Home >> Author Archives: Vanessa Bates Ramirez

Author Archives: Vanessa Bates Ramirez

NASA’s Plan to Build a Base Camp on the Moon Sounds Like Sci-Fi, But It’s Real

If we’re ever going to make Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars a reality, we first need to figure out an essential component of the plan: how to get there. After all, it’s somewhere between 34 and 140 million miles away from Earth. The moon is barely spitting distance closer, relatively speaking—but it’s a start. More importantly, it’s the place ...

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company Finishes First Tunnel for 155mph Vegas Loop

Last week, Musk’s Boring Company finished excavating the first of two tunnels for a new transportation system that will run underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). The second tunnel will run parallel to the first, creating a loop to carry people back and forth in modified Tesla Model 3 and Model X cars.

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How Google’s New Weather AI Will Make Sure You Never Get Caught in the Rain

Among the many things we’ve become addicted to on our smartphones is checking the weather. If you’re anything like me, you open a weather app at least twice a day: in the morning to know what to expect for the day ahead, maybe before your commute home so you can prepare for possible rain or snow, and sometimes before bed ...

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The Weird, the Wacky, the Just Plain Cool: Best of CES 2020

As you know if you’ve ever been to, heard of, or read about the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, there’s no shortage of tech in any form: gadgets, gizmos, and concepts abound. You probably couldn’t see them all in a month even if you spent all day every day trying. Given the sheer scale of the show, the number ...

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Standout Tech Trends From CES 2020

Sensor-laden underwear. A toilet-paper-transporting robot. Headwear, wristwear, and bedside gadgets guaranteed to improve your sleep. These are just a few of the weirdest, wildest pieces of technology on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. The massive annual convention never fails to unveil concepts that leave us incredulous, prototypes that help us imagine a fantastic future, and gadgets ...

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Tech Is Fueling the Hong Kong Movement. An Insider Told Us How, and Why It’s a Huge Step for Freedom

Over the past two months, Hong Kong has roared into global headlines. Its seven million citizens have increasingly taken to the streets (and the capital building, and the airport) to protest China’s move to decrease the city-state’s autonomy, set off by a proposed bill that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China. Pro-democracy activist ...

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First Human CRISPR Trial in the US Aims to Cure Inherited Blindness

Gene editing is advancing at a faster pace than most of us can keep up with. One significant recent announcement was gene-editing tool CRISPR’s application to non-genetic diseases thanks to a new ability to edit single letters in RNA. Even as CRISPR reaches milestones like this, scientists continue to find new uses for it to treat genetic conditions. The next ...

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The Biggest Offshore Wind Project in the US Is Underway

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez From the steady growth in market share of electric cars to continuous improvement and expansion of solar energy technology, it appears the world is going renewable—the age of fossil fuels is slowly but surely being left behind. For whatever reason, wind power doesn’t get as much love as solar, but it’s growing quickly, with massive new ...

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New Progress in Desalination Tech

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez In early 2018, Cape Town, South Africa came dangerously close to being the world’s first major city to run out of water. People lined up for blocks to collect spring water. Stores sold out of receptacles like buckets and bowls. Bottled water was rationed in tourist-heavy parts of the city. April 12 was designated “Day Zero”—the ...

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This Lab-Grown Patch Could Repair Your Heart After a Heart Attack

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 735,00 Americans have a heart attack each year, and 610,000 die of heart disease. Those who survive heart attacks remain at serious risk for heart failure. During a heart attack, the ...

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What Would It Mean for AI to Become Conscious?

As artificial intelligence systems take on more tasks and solve more problems, it’s hard to say which is rising faster: our interest in them or our fear of them. Futurist Ray Kurzweil famously predicted that “By 2029, computers will have emotional intelligence and be convincing as people.” We don’t know how accurate this prediction will turn out to be. Even ...

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SETI Is Making a New ‘Mixtape for Aliens’, and You Can Contribute

For centuries, people have looked up at the sky and wondered whether we’re alone in the universe. Science fiction and popular media have imagined various ways humans might encounter and communicate with life from other parts of the galaxy. When the Voyager spacecrafts were launched in 1977, they carried copies of the Golden Record, a compilation of sounds and images ...

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