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The city of Juchitan, on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, was hit particularly hard by the 8.2-magnitude earthquake that shook the region on Sept. 7, 2017. Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Why seismologists didn’t see Mexico’s deadly earthquake coming

The Tehuantepec gap in southeastern Mexico, where this month's massive earthquake originated, was long thought to be 'aseismic.' On September 7, scientists learned otherwise.
Soil has many secrets: technology can help reveal its mysteries. Martin Bridgen

Open soil science: technology is helping us discover the mysteries under our feet

Mapping the soil with open source application is vital to understanding how to protect it.
Harvard’s recent CRISPR experiment isn’t just a new frontier for science – it’s also a new take on how we conceive of human history. gopixa/Shutterstock.com

Will whoever controls gene editing control historical memory?

The CRISPR gene-editing technique raises new questions about how we measure time and conceptualise history. Here, a cultural theorist takes on the philosophical side of this scientific breakthrough.
Monarch caterpillars feeding on milkweed leaves and dropping their faces (taken in the laboratory facility). Prayan Pokharel

The hidden secrets of insect poop

Bugs use their own defecation to defend their young, locate their homes and increase mating opportunities. For humans, insect faeces may even have untapped medicinal properties.
This image was produced by the AI algorithm of the neural network ‘Deep Dream Generator’. lylejk/flickr

Is artificial intelligence a (job) killer?

Dire dystopian predictions aside, the real danger of artificial intelligence is not the notorious "AI singularity" but job loss and misuse by malevolent people.
The robot Berenson in 2015. Stéphanie Leclerc-Caffarel

Why we don’t trust robots

Robots are strange creatures, and not only because they might steal our jobs. We humans actually have good reason to be a little worried about these machines.