Each of These Microscopic Glass Beads Stores an Image Encoded on a Strand of DNA

Each of These Microscopic Glass Beads Stores an Image Encoded on a Strand of DNA Increasingly, civilization’s information is stored digitally, and that storage is abundant and growing. We don’t bother deleting those seven high-definition videos of the ceiling or 20 blurry photos of a table corner taken by our kid. There’s plenty of room on a smartphone or in the cloud, and we count on both increasing every year. As we fluidly copy information from device to device, this situation seems durable. But that’s not necessarily true. The amount of data we create is increasing rapidly. And if we…

This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through June 19)

This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through June 19) FUTURE OF WORK Kill the 5-Day Work Week Joe Pinsker | The Atlantic “People who work a four-day week generally report that they’re healthier, happier, and less crunched for time; their employers report that they’re more efficient and more focused. These companies’ success points to a tantalizing possibility: that the conventional approach to work and productivity is fundamentally misguided.” TRANSPORTATION Flying Car Makers Want to Make ‘Uber Meets Tesla in the Air’ Cade Metz and Erin Griffith | The New York Times “i‘Our dream is to free the…

Statements on Pam Melroy’s Senate Confirmation as NASA Deputy Administrator

The following are statements from Pam Melroy and Administrator Bill Nelson on Thursday’s U.S. Senate confirmation of Melroy as deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Source: NASA Breaking news Statements on Pam Melroy’s Senate Confirmation as NASA Deputy Administrator

Is It Time to Give Up on Consciousness as ‘the Ghost in the Machine’?

Is It Time to Give Up on Consciousness as ‘the Ghost in the Machine’? As individuals, we feel that we know what consciousness is because we experience it daily. It’s that intimate sense of personal awareness we carry around with us, and the accompanying feeling of ownership and control over our thoughts, emotions, and memories. But science has not yet reached a consensus on the nature of consciousness, which has important implications for our belief in free will and our approach to the study of the human mind. Beliefs about consciousness can be roughly divided into two camps. There are those…

NASA Administrator Statement on China Crewed Launch

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released the following statement Thursday regarding the China National Space Agency’s launch of the first crew to its Tiangong space station: Source: NASA Breaking news NASA Administrator Statement on China Crewed Launch

Controlling subterranean forces enables a fast, steerable, burrowing soft robot

Robotic navigation on land, through air, and in water is well researched; numerous robots have successfully demonstrated motion in these environments. However, one frontier for robotic locomotion remains largely unexplored—below ground. Subterranean navigation is simply hard to do, in part because the interaction forces of underground motion are higher than in air or water by orders of magnitude and because we lack for these interactions a robust fundamental physics understanding. We present and test three hypotheses, derived from biological observation and the physics of granular intrusion, and use the results to inform the design of our burrowing robot. These results…

Burrowing soft robots break new ground

A bioinspired soft robot burrows through shallow dry sand with remarkable speed and maneuverability. Source: Science Mag: Burrowing soft robots break new ground

These Mice Were Born From Sperm That Spent Almost 6 Years in Space

These Mice Were Born From Sperm That Spent Almost 6 Years in Space As inconceivable as it still sounds, the wheels have been set in motion for humans to one day reach and colonize Mars. There’s already a detailed design for the first Martian city, SpaceX is building its first offshore spaceport to one day launch Starships to Mars (among other missions), and NASA recently flew a helicopter on Mars. But there are a few big pieces of the puzzle still missing, including the answer to one crucial question: after we get humans to Mars, how will we ensure that…

NASA Launches Mission Equity, Seeks Public Input to Broaden Access

NASA is launching Mission Equity, a comprehensive effort to assess expanding and modifying agency programs, procurements, grants, and policies, and examine what potential barriers and challenges exist for communities that are historically underrepresented and underserved. Source: NASA Breaking news NASA Launches Mission Equity, Seeks Public Input to Broaden Access

A Google AI Designed a Computer Chip as Well as a Human Engineer—But Much Faster

A Google AI Designed a Computer Chip as Well as a Human Engineer—But Much Faster AI has finally come full circle. A new suite of algorithms by Google Brain can now design computer chips—those specifically tailored for running AI software—that vastly outperform those designed by human experts. And the system works in just a few hours, dramatically slashing the weeks- or months-long process that normally gums up digital innovation. At the heart of these robotic chip designers is a type of machine learning called deep reinforcement learning. This family of algorithms, loosely based on the human brain’s workings, has triumphed…

Scientists in Spain Just Got a Step Closer to Building a Practical Quantum Repeater

Scientists in Spain Just Got a Step Closer to Building a Practical Quantum Repeater A quantum internet could play a key role in tying together many of the most promising applications for quantum technologies. The main impetus for quantum communication networks today is security, because a feature of messages encoded in quantum states is that reading them changes their content, alerting the receiver to any eavesdropping. But being able to share quantum states over large distances has other promising applications as well. For a start, it could allow quantum computers in different locations to share data, creating distributed quantum computers…

Why It Took 20 Years to ‘Finish’ the Human Genome—and Why There’s Still More to Do

Why It Took 20 Years to ‘Finish’ the Human Genome—and Why There’s Still More to Do The release of the draft human genome sequence in 2001 was a seismic moment in our understanding of the human genome, and paved the way for advances in our understanding of the genomic basis of human biology and disease. But sections were left unsequenced, and some sequence information was incorrect. Now, two decades later, we have a much more complete version, published as a preprint (which is yet to undergo peer review) by an international consortium of researchers. Technological limitations meant the original draft…

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