At Peter Thiel’s invitation-only “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event in San Francisco on December 7, which brought together Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs with eight of the most visionary non-profits, Patri Friedman, grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman, presented one of the most radical, imaginative concepts I’ve heard in some time. Here’s the text of his four-minute talk (video below — other Breakthrough Philanthropy speaker videos here).… read more
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I love the premise: take off on a global trek to interview the world’s oldest people, top health and fitness gurus, and smartest life-extension scientists, and ask one question: what’s your secret?
Remember the movie Brainstorm? Imagine watching someone’s dream, or tapping directly into the mind of a coma patient. University of California, Berkeley scientists claim they have finally achieved this classic futuristic movie “mind reading” trope. Sorta.
They’re using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models to decode and reconstruct people’s dynamic visual experiences.
So far, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips you’ve… read more
Attention, mind-control victims: mad scientists want to zap your brain. But you knew that.
It’s a problem every student has when cramming for an exam: some of the information is usually forgotten. The common belief is that your brain simply doesn’t have the capacity necessary to process both memories in quick succession. But is that true?
A handful of forward-thinking biogerontologists has joined together to offer a new direction for aging intervention. Their commentary, published July 14 in Science Translational Medicine, presents the case for preventing what the scientists call an “unprecedented global aging crisis”—a sharp rise in the numbers of retired elderly in developing and industrialized nations across the world.
From both a humane and economic standpoint, a world with too many sick… read more
February 21, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica
Want to read a mouse’s mind — observing hundreds of neurons firing in the brain of a live mouse in real time — to see how it creates memories as it explores an environment?
You’ll just need some fluorescent protein and a tiny digital microscope implanted in the rodent’s head, Stanford University scientists say.
1. First, you catch your mouse.
2. Light… read more
Meet Justin, an android on Earth who will soon be controlled remotely by an astronaut in the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station. The astronaut will don an exoskeleton to remotely control Justin.
The long-range goal: explore the Moon and planets with tele-operated robots.
Ever want to fly a remote-controlled plane over houses, recording cell-phone conversations and text messages at random and hacking into Wi-Fi networks and computers?
Well, first, click here and report yourself. Then check out the Defcon session (August 4–7, Las Vegas) by Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins on the latest version of their WASP (Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform).
“This session has everything… read more
Physicists have designed several wild experiments to see if humans can see quantum images.
The latest, just described in the Physics arXiv Blog: Geraldo Barbosa at Northwestern University plans to use a laser beam shaped into an image, such as the letter A.
This laser beam hits a non-linear crystal, generating entangled pairs of photons that retain this image shape and are detected by human eyeballs.
(Hmm,… read more
August 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
Ever want to just like, lie down and shine bright white light at the intensity of the Sun into your ears to see if that will wake you up from your deep depression? Me neither.
September 19, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
Scientists, in theory, could one day create whole new lifeforms, going way beyond simple cloning, new research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests.
The scientists have now replaced the DNA in a yeast chromosome with computer-designed, synthetically produced DNA (structurally distinct from its original DNA), producing a healthy yeast cell.
So perhaps one day, a mad scientist could even create an entirely new… read more
January 31, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
For nearly two years IBM scientists have been working on a highly advanced Question Answering (QA) system, codenamed “Watson.” The scientists believe that the computing system will be able to understand complex questions and answer with enough precision, confidence, and speed to compete in the first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition, which will air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011.
We had some questions, so we spoke… read more