I’ve been following science news online for as long as I’ve been on the Internet so that means going back to the late ‘90s. Offline, if we count children’s fact books and my parents Nature magazines, NatGeo, etc. I’ve been reading up on science since I was 5 years old.
Currently, I read about 15 – 20 science related articles every week (all online). Most of them are from the following sources:
- The BBC News website (they file their science-related stories under three categories: tech, science, health). They also have an excellent section called “Future”.
- Popular Science
- Popular Mechanics
- Scientific American
While the above are somewhat watered down sources of “science information” designed for consumption by the general public, they still cover a vast variety of topics in sufficient depth to get a solid grasp of the underlying science. Best of all, they do not sit behind a paywall.
For more cutting edge science articles, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is an excellent resource that I occasionally turn to get my “hard” science fix.
Tip: scroll down to the list of society and council sites which cover topics ranging from nanotechnology to aerospace. Each society site has the latest discoveries and research in that field on their blog.
Finally, I rely on the excellent links that people post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. In other words, I crowdsource my science! In that same spirit, I have decided to share my best science links for the week with you.
IBM Is Now Letting Anyone Play With Its Quantum Computer
Summary: IBM unveiled an online service that lets anyone use a five-qubit quantum computer it has developed.
Artificial Wombs Just Got One Step Closer to Reality
Summary: Scientists have sustained human embryos in a petri dish for 13 days, shattering the previous record of nine days. The breakthrough will allow researchers to study early fetal development in unprecedented detail, and brings us one step closer to viable “artificial wombs.”
EchoPixel’s Breakthrough VR Tech Lets Doctors Look Inside Your Body
Summary: the medical imaging start-up lets doctors pinpoint problem areas from CT, MRI, and ultrasound scans using 3D glasses and a special display; internal organs pop off the screen like holograms so doctors can virtually examine a patient from any angle.
Siri-Creator Shows Off First Public Demo of Viv, ‘the Intelligent Interface for Everything’
Summary: Viv, an AI virtual system aims to be “the intelligent interface for everything.” A strength and differentiating factor of Viv as a platform is the open-armed welcoming of third-party integrations. Another clear strength is the “stackability” of inquiries. As opposed to short-term-memoried platforms like Siri, Viv is able to embrace follow-up.
The Information Age is Over; Welcome to the Experience Age
Summary: Thanks to mobile screens and Internet everywhere, we’re now entering what the author calls the “Experience Age.” In the Experience Age, the primary input is visual, and the dominant feedback is attention. Today the feedback loop connecting sharing and attention starts and ends on mobile; in the future, it could start with contact lenses and end in VR, for example.
Stretchy Smart Skin Circuits That Can Offer Tactile Feedback
Summary: A team of Swiss researchers at EPFL made an interesting breakthrough in developing stretchy circuits that can quadruple in length and be used for smart garments and robotics. The stretchable electronics can be stretched like rubber up to four times in any direction and be cycled like a million times without losing its electrical properties.
Atomic Oxygen Detected in Martian atmosphere
Summary: Atomic oxygen has been detected in the atmosphere of Mars, according to NASA. The atoms were discovered in the Martian mesosphere, the upper layers of the red planet’s atmosphere.
The Feynman-Tufte Principle
Summary: A visual display of data should be simple enough to fit on the side of a van
DARPA Wants To Transform Chemical War Sites Into Fertile Soil
Summary: A DARPA team is working on Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents. Their goal: a machine that turns chemical-weapon-tainted soil into fertile soil, that can fit roughly in a shipping container, and is a fraction of the cost to process the chemicals today.
Tummy Problems? Just Swallow this Stomach-Repairing Origami Robot Made of Meat
Summary: Magnetically controlled robot may fix lesions and remove accidentally-eaten batteries
Bonus Article: Dangerous New Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Reach U.S.
This article covers one of the global catastrophic risks that will affect the world over the next 20 years. Note I said “will affect” implying a 100% certainty. It is only the magnitude / severity that remains to be determined based on how seriously governments take this threat.
Summary: Woman infected with microbes that fight a last-line-of-defense drug; common infections could become untreatable.