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Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

The race to develop paper-based tests for coronavirus

Scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop inexpensive tools that take only minutes to tell if someone is infected — a feat that could pave the way for a safer return to normalcy

Microbial secrets of sourdough

It all starts with a community teeming with yeasts and bacteria — but what’s really happening? Scientists peer into those jars on the kitchen counter to find out.

Less toy, more workhorse: Drones get functional

Airborne autonomous vehicles could soon be dropping off your Amazon packages, delivering your food and even ensuring that the infrastructure around you is safe and sound

Telemedicine’s tipping point

Sheltering in place has pushed virtual health care into the mainstream. Will we go back to doctors’ waiting rooms?

Inside the fertility clinic for frogs | Things to Know

VIDEO: How scientists are using assisted reproduction technology to help amphibian species in trouble

The silence of the owls

No one knows exactly how the nocturnal hunters manage their whisper-soft flight, yet it is inspiring the design of quieter airplanes, fans and wind turbines

Digital disease surveillance: Tracking a pandemic

Social media posts and online searches may offer vital clues about the spread of influenza — and now Covid-19. But they also risk errors and threaten privacy.

Synthetic media: The real trouble with deepfakes

Keeping on top of manipulated videos and images is no easy feat. Scientists trace the roots of their proliferation, dig up new techniques to counter digital forgeries and warn of the growing dangers ahead.

What do genes do? | Things to Know

VIDEO: Scientists have captured live video of parts of the most fundamental event in biology — cells reading and copying DNA instructions to make proteins

New projects broaden the search for alien signals from space

A longer list of Earth-like planets, eavesdropping on radio waves and looking for laser light shows: All raise the chances of detecting E.T.

When nuclear goes retro | Things to Know

VIDEO: Old becomes new as nuclear startups take another look at using liquid nuclear fuel as a safe alternative to conventional nuclear reactors

Robots designed to self-construct

Robot researcher Mark Yim offers a look inside the promising field of modular reconfigurable robotics — bots that can shift form to tackle an array of tasks

Sell-by dates | Things to Know

VIDEO: Time stamps on packaging prompt consumers to toss a lot of food, but what do they actually say about safety?

The future that graphene built

Move over, flat carbon. Meet borophene, phosphorene and the rest of the next generation of “atomically thin” super-materials.

Polymers promise a more flexible artificial retina

Organic semiconductors can link up with brain cells to send and receive signals. They may find a use in sight-restoring prostheses. 

What electronic games can teach us

Digital play can enhance certain types of learning, but how to harness that potential for the classroom remains a prize question

Cell meets robot in hybrid microbots

Researchers are developing microbe-propelled tiny bots to deliver drugs, target cancer or do other work in the body