"Any sufficiently advanced form of technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clarke
Apparently we've reached that point in the US
A couple from the UK
have a beloved son who has leukemia, and who may need a marrow transplant to save his life. They are using in-vitro fertilization to select a fertilized egg which will be genetically similar enough to their son so that the resulting baby could be a marrow donor. Is it ethical to design a baby as a transplant donor, even to save the life of another child?
Conjoined twins separated.
But while that operation is always challenging, this one was particularly bad. The girls were joined at the top of the head
, and their brains were merged -- and shared common blood vessels. It took eight-eight hours
of surgery to separate them, most of which was spent rerouting blood vessels. Both girls survived the operation. This is only the sixth time this operation has been attempted and only the second time that it has succeeded. (Vertical craniopagus is, mercifully, exceedingly rare.)
The operation was only possible at all because the surgeons have spent the last four months practicing it with virtual-reality software on computers (presumably using models based on MRI). Anyone have any idea what software package they used?
Has the Turing test fallen?
One of the holy grails of computer science is the Turing Test -- and these guys think they're near to passing it.
Bill Joy thinks the world will end
unless we stop doing certain kinds of research right now
. I think Bill Joy is full of crap, but he has valid points. (More inside)
Science textbooks are riddled with errors.
It sounds like they've gotten as bad as history textbooks
have been for about thirty years. How the heck does any kid learn anything in school anymore? (Answer: a lot of them don't. And no wonder.)
aren't exactly what you'd call urgent breaking news. (Respectively they're about the Ring of Fire and historical earthquakes.) So why couldn't the BBC take enough time on them to get their facts right? [More inside]
If computer engineering defined the last half of the twentieth century, then biotech
will surely define the first half of the twenty-first century.
"Dolly team creates designer chicks"
Another headline gone bad. Did the designers of Barbie start working on their own line of fashion clothes for young women?
Science on the cheap!
Now this is cool. (more inside)