01 Jul

The founder of the Babylon healthcare app for smartphones recently said of his product, "I think it is going to be 10 times more precise than a doctor."

Artificial intelligence medical advisers, as Babylon and similar apps are known, could also control spiraling healthcare costs.

A Financial Times writer recently interacted with the app to pinpoint the cause and treatment options for some stomach issues. Madhumita Murgia explains: "A single 10-minute trip to my local GP, with whom I would have had a similar exchange, would have cost the UK’s National Health Service £45. If I had asked to see a nurse, it would have cost the NHS £13. Instead, my five-minute consultation had cost Babylon — and the NHS — absolutely nothing. A day of following its advice, and my stomach ache resolved itself."

29 Jun

The news spread quickly, with the media telling the world that skull fragments found in Morocco were identified as being approximately 300,000 years old. The fragments—belonging to three adults, a child, and an adolescent—meant that homo sapiens may have roamed the Earth 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, igniting excitement among archaeology fans across the globe.

But scientists say evolution is far more complicated. Evolutionary biologist Jean-Jacques Hublin and his team dubbed the skulls “early Homo sapiens,” but others in the field are more skeptical. Some have expressed disdain for the way Hublin and his team were so quick to say this is proof that the “earliest” Homo sapiens was around 300,000 years ago. Evolution is gradual, the experts point out, with no definite beginning or ending.

27 Jun

The theories range from visits from artistic-minded extraterrestrials to old-fashioned pranks carried out by locals just to get the rumor mill going again about possible visits from artistic-minded extraterrestrials.

While supporters of those two general theories abound, is there a more scientific, reliable explanation for why crop circles appear -- especially when they're in elaborate patterns that don't seem like they could be the work of random weather events?

LiveScience reports that the mystery of crop circles dates back over the centuries to as early as 1678, the date of a woodcut that depicts what seem to be oat stalks arranged in a circle. But there's some doubt about that, as some believe that the artwork merely depicts a superstition from those times known as the "mowing devil," which refers to a farmer who didn't want to pay a fee to have his field mowed and supposedly would rather pay the devil himself to do the job.

25 Jun

Out of the thousands of diner-style restaurants once open in New York City, roughly about 215 remain up and running, according to metropolitan public records.

The eateries, which often sport neon signs, decorative tile walls, and counters with bar stools for those who don't mind chowing down elbow-to-elbow with strangers, are slowly but surely disappearing -- a situation that's prompted a local photographer to build a visual record of the diners before they're gone forever.

“I see it as both a living archive as well as a historic one,” Riley Arthur recently told the Guardian newspaper of London. “I’m rushing to document as many as possible.”

In fact, in the year-and-a-half that Arthur has been working on the project, eight diners that she has photographed have shuttered. Three of those were among just five stand-alone diners known to exist within the city's five boroughs.

23 Jun

3D printing has become an important part of medical services, with 24 percent of medical companies surveyed using the technology. Another 12 percent plan to use it in the future, noting the technology’s promise for saving and improving lives.

According to Ernst & Young, almost all hearing aids on the market today are produced through 3D printing, and dental crowns, prosthetic limbs, and disposable surgical instruments are also being regularly printed. But the future of 3D printing in the medical industry is even more promising, starting with pills that epileptics could more easily swallow and someday soon, the technology could be used to produce artificial organs.

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