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Peter Rejcek

Peter Rejcek

Formerly the world’s only full-time journalist covering research in Antarctica, Peter became a freelance writer and digital nomad in 2015. Peter’s focus for the last decade has been on science journalism, but his interests and expertise include travel, outdoors, cycling, and Epicureanism (food and beer). Follow him at @poliepete.

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From This Author


Is the Secret to Significantly Longer Life Hidden in Our Cells?

Once upon a time, a powerful Sumerian king named Gilgamesh went on a quest, as such characters often do in these stories of myth and legend. Gilgamesh had witnessed the death of his best...

The Alt Rocket Tech That May One Day Take Humans to Mars

On Feb. 6, SpaceX made history when it launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It now reigns as the biggest and most powerful rocket in the world. Elon Musk, the...

In the Future, There Will Be No Limit to What AI Can Accomplish in Science

New planets found in distant corners of the galaxy. Climate models that may improve our understanding of sea level rise. The emergence of new antimalarial drugs. These scientific advances and discoveries have been in...

Smart Homes Won’t Just Automate Your Life—They’ll Track Your Health Too

It’s been more than a half-century since we first glimpsed the future of the smart home in a quaint cartoon series called “The Jetsons.” The Roomba is no Rosie the Robot Maid, but today’s...

AI Uses Titan Supercomputer to Create Deep Neural Nets in Less Than a Day

You don’t have to dig too deeply into the archive of dystopian science fiction to uncover the horror that intelligent machines might unleash. The Matrix and The Terminator are probably the most well-known examples of self-replicating,...

Oxford Study Says Alien Life Would Evolve and Adapt Just Like Life on Earth

The alternative universe known as science fiction has given our culture a menagerie of alien species. From overstuffed teddy bears like Ewoks and Wookies to terrifying nightmares such as Alien and Predator, our collective...

The Farms of the Future Will Be Automated From Seed to Harvest

Swarms of drones buzz overhead, while robotic vehicles crawl across the landscape. Orbiting satellites snap high-resolution images of the scene far below. Not one human being can be seen in the pre-dawn glow spreading...

Researchers Develop New Tech to Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier Than Ever

It is one of the top 10 deadliest diseases in the United States, and it cannot be cured or prevented. But new studies are finding ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages,...

Japan’s SoftBank Is Investing Billions in the Technological Future

Remember the 1980s movie Brewster’s Millions, in which a minor league baseball pitcher (played by Richard Pryor) must spend $30 million in 30 days to inherit $300 million? Pryor goes on an epic spending...

How Robots Are Getting Better at Making Sense of the World

The multiverse of science fiction is populated by robots that are indistinguishable from humans. They are usually smarter, faster, and stronger than us. They seem capable of doing any job imaginable, from piloting a...

Artificial Intelligence Predicts Death to Help Us Live Longer

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ famous lines are a passionate...

A Mars Survival Guide: Finding Food, Water, and Shelter on the Red Planet

Classical science fiction tales about Mars have often been about bug-eyed Martians invading Earth for its precious resources. The reality is that within the next two decades—with the usual caveats about technical and budgetary...

Electric Vehicles Are on the Rise: Here’s How to Sustain Their Growth

The struggle for electric vehicles to gain legitimacy in a world dominated by supersized SUVs and overbearing big rigs is something of a David and Goliath story. The underdog just landed a blow right between...

Can Futurists Predict the Year of the Singularity?

The end of the world as we know it is near. And that’s a good thing, according to many of the futurists who are predicting the imminent arrival of what’s been called the technological...

Long Extinct Species to Be Revived in the Lab With Powerful New Tools

Bringing extinct species back to life isn’t a science fiction fantasy anymore, even if the technology isn’t quite ready for prime time. The newest buzz around the topic of de-extinction is actually a revival of...

Citizen Science Means Anyone Could Discover Planet Nine—Even You

In the first week that US scientists recruited the public to help identify a possible ninth planet in our solar system, more than 20,000 people volunteered to join the search. About 50,000 people around...

5 of the World’s Strangest Creatures Aren’t Just Weird—They’re Really Useful Too

Living life on the edge isn’t just a motto for extreme athletes. Our planet is literally crawling with organisms that have somehow adapted to living in extreme environments, from the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica to...

Europe’s TREASURE Will Be the King of All GPSs

Today, most of us carry the world in our pockets. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)—what most people typically just call GPS—aren’t simply about sending geo-located tweets from our favorite restaurants. Countless industries rely on...

Holograms Aren’t The Stuff of Science Fiction Anymore

The world seems to be full of illusions—and we’re not talking about fake news from Macedonia. Holograms appear to be all around us now. Long-dead rapper Tupac Shakur showed up at the 2012 edition of...

Wearable Devices Can Actually Tell When You’re About to Get Sick

Feeling run down? Have a case of the sniffles? Maybe you should have paid more attention to your smartwatch. No, that’s not the pitch line for a new commercial peddling wearable technology, though no doubt...

The Struggle to Make AI Less Biased Than Its Creators

The dirty little secret is out about artificial intelligence. No, not the one about machines taking over the world. That’s an old one. This one is more insidious. Data scientists, AI experts and others have...

When Intelligent Machines Cause Accidents, Who Is Legally Responsible?

The rise of artificially intelligent machines will come at a cost—but with the potential to disrupt and transform society on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Jobs will be lost, but new...

Big Data Is Helping Us See Environmental Problems in a Whole New Light

You don’t have to be a member of Greenpeace to see that the planet, its ecosystems and its wildlife are under threat. Climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, pollution—the list of human-caused insults to the...

When the Worst Happens, These Amazing Robots Will Come to the Rescue

The attacks of September 11, 2001, will go down in American history for many reasons—the deaths of nearly 3,000 people chief among them. A footnote in that particular history book is of interest to us...

‘New York 2140’ Is a Sci-Fi Vision of the World Reshaped by Climate Change

If a trip to Venice is your ideal holiday, then you’re going to love the future. Most of us, however, will be quite sobered by Kim Stanley Robinson’s upcoming novel, New York 2140, a near-future...

Why the Latest AI Wave Will Gain Momentum in the Coming Year

It can read lips and create new food recipes. It can win at chess, Jeopardy and the game Go. Every major technology company appears to be integrating it into how they organize and operate...

How Digital Nomads Are Leading the Seismic Shift in Where We Work

Have laptop, will travel. That’s become the slogan of an increasing number of the global white-collar workforce. People are unleashing themselves from corporations and companies to plug wirelessly into the wider world. The tribe of...

Killer Robots Won’t Go to War If Global Movement Has Its Way

Much ink has been spilled in recent years about the rise of killer robots. A movement to ensure no blood is shed by autonomous weapons—machines that kill or maim without a human behind the...

New AI Mental Health Tools Beat Human Doctors at Assessing Patients

About 20 percent of youth in the United States live with a mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that mental health professionals have...

Why the US Is Losing Ground on the Next Generation of Powerful Supercomputers

“I feel the need — the need for speed.” The tagline from the 1980s movie Top Gun could be seen as the mantra for the high-performance computing system world these days. The next milestone in the endless...

These Wild New Floors Will Harvest Energy From Your Footsteps

The road to renewable energy requires one step at a time. Well, actually, it requires quite a few steps. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Forest Products Laboratory in Madison believe they can harness the...

Tech Philanthropists Are Giving Away Billions to Build a Better Future

They’re often featured as James Bond villains — super-rich megalomaniacs who pour their infinite resources into sophisticated doomsday devices, private rockets for last-minute escapes, and enough high-tech toys to rival the NSA, FBI and...

When the Mother of Invention Is a Machine, Who Gets Credit?

What do the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush, about a thousand musical compositions and even a few recent food recipes all have in common? They were invented by computers, but you won’t find a nonhuman credited with...

How a Mars Voyage Will Be Like Enduring an Antarctic Winter

Humans will get to Mars in the not-so-distant future. We know that. What we don’t know is how a journey to the Red Planet will affect us both mentally and physically. NASA is turning to...

How Crowdfunding Has Changed the Startup Game

The development of innovative technology — from virtual reality headsets to space exploration to solar-powered roadways — is no longer the province of companies with big R&D budgets or venture capitalists with deep pockets....

Why Are Millions of People Ditching Their Wearable Devices?

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Others, meanwhile, measure their heartrate on their wrists. The latter group is growing exponentially, ushering in a multi-billion-dollar wearables market, from watches that count steps and heartbeats...

If There’s Life on Europa, Robots Like These Will Find It

The exploration of Europa begins under the ice in Antarctica. That’s where a team of researchers, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), has been testing a variety of robotic subs in recent...

The Robots We’ve Long Imagined Are Finally Here

They are wise-cracking companions, able to communicate in more than six million languages. Others are bent on enslaving or destroying humanity, deeming themselves better, more rational caretakers of the Earth in light of our...

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