08 October 2007

Mixed News and Thoughts

Here are the Top Ten Forecasts for 2008 from the editors of The Futurist. Interesting, but like Wired magazine, The Futurist often seems a bit "retro" to people who actually have imaginations. ;-)

This fascinating SciAm
article looks at what happens in the brains of mystics, when they "see God." The article goes far beyond previous speculations and claims for the temporal lobe as the seat of the mystical impulse. Must reading for anyone with an interest in both neuroscience and the human mystic.

What happens when you insert human nuclear material into animal eggs? Read this Technology Review article to learn more about this fascinating "end run" around limitations in the supply of human eggs for embryonic stem cell research.

Craig Venter has gone beyond all of the human--animal cell controversy. No, Venter is going to make his own living cells from scratch, thanks. While this venture holds many hidden hazards, it also holds great promise for teasing out the very basic mysteries of life. I hope these labs have excellent bio-containment, although at these early stages the danger is probably minimal.

A new form of plastic that is not only transparent, but "strong as steel" is described in this physorg.com article. Materials science keeps chugging along, whether you pay attention to it or not.

Hat tip for above links to KurzweilAI.net

Here is yet another way that medical scientists may be able to stop cancer cells from multiplying. Hat tip Brian Wang.

Finally, here is an information packed look at the different ways that science may significantly raise the average IQ of the human population of Earth. As Brian Wang says, it is not just about selecting the genome.


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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