Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of this week’s most interesting stories in science.
Another cargo rocket failure. Last Sunday’s failed SpaceX mission to the International Space Station has been described by most commentators as par for the course. But after similar disasters for two rivals, concern is growing for the future of the private space industry.
Your Brain is a Computer. Technical metaphors — from steam engines to electronic circuits — have always been used to describe the working of the human brain. Here’s why scientists believe the computer is more than just a metaphor for the brain.
Computer bugs. Researchers now understand how ant colonies can conduct efficient searches without centralized control. The finding could mean better computers.
Greenhouse gases threaten ocean crisis. New research strengthens the evidence that CO2 in the world’s oceans is raising temperatures, squeezing out oxygen, and increasing acidity. Leading marine scientists believe the changes may soon be irreversible.
Techniques used to create highly effective Ebola vaccines are raising hopes there could be vaccines against almost any disease.
World Asteroid Day. Scientists and celebrities marked 30 June by calling for more investment to minimise the risks from a catastrophic asteroid impact.
Robots will need to know how to deal with people if they are to reach their full potential. Nature explores the complex challenge of building ethical robots.
An ethical divide over genome modification. Chinese bioethicists featured in this New York Times piece are at odds with their U.S. counterparts over the implications of editing genes in human embryos.
Fixing Science. Recent fraud cases have raised the alarm about academic incentives that lead to bad research. Many think the way we do science is broken.
Will CERN revolutionize our understanding of the world? Scientists attempt to walk the line between excitement and stoic conservatism as new data hints at a potential breakthrough.
Can nanotechnology reduce inequality? By cutting the costs of tackling key development challenges like disease monitoring and poor sanitation, nanotechnology could be a technology that reduces rather than increases inequality. (Part two of our series on how nanotechnology could impact major challenges facing the world.)
Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology, at the World Economic Forum
Image: A boy who was addicted to the internet, has his brain scanned for research purposes at Daxing Internet Addiction Treatment Center in Beijing February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon