Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head? Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

New evidence for a human magnetic sense that lets your brain detect the Earth’s magnetic field

Your brain's sensory talents go way beyond those traditional five senses. A team of geoscientists and neurobiologists explored how the human brain monitors and responds to magnetic fields.
Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language. Juan Aunion/Shutterstock.com

Softer, processed foods changed the way ancient humans spoke

Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
The orientations of the stone walls that crisscross the Northeastern U.S. can tell a geomagnetic tale as well as a historical one. John Delano

Old stone walls record the changing location of magnetic north

Scientific inspiration struck a geologist after many walks through the woods in New York and New England. These ruins hold the secret of where the compass pointed north when they were built centuries ago.
The U.S. military is shifting the focus of its cyberwarfare forces. U.S. Air Force

US military steps up cyberwarfare effort

A new strategy for U.S. Cyber Command seeks to block enemies from achieving their objectives – but may not be successful, and could have unforeseen consequences.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades. Elizabeth Sawchuk

Ancient DNA is a powerful tool for studying the past – when archaeologists and geneticists work together

Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
Libraries subscribe digitally to academic journals – and are left with nothing in the stacks when the contract expires. Eric Chan/Flickr

University of California’s break with the biggest academic publisher could shake up scholarly publishing for good

Digital publishing hasn't resulted in the free and open access to information many envisioned. Universities are increasingly fed up with a system they see as charging them for their own scholars' labor.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), shown here as tiny purple spheres, causes the disease known as AIDS. Mark Ellisman and Tom Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research

A cure for HIV? Feasible but not yet realized

Headlines around the world declared that a second person was cured of their HIV. But while the results are encouraging, we're a long way from a cure.
Artist’s depiction of a moon base with a view of Earth in the distance. Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock.com

Mining the Moon

Scientists are figuring out how to reduce the cost of space travel – to and from the Moon and possibly to Mars. One approach is to mine the Moon for resources necessary for interplanetary travel.
Minutes after launching the Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX was livestreaming footage from the Tesla Roadster it released into space. SpaceX

How SpaceX lowered costs and reduced barriers to space

SpaceX's advances in space technology have reduced barriers to space and changed the direction of American space policy, but it is not without its challenges.