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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.


Babylonian Astronomers ­sed Geometry to Track Jupiter
From ACM News

Babylonian Astronomers ­sed Geometry to Track Jupiter

A reanalysis of markings on Babylonian tablets has revealed that astronomers working between the fourth and first centuries bc used geometry to calculate the motions...

Google AI Algorithm Masters Ancient Game of Go
From ACM News

Google AI Algorithm Masters Ancient Game of Go

A computer has beaten a human professional for the first time at Go—an ancient board game that has long been viewed as one of the greatest challenges for artificial...

Go Players React to Computer Defeat
From ACM Opinion

Go Players React to Computer Defeat

For decades, the ancient game of Go has stood out as the one board game that computers couldn't crack.

Evidence Grows For Giant Planet on Fringes of Solar System
From ACM News

Evidence Grows For Giant Planet on Fringes of Solar System

A century after observatory founder Percival Lowell speculated that a 'Planet X' lurks at the fringes of the Solar System, astronomers say that they have the best...

When Chickens Go Wild
From ACM News

When Chickens Go Wild

"Don't look at them directly," Rie Henriksen whispers, "otherwise they get suspicious."

China's Quantum Space Pioneer: We Need to Explore the ­nknown
From ACM Opinion

China's Quantum Space Pioneer: We Need to Explore the ­nknown

Physicist Pan Jian-Wei is the architect of the world's first attempt to set up a quantum communications link between Earth and space—an experiment that is set to...

Bitter Fight Over Crispr Patent Heats Up
From ACM News

Bitter Fight Over Crispr Patent Heats Up

A versatile technique for editing genomes has been called the biggest biotechnology advancesince the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and the US Patent and Trademark...

Rebooted Kepler Spacecraft Hauls in the Planets
From ACM News

Rebooted Kepler Spacecraft Hauls in the Planets

In the second phase of its life as a planet hunter, NASA's Kepler spacecraft is raking in exoplanet discoveries that are surprisingly different from those found...

Enzyme Tweak Boosts Precision of Crispr Genome Edits
From ACM News

Enzyme Tweak Boosts Precision of Crispr Genome Edits

A powerful technique for editing genomes is now more precise.

The Physics of Life
From ACM News

The Physics of Life

First, Zvonimir Dogic and his students took microtubules—threadlike proteins that make up part of the cell's internal 'cytoskeleton'—and mixed them with kinesins...

Feuding Physicists Turn to Philosophy For Help
From ACM News

Feuding Physicists Turn to Philosophy For Help

Is string theory science?

Paradox at the Heart of Mathematics Makes Physics Problem ­nanswerable
From ACM News

Paradox at the Heart of Mathematics Makes Physics Problem ­nanswerable

A logical paradox at the heart of mathematics and computer science turns out to have implications for the real world, making a basic question about matter fundamentally...

Japan's Venus Orbiter Makes Comeback
From ACM News

Japan's Venus Orbiter Makes Comeback

Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft has entered orbit around Venus, five years after its first attempt failed.

Artificial Intelligence Called In to Tackle Lhc Data Deluge
From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Called In to Tackle Lhc Data Deluge

The next generation of particle-collider experiments will feature some of the world's most advanced thinking machines, if links now being forged between particle...

Biologists Create More Precise Molecular Scissors For Genome Editing
From ACM News

Biologists Create More Precise Molecular Scissors For Genome Editing

By tweaking an enzyme that cuts DNA, synthetic biologists say that they can make genome editing even more specific—an essential improvement if the technique is...

Genome Editing: 7 Facts About a Revolutionary Technology
From ACM News

Genome Editing: 7 Facts About a Revolutionary Technology

The ethics of human-genome editing is in the spotlight again as a large international meeting on the topic is poised to kick off in Washington DC.

Martian Moon Set to Form Ring Around Red Planet
From ACM News

Martian Moon Set to Form Ring Around Red Planet

One day, Mars may have rings like Saturn does.

Leap-Second Decision Delayed By Eight Years
From ACM News

Leap-Second Decision Delayed By Eight Years

A leap second is gone in the blink of an eye. But a long-awaited decision on whether to ditch these occasional time insertions—which ensure that official time is...

Icy Volcanoes May Dot Pluto's Surface
From ACM News

Icy Volcanoes May Dot Pluto's Surface

Two icy volcanoes may lurk near Pluto's south pole, images from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suggest.

Synthetic Biology Lures Silicon Valley Investors
From ACM Careers

Synthetic Biology Lures Silicon Valley Investors

In 2012, Emily Leproust was trying to raise money to start Twist Bioscience, a company that aimed to synthesize DNA more quickly and more cheaply than existing...
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