This MIT Bot Can Accurately Predict Your Race Using an X-Ray. Scientists Have No Idea How It Works.

Artificial intelligence has a racism problem. Look no further than the bots that go on racist rants, or the facial recognition tech that refuses to see Black people, or discriminatory HR bots that won’t hire people of color. It’s a pernicious issue plaguing the world of neural networks and machine learning that not only strengthens … Read more

Why Future Space Farms Depend on Plants Grown in Antarctica

Figuring out how to feed people in space is a major part of a larger effort to demonstrate the viability of long-term human habitation of extraterrestrial environments. On May 12, 2022, a team of scientists announced that they had successfully grown plants using lunar soil gathered during the Apollo moon missions. But this is not … Read more

The Power of Fusion Energy Might Finally Be Unlocked Thanks to a New Physics Update

In the world of renewable energy, there’s perhaps no more ambitious goal than fusion power. This involves fusing hydrogen atoms to create helium—a process that generates an ungodly amount of energy as a result. It’s a reaction that occurs every single moment in the sun, but replicating it on Earth is a much rarer and … Read more

Boeing’s Second Starliner Spaceflight Mission to International Space Station Has Astronomical Stakes

Can Boeing begin to repair its battered reputation with one rocket launch? Its Starliner capsule now sits atop an Atlas 5 rocket on a pad in Florida, being readied for a flight to the International Space Station Thursday evening, as part of a test program already two and a half years behind schedule. NASA wants … Read more

Moon Soil Can Be Turned Into Air and Fuel for Lunar Astronauts

Since the first moon landing in 1969, it’s long been a goal to establish lunar colonies. After all, the moon has water we could use, subterranean caves we could inhabit, and now, it seems, a native way to generate a steady source of usable energy. With the upcoming Artemis project from NASA that aims to … Read more

Here’s the NASA KNaCK Backpack That Will Keep Astronauts Alive on the Moon

While you might take a water bottle and a few granola bars on your next hiking trip, astronauts walking on the moon need to be a bit more prepared. That’s why NASA has developed a new high-tech backpack for future lunar explorers. The Kinematic Navigation and Cartography Knapsack (KNaCK) is armed with a mobile scanner … Read more

Ancient Protein Rubisco Could Be Used to Save Future Food Crops From Dying in Hot Climates

When it comes to food, humanity’s looking down the barrel of a gun. The world’s population will balloon to almost 9.8 billion by 2050, leading to an expected 60-percent increase in demand for food. And the devastating effects of climate change aren’t doing any favors for our farming. But there may be a silver lining—and … Read more

Hubble Space Telescope Spots a Supermassive Black Hole Ancestor GNz7q Hiding in Plain Sight

For years, astronomers have been searching for a “missing link” that bridges quasars—a term for incredibly bright supermassive black holes—and star-forming galaxies known as “starburst” galaxies. Such a discovery would help better our understanding of the origins of the universe and how galaxies form (and by extension, stars like the sun and planets like Earth). … Read more

Alexa for Animals: AI Is Teaching Us How Creatures Communicate

Artificial intelligence has already enabled humans to chat with robots like Alexa and Siri that were inspired by science fiction. Some of its newest creations take a page from a hero of children’s literature: Doctor Dolittle. Researchers are using AI to parse the “speech” of animals, enabling scientists to create systems that, for example, detect … Read more

NASA James Webb Space Telescope Took Bright New Image of a Star in Show of Its Future Observational Power

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, launched in late 2021, was hyped as the most revolutionary space instrument the modern world has ever seen, poised to send back snaps of the universe rivaling its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. It looks like JWST is already delivering on that promise—and it has the visuals to … Read more