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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.


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...

Machine Ethics: The Robot's Dilemma
From ACM News

Machine Ethics: The Robot's Dilemma

In his 1942 short story 'Runaround', science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov introduced the Three Laws of Robotics—engineering safeguards and built-in ethical principles...

Computers Read the Fossil Record
From ACM News

Computers Read the Fossil Record

For a field whose raison d'être is to chronicle the deep past, palaeontology is remarkably forward-looking when it comes to organizing its data.

Pluto-Bound Probe Faces Its Toughest Task: Finding Pluto
From ACM News

Pluto-Bound Probe Faces Its Toughest Task: Finding Pluto

Some 4.7 billion kilometres from Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is heading for a historic rendezvous with Pluto. To achieve this, it will need to hit a very...

Intriguing Geology of Ceres Revealed in New Pictures
From ACM News

Intriguing Geology of Ceres Revealed in New Pictures

Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Solar System, is finally getting its close-up. NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived in March, and is now taking photographs from as...

Europe's First Humans: What Scientists Do and Don't Know
From ACM News

Europe's First Humans: What Scientists Do and Don't Know

Over the past two years, breakthroughs in ancient genomics and archaeology have revolutionized the story of the first humans in Europe—who are thought to have appeared ...

Ancient American Genome Rekindles Legal Row
From ACM News

Ancient American Genome Rekindles Legal Row

The genome of a famous 8,500-year-old North American skeleton, known as Kennewick Man, shows that he is closely related to Native American tribes that have for...

U.s. 'export Rules' Threaten Research
From ACM Careers

U.s. 'export Rules' Threaten Research

The U.S. government is considering policy changes that could dramatically affect how researchers handle equipment and information that have national-security implications...

The Pentagon's Gamble on Brain Implants, Bionic Limbs and Combat Exoskeletons
From ACM News

The Pentagon's Gamble on Brain Implants, Bionic Limbs and Combat Exoskeletons

When Geoffrey Ling talks about the future of technology, his ideas go flying around the room like a whirlwind.

Image Software Spots Links in Tattoo Ink
From ACM News

Image Software Spots Links in Tattoo Ink

In an unusual twist on biometrics research, US computer scientists have joined with law-enforcement officials to find new ways to automatically detect tattoos on...

Crispr, the Disruptor
From ACM Careers

Crispr, the Disruptor

Three years ago, Bruce Conklin came across a method that made him change the course of his lab.

Mystery of Black Hole Fireworks Solved
From ACM News

Mystery of Black Hole Fireworks Solved

Gigantic jets of gas that leap out of galaxies at nearly the speed of light occur only after two galaxies merge, a survey of the distant Universe shows.

Military Technology: Laser Weapons Get Real
From ACM News

Military Technology: Laser Weapons Get Real

Silently, the drone aircraft glides above the arid terrain of New Mexico—until it suddenly pivots out of control and plummets to the ground.
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