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China's failed gene-edited baby experiment proves we're not ready for human embryo modification

The team used CRISPR on human embryos in a bid to render them resistant to HIV infection.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: how do we know if a dinosaur skeleton is from a child dinosaur or an adult dinosaur?

This T. rex is very big, but was it a grown-up? Shutterstock


When you find dinosaur skeletons, how can you tell how old the dinosaur was? Like, if the skeleton is from a child dinosaur or an adult dinosaur? – Henry, aged 8.


Originally published in The Conversation.

We're using lasers and toaster-sized satellites to beam information faster through space

The electromagnetic spectrum we can access with current technologies is completely occupied.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Tick, tock... how stress speeds up your chromosomes' ageing clock

At a molecular level, stresses and strains can make your body clock break into a sprint. Lightspring/Shutterstock

Ageing is an inevitability for all living organisms, and although we still don’t know exactly why our bodies gradually grow ever more decrepit, we are starti


Originally published in The Conversation.

To stop a tech apocalypse we need ethics and the arts

If recent television shows are anything to go by, we’re a little concerned about the consequences of technological development. Dystopian narratives abound.

Black Mirror projects the negative consequences of social media, while artificial intelligence turns rogue in The 100 and Better Than Us. The potential extinction of the human race is up for grabs in Travellers, and Altered Carbon frets over the separation of human consciousness from the body. And Humans and Westworld see trouble ahead for human-android relations.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Fingerprint login should be a secure defence for our data, but most of us don't use it properly

Even though passcode options include swipe patterns and long passwords, many users still use easy 4-digit PINs.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Did people or climate kill off the megafauna? Actually, it was both

When freshwater dried up, so did many megafauna species. Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, Author provided

Earth is now firmly in the grips of its sixth “mass extinction event”, and it


Originally published in The Conversation.

The government is hyping digitalised services, but not addressing a history of e-government fails

E-government involves using the internet to streamline interaction between government agencies and the public. SHUTTERSTOCK

In politics, when you have little to show for your achievements, you can release a “roadmap” for what will supposedly be achieved in the future.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Stimulus package: brain stimulation holds huge promise, but is critically under-regulated

Neurostimulation is rife with potential and pitfalls. Metamorworks/Shutterstock

This year, a Chinese patient known only as Mr Yan became a medical pioneer.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Returning to country: we should use genetics, geology and more to repatriate Aboriginal remains

Working out where Aboriginal remains came from will in take researchers from several disciplines working together. Michael Westaway, Author provided

The remains of thousands of Aboriginal Australians are scattered around the world in museums


Originally published in The Conversation.