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Sep 9, 2015

A stem cell adventure

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, entertainment

A comic book about stem cells, covering basic concepts related to stem cells, their properties and possible uses. TEXT: João Ramalho-Santos; ART: André Caetano.

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Sep 9, 2015

Watch Parallels 2015

Posted by in category: futurism

Parallels 2015
A mysterious building is the gateway to infinite parallel Earths.

Director: Christopher Leone.
Writers: Laura Harkcom (story), Christopher Leone (story), 1 more credit »

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Sep 9, 2015

Frankenvirus emerges from Siberia’s frozen wasteland

Posted by in category: sustainability

Let sleeping dogs lie.


Scientists will reanimate a 30,000-year-old giant virus, warned more microscopic pathogens may awaken due to climate change.

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Sep 8, 2015

What gives Bitcoin Value?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, Elon Musk, finance

For most of us, figuring out the value of something that we want, comes from research. If you want a new set of wine glasses, you check the price online. Perhaps you consult a catalog. If the set of 8 stemware goblets that you like are a current model from a major company, there are probably many places to buy them. If there are multiple Ebay sellers and many recently completed sales, then you can establish the value with precision.

I’ve written a lot of Bitcoin articles on this Lifeboat Blog and elsewhere, so, let’s dig a bit deeper this time. Let’s talk about from where value really comes.

Supply and Demand

In the end, an item’s value is a direct result of supply and demand. It’s no different with a currency. And let’s be clear: Despite a raging debate, Bitcoin is a currency and not just a payment instrument. How can I be certain? Try this mental exercise—

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Sep 8, 2015

One big step for man as astronaut controls robot from ISS

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen performed the breath-taking experiment in which he placed a peg into a very tight hole on Monday under the careful control of the European Space Agency.

While orbiting some 400 kilometres (250 miles) above Earth, Mogensen took control of the Interact Centaur rover which has a pair of arms for delicate, high-precision work.

The blue-and-white fibreglass robot, which cost less than 200,000 euros ($224,000) to build, also has a camera on its head which allows the controller to directly see the task it is performing.

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Sep 8, 2015

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Citi Ventures Back Stock-Trading Startup — By Anna Irrera | The Wall Street Journal

Posted by in category: finance

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Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Citigroup’s Citi Ventures have backed a New York-based startup that lets retail investors place orders for securities on news websites, financial blogs and mobile apps, as investments in young financial-technology companies continue to grow.

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Sep 8, 2015

Syfy’s Childhood’s End HQ | Trailer 2015

Posted by in category: entertainment

Exclusive trailer for Syfy’s mini series “Childhood’s End”, starring among others Mike Vogel (Under the Dome), Charles Dance (Game of thrones) and Daisy Betts (Last resort).

Syfy: http://www.syfy.com/
Syfy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/syfy

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Sep 8, 2015

Forget Donald Trump. Meet Zoltan Istvan, the only presidential candidate promising eternal life.

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, life extension

First major story on Immortality Bus from embedded journalist with Vox:


His campaign’s ’70s RV that’s been rebuilt to look like a giant coffin.

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Sep 8, 2015

Where Do New Genes Come From?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, life extension

And Can We Use Them To Improve Health and Longevity


Junk DNA may play a critical role in the creation of new DNA.

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Sep 8, 2015

Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

In April 2015, a paper by Chinese scientists about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo rocked the scientific world and set off a furious debate. Leading scientists warned that altering the human germ line without studying the consequences could have horrific consequences. Geneticists with good intentions could mistakenly engineer changes in DNA that generate dangerous mutations and cause painful deaths. Scientists — and countries — with less noble intentions could again try to build a race of superhumans.

Human DNA is, however, merely one of many commercial targets of ethical concern. The DNA of every single organism — every plant, every animal, every bacterium — is now fair game for genetic manipulation. We are entering an age of backyard synthetic biology that should worry everybody. And it is coming about because of CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

Discovered by scientists only a few years ago, CRISPRs are elements of an ancient system that protects bacteria and other single-celled organisms from viruses, acquiring immunity to them by incorporating genetic elements from the virus invaders. CRISPRs evolved over millions of years to trim pieces of genetic information from one genome and insert it into another. And this bacterial antiviral defense serves as an astonishingly cheap, simple, elegant way to quickly edit the DNA of any organism in the lab.

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