Category Archives: Science

What ChatGPT and generative AI mean for science

Nature reports: In December, computational biologists Casey Greene and Milton Pividori embarked on an unusual experiment: they asked an assistant who was not a scientist to help them improve three of their research papers. Their assiduous aide suggested revisions to sections of documents in seconds; each manuscript took about five minutes to review. In one… Read More »

How quickly does Covid immunity fade? What scientists know

Nature reports: Three years into the pandemic, the immune systems of the vast majority of humans have learnt to recognize SARS-CoV-2 through vaccination, infection or, in many cases, both. But just how quickly do these types of immunity fade? New evidence suggests that ‘hybrid’ immunity, the result of both vaccination and a bout of COVID-19,… Read More »

‘Disruptive’ science has declined — and no one knows why

Nature reports: The number of science and technology research papers published has skyrocketed over the past few decades — but the ‘disruptiveness’ of those papers has dropped, according to an analysis of how radically papers depart from the previous literature. Data from millions of manuscripts show that, compared with the mid-twentieth century, research done in… Read More »

Nuclear fusion in lab finally makes more energy than it uses

Science News reports: Scientists have finally managed to bottle the sun. Researchers with the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., have ignited controlled nuclear fusion that resulted in the net production of energy. The long-awaited achievement, to be announced December 13 by U.S. Department of Energy officials, is the first time a lab has been… Read More »

James Lovelock and the death of scientific independence

Roger Highfield writes: As the planet lurches towards a climate emergency and its life support systems falter, the need for visionary thinkers with fresh insights and big ideas has never been more pressing. No wonder, then, that the world mourned the death earlier this year of James (‘Jim’) Lovelock, whose Gaia theory provided a new… Read More »

Chaos researchers can now predict perilous points of no return

Ben Brubaker writes: Predicting complex systems like the weather is famously difficult. But at least the weather’s governing equations don’t change from one day to the next. In contrast, certain complex systems can undergo “tipping point” transitions, suddenly changing their behavior dramatically and perhaps irreversibly, with little warning and potentially catastrophic consequences. On long enough… Read More »