In the spotlight
Self-driving vehicles will change the world in some unexpected ways
Vehicle accidents claim more than 37,000 lives every year in the United State alone. And 94 percent of U.S. traffic accidents are caused by human error. Self-driving technology will save lives, prevent injuries and make our roads safer. Self-driving vehicles will also save us money, cutting the cost of insurance, licensing and repairs. Aon estimates that self-driving cars could lead insurance companies to lower premiums by 40 percent and more.
Leveling up: what is Level 2 automated driving?
The Society of Automotive Engineers has designated six categories of autonomous driving, ranging from Level 0 to Level 5. However, the ongoing development of self-driving cars has produced advanced technologies that can improve vehicle safety now, adding new distinctions to automated and autonomous driving features.
Beware of cars with minds of their own!
Predictions that autonomous cars powered by artificial intelligence will create a safer, more harmonious world may be off base: that is because the new thinking technology will respond to different incentives from humans, and that won’t necessarily lead to better outcomes.
Agriculture & Environment
We are eating the planet’s last ‘Megafauna’ to extinction
Humans are in the process of herding the world’s largest animals right over the brink of extinction, and the main driving force is our insatiable appetite for meat. It’s a dire warning, and it comes from the first analysis to look at how humans have impacted the world’s “megafauna”.
Do we really need next-gen genetically modified foods to feed the world?
When a strawberry from Chile and a strawberry from the United States met in a genteel French garden 200 years ago — on a blind date arranged by gardeners who wanted to create a better berry — it was love at first sight. Previously, imported species from the US state of Virginia hadn’t produced much…
Transport & Energy
How we can save hydropower
Hydropower is the world’s third largest source of electricity and provides around 70% of the world’s renewable energy. However, dams – the traditional way we’ve harvested energy from water – are not as sustainable as you might think, disrupting the ecosystems within and around rivers, reducing biodiversity, and messing with water quality. Now, researchers are trying to find a way to make hydropower more environmentally friendly.
Hydrocarbon demand here to stay, believe energy firms, policymakers
Even as growth in the renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) segment threatens the conventional energy land scape, oil marketing companies (OMCs), oil and gas producers, and policy makers remain confident that demand for hydrocarbons is here to stay. The industry experts voiced their opinions at the chief executive officer (CEO) conclave on Sunday.
Robots and AI to give doctors more time with patients, says report
Smart speakers such as Siri and Alexa are envisioned as having a major impact on care. Though uptake of the fledgling technology has been slow so far, with fears of errors, advances will make it a “valuable tool” for updating patients’ records, allowing doctors to focus on patients and not paperwork.
Food & Health
Many different diets can improve mood and reduce depression symptoms, study finds
A study analyzing data from nearly 46,000 people finds that one dietary approach doesn’t fit all when it comes to reducing symptoms of depression. How diet affects mood is a rich area of research lately, especially with interest piquing in high-protein diets, flavors of the Mediterranean Diet, and a grab-bag of “whole” diets.
Scientists may have found a solution that can put an end to drug injections
The test device, called Soma, is shaped like the tortoise’s shell. Here was the challenge for bioengineers: Find a way for patients to take drugs like insulin or monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancers and other diseases without The medicines are made of molecules too big to be absorbed….
Science policy & Communication
The fourth industrial revolution
One of the themes of the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum was the so-called fourth industrial revolution. In a space of around 250 years mankind went from the first industrial revolution to the fourth one. Some claim that this fourth industrial revolution will change in a fundamental way….
Bots are cheap and effective. One startup trolls them into going away
Bots are ruining the internet. When they’re not pummeling a website with usernames and passwords from a long list of stolen credentials, they’re scraping the price of hotels or train tickets and odds from betting sites to get the best data. Or, they’re just trying to knock a website offline for hours at a time.
Study – Thinking about the future of Europe: ‘Ideas Papers’ for the European Parliament Administration’s Innovation Day – 08-02-2019
Thinking about the future of Europe: ‘Ideas Papers’ for the European Parliament Administration’s Innovation Day 08-02-2019. This compendium contains a set of 12 ‘Ideas Papers’ prepared by policy analysts in the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) to stimulate discussion at the various….
Study – Harmful internet use – Part I: Internet addiction and problematic use – PE 624.249 – Unit for Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA)
STUDY Panel for the Future of Science and Technology EPRSEuropean Parliamentary Research Service Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) PE 624.249 – January 2019 EN Harmful internet use Part I: Internet addiction and problematic use 1 Harmful internet use Part I: Internet addiction and problematic use….
Research Headlines – Infrastructure boost for planetary science in Europe
One day, we may indeed have colonies on Mars and manned missions heading further out into our planetary neighbourhood. But until scientists interested in other planets can actually go and see for themselves, they have to find other ways to study the objects of their interest for example, by designing technology to do the exploring for them.
Is China the next big destination for intellectual capital?
Decades ago, scientists, engineers and doctors preferred to journey West—to America and Europe. In a quiet reversal of sorts, a trickle—7,600 scientists and engineers—have begun heading East, to China, partly in response to China’s Thousand Talents Plan (2008).
Babies who get cuddled more seem to have their genetics changed for years afterwards
The amount of close and comforting contact that young infants get doesn’t just keep them warm, snug, and loved. A 2017 study says it can actually affect babies at the molecular level, and the effects can last for years. Based on the study, babies who get less physical contact and are more….