Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of this week’s most interesting stories in science.
Pope Francis, man of science. Pope Francis has aligned with mainstream science on climate change, calling for urgent action.
Augmented reality for gaming. A spectacular demo of Microsoft’s Hololens device has been going viral online this week. This device could be the next big thing
Science is but one Ingredient in the public policy pantry. Views on how science for policy can be improved, and how that might start with more transparency on what besides science goes into the making of new public policy.
One million served. Direct to consumer genome sequencing company 23andMe has served its one millionth customer, making it the world’s largest database of human genomes from re-contactable individuals.
Beyond graphene. Feature article explores a range of super materials that could surpass graphene in their abilities. That said, despite initial excitement, graphene still hasn’t found its “killer app”.
Machine I.Q. A deep learning algorithm developed in China is beating human scores on I.Q. tests.
Microbial dark matter. Scientists are getting better at growing bacteria that was previously impossible to raise in a lab and therefore extremely difficult to study. This is opening new opportunities to ‘mine’ that microbial dark matter for new antibiotics.
Alive on a comet. Philae, the robotic landing craft feared dead after it’s epic touchdown on a Comet for the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission last year thrilled researchers this week when it awoke from hibernation mode and began sending data packages back to Earth.
HIV vaccine. Three promising studies on progress toward an HIV vaccine were published this week. This is exciting news, but not to be exaggerated, there’s a reason a vaccine hasn’t appeared in the last 30 years.
Preparing for Pluto. Excitement is ramping up as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approaches Pluto and its 5 moons after more than 9 years on the road.
Cancer immunotherapy. Set to revolutionize cancer treatment, this feature article on immunotherapies is worth the long read.
The Stanford prison experiment. With a major motion picture about to be released, this article revisits the findings of this widely misunderstood study, with interesting insights into how the expectations of researchers and the way research finding are communicated to policy makers can influence public perception for decades.
The influence of expectations. ICYMI, popular science podcast Invisibilia had a fascinating episode on how the expectations we have can influence outcomes and the behaviours of others.
Human nature and climate change. 10 things you’ll want to know about human nature if you intend to fight climate change.
Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology, at the World Economic Forum
Image: An artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto REUTERS/NASA