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Angry Turks Demand Answers After Mine Disaster

SOMA, Turkey — As hopes began to fade for hundreds of coal miners still trapped underground in a hellish explosion, antigovernment protests broke out across the country on Wednesday while victims’ families demanded answers in what is emerging as perhaps the worst industrial accident in the country’s history.

Thousands of people have gathered here in Soma, the nearest town to the mine, in hopes of getting news of relatives and friends who are unaccounted for. Their frustrations erupted in a rock-throwing protest in front of the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was broken up by the police in clouds of tear gas. Demonstrations also broke out in Ankara, the capital, and in Istanbul. Read more ...

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The danger of 'emotional' machines

Last week a computer program reportedly passed the Turing test by successfully convincing humans it communicated with that it was a real person at least 30% of the time.

Although the results have been challenged by some scientists, it seems to be only a matter of time before computer artificial intelligence is sufficiently capable of pulling of the ruse.

The prospect has Die Welt's Torsten Krauel worried. Read more...

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'A robot is my friend': Can machines care for elderly?

With the world's elderly population growing rapidly, scientists are suggesting that robots could take on some of the burden of providing care, support and - most surprisingly - companionship.

A boy born today in Britain is expected to live on average to the age of 91, a girl to 94.

Worldwide 1.5 billion people over the age of 65 are expected to be around in 2050. Read more...

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Publishing: The peer-review scam

Link recommended by Zoe Lipowski

Most journal editors know how much effort it takes to persuade busy researchers to review a paper. That is why the editor of The Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry was puzzled by the reviews for manuscripts by one author — Hyung-In Moon, a medicinal-plant researcher then at Dongguk University in Gyeongju, South Korea.

The reviews themselves were not remarkable: mostly favourable, with some suggestions about how to improve the papers. What was unusual was how quickly they were completed — often within 24 hours. The turnaround was a little too fast, and Claudiu Supuran, the journal's editor-in-chief, started to become suspicious. Read more ...

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