Image source: MIT
  • MIT-affiliated researchers develop a hypersensitive glove that can capture the way in which we handle objects.
  • The data captured by the glove can be "learned" by a neural net.
  • Smart tactile interaction will be invaluable when A.I.-based robots start to interact with objects — and us.
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Technology & Innovation

Forget the Anthropocene: We’ve entered the synthetic age

Synthetic biology is changing the way the planet works.

VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

One fact about our time is becoming increasingly well-known. No matter how far you travel, no matter in which direction you point, there is nowhere on Earth that remains free from the traces of human activity.

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Surprising Science

New study: Melanin conducts enough electricity to enable implantable electronics

What gives us color now may give rise to our cyborg future.

Image source: PandP Studio / Shutterstock
  • Eumelanin is a mildly conductive type of melanin that produces dark pigmentation in hair, eyes, and skin.
  • Researchers have just found a way to boost its conductivity without adding foreign materials.
  • Eulemanin may be useable as a coating for implanted devices the body won't reject.
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Technology & Innovation

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
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Surprising Science

Brazilian scientists produce mini-brains with eyes

Using a new process, a mini-brain develops retinal cells.

  • Mini-brains, or "neural organoids," are at the cutting edge of medical research.
  • This is the first one that's started developing eyes.
  • Stem cells are key to the growing of organoids of various body parts.
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Surprising Science