Futuromics, Science and Physics

By Sirtuin | New information provides the building blocks and indicators of our future. Discover exciting innovations that clue us in to the next era.

Ask Ethan: What Was The Entropy Of The Universe At The Big Bang?

The second law of thermodynamics is one of those puzzling laws of nature that simply emerges from the fundamental rules. It says that entropy, a measure of disorder in the Universe, must always increase in any closed system. But how is it possible that our Universe today, which looks to be …

Cosmology

We Accidentally Invented Plastic That Conducts Electricity

The Birth of Conductive Plastics<p>Before the 2000s, conductive plastics were virtually unheard of. The recycle bin fodder was only utilized as an …

There's a dark secret at the heart of artificial intelligence: no one really understands how it works

Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia, didn’t look different from other autonomous cars, but it was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General …

Artificial Intelligence
Oceans

14,923 nukes: All the nations armed with nuclear weapons and how many they have

When it comes to the threat of nuclear war, 2017 is shaping up to be a watershed moment.<p>Relations between the US and Russia — the two foremost nuclear superpowers — has reached a "low point" because of the US's accusations that Russia meddled in the US election and is involved with the use of …

Cold War

String Theory Says We Have At Least 10 Dimensions, But That's Not The Weirdest Thing About It

Quantum physics is weird. As soon as you think you understand it, you find five more reasons you don't. Take this, for example: the Standard Model of …

Quantum Mechanics

Researchers Find A New Way To Make Water From Thin Air

Researchers have come up with a new way to extract water from thin air. Literally.<p>This isn't the first technology that can turn water vapor in the atmosphere into liquid water that people can drink, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, …

Materials Science

Astronomers Found an Enormous Object Orbiting at the Edge of Our Solar System

Didn’t See You There<p>It’s no Planet Nine, but the planetary body astronomers have found at the far edge of our solar system is a notable discovery …

Astronomy

Gigantic "vending machine" skyscraper dispenses 3D-printed homes in Tokyo

Could the skyscraper of the future dispense homes like a vending machine? Growing and adapting to the Tokyo’s housing demand, the Pod Skyscraper is …

Tokyo

Physicists Say They've Created a Fluid With 'Negative Mass'

Holy crap.<p>Researchers in the US say they've created a fluid with negative mass in the lab... which is exactly as mind-bending as it sounds.<p>What it …

Physics

Arctic ice in retreat

NASA's airborne survey shows how global warming is transforming the Arctic<p>Nothing about the Arctic is normal right now. Rapid climate change is transforming the vast region by warming air and sea temperatures, shifting weather patterns, and melting sea and land ice at faster rates than were ever …

Global Warming

Scientists Hacked a Cell's DNA and Made a Biocomputer Out of It

Our brains are often compared to computers, but in truth, the billions of cells in our bodies may be a better analogy. The squishy sacks of goop may …

Biology
Solar System
Water

Oman's mountains may hold clues for reversing climate change

WADI ABDAH, Oman (AP) — Deep in the jagged red mountains of Oman, geologists are searching for an efficient and cheap way to remove carbon dioxide from the air and oceans — and perhaps begin to reverse climate change.<p>They are coring samples from one of the world's only exposed sections of the …

Climate

We Need to Prepare for a World Without Aging

<b>Extending the Human Lifespan</b><p>Humans have always been fascinated by the prospect of long life. For a classic take on this idea from one of the greats, …

New Hints That Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Could Support Alien Life

Hang onto your EVA suits, space nerds. NASA’s Saturn-exploring Cassini mission is back with another tantalizing hint that the planet’s moon Enceladus …

Extraterrestrial Life

Here’s Another Way CRISPR Is Changing Medicine

Gene editing, through a technology called CRISPR, can edit DNA almost as easily as a word processor edits text. Now that system is being used to …

Genomics

The Inventor of the World Wide Web Says Computers Will Someday Run Companies Without Humans

Tim Berners-Lee, architect of the Internet, thinks artificial intelligence will someday control the economy.<p>Artificial intelligence is probably coming for our jobs. But will it stop there?<p>Tim Berners-Lee doesn't think so. The British computer scientist, inventor of the World Wide Web and the web …

Singularity

America sets new record: Electricity’s carbon footprint shrinks, renewable energy use increases

Until 2016, electricity was America’s biggest single source of climate pollution<p>All the right things came together in 2016 for the United States to shrink its carbon footprint in some dramatic and record-breaking ways, according to federal data released this week.<p>For two years in a row, carbon …

Clean Energy

Astronomers may have taken the first photo of a black hole

The Event Horizon Telescope project's astronomers can now breathe a sigh of relief. They finally managed to observe Sagittarius A* for five sleepless nights after switching on the array on April 4th. In other words, the team might have taken the first picture of a black hole ever. There were nights …

Astrophysics

Scientists halt growth of colon, stomach cancers

Australian researchers have discovered a "revolutionary" new way to stop the growth of colon and stomach cancers, which could lead to a new cancer-fighting drug within three years.<p>Matthias Ernst at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute explains that white blood cells called macrophages …

Cancer

The Future Of Energy Isn't Fossil Fuels Or Renewables, It's Nuclear Fusion

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that the climate doesn’t matter. That we’re completely ignoring the connection between carbon dioxide, the Earth’s atmosphere, the greenhouse effect, global temperatures, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise. From a long-term point of view, we’d still need to plan …

Energy

Greenland's Ice Caps Have Passed the Point of No Return

Goodbye Ice Caps?<p>In Greenland, the effects of climate change are quickly proving to be drastic and irreversible. Greenland’s coastal glaciers and ice …

Global Warming

How humans will lose control of artificial intelligence

This is the way the world ends: not with a bang, but with a paper clip. In this scenario, the designers of the world's first artificial …

Artificial Intelligence

Is there a nature of time?

I tend to find myself thinking about time once in a while. Although I just can’t wrap my head around the true nature of it, there’s simply no denying …

Cosmology

Discussing the limits of artificial intelligence

It’s hard to visit a tech site these days without seeing a headline about deep learning for X, and that AI is on the verge of solving all our problems. Gary Marcus remains skeptical.<p>Marcus, a best-selling author, entrepreneur and professor of psychology at NYU, has spent decades studying how …

Artificial Intelligence

Trump’s war on environment and science are rooted in his post-truth politics — and maybe in postmodern philosophy

Trump's assault on science ultimately rests on his hostility toward truth, an idea with a complicated history<p>The Trump administration’s war on the environment, which was accelerated this week with the president’s executive order to dismantle various environmental protections, is a product of the …

Liberal POV

A Bizarre Physics Law Is Making Superfluid Helium Behave Like an Actual Black Hole

"It points to a deeper understanding of reality."<p>Of all the laws of physics, this is arguably one of the strangest - scientists have discovered that …