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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.


The Revolution Will Not Be Crystallized: A New Method Sweeps Through Structural Biology
From ACM News

The Revolution Will Not Be Crystallized: A New Method Sweeps Through Structural Biology

In a basement room, deep in the bowels of a steel-clad building in Cambridge, a major insurgency is under way.

The Tiniest Lego: A Tale of Nanoscale Motors, Rotors, Switches and Pumps
From ACM News

The Tiniest Lego: A Tale of Nanoscale Motors, Rotors, Switches and Pumps

The robot moves slowly along its track, pausing regularly to reach out an arm that carefully scoops up a component.

Giant Study Poses Dna-Sharing Dilemma
From ACM News

Giant Study Poses Dna-Sharing Dilemma

After dozens of unsuccessful treatments, Eric Dishman started to suspect that his illness was due to something other than the rare kidney cancer he was diagnosed...

Pluto Snow Forecast Poses Atmospheric Conundrum
From ACM News

Pluto Snow Forecast Poses Atmospheric Conundrum

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft solved many mysteries about Pluto when it flew past the dwarf planet in July. But as mission controllers prepare to steer the probe...

Quantum 'spookiness' Passes Toughest Test Yet
From ACM News

Quantum 'spookiness' Passes Toughest Test Yet

It's a bad day both for Albert Einstein and for hackers.

Biohackers Gear ­p For Genome Editing
From ACM News

Biohackers Gear ­p For Genome Editing

A complete lack of formal scientific training has not kept Johan Sosa from dabbling with one of the most powerful molecular-biology tools to come along in decades...

Small Rocks Build Big Planets
From ACM News

Small Rocks Build Big Planets

The biggest planets in the Solar System may have gotten their start from the smallest of rocks: centimetre-sized pebbles that formed 4.5 billion years ago from...

Superconductivity Record Sparks Wave of Follow-­p Physics
From ACM News

Superconductivity Record Sparks Wave of Follow-­p Physics

Hydrogen sulfide—the compound responsible for the smell of rotten eggs—conducts electricity with zero resistance at a record high temperature of 203 kelvin (–70...

Octopus Genome Holds Clues to Uncanny Intelligence
From ACM News

Octopus Genome Holds Clues to Uncanny Intelligence

With its eight prehensile arms lined with suckers, camera-like eyes, elaborate repertoire of camouflage tricks and spooky intelligence, the octopus is like no other...

3D-Printed Device Helps Computers Solve Cocktail-Party Problem
From ACM News

3D-Printed Device Helps Computers Solve Cocktail-Party Problem

Artificial-intelligence researchers have long struggled to make computers perform a task that is simple for humans: picking out one person’s speech when multiple...

How the Rubber-Duck Comet Got Its Shape
From ACM News

How the Rubber-Duck Comet Got Its Shape

A year after the Rosetta space mission went into orbit around a comet shaped like a rubber duck, scientists say that they have worked out how the dusty iceball...

Caution ­rged Over Editing Dna in Wildlife (intentionally or Not)
From ACM News

Caution ­rged Over Editing Dna in Wildlife (intentionally or Not)

"Crap!" That was the first word out of Kevin Esvelt’s mouth as he scanned a paper1 published inScience last March.

Earth's Ancient Magnetic Field Just Got a Lot Older
From ACM News

Earth's Ancient Magnetic Field Just Got a Lot Older

Earth developed a magnetic field at least four billion years ago, the latest research shows—more than half a billion years earlier than thought.

Crumb of Mouse Brain Reconstructed in Full Detail
From ACM News

Crumb of Mouse Brain Reconstructed in Full Detail

Six years might seem like a long time to spend piecing together the structure of a scrap of tissue vastly smaller than a bead of sweat.

Hacked Molecular Machine Could Pump Out Custom Proteins
From ACM News

Hacked Molecular Machine Could Pump Out Custom Proteins

By hijacking the cellular machinery that makes proteins, bioengineers have developed a tool that could allow them to better understand protein synthesis, explore...

Neanderthals Had Outsize Effect on Human Biology
From ACM News

Neanderthals Had Outsize Effect on Human Biology

Our ancestors were not a picky bunch.

Vibrant Pluto Stuns Scientists
From ACM News

Vibrant Pluto Stuns Scientists

They are 5 billion kilometres from the Sun in the dim, far-flung outskirts of the Solar System, but Pluto and its large moon Charon turn out to be astonishingly...

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Gets a $100-Million Boost
From ACM News

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Gets a $100-Million Boost

You could say that the silence has been deafening.

The 24/7 Search For Killer Quakes
From ACM News

The 24/7 Search For Killer Quakes

At 17 minutes past midnight on Saturday 25 April, Rob Sanders's computer started chiming with alerts.

Pluto Spacecraft Temporarily Loses Contact with Earth
From ACM News

Pluto Spacecraft Temporarily Loses Contact with Earth

Ten days before its historic flyby of Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft lost contact with mission control, for unknown reasons, for an hour and 21 minutes on...
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