Science/Nature

AAAS: Machine learning ‘causing science crisis’

[ad_1] Image copyright Reuters Image caption Astronomy is one of the many areas of science in which machine learning is used to make discoveries Machine-learning techniques used by thousands of scientists to analyse data are producing results that are misleading and often completely wrong.Dr Genevera Allen from Rice University in Houston said that the increased use of such systems was contributing to a “crisis in science”.She warned scientists that if
Science/Nature

Call to ban killer robots in wars

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is not about terminator robots but "conventional weapons systems with autonomy" A group of scientists has called for a ban on the development of weapons controlled by artificial intelligence (AI).It says that autonomous weapons may malfunction in unpredictable ways and kill innocent people.Ethics experts also argue that it is a moral step too far for AI systems to kill without any human
Science/Nature

Gene-edited animal plan to relieve poverty in Africa

[ad_1] Image copyright BBC News Image caption Prof Djikeng's thinking was moulded by his childhood experiences A researcher in Edinburgh is leading efforts to develop gene-edited farm animals for poor farmers in Africa. Prof Appolinaire Djikeng is developing cows, pigs and chickens that are resistant to diseases and more productive.Among them are cattle that have been gene edited to be heat-resistant.Details of the project were given at the American Association
Science/Nature

BP: Plastic ban “could have unintended consequences”

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images There are many interesting news nuggets in BP's annual Energy Outlook that's just been published. The document says that even as renewable energy becomes the world's major power source by 2040, demand for oil will stay strong over the next two decades. But perhaps the most intriguing suggestion in the report is the idea that cutting back on plastic use could backfire and make matters
Science/Nature

Space harpoon skewers ‘orbital debris’

[ad_1] Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA harpoon was fired to catch some debris successfullyThe British-led mission to test techniques to clear up space junk has demonstrated a harpoon in orbit.The RemoveDebris satellite fired the projectile into a target board held at a distance on the end of a boom.Video of the event shows the miniature spear fly straight and true, and with such force that it
Science/Nature

Gravitational waves: Black hole detector to get upgrade

[ad_1] Image copyright NSF Image caption The LIGO Louisiana lab that detected gravitational waves is in line for an upgrade The UK and US governments have announced a £25m upgrade to the machines that detected gravitational waves three and a half years ago. The improved instruments will be able to detect collisions of black holes nearly twice as far away.By 2024 they will be able to observe in unprecedented detail
Science/Nature

Cambridge anglers win fish loss compensation

[ad_1] Image copyright Google Image caption The claim for compensation centred on the decline of large fish numbers at Baits Bite Lock A water company has paid compensation to anglers over fish deaths following a discharge from a treatment works.Cambridge Fish Preservation and Angling Society (CFPAS) claimed Anglian Water's recycling centre at Milton, near Cambridge, had polluted the River Cam.It alleged in a civil claim at Peterborough County Court the
Science/Nature

Chernobyl: The end of a three-decade experiment

[ad_1] Since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, an exclusion zone of more than 400,000 square kilometres has been abandoned. That could be about to change, as Victoria Gill discovered during a week-long trip to the zone. "This place is more than half of my life," says Gennady Laptev. The broad-shouldered Ukrainian scientist is smiling wistfully as we stand on the now dry ground of what