Teeth and seashells are among the stronger, more durable things in nature. The secret of these materials lies in their unique fine structure: they are composed of different layers in which numerous micro-platelets are joined together, aligned in identical orientation in each layer.

Volkswagen has set aside €6.5 billion to cover the costs of the growing scandal over cheating on emissions tests in the US. Putting a number on the cost further down line will be far harder, however, as it is a crisis which calls into question the ethical credentials of the company and the industry, as well as posing tough questions about the regulators and authorities who were duped.

For environmental activists who want to use social networks to mobilize the public beyond the retweet, there are three keys to success, according to a paper by scholars ar Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and INGENIO, a joint center of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and CSIC.
Targeted cancer treatments, toxicity sensors and living factories: synthetic biology has the potential to revolutionize science and medicine. But before the technology is ready for real-world applications, more attention needs to be paid to its safety and stability, according to a review article.

Synthetic biology involves engineering microbes like bacteria to program them to behave in certain ways. For example, bacteria can be engineered to glow when they detect certain molecules, and can be turned into tiny factories to produce chemicals.

Every time you go to the gym to burn off those Dim Sum calories from the night before, your nervous system is subconsciously working against you.

Researchers have found that our nervous systems are remarkably adept in changing the way we move so as to expend the least amount of energy possible.

In other words, humans are wired for laziness.

The findings, which were made by studying the energetic costs of walking, likely apply to most of our movements, the researchers say.

Taking Andy Warhol's quip, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes," (which seems, like so many quotations, to have been stolen or mis-attributed) as a point of departure, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi hypothesized that perhaps the internet was the place where this prediction might be close to accurate.

In his 2010 book "Bursts," Barabasi looks at many phenomena related to dispersion, starting with Einstein's thought experiments and predictions for a power law to describe the "random" movement of dust particles in water.
Twelve years ago, the inventors of the process that would lead to Fairlife milk engineered a process to "separate milk into its five key components – water, butterfat, protein, vitamins and minerals, and lactose."

By then recombining the components, they not only removed the lactose, making it digestible with less drama for lactose-intolerant people, but also giving it 50 percent less sugar, 50 percent more protein and 30 percent more calcium.

That's a huge breakthrough. How has the blogging community reacted? 

Despite billions of dollars in outreach programs designed to lure women into computer programming, and companies mandating that more women be hired, most females would rather go into something involving people.

Yet a new survey of 270 high school students concludes that three times as many girls would interested in enrolling in a computer science class if the classroom was redesigned to be less "geeky" and more inviting.

So we can knock Barbie dolls and pink clothes, but they are appealing to the market that is rather than the market some academics would like it to be. The notion that women and men are the same has become passe.

When we talk about artificial intelligence (AI) – which we have done lot recently, including my outline on The Conversation of liability and regulation issues – what do we actually mean?

AI experts and philosophers are beavering away on the issue. But having a usable definition of AI – and soon – is vital for regulation and governance because laws and policies simply will not operate without one.