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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 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

Even underground tests release whiffs of radioactive gases

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

Scientists have developed the first synthetic cells that can reproduce themselves -- over and over.

Karin Heineman, Executive Producer

A special coating might one day repair ragged clothes with a little pressure, heat and water.

Karin Heineman, Executive Producer

Material could form the backbone of foldable robots and moldable casts for broken bones.

Catherine Meyers, Staff Writer

Scientists have invented a coating for the inside of bottles, so you can finally get out every last drop of whatever is inside

Emilie Lorditch, Staff Writer

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