Tech news stories

Cambridge scientists consider fake news ‘vaccine’
18th February 2017 | | Humans, Tech

The appearance of fake news on websites and social media has inspired scientists to develop a “vaccine” to immunise people against the problem.

A University of Cambridge study devised psychological tools to target fact distortion.

Hacking the Human Brain—New Tech Could Make It a Reality
17th February 2017 | Tech

Your thoughts are your own, right? Perhaps not. New technology is bringing that day closer when the unscrupulous may actually be able to hack human thoughts.

An Exhaust Pipe Device Turns Air Pollution Into Printing Ink
17th February 2017 | | Earth, Tech

An MIT spinoff company in India is proposing a novel solution to air pollution problems in Asia — turning vehicle exhaust into ink.

It involves attaching a device, called a Kaalink, to the business end of a standard automobile exhaust pipe.

We finally have a computer that can survive the surface of Venus
16th February 2017 | Space, Tech

Venus is one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system. Descending through the clouds of boiling sulphuric rain is actually the easy bit—the hard bit is not being cremated by the surface temperature of 470°C (878°F) or crushed by the atmospheric pressure, which is about 90 times that of Earth, the same as swimming 900 metres under water.

Scientist calls for industrial scale-up of greenhouse gas-eating microbe technology in UK
15th February 2017 | Animal Life, Earth, Tech

A leading green energy scientist who uses bacteria to turn greenhouse gases into usable chemicals is calling for more investment from industry and government subsidies to scale up this newest of technologies.

Robotic bee could help pollinate crops as real bees decline
15th February 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth, Tech

A drone that can pollinate flowers may one day work side by side with bees to improve crop yields.

About three-quarters of global crop species, from apples to almonds, rely on pollination by bees and other insects. But pesticides, land clearing and climate change have caused declines in many of these creatures, creating problems for farmers.

Alt: Japan Has Created Black Mirror-Inspired Bee Drones

Armchair archaeology: find lost civilisations using your laptop
14th February 2017 | | Ancient, Space, Tech

This is archaeology in the digital (and, er, real, and very amateur) age. A new project invites armchair Indianas everywhere to survey isolated tiles of satellite imagery, marking them as potential sites of interest or, in my case today, crime scenes.

New engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption
13th February 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Engineers have developed a scalable manufactured metamaterial — an engineered material with extraordinary properties not found in nature — to act as a kind of air conditioning system for structures. It has the ability to cool objects even under direct sunlight with zero energy and water consumption.

Wind Power Surpasses Hydroelectric in a Crucial Measure
13th February 2017 | | Earth, Tech

The wind industry crossed an important threshold in the United States last year, exceeding the generating capacity of hydroelectric power for the first time, according to the main industry trade group, the American Wind Energy Association.

Related: Massive lake drained for hydropower leaves dry bed and no fish

Bacteria fed synthetic iron-containing molecules turn into electrical generators
13th February 2017 | Earth, Tech

The bacterial world is rife with unusual talents, among them a knack for producing electricity. In the wild, “electrogenic” bacteria generate current as part of their metabolism, and now researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), have found a way to confer that ability upon non-electrogenic bacteria. This technique could have applications for sustainable electricity generation and wastewater treatment

Scientists just found a new way to farm biofuel-producing algae, and it’s 10x faster than before
13th February 2017 | | Earth, Tech

The possibility of using microalgae as a potential source of biofuel has been long discussed, but it’s not without its challenges. The big one is the same issue that affects a lot of promising tech: scaling it correctly — or, in this case, managing to grow enough of it an efficient manner.

Stinky armpits? Bacteria from a less smelly person can fix them
13th February 2017 | | Humans, Tech

Got BO? Blame the bacteria living in your armpits. In some people, bacteria cause body odour that no deodorant can disguise. But replacing them with underarm bacteria from a less smelly person can solve the problem, for a month or two at least.

Humble red berry could be the answer to deadly superbugs
13th February 2017 | | Tech

The rise of deadly superbugs which are resistant to antibiotics could be thwarted by a humble and widely available red berry, scientists have said.

Researchers build flu detector that can diagnose at a breath, no doctor required
13th February 2017 | | Tech

The influenza virus is a sneaky little bugger. In most cases, you have no idea you’re infected with it until you start to show symptoms — and by that point, it’s too late. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some sort of early-detection device that could tell us who is secretly harboring a virus before it spreads around the entire office?

Ultrasound Waves Turn Wine into Something Better
12th February 2017 | Tech

Brandies, such as cognac, are renowned for colors, flavors and aromas that require years to achieve. But scientists in Spain have used ultrasound to cut the time needed for such spirits to mature down to days.

Drug shows promise for treating alcoholism
12th February 2017 | Tech

UCLA researchers have found that an anti-inflammatory drug primarily used in Japan to treat asthma could help people overcome alcoholism.

Looking at a virtual hand reduces the pain in your real hand
12th February 2017 | | Tech

Next time a nurse sticks a needle into your arm, don’t look away: it’ll be less painful. A new study shows that we feel less pain when we are looking at our body – and that this effect works with virtual reality too.

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