Companies are racing to fill the seas with autonomous drone ships

Companies are racing to fill the seas with autonomous drone ships

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It seems like every mode of transport is going autonomous these days, and that’s because it is, and cargo ships of every kind are no exception.   Forget Uber’s itsy bitsy diddy self-driving cars, and Otto’s self-driving semi-trucks, if you want a robot to haul a...

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An Australian AI can predict when you’ll die with 70 percent accuracy

An Australian AI can predict when you’ll die with 70 percent accuracy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF How long you have left to live is determined by a whole range of factors and scientists in Australia are trying to work backwards from death to use AI to predict when you’ll die, and so far the results are impressive.   Scientists, data scientists...

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World’s biggest meat producer begins rolling out robot butchers

World’s biggest meat producer begins rolling out robot butchers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Lower cost robots are increasingly being augmented with advanced AI and that’s accelerating the rate at which human jobs are being automated.   Robots, which might get actual rights later this year when the EU votes on the issue, have been improving a lot lately...

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Robots are taking over and automating the world’s mines

Robots are taking over and automating the world’s mines

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Automation is taking the world’s mining operations by storm, and it will only be a matter of time before the only humans are the ones servicing the machines.   Every one of the giant Komatsu 250 ton trucks is the size of a two story family...

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Australia is building the world’s biggest solar farm

Australia is building the world’s biggest solar farm

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With solar technology improving in efficiency, and reducing in cost countries now seem to be racing to embrace it and the projects are getting bigger and bigger   The record for the largest solar power plant keeps changing hands,. One minute it’s Africa, the next it’s...

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Researchers have created the highest quality hologram yet

Researchers have created the highest quality hologram yet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Holograms are a sci-fi staple but manipulating light to create 3D effects is one of the most complicated challenges scientists face, now a breakthrough might take us one step closer   As we move from the era of silicon based computing to photonics Holograms, which are...

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An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The question of whether or not to use gene drives, an extinction technology, to eradicate pests and invasive species is divisive but it looks set to get the go ahead.   Scientists working with US conservation group Island Conservation say they’ve managed to establish an...

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Australia hails the end of passports as it rolls out biometrics at airports

Australia hails the end of passports as it rolls out biometrics at airports

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biometric border technologies can scan and authenticate you without you ever knowing, or needing to stop, now Australia are going to use them to replace passports, for good.   Australia, for those that have never been, is a beautiful country – and the last thing...

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Harder than diamond, the meteorite diamond that’s made in a lab

Harder than diamond, the meteorite diamond that’s made in a lab

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have managed to manufacture Lonsdaleite, an ultra-hard diamond found in meteorites, which could have implications for the mining and construction industries   Ever since Lonsdaleite was discovered inside fragments of the Canyon Diablo meteorite in 1967, the mysterious hexagonal diamond has divided the scientific...

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Huge new wireless sensor network to help scientists monitor biodiversity in the Amazon

Huge new wireless sensor network to help scientists monitor biodiversity in the Amazon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Under funded and under resourced conservationists often work thankless hours in difficult conditions to protect our planets jewels, but now new, lost cost, technologies are providing them with a whole new kit bag of capabilities.   Scientists will soon get a sustained, close-up assessment of...

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New research shows plants learn like dogs

New research shows plants learn like dogs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Understanding how biological organisms function and respond to stimuli will help biologists find new ways to help them grow and improve yields.   Pavlov’s conditioning experiments with dogs are among some of the most well known, and highly regarded, studies in scientific history, and now...

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Nanocrystal discovery turns normal glasses into night vision specs

Nanocrystal discovery turns normal glasses into night vision specs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New advanced manufacturing techniques, such as nanomanufacturing, are helping scientists create metamaterials that have new, previously unseen properties which pave the way for a raft of new applications   Night vision goggles do a great job of countering the human eye’s poor ability to see...

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Australian researchers reproduce the effects of excercise with a pill

Australian researchers reproduce the effects of excercise with a pill

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Exercise has undisputed benefits when it comes to helping us live longer, healthier lives but for those people with chronic conditions, or for those who can’t exercise, a medical alternative would dramatically change their lives for the better   Firstly, let me say this about...

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Australia’s Little Ripper search and rescue drone goes looking for sharks

Australia’s Little Ripper search and rescue drone goes looking for sharks

Australia trials search and rescue drones to help protect people – and sharks Although the chance of dying from a shark attack in your lifetime is just one in 3.7 million, it doesn’t hurt to be a little vigilant in areas frequently visited by sharks. With this in mind, the...

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DARPA’s hack proof code protects military systems from hackers

DARPA’s hack proof code protects military systems from hackers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyber attacks are on the rise but there’s one code no hackers have been able to crack.   An autonomous helicopter gunship is flying over a military base in Arizona. Suddenly, officers on the ground lose radio contact and learn that hackers have taken control of its on-board...

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Scientists create breakthrough everything-phobic nanomaterial

Scientists create breakthrough everything-phobic nanomaterial

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Sadly ANU’s new everything-phobic spray won’t keep children clean but everything else is game.   If you have not been able to bag an iPhone 7 or are still looking jealously at your friend’s dunk proof Galaxy, do not worry as scientists have created a...

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