Blog Archives

Dolphin talk and human credulity

Dolphin talk and human credulity

It appears to have been just bad luck that one British newspaper, The Independent, chose April 1 as the day to publish James Vincent’s science report about a significant animal-to-human communication breakthrough. I hope it worries animal researchers at least as much as it worries me that I had to do some reading around and … learn more→

Oculus Rift brings a whole new dimension to communication

Oculus Rift brings a whole new dimension to communication

Mark Zuckerberg’s latest spending spree has landed Facebook an exciting new gadget in the form of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that is used by gamers and researchers alike to enhance encounters. Announcing a deal worth US$2 billion, Facebook said it plans to move the Oculus Rift beyond gaming, into “communications, media and … learn more→

The printed face is just the beginning of a 3D revolution

The printed face is just the beginning of a 3D revolution

The news that a man in Wales was able to have his face reconstructed after a serious motorbike accident has brought the wonder of 3D printing to the mainstream. It’s the result of changes in regulation and improvements in the technology and is the start of something much, much bigger. The use of a combination … learn more→

After the cull: badger and cattle vaccines are still needed to fight bovine TB

After the cull: badger and cattle vaccines are still needed to fight bovine TB

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is the biggest threat to the livestock industry in England and Wales. At present, bovine TB is still not under control in parts of these countries, and there is no single measure that on its own is likely to change the situation dramatically. Vaccination of cattle or badgers, or both, could make … learn more→

Faceless Facebook reps help bereaved families Look Back

Faceless Facebook reps help bereaved families Look Back

Facebook’s Community Operations team has announced it is changing the privacy settings on accounts for deceased users to reflect the settings they chose in life. Facebook introduced “memorialisation” in 2009, which allowed the family members of deceased users to turn their profile into a page for remembering them. Others could continue to visit the profile … learn more→

Qatar: A new leader in diabetes research

Qatar: A new leader in diabetes research

Researchers at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) have made a major breakthrough in diabetes research through the development of specialized stem cells. Laboratory tests have shown that stem cells can be used to secrete insulin and control blood sugar levels. Individuals who suffer from diabetes have high blood sugar levels due to the inability of … learn more→

The oldest star in the universe? Maybe, maybe not!

The oldest star in the universe? Maybe, maybe not!

There is a myth that goldfish have a three-second memory, and I sometimes wonder if the same is true about the part of the human mind that deals with science in the news. This week, the international media has trumpeted the discovery by Australian scientists of the oldest star in the universe, with the catchy … learn more→

Domain name expansion signals political shift of internet

Domain name expansion signals political shift of internet

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has begun rolling out what could eventually become more than 1,000 new generic top-level domain names – the part of an internet address that comes after the “dot”. It’s a move that will change how the internet as we know it looks and feels and has significant … learn more→

Explosive volcanoes light up Mercury’s deep past

Explosive volcanoes light up Mercury’s deep past

Mercury has long been a mystery to scientists. Until recently, knowledge of the planet was limited to the grey, patchy landscape revealed by the Mariner 10 probe, NASA’s first mission to Mercury in the mid-1970s. Mariner-10’s photographs showed little detail of how the surface was formed. Like Venus, Earth and Mars, it was clear that … learn more→

Verizon ruling is a major blow to equal internet access

Verizon ruling is a major blow to equal internet access

These are wild times for the management and governance of the internet, as is clear from the ruling that came out of the US this week. In a victory for the private sector, the Federal Communications Commission was thwarted in its attempts to force network provider Verizon from treating all customers equally. The decision provoked … learn more→