Category: technology

By Heidi Ledford The prospect of using the popular genome-editing tool CRISPR to treat a host of diseases in people is moving closer to reality. Medical applications of CRISPR–Cas9 had a banner year in 2019. The first results trickled in from trials testing the tool in people, and more trials launched. In the coming years, …

By Rob Stein When Victoria Gray was just 3 months old, her family discovered something was terribly wrong. “My grandma was giving me a bath, and I was crying. So they took me to the emergency room to get me checked out,” Gray says. “That’s when they found out that I was having my first …

By Daniel T. Allen There are only a few ingredients needed for algae to take over: carbon dioxide, light, and water. The ancient microorganism is thriving thanks to record heat waves and fertilizers washed away into nearby waters. And that’s bad news for pretty much everything else. But what if a fourth ingredient — artificial …

By AFP NASA has completed the giant rocket that will take US astronauts back to the Moon, the space agency’s head announced Monday, pledging the mission would take place in 2024 despite being beset by delays. Towering 212 feet (65 meters), the equivalent of a 20-story building, The Space Launch System (SLS) is the tallest …

By Sarah Kaplan For the first time, a machine that runs on the mind-boggling physics of quantum mechanics has reportedly solved a problem that would stump the world’s top supercomputers — a breakthrough known as “quantum supremacy.” If validated, the report by Google’s AI Quantum team constitutes a major leap for quantum computing, a technology …

By Jon Cohen CRISPR, an extraordinarily powerful genome-editing tool invented in 2012, can still be clumsy. It sometimes changes genes it shouldn’t, and it edits by hacking through both strands of DNA’s double helix, leaving the cell to clean up the mess—shortcomings that limit its use in basic research and agriculture and pose safety risks …

By Robert Martone We learn from our personal interaction with the world, and our memories of those experiences help guide our behaviors. Experience and memory are inexorably linked, or at least they seemed to be before a recent report on the formation of completely artificial memories. Using laboratory animals, investigators reverse engineered a specific natural memory …

By Joe Palca When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon 50 years ago, it was an inspiring moment for people around the world. But another kind of explorer is responsible for much of the modern enthusiasm for space exploration. “Since the days of Apollo, the greatest adventures in space have been these robots that …

By Stephanie Pappas The first-ever artificial intelligence simulation of the universe seems to work like the real thing — and is almost as mysterious. Researchers reported the new simulation June 24 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The goal was to create a virtual version of the cosmos in order to simulate …

By David W. Brown NASA announced Thursday that it is sending a drone-style quadcopter to Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Dragonfly, as the mission is called, will be capable of soaring across the skies of Titan and landing intermittently to take scientific measurements, studying the world’s mysterious atmosphere and topography while searching for hints of life …