Raul Pereira

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What Every Layperson Should Know About String Theory

It’s one of the most brilliant, controversial and unproven ideas in all of physics: string theory. At the heart of string theory is the thread of an idea that’s run through physics for centuries, that at some fundamental level, all the different forces, particles, interactions and manifestations of …

Quantum Mechanics

Bacteria get dangerously weird in space

In 2006, Cheryl Nickerson sent a culture of salmonella bacteria for a ride on the space shuttle Atlantis. Eleven days later, she watched anxiously from the Kennedy Space Center in the dead of night as her bacteria returned safely.<p>Nickerson, a microbiologist at Arizona State University, and her team …

Biology

Snowden on Google Allo: 'Don't use it'

Following the launch of Google’s messaging app ‘Allo‘ and its accompanying Assistant bot, security experts are up in arms over Google reneging on a promise better protect its users. NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden did a hot take on Allo yesterday, after its US launch, and came to …

This stainless steel building reflects the historic architecture around it—literally

It’s clad in a high-gloss polished stainless steel<p>How do you design a building that reflects the historical architecture of the surrounding structures? Austrian studio Hope of Glory had a literal solution to this question: With the use of a mirrored surface, of course.<p>The studio was commissioned to …

Architecture

Alzheimer's: New drug that halts mental decline is 'best news for dementia in 25 years'

The first drug that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease is finally on the horizon after scientists proved they can clear the sticky plaques from the brain which cause dementia and halt mental decline.<p>Hailed as the "best news" in dementia research for 25 years, the breakthrough is said to be a potential …

There's a huge obstacle to making computers as smart as humans

But it turns out even our smartest artificial intelligence (AI) is still relatively dumb.<p>So what do humans have that our machines don't?<p>For one, it's our seemingly common-sense ability to take what we know and apply it to new situations. Imagine talking to someone in a loud bar. Though you can't …

Singularity

Amazon Fire tablets are now so cheap you can get them in a $250 six-pack

Tablet shoppers now have a tough choice: A 16GB iPad Mini 2, or six of Amazon's new Fire tablets for $19 less. Seriously.<p>Amazon announced Tuesday …

Hitler’s world may not be so far away

Misunderstanding the Holocaust has made us too certain we are ethically superior to the Europeans of the 1940s. Faced with a new catastrophe – such as devastating climate change – could we become mass killers again?<p><b>It was 20 years after I chose to become a historian</b> that I first saw a photograph of …

World History

Here's the real reason artificial intelligence could be a threat

Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk are just a few notable people who have warned about the perilous consequences associated with developing AI systems.<p>"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking cautioned last year.<p>Musk …

Artificial Intelligence

Screw motivation, what you need is discipline.

If you want to get anything done, there are two basic ways to get yourself to do it.<p>The first, more popular and devastatingly wrong option is to try …

Motivation

NASA probe to arrive at Pluto carrying ashes of Clyde Tombaugh

NASA’s New Horizons probe will arrive at the dwarf-planet carrying the astrophysicist’s ashes<p>When Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930 he could never have imagined that the icy world would one day be his final resting place.<p>But this week NASA’s New Horizons probe will arrive at the dwarf-planet …

Solar System

A First Glimpse of the Hidden Cosmos

What we can see is only a tiny fraction of what exists. To catch the first glimpse of the shadow universe around us, scientists are learning to detect the other stuff: dark matter and dark energy.<p><b>It used to be said that cosmologists, the scientists who study the universe as a whole, are “often in</b> …