The Amazon rainforest has already reached a crucial tipping point

By Luke Taylor Trees in many parts of the Brazilian Amazon are being cut down and burned to make space for agriculture Kristof Bellens/EyeEm/Alamy Indigenous leaders from the nine countries and territories that encompass the Amazon region have presented a report today that says so much of the rainforest has been lost that it has […]

Apps used as alternatives to prison in US found to have privacy flaws

An analysis of 16 apps used as alternatives to incarceration found numerous privacy problems including in an app used to track almost 248,000 immigrants Technology 3 September 2022 By Jeremy Hsu Some monitoring apps are used in place of incarceration Getty Images/Moment R/panithan pholpanichrassamee An analysis of monitoring apps installed on people’s smartphones in the […]

First exoplanet picture from James Webb Space Telescope revealed

For the first time, astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have directly captured an image of an exoplanet from space Space 1 September 2022 By Alex Wilkins The exoplanet HIP 65426 b as seen by the NIRCam and MIRI instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope NASA/ESA/CSA, A Carter (UCSC), ERS 1386 team, A. […]

JWST reveals young star that may be about to give birth to a planet

Spectral information from the James Webb Space Telescope has unveiled chemicals inside a protostar that hint it is in the process of forming planets Space 30 August 2022 By Alex Wilkins The James Webb telescope is making discovery after discovery Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock A young, still-forming star that produces so-called complex carbon molecules like ethanol and […]

Mucus has evolved at least 15 times in mammals

Mucus-producing mucin proteins have repeatedly and independently emerged in mammals, possibly through co-option of existing proteins into slime factories Life 26 August 2022 By Corryn Wetzel Drool is full of mucus, produced by many independently evolved proteins in mammals Sandra Mailer/Shutterstock The proteins that make mucus appear to have evolved in at least 15 independent […]

Robot dog learns to walk on tough terrain in just 20 minutes

Grass lawns and hiking trails are no problem for this robot, which learned to walk on them on the fly thanks to a machine learning algorithm Technology 26 August 2022 By Alex Wilkins A robot dog can learn to walk on unfamiliar and hard-to-master terrain, such as grass, bark and hiking trails, in just 20 […]

Squashable computer runs calculations depending on how you squish it

A computer made using blocks of rubber with streaks of a rubber-silver compound performs simple calculations when squished Technology 24 August 2022 By Karmela Padavic-Callaghan This squishy computer can subtract two numbers Charles El Helou Soft cube-shaped computers can perform different calculations depending on how they are squished. The devices could be used for robots […]

Banning anti-vaccine groups on Facebook may just move users to Twitter

People who were in Facebook groups shut down seemingly for violating vaccine misinformation rules went on to tweet more anti-vaccine content in the following month Technology 22 August 2022 By Chris Stokel-Walker Facebook users may increase their Twitter use if a group they’re in shuts down Andre M Chang/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock Removing anti-vaccine groups on Facebook […]

Rubik’s Cube solution unlocked by memorising 3915 final move sequences

For the first time, a speedcuber has demonstrated a solution to the Rubik’s cube that combines the two final steps of the puzzle’s solution into one Mathematics 19 August 2022 By Jeremy Hsu A speedcuber has combined two commonly used final moves into one to solve a Rubik’s cube Shutterstock/katiko.dp A Rubik’s cube solver has […]

Covid-19 linked to higher risk of brain conditions up to two years on

The risk of being diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition up to two years after catching covid-19 may be higher than with other respiratory infections, such as seasonal influenza Health 18 August 2022 By Jason Arunn Murugesu In severe cases, covid-19 may cause certain neurological and psychiatric conditions for up to two years post-infection […]