Science & Technology

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First-ever recording of a blue whale’s heart rate

With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild. The measurement suggests that blue whale hearts are operating at extremes – and may limit the whale’s size.

Drag can lift birds to new heights

Recordings of birds taking off and landing have revealed that conventional ideas about the role of lift and drag during flight might need revisiting. The work could influence the design of aerial robotics.

New algorithm trains AI to avoid bad behaviors

Robots, self-driving cars and other intelligent machines could become better-behaved thanks to a new way to help machine learning designers build AI applications with safeguards against specific, undesirable outcomes such as racial and gender bias.

Life-changing first glimpse of a laser

Physicist Robert Byer worked on lasers when they were still just an interesting technology, never imagining their myriad modern uses or how they would affect his life.

How citizens become agents of environmental change

Some programs work better than others when it comes to involving citizens in preserving the environment. After reviewing those that worked, Stanford researchers propose a blueprint for how others can educate people to maximize their impact.

AI and gene-editing pioneers to discuss ethics

Two pioneering scientists who transformed the fields of artificial intelligence and gene editing discuss the impacts of their technologies and the ethics of scientific discovery leading up to a public talk later this month.