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Next-generation NASA technologies tested in flight

Teams of NASA researchers put their next-generation technologies to the microgravity test in a series of parabolic flights that aim to advance innovations supporting the agency's space exploration goals.

Electric fields boost graphene's potential, study shows

Researchers at the National Graphene Institute have made a discovery that could revolutionize energy harnessing and information computing. Their study, published in Nature, reveals how electric field effects can selectively ...

Errors detected in several historical consumer price indices

Research from Lund University found several inaccuracies in historical CPIs in popular online databases. The findings, appearing in Cliometrica, can have major consequences for future research. Faults in the data might already ...

Study proposes roadmap for integrating edge AI into farming

The rise of advanced artificial intelligence (edge AI) could well mark the beginning of a new era for sustainable agriculture. A recent study proposes a roadmap for integrating this technology into farming practices. The ...

Squeezing Schrödinger's cat may increase quantum sensitivity

One of the most counter-intuitive aspects of quantum physics is the idea that a quantum system, unlike a physical system governed by the everyday physics of the macroscopic universe, can exist in two states at once even if ...

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Technology

Technology is a broad concept that deals with an animal species' usage and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how it affects an animal species' ability to control and adapt to its environment. Technology is a term with origins in the Greek "technologia", "τεχνολογία" — "techne", "τέχνη" ("craft") and "logia", "λογία" ("saying"). However, a strict definition is elusive; "technology" can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines, hardware or utensils, but can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include "construction technology", "medical technology", or "state-of-the-art technology".

The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The prehistorical discovery of the ability to control fire increased the available sources of food and the invention of the wheel helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs to nuclear weapons.

Technology has affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, known as pollution, and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the Earth and its environment. Various implementations of technology influence the values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other primates and certain dolphin communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.

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