Category: Technology

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

BOSTON: Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors inwarning the world of a severe coronavirus outbreak in China? In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse. Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments save lives. In the final days of 2019, an AI system in Boston sent out the first…

Did Neanderthals bury their dead with flowers? Iraq cave yields new clues

WASHINGTON: A Neanderthal skeleton unearthed in an Iraqi cave already famous for fossils of these extinct cousins of our species is providing fresh evidence that they buried their dead – and intriguing clues that flowers may have been used in such rituals. Scientists said on Tuesday they had discovered in Shanidar Cave in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq the well-preserved upper body skeleton…

Treat us like something between a telco and a newspaper, says Facebook’s Zuckerberg

MUNICH: Online content should be regulated with a system somewhere between the existing rules used for the telecoms and media industries, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told global leaders and security chiefs on Saturday. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Zuckerberg said Facebook had improved its work countering online election interference, and expanded on his previous calls for regulation of social media firms. “I…

Facebook allows US political candidates to run sponsored content

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Friday it was allowing US-based political candidates to run branded content on its social networking platforms, but the content would not be cataloged in its advertising library. Political campaigns and groups can now use the social media company’s branded content tool, which allows influencers to more clearly tag in an official sub-header that the post is a paid partnership. The…

Solar probe embarks on unprecedented mission to map sun’s polar regions

WASHINGTON: A new probe built by NASA and the European Space Agency set off on a blazing hot journey to the sun on Sunday to take the first close-up look at the star’s polar regions, a mission expected to yield insight into how solar radiant energy affects Earth. The Solar Orbiter spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:03 pm ET (0403 GMT Monday),…

OneWeb launches 34 satellites from Kazakh cosmodrome in global internet push

MOSCOW: The UK firm OneWeb launched 34 satellites from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early on Friday as part of its effort to provide global high-speed internet access using satellite communications by 2021. The Russian Soyuz rocket left Baikonur at 0242 local time (2142 GMT on Thursday), the second OneWeb launch out of 21 planned. OneWeb launched six satellites from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou,…

NASA astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth after record mission

WASHINGTON: US astronaut Christina Koch, who led the first all-female spacewalk in 2019, landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday after a record stay on the International Space Station, ending a 328-day mission expected to yield new insights into deep-space travel. The Soyuz MS-13 capsule touched down on the Kazakh desert steppe at 4:12 am ET carrying Koch, 41, European astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander…

Telescope reveals details of sun’s turbulent surface 

NEW YORK: A telescope in Hawaii has produced its first images of the sun, revealing its turbulent gas surface in what scientists called unprecedented detail. They show the surface covered with bright cell-like areas, each about the size of Texas, that result from the transporting of heat from the sun’s interior. The telescope can reveal features as small as 18 miles (30 km) across, according…

Australia scientists claim first re-creation of coronavirus outside China

SYDNEY: A team of scientists in Australia said on Wednesday they have successfully developed a lab-grown version of coronavirus, the first to be recreated outside of China, in a breakthrough that could help combat the global spread of the illness. The researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne said they would share the sample, which was grown from an infected…

Did asteroid that hit Australia help thaw ancient ‘snowball Earth’?

It is curious to think of an asteroid impact shifting the Earth’s atmosphere to something more clement for life than a ‘snowball’ scenario: Timmons Erickson, a NASA research scientist WASHINGTON: Scientists have identified Earth’s oldest-known impact crater, and in doing so may have solved a mystery about how our planet emerged from one of its most dire periods. Researchers have determined that the 45-mile-wide (70-km-wide)…