The high-stakes race to stop the trafficking of priceless artefacts

In December 2016, David Hidalgo received a photograph of a 17th-century Peruvian painting. The unsigned artwork, of the Virgen de Guadalupe, depicts the Virgin Mary surrounded by apparitions and tells the story of her appearance to Saint Juan Diego near Mexico City in 1531. Hidalgo’s tip-off came via email from a source who had seen the painting on show at the Bowers Museum in California, where it was on loan. Hidalgo’s source suspected that the painting had been stolen.

The Softer Side of Technofuturism – Future Human –

Immersive technologies toy with your senses and have the unique ability to catapult you into a new reality. Inside a virtual reality (VR) headset, like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, we become fully immersed in a computer-generated environment, while augmented and mixed reality (AR and MR) blend real and virtual worlds; they overlay, or mix, our physical surroundings with digital content. Each technology finds a way to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.

This Alternative to Google Maps Aims to Protect Indigenous Land

Zoom in on Peru with Google Maps in satellite view and you’ll see a country comprised of three distinct zones. Sediment-rich rivers, including the Amazon, serpentine through the rainforest, ridges on the Andean mountains — Peru’s highland spine — look like veins, and parched deserts edge the Pacific Ocean. These diverse ecosystems are home to equally diverse indigenous peoples: around 55 groups, speaking 47 languages, according to the Denmark-based International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs

These People Have a Mind-Bending Way to Navigate

The door of Sivek’s house looks out on a rising slope. But when he walks away from the door toward the rear of the building, he is walking “uphill”—even though the floor is flat. That’s because in Sivek’s tongue, indoor space is defined by imaginary slopes that are totally distinct from the world outside. This is one of the most striking features of the Yupno language, spoken by around 8,000 people in the Finisterre mountain range of Papua New Guinea. While many languages around the world make

To Stop Mosquito Bites, Silence Your Skin's Bacteria

Texas scientists tricked mosquitoes into skipping a blood meal by modifying the way bacteria talk to each other. Evening picnics in a park, sunset beers by a lake and warm nights with the windows open are just some of the delights of midsummer. But as dusk falls, one of the most infuriating creatures on the planet stirs: the mosquito. Outdoor activities are abandoned in an ankle-scratching frenzy and sleep is disturbed as we haplessly swat at the whining source of our torment

Do We Need A Theory of AI?

When designing a new engine or airplane wing, engineers can apply theories that have withstood years of scientific scrutiny, such as the Laws of Thermodynamics or Newton's Laws of Motion. To what theories —if any­ —can artificial intelligence (AI) researchers and technology pioneers turn when designing neural networks or algorithms? We asked experts from the fields of computer science, theoretical physics, and philosophy for their insights.

The Planet’s Most Amazing Trees and Where to Find Them

From evergreen giants to bulbous oddities, here is our roundup of the most amazing trees on the planet. Trees are amazing. We walk amongst them and climb them, and they are the subject of countless folk tales and legends. Trees have kept us warm and provided us with shelter for millennia. They give us sustenance and medicine. Many trees outlive us by centuries, and many have stood as silent witnesses to generations of history. Trees are astonishing in their variety. Designated a UNESCO World He
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