Trending: the desire to "pushback" against technology

Researchers at the University of Washington have identified the desire to resist constant connectivity and to step back from the online world. The authors of a paper to be presented at the Berlin iConference in early 2014 wanted to understand the overserved.

Brain-computer interfaces are here

Small electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions. This technology could improve communication and daily life for a person who is paralyzed or has lost the ability to speak from a stroke or neurodegenerative disease.

Studying stars by stellar proxy

A University of Washington astronomer is using Earth's interstellar neighbors to learn the nature of certain stars too far away to be directly measured or observed, and the planets they may host.

How mutants save a species

There's one obvious reason why it's easier for a species to survive a gradual environmental change than a sudden one: more individuals stay alive when change is gradual or moderate, meaning there are more chances for a winning mutation to emerge.

Black carbon worse for climate than thought

Black carbon - soot to you and me - turns out to be causing twice as much global warming as previously thought.

Babies learn language while still in the womb

At just a few hours old, babies can tell the difference between their native language and a foreign one, showing that they start learning to distinguish the sounds of speech while still in the womb.

Microbes piggy-back on dust clouds

A new study has found that many microbes are able to cross the Pacific Ocean on dust plumes.

Polar ice sheets shrinking ever faster

The planet's two largest ice sheets are melting faster then ever before - three times as fast as they were just 20 years ago.

Mass extinction underway before dino-killer asteroid

The mass extinction that took out the dinosaurs was already well underway by the time a six-mile asteroid slammed into Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula 65 million years ago, it appears.

Team urges test of cloud brightening

Scientists are proposing a test of cloud brightening as a possible way of countering global warming.

Global warming may be caused by reservoirs, dams

Scientists have discovered another potential cause of global warming.

Neanderthal 'sister species' interbred with us

A mysterious sister species to Neanderthals once roamed Africa, interbreeding with human ancestors.

Anomalous climate record explained

An explanation has been found for why one widely-used climate record shows a different warming trend to others.

Sea level rise may be less severe than feared

While Greenland's glaciers are moving ever-faster twowards the sea, they're not accelerating as much as believed, indicating that future sea level rises could be a lot less than current worst-case scenarios.

Plastic debris found littering ocean

There's far more little bits of plastic in the ocean than previous studies have indicated, according to new research.

Fossil raindrop impressions reveal Earth's early atmosphere

Scientists have concluded that the Earth's early atmosphere was loaded with greenhouse gases - by examining fossilized raindrop impressions.

Atmospheric geoengineering could make climate worse

One suggested method of countering man-made climate change, injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere, could carry serious consequences, say scientists.

Proton-based transistor could let machines communicate with humans

Materials scientists at the University of Washington have built a transistor that uses protons rather than electrons, in a breakthrough that could allow devices to communicate directly with living things.

Gamers solve AIDS puzzle where scientists fail

Online gamers have succeeded where scientists have failed for a decade, successfully deciphering the structure of an AIDS-like retrovirus enzyme.

Arab Spring really was social media revolution

After analyzing more than three million tweets, gigabytes of YouTube content and thousands of blog posts, a new study has concluded that the Arab Spring truly was fueled by social media.