Smart News Ideas & Innovations

Babies might start learning the words for objects at around six to nine months old. In a new study, an A.I. was also able to match some objects to their names after getting trained on video recordings from a headcam worn by a young child.

A.I. Learns Words From a Human Baby's Perspective, Using Headcam Footage

With only limited training, the model could correctly identify certain objects, suggesting some elements of learning language are not innate to humans

Illustration of two Caudipteryx dinosaurs drinking from a river

Scientists Build a Robot Dinosaur to Probe the Mystery of Tiny Wings

Robopteryx—a makeshift dinosaur with training wheels—offers clues to the purpose of prehistoric proto-wings, which are too small to have powered flight

An artist's rendition of a LISA spacecraft.

This 'Game-Changer' Detector Will Hunt for Giant Ripples in Spacetime

Set to launch in 2035, the European Space Agency's LISA mission will listen for gravitational waves created by colliding black holes and neutron stars—and some might date nearly to the Big Bang

Researchers have developed a new video hardware and software system to show humans how insects and other animals experience color. Here, they show an orange-barred sulphur butterfly as it might look to a bird. (The insect appears yellow to humans.)

See the World Through the Eyes of Animals With These Stunning New Videos

By making ultraviolet light accessible to our eyes, a novel camera system reveals how insects, birds and other creatures experience color

The latest winner of a Japanese literary prize said she used ChatGPT to write parts of her novel.

Art Meets Science

ChatGPT Helped Write This Award-Winning Japanese Novel

After receiving the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, Rie Kudan spoke about why she used A.I. to write a portion of her work

The open canister with the sample collected from the asteroid Bennu inside. Scientists hope the sample can help them better understand planet formation and the origin of life on Earth.

NASA Finally Opens Canister Holding Asteroid Sample—See What They Found

It took several months for the researchers to remove two stuck fasteners, which required them to design new tools

Scientists produced the most complete catalog of marine microbe DNA yet, including data from the deeper zones of the oceans.

DNA From the Ocean's 'Twilight Zone' Could Lead to New Lifesaving Drugs, Scientists Say

Researchers catalogued the genes of more than 300 million groups of marine bacteria, viruses and fungi in hopes that the database could lead to breakthroughs in medicine, energy and agriculture

A map of fishing vessels operating between Tunisia and Sicily reveals lots of untracked activity.

These Satellite Maps Reveal Rampant Fishing by Untracked 'Dark Vessels' in the World's Oceans

Using satellite imagery and A.I., a new study finds about 75 percent of industrial fishing is not publicly tracked, and clandestine ships enter marine protected areas

The United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on January 8, carrying Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander.

American Moon Mission Suffers Fuel Leak, Has 'No Chance' of a Soft Landing

Launched early Monday, the Peregrine spacecraft started losing propellant almost immediately, and the mission, which is carrying NASA scientific instruments, has been derailed

Leaves from the iboga plant, collected in 1933 from Angola. The psychedelic drug ibogaine can be derived from the plant's root bark.

A Lesser-Known Psychedelic Drug Shows Promise for PTSD Treatment

Ibogaine, derived from a central African shrub, has been used in rituals for two millennia. But in a small study, it appeared to reduce symptoms of PTSD among veterans

Lists are circulating online that contain the names of artists whose work was allegedly used to train an A.I. image generation tool without their permission.

Art Meets Science

Viral Lists Reveal Artists Whose Work May Have Trained an A.I. Art Generator

Thousands of painters, cartoonists, sculptors and other creatives are featured in the documents, which reinvigorated debates around copyright infringement and consent

The capsule has a gelatinous coating that dissolves in stomach acid.

Engineers Design a Vibrating Pill for Weight Loss That Could Create a Feeling of Fullness

The capsule is the size of a multivitamin, and in an experiment with pigs, it appeared to reduce the animals' appetites

Damaged houses, one collapsed completely, along a street in Wajima, Japan, on January 2, 2024—one day after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the region.

Could A.I. Help Seismologists Predict Major Earthquakes?

The 7.5 magnitude quake in Japan highlights the need for earthquake prediction, a science shedding its "unserious" reputation and inching toward reality

NASA engineers react to the first-ever high-definition video sent by laser from deep space, which feaures an orange tabby cat named Taters.

NASA Streams Video of a Cat Chasing a Laser From Deep Space

In a first, the agency beamed the playful clip to Earth from a distance 80 times farther than the moon

A colored image of an anthrobot. Hairlike structures called cilia enable the bots to move.

Tiny 'Robots' Made From Human Cells Show Wound-Healing Potential

The so-called "anthrobots" can self-assemble and move on their own, and they prompted damaged neurons to regenerate in a recent study

Boat docks sit on dry, cracked earth at the Great Salt Lake's Antelope Island Marina on August 1, 2021.

Could a 550-Mile Pipeline From the Ocean Save the Great Salt Lake? Scientists Say Probably Not

New research suggests the electricity costs would exceed $300 million per year and carbon dioxide emissions could approach one million metric tons annually

Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of Kiss perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 2, 2023.

Art Meets Science

Kiss Debuts Digital Avatars That Will Keep the Band 'Forever Young and Forever Iconic'

The rock band is the first in the U.S. to immortalize its performances with a digital recreation

Polar bears live in rugged, hard-to-reach places in the Arctic.

DNA Pulled From Paw Prints May Help Researchers Study Elusive Polar Bears

As rising temperatures threaten the Arctic mammals, scientists are turning to new, non-invasive methods to study them

Illustration of the thalamus, a region of the brain linked to learning and memory.

Brain Implants Show Promise for People With Traumatic Brain Injuries in Small Study

Electrodes placed in the brains of five patients led to "profound" improvements in cognitive function, even years after their injuries

Advances in technology are making altering or faking content increasingly easier.

Merriam-Webster's 2023 Word of the Year Is 'Authentic'

As technology's ability to manipulate reality improves, we're all searching for the truth

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