Science & Technology



National Academies examines safety and quality of abortion care in US

Legal abortions in the United States are so safe and effective that the vast majority of them can be performed in office-based settings, according to a new consensus report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. But not all women have timely access to them, due largely to restrictive state policies.

The roughly 200-...Read more

UCSD professor devises way to recycle lithium-ion batteries

SAN DIEGO -- The promise of a global electric vehicle transformation has a looming problem.

The cathodes in the lithium-ion batteries typically used in electric vehicles, or EVs, are made of metal oxides that contain cobalt, a metal found in finite supplies and concentrated in one of the globe's more precarious countries.

But an assistant ...Read more

Peter Thiel-founded floating-island plan sunk by the government of paradise?

It seems the "Next New World" may not be coming to Tahiti after all -- the government of French Polynesia has thrown a wrench into plans for a libertarian utopia on floating islands there -- as proposed by a group founded by Peter Thiel and a former Google engineer.

The "Floating Island Project" by the Seasteading Institute -- which started up ...Read more

Evolve or die: Why our ancestors learned to be social more than 320,000 years ago

New discoveries in eastern Africa suggest that human behaviors like symbolic thought and the creation of extended social networks were established at least 320,000 years ago -- tens of thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

The work, published as a trio of papers Thursday in Science, sheds new light on the often murky story of when...Read more

By vibrating the muscles, engineers produce a better prosthetic hand

Consider for a moment the welter of unconscious judgments and adjustments you make every time your hand reaches for an object -- say, a tall drink of water. Eyes, muscles, brain and digits coordinate with exquisite speed and subtlety to ensure the cup is reached, grasped around the middle, held gently but firmly, and drawn -- upright and at a ...Read more

Indian tech firm to hire 1,000 at planned $21 million Hartford hub

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Infosys, an Indian information technology and consulting firm, will establish a $20.6 million technology and innovation center in Hartford staffed by 1,000 employees in the next four years, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday.

In one of the largest economic development projects in the governor's seven years in office, ...Read more

What is 5G and why did Trump nix a huge tech deal to boost America's lead in its development?

Self-driving cars. Internet-connected homes. Smart cities.

Innovations like these are expected to reshape the technology industry and society at large -- but none will take off without stronger wireless infrastructure, known as 5G.

The fifth-generation mobile network will vastly expand the speed and volume of data that can be shared wirelessly...Read more

Tech & Culture: We're going to have more lithium than we know what to do with

Everyone wants more of lithium, the shiny, soft, and highly reactive mineral that powers the battery inside your smartphone and Prius (or Tesla, if you're one of the lucky ones).

Annual sales of electric vehicles are forecast to jump from 1 million last year to 9.2 million in the middle of the next decade. These cars are major consumers of ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to get rid of pop-up ads on the iPhone and iPad

Q: How can we stop the annoying Amazon lock screen advertisements that are plaguing our iPhone and iPad Safari browsers?

George Adams, Merrimack, N.H.

A: You aren't seeing the Amazon lock screen ads. Those appeared only on the lock screen (the screen you see before typing in a password) of some non-Apple phones that Amazon sold.

The ads you ...Read more

UW Bothell class helps students face emotional impact of a warming planet

When she first started learning about climate change from one of her elders, Fawn Sharp was invited on a helicopter flight over the Olympic Mountains to survey the Mount Anderson glacier.

But the glacier was gone, melted away by the warming climate.

Sharp, who is now finishing her fourth term as president of the Quinault Indian Nation, ...Read more

Monitoring equipment documents crashes and provides training for truck companies

MINNETONKA, Minn. -- More eyes on the road can help make car and truck operators better drivers.

That's the idea behind the Video Intelligence system from Minnetonka-based PeopleNet. Cameras are installed on trucks to document crashes and near crashes. That video evidence can speed the settlement of claims by verifying who is at fault. It's ...Read more

A new computer science major is rebooting society

LOS ANGELES -- In an upper-level seminar on artificial intelligence, Occidental College professor Justin Li started a discussion outside the realm of a typical computer science class.

Should a self-driving car, if unable to brake in time, be programmed to steer into a wall to avoid crashing into pedestrians -- perhaps killing a single person in...Read more

Artificial intelligence can transform industries, but California lawmakers are worried about privacy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The use of bots to meddle in political elections. Algorithms that learn who people are and keep them coming back to social media platforms. The rise of autonomous vehicles and drones that could displace hundreds of thousands of workers.

The "robot apocalypse" that some envisioned with the rise of artificial intelligence ...Read more

The World Wide Web at 29: Tim Berners-Lee talks weaponization and big tech

It's turning 29 -- what do you get the World Wide Web that has everything?

Tim Berners-Lee, the creator/inventor of the web as we know it, has some fatherly advice for the web, starting with: more users, more equality and perhaps more regulation for tech giants.

In an open letter Monday on the 29th anniversary of his submission for his ...Read more

Get hit by internet crime? Good luck getting help from some local police

WASHINGTON -- In practically the blink of an eye, Maggie Irizarry lost about $1,300 to thieves. But the culprits weren't robbers who broke into her Miami home. They were hackers who connived their way onto her Lenovo laptop.

Because of that, local police balked at getting involved. Irizarry's only recourse was to plead for mercy with her bank ...Read more

This is 'nanowood,' an invention that could reduce humanity's carbon footprint

Scientists have designed a heat-insulating material made from wood that is both light and strong and made entirely from tiny, stripped-down wood fibers.

The so-called nanowood, described in the journal Science Advances, could one day be used to make more energy-efficient buildings. It's cheap and biodegradable, too.

"Nature is producing this ...Read more

Happy National Day of Unplugging! Now log off

In honor of the National Day of Unplugging, we invite you to turn off your devices. Go ahead, we'll wait. Still...waiting. It's not that easy to shake off the yoke of digital addiction, especially here in the Bay Area, the epicenter of the wired world. That's precisely why this day of detox was born.

Dubbed the "Most Important Holiday You Are ...Read more

What scientists found trapped in a diamond: a type of ice not known on Earth

Trapped in the rigid structure of diamonds formed deep in the Earth's crust, scientists have discovered a form of water ice that was not previously known to occur naturally on our planet.

The finding, published Thursday in Science, represents the first detection of naturally occurring ice-VII ever found on Earth. And as sometimes happens in the...Read more

Tall black men are perceived as more threatening than tall white men, study shows

The taller a guy is, the more attractive, intelligent, and successful he seems, right?

For white men, sure. For black men, not so much.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina recently discovered that tall black men are more likely to be viewed as threatening than tall white men. In fact, the study found, the taller a black man is, the...Read more

On Twitter, false information travels farther and faster than the truth. Really.

Call it the curse of the Internet age: Lies spread farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth.

In the first detailed analysis of how misinformation spreads through the Twittersphere, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that false news is 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than the truth.

It takes the...Read more