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This Insect-Sized Flying Robot Is Powered by Lasers

In 1989, two MIT artificial intelligence researchers made a terrifying prediction. “Within a few years,” wrote Rodney Brooks and Anita Flynn, “it will be possible at modest cost to invade a planet with millions of tiny robots.” Their paper “Fast, Cheap and out of Control: A Robot Invasion of the ...

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American tropics, Amazon origins

A new study is suggesting many of the plants and animals that call Latin America home may actually have their roots in the Amazon. The study, co-authored by Harvard Visiting Scholar Alexandre Antonelli and an international team of researchers, found that a dynamic process of colonization and speciation led to ...

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Lessons from California Mudslides: Science’s Credibility Is At Stake

For applied scientists—that intrepid cadre who get their hands dirty in the sometimes dangerous world beyond the ivory tower, participating in difficult decisions with little time and major consequences—getting the right answer is only half the battle. The other half is successfully explaining what they’ve found, and what it means. ...

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The Psychology of Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition

Among the more modern anxieties of parents today is how virtual assistants will train their children to act. The fear is that kids who habitually order Amazon’s Alexa to read them a story or command Google’s Assistant to tell them a joke are learning to communicate not as polite, considerate ...

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Kilauea and the Implacable Power of Volcanic Lava

In 1935, lava from an eruption of the volcano Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawai’i, started oozing toward the Wailuku River, main source of water for the city of Hilo. This danger to the more than 15,000 residents of Hilo was exactly the opportunity that Thomas Jaggar, founder ...

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Tiny fossils unlock clues to Earth’s climate half a billion years ago

An international collaboration of scientists, led by the University of Leicester, has investigated Earth’s climate over half a billion years ago by combining climate models and chemical analyses of fossil shells about 1mm long. The research, published in Science Advances, suggests that early animals diversified within a climate similar to ...

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This Startup Wants to Be AirBnb for Gene Sequencers

Last month, cancer researcher Amit Verma found himself in a bit of a bind. His lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York had just received feedback on a new paper about how genes get turned on and off when healthy pancreas cells develop into tumors. The ...

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