Issue #256

This week - how to reverse ageing; one-man's dream to turn a chicken into a dinosaur with genetic engineering; how the pandemic brings the delivery robots closer; and more!


More Than A Human

► Reversing Ageing: New Studies Show it Can be Done (12:25)

It's nice to see a YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers bringing closer the idea of reversing ageing. ColdFusion focuses on the work of David Sinclair - geneticists from Harvard University - like the discovery of how NAD+ affects ageing or turning on genes we lose overtime to repair our bodies.

Brain implant and signal decoder have done the impossible and reversed paralysis

Back in 2010, Ian Burkhart suffered a devastating injury that would leave him mostly paralyzed. Even though he was still able to move his shoulders and elbows, he had lost sensation in his hands. But thanks to advancements in brain-computer technology, he was able to get an implant that gave him back both movement and touch in his right hand.

Microsoft Wants to Mine Cryptocurrency Using Your Brain Waves

I think therefore I mine. Microsoft applied for a patent for a system that in exchange for reading your brainwaves or other biological signals can determine if did something (watch a commercial for example), will give you some cryptocurrency.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence finds best drug combo fast
To more quickly identify drug combinations, such as those that might treat COVID-19, researchers have come up with an artificial intelligence platform called IDentif.AI. IDentif.AI was able to identify multiple optimal drug combinations out of billions of possible combinations on just days - something that without help of an AI would be an impossible task.

Robotics

What Networks Will Co-Evolve With AI and Robotics?

Rodney Brooks makes a case that what enables civilisations to move forward are networks - from Roman roads to Silk Road to Internet - and wonders what new networks AI and robotics will create.

The pandemic is bringing us closer to our robot takeout future

The worldwide lockdown is a perfect use case for delivery robots. The companies working on such robots have seen a massive increase in demand and even if today they are hard to spot, it can change quickly.

Biotechnology

► Should we create a Dino-Chicken? – the Ethics of Making a Living-Biological Attraction (25:20)

Palaeontologist Jack Horner has a dream - turn a chicken into a dinosaur using genetic engineering. But is it possible to make Jurassic Park a reality? TREY The Explainer checks if Chickenosaurus project has any grounding in science and also looks into the ethics of such projects - is it ok to make an animal suffer to make it "look cool"?

These Gene-Hacked Glowing Plants Look Incredible

A team of Russian scientists have gene-hacked two species of the tobacco plant to emit a visible glow — around the clock, for the entire duration of their life cycle. The phenomenon is bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, but not powerful enough to read a book.

Events

David Wood from London Futurists keeps creating one interesting webinar after another. This Saturday, John Danaher will be discussing if Covid-19 can spark a Moral Revolution and what long-lasting changes can take place, not just in economic activity and political power, but also in the sets of moral ideas that animate society. The discussion will also include panellists Diana Fleischman and Anders Sandberg. The webinar starts at 4 PM UK time and you can reserve your seat here.

There is also another webinar happening two weeks later - Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity with Jamie Metzl. I'll share more details closer to the webinar.

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