Skip to main content
Dyllan Furness

Dyllan Furness


Dyllan Furness is a freelance writer from Florida. He covers strange science and emerging tech for Digital Trends, focusing on the people and ideas transforming the world. His other work has appeared at outlets like Vice, Ars Technica, and Quartz. If not online, you can find him in the kitchen, on the road, or on the dance floor.

AI in education kid with robot

A.I. teaching assistants could help fill the gaps created by virtual classrooms

Distance learning has created a disconnect between teachers and students. Can A.I. help fill that void?
artificial photosynthesis to fuel the future store energy gunnera manicata detail

Hacking photosynthesis: Could artificial leaves fuel the future?

As demand for renewable energy sources increases, researchers have turned to leaves to develop a technology that replicates photosynthesis: the process plants use to convert sunlight, water, and CO2 into energy
how ai can address climate crisis visualizing change street feat

Here’s an A.I. preview of what climate change will do to your neighborhood

dont fear the robot automation threat overblown bmw arm

Robots aren’t coming to steal your job. They’re coming to improve it

Paul Daugherty, chief technology an innovation officer at Accenture, thinks it’s neither inevitable nor likely that machines will ultimately replace humans in the workforce
world food programme building blocks iris scanning blockchain foodfight hydroponics

No soil? No problem. H2Grow can cultivate crops practically anywhere

Through tailor-made hydroponic systems, H2Grow aims to solve hunger in arid regions and help vulnerable communities become more self-reliant by securing food resources. H2Grow, a project from the United Nations World Food Programme, is helping crops flourish in unexpected places.
The Surge Structure Atmosphere Interaction Facility's hurricane simulator seen from above

Conjuring catastrophes: Inside the world’s largest hurricane simulator

rolls royce cargo ships rr autoboat feat

Autonomous ships are coming, and we’re not ready for them

Cars may dominate today’s discussion about the future of autonomous transportation, but some of the world’s largest maritime companies are betting big on autonomous shipping
bill nye talks about the planetary societys new solar sailing mission 20180201 ed markey

Bill Nye the Science Guy talks “solar sailing” and the new space race

Launching June 24, The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 will be a milestone in spaceflight, the first craft to raise its orbit around the planet using just the power of sunlight. We grilled Bill Nye on just how it works, and what it means for the future of spaceflight.
Close-up of ant on a stick | GPS

Will GPS ever become obsolete? Meet the ant-inspired tech that could replace it

GPS is today’s go-to navigational system and it’s great until it doesn’t work. Researchers at universities and some of the world’s top tech companies are developing advanced navigational techniques designed to fill in the gaps when GPS fails.
nutrient iv therapy science test doctor in hospital at drip

I mainlined a bag of liquid vitamins — for science

Nutrient IV therapy is a hot new trend. It involves pumping vitamins, minerals, and fluids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract for what is meant to be a rush of wellness to the veins. But is there science to support it? DT Investigates
Cilmeworks Plan to fight Climate Change | Troubleshooting Earth

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of building-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
ocean cleanup project boyan slat interview bird plastic feat

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage. The organization has since raised over $35 million and a lot of questions from incredulous experts.
matrix remake report the movie feat

Are we living in a simulation? This MIT scientist says it’s more likely than not

The simulation hypothesis, which was famously probed in the 1999 film The Matrix, is the subject of a new book by Rizwan Virk, a computer scientist and video game developer who leads Play Labs at MIT. In his book, Virk endeavors to unpack the heady arguments that call our physical world into question.
nasa 3d printed habitat finalists p3l4 search apis cor

Finalists from NASA’s 3D-printed Mars home challenge are out of this world

NASA has selected three finalists in its 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, an ongoing competition to design sustainable shelters for the moon or Mars. The goal is to build the structures out of recourses found on-site so that missions won’t have to carry excess resources with them.
bloomengine plant growing indoors bloomengine2

Brown thumb? Bloomengine takes the guesswork out of growing delicate plants

Bloomengine is a plant-growing chamber designed to take the guesswork out of growing delicate plants indoors. It features an LED light, automatic water, fan for ventilation, and even a camera to record progress. The device is expected to launch in July.
space microbes iss mars biomex

Microbes survive outside the International Space Station, might do same on Mars

A new study from researchers at the German Aerospace Center shows that some microbes (in particular, the “extremophiles,” or ones that live in extreme conditions) can inhabit the inhospitable environment of space outside the International Space Station (ISS). The study raises hope for life on Mars.
spacelife origin baby born in space newborn

A.I. analyzes video to detect signs of cerebral palsy in infants

An artificial intelligence algorithm capable of signaling early signs of neurodevelopment disorders in infants has been created by researchers in Finland and Italy. The research could improve early detection of neurodevelopment disorders such as cerebral palsy, so doctors can provide treatments sooner.
a i spots thousands of unidentified craters on the moon

NASA scientists want to send a cave-diving rover to the moon

NASA is considering a plan to send rover to the moon in the mid-2020s. It would touch down a few hundred feet from one of the moon’s deep pits and deploy a smaller rover, Axel, to rappel hundreds of feet into the caverns that pockmark the moon’s surface.
tarsier goggles vr education

VR tool lets you see the world through the eyes of an endangered primate

Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a virtual reality system that gives it wearers a sense of what it’s like to see the world through highly specialized eyes of an endangered tarsier. The goal is to give students an immersive experience of the natural world.
lave tubes

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS. The first field test was successful.
music makes cheese taste different musiccheese

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese, a semi-firm variety of Swiss cheese popular in Europe.
robot limb

This very talented robotic leg learned to walk all by itself

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a robotic limb capable of walking without preprogrammed knowledge of the task. It’s an impressive feat that could help future robots navigate the world independently.
robot feeds dinner mobility impaired people feedrobot

Eat up! This robot is built to feed dinner to people who can’t feed themselves

Engineers have developed a robot that can feed people with disabilities that inhibit them from feeding themselves. Powered by an artificial intelligence algorithm, the system detects pieces of food on a plate, stabs them with a fork, and transports the morsels to a person’s mouth.
strange shape blocks sound metamaterial

Scientists discover a strange shape that blocks almost all sound

Called an “acoustic meta-material,” the shape was developed based on a mathematically modeled design that enables it to cancel up to 94 percent of sound by reflecting certain frequencies back to their source.
metafly insect drone

Be prepared to bug out over this insect-inspired winged drone

A French inventor took to Kickstarter to raise funds for an insect-inspired winged drone called MetaFly. It generated quite a buzz. As of the time this article was published, more than 1,850 people have pledged over $187,500 to bring the drone to market. It's expected to ship in September 2019.
softbank 5d internet drone helios prototype flying wing

SoftBank’s solar-powered drone could dispense 5G internet from the skies

An experimental, solar-powered drone capable of beaming internet down to Earth is set to take off. The drone is the product of a tightlipped partnership between Softbank and AeroVironment, an American aerospace company, aimed at delivering 5G and Internet of Things connectivity from the skies.
hiv vaccine therapy daily drugs color

For second time ever, a groundbreaking stem cell treatment has cured HIV

For the past decade, an American named Timothy Brown was the only person thought to have ever been cleared of the virus following an innovative cancer treatment procedure. Today, a study published in the journal Nature suggests that there may have finally been a second.
great white shark genome 14730796397 1320ff6381 k

The Great White Shark’s genome has been decoded, and it could help us end cancer

In a significant step for marine and genetic science, researchers have decoded the genome of the great white shark. The genetic code revealed a wealth of insight into what makes these creatures so successful from an evolutionary standpoint.
exoplanet haul transits2 on starfield editable 02 20x30

After Kepler kicks the bucket, NASA releases its final image

The final images from the Kepler Space Telescope have arrived. After nearly a decade of operation, NASA’s groundbreaking telescope ran out of fuel last year and was placed into permanent sleep mode on October 30. But days earlier, it captured one last image — a full view of the sky.
UCF Steam-powered spacecraft WINE

Does a steam-powered spacecraft hold the key to exploring the solar system?

Steam power might be poised to make a comeback. Researchers at University of Central Florida have built an experimental spacecraft that runs on steam — and it’s not nearly as ridiculous as it might sound.
Cognitive Dissonance

A.I. system seeks to turn thoughts of people unable to talk into speech

A new system developed by neuroengineers can turn thoughts into intelligible speech. Powered by speech synthesizers and A.I., the technology lays the groundwork for helping individuals who are unable to speak due to disability regain their capacity to communicate verbally.
skin transplants humanoid robots scientist s hands hold artificial

Artificial ‘superhuman’ skin could help burn victims, amputees ‘feel’ again

Researchers have developed a new kind of sensor designed to enable artificial skin to sense pressure, vibrations, and even magnetic fields. The technology developed by engineers, chemists, and biologists could help burn victims and amputees “feel” again through their prosthetic limbs.
wiliot bluetooth sensor battery free tag

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip being developed by a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest the energy it needs out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Most significant science new and breakthroughs of 2018

The weird, worrying, and wonderful science that happened in 2018

2019 was full of big scientific news and breakthroughs, so we rounded up all of the best headlines for your perusal