Science, Technology and Innovation

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

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A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose? by Carole Cadwalladr The Observer “The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” ... Read More »

Anti-Vaxxers Brought Their War to Minnesota—Then Came Measles

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MINNEAPOLIS — ON the first Saturday this May, residents of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood socialized in the shadows of their towering public housing complexes. wired Chattering men sat for haircuts while head-scarved women shopped the stalls lining the blue-bricked Riverside Mall. At nearby Currie… Anti-Vaxxers Brought… Read More »

Data is giving rise to a new economy

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Fuel of the future How is it shaping up? AN OIL refinery is an industrial cathedral, a place of power, drama and dark recesses: ornate cracking towers its gothic pinnacles, flaring gas its stained glass, the stench of hydrocarbons its heady incense. The Economist Data centres, in contrast, offer a less obvious spectacle: windowless grey buildings that boast no height or ornament, they seem to stretch to infinity. Yet the two have much in… Data is giving… Read More »

What happens when scientists stand up for science

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The 2017 March for Science was a powerful political statement by scientists. Brian Martin  The Conversation The marchers opposed political interference, budget cuts and lack of support for science at a government level. More commonly, though, scientists stay in their labs and avoid the public political spotlight. CSIRO scientist John Church – who initially acted as an individual (not a… What happens when… Read More »

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

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The DNA of extinct humans can be retrieved from sediments in caves – even in the absence of skeletal… BBC Researchers found the genetic material in sediment samples collected from seven archaeological… The remains of ancient humans are often scarce, so the new findings could help scientists learn the identity of inhabitants at sites where only artefacts have been… The results are described… DNA of extinct… Read More »

Ancient humans may have reached Americas 100,000 years earlier than previously thought

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Teeth and bones of an elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands were… TheJournal.ie  © AFP 2017  HIGH-TECH DATING of mastodon remains found in southern California has shattered the timeline of human migration to America, pushing the… Teeth and bones of the elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands, along… Ancient humans may… Read More »

Aspirin May Prevent Cancer from Spreading, New Research Shows

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In addition to relieving headaches and preventing heart attacks, the drug seems to keep malignant cells from… Viviane Callier | Scientific American May 2017 Issue Scientific American If ever there was a wonder drug, aspirin might be it. Originally derived from the leaves of the willow tree, this mainstay of the family medicine cabinet has been… Indeed, the drug is so popular that annual consumption worldwide totals about 120 billion… Aspirin May Prevent… Read More »

The discovery of alien life may be close. How will religion survive it?

Exoplanet Kepler186f 1a T Pyle AFP Getty

Encounters with new worlds and new life will present religions with the ultimate theological conundrum. But they will adapt, as they have done… Santhosh Mathew The Guardian About two decades ago, it was quite uncertain whether stars other than our own sun even hosted their own… However, according to Nasa, the latest count of confirmed exoplanets stands at around 3,500 – and… The discovery of… Read More »

Ansip and Oettinger — the odd couple

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Facebook status: It’s complicated. When the bright and powerful gather this week at Commissioner Günther Oettinger’s “mini-Davos” for two days of skiing, schmoozing and… JOANNA PLUCINSKA Politico The yearly confab in the idyllic Austrian ski town of Lech will include lobbyists, EU heavyweights and industry… With the conference in its sixth year, invitations are more… Ansip and Oettinger… Read More »

Facebook shares brain-control ambitions

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Facebook says it is working on technology to allow us to control computers directly with our… Dave Lee  BBC It is developing “silent speech” software to allow people to type at a rate of 100 words per minute, it… The project, in its early stages, will require new technology to detect brainwaves without needing invasive… “We are not talking about decoding your random thoughts,” assured… Facebook shares brain… Read More »

US West enters ‘new era’ of unstoppable wildfires because of climate change, experts warn

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‘This is bigger than us and we’re going to have to adapt to wildfire, rather than the other way… Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent Independent The western United States has entered a “new era of wildfires” with average temperatures now two degrees Celsius higher and the… Some blazes should be allowed to burn themselves out and fires should even be set deliberately as part of a… US West enters… Read More »

Nuclear weapons the ‘biggest threat facing humans today’

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THE threat looms large with North Korea celebrating the birthday of Kim Il-sung and Donald Trump poised for a preemptive attack. Here’s how it could look. Debra Killalea News.Com.Au IF a major conflict broke out between superpowers and nuclear warheads were used, the consequences would be catastrophic. In the space of minutes, entire cities would be destroyed and between one and three billion… Nuclear weapons the… Read More »

US government ‘hacked global bank system’

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A huge range of security exploits, said to be worth over $2m if sold on the black market, have been leaked… Dave Lee  BBC The tools are said to have been created by the US National Security Agency (NSA), and accompanying documents appear to indicate a possible breach of the… Such a hack could have enabled the US to covertly monitor financial transactions, researchers… US government ‘hacked… Read More »

The army that conquered the world

DABF1B The Han Dynasty Terra-cotta Soldiers displayed at Xianyang museum in Xianyang City of Shaanxi Province China. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

The martial figures buried with the first Chinese emperor were discovered in 1974. Jonathan Glancey BBC News But the tomb they guard hasn’t even been opened, writes Jonathan Glancey. In March 1974… The army that… Read More »

Dreaming ‘hot zone’ found at the back of the brain

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The stuff of dreams has bewildered science for years, but a new study has found a so-called “hot zone” near the back of the brain… Dani Cooper and Genelle Weule ABC The study also confirmed that dreaming does not just happen in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, associated with fast rhythms of… Monitoring of this hot zone led to predictions about when a person was dreaming in non-REM sleep and even some aspects of the… Dreaming ‘hot zone… Read More »

Organ Donation: A Modern Act of Heroism

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“Live a Legacy of Life. Be an Organ Donor” Is there anything more heroic than saving a life? Marios Prikis University of Vermont Whether, it’s saving a child from drowning or pulling a driver from car wreckage, we are fascinated and profoundly moved by people who perform selfless acts on behalf of others. When it comes to donating an organ however, many consider this form of selflessness as… Organ Donation: A… Read More »