cell atlas

Podcast: Cataloguing every human cell in the quest to build ‘Human Cell Atlas’

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Your body has around 37 trillion cells - no, really, we've counted, all bodies do, including BJ ...
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7 ways biotechnology could change our lives in 2019

[Editor's note: Key researchers and scientists were asked for their thoughts on 2019.]  Gene editing, food innovation, and synthetic biology ...
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How a single amoeba could ‘change the face of computing forever’

A group of researchers from Tokyo’s Keio University set out to use an amoeba to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem, a famous ...
nano

New ‘nanotweezers’ can pull material from living cells without causing harm

Scientists at the Imperial College London have revealed their creation of a set of nanotweezers that can work on the ...
Preimplantation genetic screening

Do we really need sex to make babies? Maybe not

There are lots of great reasons we humans have sex. We mostly do it to pair bond, realize our primal ...
ear

Can we use plants to grow human tissue and body parts?

[Dr. Andrew Pelling] wanted to see whether grocery-store-bought plants can supply the necessary structure for engineering replacement human tissues. … Under ...
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If aliens exist, we could signal them with a massive laser…and why that’s a bad idea

If extraterrestrial life exists in our neck of the Milky Way, how would we make our presence known to one ...
Deepfakes

‘Synthetic media’: How AI could make the era of ‘fake news’ far worse

In the emerging world of “synthetic media,” the work of digital-image creation—once the domain of highly skilled programmers and Hollywood ...
self driving

Self-driving cars and life or death decisions: Who gets to define morality for these machines?

You’re driving along the highway when, suddenly, a person darts out across the busy road. There’s speeding traffic all around ...
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Search for extraterrestrial life could be hampered by drama surrounding NASA’s telescope dreams

For nearly 20 years, NASA has been planning and constructing a telescope unlike any ever built before: the James Webb ...
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‘Precision farming’ could slow climate change and unlock $250 billion in profits for farmers

There is a long list of global problems to combat, including hunger, drought, poverty, bad health, polluted water and poor ...
alien

‘People are primed for ET’: Why the discovery of alien life won’t frighten us

On [October 30] 80 years ago, actor Orson Welles announced to audiences in a chilling radio performance that Martians were ...
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These 12 guidelines could protect us from threats from artificial intelligence

After months of work, a set of guidelines designed to protect humanity from a range of threats posed by artificial ...
gmo regulation

Talking Biotech: How regulation threatens the future of biotechnology

Technology is revolutionizing health care and food production. But excessive regulation slows these important developments. What does this mean for ...
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Why things aren’t looking good for cryogenically frozen people

Corpse-freezing hasn’t exactly gone mainstream, but most people are now familiar with the concept: you lay out a ton of ...
One scientist's quest for an anti-aging drug

One scientist’s quest for an anti-aging drug

Judith Campisi has been a leading figure in the biology of aging since the early 1990s, when her research on ...
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Cross-country road trip gave AI a chance to write a novel—the result was a bit ‘surreal’

Last year, a novelist went on a road trip across the USA. The trip was an attempt to emulate Jack ...
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Video: How ‘turning down’ gene expression in pests can help protect crops and bees

In this video, CropLife International scientist Greg Heck discusses how researchers are using RNA interference (RNAi) to turn off or ...
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Speeding up drug research through ‘visionary’ cryptographic crowdsourcing

A new cryptographic system could allow pharmaceutical companies and academic labs to work together to develop new medications more quickly ...
crops on mars

Food crops treated with synthetic plant hormone could grow in space, study suggests

With scarce nutrients and weak gravity, growing potatoes on the Moon or on other planets seems unimaginable. But the plant ...
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Keeping artificial intelligence free of intentional bias

The conversation about unconscious bias in artificial intelligence often focuses on algorithms that unintentionally cause disproportionate harm to entire swaths ...
deep

Deep learning: When artificial and human intelligence come together

[Computational neuroscientist Terrence] Sejnowski, a pioneer in the study of learning algorithms, is the author of The Deep Learning Revolution (out next ...
ai

‘Autonomous weapons’ based on artificial intelligence could change warfare—and why that’s worrisome

In a new book, an expert (and former U.S. Army Ranger) warns that the world is stumbling toward a scary ...
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Optical illusions and why neural networks can’t seem to figure them out

[Optical illusions] are interesting because they provide insight into the nature of the visual system and perception. So ways of ...
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Robot farmers: ‘This is the revolution’

In a quiet corner of rural Hampshire, a robot called Rachel is pootling around an overgrown field. With bright orange ...
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‘Body on a chip’ could revolutionize drug research, replace animal testing

Bringing a new drug to market takes roughly a decade and requires expensive and arduous testing on humans and animals. But a ...
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Why it’s critical for AI to be given a good dose of common sense

Wherever artificial intelligence is deployed, you will find it has failed in some amusing way. Take the strange errors made by translation algorithms ...
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Merging soldiers and machines: Inside the quest to weaponize the brain

What lies beyond bionics? [DARPA director Justin] Sanchez described his work as trying to “understand the neural code,” which would ...