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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

January 2016


From ACM News

Why Biotech's Biggest Breakthrough Is Now In Dispute

Why Biotech's Biggest Breakthrough Is Now In Dispute

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: A new gene-editing technology allows scientists to precisely locate and cut out bits of DNA from live cells in bacteria, animals, and even humans.


From ACM News

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

A new DARPA program aims to develop an implantable neural interface able to provide unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world.

 


From ACM News

Evidence Grows For Giant Planet on Fringes of Solar System

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 evidence yet for such a world. They call it Planet Nine.


From ACM News

Nasa's Van Allen Probes Revolutionize View of Radiation Belts

Nasa's Van Allen Probes Revolutionize View of Radiation Belts

About 600 miles from Earth's surface is the first of two donut-shaped electron swarms, known as the Van Allen Belts, or the radiation belts.


From ACM TechNews

App Aims to Make Cultural Heritage Interesting and Interactive

App Aims to Make Cultural Heritage Interesting and Interactive

A mobile application designed to increase engagement with cultural heritage sites is now available from the European Union-funded TAG CLOUD project. 


From ACM TechNews

Sensors Slip Into the Brain, Then Dissolve When the Job Is Done

Sensors Slip Into the Brain, Then Dissolve When the Job Is Done

University of Illinois researchers have developed flexible sensors that can operate accurately inside the human body for at least five days before dissolving. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Demonstrate Basics of Nucleic Acid Computing Inside Cells

Scientists Demonstrate Basics of Nucleic Acid Computing Inside Cells

Scientists have demonstrated basic computing operations inside a living mammalian cel.


From ACM TechNews

Shrinking the Haystack

Shrinking the Haystack

Technologists are helping counter-terrorist forces with software that can identify locations to be searched for hideouts and weapons, or be put under surveillance. 


From ACM TechNews

Malicious Coders Will Lose Anonymity as Identity-Finding Research Matures

Malicious Coders Will Lose Anonymity as Identity-Finding Research Matures

Researchers from three universities and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory are trying to address the problem of identifying authors of malicious code and software. 


From ACM News

When Chickens Go Wild

When Chickens Go Wild

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


From ACM News

For Now, Self-Driving Cars Still Need Humans

For Now, Self-Driving Cars Still Need Humans

Car enthusiasts, after hearing industry executives discussing the self-driving technology being built into their vehicles, might be forgiven for thinking robotic cars will soon drive themselves out of auto showrooms.


From ACM News

Star's Bizarre Optical Antics Go Back at Least a Century

Star's Bizarre Optical Antics Go Back at Least a Century

For over a century, a star's bizarre behavior has been hiding in plain sight.


From ACM TechNews

Race of World's Tiniest Cars Set to Drive Nano-Robot Revolution

Race of World's Tiniest Cars Set to Drive Nano-Robot Revolution

Scientists from around the world will meet in Toulouse, France, in November for the world's first car race conducted at the nanoscopic level. 


From ACM TechNews

9 Predictions For the Future of Programming

9 Predictions For the Future of Programming

Nine programming trends expected to pan out over the next five years include the REST protocol's initial dominion over the Internet of Things.


From ACM TechNews

New App 'hides' ­ser Location From Third Parties

New App 'hides' ­ser Location From Third Parties

A new app blocks third parties from identifying an individual's location based on what they search for online. 


From ACM News

Leds: Beyond Lighting

Leds: Beyond Lighting

Light-emitting diodes have become vital nodes on information networks.


From ACM Careers

'hack the Dinos' Helps Paleontologists

'hack the Dinos' Helps Paleontologists

Kaleigh Clary, a computer science graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, drove down to offer a day of free work for the American Museum of Natural History.


From ACM News

Most Luminous Galaxy Is Ripping Itself Apart

Most Luminous Galaxy Is Ripping Itself Apart

In a far-off galaxy, 12.4 billion light-years from Earth, a ravenous black hole is devouring galactic grub. Its feeding frenzy produces so much energy, it stirs up gas across its entire galaxy.


From ACM News

How Future Cars Will Predict Your Driving Maneuvers Before You Make Them

How Future Cars Will Predict Your Driving Maneuvers Before You Make Them

Buy a new car these days and the chances are that it will be fitted with an array of driver-assistance technologies.


From ACM News

Scientists Capture Crispr's Gene-Cutting in Action

Scientists Capture Crispr's Gene-Cutting in Action

For all the furious hype around the gene-editing tool Crispr/Cas9, no one has ever really seen it in action. Like really seen it.


From ACM Opinion

Wikipedia Turns 15

Wikipedia Turns 15

It must be difficult for the roughly half a billion people who visit Wikipedia every month to remember a world without the free online encyclopedia.


From ACM TechNews

3D Mapping of Entire Buildings With Mobile Devices

3D Mapping of Entire Buildings With Mobile Devices

ETH Zurich professor Thomas Schops and colleagues have developed software that they say makes it easy to create three-dimensional (3D) models of buildings. 


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Neural Net Shows Deep Learning Can Get Way Deeper

Microsoft Neural Net Shows Deep Learning Can Get Way Deeper

A Microsoft researcher team won the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge in December with a new approach to deep learning. 


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Reality For Motor Rehabilitation of the Shoulder

Virtual Reality For Motor Rehabilitation of the Shoulder

Carlos III University of Madrid researchers have developed a virtual-reality system for motor rehabilitation of the shoulder. 


From ACM TechNews

New Lab to Give Nation's Researchers Remote Access to Robots

New Lab to Give Nation's Researchers Remote Access to Robots

The Georgia Institute of Technology is building the Robotarium, a laboratory that will enable roboticists to conduct experiments remotely. 


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Proposes Spending $4 Billion on Self-Driving Cars

­.s. Proposes Spending $4 Billion on Self-Driving Cars

The Obama administration on Thursday promised to accelerate regulatory guidelines for driverless cars and to make an investment in research to commercialize them. 


From ACM Opinion

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

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 begin with the launch of a satellite in June.


From ACM News

The Nfl Is Finally Tapping Into the Power of Data

The Nfl Is Finally Tapping Into the Power of Data

The NFL may be the most popular and profitable major sport in America, but until recently, it's lagged behind other leagues in sophisticated use of data analysis.


From ACM News

Gene Editing Shows Promise in Treating Muscular Dystrophy

Gene Editing Shows Promise in Treating Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is one of the most common fatal genetic diseases. It causes muscle degeneration and eventually death due to weakened heart and lung muscles.


From ACM TechNews

Programmable Material Algorithm Solves ­niversal Coating Problem

Programmable Material Algorithm Solves ­niversal Coating Problem

Research from Arizona State University answers a question that has stumped mathematicians pondering the properties of programmable materials.