In the spotlight
The mesmerizing moon: an astrophysicist unravels its pull on people marking the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing
The emerging cultures were trying to make sense of the world around them without the knowledge that we have today. They would make up stories and I think that’s how they tried to make sense of the cosmos. And you know, for example, that the first advanced civilization was the Sumerians who invented writing. Deutsche Welle spoke with astrophysicist and author Ben Moore about how people have mythologized the Moon over the ages.
Scientists look for answers to earth’s beginning under the moonscape
As countries and companies rush to build infrastructure on the moon, some researchers are planning to dig under its rocky soil to unlock mysteries about earth that have eluded scientists since astronauts first stepped foot on its surface a half century ago.
Science and sustainability may clash on the moon
For those hoping to put more people on the moon, many plans for future lunar missions hinge on harvesting available resources there. And the most resource-rich target seems to be the moon’s poles, where permanently shadowed craters act as “cold traps,” building up deposits of water ice from billions of years of comet and asteroid impacts—and also a possible active “water cycle” on the moon.
Agriculture & Environment
Making drones work for small farmers
Humans and satellites have a hard time beating a drone’s eye for detail in scanning farming systems from above. Flying below the clouds, collecting and sending images in almost real-time, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) gained ground quickly in agriculture in the last decade as part of so-called precision agriculture.
What should FAO’s new director general focus on?
Mr Qu takes over from José Graziano da Silva who has been in the post since 2012 and completes two terms in July 2019. Mr Qu has a doctorate in agricultural and environmental sciences from Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands, and has held several senior positions including as vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science.
How AI is transforming agriculture
Agriculture and farming is one of the oldest and most important professions in the world. Humanity has come a long way over the millennia in how we farm and grow crops with the introduction of various technologies. As the world population continues to grow and land becomes more scarce, people have needed to get creative and become more efficient about how we farm, using less land to produce more crops and increasing the productivity and yield of those farmed acres.
Transport & Energy
Climate change: Used cooking oil imports may fuel deforestation
Used cooking oil from Asia is being imported into Europe to make biodiesel. Imports of a “green fuel” source may be inadvertently increasing deforestation and the demand for new palm oil, a study says. Experts say there has been a recent boom in the amount of used cooking oil imported into the UK from Asia.
Scotland just produced enough wind energy to power all its homes twice over
Wind turbines in Scotland generated 9,831,320 megawatt hours between January and June 2019, WWF Scotland said Monday. The numbers, which were supplied by WeatherEnergy, mean that Scottish wind generated enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4.47 million homes for six months.
Blockchain can speed up Asia’s clean energy transition. Here’s how
We have just over a decade to contain climate warming to below 1.5C. Any feasible economic path to achieving that goal requires us to obtain nearly all of our energy – 85 per cent by 2050 – from renewable sources. It is technically possible to exit fossil fuels, if we are able to muster the political will to do so.
Why AI is the future of cybersecurity
Capgemini Research Institute surveyed 850 senior executives from seven industries, including consumer products, retail, banking, insurance, automotive, utilities, and telecom. 20% of the executive respondents are CIOs, and 10% are CISOs.
Like fossil fuel in the ground, customer data may soon be a liability, not an asset
Like fossil fuel in the ground, customer data may soon be a liability, not an asset. The massive fines imposed on companies such as BA and the Marriott group are a warning to big data hoarders. Dark days: BA was fined £183m for a data breach that leaked the details of 500,000 customers.
Could ‘fake text’ be the next global political threat?
Earlier this month, an unexceptional thread appeared on Reddit announcing that there is a new way “to cook egg white[s] without a frying pan”. As so often happens on this website, which calls itself “the front page of the internet”, this seemingly banal comment inspired a slew of responses.
Food & Health
At a Glance – What if we didn’t need cows for our beef?
What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers.
Cultured meat could suffer the same fate as GMOs, new research suggests
New research offers a warning to companies looking to sell cultured meat. This new type of protein — meat engineered from cell tissue in a lab rather than using traditional animal agriculture — could end up suffering the same fate as GMOs if if producers and proponents aren’t able to shift the public narrative.
Science policy & Communication
Plan announced for EIT’s future role under Horizon Europe
Proposed strategy for European Institute of Innovation and Technology will see it aligned with Horizon Europe’s strategic planning process. A new Knowledge and Innovation Community will be set up to support the creative industries.
Our friends can influence our behaviour more than we think
Since the global financial crisis 10 years ago, governments around the world have been increasingly rejecting economists in favour of behavioural economics, with so called “nudge units” springing up in more than 50 countries, including in Ireland. Better understanding our social instincts – how they can be used for good – is the current frontier in the application of behavioural science.
EU Commission launches €50M call for artificial intelligence research networks
The European Commission announced a €50 million Horizon 2020 call to fund four networks of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers at leading institutions, with the goal of building Europe’s AI capabilities. The bulk of the money, €48 million, is for basic research, industrial collaboration and setting up PhD programmes.
EU issues first call for supercomputers sites
The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking launched its first calls for expressions of interest Monday to select the sites that will host its first supercomputers by the end of 2020. Two calls form the joint undertaking (EuroHPC JU) are now open.
Why NASA is trying to launch a chile pepper into space ?
It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for chile peppers. A team of scientists at NASA is working to launch the Española chile pepper into space. This would be the first fruiting plant the United States has grown and harvested at the International Space Station.
Forget the moon—We should go to Jupiter’s idyllic Europa
Jupiter’s moon Europa is like the Brigadoon of the solar system: an idyllic moon with an ice-covered ocean that may hide some form of life, even though plans to send a spacecraft there keep receding farther and farther away into the Jovian mists. But that hasn’t killed the dream of sending something, anything, to that corner of the solar system.