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Science


China’s star has been steadily rising for decades. Besides slashing extreme poverty rates from 88 percent to under 2 percent in just 30 years, the country has become a global powerhouse in manufacturing and technology. Its pace of growth may slow due to an aging population, but China is nonetheless one of the world’s biggest …

Cats aren’t dogs. Even modern AI knows that. But how exactly AI distinguishes cat images from those of dogs is not clear. Standard neural networks are akin to a black box, as even the people who program them often have little to no idea how they make decisions. It’s not as critical when it’s just …

Apart from black holes, magnetars may be the most extreme stars in the universe. With a diameter less than the length of Manhattan, they pack more mass than that of our sun, wield the largest magnetic field of any known object — more than 10 trillion times stronger than a refrigerator magnet — and spin …

In some ways, learning to program a computer is similar to learning a new language. It requires learning new symbols and terms, which must be organized correctly to instruct the computer what to do. The computer code must also be clear enough that other programmers can read and understand it. In spite of those similarities, …

Combining hybrid polymer materials with microfabrication and 3D printing, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed an ultra-compact, lightweight and minimally invasive optoelectronic neural implant that could be used for long-term studies of brain activity. The new implantable devices are built upon a new platform LLNL researchers are calling POEMS (Polymeric Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems) and represent …

  Space exploration achieved several notable firsts in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including commercial human spaceflight and returning samples of an asteroid to Earth. The coming year is shaping up to be just as interesting. Here are some of the missions to keep an eye out for.   Artemis 1 Artemis 1 is the …

In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “The Measure of a Man,” Data, an android crew member of the Enterprise, is to be dismantled for research purposes unless Captain Picard can argue that Data deserves the same rights as a human being. Naturally the question arises: What is the basis upon which something has …

What’s New: Intel Federal LLC announced a three-year agreement with Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) to explore the value of neuromorphic computing for scaled-up computational problems. Sandia will kick off its research using a 50-million neuron Loihi-based system that was delivered to its facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This work with Loihi will lay the foundation for …

The demand for cheaper, greener electricity means that the energy landscape is changing faster than at any other point in history. This is particularly true of solar-powered electricity and battery storage. The cost of both has dropped at unprecedented rates over the past decade and energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting have also expanded. …

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team cultured rodent-derived neurons on microelectrode arrays and allowed the cultures to form networks, supplementing them with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes — cell types that play a critical role in neuronal health and function. Pictured is an immunofluorescence image of a complex culture, showing neurons (stained red), astrocytes (cyan) and oligodendrocytes (green). …