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Filtered by tag: BioTech

CALLS GROW TO GIVE ANIMALS HUMAN RIGHTS

Published on: 18 April 2019

Big tech scrambles to hire bio-ethicists as inter-species genetic engineering debate heats up

Dateline: 11 April 2028

It's 2019 all over again. Silicon Valley is on a hiring spree - for bio-ethicists. Advances in genetic engineering involving integrating animal DNA into human embryos, and human DNA into animals, using CRISPR technology, to enhance health and cognitive ability, have caused an ethical and legal conundrum. If some humans are technically partly animals, and some animals are part-human, who decided who qualifies for human rights? And who counts as a real person? Human rights groups are ...

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THE REAL FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Published on: 24 January 2019 3 Comments

Young blood rated tops for healthy aging

Dateline: 2 March 2020

Donated blood used to be good enough if it was free of infection and if it was the same type as the patient's. But now there's another criterion on which it is rated: the age of the donor. When a geneticist published research in 2018, concluding that plasma from young blood improves the physical health of older individuals, every second start-up wannabe took notice. It is claimed that the young blood will, by implication, also counteract the development of age-related diseases like dementia and ...

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THERE'S A NEW FOREST IN TOWN

Published on: 3 January 2019 1 Comment

Printed bio solar cells are greening the city

Dateline: 3 January 2028

We've had vertical gardens and basement farms for some time now, in our cities, but now landscaping has taken on a whole new dimension. With 3D printers and bio-engineered shrubs and trees, terraced gardens and leafy lanes can be laid out by the robots, straight from the architect's designs. What's more, genetically altered algae are used to construct bio solar cells that form part of the leaf structure, harvesting solar power from panels that look and act like, well, leaves - nature's very own ...

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SPOTTING THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Published on: 20 December 2018

Quantum sensing sees the invisible

Dateline: 18 December 2021

The Butterfly Effect theorizes that the beating of the wings of a single butterfly in Japan could cause a hurricane in Hawaii. What it really means, is that everything in nature and the world is connected on some level, however insignificant it may seem. And the greatest connection is at the molecular level, beyond the nanoscale. Much like the way smart systems can detect someone moving in the next room, by analyzing faint disturbances in the background WiFi signals, we can now 'see' into opaque ...

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ELECTRIC FEAST FROM THE EAST

Published on: 1 November 2018

China exports latest technology for organic food

Dateline: 9 January 2023

In dramatic style, China has surged ahead with the production of organic fruit and vegetables at affordable prices. Since the breakthrough achieved five years ago, China's 'ion farmers' have grown exponentially - and it's all thanks to electricity! If it sounds like science fiction, you're excused, but in fact electromagnetic pulses are beating pests and accelerating plant growth in millions of greenhouses across the country. Facing the daunting task of feeding a burgeoning population with ...

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THE TRUE COST OF YOUR DNA

Published on: 13 September 2018 1 Comment

Shouldn't you be rewarded if you are the product?

Dateline: 23 September 2023

A bit more than a decade ago, it would have cost you US$ 10,000 to have your entire genome sequenced; four years ago, about $100. But now, you can take the highest bidder, and get paid for your genomic data. Of course, the first complete sequence of a human genome was an enormous undertaking, as there was no reference data, and the project cost an estimated US$ 2.7 billion, but Moore's Law soon came into effect, and prices plummeted as the tech became mainstream and automated. Soon it was the ...

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CAN YOU TRUST YOURSELF?

Published on: 30 August 2018 1 Comment

Your innermost thoughts and feelings might not be your own!

Dateline: 3 September 2032

We've all been taught to trust our instincts. That little voice that tells us infallibly, what is right and what's wrong. Sometimes we subconsciously or willfully disregard that voice, thinking that, this time, it's different. Sometimes our goals, our egos, our sense of logic, override our feelings and intuition. But since neuralink adapters have connected our thoughts directly to the cloud, we've been able to explore new ways of thinking, with augmented intelligence. Boosting our natural brain ...

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THE ULTIMATE CURE FOR AGING

Published on: 26 July 2018 3 Comments

It's not drugs or gene therapy

Dateline: 26 June 2024

In the last six years, a bunch of longevity entrepreneurs, or should I say aging researchers, have been seeking the holy grail: a way to slow down or even reverse the aging process. In other words, keep you living longer, and having healthier lives while you do so. For money, of course, but it's a noble purpose, so no-one is complaining. Now prominent geneticist and longevity evangelist Craig Vesper has announced that he has the answer, and it's not a miracle drug, or even modifying your genes, ...

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FINTECH FALLS OUT OF FAVOUR

Published on: 28 June 2018

Tech is no longer regarded as a sector

Dateline: 23 June 2031

FinTech, MarTech, InsurTech, LegTech, AgTech, EnerTech - they're all dead. A decade ago, news feeds and timelines were swamped with the latest entrant into one of these sub-sectors. Thousands of startups proudly adopted an 'xTech' descriptor, as they tried to carve a superniche for themselves from the digital supercycle. But the fever of digital transformation of business has cooled; the era of digitalization of industry is all but over. The fact is, any business enterprise that has not incorporated ...

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SLEEPING BEAUTIES HEAL THEMSELVES

Published on: 29 March 2018 1 Comment

The answer is more than a good night's rest

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Remember the classic doctor's advice? "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning." It often worked, as after a restful night made more comfortable by the analgesic, you no longer needed the doctor the next day. Since then self-administered remedies have come a long way, and many of us have smart devices and wearables that monitor our health and well-being, providing us with personalized recommendations for preventative as well as curative therapies. But how do we maximize the benefits of a good ...

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SPICE TRADE TAKES ON A NEW FLAVOUR

Published on: 15 March 2018

Reverse direction is the new normal as Silicon Valley dominates

Dateline: 21 March 2025

Do you remember the tea clippers plying the oceans or the camel trains bringing exotic spices from the east? Probably not, but those were important trade routes in their day. Flavours and fragrances have always had global appeal. Since then, coffee and tea cultivation has migrated all over the world, and artificial flavouring has dominated commercial food production. There's still a demand for the real thing, like organic vanilla from tropical islands, but it commands a hefty premium. Flavours and ...

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WE WANTED TELEPORTATION

Published on: 1 March 2018

We got VR glasses instead

Dateline: 7 May 2024

We wanted flying cars. All we got were passenger drones, eventually. We were hoping for limitless fusion energy; instead we got solar panels. Everybody did. The future doesn't always deliver on our hopes and dreams. We dreamed about cheating death, an elixir from the fountain of youth, that would keep us forever young. Instead we have developed CRISPR and stem cells that keep us healthier in old age, but we still get old. That's the thing about the future. Our sci-fi fantasies and high tech ...

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THE GARDEN OF REASON (OR IS IT TREASON?)

Published on: 15 February 2018 2 Comments

Urban farming is here to stay, and that's a good thing, isn't it?

Dateline: 1 March 2021

For some time now, various cities have been experimenting with vertical farming, rooftop farming, and even basement farming with LED lighting. Now it's maturing into a fully-fledged industry, just like fish farming. Farming without land, or even soil, sounds like a contradiction in terms, but hydroponics is not a new idea - it's just become more profitable. Being physically close to the consumers is the ultimate competitive advantage. Beyond the need for land, traditional farming has to contend ...

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WHO TURNED OFF THE NIGHT?

Published on: 4 January 2018

Greenpeace calls for light curfew to bring back the dark

Dateline: 9 January 2023

What happened to those lovely dark nights, when all the stars came out? They're gone, along with hurricane lamps and black outs. Now that LED lighting has conquered the world, seen from space our planet is a bright, glittering jewel at night. Even darkest Africa is filled with a billion points of light, and more's the pity. It's unnatural and astronomers hate it. The obsession with climate change has waned, and activists are focusing heavily on pollution, especially light pollution. They want ...

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SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: HAND IT TO THE MACHINES

Published on: 7 December 2017 1 Comment

When AI and chips are the best researchers, let them get on with it

Dateline: 8 February 2021

There's only so much a scientist can do. Which is why we all use smart agents to do most of our research for us. Smart software can read and parse papers many thousands of times faster than any human. A typical example is fingerprint identification or facial recognition. Computers are just way more efficient at matching patterns. But what happens when you are looking for new data in real time? How do you program that? Nano Global has released their first version of Nanobit, a system-on-a-chip that ...

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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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INTERNET OF ORGANIC THINGS

Published on: 12 October 2017 1 Comment

Plants that tweet and pets that ping

Dateline: 13 October 2023

Does your prize rose bush send you an email when it needs specific nutrients, or tweet incessantly when it's thirsty? Does your Labrador retriever ping you on your smartphone, when he's restless and wants a walk? Only if you've got smart soil sensors, for the rose, and a smart dog-collar for the Lab. But all these things we've connected to the 'net, they all need power - battery power, and even enhanced with tiny solar cells, like all electronics, they eventually wear out and have to be replaced, or ...

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IT'S AN INSIDE JOB

Published on: 7 September 2017

Black-market organ transplants performed by microbot

Dateline: 6 September 2027

The WHO (World Health Organization) predicts an increase in illegal surgeries and black-market organ transplants because of the increasing capability of medical microbots. They are designed for patients to swallow, as if it were a pill made out of digestible enzymes. Fitted with tiny microblades or needles, they quickly move to clean blocked arteries, detect disease and treat cancer. Microbots are also useful for delivering medication to specific parts of the body and addressing hormone or metabolic ...

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THE BLIND CAN SEE AND THE DEAF CAN HEAR

Published on: 31 August 2017 1 Comment

New technologies open up the world for previously disabled

Dateline: 30 July 2020

Millions of people around the globe suffer from deafness and blindness - but that will soon end; and when it comes to helping the deaf, we have to thank Siri, Apple's digital assistant! Early experiments showed that transplanting stem cells into the eyes of rats with damaged retinas cured blindness. Now scientists are using the same technology to repair diseases which commonly cause deteriorating sight in humans, namely glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. In fact, thanks to ...

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WAIT A SEC, I'VE ONLY GOT THREE HANDS

Published on: 24 August 2017 5 Comments

Third arms are a blessing and a curse

Dateline: 1 September 2023

Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it's possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional. Connected wirelessly to your brain by a 'thinking cap', you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by thought alone. With practice, you become quite dexterous. What's really interesting is that you can operate all ...

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Filtered by tag: BioTech