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Mar 7, 2017

Biotech’s 3D Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical, health

Every day in a San Diego lab, raw material derived from donated tissue unsuitable for organ transplantation goes into a machine, and three-dimensional human liver tissue is printed out.

Pioneered by a company called Organovo, this 3D bioprinting technology may one day achieve the Holy Grail of its industry: the manufacturing of whole human organs to replace damaged ones. But for now, it’s already making an impact on human health, as pharmaceutical and biotech companies are using its manufactured human liver tissue to test the toxicity of new drugs and therapies.

Organovo is developing multiple tissue types for therapeutic use, with strong early results in animal models. In three to five years, there’s a good chance that it will have an Investigational New Drug Application in at least one tissue. The company’s strategic plan is coming to fruition just as its chief scientific officer, Sharon Presnell, envisioned when she joined the startup in 2011.

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Mar 7, 2017

Pie in the Sky? The Economics of Space Travel

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX hopes to take paying passengers into deep space next year. Is this a real business or an ego trip?

An awfully big adventure

Elon Musk announced on Monday (27 February) that his space company SpaceX has been contracted by two private citizens to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth late in 2018. The mission will not land on the Moon but the two privileged individuals will get close. And they have already paid a substantial deposit.

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Mar 7, 2017

Women, reproduction, and rejuvenation

Posted by in category: life extension

How rejuvenation can make motherhood (and more generally, parenthood) better.


I’m not really a children person. I know some people really are into having children and think that it’s the most wonderful thing in life, but I’m just not one of them. This is perfectly fine. Whether having children is a wonderful thing or not is a matter of opinion, and it is not true or false in an absolute sense. What’s more, it’s not necessarily set in stone forever: I don’t like the idea now, but I can’t be 100% sure I never will; conversely, people who love the idea now might not like it any more in the future.

However, having children is a bit more serious than a simple matter of personal taste. A child is not a toy or a dress that you buy and just put away if it turns out you don’t like it as much as you thought you would: It’s a living human being whom was brought into the world because of someone else’s intentions and/or actions, and it’ll need love and care for quite a while. For this very reason, I think you should have children only if you’re pretty damn sure you really want to and are prepared to do all it takes to raise them. It’s not an easy job, and if it turns out you hate it, you’ll probably end up doing it wrong, messing up the child’s life and your own in the process. This is true of women and men, though women definitely picked the shortest straw. I’ll tell you why I think so in a moment.

Even if you think you are ‘pretty damn sure’ that you want children, you could still be wrong for a number of reasons that aren’t necessarily your fault. If you do decide to have children and then realise you don’t like it, you have good 18+ years ahead of you of bearing with the consequences of your wrong decision. The decision to not have children is, in a sense, safer, because it can easily be undone: Later on, you can change your mind and have children. If you already did make a child, changing your mind about it will not undo the child. However, not having children is only marginally safer, because as things stand you can postpone parenthood only so long before it becomes impossible or impractical (again, especially if you are a woman). The bottom line is that the current state of affairs imposes you a risky choice—having or not having children—that cannot easily (or at all) be undone.

Continue reading “Women, reproduction, and rejuvenation” »

Mar 7, 2017

Airbus unveils Pop.Up: An autonomous transportation concept that uses drones to carry cars

Posted by in categories: drones, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Airbus has proposed a new modular transportation idea mixing air and ground travel that will make you feel that the future cannot get here fast enough.

Unveiled today at the Geneva International Motor show, the system, dubbed “Pop. Up,” would start with a capsule that sits in the frame of an autonomous car. When traffic gets heavy, you just call a drone using your smartphone and lift the capsule up into the air and over the heads of those poor suckers stuck in traffic sucking on exhaust fumes.

The company says a new artificial intelligence platform will help manage the Pop. Up system, letting passengers optimize the mix of modalities for their trip.

Continue reading “Airbus unveils Pop.Up: An autonomous transportation concept that uses drones to carry cars” »

Mar 7, 2017

Introducing New Glenn

Posted by in category: futurism

Mar 7, 2017

Zoltan Istvan Wants to Create Superpeople —Oh, and Also Be California’s Governor

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, governance

I did a long-form interview on Medium’s Defiant of my run for California Governor. It covers many subjects (Trump, gene editing, basic income), as well as why I think technology is ready to change politics and governance forever:


By AJAI RAJ

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. It’s 2015, and the ever-humming machinery of American presidential politics is picking up steam. The American political machine runs on steam, okay? It’s very old.

Continue reading “Zoltan Istvan Wants to Create Superpeople —Oh, and Also Be California’s Governor” »

Mar 7, 2017

IBM Is Rolling Out the World’s First Universal ‘Quantum Computing’ Service

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, quantum physics

IBM esta anunciando que estão desenvolvendo um sistema universal de “computação qu ntica”

O serviço será chamado IBM Q, e ele dará às pessoas acesso ao seu computador qu ntico de estágio inicial pela internet para usar como desejar — por uma taxa.

O grande elefante na sala é que, por enquanto, o computador qu ntico da IBM só funciona com cinco qubits, então não é muito mais rápido (se houver mais rápido) do que um computador convencional.

Continue reading “IBM Is Rolling Out the World’s First Universal ‘Quantum Computing’ Service” »

Mar 6, 2017

3 Exciting Biotech Trends to Watch Closely in 2017

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

As I start to look at the emerging trends of 2017 from the vantage of IndieBio, where we see hundreds of biotech startup applications and technologies per year, a few key themes are already emerging. Even as political landscapes change, science and technology continue to push forward.

1. Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine

Most of us have seen science fiction shows that show future doctors regrowing and replacing entire organs. That fiction is now becoming a reality with cell therapies from companies like Juno (curing two infants with leukemia of their previously treatment resistant cancers with engineered T-cells), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) pioneered by the Nobel prize winning scientist, Shinya Yamanaka that can become any cell in the body, growing organoids (mini organs with some function of a fully grown organ like the stomach organoids grown by researchers in Ohio), and entirely re-grown organs.

Continue reading “3 Exciting Biotech Trends to Watch Closely in 2017” »

Mar 6, 2017

First hint of how DNA calculators could supercharge computing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics

By Matt Reynolds

By making DNA endlessly change, researchers have shown how a biological computer might one day solve problems much faster than conventional computers or even quantum computers. It’s still a long way from being functional though.

The DNA-based system is an experiment in how it may be possible to make a theoretical type of computer known as a non-deterministic universal Turing machine.

Continue reading “First hint of how DNA calculators could supercharge computing” »

Mar 6, 2017

We’ll Have Fully Automated Driverless Transportation by 2020, Says Top Engineer

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Robots and AI are going to become an everyday part of life, but will that take away other everyday parts of life?

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