Smart News Ideas & Innovations

New research suggests rats can mentally navigate to locations they've visited before.

Rats Can Use Imagination to Navigate in Virtual Reality, Study Finds

Like humans, the rodents appear to be able to visualize walking through locations they've previously visited

An X-ray shows where the prosthetic metal fingers attach to the device.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover Centuries-Old Prosthetic Hand in Germany

Used by a man between 30 and 50 years old, the four prosthetic fingers date to between 1450 and 1620

Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a new technique that allows artists to embed invisible “poison” into their work that misleads A.I. models.

Art Meets Science

Artists Can Use This Tool to Protect Their Work From A.I. Scraping

Nightshade subtly alters the pixels of an image to mislead A.I. image generators, ultimately damaging the models

A blood smear of a patient with sickle cell. The crescent-shaped sickle cells can be seen in the smear.

Gene-Editing Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease Moves Closer to Approval

FDA advisors said the benefits seem to outweigh any possible risks, and the agency will decide whether to approve it by December 8

A screenshot of Native Land Digital’s interactive map

This Interactive Map Shows Which Indigenous Lands You Live On

The nonprofit behind the tool wants people to learn the history of the spaces they inhabit

Atlantic salmon spend most of their lives in the cool waters of the ocean. When they venture upstream in freshwater rivers to spawn, however, they encounter challenging warmer waters.

Engineers Create 'Air Conditioning' for Salmon With Chilled Patches of River Water

Wild Atlantic salmon can struggle with heat as they swim upstream to spawn—but artificial "thermal refuges" may help them cool off

Researchers have only discovered a small fraction of the pre-Columbian earthworks in the Amazon rainforest, according to new research.

The Amazon May Be Hiding More Than 10,000 Pre-Columbian Structures

Based on a new aerial survey and modeling study, archaeologists suggest at least 90 percent of sites known as earthworks remain undetected

The winners of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry are displayed on a screen at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm during the award announcement on October 4. At the front are five vials filled with glowing quantum dots.

Explaining the Colorful Quantum Discoveries That Earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov won the award for their work developing tiny “quantum dots” that light TV displays and enable medical imaging

Researchers have isolated phages from zoo-dwelling lemurs, giraffes, binturongs, Visayan pigs and Guinea baboons that might help fight diabetic foot ulcers.

Viruses Found in Animal Poop May One Day Treat Diabetic Foot Ulcers, Scientists Say

Known as bacteriophages, the specialized viruses could hijack and kill drug-resistant bacteria

Scientists found inspiration in octopus suckers, which can hold onto surfaces underwater, to design a new drug-delivery method that sticks to the inner cheek.

New Patch Inspired by Octopus Suckers Could Deliver Drugs Without Needles

Medicine-filled suction cups attached to the inside of the cheek could be an effective alternative to oral tablets or injections, study finds

A premature newborn baby at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia in 2015. In 2020, 13.4 million babies were born prematurely, more than 10 percent of all births.

Artificial Wombs for Premature Babies Might Soon Begin Human Trials

An FDA panel discussed the new technology—tested only on animals so far—along with its risks and potential to improve survival of preterm infants

A Tasmanian tiger at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania. The last known living Tasmanian tiger died at the zoo in 1936.

Scientists Collect First RNA From an Extinct Tasmanian Tiger

No other RNA has ever been extracted from an extinct species, so the breakthrough opens doors to understanding the biology of long-gone organisms

The cat door at the Exeter Cathedral in Devon County, England, is a strong contender for the oldest cat door on record. 

Where Can You Find the Oldest Cat Door on Earth?

The little opening for felines has a surprisingly long history

Lab-grown chicken produced by GOOD Meat

Lab-Grown Meat Can Be Kosher or Halal, According to Religious Authorities

The approvals bring cultivated meat one step closer to becoming a feasible alternative to traditional meat for a wider audience

Scientists inserted human stem cells in pig embryos that couldn't develop kidneys, then let these embryos gestate in sows for several weeks. The experiments resulted in kidneys partly made of human-derived cells.

Scientists Grow Part-Human Kidneys in Pig Embryos for Nearly a Month

The new work is a "big step forward" in finding new ways to generate viable organs for human transplants, but it comes with some ethical considerations

Onlookers watch as a rocket carrying the Aditya-L1 spacecraft launches. The mission will study the sun's outer layers and the influence of solar activity on the solar system.

India Launches Mission to Study the Sun and Space Weather

The Aditya-L1 spacecraft will examine the star's outer layers and aim to shed light on its violent—and potentially damaging—storms

Smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets the New York City skyline in a haze in July 2023.

New Satellite Tracking Air Pollution Releases Its First Images

The instrument, called TEMPO, will make hourly measurements of pollutants over North America that could help reduce exposure to unhealthy air

Cows with the slick gene have sleek, short hair that helps keep them cool.

Farmers Are Breeding Cows to Withstand Heat Waves

A gene that occurs naturally in some cow breeds may be the key to helping cattle thrive as temperatures rise because of climate change

Ann, 47, suffered a stroke that caused paralysis in 2005. The interface in the new study aims to help people who are unable to speak to communicate verbally.

Woman With Paralysis Can Speak By Thinking With a Brain Implant and A.I.

The experimental interface allows the patient to communicate through a digital avatar, and it's faster than her current system

People in New Delhi celebrate India's successful landing of a spacecraft near the moon's south pole on Wednesday.

India Lands a Spacecraft Near the Moon's South Pole, a First in Lunar Exploration

No other mission has successfully touched down in this scientifically interesting moon region, which contains water ice in lunar craters

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