Emerging Tech

Cigar-shaped comet may actually be an alien probe, Harvard scientists suggest

An artist’s rendition of the first interstellar comet, Oumuamua, which some scientists now think may be an alien probe. Last November, astronomers detected an outer-space object unlike anything detected before. The visitor, dubbed Oumuamua (pronounced “oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah”), arrived from interstellar space, beyond the bubble-like region that demarcates the sun’s domain. Its unusual origin story wasn’t the […]

Gears & Gadgets

Spanish scientists: EnChroma glasses won’t fix your color blindness

Enlarge / EnChroma glasses have always had both skeptics and true believers. Who’s right? It’s complicated. EnChroma The much-touted EnChroma glasses don’t help colorblind users see new colors; they merely let the colorblind see the same colors in a different way, according to a new study published in Optics Express by scientists at Spain’s University of […]

Emerging Tech

Scientists want to bore holes through clouds using lasers from satellites

Most information today travels through underground cables and from satellites beaming radio signals. In the coming decade, satellite information may instead be sent via lasers, which, among other advantages, are more secure and can carry more data. But lasers have a big weak spot those other technologies don’t have — lasers can’t pass through clouds. […]

Emerging Tech

Scientists gave gerbils a futuristic ear implant that lets them hear light

You may have heard of the condition synesthesia, which describes the cross-wiring of the brain’s senses that can lead to people hearing colors, seeing sounds, and assorted other unusual phenomena. Researchers at Germany’s University Medical Center Göttingen have demonstrated a useful variation on this idea: A technique that involves using flashes of light to restore hearing. […]

Emerging Tech

Yale scientists edit genetic diseases out of mice before birth, humans are next

Gene editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to astonishing, potential life-altering effect, such as one demonstration involving a possible treatment for ALS. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University have now made a significant breakthrough in the technology’s usefulness — by demonstrating how gene editing can be used to treat genetic conditions during […]

Emerging Tech

Scientists may soon be able to treat autism with CRISPR gene editing

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing is capable of some pretty impressive feats, from creating more efficient crops to malaria-resistant mosquitoes. Now researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and other institutes have discovered another potentially life-altering application: Editing out the genetic traits commonly associated with autism. While it’s so far been demonstrated on mice only, it raises […]