Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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These fresh vegetables and fruits are the result of hundreds to thousands of years of plant breeding and selection. Irina Sokolovskaya / Shutterstock.com

Skipping a few thousand years: Rapid domestication of the groundcherry using gene editing

It has taken hundreds, if not thousands, of years to create the juicy, shiny produce that you take for granted at the supermarket. But now there is a faster way to domesticate wild fruits and veggies.
Space debris in Earth orbit creates a dangerous obstacle course for satellites and astronauts. Dotted Yeti / Shutterstock.com

Why space debris cleanup might be a national security threat

Countries developing technology that removes or blasts away space junk may appear to be doing a public service. But those same technologies can destroy military and communications satellites.
What do synchronized vibrations add to the mind/body question? agsandrew/Shutterstock.com

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

A resonance theory of consciousness suggests that the way all matter vibrates, and the tendency for those vibrations to sync up, might be a way to answer the so-called 'hard problem' of consciousness.
A silica sphere with a radius of 50 nanometers is trapped levitating in a beam of light. J. Adam Fenster, University of Rochester

Experiments with optical tweezers race to test the laws of quantum mechanics

The discovery and development of optical tweezers won the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics. Now physicists are using this tool to crack some of the fundamental questions behind how the universe works.
Adding bots into an online discussion can definitely affect the views of real people. Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock.com

Even a few bots can shift public opinion in big ways

Measuring Twitter bots' effects on the opinions of real people can yield surprising results about what makes them influential.
S'gaw Karen girls of Khun Yuam District, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Takeaway

Immigration to US Westernizes Asian guts

When immigrants come to the US, it isn't just the people who assimilate. The microbes in their gut also become Westernized after living here. This may predispose them to diseases like obesity.
The split gill mushroom Schizophyllum commune, a fungal species that includes more than 20,000 sexes. Bernard Spragg

Where sexes come by the thousands

There is more to sex than male and female. For some species there are hundreds and even thousands of sexes and mating types.
It might sound scary, but the ‘dark web’ is not much different from the rest of the internet. Willequet Manuel/Shutterstock.com

Illuminating the ‘dark web’

Begun as part of efforts to preserve online anonymity and privacy, Freenet, Tor and the Invisible Internet Project are, like the rest of the web, home to both crime and free expression.
Eighty years ago, Seabiscuit trounced Triple Crown winner War Admiral. AP Photo

Can Seabiscuit’s DNA explain his elite racing ability?

The US went crazy for Seabiscuit when he won his famous 1938 match race against War Admiral. Now researchers are investigating the thoroughbred's DNA to see what made him such an unlikely success.
Do people need insurance against hacking? ra2studio/Shutterstock.com

As digital threats grow, will cyber insurance take off?

As cyberattacks and hacking become more common, businesses and private individuals are realizing that cleaning up from digital destruction can be expensive.
A test subject entering a brain password. Wenyao Xu, et al.

My thoughts are my password, because my brain reactions are unique

Biometrics are more secure than passwords – but when they're compromised fingerprints and retina scans are hard to reset. Brain responses to specific stimuli are as secure and, crucially, resettable.