AI, biology, Climate change, evolution, genetic modification, medicine, Science, science news, Sunday Science Stories

Parental dinosaurs, home genetic tests, gene silencing therapy, gambling AIs & why long working hours are bad for you: Sunday Science 28/07/19

In this week’s Sunday Science, a call for a crackdown on home genetic test kits, the first NHS approved gene silencing therapy, climate change heats up, how overworking could give you a stroke, and how some dinosaurs were more devoted parents than we first thought…. Continue reading

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AI, biology, genetic modification, medicine, Science, Science and society, Sunday Science Stories

Sunday Science 11/11/2018

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Science stories, with an unexpected source of Parkinson’s Disease (and a potential treatment), genetically engineered mosquitoes, analysis of an ancient disease, medical cannabis, the ethics of self-driving cars, and enabling paralysed people to walk again… Continue reading

biology, General opinion, genetic modification, History of science, medicine, Organ transplantation, Science, science fiction, SF and science

Franken fears, Franken futures (part 2)

Moving from AI back to biology, how close are we to creating life out of replacement parts? Or nothing at all? Well, we could probably clone a human being any day. This really isn’t the big deal it sounds like: there have been human clones as long as there have been humans: they’re called identical twins. In terms of the ethics, I imagine the worst is that you’d just get some unhealthily grieving people trying to clone their dead Dad, which isn’t a good idea. Clone armies to wage your wars? Well, no, it’s not going to get any faster to grow a human being and raise it to adulthood, and, for the moment, we don’t have those artificial wombs (nor are we likely to, taking an embryo from the moment of conception). You’d probably go for those AI drones instead.

Making a different form of human is another thing entirely. Continue reading

biology, genetic modification, Opinion, Opinion piece, Robotics, Science, Science and society, science fiction, SF and science

Franken fears, Franken futures, part 1

It’s the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s hugely influential Frankenstein this year, which numerous news outlets are obviously picking up on. If you’ve never read it, do; it’s astounding, even today. (I’d recommend the first edition, as being more forceful than later editions). I’ll consider a few thoughts on the fears it still touches on today, then move onto the science of how we might replace human parts, or the whole, in part 2. Continue reading