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Jan 20, 2017

The UN Okays Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, ethics, existential risks, genetics

That’s a relief.

Of all the potentially apocalyptic technologies scientists have come up with in recent years, the gene drive is easily one of the most terrifying. A gene drive is a tool that allows scientists to use genetic engineering to override natural selection during reproduction. In theory, scientists could use it to alter the genetic makeup of an entire species—or even wipe that species out. It’s not hard to imagine how a slip-up in the lab could lead to things going very, very wrong.

But like most great risks, the gene drive also offers incredible reward. Scientists are, for example, exploring how gene drive might be used to wipe out malaria and kill off Hawaii’s invasive species to save endangered native birds. Its perils may be horrifying, but its promise is limitless. And environmental groups have been campaigning hard to prevent that promise from ever being realized.

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Jan 20, 2017

Researchers Find New Communication Pathway Of Cells To Smartphones, Electronic Signals

Posted by in categories: health, mobile phones

A new study came up with a new way to reprogram cells in order to recognize electronic signals which can allow these cells to be connected to a smartphone for better health tracking. Read more here.

Read more

Jan 20, 2017

Quantum Foundation Combines Bitcoin and Ethereum to Create Qtum

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, finance, quantum physics

Nice try; no faith it will succeed long term with QC.

Singapore-based Quantum Foundation announced that it is working on a new project called Qtum, which combines the technology of both bitcoin and ethereum to facilitate blockchain technology adoption for corporations. Qtum is an open-source blockchain project that aims to build smart contract functionalities that can be implemented at an enterprise level.

The initial financial backing of $1 million by several industry leaders is a testament to the validity of the technology that the Qtum project is creating but also demonstrates full faith in its team of developers. Early-stage angel investors in the project include ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio, Fenbushi partner Bo Shen, and OKCoin CEO Star Xu, among others. The Qtum project also intends to launch its native cryptocurrency to support the project through a crowd sale to raise further funds.

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Jan 20, 2017

China’s Quantum Communications Trailblazer declared Operational after Stellar Performance

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, quantum physics, satellites

Nice write up on the QC news about China’s QC satellite from late Wed.

China’s Quantum Science Satellite was declared operational this week after five months of in-orbit testing, now set for a busy two-year mission demonstrating hack-proof communications by means of entangled photons as a trailblazer for what is widely considered the communications technology of the future.

The Quantum Science Satellite, nicknamed Mozi, was launched into orbit on August 15, 2016 as the world’s first dedicated quantum communications testbed, embarking on an ambitious mission dedicated to validating the principles of quantum communications across vast distances of open space.

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Jan 20, 2017

Bristol professor reveals quantum power behind new industrial revolution to world leaders at Davos

Posted by in categories: business, computing, quantum physics

As the world’s political and business leaders gathered at Davos, it fell to a professor from the University of Bristol to reveal to them the full implications of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

Professor Jeremy O’Brien, director of the Centre for Quantum Photonics at the University of Bristol, addressed some of the most powerful people in the world yesterday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland – to tell them just how rapidly quantum computers could change the world.

Part of the European Research Council (ERC) Ideas Lab delegation, Professor O’Brien has been actively involved with the WEF over the past few years and recently took on the role of co-chair of the Global Future Council on Computing. Last year he presented a talk on working towards a quantum computer discussing the future of computing and how new fields of computer sciences are paving the way for the next digital revolution.

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Jan 20, 2017

By 2030, Hospitals May Be a Thing of the Past

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

In Brief:

  • Predictions from the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council, Melanie Walker, say we’ll soon enter a post-hospital world due to advances in personalized medicine, health monitoring, and nanotechnology.
  • New and evolving technologies in medical science convince Walker we’ll live in a society not dependent on hospitals by 2030.

As the world of medicine is increasingly changed by biology, technology, communications, genetics, and robotics, predicting the outlook of the next few decades of medicine becomes harder. But that is exactly what Melanie Walker of the World Economic Forum does, and she predicts a bright new future for healthcare.

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Jan 20, 2017

A Swedish Billionaire Will Award $5 Million For Reimagining Global Governance

Posted by in categories: climatology, governance, sustainability

Yes, you read that right. The Global Challenges Foundation, founded by the Swedish billionaire László Szombatfalvy, has launched an international competition in order to find a better system for world governance. As Szombatfalvy writes in a letter published on the Foundation’s website:

The greatest threats we face today transcend national boundaries; they therefore need to be addressed jointly by all countries based on an increased realization of our mutual dependence. […] Our current international system – including but not limited to the United Nations — was set up in another era following the Second World War. It is no longer fit for purpose to deal with 21st century risks that can affect people anywhere in the world. We urgently need fresh new thinking in order to address the scale and gravity of today’s global challenges, which have outgrown the present system’s ability to handle them.

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Jan 20, 2017

Intrinsic resistance to the idea of life extension or wrong messaging?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Why is it so hard to convince people living longer is a good thing? This short article has some evidence worth considering.

Most advocates of life extension report facing resistance to the idea of increased lifespans by medical means when trying to disseminate this idea among general public. Resistance manifests itself in many forms, ranging from concerns such as overpopulation to concerns about unequal access to life extending treatments. But the most unexpected thing is probably that people often don’t want an increased lifespan at all. Surveys in different countries show, that when people are asked “how long would you like to live?”, they often give a number equal to or slightly higher than the current life expectancy in a given country[1–4].

But wait… Isn’t extending life for more decades a good thing that everyone should strive for? In reality we often do not see enough enthusiasm for the idea in general. So why is this?

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Jan 20, 2017

Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body’s armor

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Microbial burden is a real problem in aging and researchers are finding ways to boost our immune system to resist these microscopic enemies.

Microbial burden is a significant contribution to aging and our bodies are under daily attack from these microscopic invaders. The more completely we can remove these invaders the less impact they will have on the aging process.

“Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Newcastle University in the U.K. are investigating how infectious microbes can survive attacks by the body’s immune system. By better understanding the bacteria’s defenses, new strategies can be developed to cure infections that are currently resistant to treatments, the researchers said”

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Jan 20, 2017

Scientists Have a Plan to Bring Back the Caspian Tiger, Which Has Been Extinct for 50 Years

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics

Caspian tigers were some of the largest cats ever to roam the Earth, but they went extinct in the 1960s. Now, some scientists want to bring them back.

A new study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, lays out the plan to reintroduce the tigers using a subspecies, the Siberian tiger, which is genetically similar to the Caspian tiger.

The authors write in their paper that the Siberians tiger’s “phenotype proves adaptable to the arid conditions of the introduction site”.

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