It was a pleasure to meet Dr. Craig Venter at Stanford this week. As you can imagine, he had strong views and a huge amount of energy. I’m super-interested in all of his work, but was surprised to find out about his efforts to fight the spread of influenza using genomics. He convinced me that it is possible to create an annual flu vaccine that actually targets the flu of that year. That would be useful.
A great story. And another example of how man is blending with machine.
From the NY Daily News:
“Zderad became the 15th person in the country, and the first in his home state, to receive the implanted sight device created by Second Sight, Inc., according to the Mayo Clinic.
The tiny implant works by sending light waves to the optic nerve, bypassing the damaged retina. Wires attach to a prosthetic device that looks like sunglasses and renders a certain amount of imagery.”
Lots of people I know will be interested in this. Here’s the story from the researchers at Sanford-Burnham.
“We have developed a method using human pluripotent stem cells to create new cells capable of initiating human hair growth. The method is a marked improvement over current methods that rely on transplanting existing hair follicles from one part of the head to another,” said Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program. “Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isn’t limited by the availability of existing hair follicles.”
“Harriette Thompson, who ran her first marathon at age 76, set a U.S. record on Sunday for the fastest finish in her 90-and-over age group, finishing the 26.2-mile Rock’n’Roll San Diego Marathon in seven hours, seven minutes and 42 seconds, according to race organizer Dan Cruz.”
Interestingly, it’s a swim that she tried to do in her late 20s but failed. Victorious this time, she told reporters, “I feel like I could walk through a brick wall. … I think I’m truly dead center in the prime of my life at 64.” Awesome.
Another beautiful case of the ‘old’ not really being quite so old. 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura reached the top of Everest and called his daughter, saying that “This is the best feeling in the world.” Gotta love it. Here’s the WSJ article covering it.
I’m moderating a panel of cool women entrepreneurs and scientists at SU tomorrow night. If you’re around and interested in attending, here’s the link: http://singularityu.org/women2010/
If you are looking for an interesting technology event to shake up your summer, I recommend the H+ Summit. It’s a two day event that explores how humanity will be radically changed by technology. Visionary speakers will explore the potential of technology to modify your body, mind, life, and world. Here’s the link for more info.
I’m just catching up on the DIY bio mailing list and saw this video. A great little tune that the scientifically-minded should like.
What a great story in today’s SF Chronicle.
Hazel Soares now 94, has been married twice, raised six kids, seen two economic depressions, 15 U.S. presidents and two world wars. She’s been a working single mother, a nurse, a concert event organizer and an art lover. She has more than 40 grandchildren.
And next month, at the 2010 commencement ceremonies for Mills College, Soares will become a college graduate, 78 years after her high school graduation from then-Roosevelt High School in East Oakland.
Spike TV’s John Papola and GMU economics professor Russell Roberts teamed up to create an exceptional and entertaining “rap video” pitting John Maynard Keynes against F. A. Hayek. If you ever wondered what would happen if the two famous economists went out drinking together, here’s one answer. Now, this is a great use of social media.
This is an interesting story from the NYT.
Congratulations to Alex! As a board member, I am certain that he is going to make an excellent exec director and really take H+ to the next level.
Anyone who seriously follows new technologies and cutting edge science knows that Singularity University officially launched this week. Here is an uplifting welcome message from Vice-Chancellor and Chairman Peter Diamandis and below is a thoughtful video featuring a Q&A with Chancellor Ray Kurzweil (he discusses the key goal of our species, FDA risk assessment, and big pharma).
I’m very happy to be involved with SU and am looking forward to seeing more thoughtful work coming out of the organization!
This video, recorded at the World Science festival, shows Nobel Prize winner Paul Nurse telling his fascinating family history. How is it that a brilliant scientist grew up in a family where no one else went to school past 15 years old? Watch it and find out.
From the Singularity hub:
“Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have created a prototype device that is capable of detecting viruses and bacterium within the body in a matter of minutes rather than the week or two that is commonplace nowadays. The technique was first used to detect the Herpes Simplex Virus and scientists are now in the process of making it capable of detecting all known infectious diseases.”
This new movie based on Ray Kurzweil’s work opens in NYC April 28th. Really looking forward to seeing it!
From the New Scientist:
“Yeast cells feeding on the glucose in human blood might one day power implants such as pacemakers. A living source of power that is able to regenerate itself would eliminate the need for regular operations to replace batteries.”
Researchers at the UT Dallas Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute have demonstrated a fundamentally new type of artificial muscle, which can operate at extreme temperatures where no other artificial muscle can be used—from below the temperature of liquid nitrogen (-196°C) to above the melting point of iron (1538°C).
The discovery is reported in the March 20 issue of Science under the title “Giant Stroke, Superelastic Carbon Nanotube Aerogel Muscles.”