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The emerging science of DNA cryptography

March 19, 2009

A new approach to using DNA for data encryption, based on how information from DNA is processed inside cells, has been developed by independent researcher Nang King.

The emotional meanings of emoticons

October 16, 2011


Ever wonder exactly what kind of emotion people mean to express with some of the more obscure emoticons, like :/, <3, or ^_^?  Alex Davies, a Gates scholar at the University of Cambridge, has too, so he created a Twitter sentiment analysis list of ~5000 common words used on Twitter, each with their associated joint log probability for appearing in a happy tweet or… read more

The Encyclopedia of Life, No Bookshelf Required

February 27, 2008

Scientists are building a Web site called the Encyclopedia of Life, dedicated to documenting all species on Earth.

Spearheaded by Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson with $50 million initial funding, the first 30,000 pages will be introduced on Thursday this week. Within a decade, they predict, they will have the other 1.77 million.

The End Game

January 19, 2004

The Army’s Massive Multiplayer Environment will move simulation training into a wider domain of realism and soldier participation.

The end of Chinese manufacturing and rebirth of US industry

July 30, 2012


There is great concern about China’s real-estate and infrastructure bubbles.  But these are just short-term challenges that China may be able to spend its way out of.

The real threat to China’s economy is bigger and longer term: its manufacturing bubble.

Rising costs and political pressure aren’t what’s going to rapidly change the equation. The disruption will come from a set of technologies that are advancing at exponential… read more

The end of history, tech version?

December 20, 2002

Do you think machines will become more intelligent than people in the next 100 years? Won’t that present a danger to humankind? What can be done to keep that from happening?

These are among the questions in a survey pitting views of the future by Bill Joy against those of Ray Kurzweil and Hans Moravec.

The End of Human Nature

April 24, 2003

“We’re headed toward an era when human beings will be as casually “enhanced” as chickens or marigolds, with higher IQs, better looks, longer lives.”

In his book, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, Bill McKibben “indicts germline technology, the so-called designer baby science that aims to let parents improve their offspring by pasting desirable genes into their kid’s DNA.”

The end of microbial resistance?

March 19, 2012


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has evolved to become a worldwide health threat — every antibiotic ever developed is at risk, says the World Health Organization (WHO) in a new book, The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance — Options for action.

The book showcases examples of actions to slow down drug resistance and preserve the ability of medicine to effectively treat many infectious diseases.

Over several decades, powerful medicines… read more

The End of Snail Mail?

October 14, 2001

Is the threat of a deadly disease enough to kill off postal deliveries? Expect a dip in mail volume similar to the one that hit the stock market –without the expectation that the bounce-back will eventually surpass the present status. The reason is simple: when compared to anthrax bacilli, computer viruses don’t seem so threatening.

The End of the Oil Industry

November 7, 2003

Advances in technology are allowing the developed world to diversify supplies of energy and reduce their demand for petroleum, thus loosening the grip of oil and the countries that produce it.

The end of the quantum road?

September 26, 2011

Physicist Caslav Brukner at the University of Vienna in Austria is researching whether quantum physics provides the ultimate description of reality or there are other more fundamental theories lying in wait, FQXi blogger Bob Swarup reports.

Some physicists hope to retrieve a classical concept of realism in which properties of the world about us exist regardless of whether or not we observe them. Brukner thinks information theory is… read more

The Enlightened Universe

July 13, 2005

The challenging task of keeping pace with the exponential rate of technological change is the subject of two online audio interviews with Ray Kurzweil on WIE Unbound, a streaming media service of What is Englightment? magazine.

A free one-month trial subscription to WIE Unbound is available, providing access to all audio recordings on the site.

The Enthusiast

August 17, 2007

David Sinclair, a controversial Harvard biologist, claims he can extend life span and treat diseases of aging.

He discovered that resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, extends life span in mice by up to 24 percent and in other animals, including flies and worms, by as much as 59 percent. Sinclair hopes that resveratrol will bump up the life span of people, too.

Sinclair thinks resveratrol works… read more

The ethics of brain science: Open your mind

May 26, 2002

Advances in neurotechnology raise ethical and legal questions.

  • Neuroscientists will soon be able to screen people’s brains to assess their mental health; functional MRI can identify depressed individuals and other personality traits and detect lies. That information could be available to employers or insurers.
  • Faulty personality traits, brain deficiencies and psychological ailments can be enhanced with drugs or implants, leading to haves and have-nots.
  • The Ethics of Creating Consciousness

    June 14, 2005

    Next month, IBM is set to activate the most ambitious simulation of a human brain yet conceived. It’s a model they say is accurate down to the molecule.

    No one claims the “Blue Brain” project will be self-aware. But this project, and others like it, uses electrical patterns in a silicon brain to simulate the electrical patterns in the human brain — patterns which are intimately linked to thought.… read more

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