Science

Seven tickets to Stockholm

[ad_1] BIGGER is not always better. Anyone who doubts that has only to look at the explosion of computing power that has marked the past half-century. This was made possible by continual shrinkage of the components from which those computers are made—and that success has, in turn, inspired a search for other areas where shrinkage might also yield dividends. One ...

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The internet of stings

[ad_1] Mr Krebs contemplates life TO A layman, the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) probably conjures up a half-fantastic future in which refrigerators monitor their own contents and send orders direct to the grocer when the butter is running out, while tired commuters order baths to be drawn automatically using their smartphones as they approach their houses in their self-driving ...

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Sounds like trouble

[ad_1] LINGUISTIC disorders of speech or of comprehension are awkward for anyone who suffers from them. For children, who are just beginning to make their way in society, they can be disastrous. Teasing, bullying, lack of friends and poor school performance may all follow from an inability to talk or listen normally. Early intervention and therapy, though, can make a ...

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Summoned by screams

[ad_1] Come into my parlour THE botanical kingdom is rife with deceivers. Carrion flowers mimic the smell of rotten meat in order to attract scavenging beetles and flies and then cover them in pollen. Passion vines, beloved by some butterflies as food for their caterpillars, have yellow spots on their leaves that make them look as if they have already ...

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Greying

[ad_1] Alfred Nobel’s fortune should, according to his will, endow “prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”. But the committees that select the recipients of Nobel prizes often pick discoveries made, or books written, decades earlier. Partly as a result of that, winners’ ages have been inching steadily upwards. Since 2000 ...

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The 2016 Nobel prize for medicine goes to work on biological recycling

[ad_1] LONG before the green movement existed, evolution discovered the virtues of recycling. Cells cannot afford to waste materials, so they disassemble worn-out components for reuse. This happens in subcellular structures called lysosomes, which are bubble-like vesicles filled with digestive enzymes and surrounded by fatty membranes. Moreover, in an emergency, even components that are still working may be recycled in ...

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The world is not enough

[ad_1] “I’D LIKE to die on Mars. Just not on impact.” Elon Musk has never been shy about his reasons for founding SpaceX, a rocketry firm that has become the flag-carrier for a buccaneering “New Space” industry. Although two recent rocket explosions have dented its halo, its launch prices are among the lowest in the world. It has pioneered the ...

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Interplanetary travel

[ad_1] The Labour Party conference: You say you want a revolution Britain 3 hrs 20 mins ago Interplanetary settlement: The world is not enough Science and technology September 28th, 20:42 Babbage: Interplanetary travel Science and technology September 28th, 20:21 Lexington: The 2016 election: No happy ending United States September 28th, 19:11 Crie de grrrrr!: Another carrier experiments with child-free zones ...

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Burnt offering

[ad_1] Read all about it IN 1970 archaeologists digging at Ein Gedi, an ancient settlement on the shores of what is now called the Dead Sea, dug up the ark of a synagogue that had stood on the site from about 800BC until it was destroyed by fire in around 600AD. Within was a trove of scrolls but sadly, though ...

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The other global drugs problem

[ad_1]   All around the world, drug-resistant infections are on the rise. They now kill more than 700,000 people a year. In 2014 nearly 60% of samples of Escherichia coli, a common gut bacterium, collected from patients in hospital were strains that could not be treated with penicillins. About 25% were resistant to one or both of two other commonly ...

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In a whole new light

[ad_1] Once upon a time FLICKERING lamps are normally a headache-inducing nuisance. But if the flickering happens millions of times a second—far faster than the eye can see or the brain respond to—then it might be harnessed to do something useful, like transmitting data. That, at least, is the idea behind a technology dubbed Li-Fi by its creators. Li-Fi works ...

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That’s the way to do it

[ad_1] IN FEBRUARY the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), America’s national police force, took Apple, a tech giant, to court. At issue was an iPhone that had belonged to Syed Farook, a terrorist who, with his wife, had shot and killed 14 people in California the previous December. Farook was subsequently killed. The FBI wanted Apple to write a special ...

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Rehydration therapy

[ad_1] MAKING vaccines often involves growing bugs—and these days the bugs in question are frequently genetically modified. There are, with good reason, strict regulations about the use and transport of such modified organisms, for fear that something bad might escape and thrive in the wild. And this has led to vaccine-producing bugs being grown in secure, centralised “foundries”, whence their ...

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Incentive malus

[ad_1] IN 1962 Jacob Cohen, a psychologist at New York University, reported an alarming finding. He had analysed 70 articles published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology and calculated their statistical “power” (a mathematical estimate of the probability that an experiment would detect a real effect). He reckoned most of the studies he looked at would actually have ...

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Why bad science persists

[ad_1] IN 1962 Jacob Cohen, a psychologist at New York University, reported an alarming finding. He had analysed 70 articles published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology and calculated their statistical “power” (a mathematical estimate of the probability that an experiment would detect a real effect). He reckoned most of the studies he looked at would actually have ...

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