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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending November 15, 2014)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. Rise of the Robot Security Guards
    Startup Knightscope is preparing to roll out human-size robot patrols.
  2. Next-Generation Robot Needs Your Help
    A Carnegie Mellon researcher shows that designing robots to ask for human assistance can make them a lot more useful.
  3. Virtual Reality Aims for the Mobile Phone
    A smartphone-based virtual reality headset from Samsung and Oculus VR could make the technology more accessible, but it also demonstrates a new set of challenges
  4. Device Changes Your Mood with a Zap to the Head
    A smartphone-connected device delivers electrical stimulation to nerves in the head.
  5. The United States Is Far and Away the Leader in Carbon Dioxide Emissions
    The effects of atmospheric carbon linger for centuries, so historical emissions totals are relevant context for the global climate policy debate.
  6. Virgin Galactic Tragedy May Mean New Space Tourism Rules
    The investigation into the Virgin Galactic accident has yet to find a cause, but the FAA will consider new regulations for commercial space travel.
  7. ETH Researchers Develop a Thought-Controlled Genetic Interface
    Swiss scientists achieve a remarkable mashup of optogenetics, synthetic biology, and brain control.
  8. <

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still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

pig kidney transplant surgery
pig kidney transplant surgery

Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient

The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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