all bad
via Can machines take our jobs without ruining our lives?

Shampoo bottles get nano-makeover to squeeze out every drop

Wash and go: Plastic embedded with silica molecules repels sludgy hair products so that every last blob slides out of the bottle, even without you shaking it  
via Shampoo bottles get nano-makeover to squeeze out every drop

Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death

The discovery that many genes are still working up to 48 hours after death has implications for organ transplants, forensics and our very definition of death
via Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death

Find your meaning at work: 6 things a salary can’t buy

Maybe it pays the bills, but does your job satisfy you on a deeper level? Try our checklist of what makes work really matter
via Find your meaning at work: 6 things a salary can’t buy

I tried out being a space trucker in a Dream Chaser mini-shuttle

The Sierra Nevada Corporation is building a space plane to haul cargo and trash from the ISS, so Lisa Grossman took its simulator for a spin
via I tried out being a space trucker in a Dream Chaser mini-shuttle

Nano-camera lens reveals the hidden mirror world of molecules

Left- or right-handedness can be the difference between a medicine or poison. A camera lens made with nanotechnology may shed light on such mirror image molecules
via Nano-camera lens reveals the hidden mirror world of molecules

NASA approves five more years for Hubble Space Telescope

Extra funds for the world’s most famous observatory mean it will be able to work in tandem with its upcoming successor, the James Webb Space Telescope
via NASA approves five more years for Hubble Space Telescope

Video Friday: Cloud Robotics, MARLO in the Forest, and Eagle Kills Drone

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: Cloud Robotics, MARLO in the Forest, and Eagle Kills Drone

Princess Leia brainwaves may help you learn in your sleep

Circular waves that cycle around the brain may represent individual memories of the day’s events, helping you to remember the most important
via Princess Leia brainwaves may help you learn in your sleep

Watch a baby sea turtle being hypnotised so we can weigh it

Baby sea turtles won’t stay still long enough for conservation biologists to weigh and measure them. Now we have a way to stop them squirming – hypnotise them
via Watch a baby sea turtle being hypnotised so we can weigh it

Could a vast rubber boom clean up tonnes of ocean plastic?

A 100-metre prototype boom is being tested in the North Sea as part of an unproven scheme to tackle the gyres of plastic waste in the Pacific
via Could a vast rubber boom clean up tonnes of ocean plastic?

Tourists pick up antibiotic-resistance genes in just two days

When you travel to countries such as South Korea, India and China, it takes just days for your gut flora to acquire genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics
via Tourists pick up antibiotic-resistance genes in just two days

Alphabet unveils robot dog capable of cleaning the house

Robotic-canine housebot designed to take care the domestic chores takes one step on four legs closer to reality with new SpotMini

Google’s holding company, Alphabet, has a new robotic dog from its Atlas-making Boston Dynamics subsidiary capable of clearing up after its human masters.

SpotMini is the quietest and smallest Boston Dynamics robot yet, designed to navigate within the tight confines of a home and able to shimmy under tables and pick up objects with its articulated arm.

Continue reading...
via Alphabet unveils robot dog capable of cleaning the house

Who needs water? Dry volcanic vents more alive than wet soil

High up a Chilean volcano, there's more microbial diversity in bone-dry vents than icy patches - which could alter our search for life out in the solar system
via Who needs water? Dry volcanic vents more alive than wet soil

The world’s oldest paycheck was cashed in beer

Once upon a time we all had roughly the same daily chores. Then employment emerged. What happened?
via The world’s oldest paycheck was cashed in beer

Feedback: Noel Edmonds zapped over electropad cancer claims

Plus aliens appear over tax office, the half-life of teaspoons, 131 flavours of frog, dining out of nappies, ancient bog butter, and more
via Feedback: Noel Edmonds zapped over electropad cancer claims

Stop vets offering homeopathy – placebo doesn’t work for pets

Homeopathy has no effect beyond placebo and is pointless in animal medicine, so let's end its use by those vets who still offer it, says Danny Chambers
via Stop vets offering homeopathy – placebo doesn’t work for pets

Sound artist Chris Watson listens to a city breathe

Wildlife noises form part of an enthralling piece of sound art that reveals the secrets of an English city's green lung
via Sound artist Chris Watson listens to a city breathe

Listen to secrets of a honeybee hive in Kew’s latest sculpture

An ingenious new installation at London’s Kew Gardens offers visitors a novel way to experience life inside the hive – and commune with nature
via Listen to secrets of a honeybee hive in Kew’s latest sculpture

Hubble spots a new long-lived storm raging on Neptune

Neptune is known for its Great Dark Spot, but a new blemish appeared last summer and has been roiling ever since
via Hubble spots a new long-lived storm raging on Neptune

Save the driver or pedestrian? Such robot car dilemmas are folly

Should autonomous cars sacrifice those inside to save more lives outside in a crash? That is a misleadingly simple dilemma, warns Hal Hodson
via Save the driver or pedestrian? Such robot car dilemmas are folly

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini Is All Electric, Agile, and Has a Capable Face-Arm

A fun-sized version of Spot is the most domesticated Boston Dynamics robot we've seen
via Boston Dynamics' SpotMini Is All Electric, Agile, and Has a Capable Face-Arm

Will your driverless car be willing to kill you to save the lives of others?

Survey reveals the moral dilemma of programming autonomous vehicles: should they hit pedestrians or avoid and risk the lives of occupants?

There’s a chance it could bring the mood down. Having chosen your shiny new driverless car, only one question remains on the order form: whether your spangly, futuristic vehicle be willing to kill you?

To buyers more accustomed to talking models and colours, the query might sound untoward. But for manufacturers of autonomous vehicles (AVs), the dilemma it poses is real. If a driverless car is about to hit a pedestrian, should it swerve and risk killing its occupants?

Related: The problem with self-driving cars: who controls the code?

Continue reading...
via Will your driverless car be willing to kill you to save the lives of others?

IKEA of energy delivers clean, green solar power-plant in a box

A start-up offering flat-packed solar generators is hoping to give a boost to poor villages off the grid
via IKEA of energy delivers clean, green solar power-plant in a box

Elderly monkeys choose to have fewer friends – just like us

As we age, we choose to spend less time socialising, and only with our favourite people. Now we know that elderly Barbary macaques do the same – but why?
via Elderly monkeys choose to have fewer friends – just like us

Male infertility cure will be gateway to editing our kids’ genes

The first use of germline genetic engineering could be to treat infertility in men, paving the way for its wider use, says Michael Le Page
via Male infertility cure will be gateway to editing our kids’ genes

3D-printed phones herald world of instant electronic everything

Circuits can now be 3D-printed directly into electronic devices – meaning factories could spit out new gadgets almost as quickly as we can think them up
via 3D-printed phones herald world of instant electronic everything

New life form discovered in saliva is linked to human disease

Bacteria that parasitise other bacteria have been found for the first time, and are linked to gum disease, cystic fibrosis and antimicrobial resistance
via New life form discovered in saliva is linked to human disease

I smelled comet 67P’s deadly pong and lived to tell the tale

Researchers with ESA's Rosetta mission have commissioned a perfume that mimics the odour of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Jacob Aron shares his first sniff
via I smelled comet 67P’s deadly pong and lived to tell the tale

Fixed by light: Flick a switch to banish pain and blindness

Parkinson's, blindness, chronic pain and more could all be cured using optogenetics – a revolutionary therapy that has just begun its first trial in humans
via Fixed by light: Flick a switch to banish pain and blindness

Will bad weather have an impact on today’s EU referendum vote?

It's a commonly held belief that bad weather can reduce voter turnout, so does today's rain mean the UK is heading for Brexit?
via Will bad weather have an impact on today’s EU referendum vote?

Listen to secrets of a honeybee hive in Kew’s latest sculpture

An ingenious new installation at London’s Kew Gardens offers visitors a novel way to experience life inside the hive – and commune with nature
via Listen to secrets of a honeybee hive in Kew’s latest sculpture

Why you should worry about intelligent machines

Artificial intelligence itself isn't a problem – the threat lies in what humans might do with it
via Why you should worry about intelligent machines

FAA Announces Commercial Drone Rules

Want to make some money with your drone? Here's what you'll have to do first
via FAA Announces Commercial Drone Rules

Zika virus prompts increase in unsafe abortions in Latin America

Early signs suggest the fallout from Zika includes a rise in illegal, and unsafe abortions throughout Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela
via Zika virus prompts increase in unsafe abortions in Latin America

NATO says the internet is now a war zone – what does that mean?

The military alliance has designated cyberspace as an operational domain for war alongside land, sea and air – here's how states are defending themselves
via NATO says the internet is now a war zone – what does that mean?

LIGO black hole pair may be stars that lived and died together

We’ve now seen enough gravitation waves to start wondering about the formation of the binary black holes that cause the signals when they spiral in and collide
via LIGO black hole pair may be stars that lived and died together

First human CRISPR trial given go-ahead: your questions answered

The first human trial involving the revolutionary CRISPR genome editing technique could start before the year is out. New Scientist explains what it involves
via First human CRISPR trial given go-ahead: your questions answered

Pluto must have liquid ocean or it’d look like an overripe peach

If Pluto’s inner sea froze recently, we should see ridges popping up in the dwarf planet's outer shell. Since we don’t, it's probably still liquid
via Pluto must have liquid ocean or it’d look like an overripe peach

Wearable device for racehorses could help prevent fatal injuries

Hundreds of racehorses are killed every year. A device for monitoring performance could help trainers avoid over-exertion and spot early signs of injury
via Wearable device for racehorses could help prevent fatal injuries

Forget killer robots: This is the future of supersmart machines

Scare stories about artificial intelligence are missing the point: a world with superintelligent machines in it will be far stranger than that
via Forget killer robots: This is the future of supersmart machines

Electric fields could help us wage war on destructive feral pigs

Feral pigs are out of control across the globe, but the discovery that swine have a magnetic sense suggests messing with their internal compass could help
via Electric fields could help us wage war on destructive feral pigs

Don’t give up the day job: Why going to work is good for you

An always-on working culture can be oppressive, but it's also true that a meaningful job has surprisingly positive consequences for health
via Don’t give up the day job: Why going to work is good for you

A yellow fever epidemic has hit central Africa. Is Asia next?

Migrant workers shuttling between Africa and Asia could mean that a deadly disease once deemed under control could spread far from its heartland
via A yellow fever epidemic has hit central Africa. Is Asia next?

Is Larry Page right, are we poised for a flying car revolution?

With Google billionaire Larry Page investing in flying cars and computer chip maker Intel onboard, this is a great time to covet the skies, says Paul Marks
via Is Larry Page right, are we poised for a flying car revolution?

Beware the Brexit bots: The Twitter spam out to swing your vote

Bots are flooding Twitter with messages promoting both camps in the EU referendum. But their potential to influence the way we vote reaches far beyond social media
via Beware the Brexit bots: The Twitter spam out to swing your vote

Win your summer reading list: Books to get you back to nature

Eight fabulous nature and natural history books are up for grabs – a prize that will keep you enthralled for months
via Win your summer reading list: Books to get you back to nature

The alien world that’s being vaporised by a death ray

A Mercury-sized exoplanet is being blown apart like a dandelion – and magnetic hotspots on its star could make things worse
via The alien world that’s being vaporised by a death ray

Is news of the US’s changing racial mix increasing racism?

In a few decades, most people in the US won't be white. That prediction is increasing tension, but there's more to this than racism, says Jennifer Richeson
via Is news of the US’s changing racial mix increasing racism?

Asteroids keep their rings safe from gas giants’ clutches

If an asteroid acquires rings, it’s likely to hang on to them – so more space rocks may have rings than we thought. If only we knew how they got there
via Asteroids keep their rings safe from gas giants’ clutches

Custom Processor Speeds Up Robot Motion Planning by Factor of 1,000

A preprogrammed FPGA can take motion planning from frustrating to instantaneous
via Custom Processor Speeds Up Robot Motion Planning by Factor of 1,000

Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death

The discovery that many genes are still working up to 48 hours after death has implications for organ transplants, forensics and our very definition of death
via Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death

High-fibre diet may protect against peanut allergy

Mice are less likely to have anaphylactic reactions to peanuts if they eat a high-fibre diet, perhaps because they have more “good” gut bacteria
via High-fibre diet may protect against peanut allergy

💸 FAA Announces Commercial Drone Regulations! 💸

Today the FAA released the long-anticipated Part 107 commercial drone regulations. Previously, to fly a drone legally, the FAA required commercial drone operators to file a petition under Section 333, which required the UAV operator to be a licensed pilot and often took months to process. Over 5,000 exemptions were granted and thousands more still wait for review, with our flagship drone Solo receiving the second highest number of exemptions. This signals that the demand for commercial use of drones is high and that drones offer real value to industries like construction, conservation and architecture. Solo comes in at under 2 kg (4.4 lbs), well below the 25 kg (55 lbs) limit for the new rule.

At a high level, the loosening of the restrictions required to fly commercially shows that drones are now safer and easier to use than ever before. The launch of 3DR’s Site Scan enterprise platform in March anticipated this democratization of access to aerial data capture and analytics, and now after passing a simple FAA knowledge test anyone can survey a construction site or measure a stockpile with the push of a few buttons in Site Scan.

To summarize the new regulations:

  1. No exclusivity: The FAA is democratizing commercial drone use – no need to be a licensed pilot any longer. Take the knowledge test at a testing center and you’re good to go.
  2. No overwhelming bureaucracy: Filing Section 333 exemption requests is no longer necessary, and logging all flight data for the FAA is unnecessary.   
  3. No jackassery: Yield to manned aircraft; don’t fly while under the influence; don’t fly over non-participants; keep under 400’ (although this is waivable); maintain visual line of sight at all times; and fly outside restricted areas (use Site Scan’s airspace safety map to keep clear of restricted airspace).   

That’s it. Take a test, follow the rules, and you can fly commercially to provide safer, more efficient, real-time access to data. We think the new certification process will be easier than getting a driver’s license – no live flight test involved. The effective date of the new regulations is approximately 60 days from today (August), but we’ll keep you updated as the dates are finalized.

In the coming days, 3DR staff, partners and customers will pilot (pun intended) the new process for getting certified, and we’ll document along the way with training materials and helpful information to get you certified. If you’d like more information on Site Scan, click here. If you want to give your corporate lawyer the good news so you can begin flying with 3DR Site Scan, point them here.

The post 💸 FAA Announces Commercial Drone Regulations! 💸 appeared first on 3DR | Drone & UAV Technology.


via 💸 FAA Announces Commercial Drone Regulations! 💸

China wants to share its new space station with the world

China is launching a rival to the International Space Station, and it's partnering with the UN to let other countries have a go
via China wants to share its new space station with the world

First step to reducing hate crimes? Enshrine equality in law

The Orlando shooting in a gay club was the latest and most violent hate crime against the LGBT community in the US. Better laws might reduce their frequency
via First step to reducing hate crimes? Enshrine equality in law

Find exomoons by watching how they warp their planet’s light

A new way of detecting exomoons circling young giant planets could be possible with the next generation of telescopes
via Find exomoons by watching how they warp their planet’s light

How an expert witness’s say-so can make you a murderer

An expert tells the court that the chances of an event being accidental are 1 in 73 million. Convinced, the jury convicts you. What's gone wrong?
via How an expert witness’s say-so can make you a murderer

‘Stomach tap’ to let obese people empty their gut after eating

A device that allows people who are obese to empty a portion of their stomach contents into the toilet after a meal has been approved for use in the US
via ‘Stomach tap’ to let obese people empty their gut after eating

National parks at 100: Images of changing US landscapes

To mark 100 years of the US National Parks, an exhibition reflects on how photographers have depicted them, from early days to their tourist-laden presentt
via National parks at 100: Images of changing US landscapes

Why we all need to fight the irrational fear of outsiders

Donald Trump and pro-Brexit campaigners are playing on understandable but irrational psychological reactions to change
via Why we all need to fight the irrational fear of outsiders

Budgies use grammar to find meaning in unfamiliar phrases

Humans aren’t the only grammar pedants. When played new songs, budgerigars use the underlying structure to work out what they mean
via Budgies use grammar to find meaning in unfamiliar phrases

Is news of the US’s changing racial mix increasing racism?

In a few decades, most people in the US won't be white. That prediction is increasing tension, but there's more to this than racism, says Jennifer Richeson
via Is news of the US’s changing racial mix increasing racism?

Microbial mass extinctions were kicked off by human evolution

We may have become exposed to mental and physical health problems because our cultural evolution has wiped out legions of microscopic species
via Microbial mass extinctions were kicked off by human evolution

How an unreliable eyewitness can make you a murderer

Close to three-quarters of wrongful convictions have been in part due to faulty human memory – and that's just the start of the trouble
via How an unreliable eyewitness can make you a murderer

Cont-roo-ception: Hormone implants bring kangaroos under control

There are twice as many kangaroos as people in Australia, but a large trial of birth control implants has curbed numbers and reduced the need for culling
via Cont-roo-ception: Hormone implants bring kangaroos under control

Want to control your dreams? These tips may boost your chances

Lucid dreamers are able to knowingly shape their dreams, and they share tips for how to do it – sticking to the science will give you the best chance
via Want to control your dreams? These tips may boost your chances

AI just got a big boost in its ability to understand the news

A reading algorithm developed at Stanford just beat Google DeepMind’s accuracy by 10 per cent. Prepare for a world where you can ask AI about any text ever published
via AI just got a big boost in its ability to understand the news

The alien world that’s being vaporised by a death ray

A Mercury-sized exoplanet is being blown apart like a dandelion – and magnetic hotspots on its star could make things worse
via The alien world that’s being vaporised by a death ray

Perfect people: How tomorrow’s children will make babies

When it comes to making babies, is it all over for sex? The rise of fertility technology suggests so, argues The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction
via Perfect people: How tomorrow’s children will make babies

Household chores and the Bradbury blues

Reading Deborah Orr’s piece (At last, the cure for feminism: sex robots, 10 June) transported me back to the 1960s when I was a young woman with three children under five and a giddy dog. I remember washing the kitchen floor for the third time that week with a mad dog licking away my tears as I wept, not for my situation, but because I had read Raymond Bradbury’s I Sing the Body Electric and felt that I, as a woman, could be expected to be a robot performing all duties with no feelings. More than 50 years later, after a reasonably happy and successful life, I am still battling it out with the same man and still ask myself, as I’m sure he does, from time to time, “Should I stay or should I go now, if I stay there will be trouble and if I go there will be double”, or is that “If I go there will be trouble and if I stay there will be double”? Sounds like the EU referendum to me.
Maureen Joy
Sheffield

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Continue reading...
via Household chores and the Bradbury blues

Stolen penises and other exotic psychological tales

From penis thieves to voodoo death, strange mental disorders can tell us a lot about the deeper layers of any culture, finds an unusual new travelogue
via Stolen penises and other exotic psychological tales

Video Friday: Marty the Robot, Dancing With Drones, and Deep Learning for Cars

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: Marty the Robot, Dancing With Drones, and Deep Learning for Cars

Drowned rat first mammal wiped out by human-made climate change

A rare rodent unique to a Great Barrier Reef island hasn’t been seen since 2009, and has probably been driven to extinction by rising sea levels
via Drowned rat first mammal wiped out by human-made climate change

Announcing The NAB Solo Software Release: The Biggest Software Update for Any Drone, Ever

Today we’re excited to announce the release of the cutting-edge Solo software updates we announced at NAB! In keeping with Solo’s “built to evolve” promise, the release is the biggest single software update for any drone, ever, and includes interactive obstacle avoidance via augmented reality, custom geofencing, rewind and “return to me,” as well as two brand new Smart Shots: Zipline + Spot Lock; and Pano. Download the update here. In the coming days we’ll publish deep dives into each of these new features. For now, read on for more!

Meet the new Smart Shots – Zipline and Pano

Zipline + Spot Lock

Set an infinite cable in any direction, just by pushing a button. Fly up and down this line, controlling speed and direction as well as the camera. Zipline also has a “spot lock” feature, which works like an Orbit point of focus, but instead of flying in a circle you’re flying in a straight line. Set your zipline, look at something, press spot lock and Solo keeps the camera fixed on it while Solo passes, for a dramatic flyby.

Pano

The perfect aerial panorama. Set up your shot, and Solo automatically pans and snaps the right photos at the right time, for cylindrical, spherical (“little world”) or video panos.

Augmented Reality

The Solo app will overlay visuals in real time on your mobile screen. You can see your home point, or make sure your Orbit point of focus is exactly where you want it to be before you fly your Smart Shot.

Custom Geofencing

geofence-2

Define a virtual fence around Solo at any time in flight. You create this virtual “safety net” by setting four points on your satellite view, which creates an area around Solo that the drone can’t leave. Set your fence before taking off, or set and adjust its location while flying, allowing you to easily block off nearby obstacles or entire areas at any time.

 

Rewind and Return to Me

 

rewind2-2

With the press of a button, Solo will retrace its exact path for the last 60 feet of your flight (this distance will be user-definable in the app) to ensure it avoids obstacles on its way back home. And with the new “return to me” feature, Solo will come home to wherever you stand with your controller and mobile device.

The post Announcing The NAB Solo Software Release: The Biggest Software Update for Any Drone, Ever appeared first on 3DR | Drone & UAV Technology.


via Announcing The NAB Solo Software Release: The Biggest Software Update for Any Drone, Ever

How biased judges and juries can make you a murderer

Your skin colour or even your attractiveness can influence their opinion of your guilt or innocence before you open your mouth. How can we level the playing field?
via How biased judges and juries can make you a murderer

Nearly naked black hole lost its ‘clothes’ to a gravity rip tide

Supermassive black holes are meant to be swaddled inside the starry cloak of a galaxy, but astronomers have just seen one that's almost bare
via Nearly naked black hole lost its ‘clothes’ to a gravity rip tide

Back-stabbing butterflies rob the ants that once protected them

Metalmark butterfly caterpillars trade sweet secretions for protection from ants. But once they are adults, they steal food from the ants, giving nothing back
via Back-stabbing butterflies rob the ants that once protected them

Freeze on gun research thaws a little as California opens center

California has voted to set up a firearm violence research center. It may be the first to receive public money since a law change pushed through by the gun lobby 20 years ago
via Freeze on gun research thaws a little as California opens center

Win your summer reading list: Books to get you back to nature

Eight fabulous nature and natural history books are up for grabs – a prize that will keep you enthralled for months
via Win your summer reading list: Books to get you back to nature

Subsidised egg freezing isn’t the answer to Japan’s birth rate

The solution to Japan's problem of a shrinking population isn’t publically funding egg freezing to allow delayed parenthood, says bioethicist Angel Petropanagos
via Subsidised egg freezing isn’t the answer to Japan’s birth rate

Command and cure: We don’t need to edit genomes to control them

By switching genes on and off instead of changing them, there may be an easy, quick and cheap way to cure genetic problems for life
via Command and cure: We don’t need to edit genomes to control them

Feedback: Straight to the stars on a heterosexual space ark

Plus how to make your sweat smell of maple syrup, a unit of sexism, Americans want DNA labels, Captain Cook on the dancefloor, new primary colours and more
via Feedback: Straight to the stars on a heterosexual space ark

‘Daisy-chain’ gene drive vanishes after only a few generations

Gene drives could eliminate diseases like malaria but there are fears the tech could run out of control. A new self-limiting one might solve that problem
via ‘Daisy-chain’ gene drive vanishes after only a few generations

Billion-dollar vows to save Barrier Reef are too little too late

Australia's election rivals vying to look toughest on protecting the Great Barrier Reef are just fiddling while Rome burns, warns Tim Flannery
via Billion-dollar vows to save Barrier Reef are too little too late

German Warehouse Robots Tackle Picking Tasks

These warehouse robots can pick (some) items directly off of shelves
via German Warehouse Robots Tackle Picking Tasks

WADA report shows tricks Russian athletes use to skip drug tests

Never mind high-tech chemistry, sometimes the simplest methods can stop you getting caught for sports doping – like running away from the tester
via WADA report shows tricks Russian athletes use to skip drug tests

Wearable device for racehorses could help prevent fatal injuries

Hundreds of racehorses are killed every year. A device for monitoring performance could help trainers avoid over-exertion and spot early signs of injury
via Wearable device for racehorses could help prevent fatal injuries

Is proton beam therapy really a game-changing cancer treatment?

Evidence that proton beam therapy is better than conventional radiotherapy is contentious but that hasn’t stopped a push for protons. What’s behind the rush?
via Is proton beam therapy really a game-changing cancer treatment?

Magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed

Oil-binding nanoparticles allow simple magnets to draw oil out of water, a tool that could quickly remove toxic leaks from ocean habitats
via Magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed

Race to save hidden treasures under threat from climate change

As global warming melts Earth's ice, unique relics from the past are being revealed - only to be exposed to the elements and rot away
via Race to save hidden treasures under threat from climate change

How faulty crime-scene forensics can make you a murderer

Physical evidence cannot be wrong. But the human interpretation of that evidence can be very wrong indeed
via How faulty crime-scene forensics can make you a murderer

Monkey experiments are a necessary evil for better medicine

Like it or not, primates are an essential part of biomedical research. But we must ensure the sacrifice is worthwhile, and carefully consider animals' welfare
via Monkey experiments are a necessary evil for better medicine

Ancient arts trump game-playing in virtual-reality documentaries

Documentary makers are working with cutting-edge immersive media, but are refreshingly unimpressed by techno-evangelists
via Ancient arts trump game-playing in virtual-reality documentaries

We have the technology to look for ET right now – why don’t we?

A new study says Hubble's successor could spot alien life on 3 new exoplanets. Should NASA be doing more? Or is it right to focus on other priorities?
via We have the technology to look for ET right now – why don’t we?

It’s harder than you might think to appreciate silence

In a clamouring world of ever growing noise, a meditative film makes the case for less noise pollution
via It’s harder than you might think to appreciate silence

We now have the tech to fingerprint babies – but should we?

Babies can now have their fingerprints taken, which could help with vaccinations and finding missing children. But the technology makes some people uneasy
via We now have the tech to fingerprint babies – but should we?

Microbubbles open brain’s barrier to make chemo more effective

A stream of tiny bubbles and a pulse of ultrasound can open the brain's protective barrier – boosting the dose of medication that can reach brain tumours
via Microbubbles open brain’s barrier to make chemo more effective

LIGO sees gravitational wave from second black hole death spiral

The detector's latest discovery means we are now firmly in a new era of astronomy – it matches up convingingly with what we already know about black holes
via LIGO sees gravitational wave from second black hole death spiral

First monkey genetically engineered to have Parkinson’s created

Engineering monkeys to have human brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s will help us to treat the conditions better – but not everyone likes the idea
via First monkey genetically engineered to have Parkinson’s created

‘Stomach tap’ to let obese people empty their gut after eating

A device that allows people who are obese to empty a portion of their stomach contents into the toilet after a meal has been approved for use in the US
via ‘Stomach tap’ to let obese people empty their gut after eating

Study: You'll Love Your Robot More If You Assemble It Yourself

Doing some of the final assembly of a home robot could make you feel like it works better
via Study: You'll Love Your Robot More If You Assemble It Yourself

A slow revolution in the skies will transform life on the ground

Early flight pioneers shrunk the world. Do today's aviation experimenters still have the power to radically change our lives, wonders Paul Marks
via A slow revolution in the skies will transform life on the ground

Dark energy must die – these rebel physicists can take it down

Has an expansionist power ruled the cosmos for the past 5 billion years – or is dark energy just an illusion created by a curvy cosmos?
via Dark energy must die – these rebel physicists can take it down

The Age of Em review – the horrific future when robots rule the Earth

Robin Hanson’s strange, very serious, book predicts what will happen in a Matrix-like world when computers have software emulations of human brains and our bodies are destroyed

In the future, or so some people think, it will become possible to upload your consciousness into a computer. Software emulations of human brains – ems, for short – will then take over the economy and world. This sort of thing happens quite a lot in science fiction, but The Age of Em is a fanatically serious attempt, by an economist and scholar at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, to use economic and social science to forecast in fine detail how this world (if it is even possible) will actually work. The future it portrays is very strange and, in the end, quite horrific for everyone involved.

It is an eschatological vision worthy of Hieronymus Bosch. Trillions of ems live in tall, liquid-cooled skyscrapers in extremely hot cities. Most of them are “very able focused workaholics”, who “respect and trust each other more” than we do.

Continue reading...
via The Age of Em review – the horrific future when robots rule the Earth

Ocean worlds could host life under layers of high-pressure ice

Models of ice formation at high pressure suggest there could be habitable liquid water at the bottom of incredibly deep alien oceans
via Ocean worlds could host life under layers of high-pressure ice

First mirror-image molecule found in interstellar space

A team of scientists has detected the first chiral molecule out in space – a key step toward understanding life's origins
via First mirror-image molecule found in interstellar space

On the trail of a missing elephant with latest surveillance tech

Africa's national reserves are using high-tech military monitoring systems to help protect their wildlife from poachers – Debora MacKenzie views the action from above  
via On the trail of a missing elephant with latest surveillance tech

Hormone injection lets ageing muscles run harder and longer

A bone hormone that boosts the amount of fuel available to the muscles can give old mice the ability to run as far as young ones
via Hormone injection lets ageing muscles run harder and longer

US Air Force plans to pluck dangerous drones out of the skies

New drones can fly without human control, so there is no signal to jam to stop them if they are a threat. Trained falcons, lasers and net-launching bazookas may help
via US Air Force plans to pluck dangerous drones out of the skies

Was Kyoto climate deal a success? Figures reveal mixed results

On paper, countries met their commitments under the 1997 Kyoto protocol. But a deeper look at the final numbers gives little cause for optimism
via Was Kyoto climate deal a success? Figures reveal mixed results

Drowned rat first mammal wiped out by human-made climate change

A rare rodent unique to a Great Barrier Reef island hasn’t been seen since 2009, and has probably been driven to extinction by rising sea levels
via Drowned rat first mammal wiped out by human-made climate change

The bizarre beauty of the objects that might save your life

Close-ups of hospital equipment showcase the strange contraptions that have been used throughout European medical history
via The bizarre beauty of the objects that might save your life

Doing it froggy style: Kermit Sutra’s seventh position revealed

A nocturnal frog from India mates in a unique way, with the male depositing sperm on the female’s back that then trickles down to the eggs
via Doing it froggy style: Kermit Sutra’s seventh position revealed

Human flesh found in stomach of bear shot after fatal attacks

Following a string of four fatal attacks in Japan’s Akita prefecture, human tissue has been found in the gut of an Asiatic black bear shot by hunters
via Human flesh found in stomach of bear shot after fatal attacks

Robot receptionists introduced at hospitals in Belgium

Pepper the humanoid robot has started work as an assistant on the reception desk in hospitals in Liege and Ostend

Two Belgian hospitals have added an innovative staff member to their reception desks: humanoid robots called Pepper.

The robots took up assistant reception duties at hospitals in Ostend and Liege on Monday..

Related: Man v machine: can computers cook, write and paint better than us?

Continue reading...
via Robot receptionists introduced at hospitals in Belgium

PR2 Learns a Trick to Grasp Ungraspable Objects

A short stick can make robots much more effective at grasping objects
via PR2 Learns a Trick to Grasp Ungraspable Objects

Quick fixes on stereotypes won’t mean more female scientists

Some differences in academic performance in scientific subjects are put down to people conforming to invalid gender stereotypes. But the case is far from clear
via Quick fixes on stereotypes won’t mean more female scientists

Black hole pairs spat out of mosh pits make gravitational waves

The pair of black holes responsible for the first ever detected gravitational wave may have been spat out of a mosh pit at the centre of a globular star cluster
via Black hole pairs spat out of mosh pits make gravitational waves

Orlando massacre prompts call to ease gay blood donor rules

As people rush to give blood to treat those wounded in the attack, campaigners say rules requiring gay men to be celibate for a year before donating are unscientific
via Orlando massacre prompts call to ease gay blood donor rules

Fat vs carbs: What’s really worse for your health?

The traditional balanced diet may be way out of whack. To fight obesity and diabetes, doctors and nutritionists are embracing diets that were once called fads
via Fat vs carbs: What’s really worse for your health?

Shipwreck archaeologist versus treasure hunters of the Caribbean

Bar brawls and lawsuits do nothing to deter Charles Beeker, who wants to save sunken artefacts from professional treasure seekers
via Shipwreck archaeologist versus treasure hunters of the Caribbean

Carbon nanotubes too weak to get a space elevator off the ground

Simulations show that just a single out-of-place atom is enough to ruin the famed strength of carbon nanotubes, so using them to build a space elevator seems unlikely  
via Carbon nanotubes too weak to get a space elevator off the ground

Flamingo stars turn pink when they gobble iron-rich planets

Consuming a metal-rich planet or two early in its life can change a star’s colour – making them the flamingos of space
via Flamingo stars turn pink when they gobble iron-rich planets

Video Friday: Robotic Submersible, Hair-Cutting Drone, and What Is a Robot?



Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: Robotic Submersible, Hair-Cutting Drone, and What Is a Robot?

Genetic test predicts your success in life, but not happiness

Subtle variations across the genome can go a small way in predicting how likely a person is to have a prestigious job, high income and likeable personality
via Genetic test predicts your success in life, but not happiness

Richard Dawkins’s biomorphs come back to life

These computer-based life forms have lain dormant for decades; now they're ready to teach a new generation the secrets of good breeding
via Richard Dawkins’s biomorphs come back to life

‘People said I was mad’: Why I chose extreme treatment for my MS

Jenny Remington-Hobbs was warned that her attempt to stop MS by rebooting her immune system might result in 'coming home in a coffin'
via ‘People said I was mad’: Why I chose extreme treatment for my MS

At last, a cure for feminism: sex robots | Deborah Orr

Now women expect a degree of bodily autonomy, technology has found a way to objectify us again

Sex androids: should we be concerned? Professor Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of robotics at Sheffield University, reckons that we should be. Speaking at the Cheltenham science festival, the academic warned that while he was “fairly liberal about sex”, he was worried about the effect such machines might have on people’s ability to form human relationships. Robotic sex toys are already available to consumers in the US and Japan. Amazingly, they tend to be crude approximations of women. I don’t think they’re being aimed at the lesbian market quite yet.

Related: Sex, love and robots: is this the end of intimacy?

Will young women of the future feel pressure not just to look like porn stars but also to perform like robots?

Continue reading...
via At last, a cure for feminism: sex robots | Deborah Orr

Sonar to listen for moving icebergs near Arctic oil platforms

As the Arctic opens up to industrial activity a new sonar array could help avoid collisions with drift ice – but it may affect marine animals.
via Sonar to listen for moving icebergs near Arctic oil platforms

Massive exoplanet’s close dance is making its star spin faster

Astronomers have discovered a massive planet on an orbit close enough to speed up the rotation of its star
via Massive exoplanet’s close dance is making its star spin faster

Four new element names to be added to the periodic table

Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 will likely now be known as nihonium, moscovium, tennessine and oganesson
via Four new element names to be added to the periodic table

How the sun abducted dwarf planets from an alien solar system

The weird orbits of some bodies in the outer solar system reveal they are booty from an interstellar smash and grab raid, says astronomer Simon Portegies Zwart
via How the sun abducted dwarf planets from an alien solar system

‘Monkey archaeology’ reveals macaque’s own Stone Age culture

One of the first digs searching for stone tools used by monkeys has unearthed evidence that promises to change the way we study the evolution of tool use
via ‘Monkey archaeology’ reveals macaque’s own Stone Age culture

Feedback: Uranus land-grabbers have their heads in the clouds

Plus the animal whose urine smells like peanut satay, a philosophy professor named Plato, who is stinky Alex?, an arousing spar of malachite, and more
via Feedback: Uranus land-grabbers have their heads in the clouds

No, eating baby food is not a solution to the obesity epidemic

An extreme version of the faddish baby food diet is nutritionally risky and should be rejected, not glamorised, says Anthony Warner  
via No, eating baby food is not a solution to the obesity epidemic

Extreme cure for MS reboots immune system – but can be fatal

A radical treatment for multiple sclerosis has stopped the disease progressing in 70 per cent of those who have tried it, but one person in the trial died
via Extreme cure for MS reboots immune system – but can be fatal

CO2 injected deep underground turns to rock – and stays there

Carbon dioxide rapidly turns into solid carbonates when injected into basalt rocks. Done on a massive scale it could help limit climate change
via CO2 injected deep underground turns to rock – and stays there

Record number of ions get entangled together in a quantum trap

The ions could act as qubits in a quantum simulator to search for new properties of metals, or act as a quantum computer – if we can control them individually
via Record number of ions get entangled together in a quantum trap

Tallest known tropical tree discovered in Malaysia’s lost world

The Yellow Meranti tree is probably the world's tallest tropical tree. At 89.5 metres tall, that's equivalent to 65 people standing on each other’s shoulders  
via Tallest known tropical tree discovered in Malaysia’s lost world

Supernovae 2 million years ago may have changed human behaviour

Two nearby supernovae explosions may have increased cancer rates and changed the behaviour of early humans - but that's a pretty big may
via Supernovae 2 million years ago may have changed human behaviour

Ancient enzyme resurrected from the ancestor of all bacteria

The reconstruction of an enzyme used by bacteria thought to have lived in a hot spring 3.4 billion years ago tells us they became complex earlier than thought
via Ancient enzyme resurrected from the ancestor of all bacteria

Artificial dome world set for largest indoor weather experiment

A huge weathering experiment in the isolated ecosystem at Biosphere 2 in Arizona will aim to answer key questions about water and soil in the landscape
via Artificial dome world set for largest indoor weather experiment

Vyo Is a Fascinating and Unique Take on Social Domestic Robots



This social robot for the smart home has a tactile interface and looks like a microscope
via Vyo Is a Fascinating and Unique Take on Social Domestic Robots

If antidepressants don’t work well, why are they so popular?

Mounting evidence suggests they may sometimes be no better than a placebo, so why is antidepressant use still booming in the UK?  
via If antidepressants don’t work well, why are they so popular?

Life on the edge: Saving the world’s hotbeds of evolution

It's a radical new approach to saving nature: don't obsess about individual species, safeguard the places on the bleeding edge of evolutionary change instead
via Life on the edge: Saving the world’s hotbeds of evolution

Bully particle beats up atoms to fix cosmic accounting glitch

A proposed particle could explain why there was less lithium than we thought at the big bang - and maybe dark matter too
via Bully particle beats up atoms to fix cosmic accounting glitch

Let’s revisit the consensus on fat, carbs and health

The row over dietary fat exposes deeper problems. If science doesn't come clean when the facts aren't clear, we may give up trying to lead a healthy life
via Let’s revisit the consensus on fat, carbs and health

Silicon fingerprint on chips could make any gadget unhackable

In a world filled with cheap connected gadgets we need a cheap way to make them secure. A unique pattern that is set when a chip is made could be the answer
via Silicon fingerprint on chips could make any gadget unhackable

Ghostly neutrino could be behind cosmic expansion mystery

An undiscovered, aloof particle could help explain why the universe is expanding faster than it should – and we may have already seen hints of it
via Ghostly neutrino could be behind cosmic expansion mystery

How New York fashion show owes its success to old encyclopaedia

Creative people and machines can work in perfect harmony -  and in haute couture, they've been doing so for years  
via How New York fashion show owes its success to old encyclopaedia

Mystery human hobbits ruled tiny Asian island 700,000 years ago

New jaw and skull bone fossils found on the island of Flores back the idea that the hobbit was a mini Homo erectus, only adapted to island life much earlier than we imagined  
via Mystery human hobbits ruled tiny Asian island 700,000 years ago

‘Three-parent baby’ success could see trials in two years

Scientists have overcome a key hurdle in a controversial 'three-parent' fertility treatment approved for use in the UK – paving the way for human trials
via ‘Three-parent baby’ success could see trials in two years

Souped-up ‘gene drives’ may help eliminate pests and diseases

Gene drives might not work well enough to eradicate Zika or malaria, but an improved version of the technology may help them deliver on their promise
via Souped-up ‘gene drives’ may help eliminate pests and diseases

Algorithm knows when corporate money is pushing memes online

Did that tweet go viral because it was popular - or did it get a boost from corporate backers? An algorithm can tell the difference
via Algorithm knows when corporate money is pushing memes online

Spongy minerals could explain why Mars gives off methane burps

Zeolites – volcanic minerals that easily trap and release gases – could be responsible for the burps of methane that occasionally come from the Red Planet
via Spongy minerals could explain why Mars gives off methane burps

Four new element names to be added to the periodic table

Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 will likely now be known as nihonium, moscovium, tennessine and oganesson
via Four new element names to be added to the periodic table

Artificial genome could create a ‘blank slate’ human template

This synthetic biology megaproject could show why some people are more susceptible to certain diseases, but critics say its ambitions could get out of hand
via Artificial genome could create a ‘blank slate’ human template

A recipe for ocean health: Add 10 million oysters to salty water

Rewilding our depleted oceans will help restore them to health, and the best place to start is with the humble oyster, says Charles Clover
via A recipe for ocean health: Add 10 million oysters to salty water

Life amid death at Australia’s new body farm

Human bodies decompose differently in Australia, so Shari Forbes opened the first body farm outside the US
via Life amid death at Australia’s new body farm

Supersmart satellites reveal crops and fields like never before

Tech start-ups are putting cameras in orbit to monitor everything from flood damage to crop yield with greater frequency and detail than ever before
via Supersmart satellites reveal crops and fields like never before

World's first passenger drone cleared for testing in Nevada

China’s Ehang will begin the testing process this year to prove the drone’s airworthiness

The world’s first passenger drone capable of autonomously carrying a person in the air for 23 minutes has been given clearance for testing in Nevada.

Chinese firm Ehang, which unveiled the electric Ehang 184 passenger drone at CES in Las Vegas in January, has partnered with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (Goed) to put the drone through testing and regulatory approval.

Continue reading...
via World's first passenger drone cleared for testing in Nevada

Tallest known tropical tree discovered in Malaysia’s lost world

The Yellow Meranti tree is probably the world's tallest tropical tree. At 89.5 metres tall, that's equivalent to 65 people standing on each other’s shoulders  
via Tallest known tropical tree discovered in Malaysia’s lost world

First Surgical Robot from Secretive Startup Auris Cleared for Use



Teleoperated endolumenal bot can navigate inside the body, image and treat conditions without making incisions
via First Surgical Robot from Secretive Startup Auris Cleared for Use

Australia hit by storms worsened by king tides and low pressure

Entire eastern seaboard has been battered by intense storms, made worse by combination of low pressure and monster waves
via Australia hit by storms worsened by king tides and low pressure

Is Elon Musk right, are we really living in a simulated cosmos?

Why is technology evangelist Elon Musk so convinced that we are part of some giant computer simulation, wonders Geraint Lewis
via Is Elon Musk right, are we really living in a simulated cosmos?

Haptic Taco Helps You Navigate By Feel



This small handheld cube grows and shrinks to tell you where to go
via Haptic Taco Helps You Navigate By Feel

There are better ways to decide the big issues than referendums

They seem democratic but referendums are flawed. If we want people involved in the political process, there are smarter ways to go about it, says Niall Firth
via There are better ways to decide the big issues than referendums

Blowing hot air: Are wind farms really bad for your health?

Why is Australia spending millions on investigating unfounded claims of "wind turbine syndrome", a probable manifestation of the so-called nocebo effect?
via Blowing hot air: Are wind farms really bad for your health?

What will medicine be like in space?

As a research doctor with the European Space Agency, Beth Healey spent a year at their Concordia base in Antarctica – also known as ‘White Mars’. Read our interview with her there
via What will medicine be like in space?

Why is the universe expanding 9 per cent faster than we thought?

Two ways of measuring how quickly the universe is flying apart come up with increasingly different numbers. Are our measurements wrong, or is physics?
via Why is the universe expanding 9 per cent faster than we thought?

Quadrotors Learning to Surf Urban Winds for Huge Performance Boosts



Drones can fly farther and faster by modeling and taking advantage of wind fields
via Quadrotors Learning to Surf Urban Winds for Huge Performance Boosts

Genetic test predicts your success in life, but not happiness

Subtle variations across the genome can go a small way in predicting how likely a person is to have a prestigious job, high income and likeable personality
via Genetic test predicts your success in life, but not happiness

Gravity probe LISA Pathfinder achieves best ever free fall

The European Space Agency has successfully tested the technology needed to build a large-scale gravitational-wave observatory in space
via Gravity probe LISA Pathfinder achieves best ever free fall

Eider duck caught diving beneath the Norwegian waves

This snap of a male eider plunging below the surface was photographer Pål Hermansen’s favourite shot after three years photographing the birds
via Eider duck caught diving beneath the Norwegian waves

Carb your enthusiasm: Are bread, pasta and spuds making you fat?

The traditional balanced diet may be way out of whack. To fight obesity and diabetes, doctors and nutritionists are embracing diets that were once called fads
via Carb your enthusiasm: Are bread, pasta and spuds making you fat?

Flamingo stars turn pink when they gobble iron-rich planets

Consuming a metal-rich planet or two early in its life can change a star’s colour – making them the flamingos of space
via Flamingo stars turn pink when they gobble iron-rich planets

Free speech has met social media, with revolutionary results

Social media’s personalisation has led to “post-truth politics” as politicians chase popular opinion. But democracy must be more than a popularity contest
via Free speech has met social media, with revolutionary results

Electric eels seen leaping out of water to attack land predators

A naturalist’s tale from 200 years ago of eels jumping out of a river in the Amazon and attacking horses may be true – the behaviour has been caught on film
via Electric eels seen leaping out of water to attack land predators

Inside an Experimental Robotics Class: A Robot Sketch Artist, a Robot That Plays Dominos, and More



Stanford’s Experimental Robotics class graduates eight very smart robots
via Inside an Experimental Robotics Class: A Robot Sketch Artist, a Robot That Plays Dominos, and More

Desert plant seen drinking fog and mist with its leaves

The unusual plant uses its leaves instead of its roots to collect water – and for the first time the detailed mechanism behind this is revealed
via Desert plant seen drinking fog and mist with its leaves

Human-pig chimeras are being grown – what will they let us do?

Creating pigs that are essentially normal except for one human organ sounds disturbing – but it could one day give us an unlimited supply of organs for transplant  
via Human-pig chimeras are being grown – what will they let us do?

US and India set to join UN climate deal and agree on renewables

India's climate move could help clear hurdle for Paris agreement, as Prime Minister Modi meets President Obama over US investment in Indian energy market
via US and India set to join UN climate deal and agree on renewables

Prince’s overdose: How painkillers unleashed a deadly epidemic

With prescription opioids, tolerance to painkilling effects can rise faster than resistance to an overdose. It's a deadly catch-22, says Samantha Murphy
via Prince’s overdose: How painkillers unleashed a deadly epidemic

What happens when society crumbles and progress stops

Would we be better off without economic growth? Can we survive the end of industrial civilisation? And is science itself running out of steam?
via What happens when society crumbles and progress stops

Could a robot do your job? – video explainer

Robots and automated systems are getting faster, better and cheaper by the day. A study of US jobs has found that 47% are threatened by automation in the next 20 years. So what can robots already do? What jobs are safe? And what will we do all day if we don’t have any work to do?

Continue reading...
via Could a robot do your job? – video explainer

There are better ways to decide the big issues than referendums

They seem democratic but referendums are flawed. If we want people involved in the political process, there are smarter ways to go about it, says Niall Firth
via There are better ways to decide the big issues than referendums

Prisoners’ code word caught by software that eavesdrops on calls

Plug a machine-learning system in to prison phone lines and you can find out secrets a human monitor would never notice
via Prisoners’ code word caught by software that eavesdrops on calls

Google was barking up the wrong tree with its robot dogs

The search firm’s purchase of Boston Dynamics in 2013 seemed a bit out of character. And guess what? It was

What do you do when you have $43bn (£30bn) in your back pocket? Why, you buy companies like there’s no tomorrow. A couple of years ago, Google decided that it needed to get into robotics, so it went shopping for robotics companies. It picked up eight, all for the search giant’s equivalent of small change.

What the hell was a search company doing getting involved in this business? Now we know: it didn’t have a clue

Continue reading...
via Google was barking up the wrong tree with its robot dogs

The Oracle of Oil: The man who predicted peak oil

M. King Hubbert was a smart geologist with canny ideas about oil that no one listened to at the time. Can a fascinatingly flawed book rescue his legacy?
via The Oracle of Oil: The man who predicted peak oil

UK closer to banning cosmetic microbeads that clog up its seas

Tiny plastic particles from our washing products end up in seas and are ingested by marine organisms. The UK is about to decide whether to ban the beads
via UK closer to banning cosmetic microbeads that clog up its seas

Orcas are first non-humans whose evolution is driven by culture

Genomes of 50 whales from different social niches reveal that their varying cultures are also genetically distinct
via Orcas are first non-humans whose evolution is driven by culture

Man v machine: can computers cook, write and paint better than us?

Artificial intelligence can now win a game, recognise your face, even appeal against your parking ticket. But can it do the stuff even humans find tricky?

One video, for me, changed everything. It’s footage from the old Atari game Breakout, the one where you slide a paddle left and right along the bottom of the screen, trying to destroy bricks by bouncing a ball into them. You may have read about the player of the game: an algorithm developed by DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence company whose AlphaGo programme also beat one of the greatest ever Go players, Lee Sedol, earlier this year.

Perhaps you expect a computer to be good at computer games? Once they know what to do, they certainly do it faster and more consistently than any human. DeepMind’s Breakout player knew nothing, however. It was not programmed with instructions on how the game works; it wasn’t even told how to use the controls. All it had was the image on the screen and the command to try to get as many points as possible.

There isn’t a robot on the planet that could make a cup of tea in someone else’s kitchen

Google Translate is surprisingly popular for dating. Things like ‘I love you’ and ‘You have beautiful eyes’

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via Man v machine: can computers cook, write and paint better than us?

This is Your Brain on Parasites: strong stories, shaky science

Kathleen McAuliffe's book revels in gruesome tales and psychological theories, but shows a disregard for what parasitology actually is
via This is Your Brain on Parasites: strong stories, shaky science

Transforming the bush: robots, drones and cows that milk themselves | Paul Daley

Rural Australia is being progressively hollowed out of its people. Will it be reduced to a vast mechanised place of scant human habitation?

These cows are in no hurry. Each just meanders to the dairy, all rolling hindquarters, swishing tails and loping heads, the blue-black and tan Rorschach ink-blot patching of their hides vivid against the washed-out Australian summer light. They stop as they please along the way. Chew cud. Moo. Drop pats. Moo again. They nudge the soft earth or a companion before snorting and continuing on up through the paddocks to the shed.

It’s milking time – just as it’s always milking time in this dairy for about 360 Friesians at Camden, where the outer orbit of Sydney gives way to the gentle rise that becomes the southern highlands. These cows are not held to the human clock and milked according to the dairy farmer’s traditionally antisocial (for both people and cows) timetable, at the crack of dawn and again at dusk. And they don’t have to line up for hours, either, cramped in a race, their udders bursting, in order for a dairy worker to quickly wash their teats, apply the suction cups, extract their milk, disinfect and send them on their way.

Related: Dairy price drop: Nationals and Labor grapple with farmer crisis

Robots that can plant, fertilise, spray, weed, monitor, harvest, pack and transport crops will inhabit the countryside

Non-Indigenous Australia’s emotional nexus with the land is stretched with the emergence of each new urban generation

Related: Scorched earth: at the epicentre of the Queensland drought, a family sells the last of their cattle

Ever since the original settlement … the size of farm holdings has continuously expanded

Related: Life after the exodus: Nhulunbuy picks up the pieces of its worst year

Related: After the robot revolution, what will be left for our children to do?

Every single country has some sort of automation program going on in agriculture

Related: Could carbon farming be the answer for a 'clapped-out' Australia?

Jobs lost in the bush to robots may not, ultimately, reappear in another guise in the towns, regional centres and cities

The reality is it’s just a gorgeous way to farm. And I would love to get that message out

We are talking about using swarms of lightweight, low-cost machines to do a multitude of tasks

Related: Welcome to the robot-based workforce: will your job become automated too?

Will the people who once worked in the dairies stay in the bush and learn how to write code?

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via Transforming the bush: robots, drones and cows that milk themselves | Paul Daley

The Shrimp: the robotic answer to the sheepdog – video

Researchers at the University of Sydney’s dairy farm on the outskirts of Sydney are experimenting with robotic farm assistants. The collaboration between the university’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics and the faculty of veterinary science’s dairy science group gives a glimpse of a high-tech future of farming

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via The Shrimp: the robotic answer to the sheepdog – video

Video Friday: ATLAS on the Edge, Plant-Robot Hybrid, and Kuka Smash



Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
via Video Friday: ATLAS on the Edge, Plant-Robot Hybrid, and Kuka Smash

The rebirth of calm: Why we need technology with manners

The more technology we have, the louder it needs to shout to get our attention. Meet the people trying to stave off cyber dystopia
via The rebirth of calm: Why we need technology with manners

What’s causing the devastating floods in France and Germany?

Unusual air currents are behind the torrential rains falling on Europe, but climate change may play a role, too
via What’s causing the devastating floods in France and Germany?

Is Elon Musk right, are we really living in a simulated cosmos?

Why is technology evangelist Elon Musk so convinced that we are part of some giant computer simulation, wonders Geraint Lewis
via Is Elon Musk right, are we really living in a simulated cosmos?

No disease, no natural conception, no mind of your own. Excited?

Imagine a world without sex and disease, and where all of our brains are networked. It sounds wonderful, but it will bring a new set of moral questions
via No disease, no natural conception, no mind of your own. Excited?

Face it, the Olympics won’t be axed. We need to Zika-proof them

Cancelling the $11-billion Games in Brazil is not a realistic option but there are things we can do to hinder the spread of Zika, says Debora Mackenzie
via Face it, the Olympics won’t be axed. We need to Zika-proof them

Failing livers transformed into healthy organs by virus therapy

A relative of the cold virus has been used to transform bad cells in failing livers  into healthy cells, reducing scarring and improving liver function
via Failing livers transformed into healthy organs by virus therapy

Stanford Aims to Begin a Reserve Officers Training Corps for Techies



Understanding who (or what) is behind a Twitter handle, figuring out where Navy ships are, identifying and classifying hostile drones and other projects roll out of Stanford’s first Hacking for Defense class
via Stanford Aims to Begin a Reserve Officers Training Corps for Techies

Why is the universe expanding 9 per cent faster than we thought?

Two ways of measuring how quickly the universe is flying apart come up with increasingly different numbers. Are our measurements wrong, or is physics?
via Why is the universe expanding 9 per cent faster than we thought?

Feedback: All hands on deck as Noah’s ark resurfaces in Kentucky

Plus fresh scented sea slugs, university seeks future crime-fighters, vulva canoe lands good-for-nothing in hot water, and more
via Feedback: All hands on deck as Noah’s ark resurfaces in Kentucky

Pests for dinner: Taking down invasive species a bite at a time

Invasive species are now the second biggest cause of extinction and cause numerous ecological problems. A new movement has a delicious solution – eat the invaders
via Pests for dinner: Taking down invasive species a bite at a time

How opinion polls are shaping the narrative of the EU referendum

Despite pollsters’ failure to predict the UK’s 2015 general election result, what you are told people think about Brexit will influence whether you vote – and how
via How opinion polls are shaping the narrative of the EU referendum

It’s not funny being female: A famous comic examines womanhood

Being labelled a "female comedian" made Sara Pascoe pay more attention to gender – and inspired her journey into the evolutionary biology of being a woman
via It’s not funny being female: A famous comic examines womanhood

Stem cell brain injections let people walk again after stroke

People once confined to wheelchairs because of stroke showed improvements in movement and speech with the help of stem cells injected into the brain
via Stem cell brain injections let people walk again after stroke

This Is the Tiniest Little Quadruped Robot We've Ever Seen



Researchers build a lilliputian robot that can traverse mildly rough terrain
via This Is the Tiniest Little Quadruped Robot We've Ever Seen

Bacterial RNA-editing tool could disable viruses or halt disease

CRISPR gene editing can now target RNA as well as DNA, which could be a way to treat infectious diseases and cancer and track RNA as it moves around cells
via Bacterial RNA-editing tool could disable viruses or halt disease

Metamaterial lens is thinner than the light it bends and focuses

A novel design for ultra-thin lenses uses nanostructures to grab light and bend it to its will, and could someday find uses in microscopes and cameras
via Metamaterial lens is thinner than the light it bends and focuses

Domestic dogs may have evolved separately in Europe and Asia

The origin of domestic dogs has split experts into two groups, who say it happened in either Europe or Asia. New genetic evidence suggests both may be right
via Domestic dogs may have evolved separately in Europe and Asia

Hipster chicken beards caused by a single gene mutation

Now we know how a chicken gets its beard. The same set of genes may also control human hair patterns and how birds of paradise get their showy plumage  
via Hipster chicken beards caused by a single gene mutation

Plan to build human genome from scratch could kick off this year

After several secret meetings, scientists have officially announced a $3-billion, 10-year plan to chemically synthesise a human genome
via Plan to build human genome from scratch could kick off this year

Meet the new Earthlings who will take over our planet

Our world may never be the same again – sea levels could rise by 70 metres, a new species of human could emerge, and eventually life will reboot
via Meet the new Earthlings who will take over our planet

Idle Motion’s Voyager struggles to clear the tower

Space exploration is a rich subject for theatre, but London's latest spacefaring production carries more cargo than it can handle
via Idle Motion’s Voyager struggles to clear the tower

Giraffe has same skin-lightening condition as Michael Jackson

An endangered Rothschild's giraffe is the first giraffe in the world spotted turning white because of vitiligo. An infection may be to blame  
via Giraffe has same skin-lightening condition as Michael Jackson

How your Facebook feed will affect your Brexit vote

Both Leave and Remain campaigns have £7 million to spend, with a large chunk earmarked for Facebook – a strategy that seemed to work for the Tories in 2015
via How your Facebook feed will affect your Brexit vote

Schrödinger’s cat alive and dead even after you saw it in half

A clever experiment preserves the quantum nature of a set of electromagnetic waves even when they're split apart, a stunt that could help make working quantum computers
via Schrödinger’s cat alive and dead even after you saw it in half

Would You Trust a Robot to Give Your Grandmother Her Meds?



Building successful human-robot interactions means learning a lot more about what it means to trust someone or something
via Would You Trust a Robot to Give Your Grandmother Her Meds?

Your explosive guide to the end of the universe

Our sun will swell, our galaxy will collide with its neighbour and the universe could suddenly be swallowed by a vacuum bubble
via Your explosive guide to the end of the universe

Prisoners’ code word caught by software that eavesdrops on calls

Plug a machine-learning system in to prison phone lines and you can find out secrets a human monitor would never notice
via Prisoners’ code word caught by software that eavesdrops on calls

Five in-home robots that could change your life

Whether you want help with cooking, cleaning or even dating, there’s a droid for the job. Here are a handful of home assistants who would love to serve you

Meet Zenbo, the Asus robot that costs no more than a smartphone

In-home robots to help with everything from cooking and cleaning to childcare and companionship have been the stuff of sci-fi for decades. But, with the unveiling this week of the Wall-E-like Asus Zenbo, this is the year that science-fiction could turn into science-fact, introducing home assistants that can talk to you, control your electronics and help out with the chores. Here are five that could be knocking at your door in the near future.

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via Five in-home robots that could change your life

Study of 1 million sites shows just how closely we’re watched

In a huge study, a pair of computer scientists from Princeton University measured how the top million websites track you. Here's what they found
via Study of 1 million sites shows just how closely we’re watched

Why Should We Ban Autonomous Weapons? To Survive.



While debate has focused on moral and legal issues of autonomous weapons, too little attention has been paid to the material dangers of an AI-powered war
via Why Should We Ban Autonomous Weapons? To Survive.

In a world of cross-border cooperation, Brexit will harm the UK

The collective power of the EU amplifies the impact of the UK’s important science sector. A vote to leave would a damaging move, says Mike Galsworthy
via In a world of cross-border cooperation, Brexit will harm the UK

Vote Brexit and British science will still be a powerhouse

A vote to quit the European Union will not scupper UK science but will free the nation from stifling regulation and federal ambitions, says Chris Leigh
via Vote Brexit and British science will still be a powerhouse

NHS could soon use smart outfit to diagnose epilepsy

Diagnosing epilepsy often involves a stay in hospital to record brain activity during a seizure. A wearable diagnostic kit could speed things up
via NHS could soon use smart outfit to diagnose epilepsy

Britain’s oldest writing found buried near London Tube station

Beautifully preserved tablets dating from just after the Roman invasion of Britain give insight into day-to-day life and evidence of first British school
via Britain’s oldest writing found buried near London Tube station

Why gut instinct will decide the most irrational referendum yet

Uncertainty over the future and contradictory political information mean voters in the UK's EU referendum will be swung even more than usual by feelings and biases
via Why gut instinct will decide the most irrational referendum yet

First commercial carbon-capture plant set to open in Switzerland

A plant will capture carbon dioxide from the air and sell it to a nearby greenhouse to spur the growth of fruit and vegetables
via First commercial carbon-capture plant set to open in Switzerland

Google’s Eric Schmidt Says AI Will Make Him Smarter, Cooler



“What I really want my AI assistant to do is to make me cool in front of my daughters”
via Google’s Eric Schmidt Says AI Will Make Him Smarter, Cooler

5 sleep disorders you didn’t know existed

Ever shouted at your partner while you slept, or woken up unable to move? From apnoea to exploding heads, here are some strange things that go bump in the night
via 5 sleep disorders you didn’t know existed
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