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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.


Pluto's Geology Is Unlike Any Other
From ACM News

Pluto's Geology Is Unlike Any Other

Take a pinch of Mars, a sprinkle of Saturn's moon Iapetus and a dash of Neptune's moon Triton—and the recipe will yield something like Pluto.

Brain Scans Pinpoint Individuals from a Crowd
From ACM News

Brain Scans Pinpoint Individuals from a Crowd

Our brains are wired in such distinctive ways that an individual can be identified on the basis of brain-scan images alone, neuroscientists report.

Fragment of Rat Brain Simulated in Supercomputer
From ACM News

Fragment of Rat Brain Simulated in Supercomputer

A controversial European neuroscience project that aims to simulate the human brain in a supercomputer has published its first major result: a digital imitation...

The Future of Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Beyond
From ACM News

The Future of Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Beyond

When the digital currency Bitcoin came to life in January 2009, it was noticed by almost no one apart from the handful of programmers who followed cryptography...

'wiring Diagrams' Link Lifestyle to Brain Function
From ACM News

'wiring Diagrams' Link Lifestyle to Brain Function

The brain's wiring patterns can shed light on a person’s positive and negative traits, researchers report in Nature Neuroscience.

­se of Personalized Cancer Drugs Runs Ahead of the Science
From ACM News

­se of Personalized Cancer Drugs Runs Ahead of the Science

As the costs of genetic sequencing fall, oncologists are starting to prescribe expensive new drugs that target the genetic profiles of their patients' tumours,...

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.

Online Security Braces For Quantum Revolution
From ACM News

Online Security Braces For Quantum Revolution

Encryption fix begins in preparation for arrival of futuristic computers.

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...

Quantum 'spookiness' Passes Toughest Test Yet
From ACM TechNews

Quantum 'spookiness' Passes Toughest Test Yet

The toughest test of quantum theory ever conducted has verified "spooky action at a distance" is inherent to the quantum domain.  

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.
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