Four new articles of scientific information that may have a direct impact in our future lives. DARPA wants to create robots for the ocean floors, why? Google is becoming an unelected superpower! DNA from skin is being used to create human embryos. And the last one, scientists are calling for a human to incubate a neanderthal baby!
- DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm charged with creating breakthrough technologies for national security, believes robotic pods that can quickly surface from the ocean floor are the perfect tool for a Navy that cannot always be in a region when hostilities first arise. Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/18/drones-deep-ocean-floor-attack-robots-being-develo/#ixzz2zIc16MBF
- Researchers at Princeton and Northwestern universities have pored over 1,800 US policies and concluded that America is an oligarchy. Instead of looking out for the majority of the country’s citizens, the US government is ruled by the interests of the rich and the powerful, they found. No great surprises there, then. But the government is not the only American power whose motivations need to be rigourously examined. Some 2,400 miles away from Washington, in Silicon Valley, Google is aggressively gaining power with little to keep it in check. It has cosied up to governments around the world so effectively that its chairman, Eric Schmidt, is a White House advisor. In Britain, its executives meet with ministers more than almost any other corporation. [source]
- Scientists have made an embryonic clone of a person, using DNA from that person’s skin cells. In the future, such a clone could be a source of stem cells, for super-personalized therapies made from people’s own DNA. It’s unlikely that this clone could develop into a human, say the scientists, a team of biologists from the U.S. and Thailand. The team plans to publish a paper in the future detailing why not, Nature reported. Previously, the team conducted this entire process, including a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer, in monkeys. Those monkey embryo clones always died before they could grow into adult monkeys. [source]
- Maybe Neanderthals just get a bad rap. One well-credentialed Harvard scientist, at least, thinks they’re more intelligent than they’re portrayed, and he’s willing test that theory out. He just needs an “adventurous” woman on board as a surrogate for a modern-day Neanderthal. George Church of Harvard Medical School is a geneticist noted for his work on the Human Genome Project. If Neanderthals were re-introduced to the planet, he says, their way of thinking could be beneficial to Neanderthals and Homo sapiens alike. His plan to create a baby Neanderthal – “neo-Neanderthal,” if you will – goes like this. 1) Make artificial Neanderthal DNA from bone samples. 2) Introduce that DNA into stem cells. 3) Put those stem cells into a human embryo, and the DNA will steer it toward becoming a Neanderthal. 4) Put that embryo in a woman and wait for her to give birth. [source]