Science & Technology





University of Michigan researchers to use algae to make diesel fuel

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The vial of fuel that Andre Boehman and Bradley Cardinale are trying to fill would fit four times into a two-liter bottle of Faygo Redpop.

The University of Michigan professors and their team will try to do this for $2.5 million, most of it from a U.S. Department of Energy grant.

When they've finished the project in three ...Read more

Katzenberg's NewTV reveals official new name: Quibi

Jeffrey Katzenberg's new venture into streaming short bursts of video has a new name: Quibi.

It's short for quick bites of video, which the Los Angeles company hopes to roll out in a new platform in U.S. and Canada next year. Previously, the company went by NewTV.

Katzenberg and longtime tech executive Meg Whitman have raised $1 billion for ...Read more

Cell therapy, now artisanal and costly, heads for mass production

Not so long ago, manipulating living cells to serve as therapies was a difficult and mysterious art. Only a few biomedical companies and academic labs could claim proficiency.

But in recent years, there's been an explosion of knowledge about how cells work, how they can become diseased and how they can be cured. Three groundbreaking cell and ...Read more

Tech giants IBM, Intel fund new blockchain laboratory at UC San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Tech giants are funding the launch of a research lab at UC San Diego to unravel the mysteries around blockchain, a new way of writing software that's sweeping industries around the globe.

The new academic center is called BlockLAB, and it includes about 20 individuals who will be digging into the technical, legal and business ...Read more

How to find life on other worlds: Advice to NASA's astrobiologists

It's one of the biggest questions there is: Are we alone in the universe?

NASA scientists in the field of astrobiology are looking for answers. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has some advice to help them along.

The report was released Wednesday in Washington. Here are some of its recommendations....Read more

Tech Q&A: How to replace online passwords

Q: I have forgotten the Gmail password that I also used to sign in to my Barnes & Noble e-book account. I can get along without Gmail (I use AOL mail instead). But without that Gmail password I can't download any more books for my Nook e-reader. How can I find out what my Gmail password is or create a new one?

-- Joan Arnold, Tucson, Ariz.

A: ...Read more

Betting with a smartphone? The casinos know who you are, and where you are located

When online gaming launches soon in Pennsylvania, bettors with a smartphone will be able to gamble from just about anywhere in the state.

You can gamble from work. You can gamble from school. You can gamble in a bar. You can gamble from the bleachers.

You can even bow your head and gamble from a pew. Say amen.

But there is one place in the ...Read more

Sound Advice: ZVOX AV200 series soundbar remains the best for voices

Q. We're part of the older generation that has trouble understanding what folks on TV are saying. We have a set of earphones, which do make the voices clearer, but they're not comfortable for more than an hour or two. We tried a soundbar, which made the music better, but did not help much with the voices so we returned it to the store. I realize...Read more

The feds' termination of a tiny contract inflames bitter fight over fetal tissue

Federal health officials announced late last month they had terminated their contract with a company that supplies human fetal tissue for medical research and were checking that similar contracts, as well as studies conducted with that tissue, comply with federal law.

The seemingly innocuous release about a tiny government contract, which came ...Read more

Apple to U.S. lawmakers: China did not hack us, as reported

Apple is strongly denying to Congress an explosive report that its products have been compromised by the Chinese government.

Apple's top security officer told lawmakers the company has found no evidence of claims made in a report published last week. His response comes after the Department of Homeland Security and Britain's national ...Read more

5G service rolls out — but not without controversy

Lampposts around downtown Los Angeles are being wired with fiber optic cable and shoebox-sized gadgets to beam the fifth and fastest generation of cellular data, known as 5G, into homes and mobile devices.

This high-tech infrastructure build-out is the result of a deal between the city and Verizon -- Los Angeles gave the wireless carrier a ...Read more

The mushroom dream of a 'long-haired hippie' could help save the world's bees

SEATTLE--The epiphany that mushrooms could help save the world's ailing bee colonies struck Paul Stamets while he was in bed.

"I love waking dreams," he said. "It's a time when you're just coming back into consciousness."

Years ago, in 1984, Stamets had noticed a "continuous convoy of bees" traveling from a patch of mushrooms he was growing ...Read more

From cyborgs to sex robots, U of M professor studies how brain science is changing legal system

Francis Shen spends a lot of time thinking about transhuman cyborgs, brain-wave lie detectors, sex robots and terrorists hacking into devices implanted in our heads.

And, no, he's not a science fiction writer. He's a neurolawyer.

More precisely, he's a University of Minnesota law school professor and expert in the emerging field of neurolaw, ...Read more

Northwest's cell networks disrupted after 'presidential alert' text

SEATTLE -- Subscribers with several networks, notably AT&T and T-Mobile, reported being unable to download data or use their apps for hours soon after receiving a "presidential alert" test. AT&T blamed an unrelated hardware problem.

Cell phone networks across the Pacific Northwest were hit by a mysterious disruption this morning minutes after ...Read more

Doctors, scientists fight superbugs that could kill millions

SEATTLE -- Catching an ear infection is uncomfortable enough, but imagine if the antibiotics a doctor prescribed didn't work.

It's a problem that at least 2 million people in the U.S. face every year, when they catch infections that are resistant to antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That makes the ...Read more

Why Australia's famed gun control laws probably wouldn't reduce shooting deaths in America

On a Sunday in the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur, a lone gunman shot an elderly couple at the inn they owned, 22 diners lunching at a nearby tourist spot, two tour bus drivers and several of their passengers, four occupants of a BMW, and two customers at a gas station.

By the time the bullets stopped flying on April 28, 1996, 35 people were ...Read more

Those Netflix binges taking up tons of bandwidth

When it comes to who or what is using up all that internet bandwidth out there, Netflix is the biggest of the big.

That's according to a new report from research firm Sandvine, which said Netflix is responsible for 15 percent of all internet bandwidth traffic. In its Global Internet Phenomena Report, Sandvine said that Netflix's usage levels ...Read more

Suit to block California's net neutrality law could be overshadowed by broader challenge in DC Circuit

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Trump administration decided last year to dump net neutrality rules designed to treat all data equally, the states revolted.

Thirty legislatures introduced bills to prohibit internet service providers from hindering access to certain sites and charging fees for faster speeds.

Four states, including California, passed ...Read more

As stem cell and gene technologies advance, La Jolla conference mushrooms

In 2006, a few hundred mostly local researchers gathered in La Jolla to discuss the emerging but still science-fictiony field of stem cells.

Since then, stem cells, enhanced by gene therapy, have progressed to yield breakthrough treatments, most spectacularly in cancer. Likewise, the conference known as the Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa has ...Read more

Marissa Mayer, ex-CEO of Yahoo, riles up neighbors with plan for women's club in mortuary

Out with the dead, in with the women and kids.

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer plans to turn Palo Alto's oldest mortuary into a private club for working women and their families.

Mayer five years ago bought the former Roller & Hapgood & Tinney funeral home, and is now seeking a zoning change to transform it into "The Corner House," a club ...Read more

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