EPA cancels scientists’ climate change talk at the last minute

If there were any lingering doubts that the Environmental Protection Agency under Scott Pruitt would suppress any mention of climate change by its scientists, they've just been erased. The agency has cancelled an October 23rd climate change talk in…

Stephen Hawking makes his doctoral thesis available online

Ever wondered how Stephen Hawking saw the universe as a doctoral candidate, when his theories about black holes were just coming into fruition? You don't have to hear about it second-hand — you can now go straight to the source. The legendary cosm…

Fiber optic lines can double as earthquake detectors

You might not need an extensive sensor network or a host of volunteers to detect earthquakes in the future — in fact, the lines supplying your internet access might do the trick. Researchers have developed technology that detects seismic activity t…

Study says body cameras don’t always change police behavior

In theory, body cameras are supposed to not only catch police abuses of power, but deter them: officers will be on their best behavior knowing that they could be hauled in. As Washington, DC researchers have learned, though, that isn't guaranteed….

Disputed DNA analysis software’s code open for inspection after court order

 If you’re going to convict or acquit based on evidence provided by a piece of software, you’d better be damn sure that software is reliable. One such program, a DNA analysis tool used in over a thousand cases, has been called unreliable by critics — and a federal judge has just ordered that its code be opened for all to see so we can find out one way or the other. Read More

Allen Institute for AI’s Semantic Scholar adds biomedical papers to its AI-sorted corpus

 Semantic Scholar, an effort to index scientific literature using natural language processing and other AI methods, has added tens of millions of papers to its trove, expanding from computer science into biomedical studies. It’s a good opportunity for people in more fields to try this useful tool. Read More

Robots will touch more tenderly when they wear this sensitive skin

 Robots increasingly have to interact with ordinary (that is to say, human-focused) objects and environments, and part of that is imitating the extremely delicate and complex human grip. A new type of electronic skin allows a robot to feel not just the pressure from its grip, but whether and in what direction an object is sliding or slipping. Read More

MIT’s The Engine wants to fuel bold tech ideas in Boston

 Boston and its surrounding universities are jam-packed with big ideas, but the problem is that many of them never get out of the lab. MIT president Rafael Reif recognized this and decided the city needed an engine to push those ideas and The Engine — part venture capital firm, part business incubator — was born. When smart people are working on hard problems inside a lab, they… Read More