Science & Technology



'Mighty mice' launched into space to help researchers study muscle atrophy and bone degeneration

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Forty mice were sent to the International Space Station Thursday as part of a joint effort between the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, UConn Health and Connecticut Children's to better understand muscle atrophy and bone degeneration.

The mice were successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida...Read more

This startup is designing cashier-less stores — and just raised $30M

SAN DIEGO -- A technology startup in San Diego has just raised $30 million from investors to continue building out its software for cashier-less, "grab-and-go" stores. The model, popularized by Amazon Go, allows shoppers to simply walk into a store, grab items from the shelves, and walk out -- with the receipt sent directly to their mobile ...Read more

Life Fitness enters race against Peloton for virtual exercise classes

CHICAGO -- A new entrant has joined the interactive stationary bike race with Peloton.

Life Fitness, the Rosemont, Ill.-based health club equipment manufacturer, announced this week it is rolling out on-demand exercise classes on the touch screens of its bikes, treadmills, ellipticals and other cardio fitness products.

But unlike Peloton, ...Read more

Mice in space: NASA's latest experiment

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Scientists are sending mighty mice to space, but rather than being gym rats, their strength was enhanced through genetic experimentation in the hopes of preventing human astronauts from experiencing muscle loss in microgravity.

NASA is sending 40 genetically modified mice to space via this week's scheduled SpaceX Dragon launch ...Read more

Developers join call for GitHub to cancel its ICE contract

Since at least September, employees of GitHub have been pressuring the Microsoft-owned code repository to terminate its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without success. Now they're getting reinforcements from a constituency that could have more clout.

In an open letter published Wednesday on GitHub, software developers ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Assessing the risks of upgrading to Windows 10

Q: Dell's website says that my six-year-old Windows 7 laptop (an Inspiron 5521) was tested and found compatible with the earliest versions of Windows 10 (called build 1507 and build 1511.) But it isn't listed as being tested with newer versions. How risky is it for me to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10? Or should I go for an older ...Read more

Cyber Monday: Adobe says $9.4 billion spent online, $3 billion via smartphones

If you are like many shoppers, you are showing few signs of putting the brakes on your Christmas and holiday spending on this gifts this year.

That's the conclusion based on data from Adobe Analytics, which said Americans spent a Cyber Monday record of $9.4 billion online, or 19.7% more than on the same day a year ago.

And for those doing ...Read more

Brown bananas and squishy avocados no more? Food tech could keep your produce from going bad

Imagine bananas that never go bad. To Aidan Mouat, CEO of Chicago-based Hazel Technologies, it's not so far-fetched.

His company makes a product that extends the shelf life of all sorts of produce -- avocados, cherries, pears, broccoli -- by slowing the chemical process that causes decay. Some of the world's largest growers are using it to send...Read more

California is famous for earthquakes and wildfires — but don't forget about its volcanoes

Margaret Mangan didn't sleep well in the weeks following the Ridgecrest, Calif., earthquakes. The July shaking triggered a swarm of smaller tremors in the nearby Coso Volcanic Field, a cluster of lava domes and cinder cones at the northern end of the Mojave Desert. And it was Mangan's job to watch for a possible eruption.

"We were pretty much ...Read more

A new group thinks Amazon is 'too big to govern' and wants to lead the resistance

In 2017, as cities and states including Philadelphia and Delaware built out lavish incentive packages and sales pitches in hopes of luring Amazon's second headquarters, a resistance emerged.

Critics worried about the displacement of residents, the company's surveillance-heavy labor practices, and the logic of offering billions of dollars in ...Read more

Scientist anticipates breakthrough in Antarctic search for planet's oldest ice

SAN DIEGO -- It's summer in Antarctica, and scientists from all around the world are flying to research stations on the frozen continent as part of a now years-long campaign to uncover the world's oldest ice.

At stake is the ability to more accurately predict planetary warming from greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the foremost experts on the ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Browser privacy mode won't make you invisible

Q: My internet browsers have privacy modes with names like "incognito," "secret" and "private," but I suspect they provide less privacy than the names suggest. What do they do?

-- Warren Nilsson, Richfield, Minn.

A: These browser features give you a degree of privacy, but they don't make you invisible.

The "incognito mode" in the Google ...Read more

Could drone deliveries help the environment? Let's unpack that

In the era of e-commerce, it takes a single click to order anything you'd like. But it takes a lot of energy to bring it to your door.

Items are shipped from factories, shuttled between warehouses and finally trucked to your home. This convenience comes at an environmental cost -- transportation accounts for 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions...Read more

California researchers record the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild for the first time

SAN DIEGO -- Researchers from Stanford and UC San Diego have achieved a difficult breakthrough, making the first recordings of a blue whale's beating heart while the animal swam in the wild along the California coast.

The achievement was first reported on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The feat occurred in ...Read more

Homeland Security watchdog investigates whistleblower complaint over lapses in bioterrorism program

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general is investigating whether agency officials retaliated against a whistleblower who criticized cybersecurity lapses in the nation's bioterrorism defense program.

Harry Jackson, a former information security manager at Homeland Security, complained that data from the BioWatch program had been ...Read more

Amazon's cloud computing will help Seahawks tackle data for 'a competitive edge'

The most difficult completion through the first 11 weeks of the NFL season was a Russell Wilson-to-Tyler Lockett touchdown in the final minute of the first half against the Rams. The Seahawks quarterback scrambled on the play action pass and then lofted the ball to a well-covered Lockett, who hauled it in and made a Pacific Northwest Ballet-...Read more

Even computer algorithms can be biased. Scientists have different ideas of how to prevent that

Scientists say they've developed a framework to make computer algorithms "safer" to use without creating bias based on race, gender or other factors. The trick, they say, is to make it possible for users to tell the algorithm what kinds of pitfalls to avoid -- without having to know a lot about statistics or artificial intelligence.

With this ...Read more

Amazon sues US over loss of Pentagon cloud deal to Microsoft

WASHINGTON -- Inc. filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Defense Department's choice of rival Microsoft Corp. for a Pentagon cloud-computing contract worth as much as $10 billion.

The lawsuit, which was filed under seal in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, marks Amazon's most aggressive push to defend its competitive ...Read more

Former Tinder CEO Sean Rad accused of secretly recording employees and bosses in new court filing

The multibillion-dollar legal battle between Sean Rad, the co-founder and former chief executive of Tinder, and parent company IAC took a new turn this week when IAC alleged in a new court filing that Rad secretly recorded multiple conversations with Tinder employees and his supervisors, potentially violating California law requiring both ...Read more

Google, Facebook at center of escalating political-ad tension

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Inc. and Google were drawn into an escalating battle of wills Wednesday over the use of political advertising on social media.

Trump campaign officials pressured Facebook to maintain its permissive political advertising rules, while Alphabet Inc.'s Google announced an overhaul of how campaigns may target their messages...Read more