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Researchers in 2018 achieved a new kind of chimeric first, producing sheep-human hybrid embryos that could one day represent the future of organ donation – by using body parts grown inside unnatural, engineered animals. With that end goal in mind, scientists created the first interspecies sheep-human chimera in February, introducing human stem cells into sheep
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After Chinese scientist He Jiankui shocked the scientific community by announcing last month that he had edited the genes of human babies, he mysteriously vanished. And now he’s been found.  The New York Times reports that guards are holding He in a guesthouse at his university, the Southern University of Science and Technology. It’s unclear whether the guards work for the Chinese government, the university,
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Data breaches, widespread malware attacks and microtargeted personalized advertising were lowlights of digital life in 2018. As technologies change, so does the advice security experts give for how to best stay safe. As 2019 begins, I’ve pulled together a short list of suggestions for keeping your digital life secure and free of manipulative disinformation. 1.
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Mining corporation Rio Tinto says that an autonomous rail system called AutoHaul that it’s been developing in the remote Pilbara region of Australia for several years is now entirely operational — an accomplishment the company says makes the system the “world’s largest robot.” “It’s been a challenging journey to automate a rail network of this size and scale in
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Earlier this year, researchers found a deposit of rare-earth minerals off the coast of Japan that could supply the world for centuries, according to a study. The study, published in the journal Nature in April 2018, says the deposit contains 16 million tons of the valuable metals. Rare-earth minerals are used in everything from smartphone batteries
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Adam and Eve might have managed it in the Bible, but scientifically speaking, would two people be enough to repopulate our world from scratch, despite the inevitable health issues associated with inbreeding and a limited gene pool?  First of all, let’s deal with the obvious problems. The first ‘new’ generation would obviously all be brothers and
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Scientists in Germany say they have hit a new superconductivity milestone. According to their paper, they achieved resistance-free electrical current at the highest temperature yet: just 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Although the team’s superconducting material has yet to be verified, the claim has merit – the work was led by
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One of the best-known fossils in paleontology, a virtually complete skeleton nicknamed “Little Foot”, could actually represent an entirely new species of early human, scientists have announced. The fossil was first discovered more than 20 years ago, and after decades of careful extraction and research, an analysis of the age, skull and limbs has finally
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In our never-ending quest to understand what happens to us after we die, humans have long seen the rare phenomenon of near-death experiences as providing some hints. People who’ve had a brush with death often report seeing and experiencing life-altering events on “the other side,” like a bright white light at the end of a
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Between 2008 and 2017 in Australia, 266 people died from an animal of some sort. At first glance, you won’t find that surprising – after all, Australia is often thought of as a dangerous place. But what might surprise you is the type of animal causing most of these deaths. Is it one of the