Alex Giebels

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AI will create 'useless class' of human, predicts bestselling historian

Smarter artificial intelligence is one of 21st century’s most dire threats, writes Yuval Noah Harari in follow-up to Sapiens<p>It is hard to miss the warnings. In the race to make computers more intelligent than us, humanity will summon a demon, bring forth the end of days, and code itself into …


Secret Mayan tombs lend rare insight into rule of mysterious 'snake kings'

Jade-inlaid teeth and inscribed tibia unearthed in Holmul ruins of Guatemala hint at influence and power of Mayan dynasty known for snakehead emblem<p>Archaeologists in Guatemala have unearthed two Maya tombs that “miraculously escaped” looters’ tunnels underneath two Maya pyramids, where researchers …


The world's top 10 reptiles – in pictures

Komodo dragon tops poll, compiled by scientists using Wikipedia page view data, that reveals our favourite reptiles are also among the scariest

AI: will the machines ever rise up?

From Ex Machina to Terminator Genisys, ‘synths’ and robots have invaded our popular culture. But how real is the reel depiction of artificial intelligence?<p>The harried parents in one family in the Channel 4 drama Humans are divided about having a robot called Anita.<p>The father is delighted with the …

Artificial Intelligence

Picturing Parkinson’s: proving that research is an art form

These striking images are of cutting-edge research and are the top ten submitted to an annual competition held by Parkinson’s UK in memory of scientist Dr Jonathan Stevens. Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition for which there currently is no cure


Is the only way up for London's skyline?

The Shard, the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie… and there are more towers to come. So how do we judge what’s blight and what’s beautiful?<p>Tall buildings in London, say various forms of official policy on the matter, should be well designed and in the right place. Well I never. Who could possibly …


There's a lot more to neuroscience than media 'neuromania'

Why do some critics refuse to accept that the solution to many mysteries of the mind will be found in the brain?<p>Neuroscience gets a lot of press. Popular media outlets run the latest story of a brain scan that predicts your political leanings (but see a sceptical response here), or which action you …

Cannabis, neuroscience and TV: A ‘joint’ enterprise

Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial - live blog<p>Read more<p>Scientists are increasingly encouraged to share their findings with wider audiences through public engagement activities like science fairs, festivals, comedy, and radio and TV broadcasting. Activities like this can be very worthwhile, both for the …

Imperial College London

Smoking high-strength cannabis may damage nerve fibres in brain

Study suggests high levels of skunk use may affect the brain’s white matter, making communication between the right and left hemispheres less efficient<p>High-strength cannabis may damage nerve fibres that handle the flow of messages across the two halves of the brain, scientists claim. Brain scans of …


Brain damage could be repaired by creating new nerve cells

Researchers have regenerated damaged areas in the brains of mice by converting structural cells into functioning neurons<p>Scientists have raised hopes that brain damage caused by strokes, stab wounds and even bullets could one day be repaired by converting structural cells into functioning …

Future of human gene editing to be decided at landmark summit

Now that the ability to selectively insert or remove genes from DNA is widespread, a ‘global discussion’ is being convened to agree fresh safeguards<p>The question could hardly be more profound. Having stumbled upon a simple means to make precise changes to the code of life, should humans take control …

Middle East

It is easier to have a 'spirited' child when you are a white parent

Character traits that would pose difficulties for other students are viewed in a positive light in my daughter – and race plays a role in that<p>I have what’s known as a “spirited” child. Mia has run me ragged since she knew how to walk. She’d run across soccer fields as a toddler, never once looking …


Wellcome Image awards 2015 – in pictures

From the winning mare’s uterus to a fruit fly’s nervous system and stunning microscopic image of a boll weevil’s head, we round up the best of this year’s Wellcome Image awards

Immune System

What will happen when the internet of things becomes artificially intelligent?

From Stephen Hawking to Spike Jonze, the existential threat posed by the onset of the ‘conscious web’ is fuelling much debate – but should we be afraid?<p>When Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk all agree on something, it’s worth paying attention.<p>All three have warned of the potential dangers …


Geneticists discover technique to tackle mutant DNA

Scientists at the University of Rochester believe they have found a way to alter the genes that can cause disease<p>Scientists have hit on a genetic trick that opens up fresh avenues for the treatment of devastating diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and certain forms of cancer.<p>The …

The Guardian Film Show: Ex Machina, The Gambler, Mortdecai and A Most Violent Year - video reviews

Guest host Paul MacInnes joins Catherine Shoard and Peter Bradshaw to review this week's big releases. On the conveyor belt this week, Alex Garland's robot romance, Ex Machina, the other Oscar Isaac movie out this week, A Most Violent Year, Mark Wahlberg's turn as a literature lecturer in The …


Bodypainted contortionists – in pictures

The latest collection by artist Emma Fay, who previously wowed the world when her contortionist spider went viral last year

Tracking Isis, stalking the CIA: how anyone can be big brother online

There are a startling number of legal and free tools that let anyone set up NSA-esque operations – or just infiltrate the neighbour’s webcam<p>“Our choice isn’t between a world where either the good guys spy or the bad guys spy. It’s a choice of everybody gets to spy or nobody gets to spy.” So said …

The Art of Science: the stunning interiors of fish - in pictures

Prof Adam Summers uses marine specimens as the medium in a project which not only captures the beauty of the sea creatures but also reveals the anatomical structure for research and learning