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Science & Technology

We studied the DNA of African and Asian leopards and found big differences between the two

African leopard. Ben Goodheart, Author provided Axel Barlow, Nottingham Trent University and Johanna L.A. Paijmans, University of Leicester Leopards are among the most widespread carnivores today, living in a wide range of habitats, from deserts to rainforests, and from the lowland plains to the mountainous highlands. Over the past century, they’ve experienced extreme habitat losses due to human activity, both …

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Scientists invent home COVID-19 test using coffee machine capsules

Nespresso machines, which brew espresso and coffee from coffee capsules, can be used for covid tests. Manu Padilla/Shutterstock Mark Lorch, University of Hull Transitioning to home working had its challenges for us all, but when your job involves researching biological applications for nanotechnology, those trials are a little more complicated than juggling the household’s broadband usage. So barred from his …

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Horses can recognise themselves in a mirror — new study

Looking good. Shutterstock/Edoma Ali Boyle, University of Cambridge If you ask people to list the most intelligent animals, they’ll name a few usual suspects. Chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants are often mentioned, as are crows, dogs and occasionally pigs. Horses don’t usually get a look in. So it might come as a surprise that horses possess an unusual skill, widely considered …

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Suez Canal container ship accident is a worst-case scenario for global trade

Rory Hopcraft, University of Plymouth; Kevin Jones, University of Plymouth, and Kimberly Tam, University of Plymouth It’s estimated that 90% of the world’s trade is transported by sea. As consumers, we rarely give much thought to how the things we buy make their way across the planet and into our homes. That is, until an incident like the recent grounding …

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Suez Canal blockage: what it takes to unwedge a megaship

Suez Canal Authority Stephen Turnock, University of Southampton One of the world’s largest container ships, named Ever Given, has been wedged across the Suez Canal since it was blown off course by high winds in the early hours of March 23, blocking one of the busiest maritime trade corridors in the world. The incident has created a logjam of hundreds …

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Too much social media can be harmful, but it’s not addictive like drugs

Too much social media can be harmful. Shutterstock/RoBird Bev John, University of South Wales and Martin Graff, University of South Wales If you spend hours of the day on your phone checking social media, you’re not unusual. The average internet user spends two hours a day on various social media sites. But does your habit of checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter …

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Singularity: how governments can halt the rise of unfriendly, unstoppable super-AI

SWEvil Wim Naudé, United Nations University The invention of an artificial super-intelligence has been a central theme in science fiction since at least the 19th century. From E.M. Forster’s short story The Machine Stops (1909) to the recent HBO television series Westworld, writers have tended to portray this possibility as an unmitigated disaster. But this issue is no longer one …

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AI developers often ignore safety in the pursuit of a breakthrough – so how do we regulate them without blocking progress?

bettervector/Shutterstock The Anh Han, Teesside University; Luís Moniz Pereira, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and Tom Lenaerts, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) Ever since artificial intelligence (AI) made the transition from theory to reality, research and development centres across the world have been rushing to come up with the next big AI breakthrough. This competition is sometimes called the “AI race”. …

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