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October 22nd, 2018 at 7:09 am

These are the skills that your kids will need for the future (Hint: It’s not coding)

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The jobs of the future will involve humans collaborating with other humans to design work for machines, and value will shift from cognitive to social skills.

An education is supposed to prepare you for the future. Traditionally, that meant learning certain facts and skills, like when Columbus discovered America or how to do multiplication and long division. Today, curriculums have shifted to focus on a more global and digital world, like cultural history, basic computer skills, and writing code.

Yet the challenges that our kids will face will be much different from those we faced growing up and many of the things a typical student learns in school today will no longer be relevant by the time he or she graduates college. In fact, a study at the University of Oxford found that 47 percent of today’s jobs will be eliminated over the next 20 years.

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October 22nd, 2018 at 6:58 am

This country is the first in the world to offer free public transit

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“There’s no doubt that we not only cover the costs, but also come out with a surplus.”

Estonia made waves in 2014 for becoming the first country to offer digital citizenship and for using blockchain technology to transform civic life.

Now the country is improving the physical experience of being a citizen by offering free public transportation.

After providing free public transportation for five years in the capital city of Tallinn, the Estonian government is ready to expand the service to the entire country, according to Pop-Up City.

Once that happens, anyone who has a “green card” can ride buses, trains, and ferries whenever and wherever — without charge.

The announcement makes Estonia the first country in the world to offer the service.

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October 22nd, 2018 at 6:39 am

Meet the internet researchers unmasking Russian assassins

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Aric Toler is part of Bellingcat, an international Internet research organization that has meticulously investigated conflicts around the world. This week, the online group outed one of two Russian agents believed to have been involved in poisonings in the U.K.

Aric Toler isn’t exactly sure what to call himself.

“Digital researcher, digital investigator, digital something probably works,” Toler says.

Toler, 30, is part of an Internet research organization known as Bellingcat. Formed in 2014, the group first got attention for its meticulous documentation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Toler used posts to Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, VK, to track Russian soldiers as they slipped in and out of eastern Ukraine — where they covertly aided local rebels.

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October 21st, 2018 at 10:51 am

At 10 trillion frames per second, this camera captures light in slow motion

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Light is the fastest thing in the universe, so trying to catch it on the move is necessarily something of a challenge. We’ve had some success, but a new rig built by Caltech scientists pulls down a mind-boggling 10 trillion frames per second, meaning it can capture light as it travels along — and they have plans to make it a hundred times faster.

Understanding how light moves is fundamental to many fields, so it isn’t just idle curiosity driving the efforts of Jinyang Liang and his colleagues — not that there’d be anything wrong with that either. But there are potential applications in physics, engineering, and medicine that depend heavily on the behavior of light at scales so small, and so short, that they are at the very limit of what can be measured.

You may have heard about billion- and trillion-FPS cameras in the past, but those were likely “streak cameras” that do a bit of cheating to achieve those numbers.

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October 21st, 2018 at 10:35 am

Same-sex mouse parents give birth via gene editing

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Scientists delivered pups with genetic material from two moms and two dads. But only pups with two moms survived to have babies themselves.

BIRDS DO IT, bees do it—even laboratory mice do it. But with science in the mix, actually creating new life may not always require a male and a female.

Using gene editing and stem cells, researchers in China have helped mice of the same sex bear pups. While this feat has been accomplished before with mouse moms, the new study marks the first time that pups from pairs of male mice were also carried to full term.

The technology is far from ready for the leap to humans. Though mice pups born from two females appeared healthy and bore their own young, pups with two papas died soon after birth. Of the 12 born, just two survived more than 48 hours.

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October 21st, 2018 at 10:10 am

This start-up created the first farm in America run entirely by robo

Start-up Iron Ox created a fully autonomous farm in San Carlos, California. The hydroponic indoor farm relies on two robots to plant, care for and harvest produce.

One of the robots is 1,000 pounds and about the size of a car. It picks up the trays of plants and transports them around the greenhouse. A second machine, a robotic arm, is responsible for all the fine manipulation tasks, like seeding and transplanting.

The robots at Iron Ox use machine learning and AI to detect pests and diseases. They can remove infected plants before the problem spreads.

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October 20th, 2018 at 9:16 am

The probiotic that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria

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Infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus can cause many health problems, including sepsis. Certain strains of this bacterium are resistant to antibiotics, so they are particularly dangerous. However, researchers discover that a probiotic bacterium can destroy this superbug.

Researchers are now investigating the potential of a probiotic bacterium in treating MRSA infections.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is highly resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

These include oxacillin, flucloxacillin, and dicloxacillin.

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October 20th, 2018 at 12:42 am

Scientists grow human retinas and illuminate eye disease targets

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Retinal organoid at 291 days. Red and green cone cells are green in the photo, while blue cone cells are blue.

Scientists were able to grow human retinas from stem cells for 1 year, allowing them to mimic human fetal development of retinas and closely observe how color-detecting cells form.

Why it matters: The information they gathered could be used to prevent or treat eye diseases and disorders like glaucoma, macular degeneration, color blindness and eye problems from premature births, Johns Hopkins University scientists say in a new study published in Science Thursday.

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October 19th, 2018 at 11:28 am

18 hours in the air: The world’s longest commercial flight is brand new, and it’s just about to land in New York. Here’s what flying it is like

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Nearly 20 hours in the air. What’s that like, and why would you even do it?

In a few hours, Singapore Airlines Flight 22 is scheduled to touch down at Newark Liberty International Airport, after a nearly 18 hour trip from Singapore.

It’s the longest scheduled commercial flight in history, on a route that the airline already tried once before–and yet failed to turn into a stable, profitable route.

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October 19th, 2018 at 9:37 am

Scientists forge ahead with electron microscopy to build quantum materials atom by atom

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With a STEM microscope, ORNL’s Ondrej Dyck brought two, three and four silicon atoms together to build clusters and make them rotate within a layer of graphene, a two-dimensional layer of carbon atoms that exhibits unprecedented strength and high electrical conductivity. Credit: Ondrej Dyck/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A novel technique that nudges single atoms to switch places within an atomically thin material could bring scientists another step closer to realizing theoretical physicist Richard Feynman’s vision of building tiny machines from the atom up.

A significant push to develop materials that harness the quantum nature of atoms is driving the need for methods to build atomically precise electronics and sensors. Fabricating nanoscale devices atom by atom requires delicacy and precision, which has been demonstrated by a microscopy team at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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