Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of the week’s most interesting stories.
This year’s Technology Pioneers are announced. Meet the 49 early-stage science and tech companies recognized by the World Economic Forum as poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
How AI is getting smarter. Computers can already do remarkable things – but they could do much more if they could perceive, learn and think like a human. D. Scott Phoenix discusses how Vicarious, one of the Forum’s 2015 Tech Pioneers, is working to make that leap.
Technology will not save us. There is no “technofix” for climate change – research concludes that even if we built huge machines to clean carbon from the atmosphere, our environment is still doomed. Cutting emissions might be the only option.
Has the planet reached the point of no return? Things are certainly looking bad. This article tallies up the impacts of climate change that are happening now, not in 50 years, and asks: have we passed the point of no return? If this doesn’t keep you up at night I don’t know what will.
What can quantum computing do for us? Vancouver-based 1QBit is another of the Forum’s Tech Pioneers. Co-founders Landon Downs and Andrew Fursman discuss what the science does and where it’s headed.
Science and abortion. Recent US controversy over anti-abortion videos purporting to show evidence of the illegal trade in fetal body parts for scientific studies raises questions about how emerging science might tip the balance in controversial societal debates.
Science and justice. Should justice systems evolve along with our understanding of psychology and the brain?
Is young blood rejuvenating? Davos IdeasLab presenter Tony Wyss-Coray and Forum Young Scientist Saul Villeda have discovered that there is something about the blood of the young that can revive the ailing brains of the old. Read the Guardian story about this fascinating research.
The end of Ebola. Scientists have announced a vaccine for Ebola, which has proved 100% effective in clinical trials. Global health leaders, such as the Wellcome Trust’s Jeremy Farrer, think this is the miraculous breakthrough the international community has been dreaming of.
The dark side of the moon. A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite (also known as GoreSat) captured images of the moon crossing the Earth from a million miles away. The image provides a rare look at the section of the moon we never see from Earth.
Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology, at the World Economic Forum.
Image: Children touch the hands of the humanoid robot Roboy at the exhibition Robots on Tour in Zurich. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer