Menu

Blog

Page 8573

Mar 22, 2018

Transhumanism Is Complicating the Sometimes Antagonistic Faith vs. Science Dynamic

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, science, transhumanism, transportation

Millenials grew up under the technological halo of Moore’s law, enjoying booming exponential growth of computation power that ushered in the information age. It should come as no surprise that transhumanism has earned a degree of mainstream acceptance—from Hollywood movies to magazine covers and the latest sci-fi TV. Transhumanist beliefs will continue to permeate culture as long as the promise of technological progress holds its end of the bargain.


For transhumanist faiths, technology becomes a way of cashing checks religion helped write.

For instance, Silicon Valley engineer Anthony Levandowski—whom you may know from the Uber-Waymo lawsuit over self-driving car technology—recently launched the Way of the Future Church, a new religious organization based on developing godlike artificial intelligence. On its website, the Way of the Future states, “We believe the creation of ‘super intelligence’ is inevitable,” and according to IRS documents detailed by Wired, this new religion seeks “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” This exuberance departs from the cautious stance toward A.I. taken by Hawking, Musk, and others who warn that artificial superintelligence could pose an existential threat. However, regardless of whether artificial superintelligence is seen as an angel or a demon, Hawking, Musk, and A.I. evangelists alike share the common belief that this technology should be taken seriously.

Continue reading “Transhumanism Is Complicating the Sometimes Antagonistic Faith vs. Science Dynamic” »

Mar 22, 2018

How 3D printing is spurring revolutionary advances in manufacturing and design

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, space

A young startup called Relativity is pushing space technology forward by pushing 3D printing technology to its limits, building the largest metal 3D printer in the world. And other major companies anxious to try these new ways of manufacturing, too. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien looks at some of the amazing advances that’s launching the technology into a new era.

Read more

Mar 21, 2018

Menstrual Pain is Equal to Heart Attack, Claims Study

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Doctors at University College London claims that menstrual pain can be as painful as heart attacks and cause a great degree of discomfort.

Read more

Mar 21, 2018

What Will Our Society Look Like When Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Get the best of Smithsonian.com by email. Keep up-to-date on:

Read more

Mar 21, 2018

Physicists Are About to Attempt The ‘Impossible’ — Turning Light Into Matter

Posted by in category: physics

Theoretically, it should be possible to turn light into matter. In practice, well — “easier said than done” is an understatement.

Now, 84 years after the process was first theorised, some researchers reckon they’re going to be able to do it — and they’re about to start the experiment.

It’s called the Breit-Wheeler process, and it all has to do with E=mc.

Continue reading “Physicists Are About to Attempt The ‘Impossible’ — Turning Light Into Matter” »

Mar 21, 2018

A crowdfunded MouseAge launches crowdsourced research in deep learned biomarkers of aging

Posted by in category: life extension

Read more

Mar 21, 2018

China’s Space Station Should Crash to Earth in Coming Weeks

Posted by in category: space

China’s Tiangong-1space station will de-orbit between the end of March and the first week of April, according to estimates.

Read more

Mar 21, 2018

13-Year-Old Boy Is First Person in US to Receive Newly Approved Gene Therapy for Blindness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

On Tuesday, a 13-year-old boy from New Jersey was at the center of medical history as he became the first person in the US to receive an FDA-approved gene therapy for an inherited disease. The event marks the beginning of a new era of medicine, one in which devastating genetic conditions that we are born with can be simply edited out of our DNA with the help of modern biomedical technologies.

The therapy, Luxturna, from Spark Therepeutics, was approved by the FDA in December to treat a rare, inherited form of blindness. Its price tag, set at $850,000—or $425,000 per eye—made it the most expensive drug in the US and sparked mass sticker-shock. But the therapy, which in high-profile clinical trials has allowed patients to see the stars for the first times, also offered the almost miraculous possibility of giving sight to the blind.

The therapy is intended to treat retinal diseases, including leber congenital amaurosis or retinitis pigmentosa, caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. The RPE65 gene produces an enzyme that helps the eye process light. In these disorders, severe visual impairment begins often in infancy, and sometimes degrades over time. Some people with a mutated copy of the gene can see during the day; others are legally blind. The drug works by delivering a correct copy of the RP65 gene to retinal cells, allowing the patient to produce the deficient enzyme—and, hopefully, restoring their vision. (Luxturna is considered by some to be the first “true gene therapy” approved by the FDA, since other approved therapies, like those for blood cancers, involve removing a patient’s cells from their body, modifying them externally, and then infusing them back into the body.)

Continue reading “13-Year-Old Boy Is First Person in US to Receive Newly Approved Gene Therapy for Blindness” »

Mar 21, 2018

Photos: The violent beauty of Herbig-Haro objects, the eruptions of newly-formed stars

Posted by in category: futurism

Today’s (March 21) Google Doodle honors the Mexican astronomer Guillermo Haro, who would have been 105 today.

His signature discovery was the Herbig-Haro object, a celestial phenomenon named after Haro and the American astronomer George Herbig, who was researching the same occurrences at around the same time.

Herbig-Haro objects are jets of gas and other matter erupting from newly formed stars which collide with the gas and dust around them at the speed of several hundreds of kilometers a second.

Continue reading “Photos: The violent beauty of Herbig-Haro objects, the eruptions of newly-formed stars” »

Mar 21, 2018

A dusting of salt could cool the planet

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists propose reflecting sun’s rays with salt.

Read more