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Oct 20, 2015

DNA Is Multibillion-Year-Old Software

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science

Nature invented software billions of years before we did. “The origin of life is really the origin of software,” says Gregory Chaitin. Life requires what software does (it’s foundationally algorithmic).

1. “DNA is multibillion-year-old software,” says Chaitin (inventor of mathematical metabiology). We’re surrounded by software, but couldn’t see it until we had suitable thinking tools.

2. Alan Turing described modern software in 1936, inspiring John Von Neumann to connect software to biology. Before DNA was understood, Von Neumann saw that self-reproducing automata needed software. We now know DNA stores information; it’s a biochemical version of Turning’s software tape, but more generally: All that lives must process information. Biology’s basic building blocks are processes that make decisions.

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Oct 20, 2015

Graphennas: The Wonder Compound Meets Nano-Scale Wireless Communications

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Graphene antennas have promised big improvements for tiny wireless technologies. A new study prepares “graphennas” for actual testing and development.

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Oct 20, 2015

Gibbs highspeed amphibious motorcyclesride straight into the lake and out again

Posted by in category: transportation

Serial amphibian creator Alan Gibbs has used the American International Motorcycle expo in Florida to launch three new outrageous recreational vehicles. Not satisfied making ridiculously fun-looking amphibious quadbikes, cars and trucks, Gibbs has now built two-and three-wheeled motorcycles that you can ride straight down a boat ramp into the water. At the touch of a button they convert to jet skis, retracting wheels out of the way and switching to jet propulsion. There’s almost no delay – the switch from road mode to water mode is done in less than 5 seconds, so you barely even lose momentum as you ride in or out of the water.

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Oct 20, 2015

Google has an idea to make a smart contact lens that runs on solar power

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Google’s new contact patent is like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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Oct 20, 2015

Irish students build all-electric DeLorean for Back to the Future Day

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

The car will also serve as a promotional vehicle to help Irish students get excited for careers in STEM fields.

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Oct 20, 2015

A tale of two buses: On Ben Carson, Zoltan Istvan, millennialism and eternal life

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, life extension, transhumanism

Austin’s (Texas) leading paper features features transhumanism, biohacking, and longevity near the bottom:


Yesterday began with a 7:30 a.m. call from Dr. Ben Carson for what I thought was a pretty good half hour interview about his new book, A More Perfect Union, his primer on the Constitution, which I read over the weekend.

I was pleased.

Continue reading “A tale of two buses: On Ben Carson, Zoltan Istvan, millennialism and eternal life” »

Oct 20, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Third Official Trailer Released

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

Oct 20, 2015

100 Year Starship Celebrates Awarding First Interstellar Writing Prize during Science Fiction Stories Night

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

Inaugural Canopus Award Winners to be Announced

Award-winning authors and social and physical science experts will gather at Science Fiction Stories Night and honor winners of the first annual Canopus Awards for Interstellar Writing on Halloween Eve during 100 Year Starship’s ® (100YSS®) fourth annual public symposium in Silicon Valley from October 29-November 1, at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, California.

100 Year Starship® (100YSS®) is the independent, long-term global initiative led by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to ensure the capability for human travel beyond our solar system exist within the next 100 years and the advances are applied to enhance life here on Earth every step of the way.

Science fiction frequently leads to science fact. In fact, the extremes of scientific discovery today fuel the imagination and possibilities for science fiction writers tomorrow who catapult them into our collective realm of possibility with their stories. Join the discussion on Science Fiction Stories Night with awarding winning authors, including Nebula Award winner Pat Murphy (The Falling Woman, Bones, and Points of Departure); Juliette Wade (short fiction published in Analog Magazine and Clarkesworld); Brenda Cooper (Edge of Dark and Beyond the Waterfall Door); and, Jacob Weisman, publisher of Tachyon (titles have won the Nebula, Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, Mythopoeic and World Fantasy Awards).

Continue reading “100 Year Starship Celebrates Awarding First Interstellar Writing Prize during Science Fiction Stories Night” »

Oct 20, 2015

BioViva and Telocyte « Michael Fossel

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, life extension, neuroscience

Dr Michael Fossel comments on the recent Bioviva announcement of the first human gene therapy against aging.


The other day, a friend of mine, Liz Parrish, the CEO and founder of BioViva, made quite a splash when she injected herself with a viral vector containing genes for both telomerase and FST. Those in favor of what Liz did applaud her for her courage and her ability to move quickly and effectively in a landscape where red tape and regulatory concerns have – in the minds of some – impeded innovation and medical care. Those opposed to what Liz did have criticized her for moving too rapidly without sufficient concern for safety, ethics, or (from some critics) scientific rationale.

Many people have asked me to comment, both as an individual and as the founder of Telocyte. This occurs for two reasons. For one thing, I was the first person to ever advocate the use of telomerase as a clinical intervention, in discussions, in published journal articles, and in published books. My original JAMA articles (1997 and 1998), my first book on the topic (1996), and my textbook (2004) all clearly explained both the rational of and the implications for using telomerase as a therapeutic intervention to treat age-related disease. For another thing, Liz knew that our biotech firm, Telocyte, intends to do almost the same thing, but with a few crucial differences: we will only be using telomerase (hTERT) and we intend to pursue human trials that have FDA clearance, have full IRB agreement, and meet GMP (“Good Medical Production”) standards.

We cannot help but applaud Liz’s courage in using herself as a subject, a procedure with a long (and occasionally checkered) history in medical science. Using herself as the subject undercuts much of the ethical criticism that would be more pointed if she used other patients. Like many others, we also fully understand the urgent need for more effective therapeutic interventions: patients are not only suffering, but dying as we try to move ahead. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, for example (our primary therapeutic target at Telocyte), there are NO currently effective therapies, a history of universal failure in human trials for experimental therapies, and an enormous population of patients who are currently losing their souls and their lives to this disease. A slow, measured approach to finding a cure is scarcely welcome in such a context.

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Oct 20, 2015

Zumwalt-class Navy ship: Next-gen destroyer is a high-tech marvel (pictures)

Posted by in category: military

A truly amazing convergence of incredibly advanced technologies.


The US Navy has christened the first of three cutting-edge Zumwalt-class destroyers. But the next two may have weaponry straight out of science fiction.

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