The Download

What's up in emerging technology

January 19, 2018 Pills

Researchers Create 3-D Printable Tools for Drug Production

A team at the University of Glasgow reported in Science Thursday that they have made a series of 3-D printable reaction vessels, or “reactionware,” that can be used to turn simple compounds into medicines.

Why use 3-D printing? “This approach will allow… Read more

Image credit:
  • freestocks.org | Unsplash

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Chinese science is more prolific than ever.

China Publishes More Scientific Articles Than the U.S.

A new analysis of global science and engineering competence shows that the United States is struggling to fight off an increasingly competitive China.

The numbers: According to the National Science Foundation, China published over 426,000 research papers… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Huawei

Editor's Pick

A Cheap and Easy Blood Test Could Catch Cancer Early

A simple-to-take test that tells if you have a tumor lurking, and even where it is in your body, is a lot closer to reality—and may cost only $500.  

The new test, developed at Johns Hopkins University, looks for signs of eight common types of cancer....

Read the full story →
January 19, 2018 Industrial plants are vulnerable to attack.

A New Breed of Cyberattack Uses Remote-Control Malware to Sabotage Industrial Safety Systems

New details about a worrying industrial-plant hack show that cyberattacks on infrastructure are becoming a greater threat than ever.

Backstory: Last month, security researchers explained that new malware called Triton had been used to shut down operations… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Chutter Snap | Unsplash
January 18, 2018 X-ray of an upper arm

AI Is Continuing Its Assault on Radiologists

A new model can detect abnormalities in x-rays better than radiologists—in some parts of the body, anyway.

The results: Stanford researchers trained a convolutional neural network on a data set of 40,895 images from 14,982 studies. The paper documents… Read more

Image credit:
  • Harlie Raethel | Unsplash
Photo of a delivery man carrying package

Dueling AIs Dream Up New Online Shopping Patterns for Amazon

Using five million real online purchases, researchers trained an AI that can create fake e-commerce orders.

How it works: A generative adversarial network (GAN) consists of two dueling neural networks that create realistic synthetic media, likethese… Read more

Image credit:
  • Maarten van den Heuvel | Unsplash
January 17, 2018

New “Rotational” 3-D Printing Gives Objects Impressive Strength

Harvard researchers have demonstrated a new technique they call “rotational 3-D printing” that provides precision control over the materials it prints.

Learning from nature: Natural products like bone and wood have complex microstructures that give them… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Lewis Lab/Harvard SEAS

Editor's Pick

Bitcoin and Ethereum Have a Hidden Power Structure, and It’s Just Been Revealed

In cryptocurrency circles, calling something “centralized” is an insult. The epithet stems from Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s revelation: a monetary system doesn’t need a central authority, like a government, to work. That’s such a potent idea that...

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January 17, 2018 Light is all around us.

Artificial Lighting Is Hurting Ecosystems, and Tech Tweaks Can Fix It

We’re starting to understand the true effects of light pollution on the natural world—and as we do, we’ll be able to tune lights to counter the effects.

Blinded by the light: The world is incredibly illuminated. More than 10 percent of Earth’s land can… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Ashim D’Silva | Unsplash
This truck is not autonomous.

At the Detroit Auto Show, the Autonomous Car Dream Is Still a Way Off

Last week’s CES technology show sold a vision of driverless cars—but this week’s motor show appears to disagree.

Robotic bluster: The Verge argues that autonomous-car hype at CES was a ploy to win some much-needed public approval. As the tech blog points… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • North American International Auto Show