Tumbling robots and other science stories of the week

Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of this week’s most interesting stories in science.

South Korean robots rule. The team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) took first place at the DARPA Robotics Challenge last weekend. This week the internet was awash with memes of tumbling robots – so why build top-heavy humanoid robots anyway?

The digital revolution needs a reboot. Leading technologists, economists, and investors call for a new approach to adapting to emerging technology.

Jurassic Park, for real. Researchers at Imperial College have discovered red blood cells and connective tissue in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils.

CSI, for real. Computer scientists are teaming up with law enforcement to write machine learning algorithms that can identify Tattoos in photos.

Irreproducible costs.  Fraudulent research costs $28 billion a year and more if we had figures for the wasted follow-on work that it inspires.

Genome editing explained. Popular science podcast Radiolab does an excellent job unpacking the opportunities and risks of the CRISPR genome editing tool.

Dynamics of disbelief explained. An interview with Brendan Nyhan on how to change people’s opinions. (Spoiler alert: nothing really works, especially not presenting the facts).

Unequal brains. Poverty in childhood affects the physiology of the brain and can lead to long term behavioural and cognitive difficulties.

No hiatus for climate change. A new study has explained the temporary slowing of climate change trends reflected in data from 1998-2012 that had scientists puzzled. (Spoiler alert: climate change is not actually slowing down).

Who’s scared of resource scarcity? Scientists are, or at least more so than the general public.

World Ocean Day.  June 8th was World Ocean Day. Here’s 5 ways we can sustainably develop the Oceans.

Party drug for depression. The drug Ketamine has been found to be a highly effective treatment for depression. A new study seems to think it knows why.

Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology, at the World Economic Forum

Image: The Team Nedo-JSK robot is readied in the team garage during the finals of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotic Challenge in Pomona, California June 6, 2015. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

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