Is gas drilling ruining the air, polluting water and making people sick? The evidence is sketchy and inconclusive, but a lack of serious funding is delaying efforts to resolve those pressing questions and creating a vacuum that could lead to a crush of lawsuits, some experts say.
For years, the Silicon Valley company has resisted government regulation, arguing that it simply provides consumers with information, not a medical service. Genetic test maker 23andMe, however, is now asking the Food and Drug Administration to approve its personalized DNA test in a move that, if successful, could boost acceptance of technology that is viewed skeptically by leading scientists who question its usefulness.
More and more companies are turning to simplified procedures to help tackle complex product design tasks. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, work on Design Structure Matrix analysis is helping heavyweight companies improve their products, production lines and organizations by transforming product design into a productive routine.
Do you have what it takes to be an ethical hacker? Can you step into the shoes of a professional paid to outsmart supposedly locked-down systems? "Control-Alt-Hack", a new card game developed by University of Washington computer scientists, gives teenage and young-adult players a taste of what it means to be a computer-security professional defending against an ever-expanding range of digital threats.
A government-backed committee of the National Research Council issued a report Friday saying the United States would have adequate biosecurity protections even if plans for a proposed $1.14 billion lab in Kansas are scaled back.
Nuclear weapons testing may at first glance appear to have little connection with climate change research. But key Cold War research laboratories and the science used to track radioactivity and model nuclear bomb blasts have today been repurposed by climate scientists.
A drilling company in southwestern Pennsylvania has given researchers at National Energy Technology Laboratory access to a commercial drilling site, a move that may provide some of the first solid answers to a controversial question: Can gas drilling fluids migrate and pose a threat to drinking water?
The conclusion of a new study by Cornell University Professor Lawrence M. Cathles shows that, no matter the timeframe considered, substituting natural gas energy for all coal and some oil production provides about 40% of the global warming benefit that a complete switch to low-carbon sources would deliver. And, it would be a far quicker option than going to sources like nuclear or solar.
Humans and animals have evolved to consume energy very efficiently for movement. If robotic actuation can be made to approach the efficiency of human and animal actuation, the range of practical robotic applications will greatly increase. To help this progression, DARPA has created the M3 Actuation program with the goal of achieving a 2,000% increase in the efficiency of power transmission and application.
Government health experts said Thursday there are few reasons to continue using metal-on-metal hip implants, amid growing evidence that the devices can break down early and expose patients to dangerous metallic particles. The devices were originally marketed as a longer-lasting alternative to older ceramic and plastic models. But recent data from the U.K. and other foreign countries suggests they are more likely to deteriorate.
In a speech Wednesday, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said fears about climate change, drilling, and energy dependence are overblown. He acknowledged that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but said society will be able to adapt and dependence on other nations for oil is not a concern as long as access to supply is certain.
South Africa and Australia had competed fiercely against each other for the Square Kilometer Array telescope project, which will become the world’s biggest instrument when built. Recently, the consortium overseeing the effort decided to award it to both countries, with South Africa getting the lion’s share of the radio dishes.
According to recent data released by Google, the search engine giant has logged more than 2.5 million requests in the last 11 months to remove links believed to be violating Microsoft’s copyrights. This exceeded the number of complaints about material produced by entertainment companies pushing for tougher online piracy laws.
NASA has hired Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, but will eventually add astronauts. And the space agency is hiring other companies, too. Several firms—at least eight—think they can make money in space and are close enough to Musk's company to practically surf in his spaceship's rocket-fueled wake.
The U.S. government has been pushing doctors to e-prescribe, in part because it can be safer for patients. Now, more than a third of the nation's prescriptions now are electronic, and starting this year, holdouts will start to see cuts in their Medicare payments.
Advisers to government health regulators late Thursday recommended that they approve sales of what would be the first new prescription weight-loss drug in the U.S. in more than a decade, despite concerns over cardiac risks.
The organization behind a major expansion of Internet address suffixes is offering full refunds to companies and organizations affected by a weeks-long delay in taking proposals.
Three weeks ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers abruptly shut down a system for letting companies and organizations propose new suffixes, after it discovered a software glitch that exposed some private data. At the time, ICANN planned to reopen the system within four business days. But the system remains suspended.
Many U.S. Internet service providers have fallen in line with their international counterparts in capping monthly residential broadband usage. But according to a recent study conducted with the help of Microsoft Research, these pricing models offer few tools for consumers to manage their data usage, and lead to uninformed decisions.
Four months ago the U.S. government sought to block publication of two studies about how scientists created an easily spread form of bird flu. Now a revised version of one paper is seeing the light of day with the government's blessing. The second paper, which is more controversial because it involves what appears to be a more dangerous virus, is expected to be published later.
Industrial biotechnology companies rely heavily on patents to attract investment to fund R&D. The recent America Invents Act stands to have a significant impact on technology innovators such as biotech firms, and two recently published papers from patent law experts help explain the extent of these shifts.
Engineers are developing new and innovative ways of coating medical materials with nano-sized particles of silver, an element that has long been known for its antimicrobial properties. However, a recent paper from the University of Notre Dame highlights the fact that a vast majority of bacteria are actually neutral, or even beneficial. Overuse of nanosilver might harm their useful functions in daily life, the paper reports.
Shortly after Tuesday's release of the long-awaited Google Drive service, technology blogs and Twitter users were picking apart a legal clause that made it sound as if all the users' content stored in Google Drive automatically would become the intellectual property of Google Inc. As it turns out, the worries are probably unfounded.
The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not. Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice.
As cyber attacks worsen and the tactics employed by hackers grow more nefarious, Congress is being asked to consider legislation to improve defenses for government, municipal, and corporate networks. However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are applying pressure from the other side, saying the rules would cost money without improving risk.