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We finally know how whole planets grow from tiny clumps of dust

By Leah Crane Planets in the making?NASA/JPL-CaltechElectricity may be more important to making planets than we thought. We aren’t sure how tiny particles come together to build baby planets, but dropping glass beads from the top of a tall tower has shown that it may be with some help from static electricity. The very first…

The race to find wild relatives of food plants before it’s too late

By Michael Le Page Kew’s Millennium Seed BankKewSeeds from 400 wild relatives of food crops such as bananas, rice and aubergines have been collected to save their valuable genetic diversity before it is lost. These could be crucial for maintaining food production as the climate changes. “This was a massive effort,” says Hannes Dempewolf at…

Controversial DNA screening technique used for at least one pregnancy

By Michael Le Page DNA can be taken from IVF embryos and analysedPASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYA company called Genomic Prediction has confirmed that at least one woman is pregnant with embryos selected after analysing hundreds of thousands of DNA variants to assess the risk of disease. It is the first time this approach has been…

Robot debates humans about the dangers of artificial intelligence

By Donna Lu Project Debater argued both for and against the benefits of artificial intelligenceIBMAn artificial intelligence has debated the dangers of AI – narrowly convincing audience members that the technology will do more good than harm. Project Debater, a robot developed by IBM, spoke on both sides of the argument, with two human teammates…

People share fake news online even when they can tell it’s not true

By Donna Lu We spread fake stories even though we can detect themThomas Trutschel/GettyThe spread of fake news on social media has been a problem for years. But there may be a simple solution to stop people sharing inaccurate information. Gordon Pennycook at the University of Regina in Canada and colleagues have found that people…

General election 2019: Who is strongest on climate change action?

By Adam Vaughan Climate change is rising up the political agendaGettyImages-1136454906.jpgChannel 4 News has confirmed that the world’s first ever TV election debate dedicated to climate change will go ahead this Thursday, giving voters the perfect opportunity to see who has the most credible plan to cut carbon emissions. But while the leaders of Labour,…

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