Future Technology Headlines

The Most Interesting Articles, Web Sites, Pictures, and Videos of The Week

September 29, 2016

 

superbug virus
By Content Providers(s): CDC/ Matthew J. Arduino, DRPH Photo Credit: Janice Haney Carr [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Breakthrough That Targets Resistant Superbugs

To a certifiable germaphobe like myself, this is super bug news. A student at the University of Melbourne may have discovered a way to kill superbugs without the use of antibiotics.

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future thinking

By Wade M from San Francisco, USA (Thinking) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

It's Time for Big Thinking

I hope the laureates at a recent forum in Germany will sleep better knowing that I think many of their statements were spot on--starting with "We've got to take responsibility for the technology we create". The Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany is covered in this article on Computer World.

Will robots help or harm? It's time for big thinking, A.I. experts warn

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk Plan To Make Humans an Interplanetary Species

This week, he presented a detailed plan to make life multi-planetary (and maybe just save humanity). If there were more people like Elon Musk, putting the big picture (not big profits) first, our future would look different than the class-separated chaos I fear it will be.

 

Musk says travel to Mars will be like Battlestar Galactica, cost around $100,000

SpaceX

IVF

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Designer Baby Boom

Here is a problem I don't think money can fix. Eventually, designer babies will become prolific. There is no stopping it, because if it doesn't happen in the country where you live, it will happen in another. The parents (and countries), that are unwilling or unable to keep up, may be putting their children at a disadvantage right from the start. Realistically, designer babies will only be available to the parents that can afford it. This could create a clash of class and culture.

For the general public, genetically modified human beings might be delivered in baby steps. At first, gene-editing technologies could be used to have healthy children, as in the case in Mexico, written about in the Popular Science article linked below. Who doesn't want to save a kid from inheriting a disease? Once improved and approved, these technologies could be used to select eye, skin and hair color. That's not so bad, is it? After that, maybe height, stamina or intelligence. And BAM! You got yourself a designer baby!

I am concerned about the increasing availability of gene-editing, its uses, and the pace that the technology is advancing.

The first baby using new three-parent procedure has been born

Scientists in Sweden have become the first to edit the genetic material in healthy human embryos

Science is One Step Closer to Cloning a Race of Super Humans

 

future city

Credit: By McKay Savage from London, UK (City of the Future #2) (edited) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Future of Cities

This excellent article by Lore Croghan of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, is more about altruism (I didn't know what altruism meant before looking it up), than about future cities. I think it's a pipe dream to suggest that our political leaders will ever again put people before power, but I absolutely agree--it is what our future cities need most.

Jonathan F.P. Rose talks about the future of cities