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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.


DNA's Secret Weapon Against Knots and Tangles
From ACM News

DNA's Secret Weapon Against Knots and Tangles

Leonid Mirny swivels in his office chair and grabs the power cord for his laptop.

Mobile-Phone Signals Bolster Street-Level Rain Forecasts
From ACM News

Mobile-Phone Signals Bolster Street-Level Rain Forecasts

Meteorologists have long struggled to forecast storms and flooding at the level of streets and neighborhoods, but they may soon make headway thanks to the spread...

23andMe Given Green Light to Sell DNA Tests for 10 Diseases
From ACM News

23andMe Given Green Light to Sell DNA Tests for 10 Diseases

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first at-home genetic test that can help to determine a person's risk of developing certain diseases....

Machine Learning Predicts the Look of Stem Cells
From ACM News

Machine Learning Predicts the Look of Stem Cells

No two stem cells are identical, even if they are genetic clones.

The DIY Electronics Transforming Research
From ACM Careers

The DIY Electronics Transforming Research

A research subject watches a brush slowly stroking a rubber hand on a table in front of her, while her own hand—hidden from view—experiences the same stimulation...

How to Hunt for a Black Hole with a Telescope the Size of Earth
From ACM News

How to Hunt for a Black Hole with a Telescope the Size of Earth

Here's how to catch a black hole. First, spend many years enlisting eight of the top radio observatories across four continents to join forces for an unprecedented...

Mathematicians Create Warped Worlds in Virtual Reality
From ACM News

Mathematicians Create Warped Worlds in Virtual Reality

"It feels like the entire universe is within a sphere that is maybe within a couple metres' radius," says topologist Henry Segerman at Oklahoma State University...

U.S. Science Agencies Face Deep Cuts in Trump Budget
From ACM News

U.S. Science Agencies Face Deep Cuts in Trump Budget

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health are big losers — but planetary science at NASA stands to gain.

Synthetic Yeast Chromosomes Help Probe Mysteries of Evolution
From ACM News

Synthetic Yeast Chromosomes Help Probe Mysteries of Evolution

Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould once pondered what would happen if the cassette "tape of life" were rewound and played again.

The Quest to Crystallize Time
From ACM News

The Quest to Crystallize Time

Christopher Monroe spends his life poking at atoms with light.

Magnetic Hard Drives Go Atomic
From ACM News

Magnetic Hard Drives Go Atomic

Chop a magnet in two, and it becomes two smaller magnets.

Quantum Microscope Offers MRI for Molecules
From ACM News

Quantum Microscope Offers MRI for Molecules

A quantum microscope that uses a sensor built from diamonds could allow researchers to study such nanoscale mysteries as how DNA folds in a cell, why drugs work...

How Rival Bots Battled Their Way to Poker Supremacy
From ACM News

How Rival Bots Battled Their Way to Poker Supremacy

Artificial-intelligence programs harness game-theory strategies and deep learning to defeat human professionals in two-player hold'em.

How Rival Bots Battled Their Way to Poker Supremacy
From ACM News

How Rival Bots Battled Their Way to Poker Supremacy

A complex variant of poker is the latest game to be mastered by artificial intelligence (AI). And it has been conquered not once, but twice, by two rival bots developed...

How Bioinformatics Tools Are Bringing Genetic Analysis to the Masses
From ACM News

How Bioinformatics Tools Are Bringing Genetic Analysis to the Masses

For doctors trying to treat people who have symptoms that have no clear cause, gene-sequencing technologies might help in pointing them to a diagnosis. But the...

Collapse of Aztec Society Linked to Catastrophic Salmonella Outbreak
From ACM News

Collapse of Aztec Society Linked to Catastrophic Salmonella Outbreak

One of the worst epidemics in human history, a sixteenth-century pestilence that devastated Mexico's native population, may have been caused by a deadly form of...

The Race to Map the Human Body, One Cell at a Time
From ACM News

The Race to Map the Human Body, One Cell at a Time

The first time molecular biologist Greg Hannon flew through a tumour, he was astonished—and inspired.

Broad Institute Wins Bitter Battle Over CRISPR Patents
From ACM News

Broad Institute Wins Bitter Battle Over CRISPR Patents

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has upheld a series of patents granted for the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to the Broad Institute of MIT and...

US Science Advisers Outline Path to Genetically Modified Babies
From ACM News

US Science Advisers Outline Path to Genetically Modified Babies

Scientists should be permitted to modify human embryos destined for implantation in the womb to eliminate devastating genetic diseases such as sickle-cell anaemia...

Elusive Triangulene Created By Moving Atoms One at a Time
From ACM News

Elusive Triangulene Created By Moving Atoms One at a Time

Researchers at IBM have created an elusive molecule by knocking around atoms using a needle-like microscope tip.
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