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Stem-cell therapy takes off in Texas

March 1, 2012

With Texas pouring millions of dollars into developing adult stem-cell treatments, doctors there are already injecting paying customers with unproven preparations, supplied by Celltex Therapeutics, which “multiplies and banks” stem cells derived from people’s abdominal fat and houses the largest stem-cell bank in the United States.

Texas governor Rick Perry, for instance, has had stem-cell injections to treat a back complaint1, and has supported legislation to help create banks… read more

Stem-Cell-Coated Contact Lenses Are Curing the Blind

June 4, 2009

By infusing contact lenses with a patient’s own stem cells from their good eye, test subjects reported a seemingly miraculous restoration of sight, say University of New South Wales researchers.

Stems cells as drug delivery carriers to the brain

December 15, 2005

Engineered human brain progenitor cells, transplanted into the brains of rats and monkeys, can effectively integrate into the brain and deliver medicine where it is needed, bypassing the blood-brain barrier, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found.

The Wisconsin team obtained and grew large numbers of progenitor cells from human fetal brain tissue. They then engineered the cells to produce a growth factor known as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor… read more

Step forward for nanotechnology: Controlled movement of molecules

October 1, 2009

Scientists in the United Kingdom have found a way to get molecules to move quickly in a desired direction without help from outside forces, raising the possibility of coaxing cells to move and grow in specific directions to treat diseases.

The scientists used a special surface with hydrophobic (water repelling) and hydrophilic (water-attracting) sections. The region between the two sections produced an “energy gradient” that can move nanoscale objects… read more

Step Toward Universal Computing

September 13, 2004

Transitive Corp. of Los Gatos, California claims to have cracked one of most elusive goals of the software industry: a near-universal emulator (called QuickTransit) that allows software developed for one platform to run on any other, with almost no performance hit.

Step-by-Step Prompts Put the Blind on Track

October 18, 2002

A voice-controlled interactive personal navigation system could someday guide blind people. It communicates wirelessly with databases of detailed geographic information that can quickly be updated to reflect changing conditions.

Developed by University of Florida students, the Drishti (vision in Sanskrit) system can be configured to work in cities, in airports and on other campuses. It uses a wearable computer running I.B.M.’s ViaVoice software, connected to a GPS receiver and… read more

Stephen Colbert’s DNA to back up the human race

September 9, 2008

Comedy Central announced Monday that the host of The Colbert Report will have his DNA digitized and sent to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the “Immortality Drive,” a time capsule that will include human DNA and records of humanity’s greatest accomplishments, along with personal messages collected specifically for the project.

We’re not making these up. -Ed.

Stephen Hawking calls for Moon and Mars colonies

April 22, 2008

Stephen Hawking has called for a massive investment in establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars, arguing that the world should devote about 10 times as much as NASA’s current budget — or 0.25% of the world’s financial resources — to space.

“A goal of a base on the Moon by 2020 and of a manned landing on Mars by 2025 would reignite the space program and give it… read more

Stephen Hawking Named Lifeboat Foundation 2008 Guardian Award Winner

January 1, 2009

The 2008 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award has been given to Stephen Hawking. The award is annually bestowed upon a respected scientist or public figure who has warned of a future fraught with dangers and encouraged measures to prevent them.

The 2008 award is in recognition of his continuous warnings that global catastrophic risks will eventually come and therefore it is unsafe and unwise for all of humanity… read more

Stephen Hawking: How to build a time machine

May 5, 2010

“I do believe in time travel,” says Stephen Hawking. “Time travel to the future, not the past” (which would violate causation).

After dismissing wormholes (don’t last long enough) and black holes (dangerous, too far away), he settles for travelling at near the speed of light by going into space.

“At 99 per cent of the speed of light, a single day on board is a whole year of… read more

Stephen Hawking: ‘Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution’

July 6, 2009

The rate of biological evolution in humans is about a bit a year, compared to 50,000 new books published in the English language each year, containing on the order of a hundred billion bits of information, Stephen Hawking says.

This means we are now entering a new phase of evolution — “self designed evolution” — in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA, and during… read more

Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’

May 16, 2011

A belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits us is a “fairy story” for people afraid of death, Stephen Hawking has said.

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” he said.

In a lecture Monday at the Google Zeitgeist meeting… read more

Stephen Hawking’s life: a comic book

May 23, 2013

hawking comic

Released May 23, “Stephen Hawking: Riddles of Time & Space” is an illustrated version of Hawking’s life story in comic-book form.

“The most surprising thing about Stephen Hawking is his razor wire wit that is sometimes withering and other times matched with a puckish sense of humor. He maintains a child’s delight in discovery and credits his disability for allowing him to focus his mind.

“Our… read more

Stephen Hawking’s Warning: Abandon Earth—Or Face Extinction

August 10, 2010

“Our only chance of long term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space,” Stephen Hawking said in an interview Friday with Big Think. “We have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years. But if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space.”

It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on… read more

Stepping on Big Brother’s Toes

July 30, 2004

Cars that report your every false move to local law authorities. Huge databases with detailed information on every citizen. Companies that only honor privacy guidelines when it’s profitable for them to do so.

These were some of the winners of Privacy International’s sixth annual U.K. Big Brother Awards.

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