Tech news stories

Buzzing the brain with electricity can boost working memory
23rd March 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Humans, Tech

Scientists have uncovered a method for improving short-term working memory, by stimulating the brain with electricity to synchronise brain waves.

Researchers at Imperial College London found that applying a low voltage current can bring different areas of the brain in sync with one another, enabling people to perform better on tasks involving working memory.

Whole-body vibration may be as effective as regular exercise
23rd March 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Humans, Tech

A less strenuous form of exercise known as whole-body vibration (WBV) can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise in mice, according to a new study. WBV consists of a person sitting, standing or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body, and muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second.

Viruses created to selectively attack tumor cells
23rd March 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Tech

Scientists at the IDIBAPS Biomedical Research Institute and at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) lead a study in which they have designed a new strategy to get genetically modified viruses to selectively attack tumor cells without affecting healthy tissues.

An almost impossible engineering project lets us time travel to the start of the universe
20th March 2017 finance.yahoo.com | Space, Tech

Time travel is possible, in a way. Astrophysicists are about to make the sci-fi fantasy a reality using a giant infrared telescope that can peer at star formations 13 billion light years away, seeing them just like they were that many years ago, and illuminating the recipe for the soup that is the universe.

Time Crystals Created, Suspending Laws of Physics
20th March 2017 | livescience.com | Space, Tech

A bizarre new state of matter known as a time crystal seems to suspend the laws of thermodynamics almost indefinitely, two new experiments suggest.


Alt: Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not

‘Blurred times’ in a quantum world
20th March 2017 phys.org | Space, Tech, Weird

When measuring time, we normally assume that clocks do not affect space and time, and that time can be measured with infinite accuracy at nearby points in space. However, combining quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity theoretical physicists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have demonstrated a fundamental limitation for our ability to measure time.

Gene therapy treats muscle-wasting disease in dogs
20th March 2017 | eurekalert.org | Animal Life, Tech

Work on gene therapy is showing significant progress for restoring muscle strength and prolonging lives in dogs with a previously incurable, inherited neuromuscular disease. UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine scientists are leading the multi-institutional research effort.

Snake bite? Chemists figure out how to easily and cheaply halt venom’s spread
20th March 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Tech

Chemists have developed a way to neutralize deadly snake venom more cheaply and effectively than with traditional anti-venom — an innovation that could spare millions of people the loss of life or limbs each year.

Turning food waste into tires: Eggshells, tomato peels add strength to sustainable rubber
20th March 2017 phys.org | Tech

Tomorrow’s tires could come from the farm as much as the factory. Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century.

Get ready for the SuperBees: Scientists reveal plan to breed insects resistant to diseases and even stress
20th March 2017 | dailymail.co.uk | Animal Life, Tech

A key set of genes involved in honey bee responses to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites has been identified by researchers.

The findings are important given that honey bee populations have experienced severe losses across the Northern Hemisphere, mainly due to parasites and pathogens.

Fleets of drones could pollinate future crops
19th March 2017 | sciencenews.org | Tech

Eijiro Miyako gets emotional about the decline of honeybees. “We need pollination,” he says. “If that system is collapsed, it’s terrible.”

Insects, especially bees, help pollinate both food crops and wild plants. But pollinators are declining worldwide due to habitat loss, disease and exposure to pesticides, among other factors

Stephen Hawking calls for ‘world government’ to stop a robot uprising
19th March 2017 | csmonitor.com | Tech

Physicist Stephen Hawking may be a proponent of artificial intelligence, but he has also been outspoken about the potential challenges it creates. In a recent interview, he sounded a similar tone, and offered a solution that conservatives may find hard to accept.

Scientists Want to Build a Super-Fast, Self-Replicating Computer That “Grows as It Computes”
19th March 2017 | sciencealert.com | Tech

Scientists say it’s possible to build a new type of self-replicating computer that replaces silicon chips with processors made from DNA molecules, and it would be faster than any other form of computer ever proposed – even quantum computers.

Physicists extend quantum machine learning to infinite dimensions
19th March 2017 phys.org | Tech

Physicists have developed a quantum machine learning algorithm that can handle infinite dimensions—that is, it works with continuous variables (which have an infinite number of possible values on a closed interval) instead of the typically used discrete variables (which have only a finite number of values).


Related: IBM’s online quantum machine gets faster

Scientists Closer To Creating A Fully Synthetic Yeast Genome
19th March 2017 | npr.org | Tech

Scientists have taken another important step toward creating different types of synthetic life in the laboratory.

An international research consortium reports Thursday that it has figured out an efficient method for synthesizing a substantial part of the genetic code of yeast.

De-extinction probably isn’t worth it
18th March 2017 | sciencenews.org | Ancient, Tech

The prospect of resurrecting mammoths is back in the news after Harvard geneticist George Church announced last month that he may be only two years away from creating a mammoth-elephant hybrid fetus. That’s still a long way from a living mammoth — let alone herds of the animals — and scientists are skeptical that Church will be successful with even a hybrid fetus. The scientific hurdles that will have to be overcome are huge. But the problems with de-extinction only start there

Welcome to Pleistocene Park: Russian scientists reveal plan to restore part of Arctic Siberia to its Ice Age condition (complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths)
18th March 2017 | dailymail.co.uk | Ancient, Earth, Tech

At a 50-square mile nature reserve tucked deep in Arctic Siberia, scientists are working on a radical plan to fight climate change by reviving the ancient grasslands of the last Ice Age – and the beasts that once roamed them.

While this period is better known for the glaciers that swathed the continents until 12,000 years ago, the grasslands of the Mammoth Steppe ecosystem also dominated much of the surface.

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