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Communities living on coral atoll islands, which rarely rise more than four metres above the surface of the sea, face a strange paradox. On the one hand, these islands are among the most sensitive to the effects of climate...

Two white-coated lab technicians, seated at work stations in a corner, are vastly outnumbered by the machines. Robotic arms calibrate liquids in microdrops. Small trays, with 96 tiny wells each, shuttle around the lab on magnetic tracks. Centrifuges whir....

AI systems are compute-intensive: the AI lifecycle often requires long-running training jobs, hyperparameter searches, inference jobs, and other costly computations. They also require massive amounts of data that might be moved over the wire, and require specialized hardware to...

Last week Facebook released its new $299 “Ray-Ban Stories” glasses. Wearers can use them to record and share images and short videos, listen to music, and take calls. The people who buy these glasses will soon be out in...

Every four years, some of the biggest issues facing the planet are thrashed out in a global meeting of conservation scientists. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global authority on the status of the natural...

From red blood cells to platelets, the cells in our own blood could prove an effective way of delivering drugs to their target and improving their safety. Many pharmaceutical drugs in the market come with side effects that generally...

The Aweme borer is a yellowish-brown moth with an inch-and-a half wingspan. In the often-colorful world of lepidopterology — the study of moths and butterflies — it’s not particularly flashy, but it is exceedingly rare. For decades, entomologists thought...

Has AI found a new Foundation?

In August, 32 faculty and 117 research scientists, postdocs, and students at Stanford University, long one of the biggest players in AI, declared that there has been a “sweeping paradigm shift in AI”. They coined a new term, “Foundation...

China and the US are in a race to conquer quantum computing, which promises to unleash the potential of artificial intelligence and give the owner all-seeing, code-breaking powers. But there is a race within China itself among companies trying...

The semiconductor industry has a problem. Demand is booming for silicon chips, which are embedded in everything from smartphones and televisions to wind turbines, but it comes at a big cost: a huge carbon footprint. The industry presents a...

Long before Duplin and Sampson counties became the epicenter of North Carolina’s hog farming industry, Roberta McCalop’s family owned 42 acres of farmland on a dead-end road a stone’s throw from the county line. Raising a small number of...

As 3D printing becomes more common, there is a growing need for specialized inks that can make the process more sustainable. It must also be suitable for creating products like biocompatible medical devices. Biologically derived inks, called bioinks, are...

Will Monolithic 3D DRAM Happen?

As DRAM scaling slows, the industry will need to look for other ways to keep pushing for more and cheaper bits of memory. The most common way of escaping the limits of planar scaling is to add the third...

Wrestling With Analog At 3nm

Analog engineers are facing big challenges at 3nm, forcing them to come up with creative solutions to a widening set of issues at each new process node. Still, these problems must be addressed, because no digital chip will work...

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, against the backdrop of the rushed U.S.-allied Afghanistan withdrawal, the grisly reality of armed combat and the challenge posed by asymmetric suicide terror attacks grow harder to ignore. But weapons technology has changed...

As soon as Tom Smith got his hands on Codex — a new artificial intelligence technology that writes its own computer programs — he gave it a job interview. He asked if it could tackle the “coding challenges” that...

A roadmap for developing robust and viable materials for fusion energy has been published by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and The Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials. Developed with the input of materials experts from the UK...

China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), has announced it will spend $8.87 billion on a new fabrication facility that will become China’s largest such facility used for products other than memory. As outlined in a regulatory filing...

Scientists and engineers are exploring technological solutions to place inside people’s homes to solve challenges associated with rising healthcare needs and an aging population. This trend in technology is known informally as smart living. The technologies being investigated may...

“Space is an invaluable domain, but it is also increasingly crowded and particularly susceptible to a range of cyber vulnerabilities and threats.” That’s not an overblown sci-fi movie strapline, but rather the chilling words of Gina Galasso, managing director...

With wind and solar prices dropping, it can be easy to forget that two-thirds of the globe’s renewable energy comes from hydropower. But hydro’s future is muddled with ghostly costs—and sometimes dubious environmental consequences. Most dams weren’t, in fact,...

In five years, operating a coal or natural gas power plant is going to be more expensive than building wind and solar farms. In fact, according to a new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, building a new solar...

A virtual twin of the road network that can predict the time and location of potholes and other maintenance issues is just one of the innovations poised to transform National Highways’ future operations. Other initiatives that could lead the...

As a scientist studying lead poisoning in children once remarked: “it took two years to put lead into gasoline and 60 years to take it out”. The consensus around leaded fuel’s unacceptable threat to human health was hard won,...

Neuroscientists are the cartographers of the brain’s diverse domains and territories — the features and activities that define them, the roads and highways that connect them, and the boundaries that delineate them. Toward the front of the brain, just...

Modeling Chips From Atoms To Systems

Complexity in hardware design is spilling over to other disciplines, including software, manufacturing, and new materials, creating issues for how to model more data at multiple abstraction levels. Challenges are growing around which abstraction level to use for a...

Physics seeks the future

A wise proverb suggests not putting all your eggs in one basket. Over recent decades, however, physicists have failed to follow that wisdom. The 20th century—and, indeed, the 19th before it—were periods of triumph for them. They transformed understanding...

Virgin Hyperloop has released a never-before-seen technical explainer of its rail system. As hyperloop continues to gain momentum, the firm wants to set a new baseline what the technology is and how it differs from other modes of transport....

In the stormy waters of the North Sea, 15 miles off the coast of Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, five floating offshore wind turbines stretch 574 feet (175 metres) above the water. The world’s first floating windfarm, a 30 megawatt facility...

In early September, at an industrial facility located about 25 miles southeast of Reykjavik, Iceland, the Swiss company Climeworks will mark the opening of a new project named “Orca.” At least in a conventional sense, Orca doesn’t actually make...

For a time, each new processor churned out more waste heat than the last. Had these chips kept on the trajectory they were following in the early 2000s, they would soon have packed about 6,400 watts onto each square...

Top Programming Languages 2021

Learn Python. That’s the biggest takeaway we can give you from its continued dominance of IEEE Spectrum’s annual interactive rankings of the top programming languages. You don’t have to become a dyed-in-the-wool Pythonista, but learning the language well enough...

In Germany in 1930, a group of scientists held a conference on nuclear physics, and they invited Wolfgang Pauli. The Austrian physicist was known as the originator of the Pauli exclusion principle, work that furthered scientists’ understanding of matter...

Picture this: Colossal, gas-powered autonomous robots bulldoze across acres of homogeneous farmland under a blackened sky that reeks of pollution. The trees have all been chopped down and there are no animals in sight. Pesticides are sprayed in excess...

The digital services and solutions that are defining civil infrastructure provide clients with cost improvements and time optimisation, as well as showcasing the value of intelligent data utilisation, transparency and collaboration, says DMT GROUP’s Diego Sancho Calderón. The construction...

For years, the idea that virtual reality would go mainstream has remained exactly that: virtual. Though tech giants like Facebook and Sony have spent billions of dollars trying to perfect the experience, virtual reality has stayed a niche plaything...

NASA is trying out sonic waves, electrostatic devices, and extra-slick coatings as ways to repel pesky space dirt.As NASA and private space companies prepare to send equipment—and eventually astronauts—back to the moon, they are facing a nearly invisible threat...

The ‘home gym’ didn’t feature in many UK homes before the pandemic, but it’s now much more commonplace to own various bits of kit for home workouts. Within the first three months of lockdown alone, exercise bike sales rose...

The US government’s nuclear physicists say they are closing in on fusion ignition – the point at which a fusion reaction becomes self-sustaining – in the lab by compressing matter with lasers. We’re told they were able to produce...

Journeys on regional airline routes could be undertaken with hybrid electric power following the successful test flight of Ampaire’s Electric EEL technology demonstrator. Ampaire, a California-based electric aviation company, took its first hybrid electric flights in Scotland on August...

Faïrouz Malek says that after she earned her doctorate in nuclear and particle physics at the University of Grenoble in 1990, she “had only one idea: to go back home” to Algeria. But then, a little over a year...

For many people, the phrase “Internet of Things” probably brings to mind either smart city efforts such as streetlamps with traffic cameras and air-quality sensors, or connected devices in their own homes. And a very natural question is, why...

Jennifer Flynn had a problem. Shortly after joining LeadCrunch as a senior data scientist, she wanted to push out one small update of the company’s software, which uses machine learning to find sales leads for its business customers. The...

Well over 100 employees at Amazon Prime Air have lost their jobs and dozens of other roles are moving to other projects abroad as the company shutters part of its operation in the UK, WIRED understands. Insiders claim the...

Apple is about to announce a new technology for scanning individual users’ iPhones for banned content. While it will be billed as a tool for detecting child abuse imagery, its potential for misuse is vast based on details entering...

Intel: Back on Top by 2025?

Intel has spent the last few years dealing with criticism that it had lost its lead against rivals in the race to put ever more and better performing transistors on each square millimeter of silicon. This week, Intel unveiled...

Road transport accounts for around a quarter of all CO₂ emissions – reducing this is crucial to reaching net zero emissions in the next 25 years. When it comes to alternative fuels in passenger vehicles like cars, the automotive...

The world’s “most powerful” tidal turbine has begun supplying energy from its location off the coast of Orkney. Built by Orbital Marine Power, the 2MW floating turbine is anchored off the Fall of Warness near the Scottish Islands with...

A California native who wishes to be identified by his nickname, “Pancho”, is talking again after losing his speech in 2003 at the age of 20 in a terrible car crash that almost cost him his life. Through regenerative...

Humans have harnessed the power of microbes for centuries, for example using yeast to make bread, beer, yogurt and wine via fermentation. These living organisms are useful to us because they perform chemical reactions as part of their everyday...