Innovation

These futuristic spacecrafts could nudge asteroids away from us

NASA has given the go-ahead for work to design a spacecraft that will test nudging an Earth-threatening asteroid out of its menacing orbit. The space agency’s OK kicks off the preliminary design phase for DART, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission. “DART is a critical…

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How much screen time is too much?

In today’s media-rich world (or media-saturated, depending on your view), one rarely has to look far to find parents concerned about the ways that kids engage with technology. Recently, managing “screen time” seems to be on everyone’s mind – particularly during these summer months when…

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Why we might need an ‘interpreter’, to build our trust in AI

A team of researchers is working to build trust between humans and artificial intelligence (AI) by creating an “interpreter” that can explain how an AI arrived at the answer to a specific question. In an age of self-driving cars and autonomous drones, AI is becoming…

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Tech for dinner: how our food is changing as fast as our iPhones

A decade ago, the tech giant Apple released the first iPhone. Picture your life before then. Did you keep your personal calendar in a book? Did you own a camera or unfold a map when you got lost? A decade from now, the food we…

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This new ‘vertical bike’ allows people to scale buildings

In our increasingly vertical and densely populated cities, space saving is vital; there’s not always room to install full-size elevator shafts in apartment blocks where space is at a premium. Enter Vycle, a concept developed by design graduate Elena Larribathat boasts the bonus of health…

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Scientists think they might soon be able to edit human memories

How Memories Work Researchers have recently discovered two different types of memory use completely different processes in the same nerves, opening the way for a new pharmaceutical solution for treating anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The find challenges earlier research that had suggested memories…

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Why solar lights could offer a solution to the world’s poor

There is an ongoing debate among policy makers, international donors and researchers about how to provide energy access to poor rural areas. For many years, most funding was flowing into large-scale infrastructure projects to expand national electricity grids. However, grid extensions to remote and poor…

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Four reasons to question the hype around blockchain

Blockchain. Never have so many people sought so much from a technology understood by so few. There is nothing particularly novel about a divergence between the depth of knowledge enjoyed by computer scientists on the one hand and wider society on the other. But the…

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A Frenchman in Silicon Valley: France needs an innovation revolution

With Emmanuel Macron as president and his party winning a decisive majority in recent parliamentary elections, France’s ailing economy may finally receive a shot in the arm. Investors hope Macron can deliver on his promises to relax stringent labour laws and curb public spending. But…

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Without the humanities, great tech cannot exist. Here’s why

In 2005, the late writer David Foster Wallace delivered a now-famous commencement address. It starts with the story of the fish in water, who spend their lives not even knowing what water is. They are naively unaware of the ocean that permits their existence, and…

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