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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.


Beware of Plausible Predictions of Fantasy Materials
From ACM Opinion

Beware of Plausible Predictions of Fantasy Materials

The hunt is on for materials that have exotic properties, to enhance quantum computers, touch screens and electronic displays, and to double the efficiency of solar...

Siberia's Ancient Ghost Clan Starts to Surrender Its Secrets
From ACM News

Siberia's Ancient Ghost Clan Starts to Surrender Its Secrets

Samantha Brown didn't have high hopes when she opened the ziplock bag containing some 700 shards of bone. It would be a lot of work to analyse them and none was...

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet
From ACM News

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet

The DNA of life on Earth naturally stores its information in just four key chemicals—guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine, commonly referred to as G, C, A and...

Japan's Hayabusa2 Craft Touches Down on Asteroid Ryugu
From ACM News

Japan's Hayabusa2 Craft Touches Down on Asteroid Ryugu

It was a brief but historic tap on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, at 7:29 am Japan time on 22 February. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down at its target...

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power
From ACM News

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Spotting gravitational waves is due to become an almost hourly event in the next decade. Starting around 2023, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory...

Extreme Chemistry: Experiments at the Edge of the Periodic Table
From ACM News

Extreme Chemistry: Experiments at the Edge of the Periodic Table

If you wanted to create the world's next undiscovered element, number 119 in the periodic table, here's a possible recipe.

How Machine Learning Could Keep Dangerous DNA Out of Terrorists' Hands
From ACM News

How Machine Learning Could Keep Dangerous DNA Out of Terrorists' Hands

Biologists the world over routinely pay companies to synthesize snippets of DNA for use in the laboratory or clinic.

Hidden History of the Milky Way Revealed by Extensive Star Maps
From ACM News

Hidden History of the Milky Way Revealed by Extensive Star Maps

Last April, Amina Helmi felt goose bumps while driving to work in the northern Netherlands. It had nothing to do with the weather—it was pure anticipation. Just...

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Acting Up and Geologists Don't Know Why
From ACM News

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Acting Up and Geologists Don't Know Why

Something strange is going on at the top of the world. Earth's north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron...

Machine Learning Leads Mathematicians to Unsolvable Problem
From ACM News

Machine Learning Leads Mathematicians to Unsolvable Problem

A simple artificial intelligence problem puts researchers up against a logical paradox discovered by famed mathematician Kurt Gödel.

China Becomes First Nation to Land on the Moon's Far Side
From ACM News

China Becomes First Nation to Land on the Moon's Far Side

A Chinese probe has made a historic touch-down on the far side of the Moon, according to the country's state-run media. It is the first time a probe has visited...

Europe’s AI Researchers Launch Professional Body Over Fears of Falling Behind
From ACM News

Europe’s AI Researchers Launch Professional Body Over Fears of Falling Behind

Universities on the continent are rapidly losing talent to industry in the United States and China, say scientists behind the initiative.

International Students Steer Clear of Graduate Programs in the United States
From ACM Careers

International Students Steer Clear of Graduate Programs in the United States

The number of international students enrolling in U.S. graduate programs is falling, according to reports from the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools in Washington...

These Dusty Young Stars Are Changing the Rules of Planet-Building
From ACM News

These Dusty Young Stars Are Changing the Rules of Planet-Building

Some 100,000 years ago, when Neanderthals still occupied the caves of southern Europe, a star was born.

Asteroid-Sampling Mission Zeroes In on Tiny Space Rock
From ACM News

Asteroid-Sampling Mission Zeroes In on Tiny Space Rock

For the second time this year, a spacecraft is about to partner with an asteroid in an intimate dance.

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science
From ACM News

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science

Scientists can't study what they can't measure, as David Muller knows only too well.

Largest Overhaul of Scientific Units Since the French Revolution Wins Approval
From ACM News

Largest Overhaul of Scientific Units Since the French Revolution Wins Approval

In the biggest overhaul of the international system of units since 1875, countries have voted to redefine four basic units of measurement—the ampere, the kilogram...

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions
From ACM News

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions

Smoke filled the cabin as the Boeing 747 plunged towards snow-covered mountains in southern Alaska. All four engines had shut down, and it took the pilots eight...

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease
From ACM News

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease

Japanese neurosurgeons have implanted 'reprogrammed' stem cells into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease for the first time.

Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in Human Genome
From ACM News

Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in Human Genome

Pinpointing where and how the human genome is evolving can be like hunting for a needle in a haystack.
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