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How close are we to Elon Musk's brain-computer interface?

Just as ancient Greeks fantasized about soaring flight, today's imaginations dream of melding minds and machines as a remedy to the pesky problem of human mortality.<p>Can the mind connect directly with artificial intelligence, robots and other minds through brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies …

Polish law change unleashes 'massacre' of trees

New law allows private landowners to cut down any number of trees without applying for permission or even informing authorities<p>A controversial change to Polish environmental law has unleashed what campaigners describe as a “massacre” of trees across the country.<p>The new amendment, commonly known as …

Europe

US denies loosening rules for avoiding civilian casualties

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. airstrikes probably played a role in the deaths of dozens of civilians in Mosul earlier this month, U.S. and Iraqi military …

Flynn's Departure Adds Fuel As Trump's Russia Problem Smolders

Throughout Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and now during his first weeks in office, one country keeps re-emerging in the controversies that swirl around him: Russia.<p>For all the turbulence, Trump and his team have not addressed the larger and more important questions of how they plan to deal …

Donald Trump

Scientists are making genetically modified cyborg dragonflies

A biomedical solutions company called Draper is developing a technology that can turn a dragonfly into a living drone. They call it the DragonflEye project, and the technology's main component is a tiny backpack equipped with solar panels to harvest energy. It also has integrated guidance and …

Organisms

The Stem-Cell Revolution Is Coming — Slowly

In 2001, President George W. Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for new sources of stem cells developed from preimplantation human embryos. The action stalled research and discouraged scientists.<p>Five years later, a Kyoto University scientist, Shinya Yamanaka, and his graduate …

Cell Biology

We know what Russia did. But what we really need to understand is why.

I’m glad that Donald Trump will finally get a briefing on the unanimous conclusion of America’s intelligence agencies that the Russian government was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. But he should also request and receive a political …

The White House Has Finally Released a Strategy For Dealing With Deadly Asteroids

Here's the plan.<p>For years, scientists have been expressing their concern over how unprepared the world is for a potentially extinction-level asteroid …

Trump seems to keep siding with Russia, but what does that get him?

Watching National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper Jr., a gruff, 50-year veteran of the spy world, answer congressional questions Thursday, you couldn’t help wondering whether perhaps this time President-elect Donald Trump has met his match.<p>To recall a quip made years ago by a prominent …

Donald Trump

This Foldable Battery Is Powered by Bacteria From Wastewater

Guaranteed to not explode.<p>Scientists have developed a bacteria-powered battery on a single piece of paper, which they say could be a cheap and easily …

The electoral college is the worst of both worlds. It’s time for it to go.

It’s important for those who favor the popular election of our presidents to separate their arguments for direct democracy from the outcome of a particular contest.<p>My colleague George F. Will’s recent column in defense of the electoral college offers an excellent opportunity to make a case that has …

British futurist in charge of US cryogenic facility reveals plans to freeze his own head

A British 'futurist' in charge of one of the world’s largest cryogenic facilities has compared himself to Leonardo Da Vinci, saying it is just a matter of time before science advances to the point where preserved bodies can be revived after death.<p>Dr Max More, who was born in Bristol and went to …

A Just-Discovered, 90 Million Year-Old Bird Could Help Us Predict The Future of The Planet

The past and future collide.<p>A new type of large, prehistoric bird has just been unearthed in the Canadian Arctic.<p>A team of geologists from the …

Panama Papers: What happened next?

<b>This year saw the release of the biggest leak of documents in history, when the Panama Papers were made public.</b><p>Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. They revealed in detail how parts of the offshore industry …

Scientific success depends on finding light in darkness

Could Dark Matter Be Powering The EMdrive?

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. This formulation of Newton’s third law has two very important modern consequences: one, that there’s a physical quantity that’s always conserved in the Universe (momentum), and two, that the laws of physics are the same irrespective of your …

Physics

Why 2017 is the year to invest in retail stocks

The retail sector is a tough one to invest in, due to intense competition, fickle consumer tastes, and a disruptive shift from brick-and-mortar retailers to e-tailers.<p>The Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index advanced less than 1% in 2016, underperforming the Dow's 7% growth and the S&P 500's 5% gain.<p>But …

Expect Climate Catastrophe: Paris Agreement Lacks Enforcement

Enforcement mechanisms for climate change targets are not being implemented, including in the Paris Agreement of December 2015. We are actually sliding backwards on this critical element of a global climate deal.<p>Sanctions were agreed in 2001, that any developed countries that missed emission limits …

Climate

An Indian startup could be the first private entity to land on the moon

Rahul Narayan had no clue about space. In 2010, he was in the software industry, running a startup that developed products for an ecommerce …

Space Exploration

After Centuries, Scientists Have Finally Figured Out How Water Conducts Electricity

One of life's most fundamental processes has been witnessed.<p>It's a textbook moment centuries in the making: more than 200 years after scientists …

Chemistry

Astronomers Observe Strange Quantum Distortion in Empty Space for the First Time Ever

A Little Less Strange<p>Vacuum birefringence is a weird quantum phenomenon that has only ever been observed on an atomic scale. It occurs when a neutron …

Fusion power: Unlimited, free energy that harnesses the power of the Sun

Progress is coming and it will bring abundant, clean, safe energy with it.<p>Stewart Prager, <i>Princeton University</i> and Michael C. Zarnstorff, <i>Princeton</i> …

Global warming blowout: Record highs beat record lows by 48-to-1 ratio in November

<b>UPDATE: Dec. 3, 2016, 3:22 p.m. EST</b> Updated data from NOAA indicates the ratio of daily record highs to record lows was 48-to-1 in November, once …

Global Warming

Using drones or autonomous soldiers in modern warfare may avoid some of the awfulness but does it forfeit any ethical defence for fighting in the first place?<p>Long before undergoing any proper study of war, I remember believing I had the problem sorted. In primary school, I remember remarking to …

War

The FBI Just Got Disturbing New Hacking Powers

At midnight, the U.S. government quietly gained expansive new surveillance abilities after a last-ditch effort to stop changes to the federal code of …

Study: Fastest-growing churches have modern worship, teach literal interpretation of Bible

A Canadian study has found that Mainline Protestant churches that have both modern worship services and teach a literal interpretation of the Bible grow faster.<p>The Canadian researchers who authored the study, "Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant …

US businesses push against Trump's attempts to dismiss climate change

From his claim that global warming was a gigantic hoax masterminded by China to his promise to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris agreement, Donald Trump’s surprise election win was widely decried by those who feared that recent progress in tackling climate change was about to come …

Climate

New elements complete seventh row of the periodic table

Officials have approved the names of four new elements. The new additions are named after a country, three cities and a scientist.<p>Top scientists …

We're closer to robots than you think. Intelligence could be the product of a basic algorithm

<b>THEORY OF CONNECTIVITY</b><p>The human brain is the most sophisticated organ in the human body. The things that the brain can do, and how it does them, have …

Neuroscience

Scientists have evolved a remarkable new form of life that can bond silicon to carbon

You're probably already familiar with a few products products that use carbon-silicon, or organosilicon: glues, caulks, and pesticides, to name a few.<p>But the new biological trick, which was forcefully evolved in bacteria, is safer and 15 times more efficient than synthetic, industrial chemistry at …