New Research Pushes Back the Discovery of Cacao – the Basis of Chocolate – By More Than a Millennium

New research strengthens the case that people used the chocolate ingredient cacao in South America 5,400 years ago, underscoring the seed’s radical transformation into today’s Twix bars and M&M candies. Tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from an archaeological site in Ecuador, according to a study published Monday. That’s…

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Google, Microsoft, Facebook And Twitter Reveal ‘Data Transfer’ Partnership

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft

by Eric Leiberman   Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook are teaming up to provide users with the capability of transferring data across platforms and services, the latter two social media giants announced Friday morning. After heightened concerns over data utilization (even exploitation and manipulation), companies appear to be trying to…

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Bill Gates Backs $30 Million Push for Early Alzheimer’s Diagnostics

Bill Gates

Reuters   Billionaire Bill Gates and Estée Lauder Cos chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder on Tuesday said they will award $30 million over three years to encourage development of new tests for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. For Microsoft co-founder Gates, launch of the Diagnostics Accelerator program follows an announcement in November of a…

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Dr. Bradford Smith, NASA’s ‘Tour Guide for Voyager,’ Missions Dies at 86

Bradford Smith c.1981

Bradford Smith, a NASA astronomer who acted as planetary tour guide to the public with his interpretations of stunning images beamed back from Voyager missions, has died. Smith’s wife, Diane McGregor, said he died Tuesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of complications from myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune…

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Robots Will Continue to ‘Take Jobs,’ and Humans Will Continue to Create More

robot automation

by Joseph Sunde   Given the breakneck pace of improvements in automation and artificial intelligence, fears about job loss and human obsolescence continue to consume the cultural imagination. The question looms: What is the future of human work in a technological age? Innovators such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates have done their share…

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Insecticide Ban, Not Global Warming, Is More Likely the Cause of Disease-Carrying Insect Outbreaks

exterminator

by James D. Agresti and Rachel McCutcheon   Politico claims that deadly insect-borne diseases are “on the rise” in the U.S. due to “warming global temperatures.” Although disease-carrying insect populations have increased greatly over the past several decades, there is no reliable evidence that climate change is the reason. Instead, the surge…

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Research Indicates Spiders Use Electric Fields to Take Flight

small jumping spider

by Sadie Witkowski   Since the 1800s, scientists have marveled at how spiders can take flight using their webbing. Charles Darwin remarked on the behavior when tiny spiders landed on the HMS Beagle, trailing lines of silk. He thought the arachnids might be using heat-generated updrafts to take to the sky, but…

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President Trump Announces Next-Generation ‘Space Force’ as an Independent Service Branch

Donald Trump Space Force

Vowing to reclaim U.S. leadership in space, President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new “Space Force” as an independent service branch aimed at ensuring American supremacy in space. Trump envisioned a bright future for the U.S. space program, pledging to revive the country’s…

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Scientists Have Created a ‘Flux Capacitor’ That Could Unlock New Dimensions to Communications, Quantum Computing

Flux Capacitor

by Thomas Stace   The technology that allowed Marty McFly to travel back in time in the 1985 movie Back to the Future was the mythical flux capacitor, designed by inventor Doc Brown. We’ve now developed our own kind of flux capacitor, as detailed recently in Physical Review Letters. While we can’t send…

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