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Sci And Tech

Studio 360

Our Computers, Our Viruses, Our Selves

Friday, September 12, 2014

We’ve been living with computer viruses since the earliest networks. But how similar are they to biological ones?

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Studio 360

Playing Against the Virus

Friday, September 12, 2014

When an unintentional pandemic spread through World of Warcraft, epidemiologists studied the online game to learn real-world lessons.

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Studio 360

The Flame Alphabet

Friday, September 12, 2014

William S. Burroughs famously said that “language is a virus.” In his novel The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus imagines what would happen if children’s language made their parents sick.

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Studio 360

Reconstructing Viruses

Friday, September 12, 2014

Why do scientists want to recreate viral monsters like the 1918 Spanish flu? And if they do, should they be allowed to publish the instructions?

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Studio 360

What Going Viral Means

Friday, September 12, 2014

Computer viruses and memes were born at the same time. But, for journalist Bill Wasik, it’s time to retire the metaphor of things “going viral” online.

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Studio 360

Does Your Zombie Have Rabies?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some of our culture’s most enduring monsters transmit their contagion through biting — werewolves, zombies, and vampires. Are these myths really about rabies?

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Studio 360

Psychedelic Paper Art or High-Level Math?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Jen Stark's lush paper landscapes seem both psychedelic and scientific. Using trippy shapes and colors, she draws you into a place of quiet mystery.

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Studio 360

Zooming in on the Topography of Tears

Monday, August 04, 2014

Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher wondered if her tears of happiness differed from her tears of grief  so she put them under a microscope.

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Studio 360

Jennifer Lopez, Pink Floyd, and other Celebrity Bugs

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Every year, thousands of new species of creatures are identified. Since naming something after oneself is considered a diva move in the scientific community, many choose the next best thing: the name of a real-life diva.

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Studio 360

How to Fly to Alpha Centauri

Friday, July 18, 2014

It’s a staple of sci-fi, but the realities of interstellar travel are grim: it would take tens of thousands of years to get to our nearest neighbor in the galaxy using current technology. But some scientists working on the problem think it can be cracked in about a century.

Slideshow: Starship Designs

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Studio 360

The Real Scientists of Hollywood

Friday, July 18, 2014

Every sci-fi film and TV show, no matter how cockamamie, needs a science advisor. Surprisingly, these scientists take the far-fetched scenarios cooked up by screenwriters seriously. Today’s real-life science, they point out, was yesterday’s laughable sci-fi.

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Studio 360

Will Sci-Fi Save Us?

Friday, July 18, 2014

What does today’s sci-fi mean for our real-life future?  Cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson argues that it’s time to get over our love of dystopia. A class at MIT searches sci-fi classics for technologies they can invent right now, although maybe they shouldn’t. Geoengineers take a tip from Carl Sagan – ...

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Studio 360

The SimCity of Tomorrow

Friday, July 18, 2014

One of the longest-running and most successful video game franchises, SimCity, draws on current trends to imagine life in a simulated future. In its latest iteration, gamers have a choice between building rich but polluting industry and investing in green technology. You might be surprised which one is more popular.

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Studio 360

These Aren't the Droids

Friday, July 18, 2014

Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, and Ellie Kemper lament a future designed by and for teenage guys.

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Studio 360

At MIT, an Ethics Class for Inventors

Friday, July 18, 2014

A class led by two researchers at MIT’s Media Lab asks students to take imaginary technologies from sci-fi classics and turn them into real inventions. Will they miss the point of cautionary tales like Blade Runner or Neuromancer?

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Studio 360

Hacking the Climate

Friday, July 18, 2014

Geoengineering — tampering with the Earth’s climate — is a sci-fi idea that could very well become a reality. But it’s controversial, because it’s impossible to know the long-term effects of tampering with such a complex system.

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Studio 360

For a Black Writer, Sci-Fi Offers a Reboot of Society

Friday, July 18, 2014

African-American writers have been contributing to the development of science fiction from the beginning. Artist and writer Carl Hancock Rux says they’ve used the genre to think their way out of race relations as we know them.  

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Studio 360

The Power of Positive Sci-Fi

Friday, July 18, 2014

Has our fiction grown too fond of dystopia? Sci-fi great Neal Stephenson thinks so. He’s building a community of writers who are willing to start from a truly far-fetched premise: what if humans actually have a chance?

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Studio 360

Will Your Next Car Fly?

Friday, July 04, 2014

Along with robots and ray guns, the 21st century was definitely supposed to include flying cars. What happened?

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Studio 360

Will Computers Take Over the World?

Friday, July 04, 2014

It’s been a trope in science fiction for years: someday the computers will become self-aware and take over. But in 1993, the computer scientist and science fiction author Vernor Vinge wrote a serious academic paper in which he predicted that we were only a few decades away from that ...

 

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