Tech news stories

Modern agriculture cultivates climate change – we must nurture biodiversity
19th January 2017 | theguardian.com | Earth, Tech

As a new year dawns, it is hard not to be dazzled by the current pace of technological change in food and agriculture. Only last month, news emerged of a crop spray with the potential to increase the starch content in wheat grains, allowing for yield gains of up to 20%. This development comes hot on the heels of major breakthroughs in gene-editing technologies – using a powerful tool known as Crispr – over the course of 2016.

Scientists Could Identify a Person’s Age by Looking at These Cells in Their Brain
18th January 2017 futurism.com | Humans, Tech

By examining the brains of 480 people that died between the ages of 16 and 106, researchers have learned that glial cells experience bigger changes than neurons during aging.

This information could lead to better treatment options for neurological disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, or even ways to combat aging altogether.

After day one, AI is crushing humanity at poker
18th January 2017 | theverge.com | Tech

The first day of the Brains vs. AI poker tournament is in the books, and the Libratus bot from Carnegie Mellon University emerged as the clear winner, collecting $81,716 to the humans $7,228.

Pentagon successfully tests micro-drone swarm
18th January 2017 phys.org | Tech

The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones.

Department of Defense Calls for Biodegradable, Seed-Planting Ammo
18th January 2017 | smithsonianmag.com | Earth, Tech

Every year, the U.S. Army uses hundreds of thousands of rounds of bullets for training purposes. That means plenty of metallic waste—refuse that can take centuries to break down. But one day, that training trash could turn into environmental treasure.

Mice turn into killers when brain circuit is triggered by laser
18th January 2017 | newscientist.com | Animal Life, Tech

Inside every mouse lurks a natural-born killer. Researchers have identified the brain region that controls hunting, and have found a way to switch it on and off.

The birth of half-human, half-animal chimeras
16th January 2017 | bbc.com | Tech

In H. G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, the shipwrecked hero Edward Pendrick is walking through a forest glade when he chances upon a group of two men and a woman squatting around a fallen tree. They are naked apart from a few rags tied around their waist, with “fat, heavy, chinless faces, retreating foreheads, and a scant bristly hair upon their foreheads.” Pendrick notes that “I never saw such bestial looking creatures.”

More Than Human: Scientist is Building Animal-Like Machines to Save Lives
16th January 2017 futurism.com | Tech

A robotics engineer is pioneering the use of robotics for first responders.

This new breed of machines could help save lives in situations where human responders are unable to safely reach victims.

New fertility procedure may lead to ’embryo farming’, warn researchers
16th January 2017 | theguardian.com | Tech

A new lab procedure that could allow fertility clinics to make sperm and eggs from people’s skin may lead to “embryo farming” on a massive scale and drive parents to have only “ideal” future children, researchers warn.

New form of hydrogen created
16th January 2017 | sciencenews.org | Tech

Scientists have produced a new form of hydrogen in the lab — negatively charged hydrogen clusters.

Each cluster consists of hydrogen molecules arranged around a negatively charged hydrogen ion — a single hydrogen atom with an extra electron — at temperatures near absolute zero

Seeing the quantum future… literally
16th January 2017 phys.org | Space, Tech

Scientists at the University of Sydney have demonstrated the ability to “see” the future of quantum systems, and used that knowledge to preempt their demise, in a major achievement that could help bring the strange and powerful world of quantum technology closer to reality.

A new CERN experiment targets even higher energies (eventually)
16th January 2017 | theguardian.com | Space, Tech

The AWAKE experiment at CERN made a breakthrough at the end of last year. A long-term technology-development project, its aim is to drag electrons through a plasma, behind a beam of protons, and provide a route to higher energies than the Large Hadron Collider

Stem cell therapy reverses blindness in animals with end-stage retinal degeneration
15th January 2017 | sciencedaily.com | Tech

A stem cell-based transplantation approach that restores vision in blind mice moves closer to being tested in patients with end-stage retinal degeneration, according to a study.

88-year-old Saskatoon man makes thousands of socks for shelters
15th January 2017 | cbc.ca | Misc., Tech

It started as a dare.

Bob Rutherford’s friend didn’t believe the Saskatoon man could make a cheap knitting machine that worked really, really fast.

That’s when Rutherford got to work.

Decline of the dentist’s drill? Drug helps rotten teeth regenerate, trial shows
15th January 2017 | theguardian.com | Tech

Dentists have devised a treatment to regenerate rotten teeth that could substantially reduce the need for fillings in the future.

The therapy works by enhancing the natural ability of teeth to repair themselves through the activation of stem cells in the soft pulp at the centre.

Meet ‘Prosthesis’, the terrifying 14ft-tall ‘anti-robot’ that can carry a human and run over 20mph almost silently
15th January 2017 | dailymail.co.uk | Tech

The human-controlled Prosthesis bot, backed by Furrion, relies on electro-hydraulics with direct haptic feedback to generate motion.

And, it’s designed to go head to head with other robots in giant ‘mech’ races.

Ancient Toy Inspires Low-Cost Medical Diagnostic Tool
15th January 2017 | livescience.com | Ancient, Tech

Modern medicine often feels like magic: A technician pricks your skin, draws a drop of blood and whisks it away into another room. Oftentimes, this gives the doctor enough information to make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment. But for people in developing countries, these kinds of diagnostics can be more science fiction than reality.

News stories covering technology, and the latest inventions and medical advancements.