America’s deadliest pest on its way to eradication

AUSTIN – Birth control for insects? It worked in the late 1930s to eradicate a deadly agricultural pest called the screwworm, and it worked again in this century when the screwworm showed up in the Florida Keys. The screwworm had not been seen in the United States for decades when it was found infesting endangered…

Biased bots: why A.I. might lead to injustice, and how to avoid it

Rather than worrying about some far-fetched doomsday scenario akin to Terminator or I, Robot, artificial intelligence researchers are concerned with the real-world dangers presented by modern A.I. In recent years, eminent scientists and intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have warned of the existential risk entailed by developing advanced artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence researcher Jennifer…

Unusual life discovered in Mexican crystal caves gives insight to astrobiologists

By Lauren Puckett BOSTON — Deep in the caves of Naica, Mexico — some 800 meters below ground, where geothermal heat pushed temperatures into the range of 113 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit — Penelope Boston found something incredible. Within the cave’s enormous sparkling crystals, tiny microbial organisms lived in pockets of fluid. Boston’s attempts to…