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Monthly Archives: December 2017

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These Creepy Mini-Brains May Finally Crack Deadly Brain Cancer

Brain organoids look like something between a malformed human brain and a character from Monsters, Inc. But don’t be fooled by their grotesque appearance. Ever since their introduction three years ago, brain organoids—charmingly dubbed “mini-brains”...

Why Intelligent Optimism Is Crucial to Human Progress

There is nothing to be gained from blind optimism. But an optimistic mindset can be grounded in rationality and evidence. It may be hard to believe, but we are living in the most exciting...

History Suggests the Hyperloop Is an Uncertain Promise for Future Cities

Proponents of Hyperloop have repeatedly suggested that their transportation technology will create new “mega-regions,” essentially reshaping the scope of cities. Multiple startups are now striving to defy critics and connect different dots on maps....

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through December 9)

ROBOTICS New Robots Can See Into Their Future Brett Israel | Berkeley News “Using this technology, called visual foresight, the robots can predict what their cameras will see if they perform a particular sequence of movements. These robotic...

Ultrafast 3D Printing Alternative Makes Complete 3D Objects in Seconds

3D printing allows engineers to custom build intricate structures impossible with traditional manufacturing, but the layer-by-layer approach can be slow and limits the shapes that can be built. A new technique can now fabricate...

Black Holes Are Simpler Than Forests and Science Has Its Limits

Albert Einstein said that the "most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." He was right to be astonished. Human brains evolved to be adaptable, but our underlying neural architecture has...

Why Humanoid Robots Are Still So Hard to Make Useful

Picture a robot. In all likelihood, you just pictured a sleek metallic or chrome-white humanoid. Yet the vast majority of robots in the world around us are nothing like this; instead, they’re specialized for...

These Bacteria Use New DNA Bases to Make a Protein Not Found in Nature

All of nature’s bewildering complexity can be reduced to a four letter code—DNA’s four bases: A, T, C, and G. But now scientists have shown the language at the heart of life is not...

Neuroscience Could Bring Us Eternal Bliss, But Is That a Good Thing?

What if the secret to eternal happiness is a brain implant? If you’re thinking that sounds like the premise of a Black Mirror episode, you’re not alone. Yet at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference...

Robotic Materials Will Distribute Intelligence All Over a Robot’s Body

The classical view of a robot as a mechanical body with a central “brain” that controls its behavior could soon be on its way out. The authors of a recent article in Science Robotics...
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How to Design the Future We Want and Find the Path That Leads to It

Everyone wants to know the future, but how exactly? Authors Julia Rose West and Alida Draudt aim to help people better see the future and take action to shape it. In their book, What the...

Let Me Blow Your Mind: The Importance of Awe in Education

Many people live a life of routine and monotony. But those who seek out wonder, meaning, and intellectual complexity in their lives are found to be happier, healthier, and more motivated. At a fundamental...

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