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Stalking the wild microbiome

Startup biotech project offers sequencing of your 100 trillion microbes --- indiegogo crowdfunding campaign expires Thurs. Jan. 31 just before midnight
January 31, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

The full microbiome analysis will be available with the $1,337 Delta Five kit (credit: uBiome)

Did you know that foreign microoganisms outnumber our own cells by 10:1, and that we know almost nothing about how they affect our personal health?

Neither did I. But biotech startup µBiome, a UCSF Quantitative Biosciences Institute spinoff, hopes to fix all that by launching the world’s first citizen science effort to fully map the human “microbiome” (all the microbes in your body),… read more

Ask Ray | Your recent book mentioned cuteness and made me wonder

September 14, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

baby kitten and puppy

Ray,

Your recent book on creating intelligence mentioned cuteness in passing, and it made me wonder: why are most baby animals so cute. Naked mole rat is a possible exception?

They can’t look cute so we become gaga, if not for we humans, then it has to be for the parents, and if cuteness is not an exclusively human concept, its origins must be way back in time… read more

Ask Ray | We could have had the benefits of the Singularity years ago

November 15, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

brain plug

Dear Ray,

I’ve written a book about the future of software: After the Software Wars. I talk about Linux primarily, but it has implications for things like how we can have driverless cars and other cool technology faster.

The book starts with a quote by John McCarthy, the inventor of Lisp: “Some people think much faster computers are required for Artificial Intelligence, as… read more

Let’s bring back apprenticeships!

March 23, 2012 by Dale J. Stephens

UnCollege

Dale J. Stephens, age 20, is a Thiel Fellow and leads UnCollege, the social movement changing the notion that college is the only path to success. His first book, Hacking Your Education, will be published by Penguin in 2013.

The idea that the world is constantly changing — and faster than ever before — is nothing new. But what’s new is that companies and organizations are starting to realize that our… read more

Russia 2045: will the Singularity be launched in Russia?

March 29, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

gf2045robotarms

For 3 days in late February, Russian businessman Dmitry Itskov gathered 500+ futurists in Moscow for a “Global Future 2045 Congress” — the latest manifestation of his “Russia 2045” movement.

The Congress featured an impressive roster of Russian scientists, engineers and visionaries, along with American and West European futurist leaders like Ray Kurzweil, Randal Koene, and John Smart.

As Kurzweil noted when I asked him about… read more

A stylish new brain-sensing headband

October 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Muse

Finally: a brainwave-sensing gadget disguised as a stylish wearable headband that would fit right in with Google Glass … and not make you look like a Fringe experiment run amok.

InteraXon just announced its Muse tonight. It’s available for pre-order now on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo (to raise $150,000) and due out in Spring 2013, the company says.

It’s not clear to me yet how this gadget differs from other EEG… read more

The significance of Watson

February 13, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

IBM WATSON Deep QA program running on IBM Power7 Servers (credit: IBM TJ Watson Research Labs)

In The Age of Intelligent Machines, which I wrote in the mid-1980s, I predicted that a computer would defeat the world chess champion by 1998. My estimate was based on the predictable exponential growth of computing power (an example of what I now call the “law of accelerating returns”) and my estimate of what level of computing was needed to achieve a chess rating of just under 2800… read more

This is your brain on magic mushrooms

January 24, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

psilocybin

Stoner alert: psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) messes with your brain.

OK, not exactly a news flash. But that’s what researchers in the U.K. and Denmark found when they scanned the brains of 30 people tripping on psilocybin.

But here’s what’s interesting: the researchers did two different types of functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans with two groups of 15 — one scan that measured blood flow throughout the… read more

Welcome to your future android clone

March 12, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Bina48 android (credit:

This is the most interesting event at SXSW I’ve heard of so far: “Robot panelists, AI and the future of identity.”

It’s a session Monday at SXSW (3:30PM  – 4:30PM), where Bruce Duncan, Managing Director of the Terasem Movement Foundation, will bring us up to date on Terasem’s amazing LifeNaut project.

LifeNaut is a free online service (and experiment) for personal data storage and avatar interactivity,… read more

Ask Ray | How do you find the motivation to live forever?

May 26, 2012 by Ray Kurzweil

Transcendent Man poster earth

Dear Ray:

How do you find motivation to want to live forever? How do you find comfort in your father’s death, knowing you may never truly see him again — only an avatar of what he’d represent?

John Hansen

John:

I have the motivation to live to tomorrow, metaphorically speaking. I think everyone has that motivation. As we get to times in the… read more

A Darwinian explanation for the Fermi paradox [UPDATED 4/21/2011]

April 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Arecibo Observatory: risking destruction of the Earth?

The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. As Enrico Fermi asked, “Where is everybody?”

One answer is that extraterrestial life sufficiently advanced to be capable of interstellar travel or communication must be rare, since otherwise we would have seen evidence of it by now. This in… read more

‘Creative right brain’ myth debunked

March 7, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Brain

Yet another brain myth bites the dust, joining “we only use 10 percent of our brain,” and other pseudoscience nonsense that tries to cram people in nice neat boxes.

The left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking, University of Southern California (USC) researchers have found, at least for visual creative tasks… read more

The new iPad: awesome

March 7, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

the-new-ipad

The new iPad, introduced today, has a 264 pixels/inch “retina” display with 2048 x 1536 pixels (3.1 million), compared to 1920 x 1080 with HDTV; 5 megapixels camera with 1080P HD video (and new version of iMovie) with autofocus and face detection in still images; new A5X quad-core processor that is “four times as fast as the nearest competition”; and next-gen 4G (up to LTE) connection. Unbelievable.… read more

The Singularity is Far: A Neuroscientist’s View

July 21, 2011 by David J. Linden

SingularityIsFar

David J. Linden is the author of a new book, The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good. He is a Professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

It should be noted that many of the criticisms in this blog postread more

Late-night radio host Art Bell returns with new show, Dark Matter

September 17, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Chris Moet)

Talk-radio legend Art Bell launched Monday night his new nightly radio show, Dark Matter, with guest Dr. Michio Kaku.

Dark Matter airs on SiriusXM Indie Talk channel 104 (30-day trial available) at 10PM Eastern/7PM Pacific* (also available via Internet and apps), covering wild ideas at the edge of reality.

Art was a founder and original host of the read more

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