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Technology

Innovations that shape our world

Since early humans first tended fires and sharpened spears, we’ve sought to apply our knowledge to shape the natural world to suit our needs. Here we chronicle the promise and pitfalls of this basic human drive in all its present day manifestations – from robots and AI to nanotechnology and materials to devices, transportation, engineering and manmade disasters.

Researchers have built a passive, solar-powered device that can harvest water straight out of the air.

Catherine Meyers, Editor

Advances in GPS and remote detection of hidden military sites shift the strategic landscape.

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

A corrective quartz plate could improve the focus of enormous X-ray generating machines.

Catherine Meyers, Staff Writer

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this March, hacking competition Pwn2Own has uncovered numerous vulnerabilities in everyday computer programs.

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

Research finds that introducing crack-resisting structures makes steel tougher against fatigue.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

Researchers are turning leftover grape skins from winemaking into novel, 3-D-printed objects.

Catherine Meyers, Staff Writer

At a bladesmithing competition, participants from 26 international universities show off their creations.

Ramin Skibba, Contributor

Nasty weather can make map apps unreliable.

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

Newly discovered spinning mechanism could inspire new materials.

Catherine Meyers, Staff Writer

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