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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 use a more environmentally friendly approach to make larger see-through wood panels than before.

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

Once the tricky political agreements have been reached, how do nations take apart their nuclear weapons?

Benjamin Plackett, Contributor

January's coolest science stories summed up.

Alistair Jennings, Contributor

Scientists have designed a new material that gets stronger after a "workout."

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

Scientists use ordinary equipment to reveal a hidden picture based on its shadow.

Marcus Woo, Contributor

New imaging technique could help study the structure of viruses and proteins and the deformation of materials during high speed collisions.

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

A cyber attacker could potentially insert a feature that looks like cancer into a scan, or remove it, researchers warn.

Claire Cleveland, Contributor

Research innovation brings Shrinky Dink-like method to the nanoscale.

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

A new plane about the length and width of a car propels itself by electrifying air molecules to create an ionic wind.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

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