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Science & Environment / New Scientist

Artificial skin can sense 1000 times faster than human nerves

An artificial skin inspired by the human nervous system can sense pressure and temperature. It has been tested on a robotic hand and improved the hand's ability to grasp a cup of coffee

17 Jul 2019 11:30 pm
Electronics projects for beginners: Get your plants talking to you

Well-loved plants are happy plants. Here’s how to wire yours up to a BBC micro:bit so they can tell you when they are too hot, dry or cold

17 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
Elon Musk's plans for mind-controlled gadgets: what we know so far

Elon Musk’s company Neuralink has finally broken its silence, unveiling a brain-computer interface it says people could use to control devices with their minds

17 Jul 2019 4:34 pm
Plans to provide genetic testing on the NHS could harm well-being

The UK’s health service is set to offer genetic testing to determine people’s risk of common diseases, but there are concerns that this could have negative effects

16 Jul 2019 9:57 pm
The plan to build mega wind farms and artificial islands in North Sea

A radical plan to build artificial islands in the North Sea that act as hubs for mega wind farms has received a boost after an analysis said it was feasible

15 Jul 2019 9:36 pm
AI beats professionals at six-player Texas Hold ’Em poker

For the first time, an AI has won six-player, no-limit Texas Hold ’Em, beating professional poker players who each have more than $1 million in winnings

11 Jul 2019 11:30 pm
Superstrong artificial muscle can lift 1000 times its own weight

Extremely strong artificial muscles that can lift 1000 times their own weight could be used for prosthetic limbs, exoskeletons and robots

11 Jul 2019 11:30 pm
Hear what music would have sounded like at Stonehenge 4000 years ago

You can now listen to what music would have sounded like at Stonehenge 4000 years ago, with all of its stones in their original positions

11 Jul 2019 10:01 pm
Streaming online pornography produces as much CO2 as Belgium

Streaming online videos generates 300 million tonnes of CO2 a year – nearly 1 per cent of global emissions – with pornography alone generating 80 million tonnes

11 Jul 2019 4:30 pm
Electronics projects for beginners: Sensors for talking to plants

Ever wanted to know if your plant is happy or sad? A BBC micro:bit and a moisture sensor will get you and your garden plants communicating

10 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
This professor of future crime stops burglaries before they happen

Criminologist Shane Johnson is not quite Tom Cruise in Minority Report, but he does predict where offences will occur and how best to stop them

10 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
Forget Tesla - China’s BYD is driving the electric car revolution

Shifting to electric vehicles is an essential part of tackling climate change and China is doing far better than the West

10 Jul 2019 9:15 pm
Instagram will ask users to rethink posting something offensive

Instagram will ask users to think again if they are about to post something that could be considered offensive and early tests suggest it could work, says the firm

9 Jul 2019 5:37 pm
AI made from a sheet of glass can recognise numbers just by looking

A sheet of glass can distinguish between drawings of 0 to 9, because light waves reflected off the images are bent differently as they pass through the glass

8 Jul 2019 6:30 pm
British Airways faces largest ever data breach fine for 2018 hack

A hack that accessed the personal data of around half a million British Airways customers has earned the firm a record £183 million fine

8 Jul 2019 3:52 pm
China, Russia and the US are all racing to produce hypersonic weapons

Countries are racing to make hypersonic weapons, which fly at over five times the speed of sound. The technology could raise instability around the world

6 Jul 2019 12:30 pm
Ransomware attacks are on the rise and the criminals are winning

Ransomware attacks, which see which see individuals and organisations locked out of their data unless they pay up, are on the rise and raking in huge profits

5 Jul 2019 8:33 pm
Armoured liquid droplets make mini disco balls, letters and shapes

Liquid marbles made from hexagonal plates can be moulded into different letters and shapes, and could be used as miniature reactors

5 Jul 2019 12:30 pm
YouTube suggests extremist content more often than alt-right site Gab

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is the worst at recommending extremist content compared to Gab, a right wing social media site, and Reddit

4 Jul 2019 9:09 pm
Data can now be stored inside the molecules that power our metabolism

The small molecules we use during metabolism form the basis of a new way to store digital information – and it could be more stable than electronic memory

3 Jul 2019 11:30 pm
Don't miss: Armstrong, the science of music and codebreaking

This week, check out the latest film on the moon landings, try some physics karaoke and visit the Science Museum’s display on codebreaking down the ages

3 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
The best sci-fi books put humanity at the heart of their writing

Science fiction books like ZED and This Is How You Lose the Time War use exhilarating writing to create worlds that seem eerily similar to ours, says Helen Marshall in her monthly sci-fi column

3 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
Galaxy simulator Ashley Spindler uses AI to understand the far cosmos

Ashley Spindler's machine-learning code is slowly teaching itself to simulate and identify distant galaxies – giving her time for hobbies like making chain-mail armour

3 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
Electronics projects for beginners: Make a robot biscuit butler

Take a BBC micro:bit, add a motor, a chassis and some infrared sensors and then put your feet up with a nice cup of tea: your biscuits will be on their way shortly

3 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
A classical concert at the Barbican shows how AI interprets a recital

Sight Machine, an AI project at the Barbican, shows how the algorithms used in techniques like facial detection capture the performance of a string quartet

3 Jul 2019 10:30 pm
Google has made a virtual soccer pitch to train AIs to play football

Google has created a virtual soccer training pitch for AIs to use to learn how to play football. The AIs will need to learn short-term control and high-level strategies

3 Jul 2019 8:33 pm
Your boss could use your smartwatch to check your productivity levels

AI can predict people’s performance levels at work based on data from their electronic devices. However, there are concerns about how the tech could be used

3 Jul 2019 8:15 pm
Your smartwatch could check if you are being productive enough

AIs don't think like children, but if they made a common assumption that children use whilst learning a language they would become better faster

3 Jul 2019 8:15 pm
A solar panel that unfolds in sunlight could power spacecraft

Special polymers that expand when heated allow a solar panel to unfurl when it’s exposed to sunlight, which could be useful for solar-powered spacecraft

3 Jul 2019 5:30 pm
A tiny jellyfish robot could swim inside the bladder to deliver drugs

A tiny jellyfish-like robot could be used to deliver drugs in the body. It is only 3 millimeters across and is controlled by magnetic fields

2 Jul 2019 8:30 pm
Teaching AIs to make mistakes like kids would help them learn faster

AIs don't think like children, but if they made a common assumption that children use whilst learning a language they would become better faster

2 Jul 2019 3:24 pm
YouTube anti-vax videos are on the decline but are yet to be wiped out

Anti-vaccination views are often spread on YouTube, but new research suggests the site has begun to get a handle on its vaccine disinformation problem

1 Jul 2019 5:22 pm
We are much less security savvy with our smartphones than we think

Many people who say they would never compromise their security, such as by giving personal details to a pop-up ad, still fall into traps

1 Jul 2019 12:30 pm
Remains of Genoa bridge demolished one year after deadly disaster

The two remaining towers of Italy’s Morandi bridge have been destroyed with explosives, but the lethal collapse in 2018 still has not been fully explained

28 Jun 2019 4:47 pm
Gettysburg Address stored in DNA using a binary code made of holes

Previous attempts at DNA storage have encoded data in the genetic code, but an alternative approach just uses a series of tiny holes

28 Jun 2019 4:37 pm
Impossible Foods boss says we should tax meat to boost veg-based diets

Impossible Foods' plant-based burgers will soon be cheaper than beef ones, steaks are coming, and the company will never sell out, says CEO Patrick Brown

28 Jun 2019 4:30 pm
Shatterproof phone screens could be made from seashell-like glass

A type of glass that can deform like plastic by mimicking the properties of mother-of-pearl could be used for everything from car windows to foldable phones

27 Jun 2019 11:30 pm
Tiny flying insect robot has four wings and weighs under a gram

This tiny insect-inspired robot weighs just 259 milligrams, has four wings that flap 170 times per second and is powered by six mini solar panels

26 Jun 2019 10:30 pm
Claire Burke on using thermal drone tech to protect orangutans

Astro-ecologist Claire Burke uses her astrophysics knowledge to protect endangered species and stop poaching, and she loves to watch orangutans in Borneo

26 Jun 2019 10:30 pm
Electronics projects for beginners: How to make a roaming robot

Using a BBC micro:bit, motors and some sensors, here's how to make an autonomous robot that can roam around and avoid objects in its path

26 Jun 2019 10:30 pm
Working hypothesis: from Raspberry Pi to abolishing time

Our regular column sorting the week's supernovae from the absolute zeros

26 Jun 2019 10:30 pm
AIs that diagnose diseases are starting to assist and replace doctors

Digital doctors are already in use, but there are big questions about how they work. Are we ready for the rise of AI healthcare?

26 Jun 2019 4:30 pm
I travelled to a future where AI cameras track your every move

Donna Lu investigates the murky world of security tech. She finds cameras packed with artificial intelligence, fingerprint scanners and a live owl

26 Jun 2019 4:00 pm
Will robots take my job? No, but they will break it into tiny bits

Robots will take our jobs in name only. They are actually fragmenting them in a way that undermines our ability to find full-time work, warns Annalee Newitz

26 Jun 2019 2:53 pm
Second world war bomb explodes after three-quarters of a century

This huge crater in a field in Germany was created when a bomb dropped around 75 years ago finally exploded

25 Jun 2019 4:42 pm
AI learns to gamble illogically like humans to predict our behaviour

Artificial intelligence trained on human-made gambling decisions has picked up our illogical habits, which could help machines better predict human behaviour

23 Jun 2019 12:30 pm
The US is making digital camouflage so that AIs can’t spot spy planes

The US Navy wants to modify military vehicles to fool AIs. For example, so that an AI misclassifies a tank as just an ordinary car

22 Jun 2019 2:30 pm
Artificial intelligence could spot early signs of schizophrenia

Years before schizophrenia can be diagnosed by doctors, artificial intelligence may be able to detect early signs of the condition in people's speech

21 Jun 2019 5:40 pm
Robotic fish powered by electronic blood can swim for 36 hours

A robotic fish uses electronic blood to power itself. The design is very energy efficient and the creators say it can swim non-stop for 36 hours

19 Jun 2019 10:30 pm
What will your digital footprint tell people about you when you die?

From exposing sexual secrets to repairing a bad image, the digital afterlife and who controls it matters in unexpected ways, as a fascinating new book explains

19 Jun 2019 10:30 pm