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Technology

Geothermal power heats up

Long confined to regions with volcanic activity, geothermal promises to become a much more versatile energy source thanks to new technologies

Why do some people always get lost?

Research suggests that experience may matter more than innate ability when it comes to a sense of direction

Nuclear’s role in a net-zero world

Is nuclear power a necessary part of the energy transition away from fossil fuels? As the debate rages on, new technologies and smaller reactors may be shifting the balance.

The atomic bomb, exile and a test of brotherly bonds: Robert and Frank Oppenheimer

A rift in thinking about who should control powerful new technologies sent the brothers on diverging paths. For one, the story ended with a mission to bring science to the public.

Toward truly compostable plastic

Materials scientists are cooking up environmentally friendly polymers from natural sources like silk, plant fibers and whole algae. Economics and acceptance remain hurdles.

Why interstellar objects like ‘Oumuamua and Borisov may hold clues to exoplanets

The detection of two celestial interlopers careening through our solar system has scientists eagerly anticipating more

The untapped potential of stem cells in menstrual blood

Long overlooked, menstrual stem cells could have important medical applications, including diagnosing endometriosis

CRISPR gene editing: Moving closer to home

With the first medical therapy approved and systems like CRISPR-Cas showing up in complex cells, there’s a lot going on in the genome editing field. Here’s our primer.

Genes and heart disease: Finally making the link

Polygenic risk scores — a patient’s chance, based on tiny DNA variants, of developing cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and more — are coming to clinics. But there are kinks to iron out and accuracy remains an issue.

We urgently need data for equitable personalized medicine

OPINION: A massive bias in medical studies toward men of European origin means that genetic variants in understudied populations don’t get the focus they deserve

Top science stories of 2023

Twelve standout news events and trends in a tumultuous year

Why scientists are making transparent wood

Stronger than plastic and tougher than glass, the resin-filled material is being exploited for smartphone screens, insulated windows and more

Green shipping picks up speed

An international treaty aims to bring the shipping industry to net-zero emissions by around 2050. Can novel fuels, wind power and coordination on a global scale get it there?

How wind turbines could coexist peacefully with bats and birds

As wind power grows around the world, so does the threat the turbines pose to wildlife. From simple fixes to high-tech solutions, new approaches can help.

Pursuing fusion power

Scientists have been chasing the dream of harnessing the reactions that power the Sun since the dawn of the atomic era. Interest, and investment, in the carbon-free energy source is heating up.

New devices could change the way we measure blood pressure

Embedded in a cell phone or in accessories such as rings, bracelets or watches, the novel tools aim to make it easier to manage hypertension. But they must still pass several tests before hitting the clinic.

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