The good news: science shows that wormholes can exist; the bad news, however, they are unusable to travel through interstellar space. Apparently travel through a wormhole would be much slower, then travel outside it.
This is a real dumper on those who hoped to cross the galaxy in relatively short time – as wormholes used to be the most promising method of effective “faster-than-light” travel… But perhaps we should not give up as science might still find another way to use wormholes as a potential interstellar road network.
According to The Guardian signals from a star located at 1,500 light-years away from Earth, could hardly be explained by natural causes, what leaves the possibility that they are caused by an alien civilization. However, natural causes cannot ruled, yet. It might turn out that scientists have discovered a new natural phenomenon. But maybe, we are not alone…
Physicists at the University of Barcelona has created a magnetic wormhole. This device can transport a magnetic field from A to B without being detectable in the intermediate space. In science fiction wormholes are a popular method of interstellar travel as it allows apparent faster-than-light travel. However, the magnetic wormhole does not allow material objects to be transported but one never knows where this development will end.
Read more: Magnetic wormhole connecting two regions of space created for the first time (Science Daily)
From pluripotency to totipotency – Science Daily
The ability to turn normal cells back into totipotent stemcells saves much ethical and practical objections against the use of embryonic stemcells. An important breakthrough.
Giving robots a more nimble grasp – Science Daily
This is a good step forwards. If we want robots to do our domestic cores and care for our elderly fellows, a gentile touch would be an absolute must.
I am not sure whether this actually a good thing.
Apparently scientists have succeeded to make functional 3D mini lungs in the lab. This is a first, but important, step on the long road to creating human organs in the lab. It is this type of research that makes me opportunistic about the future of organ replacement. I think that in thirty to fifty years from now, we do not need human or even animal donors to save lives since it will be possible to create organs at will. For that reason I have no intent to write stories featuring organlegging.
From Science Daily:
The human brain expanded dramatically in size during evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities. Scientists have now shown that it’s possible to pick out key changes in the genetic code between chimpanzees and humans and visualize their respective contributions to early brain development in mouse embryos. The findings may lend insight what makes the human brain special and why people get some neurological disorders, such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease, whereas chimpanzees don’t.
See full story here. Scientists brought in one single human gene into a mouse embryo, which subsequently develop larger brains than normal in mice. It has yet to be seen whether such mouse is actually smarter than ordinary mice. Nevertheless, this kind of research could lead to uplifting of animals.
Some might conclude that because I am skeptical about materialism and physicalism, I somehow reject science. This is, of course, utter nonsense. According to the English Wikipedia article on matter, different scientific disciplines use the term matter in different – not necessarily compatible – ways. Continue reading →
Burning fossil fuels increases the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, with serious consequences such as ocean acidification and an increased greenhouse effect. Reducing CO2 emission is important, though it would still leave much CO2 still in the atmosphere. Actually we should look for ways to remove that from the air, one way to do so would be reforesting.