Thousands of Android Apps Are Silently Accessing Your Data

Thousands of Android Apps Are Silently Accessing Your Data

More than 4,000 Google Play apps silently collect a list of all other installed apps in a data grab that allows developers and advertisers to build detailed profiles of users, a recently published research paper found.

What Coronavirus Isolation Could Do to Your Mind (and Body)

What Coronavirus Isolation Could Do to Your Mind (and Body)

“We can expect depression to kick in, and depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.” These symptoms are likely to be particularly intense during coronavirus-related isolation, according to Lawrence Palinkas, who researches psychosocial adaptation to extreme environments at the University of Southern California.

Ventilator Makers Race to Prevent a Possible Shortage

Ventilator Makers Race to Prevent a Possible Shortage

Whether the nation will face a shortage depends on whether social distancing measures can flatten the curve, reducing the number of people who need hospitalization at the same time, says Craig Coopersmith, director of critical care at Emory University School of Medicine.

Can Toads Heal Themselves of Deadly Chytrid Fungus?

Can Toads Heal Themselves of Deadly Chytrid Fungus?

Sitting in the Sun. Like most researchers, Barille, a University of Wyoming PhD student, started his project with a question: Why were boreal toad populations in the western portion of Wyoming persisting with chytrid but populations of the same species were crashing in other areas?

Real-World Lessons From a World of Warcraft Virtual Outbreak

Real-World Lessons From a World of Warcraft Virtual Outbreak

He and his Tufts colleague, Nina Fefferman, co-authored a 2007 paper published in Lancet Infectious Diseases examining the potential implications of the Corrupted Blood incident for refining existing epidemiological models, since they would be able to draw on hard data showing how players actually responded during an outbreak.

The Elegant Mathematics of Social Distancing

The Elegant Mathematics of Social Distancing

“This is not black and white,” says Ben Lopman, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.From a mathematical perspective, determining how big a crowd is safe depends on a couple of key questions: How many people in a given area are infected with the disease?

A Computer Science Proof Holds Answers for Math and Physics

A Computer Science Proof Holds Answers for Math and Physics

The computer scientists Henry Yuen, Thomas Vidick, Zhengfeng Ji, Anand Natarajan and John Wright co-authored a proof about verifying answers to computational problems and ended up solving major problems in math and quantum physics.

Greta Thunberg's Online Attackers Reveal a Grim Pattern

Greta Thunberg's Online Attackers Reveal a Grim Pattern

However, as the degrading sexualization of Thunberg and others demonstrates, the criticism and harassment women politicians and activists experience is different in kind than that experienced by their male counterparts.

A Deft Robotic Hand That’d Make Luke Skywalker Proud

A Deft Robotic Hand That’d Make Luke Skywalker Proud

Up until this point, researchers have succeeded in giving amputees control over robotic hands by measuring nerve activity in the residual limb.“Patients get this big ball of nerves called a neuroma,” says University of Michigan plastic surgeon Paul Cederna, who co-developed this new system.

Science Has a New Way to Gauge the Universe's Expansion Rate

Science Has a New Way to Gauge the Universe's Expansion Rate

A new line of evidence, first announced last summer, suggests that the cosmic expansion rate may fall much closer to the rate predicted by early-universe measurements and the standard theory of cosmology.

Did a Woman Get Coronavirus Twice? Scientists Are Skeptical

Did a Woman Get Coronavirus Twice? Scientists Are Skeptical

In theory, if doctors completely sequenced the virus in a patient’s nose or mouth swab at the time of each positive diagnosis, they could compare each genetic letter using genome-reading software and determine if the person had the same strain of coronavirus or a new one.

Data Centers Aren't Devouring the Planet's Electricity—Yet

Data Centers Aren't Devouring the Planet's Electricity—Yet

At the same time, the report warns that there’s no guarantee that the efficiency drive will continue in the face of data-hungry new technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G.Some previous analyses have suggested data center energy use has doubled, or more, over the last decade.

The Atlantic Ocean's 'Conveyor Belt' Stirs Up a Science Fight

The Atlantic Ocean's 'Conveyor Belt' Stirs Up a Science Fight

For decades, scientists have turned to the Labrador Sea to understand how ocean processes there may be affecting the strength of a massive oceanic conveyor belt known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

The Secret to Blowing Massive Soap Bubbles

The Secret to Blowing Massive Soap Bubbles

That's what's happening, physics-wise, when we blow bubbles through a ring at then end of a little plastic wand: the jet forms at our lips and is wider than the soapy film suspended within the ring.

Facebook's Bug Bounty Caught a Data-Stealing Spree

Facebook's Bug Bounty Caught a Data-Stealing Spree

Facebook and Twitter also collaborated with Google and Apple on remediation efforts, and the Indiana University researchers won an additional bug bounty award from Google for their findings.

The UK Exited the EU—and Is Leaving a 'Meme Ban' Behind

The UK Exited the EU—and Is Leaving a 'Meme Ban' Behind

“Any future changes to the UK copyright framework will be considered as part of the usual domestic policy process.”.“Any future changes to the UK copyright framework will be considered as part of the domestic policy process.”.

Wuhan Coronavirus 'Super-Spreaders' Could Be Wildcards

Wuhan Coronavirus 'Super-Spreaders' Could Be Wildcards

So far, only a hint of super-spreading has surfaced amid the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China: a Chinese respiratory disease expert gave an early report that 14 hospital workers became ill from a single patient.

A Tiny Glass Bead Goes as Still as Nature Allows

A Tiny Glass Bead Goes as Still as Nature Allows

It is as still as it could possibly be, as permitted by the laws of physics: It’s reached what physicists call the bead’s “motional ground state.” “The ground state is the limit where you cannot extract any more energy from an object,” says Aspelmeyer, who works at the University of Vienna.

How to Be Humane to a Lab-Grown Brain

How to Be Humane to a Lab-Grown Brain

“In order for it to be a good model, you want it to be as human as possible,” said Hank Greely, a law professor at Stanford University who specializes in ethical and legal issues in the biosciences.

No, the Wuhan Virus Is Not a 'Snake Flu'

No, the Wuhan Virus Is Not a 'Snake Flu'

The release of genetic data has also spurred a flurry of new research findings in recent days, including one paper published by a team of Chinese researchers last night in the Journal of Medical Virology that claims to have used the viral sequence to find the most likely source of the emerging outbreak.

Sun Bear: World’s Smallest Bear Has Surprisingly Human Traits

Sun Bear: World’s Smallest Bear Has Surprisingly Human Traits

Photo © Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre The first time Wong Siew Te saw the bear, his hairs stood on end and he shivered.Photo © Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre They eat fruit then distribute seeds from trees into far flung parts of the forest through their digestive system.

At Last, Physicists Confirm the Fastest Way to Board a Plane

At Last, Physicists Confirm the Fastest Way to Board a Plane

It's counter-intuitive, but it turns out that letting slower passengers board first actually results in a more efficient process and less time before takeoff, according to a new paper in Physical Review E.

Do Carbon Offsets Really Work? It Depends on the Details

Do Carbon Offsets Really Work? It Depends on the Details

Last week, JetBlue announced it will offset its 15 billion to 17 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing carbon credits and pumping cleaner-burning aviation fuel into planes landing at San Francisco International Airport.

Watch Australia's Wildfires Spawn Massive Smoky Thunderclouds

Watch Australia's Wildfires Spawn Massive Smoky Thunderclouds

As the mass climbs higher, the smoky air cools and forms into a pyrocumulonimbus cloud, a soup of water and smoke particles towering miles into the sky.

Science Conferences Are Stuck in the Dark Ages

Science Conferences Are Stuck in the Dark Ages

Unlike teaching, where we have real consequences when we fail to modernize, such as poor evaluations and losing enrollment, there are no real consequences for the professional societies organizing the meetings or for presenting scientists.

Enhanced Intelligence, VR Sex, and Our Cyborg Future

Enhanced Intelligence, VR Sex, and Our Cyborg Future

If you could press a button to merge your mind with an artificial intelligence computer—expanding your brain power, your memory, and your creative capacity—would you take the leap?“I would press it in a microsecond,” says Sebastian Thrun, who previously led Stanford University’s AI Lab. Turning yourself into a cyborg might sound like pure sci-fi, but recent progress in AI, neural implants , and wearable gadgets make it seem increasingly imaginable.

We Might Not Be Planting the Right Kinds of Forests

We Might Not Be Planting the Right Kinds of Forests

“Although these can support local economies, plantations are much poorer at storing carbon than are natural forests, which develop with little or no disturbance from humans,” they wrote.

How Hong Kong’s Protests Turned Into a Mad Max Tableau

How Hong Kong’s Protests Turned Into a Mad Max Tableau

Protesters donned foil-lined gas masks to hide their identities and dim the glare of police flashlights.Demonstrators have donned body armor and lined their goggles with reflective film to foil police flashlights and mask their identities.

Mathematician Terence Tao Cracks a ‘Dangerous’ Problem

Mathematician Terence Tao Cracks a ‘Dangerous’ Problem

Earlier this year one of the top mathematicians in the world dared to confront the problem—and came away with one of the most significant results on the Collatz conjecture in decades.On September 8, Terence Tao posted a proof showing that—at the very least—the Collatz conjecture is “almost” true for “almost” all numbers.

Hackers Can Mess With Voltages to Steal Intel Chips' Secrets

Hackers Can Mess With Voltages to Steal Intel Chips' Secrets

But by momentarily undervolting a processor by 25 or 30 percent, and precisely timing that voltage change, an attacker can cause the chip to make errors in the midst of computations that use secret data.