The Download

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Retraining could help most people avoid job loss at the hands of automation

A new report from the World Economic Forum says 1.4 million US jobs will be hit by automation between now and 2026—but training could ease the losses.

Limited options: Without reeducation, says the WEF, 16 percent of affected workers will have no job… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Mikael Kristenson | Unsplash

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Blood samples

China is already gene-editing a lot of humans

A new report says at least 86 people have had their genes edited in China to help cure disease.

Backstory: We already knew that China had experimented with gene editing in humans since 2016, becoming the first nation in the world to do so. No human CRISPR… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Geir Mogen, NTNU | Flickr

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....

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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:
  • | Unsplash
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
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

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 18, 2018 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