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New evidence for a human magnetic sense that lets your brain detect the Earth’s magnetic field

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through...

Here’s how airplane crash investigations work, according to an aviation safety expert

The fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 has resulted in the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Investigators are probing the crash...

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: A 300-year-old cyclone persists but is shrinking

The Great Red Spot, a storm larger than the Earth and powerful enough to tear apart smaller storms that get drawn into it, is...

Automated control system caused Ethiopia crash, flight data suggests

Emerging evidence from the recent crash in Ethiopia suggests that malfunctioning automatic control systems overwhelmed the crew and doomed the flight. Based on my...

Editing genes shouldn’t be too scary — unless they are the ones that get passed to future generations

Gene editing is one of the scarier things in the science news, but not all gene editing is the same. It matters whether researchers...

Softer, processed foods changed the way ancient humans spoke

The human capacity for language divides our species from the rest of the animal kingdom. Language has not only allowed us to conquer all...

Facebook’s ‘pivot’ is less about privacy and more about profits

Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest promise is that his social media conglomerate will become a “privacy-focused” one. By turns lauded and lambasted,...

Robots guarded Buddha’s relics in a legend of ancient India

As early as Homer, more than 2,500 years ago, Greek mythology explored the idea of automatons and self-moving devices. By the third century B.C.,...

Escalator etiquette: Should I stand or walk for an efficient ride?

Love them or hate them, traffic laws exist to keep people safe and to help vehicles flow smoothly. And while they aren’t legally enforceable,...

US military steps up cyberwarfare effort

The U.S. military has the capability, the willingness and, perhaps for the first time, the official permission to preemptively engage in active cyberwarfare against...

Old stone walls record the changing location of magnetic north

When I was a kid living in southern New Hampshire, my family home was on the site of an abandoned farmstead consisting of massive...

Ancient DNA is a powerful tool for studying the past – when archaeologists and geneticists work together

DNA has moved beyond esoteric science and into the center of everyday conversations about identity, culture and politics. It’s also reshaping stories about the...

Humans and machines can improve accuracy when they work together

Whether artificial intelligence systems steal humans’ jobs or create new work opportunities, people will need to work together with them. In my research I...

Mass-market electric pickup trucks and SUVs are on the way

Electric vehicles – specifically, the Tesla Model 3 – are dominating the U.S. market for premium sedans, but are barely even on the radar...

University of California’s break with the biggest academic publisher could shake up scholarly publishing for good

The University of California recently made international headlines when it canceled its subscription with scientific journal publisher Elsevier. The twittersphere lit up. And Elsevier’s...

Artificial intelligence must know when to ask for human help

Artificial intelligence systems are powerful tools for businesses and governments to process data and respond to changing situations, whether on the stock market or...