Recently the media was abuzz with talk of ‘Disease X,’ a mysterious illness that could spread across the world. And then...nothing happened. It turns out that people had misinterpreted the World Health Organization’s List of Blueprint priority diseases, which identifies the world’s most dangerous diseases in terms of potential for outbreaks or epidemics. There are diseases that are already known - like Ebola, MERS or SARS - and then a space for ‘disease x,’ any new disease which could evolve and pose the threat of a pandemic. By identifying them and planning out potential responses, the World Health Organization is able to better respond to disease outbreaks and contain the spread of illness. While it has been over 100 years since the 1918 Influenza epidemic where the H1N1 virus (aka Spanish Flu) devastated the world, new pathogens are constantly emerging - and the possibility of superbugs spreading across our ever-more-connected world makes the W.H.O.’s work vitally important.
A future of eating meat without ethical or environmental implications is more real than ever before. While plant-based alternatives are growing in popularity, the real black horse with game-changing potential seems to be actual meat… grown in science labs. The question at this point is not whether this approach is viable or scalable, but simply: will people want to eat it?
Deepfake videos use video manipulation to show people saying and doing things they never have. These engineers are using blockchain technology to separate fact from fiction. Deepfakes, fake videos generated using artificial intelligence technology, could be the next frontier in misinformation. While news video has historically been the gold standard of veracity, an era where video can be easily created could further erode trust in information and media. Deepfakes of…
A CRISPR skin graft looks like a promising way to deliver gene therapy.
Georgia Tech researchers Thad Starner and Caitlyn Seim have developed a pair of gloves for playing piano that can magically get you up to speed in just an hour. They've also taught blind people to read braille in four hours, a process that usually takes up to four months. The gloves work through a process called passive haptic learning, and is another great discovery from Georgia Tech researchers. Basically,…
Twenty people die every day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant. There aren’t enough organs for the 100,000 people waiting for one. And there likely never will be… unless we can find a better way to source them. Enter: the pigs. A team of scientists has figured out how to grow human organs in pigs. It might make you feel weird. But it also might save countless lives.
Smári McCarthy discusses his job protecting the work of journalists investigating organized crime and corruption
There’s an invisible war being waged. Foreign governments are hacking major corporations. Major corporations are collecting massive amounts of consumer data. And the NSA is listening to everything. But a new generation of programmers armed with powerful technology is rising up and fighting back.
Private companies have worked with NASA for decades. Can the next generation of space companies get by without the government as their biggest customer?