Tech news stories

A Robot Lawyer Is Officially Assisting With Refugee Applications
25th March 2017 | Tech

When Joshua Browder developed the chatbot for DoNotPay, the original idea was just to help people out with their traffic ticket woes. DoNotPay has since successfully overturned more than 200,000 disputable parking tickets in London, New York, and Seattle. It’s also given free legal aid to people who couldn’t afford lawyers for their emergency housing issues. The 20-year old Browder, a student at Stanford University, has now turned his robot lawyer to helping refugees seeking asylum.

Something on your mind? AI can read your thoughts and tell whether you are guilty of committing a crime
25th March 2017 | | Tech

A superhuman skill once the preserve of comic book heroes could soon become a reality.

Scientists have used a combination of brain scanning and artificial intelligence to read the minds of ‘criminals’ to determine whether they are guilty of knowingly committing a crime.

New Tool to Stop ISIS From Trafficking Artifacts: A Liquid Tracking Device
25th March 2017 | Ancient, Tech

A team of Syrian archaeologists in Turkey received a box in January that could have been meant for a detective agency: It contained small bottles, brushes, a sprayer and an ultraviolet light. Inside the bottles was a traceable liquid that the team hopes will deter looters from targeting Syrian artifacts, or help authorities track the artifacts if they disappear—cutting off a reported source of revenue for ISIS.

Buzzing the brain with electricity can boost working memory
23rd March 2017 | | 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 | | 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 | | 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 | 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 | | 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 | 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 | | 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 | | 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 | 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 | | 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 | | 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 | | 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 | | 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 | 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

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