Science & Technology

The Must-Haves of the Next Strategic Nuclear Bomber

September 25, 2018

Almost nothing is known about the new bomber in development, the B-21 Raider, the most important Air Force project of the new century. But it will differ from previous bombers in one critical feature: rapid upgradability, according to Air Force Gen. Tim Ray, who leads the service’s Global Strike Command. In essence, there will be no single bomber but an ever-evolving platform that will change as technology and circumstances change as well.

Why the U.S. Navy Wants a New Generation of Warships

September 25, 2018

The U.S. Navy needs a new warship to replace its aging force of cruisers, and it wants to start buying them in five years. Larger than a destroyer but smaller than a battleship, the ship will be stacked with sensors, weapons, and unmanned vehicles. The Navy believes the new ship--which will probably cost more than $2 billion each--is needed to retain the ability to protect America’s aircraft carriers and allies from attack.

The first rovers to explore an asteroid just sent photos home

September 25, 2018

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which arrived at the near-Earth asteroid on June 27 after a journey of more than three years, released the MINERVA-II1 container from a height of about 60 meters (SN Online: 6/27/18). The container then released two 18-centimeter-wide, cylindrical rovers. Because Ryugu’s gravity is so weak, the rovers can hop using rotating motors that generate a torque and send them airborne for about 15 minutes.

What China Can Teach the U.S. About Artificial Intelligence

September 25, 2018

This movement from discovery to implementation marks a significant shift in A.I.’s center of gravity -- away from the United States and toward China. The age of discovery relied heavily on innovation coming out of the United States, which excels at visionary research and moonshot projects. A.I. implementation, however, plays to a different set of strengths, many of which are manifested in China...

New Microscope Shows the Quantum World in Crazy Detail

September 24, 2018

The transmission electron microscope was designed to break records. Using its beam of electrons, scientists have glimpsed many types of viruses for the first time. They’ve used it to study parts of biological cells like ribosomes and mitochondria. You can see individual atoms with it.

White House reportedly prepares order directing antitrust probe of tech companies amid accusations of political bias

September 24, 2018

A draft of that executive order, seen by Bloomberg, is in its preliminary stages and hasn't yet been run past other government agencies, a White House official told the publication. It also does not mention any specific companies. Its current language would direct federal agencies to give recommendations ways to "protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias" within a month after being signed, according to the report.

There are about 20,000 human genes. So why do scientists only study a small fraction of them?

September 23, 2018

Sequencing the human genome in the 1990s was supposed to reveal the entire universe of genes important to health and disease. But a handful of recent studies have shown that, surprisingly, researchers still focus mainly on only about 2000 of the roughly 19,000 human genes that code for proteins.

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two by 2028, with one part led by China

September 21, 2018

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America. If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal.

China could target US tech stocks in trade war, Goldman Sachs warns

September 20, 2018

China could target U.S. tech stocks as part of the ongoing trade war, according to the top equity strategist at Goldman Sachs. Peter Oppenheimer told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Tuesday that China may impose tariffs on industry components that could have an effect on supply chains.

SpaceX Reveals First Lunar Passenger

September 20, 2018

SpaceX confirmed last week that it had plans to launch a space tourist to the moon, but the identity of that person would not be revealed until Monday evening. The press conference took place as planned, and CEO Elon Musk stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the aspiring astronaut, Japanese fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa. It won’t be Maezawa alone on the rocket, though. His ticket entitles him to bring some friends along for the ride.


Subscribe to Science & Technology