Latest stories - The Conversation

2 Hours Ago   Europa, a frozen moon around Jupiter, is believed to be one of the most habitable worlds in the solar system. It was first imaged in detail by the Voyager 1 probe in 1979, revealing a surface almost devoid of large craters.

Yesterday   Spintronics might not be the sort of word that comes up in everyday discussions, but it has been revolutionising computer technology for years. It’s the branch of physics that involves manipulating the spin of a flow of electrons, which first reached consumers in the late 1990s in the form of magnetic computer hard drives with several hundreds of times the storage capacity of their predecessors.

5 Days Ago   Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way to enhance her paper trail genealogy research, and it panned out when she matched with several new relatives.

14 Days Ago   Though much is known about where and when birds travel, a lot less is known about the composition of flocks and how long they stay together.

14 Days Ago   Data is often called the oil of the 21st century. The more tech companies know about their users, the more effectively they can direct them to goods and services that they are likely to buy.

17 Days Ago   We’re squandering increasing amounts of time distracted by our phones. And that’s taking a serious toll on our mental and physical well-being. Perhaps ironically, software developers themselves have been on the forefront of efforts to solve this problem by creating apps that aim to help users disconnect from their devices.

21 Days Ago   Many fish, marine mammals and seabirds that inhabit the world’s oceans are critically endangered, but few are as close to the brink as the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis)Only about 411 of these whales exist today, and at their current rate of decline, they could become extinct within our lifetimes.

21 Days Ago   Though critically acclaimed and widely beloved, the 1992 animated feature Aladdin had some serious issues with stereotyping. Disney wanted to avoid repeating these same problems in the live-action version of Aladdin, which came out on May 24.

23 Days Ago   One day in the future, you may take a pill to treat an illness – and owe your recovery to the tiny microbes that flourish in the slippery layer of mucus that coats fishes.

25 Days Ago   Like most planets in our solar system, the Earth has its own magnetic field. Thanks to its largely molten iron core, our planet is in fact a bit like a bar magnet.

26 Days Ago   The number of cyber attacks is estimated to have risen by 67% over the last five years, with the majority of these data breaches being traced back to human error.

27 Days Ago   When you wake up in the middle of the night in total darkness, it can feel as if you have auditory superpowers. Suddenly, you can hear floorboards creak storeys below and the softest rustle of foxes destroying the bins outside, once again.

30 Days Ago   The use of self-tracking and personal surveillance technologies has grown considerably over the last decade. There are now apps to monitor people’s movement, health, mindfulness, sleep, eating habits and even sexual activity.

32 Days Ago   We tend to think of the moon as the archetypal “dead” world. Not only is there no life, almost all its volcanic activity died out billions of years ago.

33 Days Ago   Measles cases in the US have hit a 25-year high, with 78 new infections in the past week alone. In a sign of the times, a cruise ship with hundreds of Scientologists on board was quarantined in St Lucia after one passenger was diagnosed with the disease.

33 Days Ago   In the Chinese science fiction film The Wandering Earth, recently released on Netflix, humanity attempts to change the Earth’s orbit using enormous thrusters in order to escape the expanding sun – and prevent a collision with Jupiter.

33 Days Ago   Mobile technology will arguably go down in history as the most successful innovation of our lifetime. Mobile devices, especially phones, are ubiquitous in large parts of the world.

36 Days Ago   How many times in the past week do you think your life was affected by a robot? Unless you have a robot vacuum cleaner, you might say that robots had no real impact on your life.

38 Days Ago   You might not be able to stomach soybeans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the animals you eat do. Cultivation of the staple crop takes up an area five times the size of the UK, and 85% of that area is used for animal feed.

38 Days Ago   The schlocky 1998 Bruce Willis movie Armageddon was the highest grossing film of that year. The blockbuster saw a master oil driller (Willis) and an unlikely crew of misfits place a nuclear bomb inside a giant asteroid heading for Earth, blow it up – and save humanity.

39 Days Ago   The Y chromosome may be a symbol of masculinity, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is anything but strong and enduring. Although it carries the “master switch” gene, SRY, that determines whether an embryo will develop as male (XY) or female (XX), it contains very few other genes and is the only chromosome not necessary for life.

39 Days Ago   Nearly 50 years since man first walked on the moon, the human race is once more pushing forward with attempts to land on the Earth’s satellite.

40 Days Ago   Some of the most famous scientific discoveries happened by accident. From Teflon and the microwave oven to penicillin, scientists trying to solve a problem sometimes find unexpected things.

40 Days Ago   You can live without food for three weeks and without water for up to three days. But you can’t live without air for more than three short minutes.

41 Days Ago   The idea of a “biodegradable” plastic suggests a material that would degrade to little or nothing over a period of time, posing less of a hazard to wildlife and the environment.

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