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Communications of the ACM

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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


'ransomware' Cyberattack Highlights Vulnerability of ­niversities
From ACM News

'ransomware' Cyberattack Highlights Vulnerability of ­niversities

The first Patrick Feng knew about a cyberattack on his university was when one of his colleagues told him that her computer had been infected by hackers and rendered...

Ligo Detects Whispers of Another Black-Hole Merger
From ACM News

Ligo Detects Whispers of Another Black-Hole Merger

Just before 4 a.m. on 26 December, B. S. Sathyaprakash woke up to some good news: gravitational waves had been detected for only the second time in history.

A Simpler Twist of Fate
From ACM News

A Simpler Twist of Fate

Until the day it dies, a cell that has become a skin cell remains a skin cell—or so scientists used to think.

Google Moves Closer to a Universal Quantum Computer
From ACM TechNews

Google Moves Closer to a Universal Quantum Computer

An experimental prototype of a universal quantum computer can solve a wide range of problems and has the potential to be scaled up to larger systems, researchers...

Google Moves Closer to a ­niversal Quantum Computer
From ACM News

Google Moves Closer to a ­niversal Quantum Computer

For 30 years, researchers have pursued the universal quantum computer, a device that could solve any computational problem, with varying degrees of success.

CRISPR Gene-Editing System ­nleashed on RNA
From ACM News

CRISPR Gene-Editing System ­nleashed on RNA

Researchers who discovered a molecular "scissors" for snipping genes have now developed a similar approach for targeting and cutting RNA.

Plan to Synthesize Human Genome Elicits Mixed Response
From ACM News

Plan to Synthesize Human Genome Elicits Mixed Response

Proposals for a large public-private initiative to synthesize an entire human genome from scratch—an effort that could take a decade and require billions of dollars...

Digital Forensics: From the Crime Lab to the Library
From ACM News

Digital Forensics: From the Crime Lab to the Library

When archivists at California's Stanford University received the collected papers of the late palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould in 2004, they knew right away they...

Two-Hundred-Terabyte Maths Proof Is Largest Ever
From ACM News

Two-Hundred-Terabyte Maths Proof Is Largest Ever

Three computer scientists have announced the largest-ever mathematics proof: a file that comes in at a whopping 200 terabytes1, roughly equivalent to all the digitized...

Illuminating Life's Building Blocks
From ACM News

Illuminating Life's Building Blocks

Biophysicist Joerg Bewersdorf says that 2006 was fluorescence microscopy's annus mirabilis—a 'miraculous year' as momentous in its own way as 1905, when Albert...

1,500 Scientists Lift the Lid on Reproducibility
From ACM News

1,500 Scientists Lift the Lid on Reproducibility

More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments...

Giant Tsunamis Washed Over Ancient Mars
From ACM News

Giant Tsunamis Washed Over Ancient Mars

Some 3.4 billion years ago, giant meteoroids slammed into a frigid ocean covering Mars's northern hemisphere. The impacts kicked up enormous waves that raced across...

Light-Controlled Genes and Neurons Poised For Clinical Trials
From ACM News

Light-Controlled Genes and Neurons Poised For Clinical Trials

Every time something poked its foot, the mouse jumped in pain.

Genome Reveals Why Giraffes Have Long Necks
From ACM News

Genome Reveals Why Giraffes Have Long Necks

Call it a tall task: researchers have decoded the genomes of the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi.

Computer Gleans Chemical Insight from Lab Notebook Failures
From ACM News

Computer Gleans Chemical Insight from Lab Notebook Failures

Did your experiment fail? Don't bin the data just yet—they could be useful.

Can Artificial Intelligence Create the Next Wonder Material?
From ACM News

Can Artificial Intelligence Create the Next Wonder Material?

It's a strong contender for the geekiest video ever made: a close-up of a smartphone with line upon line of numbers and symbols scrolling down the screen. But when...

The Struggle with Image Glut
From ACM News

The Struggle with Image Glut

As the fruit-fly larva wriggles forwards in the video, a crackle of neural activity shoots up its half-millimetre-long body.

Software Error Doomed Japanese Hitomi Spacecraft
From ACM News

Software Error Doomed Japanese Hitomi Spacecraft

Japan's flagship astronomical satellite Hitomi, which launched successfully on 17 February but tumbled out of control five weeks later, may have been doomed by...

AI Talent Grab Sparks Excitement and Concern
From ACM Careers

AI Talent Grab Sparks Excitement and Concern

When Andrew Ng joined Google from Stanford University in 2011, he was among a trickle of artificial-intelligence (AI) experts in academia taking up roles in industry...

Europe Plans Giant Billion-Euro Quantum Technologies Project
From ACM News

Europe Plans Giant Billion-Euro Quantum Technologies Project

The European Commission has quietly announced plans to launch a €1-billion (US$1.13 billion) project to boost a raft of quantum technologies—from secure communication...
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