The Future is Rapidly Approaching

10 March 2014

This morning (02014.03.10) I’ve read postings having the following titles.

  • Sniffing out cancer with electronic noses — BBC.com
  • It’s time to build a bionic brain for smarter research — TheConversation.com
  • Bioprinting: Building living tissue with a 3D printer is becoming a new business, but making whole organs for transplant remains elusive — Economist.com
  • The rechargeable revolution: A better battery — Nature.com
  • Folding@home simulates activation of key cancer protein, could lead to novel drug design — Phys.org
  • SXSW Cognitive Cooking: Belgian Bacon Pudding — IBM on YouTube.com

The future is rapidly approaching, yet from a sociopolitical perspective it seems as though we can’t escape the 20th century.

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Bullish on Biotechnology and Bioscience

23 February 2013

22 February 02013: Headline seen on page A1 of the Arizona Republic: “Seniors failed by flu shots this year.” This headline implies there lots of future ahead of us when it comes to biotechnology and bioscience advances. [Hashtags: #PersonalizedMedicine #SmartDrugs #IntelligentDrugs #Genetics #Genomics #DNA


Organic Singularity?

16 August 2012

About a month ago I read… ScienceProgress.org::Could the Organic Singularity Occur Prior to Kurzweil’s Technological Singularity? This was the first time I had encountered the idea of an organic singularity.

We own some stock in Billerica, MA-based Bruker Corp. (nasdaq: BRKR). In a nutshell, Bruker is a maker of scientific and technical instruments and I don’t understand most of products.

The following is copied from a Bruker press release on 14 August 02012.

Organic photoelectric materials are already finding large markets as OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) in mobile device displays. There is also interesting research being conducted on OPV (Organic PhotoVoltaic) devices,” said Mark R. Munch, Ph.D., President of Bruker Nano Surfaces Division. “Our new pcAFM accessory transforms the Dimension Icon AFM into a solution for dedicated nanoscale organic photoelectric material research.”

I don’t know what it all means, but the word organic keeps popping up with more frequency these days.


The Future: Genetic Engineering, Nanotechnology, Robotics

29 July 2012

“The Future is genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and, ultimately, robotics,” says Ray Kurzweil.

TEDxNYU – Christopher Bradley – Synthetic Biology: This Will Change Everything“We’re using genes as programming languages,” says Christoper Bradley. “Biology plus engineering equals synthetic biology.”

Empire of the Ants is a good bad movie. At one point while watching it I thought nanoants. An ant would be a great way to introduce the topic of nanotechnology. Most people have seen ants. Ants are small, but we can see them with our naked eyes. A nanoant is one-billionth of an ant. In otherwords, take an ant and cut it into a billion equally sized pieces.

Most realistic android infant?“They plan to add voice, body temperature, skin, body movements, and smell,” says KurzweilAI.net.


The ‘C’ in SCREAMers

13 April 2012

The STEM and STEAM acronyms have become popular acronyms here in the early part of the 21st century. [If I’ve said this n times, I’ve seen it ++n times.]

I’ve never liked the STEM acronym. The first time I saw it I immediately asked “Where’s the Computing?” [And this is said out loud mimicking the way the old Wendy’s lady said “Where’s the Beef?” in those old Wendy’s commercials.] The same “Where’s the Computing?” question applies to the STEAM acronym. Sometime not that long ago I subjected the STEM and STEAM acronyms to the following question: “Where’s the Robotics?”

21st STEM and STEAM depend on Computing, so I originally proposed changing STEM and STEAM to CSTEM and CSTEAM, respectively. There three immediate problems: (0) CSTEM and CSTEAM are not really acronyms. (1) STEM and STEAM are too embedded in our society to change them (i.e. they’re immutable). (2) Where’s the Robotics?

Problem (1) might be impossible to repair, so I’m going to ignore that it exists. Problems (0) and (2) are eliminated with use of the SCREAM acronym. Let the Technology morph into technologies and bury it in the sciences (e.g. biotechnology and nanotechnology), the computing, the robotics, the engineering, the art and the mathematics.

I recently used STEMers and STEAMers to refer to scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians. SCREAMers include those plus roboticists and… oops… computerists? computists? compueers? computicians? computerologists? In those infamous grunts of Homer Simpson… D’oh! Hmm… It would be fun to be able to rewind to when there were no non-human computers and refer to the ‘C’ in SCREAMers as computers. SCREAMers are scientists, computers [humans], roboticists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians.

The ‘C’omputing in SCREAM includes both human and non-human computers. 21st century STEM, STEAM and SCREAM depend on all of us being “computers.”

The following was copied from Wikipedia.org…

The first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations.


Whole Lotta Sequencin’ Goin’ On

22 March 2012

I am constantly reminded that we’re living in the Age of Genomics and the following is yet another reminder.

On 22 March 02012, San Diego-based Illumina announced that “Macrogen, Inc., a global sequencing services company based in Korea, purchased an additional ten Illumina HiSeq 2000 systems and two MiSeq systems, as well as HiSeq 2500 upgrades.”

The press release contained the following quote by Professor Jeong-Sun Seo, Chairman of Macrogen.

“Our vision is to improve quality of life by enhancing understanding
of the human genome, and to be a global leader in providing genome
sequencing services, towards the ultimate goal of personalized medicine.”

Macrogen also said that they will be able “sequence whole human genomes on one machine in a day” and that being able to do this “critical to providing the turnaround time required for clinical samples.”

These days Jerry Lee Lewis could sing that there’s a whole lotta sequencin’ goin’ on.