stem cell

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Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes by Richard C. Francis

agricultural Revolution, cellular automata, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, experimental subject, longitudinal study, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, stem cell, twin studies

According to this view, cancer cells are actually derived from somatic stem cells gone bad.12 On this stem cell theory of cancer, the reason cancer cells resemble stem cells is that their mother cells were stem cells. After their birth, they took a wrong turn, converting from normal somatic stem cells to cancer stem cells. Actually, only a minority of the cancer cells retain stem cell properties. Like normal stem cells, these cancer stem cells undergo asymmetric cell division, resulting in one cancer stem cell and one more differentiated cancer cell. The more-differentiated cancer cells then undergo the symmetrical form of cell division typical of all non–stem cells. The net result is a tumor that consists of a small number of cancer stem cells, and a large number of cancer cells that are—to varying degrees—more differentiated.

That would be a great boon because somatic stem cells are much easier to come by than embryonic stem cells. Until very recently, embryonic stem cells could only be harvested from blastula-stage embryos, a practice opposed by many on religious grounds. But we retain reservoirs of somatic stem cells even into adulthood, which is why somatic stem cells are often misguidedly referred to as adult stem cells (a misnomer since somatic stem cells are present in all but the earliest stages of embryonic development). It is therefore much easier to obtain somatic stem cells, and there is little opposition to this practice. But there are many applications for which embryonic stem cells remain more effective than somatic stem cells.27 This is why the recent studies demonstrating that stem cells can be induced artificially met with such fanfare. Here, potentially, is a way to generate more embryonic stem cells through dedifferentiation, one that won’t provoke the ire of opponents of embryonic stem cell research.

They are said to be multipotent, which means, roughly, the capacity to become multiple cell types—in contrast to both no potential (for example, cone cells) and almost total potential (as in embryonic stem cells). There are a number of types of somatic stem cells, including neural stem cells and blood stem cells. A schematic diagram of cellular differentiation from zygote to terminal differentiation of cone cells. Oligopotent cells have less potential than multipotent cells but more than unipotent cells. The branching within the oligopotent region illustrated here is highly speculative. Diagram by the author. The transition from pluripotent embryonic stem cells to multipotent somatic stem cells, such as neural stem cells, is an epigenetic process during which an increasing number of genes are permanently inactivated (while other genes are newly activated). Differentiation continues past the multipotent somatic stem cell state—through further progressive epigenetic inactivation—until terminal differentiation into one of the two hundred plus cell types, such as cone cells or heart muscle cells.


Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive History's Most Iconic Extinct Creature by Ben Mezrich

butterfly effect, Danny Hillis, double helix, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, microbiome, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Stewart Brand

And yet Quinn also knew that all of this painstaking work was ultimately futile. Because the cells in the Petri dish in front of him, suspended in the pinkish medium, were not stem cells. Though the placental tissue that his friend from Chicago had provided them had indeed been fresh, they had been unable to generate workable stem cells from the material, no matter how much they harvested. A quick search of the literature told them that they were not alone in this failure: It turned out that nobody had successfully generated and manipulated elephant stem cells yet. Mouse stem cells, pig stem cells, even human stem cells had been used in genetic engineering experiments, but never elephant stem cells. Luhan had a theory about that. It was widely known that elephants did not get cancer. It was something that researchers couldn’t yet explain—an animal so big, with so many cells replicating at such a rate for so many years, providing so many opportunities for misfires, mutations—elephants should, as a species, be rife with cancer.

“What do you mean?” Margo asked. “Our eventual goal is stem cells, right?” In order to implant a genetic change—Mammoth DNA—into the elephant species DNA, they needed a stem cell. Originally, that was going to be something they would seek after they’d experimented on living elephant cells. “Sure,” Bobby said. “But it’s hard enough getting live elephant samples. Where do we find elephant stem cells?” “Elephant placenta,” Luhan responded. Mammalian placenta is rich in stem cells, and placental cells were as young as fetal cells, thus easier to reprogram than adult somatic cells (any biological cell that forms an animal’s body). It was the reason some human couples banked placental tissue after their child’s birth—to freeze stem cells for use in later medical procedures, such as treating leukemia, various cancers such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and nearly eighty other childhood and early adult diseases.

Instead, it would contain a synthetic Woolly Mammoth gene, coding for the desired Mammoth trait. “And when that succeeds—when we’ve proven our ability to insert a Woolly Mammoth gene into an elephant cell—we shift our work to the stem cells.” Stem cells are the undifferentiated cells within every living thing that can give rise to the diversity of other cells that make up the living whole. Most cells are specialized and don’t change that specialty—the cells making up an ear or a hair remain that of an ear or hair. But stem cells can differentiate to become anything: ears, hair, heart, lungs, hemoglobin, tusks. A genetically changed stem cell could give rise to all the different traits of a Woolly Mammoth. And those traits would then be inheritable and inherited. The new creature wouldn’t just look like a Woolly Mammoth and behave like one.


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, private space industry, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

His work involves trying to decode how proteins, lipids, and organelles move through the neurons and brain cells, which is information that could help us cure Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. But to get this information, he needs stem cells. Currently, much of Goldstein’s work involves nonhuman-derived stem cells, which are not technically a point of contention. “But five years from now,” he says, “if I want to actually cure these diseases, I’ll need access to human embryonic stem cells, and I want to make sure they’re available.” The issue of stem-cell availability is another front in this battle. In the summer of 2001, just after his first State of the Union, President Bush issued an executive order restricting federal research money to seventy-eight previously harvested lines of stem cells. These lines were cultivated between 1998, when human embryonic stem cells were first isolated, and that 2001 moment further research was nixed. “The problem,” explains Weissman, “is that all seventy-eight lines come from people who utilize in vitro fertilization clinics.

The second method is parthenogenesis, the Greek word for virgin birth, in which an unfertilized egg is tricked into cell division and then mined for stem cells. The third idea is hybridization, or using existing stem cell lines (meaning cell lines that researchers have already isolated) to create new cell lines via genetic manipulation. And while both of these notions are exciting, no one really knows if either will work. So, for now, both are off the radar. In the remaining two methods, fetal stem cells are culled from aborted fetuses or embryonic stem cells are removed from unused embryos taken from in vitro fertilization clinics. And it is these final two methods that have put stem cells into the middle of America’s reproductive rights debate. “Every year since Roe v. Wade, thousands of women have been having abortions,” explains Alta Charo.

The group has gathered to celebrate an announcement made the day prior at Stanford, when the institution declared its plans to capitalize on $12 million of anonymously donated seed money and build a $120 million Institute for Stem Cell Biology to be headed up by Weissman. In other words, in the war over stem cells, Stanford just declared itself the Western Front. And make no mistake, the research they plan to do there is much needed. Building on Weissman’s previous work with blood-forming stem cells, the Stanford institute will initially focus on discovering the stem cells that become the other major organs of the body — that way, if these organs become cancerous, they’ll have new ways to fight the disease. “It’s not only new ways to fight the disease,” says Weissman, taking a break from goose-cooking duties to join the conversation. “That’s only the first step. We also know that there are cancer-forming stem cells. If we can isolate these, we can get to the very root of every type of cancer.


pages: 357 words: 98,853

Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by Nessa Carey

dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, epigenetics, Kickstarter, mouse model, phenotype, placebo effect, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs

The basic telomere length in an individual is set fairly early in development, at a time when there is an uncharacteristic spike in the telomerase activity.10 Telomerase activity is also high in germ cells, the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm.11 This is to ensure that our offspring inherit telomeres of a good length. Many human tissues contain cells known as stem cells. These are responsible for producing replacement cells when needed. When new cells are needed, a stem cell will copy its DNA and then split it between two daughter cells. Typically, one of these daughter cells will develop into a fully fledged replacement cell. The other will become a new stem cell, which can continue to create replacements in the same way. One of the ‘busiest’ cell types in the human body is the type of stem cell that gives rise to all the blood cells,f including red blood cells and those that we rely on to fight infection. These stem cells proliferate at an incredible rate. This is because we constantly need to replenish the immune cells that fight off the foreign pathogens we encounter every day of our lives.

They over-expressed a cluster of smallRNAs which had been shown to be highly expressed in normal embryonic stem cells. The scientists found that when they over-expressed these smallRNAs along with the original master regulators, adult cells changed back to pluripotent stem cells, as we would expect. But the percentage of cells that converted to stem cells was more than a hundred times greater than with just the master regulators alone. The process also happened much more quickly. Conversely, if they used the master regulators but knocked down the expression of the endogenous smallRNA cluster in the adult cells, the reprogramming efficiency dropped dramatically. This demonstrated that this particular cluster of smallRNAs does indeed play a critical role in helping to regulate the signalling networks that control cell identity.10,11 Adult tissues also contain stem cells. These are able to create cells for their specific tissues, rather than multiple cell types.

When scientists knocked out the scissors enzyme in all tissues of adult mice, they found defects in the bone marrow, but also in the spleen and the thymus. All three of these tissues produce cells required for fighting infection and were expected to have a large population of stem cells. This finding was consistent with the smallRNA systems having a role in stem cell control. The mice all died, but this was due to a massive deterioration of their intestinal tracts. This is also consistent with a role in stem cells. Our intestines are constantly losing cells that are sloughed off during the continuing activity of the digestive system. These cells have to be replaced every day so we would expect there to be a very active stem cell population.13 However, it wasn’t clear exactly how the loss of the scissors enzyme resulted in dramatic damage to the intestines, although it may have been related to abnormalities in the way the mice processed fats in their diet.


pages: 357 words: 98,854

Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance by Nessa Carey

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, life extension, mouse model, phenotype, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, stochastic process, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies

We can’t grow a new lizard from a discarded bit of tail. This is because in most adult animals the only genuinely pluripotent stem cells are the tightly controlled cells of the germline which give rise to eggs or sperm. But active pluripotent stem cells are a completely normal part of a plant. In plants these pluripotent stem cells are found at the tips of stems and the tips of roots. Under the right conditions, these stem cells can keep dividing to allow the plant to grow. But under other conditions, the stem cells will differentiate into specific cell types, such as flowers. Once such a cell has become committed to becoming part of a petal, for example, it can’t change back into a stem cell. Even plant cells roll down Waddington’s epigenetic landscape eventually. The other difference between plants and animals is really obvious.

As the ES cells start to differentiate, these factors fall off the miRNA promoters, and stop driving their expression26. Just like the Lin28 protein, these miRNAs also improve reprogramming of somatic cells into iPS cells27. When we compare stem cells with their differentiated descendants, we find that they express very different populations of mRNA molecules. This seems reasonable, as the stem and differentiated cells express different proteins. But some mRNAs can take a long time to break down in a cell. This means that when a stem cell starts to differentiate, there will be a period when it still contains many of the stem cell mRNAs. Happily, when the stem cell starts differentiating, it switches on a new set of miRNAs. These target the residual stem cell mRNAs and accelerate their destruction. This rapid degradation of the pre-existing mRNAs ensures that the cell moves into a differentiated state as quickly and irreversibly as possible28.

In this case, the optimist who decided to test what everyone else had assumed was impossible was the aforementioned Shinya Yamanaka, with his postdoctoral research associate Kazutoshi Takahashi. Professor Yamanaka is one of the youngest luminaries in the stem cell and pluripotency field. He was born in Osaka in the early 1960s and rather unusually he has held successful academic positions in high profile institutions in both Japan and the USA. He originally trained as a clinician and became an orthopaedic surgeon. Specialists in this discipline are sometimes dismissed by other surgeons as ‘the hammer and chisel brigade’. This is unfair, but it is true that orthopaedic surgical practice is about as far away from elegant molecular biology and stem cell science as it’s possible to get. Perhaps more than any of the other researchers working in the stem cell field, Professor Yamanaka had been driven by a desire to find a way of creating pluripotent cells from differentiated cells in a lab.


pages: 346 words: 92,984

The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health by David B. Agus

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, butterfly effect, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Drosophila, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, microcredit, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, publish or perish, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Thomas Malthus, wikimedia commons

But in all the years of debating the topic, we’ve forgotten one important part of the equation: the male versus female stem cell. Because one of the hallmarks of aging is the decline of stem cells’ functionality, we must ask whether the aging of stem cells differs between men and women, and whether this has consequences for disease and life span. Studies thus far have shown that some stem-cell populations in females are superior to those in males thanks to estrogen, the female sex hormone. Stem cells destined to be blood cells, for example, are more abundant in female mice than in male mice, an effect that is dependent on estrogen signaling. A similar paradigm has been described in neural stem cells where estrogen increases the proliferation of these cells in a transient manner that fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estrogen signaling is not the sole contributor to differences in stem-cell regulation between the sexes.

That observation motivated Tomasetti and Vogelstein to dig a little deeper and try to understand why, for example, the lifetime risk for cancer in the large intestine is 24 times higher than in the small intestine. What they found is that the large intestine houses more stem cells than the small intestine. Moreover, the large intestine’s stem cells divide four times more frequently than do the stem cells in the small intestine. This relationship between rates of stem-cell division and risk of cancer was also seen in many other tissues. Unfortunately, their analysis didn’t include two of the most common types of cancer—breast and prostate—because there wasn’t enough information on rates of stem-cell division in those tissues, an omission that was criticized by others upon their reporting. Interestingly, they noted that some cancers, such as those of the lung and skin, develop more often than would be expected from their rates of stem-cell division. But this makes sense when you consider the impact of environmental forces in the risk of those diseases, namely smoking and UV exposure from the sun, respectively.

And these dedicated people will keep asking the tough questions and exploring areas of biology doctors used to shy away from. Will Stem Cells Save the Day? I really do believe that the cures for many of our maladies are already inside us. In addition to learning more about our molecular and genetic brakes and switches, including those among cancer cells, we’re also gaining traction by discovering entirely new metrics, such as stem cells. These are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division. They are the body’s reservoir of ground-zero cells that can develop into a distinct, specialized cell such as a muscle cell, red blood cell, or neuron (brain cell). When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or to become (“differentiate” to) another type of cell with a specific function. As adults, stem cells are largely dormant. For some reason, they are turned off and hibernate.


pages: 294 words: 87,429

In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's by Joseph Jebelli

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, double helix, epigenetics, global pandemic, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, placebo effect, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Skype, stem cell, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

This improved the animals’ movement symptoms for up to two years. Other data suggests that stem cells needn’t engraft at all. Rather, their mere presence may help by providing restorative, ‘neurotrophic’ support to diseased brain regions. That was illustrated in 2009 at the University of California, Irvine, when Frank LaFerla injected stem cells into the brain of Alzheimer’s transgenic mice.11 Within a month the animals’ memory improved. And yet, the stem cells didn’t turn into neurons. Or have any impact on plaques and tangles. Instead, they were quietly churning out the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which alone was enough to boost synapse density in the hippocampus by 67 per cent. Still, Wray’s concerns are echoed by many in the field. On 6 November 2014 stem cell biologists from all over the world amassed in Durham, North Carolina, for a conference titled, ‘Accelerating the cure for Alzheimer’s disease through regenerative medicine’.

The entire procedure is a prolonged and complicated process, involving a series of unstable, transient culture steps: an initial culture of human skin cells known as fibroblasts, made by dicing a small chunk of skin no bigger than a pea and leaving it in nutrient broth (a liquid containing essential nutrients and amino acids) for around six weeks; another fibroblast culture in which the four reprogramming genes, called Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4–collectively known as Yamanaka factors–are subsequently added; a three-month-long pluripotent stem cell culture, where individual fibroblasts begin to form colonies of stem cells; a neuronal precursor cell culture, composed of infant neurons which develop once the stem cells have been submerged in a special, neuron-promoting nutrient broth; and a 100-day-long period of neuronal maturation known as corticogenesis, where the neurons make synapses, fire electrical impulses, and release neurotransmitter–in this case glutamate–to finally assume a culture of adult, human, cortical glutamatergic neurons.

., ‘β-amyloid disrupts human NREM slow waves and related hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation’. 7. Lucey and Holtzman, ‘How amyloid, sleep and memory connect’. Chapter 14: Regeneration 1. Yamanaka, Lasker Lecture at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQNoyDwCPzM 2. Thomson, Itskovitz-Eldor, et al., ‘Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts’. 3. Takahashi and Yamanaka, ‘Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors’. 4. Takahashi, Tanabe, et al., ‘Induction of pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts by defined factors’. 5. Van der Worp, Howells, et al., ‘Can animal models of disease reliably inform human studies?’. 6. Warren, Tompkins, et al., ‘Mice are not men’. 7. Seok, Warren, et al., ‘Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases’. 8.


pages: 350 words: 96,803

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Columbine, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, impulse control, life extension, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Turing test, twin studies

It is also hugely controversial as a result of its use of embryos as sources of stem cells—embryos which must be destroyed in the process.9 The embryos usually come from the extra embryos “banked” by in vitro fertilization clinics. (Once created, stem cell “lines” can be replicated almost indefinitely.) Out of concern that stem cell research would encourage abortion or lead to the deliberate destruction of human embryos, the U.S. Congress imposed a ban on funding from the National Institutes of Health for research that could harm embryos,10 pushing U.S. stem cell research into the private sector. In 2001 a bitter policy debate exploded in the United States as the Bush administration considered lifting the ban. In the end, the administration decided to permit federally funded research, but only on the sixty or so existing stem cell lines that had already been created.

., “Gene Expression Profile of Aging and Its Retardation by Caloric Restriction,” Science 285 (1999): 1390–1393. 8 Kirkwood (1999), p. 166. 9 For a sample of the discussion on stem cells, see Eric Juengst and Michael Fossel, “The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cells—Now and Forever, Cells without End,” Journal of the American Medical Association 284 (2000): 3180–3184; Juan de Dios Vial Correa and S. E. Mons. Elio Sgreccia, Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells (Rome: Pontifical Academy for Life, 2000); and M. J. Friedrich, “Debating Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research,” Journal of the American Medical Association 284, no. 6 (2000): 681–684. 10 Gabriel S. Gross, “Federally Funding Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Administrative Analysis,” Wisconsin Law Review 2000 (2000): 855–884. 11 For some research strategies into therapies for aging, see Michael R.

The Geron Corporation has already cloned and patented the human gene for telomerase and, along with Advanced Cell Technology, has an active research program into embryonic stem cells. The latter are cells that make up an embryo at the earliest stages of development, before there has been any differentiation into different types of tissue and organs. Stem cells have the potential to become any cell or tissue in the body, and hence hold the promise of generating entirely new body parts to replace ones worn out through the aging process. Unlike organs transplanted from donors, such cloned body parts will be almost genetically identical to cells in the body into which they are placed, and so presumably free from the kinds of immune reactions that lead to transplant rejection. Stem cell research represents one of the great frontiers of contemporary biomedical research. It is also hugely controversial as a result of its use of embryos as sources of stem cells—embryos which must be destroyed in the process.9 The embryos usually come from the extra embryos “banked” by in vitro fertilization clinics.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

While germline engineering remains controversial—now think Gattaca—it could mean ridding families of scourges like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, making it a medical advance as potentially important to this century as vaccines were to the last. There’s also stem cells to consider. One of the body’s main repair mechanisms, stem cells have the remarkable ability to turn into any other type of cell, which is why the body uses them to repair worn-out tissue. Stem cell therapy works the same way. Currently, there are only a handful of approved stem cell therapies in the United States, but this doesn’t account for the incredible amount of work being done in labs all over the globe. Researchers are pioneering treatments for cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, macular degeneration, skeletal tissue repair, pain management, neurological diseases, auto-immune conditions, burns and other skin diseases, blindness, and much more. What’s more critical here is it’s not just stem cells or gene therapy or CRISPR—it’s the combined power of all these techniques, their convergence, that holds the most potential.

When injected into older mice, GDF11 has been able to regenerate their hearts, brains, muscles, lungs, and kidneys. Stem cells, our third approach, are showing the most promise. Samumed, LLC, for example, is targeting the signaling pathways that regulate the self-renewal and differentiation of adult stem cells. If successful, their patented molecules should be able to regrow cartilage, heal tendons, remove wrinkles, and, by the way, stop cancer. This also explains why Samumed, a company still in stealth mode, has a $13 billion valuation. A different approach is being pioneered by Celularity, a company founded by stem cell pioneer Bob Hariri (Peter is also a cofounder). Hariri’s experiments demonstrate that, in animals, placental-derived stem cells can extend life 30 to 40 percent. The company’s mission is to make this approach viable in humans, harnessing stem cells to amplify the body’s ability to fight disease and heal itself.

Earlier in this book we mentioned neurosurgeon and entrepreneur Bob Hariri, who helped pioneer the field of cellular medicine with his year 2000 discovery that the human placenta houses an abundant supply of stem cells—providing a noncontroversial supply of this potential treatment option. After Hariri’s company was acquired by pharma giant Celgene, he led a team of over a hundred scientists and engineers in an effort to turn placental stem cells into real medicines. Along the way, they made two other critical discoveries. First, as people age, their supply of stem cells rapidly diminishes, a process known as “stem cell exhaustion” (that we’ll explore in depth in our next chapter). Second, the placenta doesn’t just contain stem cells, but also houses immunological cells such as natural killer cells and T-cells, both of which are critical in the body’s natural ability to fight cancer—as long as they recognize the danger. Normally our immune system destroys cancer cells at very early stages of development. But, as we age, cancers can pile up. Some go undetected, and that’s when the situation gets dangerous.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

Another FDA-approved trial is being conducted by Santa Monica–based Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) and is focused on treating patients with an eye disease called Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, which causes blindness, usually among youths.44 As we know, not all stem cell applications require embryonic cells. Dr. Bhatia’s cells were created from adult skin cells but have yet to reach the trial phase. Other researchers, however, are already testing adult stem cells to treat a number of diseases. In Italy, for example, researchers were able to cure blindness in humans resulting from burns. They took stem cells from the limbus in the patient’s own eye, cultured the cells, and then grafted them onto the eye. Seventy-seven percent of their patients were either cured or experienced partially restored sight. This work, which was conducted over ten years, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2010.45 Other trials that have been FDA approved in the United States include using adult stem cells to treat heart disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and limb ischemia.46 For those with little patience, it is frustrating to see all of this great work being conducted but not yet being made widely available to the general public.

., “Direct Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to Multilineage Blood Progenitors,” Nature 468 (November 25, 2010), www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7323/full/nature09591.html. 38 McMaster University, “McMaster Scientists Turn Skin into Blood,” November 7, 2010, http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/main/news/news_2010/skin_to_blood.html. 39 “Scientists Turn Skin Cells Directly into Blood Cells, Bypassing Middle Pluripotent Step,” ScienceDaily, November 8, 2010, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101107202144.htm. 40 Daniel Schorn, “Scientist Hopes for Stem Cell Success,” 60 Minutes, February 26, 2006, www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/23/60minutes/main1341635.shtml. 41 Hans S. Keirstead, Gabriel Nistor et al., “Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Transplants Remyelinate and Restore Locomotion After Spinal Cord Injury,” Journal of Neuroscience, May 11, 2005, http://neuro.cjb.net/cgi/content/abstract/25/19/4694. 42 See two of the informative videos here: http://singularityhub.com/2010/08/02/gerons-embryonic-stem-cell-clinical-trials-for-spinal-cord-injury-have-returned/ . 43 David Wright and Dan Childs, “Medical Milestone: Genetics Company Begins First Embryonic Stem-Cell Treatment on Patient,” ABC News, October 11, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/print?

Mick Bhatia, scientific director of McMaster’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. 39 Being able to quickly create a specific type of cell for a patient would boost the efforts of regenerative medicine and move humanity closer to the day when replacing almost any body part when necessary will be possible. Dr. Bhatia was working with adult cells, which clearly show great promise for therapeutic purposes. More controversial, but very powerful types of cells, are those in the embryonic stem cell category. These cells naturally have the ability to turn into any type of adult cell, and one of their success stories to date is the ability to cure spinal injuries in rats. “I have never seen in my career a biological tool as powerful as the stem cells,” Dr. Hans Keirstead of UC Irvine told reporters at CBS.40 His work, which was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Neuroscience in 2005, detailed how he enabled rats with crushed spinal cords to walk again.41 In addition to his paper, he released amazing videos of the rats before and after.


pages: 307 words: 92,165

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

3D printing, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, game design, global supply chain, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, lifelogging, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, Minecraft, new economy, off grid, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, stem cell, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, the market place

If plastic is the favored raw printing material in industry, stem cells will be the favored raw material of bioprinting. The more regenerative medicine advances, the more it comes back to nature. The future of tissue engineering lies in 3D printing stem cells into precise configurations and letting them do the work growing the living tissue. Stem cells are the raw clay of the human body and are much more skillful at making body parts than we are. Stems cells are unspecialized, meaning they have not yet committed to a particular career path in terms of which sort of bodily cell they will grow into. Since stem cells can be pushed to differentiate into any one of the approximately 210 cell types found in the human body, stem cells are pure gold, medically speaking. The first stem cells identified in the 1980s were extracted from the tissue of unborn human fetuses, triggering emotional debates about medical ethics.

The first stem cells identified in the 1980s were extracted from the tissue of unborn human fetuses, triggering emotional debates about medical ethics. Since then, researchers continue to uncover more stem cells, including some scattered around different parts of the adult human body called “somatic” or “adult” stem cells. More recently, some differentiated cells have been shown even to be able to revert back to their pre-differentiated state. Columbia professor Jeremy Mao 3D printed new hip bones in lab rabbits and seeded them with stem cells. First, Mao and his team removed and imaged the hip bones of lab rabbits. They converted the images to a working design file, 3D printed the hip replacements out of artificial bone, then sprinkled the artificial bone with the rabbit’s stem cells and surgically inserted the bone back inside the rabbit. By the end of 4 months, all the rabbits were walking freely, some even placing weight on their new hips a few weeks after surgery.

Stem cells are like hard-working, self-directed employees that just need the right kind of work environment. “Think of a stem cell as a worker bee,” explained Jonathan. “If you can find a way to print certain types of stem cells into exactly the right location on the engineered tissue, it’s like having a stem cell walk into an empty office and start to look for work to do.” As researchers like Jonathan continue to unwrap the mysteries of 3D printed living tissue, hopefully the risks of organ transplants will someday diminish. The beauty of 3D printing stem cells harvested from a patient’s own body is that the patient’s immune system is more likely to accept the printed replacement organ. Debilitating immunosuppressive drugs, similar to the blood thinners used by heart valve replacement patients, introduce a downstream cascade of negative side effects.


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The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Benoit Mandelbrot, butterfly effect, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical residency, moral hazard, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

., give rise to more stem cells, which can, in turn, differentiate to form the functional cells of an organ. A stem cell is somewhat akin to a grandfather that continues to produce children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, generation upon generation, without ever losing his own reproductive fecundity. It is the ultimate reservoir of regeneration for a tissue or an organ. Most stem cells reside in particular organs and tissues and give rise to a limited repertoire of cells. Stem cells in the bone marrow, for instance, only produce blood cells. There are stem cells in the crypts of the intestine that are dedicated to the production of intestinal cells. But embryonic stem cells, or ES cells, which arise from the inner sheath of an animal’s embryo, are vastly more potent; they can give rise to every cell type in the organism—blood, brains, intestines, muscles, bone, skin.

Thwarted by these original studies, the field of gene therapy stagnated for another decade or so, until biologists stumbled on a critical discovery: embryonic stem cells, or ES cells. To understand the future of gene therapy in humans, we need to reckon with ES cells. Consider an organ such as the brain, or the skin. As an animal ages, cells on the surface of its skin grow, die, and slough off. This wave of cell death might even be catastrophic—after a burn, or a massive wound, for instance. To replace these dead cells, most organs must possess methods to regenerate their own cells. Stem cells fulfill this function, especially after catastrophic cell loss. A stem cell is a unique type of cell that is defined by two properties. It can give rise to other functional cell types, such as nerve cells or skin cells, through differentiation. And it can renew itself—i.e., give rise to more stem cells, which can, in turn, differentiate to form the functional cells of an organ.

Perhaps predictably, the RAC rejected the protocol outright, citing the poor animal data, the barely detectable level of gene delivery into stem cells, and the lack of a detailed experimental rationale, while noting that gene transfer into a human body had never been attempted before. Anderson and Blaese returned to the lab to revamp their protocol. Begrudgingly, they admitted that the RAC’s decision was correct. The barely detectable infection rate of bone marrow stem cells by the gene-carrying virus was clearly a problem, and the animal data was far from exhilarating. But if stem cells could not be used, how could gene therapy hope to succeed? Stem cells are the only cells in the body that can renew themselves and therefore provide a long-term solution to a gene deficiency. Without a source of self-renewing or long-lived cells, you might insert genes into the human body, but the cells carrying the genes would eventually die and vanish.


A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution by Jennifer A. Doudna, Samuel H. Sternberg

3D printing, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, double helix, Drosophila, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker

When physicians transplant the bone marrow from a healthy individual into a sick patient, the abundant blood stem cells in the marrow produce healthy new red blood cells for the rest of the patient’s life. The problem with this sort of stem cell transplantation, however, is that there aren’t nearly enough donors who both match the recipient immunologically and are willing to undergo the invasive procedure. Even when a matching donor is found and the patient’s body accepts the transplanted cells, the procedure is still risky; many patients develop graft-versus-host disease, a sort of reverse immunological reaction, which can be fatal. Gene editing may solve this problem by allowing patients to serve as both recipient and donor of the stem cells. If doctors can isolate stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow, repair the cells’ mutated beta-globin genes with CRISPR, and then return those edited cells to the patient, they won’t have to worry about donor availability or the risk of an immunological clash between the patient’s body and the transplanted cells.

The NIH scientists determined that the fortunate cell must have been a hematopoietic stem cell, a type of stem cell from which every kind of blood cell in the body originates and that has an almost unlimited potential to proliferate and self-renew. That cell had passed along its rearranged chromosome to all its daughter cells, eventually repopulating Kim’s entire immune system with healthy new white blood cells that were free of the CXCR4 mutation. This chain of events—so unlikely that I had a hard time even conceiving of it as I listened to the scientist’s presentation—had effectively wiped out the disease that had haunted Kim since birth. As the researchers who studied Kim’s condition wrote in their summary of her case, Kim was the beneficiary of an “unprecedented experiment of nature” in which a single stem cell underwent a spontaneous change that rid the cell, and all its progeny cells, of a diseased gene.

He also proposed that homologous recombination could be used not just to correct or repair genes, but also to inactivate them for research purposes; by switching genes off and observing the results, scientists could discern the genes’ functions. Gene editing via homologous recombination By the time I completed my PhD at the end of the 1980s, gene targeting had been widely used to edit DNA in cultured mouse and human cells and even in live mice. Seminal work in Martin Evans’s lab demonstrated that by targeting genes in mouse embryonic stem cells and then injecting those modified stem cells back into mouse embryos, scientists could create live mice with designer changes. The breakthroughs by Capecchi, Smithies, and Evans were eventually recognized with the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Despite its earth-shaking implications, however, gene editing in its early days had far more appeal for basic research than it did for human therapeutic applications.


Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth by Stuart Ritchie

Albert Einstein, anesthesia awareness, Bayesian statistics, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Growth in a Time of Debt, Kenneth Rogoff, l'esprit de l'escalier, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, mouse model, New Journalism, p-value, phenotype, placebo effect, profit motive, publication bias, publish or perish, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Thomas Bayes, twin studies, University of East Anglia

The next year, in the same journal, he reported that he’d produced, from those embryos, the first cloned human stem cell lines. What gives stem cells their potential, beyond the fact that they can keep multiplying indefinitely, is that they’re ‘pluripotent’, meaning they can be transformed in the lab, Swiss-Army-knife-like, into many different types of tissues (neurons, liver cells, blood cells, and so on). Cloned cell lines – eleven of them had been produced for Hwang’s paper – might have allowed the production of personalised stem cell treatments, and thus the repair of damaged tissues and the regeneration of injured or diseased organs. As with the trachea transplants, this would mean that the personalised stem cells came from that same individual, and that their immune system would be less likely to reject any treatments that used them.

A decade after Hwang’s ‘discoveries’, in 2014, scientists at Japan’s RIKEN institute published two papers in Nature reporting new results on induced pluripotent stem cells.53 Unlike the stem cells that were part of Hwang-gate, induced pluripotent cells can be produced from mature adult cells, reducing the need to use cells from embryos.54 The trouble is that the standard process for creating this kind of stem cell, which won its inventors a Nobel Prize in 2012, is laborious and inefficient, taking several weeks and producing a lot of waste.55 The RIKEN group, though, claimed to have found another way to produce the cells: a technique called STAP, for ‘Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency’. All you had to do, apparently, was bathe the adult cells in a weak acid (or provide another kind of mild stress, like physical pressure), and they would turn into pluripotent stem cells without all the hassle. The lead researcher, Haruko Obokata, assembled an array of impressive-looking evidence, illustrated with microscope images, graphs and blots showing DNA evidence that the adult cells had been reprogrammed into pluripotency.

This might end up being very important in the medical context – only more research will tell. Incidentally, the process of making induced pluripotent stem cells hadn’t been discovered back in 2004–2005, hence Hwang’s focus on creating stem cells from embryos. 55.  Nobel Media, ‘The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012’ (Oct. 2012); https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2012/summary/ 56.  According to the Japan Times, kappogi sales shot up following Obokata’s rise to fame. Rowan Hooper, ‘Stem-Cell Leap Defied Japanese Norms’, Japan Times, 14 Feb. 2014; https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/15/national/science-health/stem-cell-leap-defied-japanese-norms/ 57.  Shunsuke Ishii et al., ‘Report on STAP Cell Research Paper Investigation’ (31 March 2014); http://www3.riken.jp/stap/e/f1document1.pdf 58.  


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The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing

"Robert Solow", 1960s counterculture, affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, assortative mating, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, War on Poverty, white flight, World Values Survey

When the religious right came out against embryonic stem cell research, however, it created "this reflexive response to that religious point of view. What's happened is fascinating." The opposition of the religious right and President George W. Bush turned stem cell research into a Democratic bugle call, but the sides could have been reversed. After all, without the opposition of the religious right, isn't it possible that the $3 billion California stem cell initiative would have been couched as a giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry and Frankenstein research? Instead, the stem cell initiative became a surrogate for the presidential contest between Bush and Kerry. In August 2004, a Field poll found that two-thirds of the people who supported Kerry also supported the stem cell initiative. Two-thirds of those who said they favored Bush said they would vote against the proposition.*45 California's position on stem cell research also sent a broader signal about the state's culture and the kind of people who would find comfort within its borders.

"State sovereignty, once the discredited viewpoint of segregationists, is now becoming the battle cry of mainstream liberals," wrote political scientist James Gimpel. "Conservatives, for their part, are now citing the constitutional views of government centralizers they once despised."44 After the federal government allowed only limited kinds of stem cell research and Congress was unable to resolve the dispute between researchers and the religious right, the states stepped in. California voted $3 billion for stem cell research, and other blue states—Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut—provided funding, too. Stem cell research is now clearly a Democratic cause, but that seems more a consequence of divided politics than of either ideology or biomedical research. After all, the first town to place limits on DNA research was Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of the most liberal cities in the United States nearly outlawed genetic research in 1977.

Everyone was too busy setting up parallel institutions in an arms race of political organization building. In 2003, liberals created ALICE, the anti-ALEC American Legislative Issue Campaign Exchange; now every state legislator could meet with lawmakers from other states and be ideologically "at home." Liberals created think tanks in states to match white papers with think tanks established by the conservative State Policy Network. Pro—stem cell research groups battled anti—stem cell groups. The National Center for Science Education, founded in 1981, set out to defend "the teaching of evolution in public schools." Its conservative doppelganger was the Discovery Institute, founded in 1990 to promote the teaching of "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution.* Republican lawyers had the Federalist Society; Democrats had the American Constitution Society.


She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, friendly fire, Gary Taubes, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies

So-called satellite cells, nestled in our muscles, will produce new muscle cells to help repair damage. If you cut your hand, stem cells lurking in hair follicles will make new skin cells that crawl to the wound and heal it over. Stem cells need to hide in their refuges to cling to their special nature. There they can swim in a pool of chemical signals, ensuring that the right network of genes stays turned on. In these refuges, the stem cells perform the same magic trick over and over again. They divide in two: One daughter cell goes on dividing to become mature types of cells, while the other is yet another stem cell. The cells manage this feat by manipulating the way their daughter cells inherit their molecules. Stem cells don’t simply split up their molecules fifty-fifty. They move certain proteins and RNA molecules to one side but not the other.

In her own lab, she came up with a new strategy. Herzenberg had tagged lots of different types of fetal cells. Bianchi developed a tag that would mark only the stem cells that give rise to red and white blood cells. In adults, these stem cells are locked away in bone marrow and never slip into circulation. Any stem cells in a pregnant woman’s blood would almost certainly have been shed by her fetus. Bianchi crafted a new set of molecular tags, which she successfully used to fish out fetal stem cells. She was delighted with her success—until some of the pregnant women she had studied started giving birth. From some of the women, Bianchi had drawn out stem cells with Y chromosomes. This was to be expected from women who were pregnant with boys. But when some of these women gave birth, their babies turned out to be daughters.

Scattered through the human body are hidden refuges of stem cells that can replenish these short-lived cells. In our long bones, our pelvis, and our sternum are cavities of bone marrow. The stem cells they harbor can divide into two kinds of cells, called myeloid cells and lymphoid cells. The myeloid cells have their own lineage, which branches into red blood cells as well as platelets and bacteria-gobbling immune cells called macrophages. The lymphoid cells have a different tree: They develop into T cells, which can command infected cells to commit suicide, and B cells, which make antibodies that can precisely attack certain pathogens. The stem cells lurking in the stomach lining rebuild it as old cells slough off. The same renewal happens in our skin. Some stem cells generate new tissue only in an emergency.


pages: 465 words: 103,303

The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery by George Johnson

Atul Gawande, Cepheid variable, Columbine, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, phenotype, profit motive, stem cell

Just as normal stem cells generate skin, bone, and other tissues, the cancer stem cells would generate the variety of cells that form the rest of a tumor. But only the cancer stem cells would have the ability to replicate endlessly, metastasize, and seed another malignancy. How much easier that might make things for oncologists. Maybe chemotherapies fail because they spare the cancer stem cells. Remove these linchpins and the malignancy would collapse. It is a promising possibility, but the further I ventured into the subject, the more confusing it seemed. Do the other cells in the tumor perform functions like angiogenesis that would aid in sustaining the malignancy? Or are they just filler material? And where would the cancer stem cells come from? Do they begin as normal stem cells (like those that generate skin) that become damaged by mutations?

On the other hand, a few scientists have proposed that cancer actually begins with epigenetic disruptions, setting the stage for more wrenching transformations. Even more unsettling is a contentious idea called the cancer stem cell theory. In a developing embryo, stem cells are those with the ability to renew themselves indefinitely—they are essentially immortal—dividing and dividing while remaining in an undifferentiated state. They are agents of pure potentiality. When a certain type of tissue is needed, genes are activated in a specific pattern and the stem cells give rise to specialized cells with fixed identities. Once the embryo has grown into a creature, adult stem cells play a similar role, standing ready to differentiate and replace cells that have been damaged or reached the end of their life. Since healthy tissues arise from a small set of these powerful forebears, why couldn’t the same be true for some tumors?

Feinberg, Rolf Ohlsson, and Steven Henikoff, “The Epigenetic Progenitor Origin of Human Cancer,” Nature Reviews Genetics 7, no. 1 (January 2006): 21–33. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14732866] 7. a contentious idea called the cancer stem cell theory: Piyush B. Gupta, Christine L. Chaffer, and Robert A. Weinberg, “Cancer Stem Cells: Mirage or Reality?” Nature Medicine 15, no. 9 (2009): 1010–12; [http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v15/n9/full/nm0909-1010.html] Jerry M. Adams and Andreas Strasser, “Is Tumor Growth Sustained by Rare Cancer Stem Cells or Dominant Clones?” Cancer Research 68, no. 11 (June 1, 2008): 4018–21; [http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/68/11/4018.abstract] and Peter Dirks, “Cancer Stem Cells: Invitation to a Second Round,” Nature 466, no. 7302 (July 1, 2010): 40–41. [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7302/full/466040a.html] The basic idea was suggested as early as 1937 (J.


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The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Dr. Elissa Epel

Albert Einstein, epigenetics, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, survivorship bias, The Spirit Level, twin studies

When cells can no longer renew themselves, the body tissues they supply will start to age and function poorly. Cells in our tissues originate from stem cells, which have the amazing ability to become many different types of specialized cells. They live in stem cell niches, which are a kind of VIP lounge where stem cells are protected and lie dormant until they are needed. The niches are usually in or near the tissues that the stem cells will replace. Stem cells for skin live under the hair follicles, some stem cells for the heart live in the right ventricular wall, and muscle stem cells live deep in the fiber of the muscle. If all is well, the stem cells remain in their niche. But when there is a need to replenish tissues, the stem cell appears on deck. It divides and produces proliferative cells—sometimes called progenitor cells—and some of their progeny cells transform into whatever specialized cell is needed.

It divides and produces proliferative cells—sometimes called progenitor cells—and some of their progeny cells transform into whatever specialized cell is needed. If you get sick and need more immune cells (white blood cells), freshly divided stem cells for blood that were hiding out in the bone marrow will enter the bloodstream. Your gut lining is constantly being worn down by normal digestive processes, and your skin is being sloughed off, and stem cells keep these body tissues replenished. If you go jogging and tear your calf muscle, some of your muscle stem cells will divide, each stem cell creating two new cells. One of those cells replaces the original stem cell and remains comfortably in its niche; the other can become a muscle cell and help replenish the damaged tissue. Having a good supply of stem cells that are able to renew themselves is key to staying healthy and to recovering from sickness and injury. But when a cell’s telomeres become too short, they send out signals that put the cell’s cycle of division and replication under arrest.

We understand which genes accidentally go wrong to cause these inherited, severe forms, and what these genes do in cells. (Eleven such genes are known to date.) Thankfully, these extreme, inherited telomere syndromes are rare; they affect about one in a million people. And thankfully, Robin was eventually able to take advantage of medical advances and undergo a successful stem cell transplant (one which contained a donor’s blood-forming stem cells). One testimony to the transplant’s success is Robin’s platelet count. Because Robin’s blood stem cells could not effectively repair their telomeres, or make new cells, her platelets had plummeted to alarmingly low numbers, with counts as low as 3,000 or 4,000. (Low blood counts are a reason she couldn’t keep up during the mile run.) Six months after the transplant, Robin’s counts shot up to more normal levels of almost 200,000.


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Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

But because the brain is “plastic”—that is, it constantly rewires itself after it learns a new task—it might be able to integrate these new neurons so that they fire correctly. STEM CELLS One step beyond this is to apply stem cell technology. So far, the human organs were grown using cells that were not stem cells but were cells specially treated to proliferate inside molds. In the near future, it should be possible to use stem cells directly. Stem cells are the “mother of all cells,” and have the ability to change into any type of cell of the body. Each cell in our body has the complete genetic code necessary to create our entire body. But as our cells mature, they specialize, so many of the genes are inactivated. For example, although a skin cell may have the genes to turn into blood, these genes are turned off when an embryonic cell becomes an adult skin cell. But embryonic stem cells retain this ability to regrow any type of cell throughout their life.

But embryonic stem cells retain this ability to regrow any type of cell throughout their life. Although embryonic stem cells are more highly prized by scientists, they are also more controversial, since an embryo has to be sacrificed in order to extract these cells, raising ethical issues. (However, Lanza and his colleagues have spearheaded ways in which to take adult stem cells, which have already turned into one type of cell, and then turn them into embryonic stem cells.) Stem cells have the potential to cure a host of diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, even cancer. In fact, it is difficult to think of a disease in which stem cells will not have a major impact. One particular area of research is spinal cord injury, once thought to be totally incurable. In 1995, when the handsome actor Christopher Reeve suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him totally paralyzed, there was no cure.

This is one of the main problems facing stem cell research: the fact that these stem cells, without chemical cues from the environment, might continue to proliferate wildly until they become cancerous. Scientists now realize that the subtle chemical messages that travel between cells, telling them when and where to grow and stop growing, are just as important as the cell itself. Nonetheless, slow but real progress is being made, especially in animal studies. Taylor made headlines in 2008 when her team, for the first time in history, grew a beating mouse heart almost from scratch. Her team started with a mouse heart and dissolved the cells within that heart, leaving only the scaffolding, a heart-shaped matrix of proteins. Then they planted a mixture of heart stem cells into that matrix, and watched as the stem cells began to proliferate inside the scaffolding.


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An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

It’s now possible, however, to take ordinary cells (say, from the skin on your hand) and ‘re-boot’ them back to their earlier stem cell selves, doing away with many ethical concerns altogether. But even that may not be necessary. Early in 2010, scientists at Stanford University in California announced they had managed to convert mouse skin cells directly into mouse brain cells (with no intermediate stem cell phase). A few months later a team from Harvard declared they could convert human blood cells to stem cells that may have the ability to grow into any kind of tissue. Castillo received a donated trachea that had been stripped of cells from the donor (leaving just a collagen pipe). This was then ‘seeded’ with stem cells harvested from her own body (and nurtured by a team at the University of Bristol) that grew into tissue.

These reduce your body’s desire to reject the new part, but at the same time can severely hamper its ability to combat infection. Instead, aged thirty, Castillo became a pioneer for ‘stem cell’ therapy – one of the most rapidly advancing areas of medical science. Stem cells are cells that are yet to pick a career – or to put it another way they are ‘blank’ cells, which can ultimately be ‘programmed to perform particular tasks.’ This is why human embryos naturally have a ready supply and is where researchers have often got them from (leading to all that controversy). But adults also carry around their own supply of ‘tissue-specific’ stem cells. These cells are also still waiting to be ‘programmed’ but have a smaller palette of career choices, based on their tissue of origin. That makes them less controversial (no baby parts) but less widely applicable (they can only turn into particular bits of you).

It sounds like science fiction, but the patient is out dancing.* Castillo isn’t the only person wandering around with a stem cell-grown body part. Kaitlyne McNamara’s doctors isolated healthy adult stem cells from the diseased bladder she was born with and used them to grow an entire, fully functioning (and healthy) replacement, which they then implanted. The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winton-Salem, North Carolina are working on more than twenty different organs and tissues including kidneys, livers, retinas and muscle. Doris Taylor, Harold Ott and colleagues at the Centre for Cardiovascular Repair at the University of Minnesota took the collagen shell of a rat’s heart, sprayed it with stem cells and it started beating. ‘When we saw the first contractions we were speechless,’ says Ott. In February 2010 the technology was licensed to a company called Miromatrix Medical, which hopes to revolutionise organ transplants with the technique.


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Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik

3D printing, active measures, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, liquidity trap, New Urbanism, stem cell, trade route

Using a 3D printer, Professor Alex Seifalian and his team created an exact replica of his patient’s windpipe made from a special scaffold material they had developed, one that was tailor-made to accommodate the patient’s stem cells. The role of adult stem cells is to renew our tissues, and each type of cell has an equivalent stem cell to produce it. The stem cells that produce bone cells are called mesenchymal stem cells. Having built the scaffold, Professor Seifalian’s team implanted it with mesenchymal stem cells taken from the patient’s bone marrow and placed the whole object into the bioreactor. These stem cells then turned into a range of different cells that started to build cartilage and other structures, creating a living, self-sustaining cellular environment, while at the same time dissolving the scaffold around them. Eventually, all that was left was a new windpipe. The windpipe scaffold, developed by Professor Seifalian’s team, with stem cells incorporated before transplantation.

(Collagen is a molecular cousin of gelatin and the most common protein molecule in the human body, responsible for giving skin and other tissues their elastic firmness—which is why anti-wrinkle creams often mention the inclusion of collagen in their formulations.) Unlike a gel, though, within this skeleton there are living cells, which are responsible for creating and maintaining it. These cells are called chondroblast cells. It is now possible to grow chondroblast cells from a patient’s own stem cells. However, simply injecting these into an existing joint doesn’t result in the repair of the cartilage, partly because the cells cannot survive outside their homemade habitat, their collagen skeleton. In the absence of this habitat, they die. It would be like trying to start the human race again by landing Londoners on the Moon: without the infrastructure of an existing city they are mostly helpless.

The cell ecology of the windpipe must also remain stable if the windpipe is to retain its shape and allow the patient to breathe normally. A further problem is that of sterilization. The polymers from which the scaffold is printed are delicate, and they cannot survive the high temperatures of traditional sterilization. Nevertheless, despite all these challenges, the first windpipe transplant made from a patient’s own stem cells was completed on July 7, 2011. The success of this technology has accelerated progress toward the production of a new generation of scaffold materials. A windpipe has to be mechanically functional and to develop a blood supply to survive long term, but it isn’t an organ with a regulatory role in the body. The next challenge is to grow livers, kidneys, and even hearts. At the moment, if you lose the function of any of these major organs, then a transplant is needed to restore you to full health.


pages: 260 words: 84,847

P53: The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code by Sue Armstrong

Asilomar, discovery of DNA, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Kickstarter, mouse model, stem cell, trade route

Researchers interested in the gene’s role in ageing believe that both apoptosis and senescence are significant to the process – senescence for all the reasons discussed above, and apoptosis because it gradually depletes the pool of stem cells our bodies need for repair and maintenance. ‘The simplest model would be that you’re born with a limited number of stem cells,’ explained David Lane. ‘Those stem cells are very easily killed off by DNA damage, so they’re the ones most tightly controlled by p53. If you set a stress-response threshold where they’re too easily killed, then you don’t get cancer but you run out of stem cells more quickly. If you set the threshold such that they’re hard to kill, then you could live a long time, but you’re more likely to get cancer.’ Age researchers also have a theory, drawn from evolutionary biology, to explain the paradox of why a system designed to preserve life by protecting us from cancer should also drive the mechanism that leads inexorably to our decline.

Imagine for a minute what would happen if, in the normal course of events, our biological clocks could go backwards in time; if our mature cells could revert to their original undifferentiated state as stem cells, complete with the potential to develop afresh into something new. It’s a nightmare scenario in which your liver cells might morph spontaneously into bone cells, gut into teeth, blood into kidney, and no bodies would be stable. It is p53’s job to ensure that such de-differentiation doesn’t happen; that biological time moves inexorably forward and that our bodily development cannot unravel (except, that is, in the deranged environment of cancer). Scientists creating what are known as ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ (IPSs) – stem cells with the potential to become any kind of specialised cells that have been engineered in the lab from already differentiated body cells – are frustrating a fundamental law of nature, and they must overcome p53’s defences to do so.

(Polyps, he explained, are fleshy outgrowths of normal tissue in the wall of the colon that can eventually turn malignant, and the progression to cancer can take years and follow many different paths.) ‘But if a kid can be born with cancer it’s about as simple as it can get. That was my thinking.’ Retinoblastoma met this criterion; it was the ideal topic for research. A rare tumour of the retina, or light-detecting cells of the eye, retinoblastoma affects children almost exclusively below the age of five, because it starts in the stem cells of the developing retina that, like the stem cells of all organs of the body, experience an explosion of division and growth during gestation and the early years of life. An early sign of the disease is a milky-white appearance to the pupil of the eye which, left undiagnosed and untreated, as it often is in the developing world, will grow into a grotesque spongy-looking mass of red and white flesh that distorts the child’s whole face and will eventually kill.


pages: 453 words: 130,632

Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood by Rose George

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, airport security, British Empire, call centre, corporate social responsibility, Edward Snowden, global pandemic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jeff Bezos, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, period drama, Peter Thiel, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell

Although they have five children and four grandchildren and though blood transfusions are often given in childbirth, the Jenkinses had no cause to test their belief until recently. First, Bob was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer of certain white blood cells. Severe cases are often treated with a stem cell transplant, whereby the bone marrow is killed off, new stem cells are injected, and, if all goes to plan, new and undamaged blood cells begin to reproduce within weeks. Although the removed and replanted stem cells are hematopoietic—they produce blood—Witnesses will accept stem cell transfusions. But the weeks of having reduced immunity are perilous, and blood transfusions would normally be given. A patient with leukemia, a cancer of white blood cells that can also be treated with bone marrow transplants, might receive 30 units a year.

“It isn’t even close to providing as much blood as we can provide Guinness,” says Klein, with one of the more unexpected analogies I’ve encountered while interviewing blood experts. “The research in the stem cell and hematopoiesis space is scientifically very satisfying,” says Devine. “But the economic picture is just awful.” It could be useful for giving blood to people with rare diseases or rare blood types. Watkins points to the famous case of a French teenager with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell is caused by a defect in the gene that governs hemoglobin, which causes hemoglobin to clump, and blockages and awful pain. It can be successfully treated with a stem cell transplant, but finding a donor is as easy as with any other transplant: it’s not. When the boy was thirteen, stem cells were withdrawn and genetically manipulated to produce a functioning version of the hemoglobin gene. Two years later, they were transplanted back into him, and within three months his body was producing red cells with normal hemoglobin.

In a laboratory in Bristol, NHSBT scientists have done that. They took hematopoietic stem cells—the ones that grow blood—from an adult donor or from umbilical cords, which mothers can donate. Then they tried to mimic the bone marrow, brewing red cells in a laboratory. They weren’t the first to attempt this.49 A US team had done the same in 2008, and in 2011 in Paris volunteers received transfusions of ten billion artificially grown red blood cells. (That’s only two milliliters of blood.) Twenty-six days after transfusion, the cells were still circulating.50 And in the words of Dana Devine, “No one had keeled over.” But the NHSBT team, explains Dr. Nick Watkins, assistant director of research, have done something different. They have immortalized cells. The word is as arresting as the achievement. “When you take a stem cell from an adult or [umbilical] cord blood and you produce red blood cells from those,” says Watkins, “that’s a linear process, you can only do it once.”


pages: 518 words: 143,914

God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, David Brooks, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus

The right’s hard-line opposition to stem-cell research put it well beyond the mainstream: as even Bush has been known to point out privately, stem cells are a tricky subject for devout pro-lifers, because they can involve two lives, that of the sacrificed embryo and that of the potential beneficiary from the research. The right’s preoccupation with “the homosexual agenda” also slid into the quirky. It is one thing to oppose gay marriage, another to argue that it might open the door to an epidemic of “man on dog” sex, as Santorum did. Dobson, who in 2004 had been able to do little wrong politically, had become a political liability by 2008, a grumpy old man, spluttering that The Da Vinci Code had been cooked up “in the fires of hell” (surely it would have been better written if it had been?) and comparing stem-cell research to Nazi experiments.

Various passages of scripture are scrutinized, with a striking number of corporate allusions: the meteorologist cites research by Enron into predicting the weather; Wang argues that Adam was the first chief executive—everybody flips back through their Bibles to read the passage—because he was given dominion over nature. But gradually, the discussion of revelation gives way to a passionate attack on Darwinism. Evolutionary theory, argues Wang, breaking into English to reiterate the words, is “the biggest lie,” because it pretends to be rigorous science. This is immediately confirmed by a biotechnologist who works on stem cells. Every day she looks at them, admiring their beauty and complexity: stem cells must be divine. If you trust evolution, you distrust God, rejoins the surgeon. Evolution is another false idol—not unlike Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism or any of the other mock religions that China’s Communists are trying to promote, now that they have discovered that they cannot kill God. The second part of Romans 1:18-32 includes the New Testament’s denunciation of homosexuality and other “shameful passions.”

There are plenty of modern Muslims; and there are also plenty of places, from Dubai to Detroit and the Dardanelles, where Islam sits quite comfortably with modernity. But in its Arab heartland, it plainly does not. And, overall, it remains the world religion that has found pluralism hardest to cope with. Islam has not been through a Reformation, let alone an Enlightenment. Look at every debate, from the relationship between the mosque and the state to the ethics of stem cells, and you tend to discover that Christian culture has got there first. Islam is still relevant to our argument—especially when it comes to the competition between religions. But, for all its power, we believe it is less of a harbinger of the future than Christianity. The first part of the book tries to explain why Europe and America have evolved in such different ways over the past two hundred or so years.


pages: 1,294 words: 210,361

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Barry Marshall: ulcers, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, experimental subject, iterative process, Joan Didion, life extension, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, New Journalism, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, Robert Mercer, scientific mainstream, Silicon Valley, social web, statistical model, stem cell, women in the workforce, Year of Magical Thinking, éminence grise

The human embryo and many of our adult organs possess a tiny population of stem cells that are capable of immortal regeneration. Stem cells are the body’s reservoir of renewal. The entirety of human blood, for instance, can arise from a single, highly potent blood-forming stem cell (called a hematopoietic stem cell), which typically lives buried inside the bone marrow. Under normal conditions, only a fraction of these blood-forming stem cells are active; the rest are deeply quiescent—asleep. But if blood is suddenly depleted, by injury or chemotherapy, say, then the stem cells awaken and begin to divide with awe-inspiring fecundity, generating cells that generate thousands upon thousands of blood cells. In weeks, a single hematopoietic stem cell can replenish the entire human organism with new blood—and then, through yet unknown mechanisms, lull itself back to sleep.

In the mid-1990s, John Dick, a Canadian biologist working in Toronto, postulated that a small population of cells in human leukemias also possess this infinite self-renewing behavior. These “cancer stem cells” act as the persistent reservoir of cancer—generating and regenerating cancer infinitely. When chemotherapy kills the bulk of cancer cells, a small remnant population of these stem cells, thought to be intrinsically more resistant to death, regenerate and renew the cancer, thus precipitating the common relapses of cancer after chemotherapy. Indeed, cancer stem cells have acquired the behavior of normal stem cells by activating the same genes and pathways that make normal stem cells immortal—except, unlike normal stem cells, they cannot be lulled back into physiological sleep. Cancer, then, is quite literally trying to emulate a regenerating organ—or perhaps, more disturbingly, the regenerating organism.

In each well, I have placed two hundred human leukemia cells, then added a unique chemical from a large collection of untested chemicals. In parallel, I have its “twin” plate—containing two hundred normal human blood-forming stem cells, with the same panel of chemicals added to every well. Several times each day, an automated microscopic camera will photograph each well in the two plates, and a computerized program will calculate the number of leukemia cells and normal stem cells. The experiment is seeking a chemical that can kill leukemia cells but spare normal stem cells—a specifically targeted therapy against leukemia. I aspirate a few microliters containing the leukemia cells from one well and look at them under the microscope. The cells look bloated and grotesque, with a dilated nucleus and a thin rim of cytoplasm, the sign of a cell whose very soul has been co-opted to divide and to keep dividing with pathological, monomaniacal purpose.


pages: 365 words: 96,573

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

Albert Einstein, epigenetics, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Khan Academy, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell

Inside these sutures, the body creates stem cells, amorphous blanks that shift form and become tissues and bones depending on what our bodies need. Stem cells, which are used throughout the body, are also the mortar that binds the sutures together and that grows new bone in the mouth and face. Unlike other bones in the body, the bone that makes up the center of the face, called the maxilla, is made of a membrane bone that’s highly plastic. The maxilla can remodel and grow more dense into our 70s, and likely longer. “You, me, whoever—we can grow bone at any age,” Belfor told me. All we need are stem cells. And the way we produce and signal stem cells to build more maxilla bone in the face is by engaging the masseter—by clamping down on the back molars over and over. Chewing. The more we gnaw, the more stem cells release, the more bone density and growth we’ll trigger, the younger we’ll look and the better we’ll breathe.

In 1986, orthodontist Dr. Vincent G. Kokich, a professor in the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Washington and one of the world’s experts in dentistry, postulated that adults “retain the capacity to regenerate and remodel bone at the craniofacial sutures.” Liao, Six-Foot Tiger, 176–77. the more stem cells release: We create stem cells throughout the body as well. The stem cells made in the sutures and jaws are often used for local maintenance in the mouth and face. Stem cells will ship off to whatever area needs them most. What they are attracted to are stress signals—in this case, the signals that come with vigorous chewing. two to four years of age: “Weaning from the Breast,” Paediatrics & Child Health 9, no. 4 (Apr. 2004): 249–53. lower incidence: Bottle-feeding requires less “chewing” and sucking stress, and, as such stimulates less forward facial growth.

The more we gnaw, the more stem cells release, the more bone density and growth we’ll trigger, the younger we’ll look and the better we’ll breathe. It starts at infancy. The chewing and sucking stress required for breastfeeding exercises the masseter and other facial muscles and stimulates more stem cell growth, stronger bones, and more pronounced airways. Until a few hundred years ago, mothers would breastfeed infants up to two to four years of age, and sometimes to adolescence. The more time infants spent chewing and sucking, the more developed their faces and airways would become, and the better they’d breathe later in life. Dozens of studies in the past two decades have supported this claim. They’ve shown lower incidence of crooked teeth and snoring and sleep apnea in infants who were breastfed longer over those who were bottle-fed.


pages: 427 words: 30,920

The Autoimmune Connection by Rita Baron-Faust, Jill Buyon

Columbine, mouse model, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell

It is given by intravenous infusion and has vasodilating and anticlotting effects but also may help heal endothelial cells and may prevent fibrotic changes in skin, says Dr. Mayes. The medication is currently used in Britain as a routine therapy for finger ulcers. High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue involves harvesting stem cells (the cells that grow into different kinds of cells, including white blood cells), purifying them and freezing them, and then destroying a patient’s abnormal immune system with high doses of chemotherapy. After the chemotherapy, the stem cells are infused back into the patient to reconstitute the immune system with lymphocytes that will not be autoreactive. Stem cell transplantation has a high mortality rate (20 percent) and is reserved for those people who have such severe disease that they’re at high risk of dying within the next five years or those women with early and rapidly progressive diffuse skin disease, who within the first year or so of diagnosis have some lung disease and heart disease, says Dr.

Affecting a single element in RA, while it can slow the disease and the destruction it causes, does not eliminate the disease itself, Dr. Kimberly points out. But what if a dysfunctional immune system could be replaced with a normal one? That’s the idea behind stem cell transplantation. In this still highly experimental treatment, the immune system is destroyed with high doses of chemotherapy drugs and then reconstituted with stem cells, the cells 36 The Autoimmune Connection that have the potential to grow into any kind of cell, including white blood cells. Before undergoing chemotherapy, patients have stem cells removed from their peripheral blood, purified, frozen, and then re-infused into the bloodstream to rebuild the immune system with “naïve” cells, immune cells that are not autoreactive. So far, it’s been tried in around 100 people with severe RA worldwide; most have responded, some with dramatic improvements.

“In our studies, after we gave the mice the insulin-based vaccine, we virtually eliminated diabetes for life. If we had not treated them, 85 percent of the female mice would have developed diabetes and died of it.” Dr. Maclaren hopes to test the vaccine in women newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to see whether the destruction of beta cells can be halted. Another promising new treatment involves coaxing stem cells into becoming insulin-producing beta cells. The experiment, done with embryonic stem cells (which are known for their ability to transform into almost every cell type), might provide a better strategy for growing beta cells than merely transplanting normal beta cells. Scientists are also experimenting with transplanting beta cells from genetically modified pigs engineered so the cells would not be rejected. Potential gene therapy would infuse into the pancreas cells that lack genetic defects that lead to type 1 diabetes.


Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and the Modern Epidemics of Chronic Illness and Medical Complexity by Lawrence B. Afrin M. D., Kendra Neilsen Myles, Kristi Posival

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, epigenetics, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, megacity, microbiome, mouse model, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, pre–internet, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell

Hospitalization wasn’t required, but further evaluation by a hematologist was definitely in order to pin this down as the case of “polycythemia vera” it surely had to be. “P. vera” is a type of blood cell cancer, specifically one of the “chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms,” or MPNs, that’s rooted in a bone marrow stem cell gone genetically awry. Like the acute leukemias, in which stem cell mutations lead rapidly to life-threatening overgrowth (and underneath) of blood cells, the MPNs also are rooted in stem cell mutations eventually leading to a life-threatening accumulation of blood cells. The natural history of an acute leukemia, though, is that the time from initial detection of the disease to death from the disease is usually weeks to a few months, whereas with the MPNs, the natural history from initial detection to death due to disease is usually several years, if ever.

The KIT protein is in a class of proteins called tyrosine kinases that regulate, among other processes, growth and differentiation of cells. (Differentiation is the process by which a stem cell can mature into many different types of cells depending on various influences.) KIT is a “transmembrane” tyrosine kinase, meaning it’s a protein that’s anchored in the cell membrane, with part of the protein waving around up above the cell surface and part of it waving around down below the cell surface (i.e., inside the cell). The extracellular portion of KIT (the part waving around outside the cell) is a receptor, sort of like a lock, and when the matching key – in this case another protein called stem cell factor (SCF) – floats by the mast cell and inserts properly into KIT’s extracellular “lock” and thereby “activates” KIT, the interaction between key and lock causes the intracellular portion of KIT to instantly change shape, which might seem a modest consequence, but it turns out that this one little change in shape in one little protein molecule is like the lead domino whose toppling results in the triggering of many other domino falls which proceed, in parallel, in rapid chain reactions throughout the cell.

Activin A is a signaling molecule made by certain marrow and blood cells, among other cells, and seems to have a wide range of effects including stimulating red blood cell production. Acute lymphocytic leukemia “Uh-kyoot´ limf´-oh-sit´-ik loo-keem´-ee-uh.” Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of marrow stem cells leading to excessive production of the “lymphoid” type of leukocytes, or white blood cells, as opposed to excessive production of the “myeloid” type of leukocytes, which would result in a somewhat similar disease called acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). As the “acute” would imply, both ALL and AML progress rapidly and can easily cause death within weeks to a few months of first emerging. Acute myelogenous leukemia “Uh-kyoot´ my´-el-oj´-en-us loo-keem´-ee-uh.” Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of marrow stem cells leading to excessive production of the “myeloid” type of leukocytes, or white blood cells, as opposed to excessive production of the “lymphoid” type of leukocytes, which would result in a somewhat similar disease called acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

Now that we have the technology to reach a steely hand into the machinery of cells and remodel the genes, even human ones, our powers are more disturbing, raising all kinds of ethical and legal challenges. In 2012, John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka shared the Nobel Prize for the breakthrough discovery of how to persuade adult skin cells to regress into jack-of-all-trades (“pluripotent”) stem cells capable of morphing into any type of cell in the body—heart, brain, liver, pancreas, egg. It’s as if Gurdon and Yamanaka had found a way to reset the body’s clock to early development, enabling it to mint wild-card cells that haven’t chosen their career yet—without using the fetal stem cells that cause so much controversy. Space may be only one of the final frontiers. The other is surely the universe of human imagination and creative prowess in genetics. “We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Stewart Brand began his 1968 classic, The Whole Earth Catalog, which helped to inspire the back-to-the-land movement.

Suppose a wolf actually gave birth to a human? Or a sheep did? Almost ten years ago, Esmail Zanjani of the University of Nevada, Reno, announced that he had injected human stem cells into sheep embryos halfway through gestation, and the lambs emerged with human cells throughout their tissues. And not just a few cells. Some of the organs were nearly half human. Only the organs. No two-legged sheep with opposable thumbs emerged. Staring at them in photographs, I found they looked eerily human, with long faces, jelly roll falling over the forehead, and down-turned eyes. Would dogs detect an odor both human and sheep? What scientists still don’t know is if transplanted human stem cells would change an animal’s inherent behaviors, attributes, or personality. As bioethicists rightly argue, the last thing we need is the horror of humanized monkeys or other animals.

Today, instead of adapting to the natural world in which we live, we’ve created a human environment in which we’ve embedded the natural world. Our relationship with nature has changed . . . radically, irreversibly, but by no means all for the bad. How we now relate to the land, oceans, animals, and our own bodies is being influenced in all sorts of unexpected ways by myriad advances in manufacturing, medicine, and technology. Many of nature’s mysterious stuck doors have shivered open—human genome, stem cells, other Earth-like planets—widening our eyes. Along the way, our relationship with nature is evolving, rapidly but incrementally, and at times so subtly that we don’t perceive the sonic booms, literally or metaphorically. As we’re redefining our perception of the world surrounding us, and the world inside of us, we’re revising our fundamental ideas about exactly what it means to be human, and also what we deem “natural.”


The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain by James Fallon

Bernie Madoff, epigenetics, Everything should be made as simple as possible, meta analysis, meta-analysis, personalized medicine, phenotype, Rubik’s Cube, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, theory of mind

Collaborations with my clinical colleagues grew in scope in the early 1990s, and then they began to dominate my research interests by 2000, along with my studies of adult stem cells. Eventually this interest and involvement with human psychiatric studies led me to move my academic appointment to the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Based on these studies, starting in the early and mid-1990s, I started to give more and more scientific, and then public and lay, talks on personality, development, schizophrenia, addictions, male-female brain differences, emotional memory, and consciousness. By 1998, I was giving a mix of talks about stem cells and psychiatric research, and in 2000, our lab made a breakthrough discovery regarding how adult stem cells mobilize to repair brain injuries. The study was sent from the National Institutes of Health to the U.S. Congress as the first evidence that adult stem cells, as opposed to just embryonic stem cells, could be mobilized in the damaged adult brain, perhaps to cure Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

If you asked me what line of work I’m in, I’d say that I am a brain researcher, and if you pressed further I’d say I am a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and affiliated with the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. I’d tell you how I’ve spent my career teaching medical students and residents and graduate students about the brain. If you seemed interested, I would then tell you about my research with adult stem cells and animal models of Parkinson’s disease and chronic stroke, and that the basic research from my lab has led to the creation of three biotech companies, one of which has been netting profits consistently for the past twenty-five years, and another that just won a national award from its peer biotech companies. If you still seemed interested, I might mention that I am also involved in organizations and think tanks that focus on the arts, architecture, music, education, and medical research, or that I have served as an adviser to the U.S.

And learn he does, temporarily becoming a genius after undergoing a new neurosurgical procedure, the same procedure done to his alter ego, a laboratory mouse. This prescient film on the biological and chemical basis of behavior provided a clear career direction for me. Throughout my career, I have studied many facets of the brain. Whereas most researchers tend to specialize in a relatively narrow field of study, my interests have covered all manner of territory—from stem cells to sleep deprivation. I started studying psychopathy in the 1990s, when I was asked by my colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, to analyze PET scans of particularly violent murderers, including serial killers, who had just been convicted in court, and were subsequently starting the penalty phase of their trials. It is during this stage of the legal process that a murderer typically agrees to undergo a brain scan, often in the hope that a finding of brain damage will lead to a more lenient sentence.


pages: 441 words: 113,244

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity From Politicians by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Celtic Tiger, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, Dean Kamen, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, financial intermediation, Gini coefficient, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, stem cell, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, young professional

You guessed it. Focus on the inaccessible, high-cost treatments for well-off locals.” Stem cells are mother cells that have the potential to become any type of cell in the body. “Stem cell treatments are absolutely incredible. Why is this exciting for seasteading? First, it’s inaccessibility in the US. The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is still not behind it in any advanced or motivated way.” The FDA takes the position that any stem cell, once taken outside the body and cultured, is considered a drug and must be regulated as such before it can be reinjected into the same body. Yet Dr. Christopher Centeno, one of the first physicians to repair severe orthopedic tears with a patient’s own stem cells, points out that in vitro fertilization requires a much more complex culturing process, and fertilized eggs are not regulated as drugs.

“Asia and some parts of Latin America are ten years ahead of the US,” continues Nishant. “Why not market stem cell procedures for US patients for conditions that are rare or untreatable with typical medical options?” The marvel of stem cell cures is not held up by technology, lack of doctors, or lack of funding. They are held back only by politics. Many suffer for decades and even die waiting for procedures to be approved in their home countries that have long been available elsewhere. Every time a government restricts a medical procedure, it simply migrates to another jurisdiction. Why wait for stem cell surgeries to be approved in your host country when Claudia Castillo, suffering for years in Colombia with a narrow trachea, or windpipe, caused by tuberculosis, travelled to Spain in 2008 to have her stem cells harvested from her leg bone marrow? It took four days to grow a brand new trachea in the lab, and four days after it was surgically implanted, the medical team found that the new organ was indistinguishable from the rest of Castillo’s body.

“I was a sick woman; now I will be able to live a normal life,” Castillo told the BBC. Five years later, she is still in perfect health. Harvard Law School professor I. Glenn Cohen, the author of The Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Issues, says the stem cell industry could be patient regulated if patients have access to online information verified by independent third parties. How to start out? Don’t we need investors to buy a whole boat? No, says Nishant. “Don’t have a whole boat dedicated to medicine. That’s too expensive. But if we can lease one medical room on a boat as a clinic performing stem cell procedures—or some other unique procedure—we can start marketing it and build a buzz around the fact that offshore medical services are coming in a couple years.” What about malpractice? “Malpractice has not come up. Most of these hospitals and doctors abroad do not have the same limitations on acknowledging that they made a mistake.


The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, a Nd My Life by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

back-to-the-land, epigenetics, index card, longitudinal study, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, place-making, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, stem cell

In a process scientists now refer to as neurogenesis, given the right cues, these immature nerve cells can divide and differentiate into either new, baby neurons, or they can become additional neural stem cells that integrate into and enhance the brain’s neural network. These new neurons often come to life in the areas of the brain associated with higher learning. As we age, however, these neural stem cells tend to become less able to transform. They’re there, but it’s as if they’ve shut down and aren’t responsive; think of them as being in something akin to a cellular coma. They aren’t getting the cue that tells them to wake up. This somnambulant state is caused by a protein found throughout the body known as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which inhibits cellular development. The more active BMP is in your brain, the less responsive your neural stem cells become, the less neurogenesis occurs, and the less vibrant your brain, your thinking, your state of mind, and your ability to learn new things.

Exercise awakens these quiescent neural stem cells. Exercise in general influences the rate of neurogenesis as well as the survival of new neurons after they are born, and it does so through multiple pathways. To give just one example, when we exercise we increase another protein, what we might think of as one antidote to the BMP-induced cellular coma, appropriately named Noggin (yes, Noggin). The more Noggin you have, the less BMP is able to suppress undifferentiated cells and keep them in twilight sleep. The more neural stem cells divide, the more neurogenesis you undergo. Brain activity becomes more vibrant and alive because there are literally more active brain cells to go to work. Exercise profoundly stimulates the production of Noggin and the division of undifferentiated neural stem cells into new neurons in the brain.

In a recent evaluation of a number of studies that show physical activity to be an effective treatment for depression, strong support emerged that the reason for patient recovery was, indeed, adult neurogenesis. And experts believe that yoga in particular may facilitate the potential for the brain to undergo these neuronal changes. *** PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ALSO helps generate stem cell growth and individual cell repair throughout the entire body. In animal studies, exercise increases the number of stem cells in muscle fiber by almost half. This increase in muscle stem cells makes rats more likely to demonstrate what researchers refer to as “spontaneous locomotion,” that feeling that signals our body to just get up and dance. A little like rats whose brains are on joy—or whatever the rat equivalent to joy might be. When we engage in physical activity, we also wake up something within our cells called mitochondria.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

But if it were common to live to 110, 130 or 150, people might wait until they were 60, 70 or even 80 to have children. Future treatments Stem-cell medicine promises two radical future developments. The first is a series of treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The second is the production of genetically matching organs (farmed or printed using 3D fabricators) to replace those damaged by normal aging or disease, or by treatments for illness, for example, a liver damaged during cancer treatment. Historically, stem cells have been a difficult ethical area, because the process of stem-cell production for the most useful stem cells involved the destruction of human embryos. But this isn’t necessarily true for new techniques, such as the iPS cell developed at Kyoto University, which means that the area is likely to grow rapidly.

Young blood Research by Thomas Rando at Stamford University suggests that older people might recover from injuries faster if they were given drugs developed from the blood of young people. In an experiment, pairs of mice were joined together to create artificially conjoined twins. The result was that old mice who were connected to young mice regenerated muscle cells much faster than pairs of old mice. Apparently, the effect has nothing to do with stem cells contained in the young blood either. This suggests that older bodies repair themselves more slowly because of a lack of some signal or other—not because the stem cells lose their regenerative ability. This finding is likely to result in various “fast repair” products for older people in the future. What’s possible? In the more optimistic corner, are those who believe that aging is genetically determined and that the “death program” or process that causes aging can be switched off, or at least amended.

the condensed idea Genetic prophesy timeline 1997 Release of the movie Gattaca about genetic enhancement 2008 Knome offers genome sequencing to individuals for $350,000 2009 Knome drops its price to $99,500 2012 23andMe offers gene sequencing for $299 2018 Cost falls to $49 via Walmart 2020 Hospitals and insurers offer free genome profiling 2030 Google dating based upon ideal DNA profiles 2050 DNA database creates human underclass 22 Regenerative medicine Is it possible to prevent or reverse the aging process, perhaps by fiddling with tired tissues and cells, or even growing new organs inside a laboratory? Some people regard this as a pipe dream. Others see it instead as increasingly inevitable. Physician, heal thyself. What if you are an aging surgeon and parts of your body are worn out? Options may include stem-cell therapy, the transplant of an artificial organ (a kidney grown in vitro), the printing of replacement teeth or bones using a fabricator, general life extension, some more hair, or perhaps some new fingers? This last idea may seem a little far-fetched, but if newts can repair themselves why not human beings? One way to do so might be to persuade cells to return to a younger state—in other words, trick the body into believing that it’s a young child once again.


pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

There is, however, a complementary technology, one which, once it has been developed for use in humans, would greatly potentiate the enhancement power of pre-implantation genetic screening: namely, the derivation of viable sperm and eggs from embryonic stem cells.46 The techniques for this have already been used to produce fertile offspring in mice and gamete-like cells in humans. Substantial scientific challenges remain, however, in translating the animal results to humans and in avoiding epigenetic abnormalities in the derived stem cell lines. According to one expert, these challenges might put human application “10 or even 50 years in the future.”47 With stem cell-derived gametes, the amount of selection power available to a couple could be greatly increased. In current practice, an in vitro fertilization procedure typically involves the creation of fewer than ten embryos. With stem cell-derived gametes, a few donated cells might be turned into a virtually unlimited number of gametes that could be combined to produce embryos, which could then be genotyped or sequenced, and the most promising one chosen for implantation.

For comparison, a recent study (Rietveld et al. 2013) claims to have already identified 2.5% of the variance. 45. For comparison, standard practice today involves the creation of fewer than ten embryos. 46. Adult and embryonic stem cells can be coaxed to develop into sperm cells and oocytes, which can then be fused to produce an embryo (Nagy et al. 2008; Nagy and Chang 2007). Egg cell precursors can also form parthenogenetic blastocysts, unfertilized and non-viable embryos, able to produce embryonic stem cell lines for the process (Mai et al. 2007). 47. The opinion is that of Katsuhiko Hayashi, as reported in Cyranoski (2013). The Hinxton Group, an international consortium of scientists that discusses stem cell ethics and challenges, predicted in 2008 that human stem cell-derived gametes would be available within ten years (Hinxton Group 2008), and developments thus far are broadly consistent with this. 48.

Depending on the cost of preparing and screening each individual embryo, this technology could yield a severalfold increase in the selective power available to couples using in vitro fertilization. More importantly still, stem cell-derived gametes would allow multiple generations of selection to be compressed into less than a human maturation period, by enabling iterated embryo selection. This is a procedure that would consist of the following steps:48 1 Genotype and select a number of embryos that are higher in desired genetic characteristics. 2 Extract stem cells from those embryos and convert them to sperm and ova, maturing within six months or less.49 3 Cross the new sperm and ova to produce embryos. 4 Repeat until large genetic changes have been accumulated. In this manner, it would be possible to accomplish ten or more generations of selection in just a few years.


pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

"Since the consensus is atypical SCID," Rachel said, "there's talk of doing a bone marrow transplant." Bone marrow transplantation is the most extreme measure in medicine to cure a disease. In essence, a person is given lethal doses of radiation and chemotherapy, doses that destroy the blood and immune system. Into this void, stem cells from the bone marrow of a compatible donor are seeded. These marrow stem cells have extraordinary biological potential. They grow and mature into all of the elements that have been destroyed: red blood cells, neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, T cells, and B cells. As the donor stem cells grow and mature, they begin to perform the chores that immune cells are programmed to do. Primary among these is to recognize foreign invaders, like microbes, and to purge them. That was precisely what Shira needed at this point: cells that could recognize, confront, and destroy Pneumocystis and Klebsiella and CMV and Candida and parainfluenzae.

There was a new case for the fellow to present, and after exchanging pleasantries, he began: "Max Bornstein is a fifty-nine-year-old gentleman who had a large-cell lymphoma successfully treated two years ago and now has MDS." MDS stands for myelodysplastic syndrome—a conglomerate term of Greek roots that signifies injury to the primitive cells of the bone marrow, the stem cells; the injured stem cells grow in a stunted, disorderly way and fail to produce enough blood. In Bornstein's case, it was the chemotherapy that cured his lymphoma two years before that had injured the marrow stem cells. "His white blood cell count is 1,900, his platelets 74,000, and his hemoglobin 9.8," the fellow said. "I calculated all of his parameters, including his marrow findings. His calculated score puts him at intermediate-II risk on the IPSS. Based on his score, I would just transfuse him and not do anything beyond such supportive measures."

But Nimer believed that the lack of any improvement, despite full doses of the regimen, demanded an immediate and radical change in therapy. Nimer outlined a strategy with Franklin. They would try different drugs in the hope that one or more would reduce the amount of lymphoma in his body to the point where he could undergo a bone marrow transplant. Because Franklin did not have a matched donor, Nimer would harvest the stem cells from Franklin's own bone marrow, treat him with what would be lethal amounts of chemotherapy, and then "rescue" him with his own stem cells. "It scares me," Franklin said to Nimer, "but I really don't have a choice, do I?" Nimer replied that everyone always has a choice, but that this was the most rational way to proceed, and the only chance of a cure. The way a physician phrases his recommendations can powerfully sway a patient's choices. For example, by phrasing results in the positive, patients are more likely to accept the recommendation.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

The field of genetics has the potential to improve human health and nutrition, but many people are concerned about the effects of genetic modification both in humans and in agriculture. What is the right policy balance between the benefits of genetic advances and their potential risks? 8. Stem Cells. Stem cell research advocates say it may successfully lead to treatments for many chronic diseases and injuries, saving lives, but opponents argue that using embryos as a source for stem cells destroys human life. What are your positions on government regulation and funding of stem cell research? 9. Ocean Health. Scientists estimate that some 75 percent of the world’s fisheries are in serious decline and habitats around the world like coral reefs are seriously threatened. What steps, if any, should the United States take during your term to protect ocean health?

The earmark in question was secured by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) for research into the olive fruit fly, a widespread problem in Europe that is threatening the rapidly growing US olive industry—I kid you not. Palin followed this with “going rogue” on McCain by appearing without permission on Christian conservative James Dobson’s radio show, where she contradicted McCain’s position on stem cell research as stated to Science Debate. Concerned that he might be losing Bible Belt conservatives, McCain swung to the right. During the second presidential debate he criticized science spending in particular, singling out such congressional science earmarks as $3 million “to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don’t know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue, but the fact is that it was $3 million of our taxpayers’ money.

Observations tell us that these beings produced in nontraditional ways seem to be the same as any other creatures. We have to ask, then, is every one that remains of the roughly 1½ million eggs a woman has in her ovaries at birth a life with rights? When does life begin? Is it true, as the comedy troupe Monty Python sang in The Meaning of Life, that “Every sperm is sacred”? Is it a life if we transform adult skin cells into stem cells and those into sperm and egg and then fertilize one with the other? And is that a clone or something else? Is it a life if we design its genome on a computer, as scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute have done,8 buy a DNA synthesizer on eBay for $8,000 or so, use it to make fragments of the genome we designed, chemically stitch them together, inject the complete genome into a cell with an empty nucleus, and shock it into replicating?


pages: 226 words: 66,188

Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome) by Gavin Francis

Atul Gawande, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stem cell, traveling salesman

There are no images representing multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or leukaemia, despite the companies’ claim that storing stem cells might be an insurance policy against these illnesses in later life. You can donate stem cells to a public bank, for use by anyone, or you can pay a private company to store your baby’s cord and stem cells for the sole use of your family. Some cultures maintain that a baby’s visceral connection to its umbilical cord is an association that lasts a lifetime, and for that reason the cord must always be handled with respect. These cryogenics companies agree: if you want a private cord-bank to store your baby’s umbilical cord you can arrange for a lab scientist to be on standby for the birth of your child in order to extract the stem cells within the critical time period in which they’re still viable. Your baby’s lifetime’s association with the cord can be maintained through regular payments from a credit card. The National Health Service in the UK now has a cord-blood storage service, preserving stem cells for research, and investigating their use in bone marrow transplants for whoever might need them.

These ‘undifferentiated’ cells are a type of ‘stem cell’ because, just as it’s possible to regrow a tree from a single cutting, they are stems from which other body parts can theoretically grow. The cells within the cord blood have the potential to develop into tissues such as bone marrow, while the cells within the jelly of the cord are related to the structural components of the body: bone, muscle, cartilage and fat. The leaflets advertising umbilical cryogenics have two types of picture on them: cute and smiling children at play, or radiation-suited scientists engaged in some challenging laboratory task. There are no images representing multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or leukaemia, despite the companies’ claim that storing stem cells might be an insurance policy against these illnesses in later life.

The National Health Service in the UK now has a cord-blood storage service, preserving stem cells for research, and investigating their use in bone marrow transplants for whoever might need them. Within a decade we’ve gone from throwing afterbirth out with the trash, to reinvesting it with a depth of significance that had almost been forgotten. There’s some debate as to whether the private banks can ever supply enough stem cells to treat an adult, and so it remains controversial whether the high costs of preserving a child’s cord for its own use are justified. While the East African might feel tied to his umbilical tree, rooting him to a particular patch of the earth, you’re unlikely to draw strength and a sense of belonging from regular visits to a cryogenics lab. The laboratories themselves share specimens, and your cord may end up being stored in another country altogether, inaccessible to you or your child.


pages: 761 words: 231,902

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business cycle, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, coronavirus, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

In addition to generating new connections between neurons, the brain also makes new neurons from neural stem cells, which replicate to maintain a reservoir of themselves. In the course of reproducing, some of the neural stem cells become "neural precursor" cells, which in turn mature into two types of support cells called astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, as well as neurons. The cells further evolve into specific types of neurons. However, this differentiation cannot take place unless the neural stem cells move away from their original source in the brain's ventricles. Only about half of the neural cells successfully make the journey, which is similar to the process during gestation and early childhood in which only a portion of the early brain's developing neurons survive. Scientists hope to bypass this neural migration process by injecting neural stem cells directly into target regions, as well as to create drugs that promote this process of neurogenesis (creating new neurons) to repair brain damage from injury or disease.71 An experiment by genetics researchers Fred Gage, G.

Celera has already demonstrated the ability to create synthetic viruses from genetic information and plans to apply these biodesigned viruses to gene therapy.37 One of the companies I help to direct, United Therapeutics, has begun human trials of delivering DNA into cells through the novel mechanism of autologous (the patient's own) stem cells, which are captured from a few vials of their blood. DNA that directs the growth of new pulmonary blood vessels is inserted into the stem cell genes, and the cells are reinjected into the patient. When the genetically engineered stem cells reach the tiny pulmonary blood vessels near the lung's alveoli, they begin to express growth factors for new blood vessels. In animal studies this has safely reversed pulmonary hypertension, a fatal and presently incurable disease. Based on the success and safety of these studies, the Canadian government gave permission for human tests to commence in early 2005.

Although regulation is a vital issue, it has actually had no measurable effect on the trends discussed in this book, which have occurred with extensive regulation in place. Short of a worldwide totalitarian state, the economic and other forces underlying technical progress will only grow with ongoing advances. Consider the issue of stem-cell research, which has been especially controversial, and for which the U.S. government is restricting its funding. Stem-cell research is only one of numerous ideas concerned with controlling and influencing the information processes underlying biology that are being pursued as part of the biotechnology revolution. Even within the field of cell therapies the controversy over embryonic stem-cell research has served only to accelerate other ways of accomplishing the same goal. For example, transdifferentiation (converting one type of cell such as a skin cell into other types of cells) has moved ahead quickly.


The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations by Thomas Morris

3D printing, Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, experimental subject, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, placebo effect, popular electronics, randomized controlled trial, stem cell

Two months later the polymer scaffold around the tissue, designed to break down inside the body, had completely dissolved, leaving only new tissue which would – it was hoped – grow with the patient.65 The limitation of this technique was that the tissue used to engineer the new artery could only come from another blood vessel, since the cells which make up the lining of these vessels – the endothelium – are highly specialised. But at the turn of the millennium a new world of possibility opened up when researchers gained a powerful new tool: stem cell technology. In contrast to the endothelial cells in the blood vessels (for instance), stem cells are not specialised to one function but have the potential to develop into many different tissue types. One type of stem cell is found in growing embryos, and another in parts of the adult body, including the bone marrow (where they generate the cells of the blood and immune system) and skin. In 1998 James Thomson, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, succeeded in isolating stem cells from human embryos and growing them in the laboratory,66 resulting in a wealth of new research into how cells differentiate and possible new therapies.

Shinya Yamanaka, a researcher at Kyoto University, showed that it was possible to genetically ‘reprogram’ skin cells and convert them into stem cells.67 The implications were enormous. In theory it would now be possible to harvest mature, specialised cells from a patient, reprogram them as stem cells, then choose which type of tissue they would become. One possible application of this discovery is in the treatment of heart attacks. When the cardiac muscle is damaged by an interruption in its blood supply the body does little to repair it: scar tissue forms, but few new muscle cells, or myocytes, appear. Existing methods of treatment – whether drugs, CABG or stenting – do nothing to restore the tissue which has been injured, so an effective means of replacing lost myocardium would be a major therapeutic breakthrough. To encourage the growth of new muscle, scientists first tried extracting adult stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow and injecting them into the coronary arteries, in the hope that some would adhere to the myocardium and convert into myocytes – but the results were disappointing.fn5 Rather than engineer new tissue in situ, Sanjay Sinha, a cardiologist at the University of Cambridge, is attempting to grow a ‘patch’ of artificial myocardium in the laboratory for later implantation in the operating theatre.

Vacanti, ‘The history of tissue engineering’, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 10, no. 3 (2006), 569–76 64. R. Langer and J. Vacanti, ‘Tissue engineering’, Science 260, no. 5110 (1993), 920–26 65. Toshiharu Shin’oka, Yasuharu Imai and Yoshito Ikada, ‘Transplantation of a tissue-engineered pulmonary artery’, New England Journal of Medicine 344, no. 7 (2001), 532–3 66. J. A. Thomson et al., ‘Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts’, Science 282, no. 5391 (1998), 1145–7 67. K. Takahashi et al., ‘Induction of pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts by defined factors’, Cell 131, no. 5 (2007), 861–72 68. Author’s interview with Sanjay Sinha, 25 October 2016 69. D. Kehl, B. Weber and S. P. Hoerstrup, ‘Bioengineered living cardiac and venous valve replacements: current status and future prospects’, Cardiovascular Pathology 25, no. 4 (2016), 300–05 70.


The Future of Technology by Tom Standage

air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, creative destruction, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, Marc Andreessen, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

As yet, no one knows how to go about that. 267 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY The second way is the Dolly-the-sheep method, which is to extract the nucleus of an adult cell and stick it in an egg from which the nucleus has been removed. That seems to trigger the desired reprogramming. Or instead of putting the nucleus into an egg cell, it might be put into a socalled stem cell from an early embryo. Embryonic stem cells can turn into any other sort of cell, so might possibly be persuaded to turn into entire people. Regardless of that possibility, embryonic stem cells have medical promise, and several firms are currently studying them. Geron, the most advanced of these firms, has worked out how to persuade embryonic stem cells to turn into seven different types of normal cell line that it hopes can be used to repair damaged tissue. Blood cells could be grown in bulk for transfusions. Heart-muscle cells might help those with coronary disease.

In case that does not work, though, the discussion has turned to the idea of transplanting adult nuclei into embryonic stem cells as a way of getting round the rejection problem. This idea, known in the trade as therapeutic cloning, has caused alarm bells to go off. The technique would create organs, not people, and no one yet knows whether it would work. But some countries are getting nervous about stem-cell research. This nervousness has not been calmed by the activities of Advanced Cell Technology, a firm based in Worcester, Massachusetts, which announced in November 2001 that it had managed the trick of transplanting adult nuclei into stem cells and persuading the result to divide a few times. In effect, act created the beginning of an embryo. In 2002 President George Bush issued a decree restricting federal funding in America to existing embryonic stem-cell lines. Attempts have even been made in Congress to ban it altogether.

Kearney 163, 189 AAAI see American Association of Artificial Intelligence ABB 287, 289 ABI Research 295, 296 Accenture 39, 118–20, 126, 129, 131–2, 134–5, 138, 145–6 ActivCard 69 Activision 186–7 Adobe 39 Advanced Cell Technology 268 Africa 251–2 agricultural biotechnology ix, 238–9, 251–7, 270–1 see also genetic modifications AI see artificial intelligence AIBO 332, 334, 338 AIDS 247, 250 airlines 37–8, 42 AirPort 211 airport approach, security issues 68–9 Airvana 140–1 Alahuhta, Matti 164 Albert 339–40 “always on” IT prospects 94–5, 203 Amazon.com 10, 37, 91 AMD 85, 313 American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 337–8 American Express 22, 27, 126 American football 194–7 American Superconductor 288 amino acids 241–8, 253–5 analogues see late adopters Anderson, Roger 287 Anderson, Ross 61, 73–4, 76 Andreessen, Marc 8, 15 animal husbandry 256–7 anti-piracy systems 34–5 anti-virus software 50–1, 60, 67–8 antibodies 249–50, 256–7 AOL 93 Apache 10 Apple 95, 97, 99–101, 165–6, 172, 192, 198, 202–3, 204, 207–8, 211, 219–29 Applera 242–3 application service providers (ASPs) 19–20, 91–2, 109 Applied Molecular Evolution 246, 258 architects, green buildings 299–304 Archos AV 206 Argentina 319 Arima 156 Armand, Michel 281, 283 ARPU see average revenue per user Arthur, Brian 39 artificial intelligence (AI) x, 89, 102, 233, 336–40 artists 83–4 ASCII 96 Asian cultures 93, 142, 176 see also individual countries ASPs see application service providers AstraZeneca 312 AT&T 108, 110 ATMs see automated teller machines atoms, nanotechnology ix–x, 233, 263–4, 306–29 Atos Origin 123, 130, 134, 143 audits 44, 46 automated teller machines (ATMs) 61 autonomic computing 88–92, 335, 339 Avax office building 304 average revenue per user (ARPU), mobile phones 157, 162–3 B B2B see business-to-business computing Baan 30 Babic, Vasa 159 back-up systems 43–4 Bacon, Sir Francis 236, 271 Ballard, Geoffrey 290 Balliet, Marvin 28 Ballmer, Steve 98 Bamford, Peter 164–5, 167 banks 37, 42, 48, 61, 72, 80, 87, 115, 116–18, 121, 126, 146 Bardhan, Ashok 138 barriers to entry, mobile phones 155–6 Battat, Randy 140–1 batteries 233, 277–9, 280–4 Baumholtz, Sara 103, 105–6 Bayesian decision-making 338 BEA 21–2, 87 Bell 108 Bell, Genevieve 93 Bell, Gordon 13 Bell Labs 210 341 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY Benioff, Marc 19, 22, 84, 92 Benjamin, Dan 295 BenQ 156–7 Berliner, Emile 82 Bernstein, Phillip 300, 304 Berquist, Tom 37 Bhattacharya, Arindam 131 Bhide, Amar 128 Big Brother 179–83 biological weapons 265–6 biometric systems 60, 64–5, 71, 74 biopolymers 259–64 biotechnology ix–x, 233, 236–71 agricultural biotechnology ix, 238–9, 251–7, 270–1 categorisations 238–9, 241 cloning 239, 256, 267–71, 329 clusters 240 concepts ix–x, 233, 236–71, 327 embryonic stem cells 268–9 enzymes 258–64 fuels ix–x, 233, 259–64, 271, 274–9, 314–15 funding problems 237–8 future prospects 236–48, 267–71 genomics 239, 241–8, 262–4, 308 GM ix–x, 233, 236–40, 251–5, 267–71, 318–20 historical background 241 industrial biotechnology 258–64 medical applications ix–x, 145, 233, 236–40, 247, 249–50, 256–7, 267–71 pharmaceutical companies 239–40, 241–50, 312 plastics 238–9, 259–64 problems 236–40 revenue streams 237–8, 241–2 RNA molecules 241–2, 249–50, 265 therapeutic antibodies 249–50, 256–7 virtual tissue 248 warfare 265–6 x-ray crystallography 247–8 BlackBerry e-mail device 152–3, 156, 171 Blade Runner (movie) 269 Bloomberg, Jason 91 Bluetooth wireless links 171–2, 173, 214–15, 218 BMG 222–3, 227, 229 BMW 159, 176 Boeing 69 Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) 287 boom-and-bust cycles, innovations vii–viii, 4–39, 82–3, 107, 134 Bosch 142 Boston Consulting Group 120, 131, 140, 142, 160, 203, 226 Bowie, David 19 Brazil 114, 309, 319 BREEAM standard 300–1 342 Breese, Jack 100, 102 Brenner, Sydney 242, 252–3 Brillian 112–14 Brin, David 179, 183 Brin, Sergey 9 British Airways 126–7 broadband ix, 34–5, 52–3, 93, 96–7, 103, 168–9, 203, 207, 209–13 Broockman, Eric 216 Brooke, Lindsay 297 Brown, Tim 101, 106 Buddhism 19 budgets 7, 9, 14, 28–31, 45–6, 71, 186 bugs, software 20–1, 54–6 built-in obsolescence 8–9, 29 Bull, Michael 220 Bush, George W. 35, 144, 268–9, 274–6 Business Engine 28, 30 business models ix, 10, 19–20, 36–40, 109 business plans 10 business units 28–31 business-process outsourcing (BPO) 118 business-to-business computing (B2B) 90 Byrnes, Chris 44, 46 byte’s-eye view, complexity problems 85–7 C Calderone, Tom 224 call centres 79, 121, 125–9, 136, 144 Cambridge University 61, 73, 76 camcorders 214 camera phones 156, 170–2, 179–83, 203 see also mobile phones Cameron, Bobby 28 Canada 152, 181, 290 cancer cells 249–50, 317, 329 canola 252–3 Canon 108 capitalism 28 Capossela, Chris 79, 94 car industry 5, 38–9, 82–4, 113, 114, 116, 118–19, 120–1, 134, 146, 158–9, 175–6, 284, 290–8 diesel cars 296–7, 314–15 electric cars 284, 290, 291–8 hybrid cars 233, 284, 291–8 mobile phones 158–9, 175–6 particulate filters 296–7 performance issues 291–8 Toyota hybrid cars 291–5, 297 CARB 296 carbon nanotubes 311–12, 322, 325, 328 carbon-dioxide emissions 275, 296, 300 Cargill 253–4, 259–60 Carnegie Mellon 44–5 Carr, David 194 Carr, Nicholas vii–viii, 83 Cato Institute 34 INDEX CBS 36, 225 CDMA2000-1XEV-DO technology 165, 168–9 CDs 207, 212–13, 223–8, 315 celebrity customers, mobile phones 173–4 Celera 241–2, 262 Cell chips 198–200 cell phones 172 see also mobile phones Celltech 243 Centrino 11 Cenzic 54, 68 CFOs see chief financial officers Chand, Rajeev 217–18 Chapter 11 bankruptcies 37 Charles, Prince of Wales 317 Charney, Scott 43, 47, 72–3 Chase, Stuart 136, 139 Chasm Group 12, 36 Check Point Software 52–3, 86 chemistry 239, 310–11 Chi Mei 156–7 chief financial officers (CFOs) 21, 28–31, 73–4 Chile 319 China 38–9, 109, 112–15, 120–1, 130, 136, 140, 142, 145, 154, 156, 160, 171, 269, 276, 301, 309, 319–20 Christensen, Clayton 9, 107–8 Chuang, Alfred 87 CIA 18, 33, 50, 56 Cisco 106, 110, 211 Citibank 30, 121, 126 civil liberties, security issues 74 civilisation processes 84 clamshell design, mobile phones 170–1 Clarke, Richard 43, 75–6 cleaner energy ix–x, 233, 274–6 climate change ix clocks 82 clones, IBM PCs 9 cloning, biotechnology 239, 256, 267–71, 329 Clyde, Rob 67 CMOS chips 313–14 co-branding trends, mobile phones 161 Coburn, Pip 80–1, 89 Cockayne, Bill 66 Code Red virus 45, 49, 50, 54–5 Cognizant 125, 131 Cohen, Ted 228 cold technologies 31, 80 Cole, Andrew 163–5, 167 Comber, Mike 222 commoditisation issues, concepts 6–7, 8–16, 25, 132–5, 159, 203 Compal 156 Company 51 45–6, 54 Compaq 38 competitive advantages viii, 30 complexity problems ASPs 91–2, 109 byte’s-eye view 85–7 concepts viii, 14–16, 78–81, 82–110, 117–22 consumer needs 93–7 costs 79 creative destruction 107–10, 200, 326 desktops 100–2 digital homes 95–7 disappearance 82–4 “featuritis” 83–4 filtering needs 101–2, 339 front-end simplicity needs 84, 88, 99–102 historical background 80–4 infrastructural considerations 85–7, 117–22 IT viii, 14–16, 78–81, 82–110, 117–22 mergers 87 metaphors 100–2 “mom” tests 98 outsourcing 118–22 simplicity needs 78–81, 84, 87, 88–92, 98–110 web services 88–92 wireless technology 95–7, 109–10 “ws splat” 90–1 computer chips 4–12, 32–4, 85–7, 93, 95, 109, 119, 158, 161, 198–200, 202–3, 216, 313–14, 325–7 see also processing power Cell chips 198–200 costs 10, 14 heat generation 11–12 nanotechnology 313–14, 325–7 types 199–200, 202–3, 313–14 UWB chips 216 Computer Security Institute (CSI) 50–2, 62 Comviq 109 Condé Nast Building 301 consumer electronics see also customers; digital homes; gaming; mobile phones Cell chips 198–200 concepts viii–ix, 94–7, 99–102, 119, 147, 198–200, 203, 338–9 hard disks 204–8 control systems see also security... cyber-terrorism threats 75–6 Convergys 121, 126–9 copyright ix, 34 Corn, Joe 82 Cornice 208 Corporate Watch 318 costs viii, 4–7, 10, 14–15, 29–31, 70–4, 79, 186, 275–6, 283, 295–8, 311, 332–6 calculations 30–1 complexity problems 79 computer chips 10, 14 343 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY downward trends viii, 4–7, 14 energy alternatives 275–6 flat-panel displays 230–1 gaming budgets 186 hybrid cars 295–8 networks 14–15 outsourcing 112–24, 131–5, 140–3 performance links 29–30 robots 332–6 security issues 45–6, 50–1, 62, 70–4 storage costs 14–15 viruses 50–1 VOIP 104–6, 167 cotton 252–5 crashes, innovations vii, 4, 5–8, 39, 107, 134 creative destruction 107–10, 200, 326 credit cards 114, 117–18, 129, 338 Crick, Francis 236, 247, 271 crime fraud 52, 61–3, 181–3 mobile phones 180–3 CRM see customer relationship management crops, GM 251–5, 270–1 Crosbie, Michael 302 Cruise, Tom 64–5 Crystal Palace 299 CSI see Computer Security Institute CSM Worldwide 291–2, 297 CTC 288 cultural issues outsourcing 122, 142 technology 93–4 customer relationship management (CRM) 19, 47 customers see also consumer electronics complexity issues 93–7 cultural issues 93–4, 142 powers 26–7, 28–31, 36–40, 83–4 satisfaction 22, 24, 28–31 simplicity needs 78–81, 84, 87, 88–92, 98–110 vendors 94–7 cutting-edge economics 17 Cypress Semiconductor 32 Czech Republic 114, 120, 319 Czerwinski, Mary 100 D D-VARS 288 DaimlerChrysler 292, 295–6 Danger 152 data centres 17, 21, 84–92, 117–22 data services, mobile phones 164–5, 170–1 databases 17–18, 20–1, 35, 36–7, 56, 69, 101–2 Davidson, Mary Ann 56 Davies, Geoff 53, 72–4 de Felipe, Charles 87 344 de Vries, Pierre 55 Dean, David 160 deCODE 243–4 Dedo, Doug 67 Delacourt, Francis 143 Dell 8, 9, 85, 88, 109, 114–15, 131, 150, 202–3, 230 DeLong, Brad 36 Demos 318 Denman, Ken 212 Denmark 289 deployment period, revolutionary ideas 6 Dertouzos, Michael 78 desktops 100–2 Deutsche Bank 121, 126, 161, 164 diesel cars 296–7, 314–15 Diffie, Whitfield 43, 56 digital cameras 78, 95, 179–83, 203, 204 digital homes ix, 94–7, 147, 200, 202–32 see also flat-panel displays; TV; video...; wireless technology competitors 202–3 concepts 147, 200, 202–32 future prospects 202–3 hard disks 204–8, 219–20 iPod music-players ix, 99–100, 102, 172, 192, 203, 204, 207–8, 219–29 media hubs 202–3 music 204, 207–8, 219–29 PCs 202–3 UWB 96–7, 214–19 Wi-Fi 34–5, 66–7, 93, 95–7, 153, 203, 209–18 digital immigrants 81, 93, 109 digital natives 81, 93 digital video recorders (DVRs) 205–6 direct-sequence ultrawideband (DS-UWB) 215–17 disaster-recovery systems 43–4 Dish Network 205 Disney 168 disruptive innovations, concepts 107–10, 200, 326 Diversa 253–4 DNA 236–41, 243–4, 247, 250, 262, 265, 312, 328 Dobbs, Lou 144 Dobkin, Arkadiy 130, 142 Dolly-the-sheep clone 256, 268 Donaldson, Ken 317 Dorel Industries 140 dotcom boom vii, 19, 37–9, 66, 79–81, 90, 92, 162, 309, 322, 339 double-clicking dangers, viruses 59–60 Dow 259–60, 263 DreamWorks 186 Drexler, Eric 316 DS, Nintendo 191–3 DS-UWB see direct-sequence ultrawideband INDEX Dun & Bradstreet 126 DuPont 259–60 DVD technology 203, 214, 224, 315 DVRs see digital video recorders E E*Trade 37 e-commerce 14, 71, 113 see also internet e-homes see digital homes e-mail viii, 42–57, 59–60, 99, 101, 104–6, 150, 156–7, 180 see also internet historical background 106 eBay 37, 91 economics, cutting-edge economics 17 The Economist x, 7, 66 Edison, Thomas Alva 82–3, 289 eDonkey 229 EDS 19–20, 60, 88, 120, 126, 134 Eigler, Don 310 electric cars 284, 290, 291–8 Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) 285–9, 290, 295–6 electricity fuel cells 274–9, 280–1, 289–90, 297–8, 301, 315, 325 green buildings 233, 299–304 hybrid cars 233, 284, 291–8 hydrogen 233, 262–4, 271, 274–9, 289–90, 297–8 lithium-ion batteries 233, 280–4 micropower concepts 289 nanotechnology 314–15 power grids 233, 285–90 storage problems 275–6, 289–90 electrification age ix, 5, 19, 23, 39, 82, 83, 84, 134 Electronic Arts 187, 190 electronic-manufacturing services (EMS), mobile phones 155–6, 159–60 electrons 307 Eli Lilly 44 Ellison, Larry 5, 21–2, 38–40 embryonic stem cells 268–9 EMI 222–9 Emotion Engine chips 199–200 Empedocles, Stephen 321 employees future job prospects 136–9, 144–6 office boundaries 80–1, 94 outsourcing viii, 112–46 resistance problems 31 security threats 58–63, 69 VOIP 104–6 EMS see electronic-manufacturing services encryption 53–4, 86–7 energy internet 285–90 energy technology ix–x, 233, 274–304, 314–15 alternative production-methods 275–6, 286, 289 concepts 274–304, 314–15 demand forecasts 277–9 fuel cells 233, 262–4, 271, 274–9, 280–1, 289–90, 297–8, 301, 315, 325 green buildings 233, 299–304 hybrid cars 233, 284, 291–8 hydrogen 233, 262–4, 271, 274–9, 289–90, 297–8 lithium-ion batteries 233, 280–4 nanotechnology 314–15 power grids 233, 285–90 production costs 275–6 renewable energy 275–6, 286, 289, 300 Engelberger, Joe 334 enterprise consumers 94–7 enterprise software 20, 35 Environmental Defence 319 enzymes, biotechnology 258–64 Epicyte 256–7 EPRI see Electric Power Research Institute Eralp, Osman 225 Ericsson 155–6, 158, 171 ETC 317–18 Ethernet 210–11 Europe see also individual countries fuel cells 274 mobile phones 163–9, 174 outsourcing 140–6 EV-DO see CDMA...


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The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton

Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, correlation does not imply causation, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Mars Rover, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell

For close to two decades I had been programming biology’s central dogma—the belief that life is controlled by genes—into the minds of medical students. On the other hand, my new understanding was not a complete surprise. I had always had niggling doubts about genetic determinism. Some of those doubts stemmed from my eighteen years of government-funded research on cloning stem cells. Though it took a sojourn outside of traditional academia for me to fully realize it, my research offered incontrovertible proof that biology’s most cherished tenets regarding genetic determinism are fundamentally flawed. My new understanding of the nature of life not only corroborated my stem cell research but also, I realized, contradicted another belief of mainstream science that I had been propounding to my students—the belief that allopathic medicine is the only kind of medicine that merits consideration in medical school. By finally giving the energy-based environment its due, it provided for a grand convergence uniting the science and practice of allopathic medicine, complementary medicine, and the spiritual wisdom of ancient and modern faiths.

Suffice it to say that after four months in paradise, teaching in a way that clarified my thinking about cells and the lessons they provide to humans, I was well on my way to an understanding of the New Biology, which leaves in the dust the defeatism of genetic and parental programming as well as survival-of-the-fittest Darwinism. CHAPTER 2 IT’S THE ENVIRONMENT, STUPID I will never forget a piece of wisdom I received in 1967, on the first day I learned to clone stem cells in graduate school. It took me decades to realize how profound this seemingly simple piece of wisdom was for my work and my life. My professor, mentor, and consummate scientist Irv Konigsberg was one of the first cell biologists to master the art of cloning stem cells. He told me that when the cultured cells you are studying are ailing, you look first to the cell’s environment, not to the cell itself, for the cause. My professor wasn’t as blunt as Bill Clinton’s campaign manager, James Carville, who decreed, “It’s the economy, stupid,” to be the mantra for the 1992 presidential election.

Epigenetics is the science of how environmental signals select, modify, and regulate gene activity. This new awareness reveals that our genes are constantly being remodeled in response to life experiences. Which again emphasizes that our perceptions of life shape our biology. Months after this book was first published, an article in one of the most prestigious journals, Nature, revealed exciting new epigenetic insights on how the environment controls gene activity in stem cells, which coincidently is the same subject and conclusion I offer in Chapter 2. I must admit that I was amused by the fact that my chapter is entitled “It’s the Environment, Stupid” while the more recent Nature article was titled “It’s the Ecology, Stupid.” (2005 Nature 435:268) Essentially, we are on the same page! Some scientists in reviewing this book asked, “So what’s new about this work?” Leading-edge scientists are familiar with the concepts proposed herein, and that’s a good thing.


pages: 161 words: 37,042

Viruses: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Crawford, Dorothy H.

clean water, coronavirus, discovery of penicillin, Francisco Pizarro, hygiene hypothesis, Louis Pasteur, megacity, Nelson Mandela, stem cell

We now know that HPVs target squamous epithelial cells, that is, the thick layer of cells that make up the skin on the outside of our bodies, and line certain internal areas such as the genital tract, the mouth, the throat, and upper larynx. The basal layer of the epithelium contains self-renewing stem cells capable of a lifetime of cell division. This production line is normally finely balanced by cell loss from the regular shedding of dead cells from the skin surface. Entering through a small cut or abrasion, HPVs set up a persistent infection in these epithelial stem cells. The HPV genome replicates each time the cell divides, with one copy being retained in the stem cell offspring so ensuring its long-term survival in the host. The second daughter cell progresses up the epithelium, and its maturation is the signal for HPV to begin virus production, so that when the cell dies and is shed from the surface, it contains thousands of virus particles ready to infect new hosts, spread by close contact such as sexual intercourse.

But more importantly, the virus in a pregnant woman’s blood may on rare occasions cross the placenta and infect her unborn child. When this happens, it causes cytomegalic inclusion disease in around 10% of affected infants, inducing a wide range of symptoms including growth retardation, deafness, abnormalities of internal organsre0S blood clotting, and inflammation of the liver, lungs, heart, and brain. CMV establishes latency in the bone marrow stem cells that develop into blood monocytes and tissue macrophages. These cells transport the latent virus via the blood to the tissues where virus reactivation is common. In healthy hosts, this is dealt with by the immune system without causing disease, but CMV replication produces significant pathology in immunosuppressed patients, and was responsible for blindness, severe diarrhoea, pneumonia, and encephalitis in many HIV-positive people before effective antivirals were developed in the early 1990s.

bacterium: a unicellular micro-organism in the domain Bacteria. base pairs: the pairs of nucleotides that form the ‘letters’ of the genetic code. In DNA, adenine (A) pairs with thymine (T), and cytosine (C) pairs with guanine (G). bluetongue virus: midge-borne virus of the Orbivirus genus, so called because of the orb-shaped capsid. B lymphocyte/B cell: an antibody-producing cell Q3 virusle c that develops from stem cells in the bone marrow, circulates in the blood, and matures in lymph nodes. bocavirus: a parvovirus, its name being derived from its two known hosts, cattle and dogs (i.e. bovine and canine), recently identified as a cause of childhood respiratory disease in humans. bronchiolitis: inflammation of the bronchioles – the smaller air passages of the lungs. capsid: the protein coat surrounding the genetic material of a virus.


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The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris

Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, cognitive bias, end world poverty, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, scientific worldview, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, ultimatum game, World Values Survey

But many fully developed human beings answer to this condition of utter dependency at some point in their lives (e.g., a kidney patient on dialysis). And embryos themselves are not viable unless placed in the proper conditions. Indeed, embryos could be engineered to not be viable past a certain age even if implanted in a womb. Would this obviate the ethical concerns of those who oppose embryonic stem-cell research? At the time of this writing, the Obama administration still has not removed the most important impediments to embryonic stem-cell research. Currently, federal funding is only allowed for work on stem cells that have been derived from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. This delicacy is a clear concession to the religious convictions of the American electorate. While Collins seems willing to go further and support research on embryos created through somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), he is very far from being a voice of ethical clarity in this debate.

The belief that the soul enters the zygote at (or very near) the moment of conception leads to spurious worries about the fate of undifferentiated cells in Petri dishes and, therefore, to profound qualms over embryonic stem cell research. Rather often, a belief in souls leaves people indifferent to the suffering of creatures thought not to possess them. There are many species of animals that can suffer in ways that three-day-old human embryos cannot. The use of apes in medical research, the exposure of whales and dolphins to military sonar92—these are real ethical dilemmas, with real suffering at issue. Concern over human embryos smaller than the period at the end of this sentence—when, for years they have constituted one of the most promising contexts for medical research—is one of the many delusional products of religion that has led to an ethical blind alley, and to terrible failures of compassion. While Collins appears to support embryonic stem-cell research, he does so after much (literal) soul searching and under considerable theological duress.

Multiculturalism, moral relativism, political correctness, tolerance even of intolerance—these are the familiar consequences of separating facts and values on the left. It should concern us that these two orientations are not equally empowering. Increasingly, secular democracies are left supine before the unreasoning zeal of old-time religion. The juxtaposition of conservative dogmatism and liberal doubt accounts for the decade that has been lost in the United States to a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research; it explains the years of political distraction we have suffered, and will continue to suffer, over issues like abortion and gay marriage; it lies at the bottom of current efforts to pass antiblasphemy laws at the United Nations (which would make it illegal for the citizens of member states to criticize religion); it has hobbled the West in its generational war against radical Islam; and it may yet refashion the societies of Europe into a new Caliphate.6 Knowing what the Creator of the Universe believes about right and wrong inspires religious conservatives to enforce this vision in the public sphere at almost any cost; not knowing what is right—or that anything can ever be truly right—often leads secular liberals to surrender their intellectual standards and political freedoms with both hands.


pages: 386 words: 114,405

The Death of Cancer: After Fifty Years on the Front Lines of Medicine, a Pioneering Oncologist Reveals Why the War on Cancer Is Winnable--And How We Can Get There by Vincent T. Devita, Jr., M. D., Elizabeth Devita-Raeburn

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, double helix, mouse model, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, stem cell

The reserve has an ample enough supply to last for about a week to ten days. If you did a blood count during this time, the cell count would appear normal, even though the stem cell factory (stem cells generate all the cells in the marrow) had been shut down. But the damage had been done, and the storage compartment would be emptying. However, a second dose of a drug that is toxic to the marrow during the first ten days isn’t as damaging as the first. There are two reasons for this. The more mature cells left in the storage compartment aren’t all that sensitive to chemotherapy in the first place. And the stem cells would have been rendered quiescent by the first dose. Cells that are going through a lot of cell division, as stem cells normally do, are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of chemotherapy. Inactive cells, however, aren’t dividing, so they’re less susceptible to damage.

Inactive cells, however, aren’t dividing, so they’re less susceptible to damage. From day 9 after a dose of chemotherapy until about day 18, patients are out of white blood cells and platelets. While the stem cells in the marrow are awakening, they are not making many cells. This is the period of greatest danger for acquiring an infection or bleeding. After day 18, the marrow wakes up again in earnest, and the stem cells begin furiously churning out more white blood cells and platelets, although few of them leave the marrow until the storage compartment is full again. If you give another big dose of drug between days 14 and 18, it will cause severe marrow toxicity that could be fatal to the freshly dividing cells. By day 21, the storage compartment is full again, and signs of recovery—in the form of brand-new white blood cells and platelets circulating in the bloodstream—are in evidence.

Together, we devised a plan, passing the paper back and forth on the ward when one of us had time to work on it. Pretty soon, we realized we had another problem. In childhood leukemia, the drug combinations were given intensively, every day, for as long as possible, with the intent to destroy every leukemic cell lingering in the bone marrow and circulating in the bloodstream. Then you stopped and prayed there were enough normal marrow stem cells left to regenerate the bone marrow. Often, there were. But in patients with solid tumors, we didn’t want to damage the marrow. In fact, we needed, as much as possible, to avoid damaging it, as our patients would become more fragile if their blood counts dipped. We needed a different dosing schedule, one that killed the Hodgkin’s cells but didn’t destroy our patients’ bone marrow. We had little information to go on, so we decided arbitrarily to give treatment cycles once every twenty-one days.


pages: 398 words: 105,032

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, connected car, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, market design, megastructure, microbiome, moral hazard, multiplanetary species, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, personalized medicine, placebo effect, Project Plowshare, QR code, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Skype, stem cell, Tunguska event

How patent law would work is another issue that is important but not unique to bioprinting. Suppose the Apple iLiver is way better than the Microsoft X-Liver. How long should Apple have the right to keep its product patented? The various ethical issues of stem cells may arise for organ printing, but at least so far it does not appear to be a major moral conundrum. Most ethical concerns with stem cells are associated with the use of embryonic stem cells. But the stem cells most likely to be used for bioprinters are pluripotent stem cells, which are like embryonic cells but are derived from patients. A few concerns may be unique to bioprinting, but they seem pretty mild to us. For example, one concern is that printed organs may acquire bacteria during the printing process. In theory, these bacteria could be types that would never get into, say, a liver in the first place.

In principle, a 3D printer should be able to rapidly shoot out the appropriate cells, proteins, chemicals, treatments, and structural elements needed to construct working human organs. Better still, a 3D printer would be able to make the product to order for each patient. This is handy, because a five-foot-tall woman does not want the same heart as a seven-foot-tall man. It’s also handy because an on-site 3D printer could use cells harvested and cultured from the individual patient that will receive the organ. For example, you could harvest immature stem cells from someone, coax them into replicating and becoming the cells that make up a particular organ, and then transplant an organ made from these cells back into the patient. Such an organ would not have the rejection problems that normally come from organ transplants. You may have the impression that 3D printing is mostly for weirdos with too much money who spend their time obsessively printing Star Wars miniatures.

., 47 Delp, Michael, 59n Demaine, Erik, 102, 107–8, 118, 122, 128 dementia, 307 Dempsey, Gaia, 179 depression, 245, 247, 250, 301, 302 depth perception, via smell, 187 Derleth, Jason, 25–27, 35–36, 40 designer babies, 219 deuterium, 73–74, 77, 83 deuterium gas, 81–82 Deutsch, David, 330 diabetes, 245 diminished reality, 181–82 dinosaurs, 225 disease, 198–203, 217 Disney, Walt, 97 Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The (Bauby), 316 d-limonene, 210 DNA, 191, 192–98, 201–2, 204, 205, 213–14, 217, 221, 222, 234, 236, 239, 332 of mammoths, 222–23 as memory storage, 220 Doctor Who (TV show), 82 dogs, 187 Domburg, Jeroen, 161 Dong, Suyang, 177 Doudna, Jennifer, 212 Dowling, Jonathan, 330n drones, 152–53 drugs, 269 drug trials, 254–55, 268–69 Duff, David, 116 ears, 186 Earth, 16, 25, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 49, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 67, 68, 69, 159, 169, 319 earwax, 196n East Germany, 135 ECoG (electrocorticography), 294–95, 298, 302 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 112 ecology, 219 Edison, Thomas, 134, 146 education, 183–84 Edwards, Bradley, 31 EEG (electroencephalogram), 287–90, 291, 292, 294, 298, 299, 310 efficiency, 125–26 eGenesis, 207 EGFRvIII, 243 Egyptians, ancient, 6 Eiben, Gusz, 120n Eiffel Tower, 150, 171 Eisen, Jonathan, 234n electric shock therapy, 299 electromagnetic railgun, 24–25 electrons, 5 Elvis, Martin, 65–67, 68, 320n embryonic stem cells, 273 “emergency guide robot,” 130–32 Empire State Building, 172 environment: biosynthetic monitoring of, 210–12 fusion power and, 94 programmable matter in, 128 robotic construction and, 155–56 space flight damage to, 39–40 synthetic organisms and, 218–19 environmental movement, 97–98 EPFL Laboratory for Timber Construction, 143–44 epilepsy, 295, 302 escape velocity, 55 Escherichia coli, 198 ethanol, 286 Ethnobotany Study Book, 176 European Space Agency (ESA), 22, 27, 65 European Union, 22n Everett, Daniel, 140n evolution, 196 extinction, 221–25 eyes, 186 Faber, Daniel, 53, 68, 69 Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing (Lipson and Kurman), 159 Fabric of Reality, The (Deutsch), 330 Facebook, 6n, 111, 180, 254 face-tracking software, 180 Falcon 9 rocket, 8n, 19 Faraday, Michael, 4, 6 fiducial marker, 169–70 fingertips, pruney, 126 Fisher, Caitlin, 173, 177–78 fission, 79n FitBit, 252n flexible electrode arrays, 298 Florida, University of, 300 Center for Smell and Taste at, 334 Florida State University, 59n flu, 247 flu vaccines, 217 flux pinning, 326–27 flying cars, 2 fMRI (functional magenetic resonance imaging), 290–91 fMRS (functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy), 292 fNIRS (functional near-infrared spectroscopy), 291 food, printed, 159–63 Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 254, 315, 316 foods, 190–91 Ford Motor Company, 97 Forgacs, Gabor, 268–69, 272 forked tongue, 187 “4D printing,” 103–5 France, 93n Frankenfood, 221 free fall, 42–43 “freezing of gait,” 301 Frostruder, 162 fuel cells, 208–9 fuels, 20, 208–10, 221 furniture, 127 Fusion: The Energy of the Universe (McCracken), 77 fusion bombs, 79 fusion power, 73–100 benefits of, 93–94 blast approach to, 84–85 breakeven point in, 88 concerns about, 91–93 confining and heating approach to, 85 research funding for, 92–93 where we are now with, 86–90 fusion reactors, 314 Fusor.net, 80 fusors, tabletop, 80–84 Gaia (robot), 129–30 Gatenholm, Dr., 269 gene drive, 201–3 gene expression, 239 General Fusion, 89 genes, 195–96, 197, 204, 215 gene sequencing, 2 Genetic Access Control (app), 251–52 genetic disorders, 3, 219, 235–37 Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (2008), 250–51 genetic mutations, 40, 231 George Mason University, 56 Georgia Institute of Technology, 130 geostationary orbit, 32, 34, 43 Germany, Nazi, 135 Gilpin, Kyle, 118 GitHub, 251 Global Catastrophic Risks (book of essays), 125n glucose, 286 GMOs (genetically modified organisms), 221 Go-Between, The (Hartley), 331 gold, 52, 92 “Golden Promise” barley, 192 Google, 111, 180, 197n, 232, 254, 290 Google Glass, 175–76, 179, 186 Google Scholar, 247 gophers, 96–97 GPS, 171, 173 Gramazio, Fabio, 152 granite, 144 Grant, Dale, 46 gravity, 15–16, 42, 43, 52, 56, 78 “Gray Goo Scenario,” 125 gray wolves, 224 Graz University of Technology, 177 Great Britain, 22 Great Depression, 45 Greeks, ancient, 6 Greenpeace, 94n Gunduz, Aysegul, 300, 301 guns, 3D printed, 125 hacking, of brain implants, 309 hands, 323–24, 332 haptic pen, 175 Haque Design + Research (Umbrellium), 111 hard hats, 179 Hartley, L.


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Branded Beauty by Mark Tungate

augmented reality, Berlin Wall, call centre, corporate social responsibility, double helix, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, haute couture, invention of the printing press, joint-stock company, liberal capitalism, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, stem cell

We have 260 researchers, which may seem quite a small number compared to the likes of L’Oréal, but we also work with exterior partners, such as Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.’ Stem cell research has proved fertile terrain for skincare marketers. As stem cells have the power to renew themselves, the theory is that epidermal stem cells should be protected – or even boosted – in order to ensure that they do their job of keeping our skin looking fresh and radiant with maximum efficiency. Such is the thinking behind Dior’s best-selling Capture Totale anti-ageing line, long promoted with advertising images of an apparently ageless Sharon Stone. It defends stem cells with TP Vityl, a topical constituent derived from vitamin E. This is what skincare marketers mean when they talk about ‘active ingredients’ – elements that have a job to do, rather than simply being part of the delivery vector, such as a colouring agent or fragrance.

This is what skincare marketers mean when they talk about ‘active ingredients’ – elements that have a job to do, rather than simply being part of the delivery vector, such as a colouring agent or fragrance. Beauty companies tend to promote active ingredients with language that reflects their brand DNA. For instance, La Prairie (owned, like Nivea, by Beiersdorf) makes much of its Swiss origins, equating the pure air and snows of its homeland with health and purity. Thus it assures us that its Cellular Power Infusion contains ‘the stem cells of Swiss red grapes and extract of Swiss snow algae’. This somehow explains why it costs almost 500 dollars a pot. Anyway, let’s return to Mauvais-Jarvis. ‘I believe a smaller team with exterior partners is more flexible than an enormous research department that is practically a company within a company,’ he says. ‘In this business, you have to be reactive, because it’s important to be first on to the market with a discovery.’

I understand why people buy skin creams, but what happens before they come on to the market? What’s the process?’ So I find someone to ask: a friend of a friend, who works as a product manager at a major beauty company that has already been mentioned in these pages. She spoke on condition of anonymity, but let’s call her Caroline. As we’ve established, skincare trends come and go almost as fast as fashion fads. Plant extracts, antioxidants, peptides, stem cells, bio-electricity: all of them have had their time in the sun. Beauty companies watch one another like hawks to ensure that they don’t miss out on a new active ingredient. ‘You constantly monitor what your competitors are doing,’ confirms Caroline. ‘You want to be sure you’re maintaining your fair share of the market, so you may find yourself launching a product to react to the competition or respond to a success story, but that’s by no means the only impetus.


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Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food by Chase Purdy

agricultural Revolution, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Donald Trump, gig economy, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs

A lot of the companies growing cell-cultured meat chose to tackle meat from birds first. Avian cells often grow better in cultured settings than mammalian cells do. For starters, it’s easier to tinker with them and get them to do what you want—they have better plasticity. Mammal cells are harder to coax into compliance; source animals must be young because they have healthier muscle stem cells, for instance. By contrast, scientists have learned that muscle stem cells, sometimes even from older birds, are still efficient for proliferation in a laboratory setting. I bring the toast up to my mouth and take a bite, chewing for a moment, savoring—and judging—the pâté’s silky texture and rich aftertaste. My eyes, mouth, and nose instinctively registered what I was eating as meat—but crackling across the buzzing synapses of my brain was only one thought: Cells!

“The healthiest cells are going to be from a live biopsy and the healthiest of the healthiest cells are going to be from a biopsy of a very, very young animal,” says Mike Selden, who leads Finless Foods. “Honestly, the grocery store stuff is totally useless because everything there is dead.” The scientists at cell-cultured meat companies identify which cells are stem cells. Whereas ordinary cells have limited utility, stem cells can divide and multiply many times, and they can transform into any of the more than two hundred types of cells that operate within animal bodies. Think of our cells as individuals on a building construction site. Some are assigned to lay cement, some are trained as carpenters, and another might be an electrician. Together, they work harmoniously to build different components of the larger structure.

There’s a gulf separating what casual consumers can know about it and what high-tech scientists with multiple degrees understand about it. Back in the United States, California-based Memphis Meats CEO Uma Valeti explains that a lot of open questions about cell-cultured meat will be answered as the products near the point at which they’re ready for market. Valeti, already an accomplished cardiologist in his own right, incorporated Memphis Meats in August 2015 after spending a decade thinking about using stem cells to grow meats. “I researched every single thing I could get my hands on,” he told me one sunny afternoon at his company’s headquarters in Berkeley. “I just got more and more convinced, the pieces are all here and we just need to put them together.” From the beginning, he said that gaining consumer trust has been at the top of his mind. He said Memphis Meats couldn’t operate in stealth mode because it was essential that the public conversation around cell-cultured meat happen publicly.


Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods

Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Law of Accelerating Returns, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, out of africa, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, smart cities, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, white flight, zero-sum game

In attempting to explain the link between friendliness and the suite of traits that tend to make up the mammalian domestication syndrome, Richard Wrangham and the geneticist Adam Wilkinson became particularly interested in neural crest cells, which play an outsized role in development.23 Neural crest cells appear for a short time in all vertebrate embryos. These cells develop on the back of the neural tube, which eventually becomes the brain and spine. Neural crest cells are stem cells, which means that as the embryo develops, neural crest cells can transform into a variety of cell types. They are also migratory. As the embryo develops, these special stem cells travel all over the body. A set of librarian genes is thought to have powerful sway on which type of cell these stem cells become and when and where they migrate. Migratory neural crest cells play a role in the development of a host of traits associated with the domestication syndrome. Central to domestication is reduced fear and aggression; neural crest cells are involved in the development of the adrenal medullae that release adrenaline.23 In domesticated animals, the adrenal glands are smaller than in their wild cousins, and smaller adrenal glands mean fewer stress-inducing hormones.

The Millennium Project75 is a think tank that ranks the fifteen biggest global challenges every year. For almost every challenge, the Millennium Project proposes solutions involving technology. Climate change causing havoc? Switch to renewable energy and retrofit fossil fuel plants to reuse CO2. Overpopulation bursting the earth at the seams? Build eco-smart cities, grow steak in a petri dish from stem cells, and genetically engineer high-yield drought-resistant crops. Need to make education universal? Develop scalable software for children anywhere in the world to teach themselves reading, writing, and math online in eighteen months flat.76 But as Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said, “technology alone isn’t the solution. And sometimes it’s even part of the problem.” Because technology is, and always has been, a double-edged sword.

Parsons, R. N. Howie, M. Elsalanty, J. C. Yu, “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Exposure Alters Osteoblast Gene Expression and Craniofacial Development in Mice,” Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology 100, 912–23 (2014). 55. C. Vichier-Guerre, M. Parker, Y. Pomerantz, R. H. Finnell, R. M. Cabrera, “Impact of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors on Neural Crest Stem Cell Formation,” Toxicology Letters 281, 20–25 (2017). 56. S. Neubauer, J. J. Hublin, P. Gunz, “The Evolution of Modern Human Brain Shape,” Science Advances 4, eaao5961 (2018), published online EpubJan, 10:1126/sciadv.aao5961. 57. P. Gunz, A. K. Tilot, K. Wittfeld, A. Teumer, C. Y. Shapland, T. G. Van Erp, M. Dannemann, B. Vernot, S. Neubauer, T. Guadalupe, “Neandertal Introgression Sheds Light on Modern Human Endocranial Globularity,” Current Biology 29, 120–27. e125 (2019). 58.


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A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

However, the dogmatic Right does occasionally participate in a sort of scientific process, if only by accident, as in the case of stem cells. Researchers discovered the therapeutic potential of these entities but were forced, early on, to rely on fetal tissue as a prime source of material. The Right sensed a chance to score points with the dogmatists, whatever the lost opportunities for wellness. It spun up the whole apparatus of the pro-life movement, and the Bush II administration limited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. These bars were ultimately lifted in part by the Obama administration, which helps (though a new, if limply supported, witch hunt by Boomer Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn does not), as did the development of nonembryonic sources.38 While stem cell research is now proceeding well, years were lost—though not by everyone. Even as some states were banning stem cell research, others (e.g., California and New York) saw beyond the nonsense and promoted stem cell research at their own expense, and this is what gives the Right its walk-on role in science history.

Even as some states were banning stem cell research, others (e.g., California and New York) saw beyond the nonsense and promoted stem cell research at their own expense, and this is what gives the Right its walk-on role in science history. Over the coming years, we will see the results of a certain rough experiment, comparing New York’s and California’s achievements in biology to whatever is going on in the various places that restrict such research.* It may seem odd to mention the arcane world of stem cells in a chapter about existential issues, but stem cells are existential, at least for individuals. If the therapies work, people live longer; if they don’t exist, people die. And stem cells are but one example of potential and serious losses due to underfunded science. The Boomer Left has a much healthier attitude toward R&D, though it has made its own dogmatic mistakes and in its early years was much too skeptical about the net benefits of research.

Ninety-Fifth United States Congress, 1st Session. 33. “Vice President Spiro Agnew Speech.” The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley. Social Activism Sound Recording Project. Houston, Texas, 22 May 1970, lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet/agnewtranscript.html. 34. Novak, Michael. “Reconsidering Vatican II.” CatholiCity. 20 Apr. 2010. 35. Newport, Frank. “Catholics Similar to Mainstream on Abortion, Stem-Cells.” Gallup. 30 Mar. 2009, www.gallup.com/poll/117154/catholics-similar-mainstream-abortion-stem-cells.aspx. Catholics who regularly attend church are more orthodox, but substantial minorities still hold more liberal, heterodox views on many matters. 36. “Pontifical Council for Legislative Text” (approved by Benedict XVI). 13 Mar. 2006, www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20060313_actus-formalis_en.html. 37.


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The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes From an Uncertain Science by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Atul Gawande, cognitive dissonance, Johannes Kepler, medical residency, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, stem cell, Thomas Bayes

A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, Cell, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The New York Times. In 2015, Mukherjee collaborated with Ken Burns on a six-hour, three-part PBS documentary on the history and future of cancer. Mukherjee’s scientific work concerns cancer and stem cells, and his laboratory is known for the discovery of novel aspects of stem cell biology, including the isolation of stem cells that form bone and cartilage. He lives in New York with his wife and two daughters. Read the book and watch the talk. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s TED Talk, available online: www.TED.com Meet the authors, watch videos and more at: SimonandSchuster.com authors.simonandschuster.com/Siddhartha-Mukherjee WATCH SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE’S TED TALK Siddhartha Mukherjee’s TED Talk, available for free at TED.com, is the companion to The Laws of Medicine.


pages: 259 words: 85,514

The Knife's Edge by Stephen Westaby

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, Kickstarter, presumed consent, stem cell, Stephen Hawking

I never looked upon surgery that way. I attracted high-risk cases like a magnet, then revelled in the contest, me versus Grim Reaper. I was repeatedly told that my schemes would never work – that silicone rubber tubes in the windpipe would clog (they didn’t); that pulseless people couldn’t survive (they did); that putting electricity into people’s heads was dangerous (it wasn’t); that injecting stem cells directly into scarred hearts would cause sudden death (not so; we use them to treat heart failure now). Risk-taking is a vital part of medical innovation, and life itself is a risk. If deprived of the opportunity to innovate, cardiac surgery is finished. 4 hubris Through that retrospectoscope I viewed the next stages of my career with deep embarrassment. I wasn’t born an egotistical maniac.

When allegations of ‘inappropriate process’ and misinformation were used against Safe and Sustainable in court – which we had rechristened ‘Dodgy and Distainable’ – the whole process was discredited and thrown out. As a result, the other threatened centres remain open years later. After our paediatric service was closed down, other children were not as lucky as Oliver. By then I was involved with a number of different and exciting projects, such as the artificial hearts and cardiac stem cells, but I missed the immense satisfaction that comes from saving a child. Who else gets messages like this last line from Nicky’s letter? I know how lucky we were as a family to have had you in our lives for that brief moment of time. Every day for us, every family get together, every Christmas or special occasion is that much happier for what you did. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! What better legacy than that?

Much of the surgery we did for coronary artery disease has been superseded by coronary stenting under local anaesthetic, often on a day-case basis. When performed during a heart attack, this technique restores blood flow to the dying muscle and if done in time can salvage a significant amount of it. Some of those saved do go on to suffer heart failure, but they might soon receive an injection of stem cells down that catheter too. Even though the results are marginally better with coronary bypass surgery, who would honestly prefer a foot-long incision up the sternum and another in the leg or arm to harvest the graft conduits? Even prosthetic heart valves can now be inserted by a cardiologist. They are rolled on to the end of a catheter, then unfurled forcibly within the diseased valve, an approach that is already routine in older age groups in some European countries.


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog

Nuclear-powergenerating technologies are much more diverse, safe, and reliable than they were 40 years ago, and one major reason for the improvement has been the dialectical relation between opponents and advocates of rapid deployment. (Such a dialectic was absent in the Soviet Union, and the result was Chernobyl.) Embryo research is telling a similar story. Advocates of embryonic stem cell research promise amazing benefits, at this point largely as a matter of faith, imagination, and the need to justify more research funding. Opponents, in their own creative space, see in the instrumental exploitation of embryos a cheapening of the value of life that will undermine civil society. One effect of these ignorance-based disputes has been to stimulate the search for alternative approaches to stem cell research that don't require destruction of the embryo. Option spaces are widening. The organizational challenge is to take these sorts of unbounded and often pathological disputes and mainstream them-move them into the institutions and activities where technological change is created-into laboratories, universities, government offices, corporate boardrooms-while ignorance is still rampant.

Until now, some are saying, our application of technology to enhancing our capabilities was largely external: we constructed tools that we could wield to increase our capacity to do A Long, Transhuman Trip 3 things, but as wielders we were essentially fixed in our capabilities. We controlled our external environment, not our internal selves. Even when we did things to enhance our inner capabilities, we did them with external interventions-eyeglasses, education, and the like. Now, we are told, with powerful new genetic technologies on the horizon, with the increasing fusion of human and machine intelligence, and with neuropharmaceuticals, artificial body parts, and stem cell therapies, we are beginning the business of transforming ourselves from the inside out, of exerting explicit and conscious control over our existing selves and our evolving selves in ways that create new opportunities, new challenges, and new ways of thinking about who we are and where we are going. The very notion of what it means to be human seems to be in play. For some people this is a thrilling and wonderful prospect indeed, while others are filled with dread and despair.

An assumption underlying all these ethical formulations is that decisions about ethics by individuals or by specific political entities are meaningful because they will lead toward the desired consequences. Recent history suggests otherwise: .neither the European Union's strong stance against agricultural genetically modified organisms nor the George W. Bush administration's efforts to limit federal funding of embryonic stem cell research has prevented the rapid advance of the science and technology in question-nor, for that matter, have anti-pirating laws prevented people from illegally downloading or copying software or music. Many technologies, including pharmaceuticals, supersonic air transport, and nuclear power generation, are limited by regulatory actions, but rarely has a society been able to forgo a powerful technological capability unless (as in the case of nuclear power, for example), there was an existing and economically feasible substitute.


pages: 367 words: 102,188

Sleepyhead: Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night by Henry Nicholls

A. Roger Ekirch, Donald Trump, double helix, Drosophila, global pandemic, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, placebo effect, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, web application, Yom Kippur War

Something that tickled up the hypocretins would be useful for any condition where excessive daytime sleepiness is an issue, not to mention the myriad other situations where low levels of these messengers may play a role, including obesity, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and dementia. Then there is stem cell therapy. Sergiu Paşca has the office next to Emmanuel Mignot at Stanford. He can do clever things with cells, like taking a skin cell, rewinding it to an early developmental stage known as a pluripotent stem cell and then letting it mature into a brain cell. ‘You can use this system to derive various brain regions and like a Lego game assemble them to form circuits in a dish,’ he says. Recently, his lab has succeeded in taking a skin cell from someone with narcolepsy and transforming it into a neuron that manufactures hypocretins.

Second, this kind of operation – to insert cells into the brain – is not something to be taken lightly, as there’s always a risk of doing more bad than good. Third, it’s unlikely that a hypocretin neuron would ever grow projections to all the right places. Fourth, it’s possible that the same autoimmune response that took out the hypocretin neurons in the first place could do the same again for the stem cells. The story of narcolepsy and the hypocretins is of still wider significance to the entire field of sleep medicine. Nobody has yet come up with a satisfying neurological explanation for idiopathic hypersomnia or Kleine-Levin Syndrome, for instance. Similarly sleepwalking, sleep talking, REM sleep behaviour disorder, sleep paralysis, restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. Without an understanding of the mechanism underlying these pathologies, the chances of effective treatment are much reduced.

Strawn and others, ‘Low Cerebrospinal Fluid and Plasma Orexin-A (Hypocretin-1) Concentrations in Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder’, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35.7 (2010), 1001–7 <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.01.001>; África Flores and others, ‘Orexins and Fear: Implications for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders’, Trends in Neurosciences, 38.9 (2015), 550–59 <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2015.06.005>. p. 263 dementia Stephanie Lessig and others, ‘Reduced Hypocretin (Orexin) Levels in Dementia with Lewy Bodies’, Neuroreport, 21.11 (2010), 756–60 <https://doi.org/10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833bfb7c>. p. 263 mature into a brain cell Anca M. Paşca and others, ‘Functional Cortical Neurons and Astrocytes from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in 3D Culture’, Nature Methods, 12.7 (2015), 671–78 <https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.3415>. p. 263 derive various brain regions Sergiu P. Paşca, Correspondence with author, 23 August 2017. p. 265 seasonal fluctuations Shengwen Zhang and others, ‘Lesions of the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Eliminate the Daily Rhythm of Hypocretin-1 Release’, Sleep, 27.4 (2004), 619–627. p. 266 affecting the SCN Lior Appelbaum and others, ‘Sleep–wake Regulation and Hypocretin–melatonin Interaction in Zebrafish’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106.51 (2009), 21942–47 <https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.906637106>.


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The Four Horsemen by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett

3D printing, Andrew Wiles, cognitive dissonance, cosmological constant, dark matter, Desert Island Discs, en.wikipedia.org, phenotype, Richard Feynman, stem cell, Steven Pinker

HARRIS: There’s one point you made here that I think we should say a little more about, which is that you can never quite anticipate the danger of unreason. When your mode of interacting with others and the universe is to affirm truths you’re in no position to affirm, the liabilities of that are potentially infinite. To take a case that I raised a moment ago, stem-cell research, you don’t know in advance that the idea that the soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception will turn out to be a dangerous idea. It seems totally benign, until you invent something like stem-cell research, where it stands in the way of incredibly promising, life-saving research. You can almost never foresee how many lives dogmatism is going to cost, because its conflicts with reality just erupt. HITCHENS: Well, that’s why I think the moment where everything went wrong is the moment when the Jewish Hellenists were defeated by the Jewish Messianists – the celebration now benignly known as Hanukkah.

And this is one of the problems I have with the practice of atheism: it hobbles us when we have to seem to spread the light of criticism equally in all directions at all moments, whereas we could, on some questions, have a majority of religious people agree with us. A majority of people in the United States clearly agree that the doctrine of martyrdom in Islam is appalling and not at all benign, and liable to get a lot of people killed, and that it is worthy of criticism. Likewise the doctrine that souls live in Petri dishes: even most Christians, 70 per cent of Americans, don’t want to believe that, in light of the promise of embryonic stem-cell research. So it seems to me that once we focus on particulars, we have a real strength in numbers, and yet when we stand on the ramparts of atheism and say it’s all bogus, we lose 90 per cent of our neighbours. DAWKINS: Well, I’m sure that’s right. On the other hand, my concern is actually not so much with the evils of religion as with whether it’s true. And I really do care passionately about the fact of the matter: is there, as a matter of fact, a supernatural creator of this universe?


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

Denialism must be defeated. There is simply too much at stake to accept any other outcome. Who doesn’t have a family member with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, or some form of cancer? When faced with genuine solutions (not just promises) to such terrible fates, few will continue to question the value of stem cell research or cloning. Even Nancy Reagan, whose husband served as commander-in-chief of the American war against legal abortion, became an ardent and vocal supporter of stem cell research after watching him submit to the dark fog of Alzheimer’s disease. We have acquired more knowledge in the past decade than in the previous two centuries. Even bad news soon proves its worth. Look at avian influenza: bird flu may cause a devastating epidemic. Viruses, like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, will always be part of life on earth.

Obama has assembled a uniformly gifted team of scientific leaders, and when he speaks publicly about issues like swine flu or HIV, the president routinely makes a point of saying that he will be guided by their advice. That is quite a departure from the attitude of his predecessor, who, in one of his first major initiatives, announced that he would prohibit federal funding for research on new stem cell lines. George W. Bush encouraged schools to teach “intelligent design” as an alternative to the theory of evolution, and he all but ignored the destruction of our physical world. His most remarkable act of denialism, however, was to devote one-third of federal HIV- prevention funds to “abstinence until marriage” programs. The Bush administration spent more than $1 billion on abstinence-only programs, despite data from numerous studies showing that they rarely, if ever, accomplish their goals.

At the NIH workshop, Celeste Condit, a professor of speech communication at the University of Georgia, spoke about the way she thought Lahn’s study was framed. “The papers could be seen as having a political message,” Condit told Science magazine: in other words, the research might have implied that those genes contribute to differences in IQ. Lahn, who has since shifted the focus of his work to stem cell research in part because of the controversy, has repeatedly stated he had not meant to suggest that. During the bicentennial celebration of Darwin’s birth, in 2008, the journal Nature invited distinguished scientists to debate whether the subject of race and IQ was even worthy of study. The dispute was lively. “When scientists are silenced by colleagues, administrators, editors and funders who think that simply asking certain questions is inappropriate, the process begins to resemble religion rather than science,” Stephen Ceci and Wendy M.


pages: 460 words: 107,712

A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Desert Island Discs, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, Necker cube, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

Science cannot tell you whether stem cell cloning for ‘spare parts’ is wrong. But it can challenge you to explain how stem cell cloning differs morally from something that has long been accepted: tissue culture. Tissue culture has been a mainstay of cancer research for decades. The famous HeLa cell line, which originated in the late Henrietta Lacks in 1951, is now being grown in labs all over the world. A typical lab, at the University of California, grows 48 litres of HeLa cells per day, as a routine service to researchers in the university. The total daily worldwide production of HeLa cells must be measured in tons – all a gigantic clone of Henrietta Lacks. In the half century since this mass production began, nobody seems to have objected to it. Those who agitate to stop stem cell research today have to explain why they do not object to the mass cultivation of HeLa cells.

Though concerned for the happiness of the individual australopithecine reconstructed (this is at least a coherent ethical issue, unlike fatuous worries about ‘playing God’), I can see positive ethical benefits, as well as scientific ones, emerging from the experiment. At present we get away with our flagrant speciesism because the evolutionary intermediates between us and chimpanzees are all extinct. In my contribution to The Great Ape Project I pointed out that the accidental contingency of such extinction should be enough to destroy absolutist valuings of human life above all other life.72 ‘Pro life’, for example, in debates on abortion or stem cell research, always means pro human life, for no sensibly articulated reason. The existence of a living, breathing Lucy in our midst would change, forever, our complacent, human-centred view of morals and politics. Should Lucy pass for human? The absurdity of the question should be self-evident, as in those South African courts which tried to decide whether particular individuals should ‘pass for white’.

., (i) Einstein, Albert, (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) Eldredge, Niles, (i), (ii) Embryology (see also Development) ‘Computing’ a developing embryo, (i) Preformationistic vs. epigenetic, (i) Entropy, (i), (ii) Environment Ancestral, (i) Interaction of genes with, (i), (ii), (iii) Epidemiology In spread of scientific ideas, (i) Informational, (i) Of childhood crazes, (i), (ii) Of convictions, (i), (ii) Epigenesis, (i) Erectile organ, Mathematical significance of, (i) Essentialism, (i) Ethics Conjoined twins, (i) Human-centred view of, (i) Of abortion, (i), (ii) Of chimp/human hybrid, (i), (ii) Of human cloning, (i) Of stem cell research, (i), (ii) Reconstructing Lucy, (i) Science does not define, (i) Eucaryote, (i), (ii) Eugenics, (i) Evangelists, Television, (i) Evans, Christopher, (i) Ever Since Darwin, (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Evolution As art of the developable, (i) As central to education, (i) As progressive, (i), (ii) Does not violate Second Law, (i) Gradualistic, (i), (ii) Myth of progress to man, (i), (ii), (iii) Nonadaptive, 95 (see also Neutral theory) Nonrandom nature of Darwinian, (i) Of computer viruses, (i) Of evolvability, (i), (ii) Of vertebrate eye, (i), (ii) Positive feedback in, (i) Role of genes in, (i) Evolutionarily stable state, (i) Exam Pressure, Destructive effects of, (i), (ii) Syllabuses, Limited nature of, (i) Expression of the Emotions, The, (i), (ii) Extended phenotype, (i), (ii) Extinction, (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) Fabre, Jean Henri, (i) Faith As symptom of infection by mind virus, (i) Exercised by belief in impossible things, (i) Intolerance to apostates, heretics, and rival faiths, (i) Respect for, (i), (ii), (iii) Spread of, compared to scientific ideas, (i) Suicide in the service of, (i), (ii) Feedback, Positive, (i), (ii) Female choice, see Sexual selection Feynman, Richard, (i) Fidelity in replication, see Gene, Meme Fisher, Kenneth, (i) Fisher, R.


pages: 505 words: 142,118

A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp

3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy and hold, buy low sell high, carried interest, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Edward Thorp, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, George Santayana, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, High speed trading, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, Mason jar, merger arbitrage, Murray Gell-Mann, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Norbert Wiener, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical arbitrage, stem cell, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the rule of 72, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, Works Progress Administration

Bush administration had severely restricted the allowed federal funding of stem cell research. Further, labs doing proscribed research had to be absolutely separate from federally funded facilities. Theoretically, if a pencil paid for by government funds was used for forbidden work, the entire federal grant could and would be revoked. The nation faced a delay in the development of lifesaving therapies, a massive brain drain as our scientists moved overseas to continue their work, and the loss of our lead in stem cell technology. California voters stepped in, approving a $3 billion bond issue to create CIRM, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The purpose was to provide ten years of support for stem cell research freed from the Bush restrictions. CIRM intended to fund five or six centers at university campuses throughout the state, each one of which would eventually get hundreds of millions of dollars.

CIRM intended to fund five or six centers at university campuses throughout the state, each one of which would eventually get hundreds of millions of dollars. The money would help construct research facilities entirely separate from any federal funding, as well as fund grants for faculty to develop new stem cell treatments for diseases. UCI already had an important group of stem cell experts and was strategically placed in biotech-rich Orange County. However, to qualify, the campus had to complete building the research center in two years, and significant portions of the funding had to come from both the university and private donors. Who in Orange County was rich enough and willing to be the lead private donor? The next part of the story begins back in 1966 when a senior at Duke University had a horrible automobile accident.

In the subsequent decades, he co-founded Pacific Investment Management Company, which would one day manage almost $2 trillion. The Duke senior had become a billionaire known worldwide as William H. Gross, the Bond King. Bill and his wife, Sue, had already donated tens of millions for medical causes, so a group at UCI arranged a lunch meeting with Bill to see if he and Sue would give $10 million and become the lead donors for a new CIRM-subsidized stem cell research center. In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that a $10 million gift would lead to as much as $600 million in the years to come, leveraging their donation sixty times. I saw an instant flash in Bill’s eyes and thought: Bill and Sue must value the chance to make an impact far greater than the value of the amount donated, just as Vivian and I do. After careful consideration, they said yes.


pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Joan Didion, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The third doctrine, too, continues to make its presence felt in modern times. In 2001 George W. Bush announced that the American government will not fund research on human embryonic stem cells if scientists have to destroy new embryos to extract them (the policy permits research on stem-cell lines that were previously extracted from embryos). He derived the policy after consulting not just with scientists but with philosophers and religious thinkers. Many of them framed the moral problem in terms of “ensoulment,” the moment at which the cluster of cells that will grow into a child is endowed with a soul. Some argued that ensoulment occurs at conception, which implies that the blastocyst (the five-day-old ball of cells from which stem cells are taken) is morally equivalent to a person and that destroying it is a form of murder.16 That argument proved decisive, which means that the American policy on perhaps the most promising medical technology of the twenty-first century was decided by pondering the moral issue as it might have been framed centuries before: When does the ghost first enter the machine?

It would outlaw research on conception and early embryonic development that promises to reduce infertility, birth defects, and pediatric cancer, and research on stem cells that could lead to treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and spinal-cord injuries. And it flouts the key moral intuition that other people are worthy of moral consideration because of their feelings—their ability to love, think, plan, enjoy, and suffer—all of which depend on a functioning nervous system. The enormous moral costs of equating a person with a conceptus, and the cognitive gymnastics required to maintain that belief in the face of modern biology, can sometimes lead to an agonizing reconsideration of deeply held beliefs. In 2001, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah broke with his longtime allies in the anti-abortion movement and came out in favor of stem-cell research after studying the science of reproduction and meditating on his Mormon faith.

As the creationist advocate John West put it, “If human beings (and their beliefs) really are the mindless products of their material existence, then everything that gives meaning to human life—religion, morality, beauty—is revealed to be without objective basis.”30 The other moral doctrine (which is found in some, but not all, Christian denominations) is that the soul enters the body at conception and leaves it at death, thereby defining who is a person with a right to life. The doctrine makes abortion, euthanasia, and the harvesting of stem cells from blastocysts equivalent to murder. It makes humans fundamentally different from animals. And it makes human cloning a violation of the divine order. All this would seem to be threatened by neuroscientists, who say that the self or the soul inheres in neural activity that develops gradually in the brain of an embryo, that can be seen in the brains of animals, and that can break down piecemeal with aging and disease.


Bulletproof Problem Solving by Charles Conn, Robert McLean

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset allocation, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, future of work, Hyperloop, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, iterative process, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, nudge unit, Occam's razor, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, stem cell, the rule of 72, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, time value of money, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, WikiLeaks

For Rob's knee arthroscopy, discussed in the next chapter, he framed the hypothesis that he should have surgery now and then set out the supporting analyses. He set a clear threshold for those: that the outcome would be better than doing nothing and that no improved technology solution was imminent. The end product of his analysis was the completed decision tree where he compiled research studies and the latest timing of new treatments such as stem cells for meniscal repair. They porpoise frequently between the hypothesis and data. They are flexible in the face of new data. This means they are ready to cease analysis where it has reached a dead end and start work on promising new lines of inquiry. In the Avahan HIV project in India that we introduced in Chapter 2, the team started with an initial hypothesis that was directionally useful but provided no leverage for action.

The sports medicine professional proposed a conservative treatment approach, one that didn't involve APM surgery. On the other hand, he learned from the sports medicine specialist of cases of football players with an average age of 22 with knee injuries who were going in for surgery immediately. He had also heard of research suggesting that APMs led to no better outcome than physiotherapy, and that he might be better waiting for stem cell treatments or printable hydrogel menisci, new technologies in development. How would you make this decision faced with so many disparate pieces of information? As in most problem solving you need to gather some facts. In Rob's case, he read a Finnish study in The New England Journal of Medicine that indicated that when there is low discomfort and age‐degenerative meniscal tear, there is no significant improvement from APM compared to physical therapy.

The research method involved a particular kind of randomized control trial termed a sham control, where participants weren't aware of whether they had the procedure or not. The conclusions of the 12‐month follow‐up were that the outcomes for the APM surgery were no better than for the sham APM surgery, notwithstanding that “both groups had significant improvement in primary outcomes.”15 Rob also wanted to assess whether he should wait for a new technology solution to develop, such as stem‐cell treatment or a printable hydrogel meniscus. It turns out that clinical trials are getting underway for articular cartilage but not meniscal repair, so a reasonable conclusion can be drawn that any alternative to an arthroscopy is more than five years away.16 3D printable hydrogel menisci are now getting a lot of interest but he couldn't estimate when they might be an option.17 With the best facts and estimates in hand, things now started to fall into place.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

, Lynn Margulis brings us directly into body matter as an evolutionary conglomeration of bacterial strains where life is “the transmutation of energy and matter” in an autopoietic process (Margulis and Sagan 2000: 215).6 The theory of “symbiogenesis”7 suggests that we are comprised of a conglomerate of life forms – that as animals, humans are nucleated cells (Margulis and Sagan 2000) descended not just from a Darwinian theory of common ancestry (Darwin 1859), but from ancient bacteria, which are themselves comprised of different strains of bacteria (Margulis and Sagan 2000). The idea of a symbiogenesis is an underlying theme of life expansion,8 in relation to a “biotechnogenesis”9 of emerging and speculative technologies, which form the media of life expansion. The biotechnogenesis media of life expansion for the human and transhuman include biotechnology (genetic engineering, and methods of regenerative medicine, i.e., stem cell cloning and regenerative cells growing organs), nanotechnology (nanomedicine, nanorobotics, and molecular manufacturing) and human–computer interaction, including artificial intelligence (artificial general intelligence), and processes for whole brain emulation. The quintessence of being alive – that element of you, the psyche according to Aristotle, form the biotechnogenesis of matter as they repeatedly ­collapse and expand into each other.

Over the last 50 years biotechnology has provided insights into the workings of natural cells that have revolutionized our understanding of what biological systems are capable of. Manipulating these biological processes produces technologies that can directly or indirectly influence human enhancement. Increasingly, researchers are thinking of biological systems as a technology and applying them to address global challenges in the advancement of human development in areas such as stem cell research, cloning, genetic modification, in vitro fertilization, the science of aging, and tissue grafting. Human enhancement can be achieved by direct interventions where the body hosts the technology, such as in the case of neural implants. However, indirect methods in human enhancement are possible, although seldom considered in transhumanist discussions. They draw from the intrinsic relationship that exists between organisms and their environment, which was first described by Charles Darwin and later expressed as an iterative interaction by biologist Richard Lewontin.

One can potentially chart paths that ­transition from Narrow AI to AGI, and this may be a viable way to get to advanced AGI, but it’s certainly not the fastest or easiest way – and it’s different than what would happen if society were to explicitly fund AGI research in a big way. The relatively paltry funding of AGI isn’t just due to its speculative nature – society is currently willing to fund a variety of speculative science and engineering projects: billion-dollar particle accelerators, space exploration, the sequencing of human and animal genomes, stem cell research, and so forth. If these sorts of projects merit Big Science-level funding, why is AGI research left out? After all, the potential benefits should AGI proceed and get done right are obviously tremendous. There are potential dangers too, to be sure – but there are also clear potential dangers of particle physics research (discovering better bombs is arguably a hazardous pursuit), and that doesn’t stop us.


pages: 825 words: 228,141

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

3D printing, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, bitcoin, buy and hold, clean water, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Dean Kamen, declining real wages, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index fund, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Lao Tzu, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, optical character recognition, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, telerobotics, the rule of 72, thinkpad, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, World Values Survey, X Prize, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

They harvest a layer of healthy cells from unburned patches of his own skin. No cadaver skin for Matt! These cells are cultured, and before long, a spray gun is gently painting the wounds with a solution of Matt’s own stem cells. Three days later, his arms and face are completely healed. (And this miracle has to be seen to be believed! Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXO_ApjKPaI and see the difference.) There’s barely a scar visible on him. I know it sounds like a scene from a sci-fi film. But it’s a real story that took place in Pittsburgh just a few years ago. While the technique that healed Matt Uram is still in clinical trials in the United States, a similar stem cell procedure has already been used on hundreds of burn victims in Europe and Australia. Amazing, isn’t it?! Now there’s even a “bio-pen” that allows surgeons to draw healthy cells on layers of bone and cartilage.

Atala has already created fully functioning human bladders in the lab and completed the transplants. In the last 15 years, none of the tissues made from stem cells has ever been rejected by the body. He and others are already working on more complex organs, like hearts, kidneys, and livers. So someday, if a heart attack or virus damages your heart valves, your doctors will be able to order you up some new ones. Or maybe they’ll just grow you a new heart from a few of your skin cells! If you have means, some of these miraculous cures are available already. There’s something called “extracellular matrix,” or ECM, made of cells from a pig’s bladder. When you apply it to injured human tissue, the matrix coaxes our own stem cells to regrow muscles, tendons, even bone. It’s been used already to regrow fingertips! This extraordinary substance exists right now.

It’s not available to everyone yet, but it will be soon. The concept behind regenerative therapies is simple: our body already knows how to regrow its parts; we just have to learn how to turn on the stem cells that already live inside us. We already know that when we lose our baby teeth, another set grows in. But did you realize that, according to Dr. Stephen Badylak from the University of Pittsburgh, if a newborn loses a finger, another one can grow in its place up to the age of two? We lose that ability as we grow older, so the question is: How do we stimulate it? Salamanders grow back their tails—why not human limbs or spinal cords? When we figure out how to harness the full power of stem cells, the medical and cosmetic applications are limitless. Ray Kurzweil says that if we’re going to take advantage of these medical breakthroughs and extend our lives, we’d better start taking care of ourselves right now.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, superconnector, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Making One Hundred Years Old the New Sixty While the bulk of this chapter has been concerned with the exploitation of individual technologies for their entrepreneurial possibilities, even more potential can be found at the intersection of multiple fields. In fact, along just these lines, in March of 2013, I joined forces with genetics wizard Dr. J. Craig Venter and stem-cell pioneer Dr. Robert Hariri to found perhaps my boldest venture ever: Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI).61 Venter, who serves as CEO, described HLI’s mission as “using the combined power of genomics, infinite computing, machine learning, and stem cell therapies to tackle one of the greatest medical, scientific, and societal challenges—aging and aging-related diseases.” Hariri, who pioneered the use of placental-derived stem cells, goes on to say: “Our goal is to help all of us live a longer and healthier life. By reenergizing our stem cells, the regenerative engine of our bodies, we can maintain our mobility, cognition, and aesthetics long into our later years.” Put simpler, HLI’s goal is to make one hundred years old the new sixty.

Part of the reason for this velocity is that the company sits at the intersection of many of the exponential technologies discussed in this chapter: robotics, which enables lightning-fast sequencing; AI and machine learning, which can make sense of petabytes of raw genomic data; cloud computing and networks for transmitting, handling, and storing that data; and synthetic biology for correcting and rewriting the corrupted genome of our aging stem cells. Couple that with the incredible value proposition of abundant, longer, and healthier lives—there is over $50 trillion locked up in the bank accounts of people over the age of sixty-five—and you understand the potential. And understanding this potential is critical if you’re going to succeed as an exponential entrepreneur. Consider that, twenty years ago, the idea that a computer algorithm could help companies with funny names (Uber, Airbnb, Quirky) dematerialize twentieth-century businesses would have seemed delusional.


pages: 61 words: 16,429

Just Keep Calm & Take Some Magnesium - Why a "Boring" Mineral Is Suddenly Hot Property for Soothing Bodies and Calming Minds by James Lee

Albert Einstein, epigenetics, life extension, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell

You can now add “increased SIRT1 deacetylase activity” to exercise’s long list of life-extending benefits. Don’t forget to tell your gym buddies this in the locker room. You will be quite the popular one. There is also considerable excitement regarding SIRT3, another sirtuin which is central to the process of mitochondrial function and the generation of stem cells. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that by up-regulating SIRT3 activity (which usually declines with age), they could reverse some of the markers of aging. Most importantly, increasing SIRT3 activity improves the ability of hematopoietic stem cells to regenerate. The researchers unambiguously said that “aging-associated degeneration can be reversed by a sirtuin”. A commercially available drug that targets either SIRT1 or SIRT3 is a while away, however sirtuin-related therapy appears to be one of the most promising areas of current research into delaying or reversing the aging process.


pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Thorstein Veblen, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

Platelets are packed with growth and healing factors and are part of the body’s normal tissue repair system. The PRP is prepared using a special centrifuge after whole blood is drawn from your arm, similar to getting blood drawn for lab work. Making platelet-rich plasma. PRP formed the base to which the following were added: Stem cell factor (SCF), flown in from Israel, which assists in blood cell production. Bone morphogenic protein 7 (BMP-7), which helps adult stem cells (mesenchymal) develop into bone and cartilage. In retrospect, I believe this to be the most dangerous substance in all of the cocktails I tried. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) IGF-1 has anabolic (tissue-building) effects in adults and is produced in the liver after stimulation by growth hormone. It is one of the most potent natural activators of cell growth and multiplication.

The wider world thinks I’m obsessed with time management, but they haven’t seen the other—much more legitimate, much more ridiculous—obsession. I’ve recorded almost every workout I’ve done since age 18. I’ve had more than 1,000 blood tests1 performed since 2004, sometimes as often as every two weeks, tracking everything from complete lipid panels, insulin, and hemoglobin A1c, to IGF-1 and free testosterone. I’ve had stem cell growth factors imported from Israel to reverse “permanent” injuries, and I’ve flown to rural tea farmers in China to discuss Pu-Erh tea’s effects on fat-loss. All said and done, I’ve spent more than $250,000 on testing and tweaking over the last decade. Just as some people have avant-garde furniture or artwork to decorate their homes, I have pulse oximeters, ultrasound machines, and medical devices for measuring everything from galvanic skin response to REM sleep.

Fat-Burning Fat Not all fat is equal. There are at least two distinct types: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT is what we usually think of as fat, like the marbling on a steak. A WAT cell—an adipocyte—is composed of a single large fat droplet with a single nucleus. BAT, in contrast, is sometimes referred to as “fat-burning fat” and appears to be derived from the same stem cells as muscle tissue. A BAT cell is composed of multiple droplets that are brown in color because of a much higher volume of iron-containing mitochondria. Normally associated with muscle tissue, mitochondria are best known for producing ATP and oxidizing fat in muscle tissue. BAT helps dissipate excess calories as heat. These excess calories would otherwise be stored in the aforementioned WAT and end up in your beer gut or muffin top.18 In a nutshell: cold stimulates BAT to burn fat and glucose as heat.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

As another example, a federal judge recently issued an injunction blocking stem-cell research funding. The probability that stem-cell research will quickly lead to life-saving medicine is low, but if successful, the positive effects could be huge. If one considers outcomes and approximates the probabilities, the conclusion is that the judge’s decision destroyed the lives of thousands of people, based on probabilistic expectation. How do we make rational decisions based on contingencies? That judge didn’t actually cause thousands of people to die . . . or did he? If we follow the “many worlds” interpretation of quantum physics—the most direct interpretation of its mathematical description—then our universe is continually branching into all possible contingencies: There is a world in which stem-cell research saves millions of lives and another world in which people die because of the judge’s decision.

A fundamental obstacle remains: Nonscientists harbor deep-seated instincts concerning the management of uncertainty in their everyday lives—instincts that exist because they generally work but that profoundly differ from the optimal strategy in science and technology. And of course it is technology that matters here, because technology is where the rubber hits the road—where science and the real world meet and must communicate effectively. Examples of failure in this regard abound—so much so that they are hardly worthy of enumeration. Whether it be swine flu, bird flu, GM crops, or stem cells, the public debate departs so starkly from the scientist’s comfort zone that it is hard not to sympathize with the errors scientists make, such as letting nuclear transfer be called “cloning,” which end up holding critical research fields back for years. One particular aspect of this problem stands out in its potential for public self-harm, however: risk aversion. When uncertainty revolves around such areas as ethics (as with nuclear transfer) or economic policy (as with flu vaccination), the issues are potentially avoidable by appropriate planning.

., 310–11 Smith, John Maynard, 96 Smolin, Lee, 221–24 social microbialism, 16 social networks, 82, 262, 266 social sciences, 273 Socrates, 340 software, 80, 246 Solomon Islands, 361 something for nothing, 84 specialness, see uniqueness and specialness Sperber, Dan, 180–83 spider bites, 68, 69, 70 spoon bending, 244 stability, 128 Standage, Tom, 281 stars, 7, 128, 301 statistically significant difference, 378–80 statistics, 260, 356 stem-cell research, 56, 69–70 stock market, 59, 60–61, 151, 339 Flash Crash and, 60–61 Pareto distributions and, 199, 200 Stodden, Victoria, 371–72 stomach ulcers, 240 Stone, Linda, 240–41 stress, 68, 70, 71 string theories, 113, 114, 299, 322 subselves and the modular mind, 129–31 success, failure and, 79–80 sun, 1, 7, 11, 164 distance between Earth and, 53–54 sunk-cost trap, 121 sunspots, 110 Superorganism, The (Hölldobler and Wilson), 196–97 superorganisms, 196 contingent, 196–97 supervenience, 276, 363–66 Susskind, Leonard, 297 Swets, John, 391 symbols and images, 152–53 synapses, 164 synesthesia, 136–37 systemic equilibrium, 237–39 Szathmáry, Eörs, 96 Taleb, Nassim, 315 TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”), 84 Tapscott, Don, 250–53 taste, 140–42 tautologies, 355–56 Taylor, F.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Moreover, even a proponent of the technology acknowledges that “it remains to be seen whether genomic medicine will actually improve health, when efforts to implement simpler clinical and preventive strategies have failed.”75 Nevertheless, molecular diagnostics have been growing rapidly and, it has been estimated, will soon account for a third of all diagnostic test costs. Another area that holds promise but that has had little mainstream effect to date is stem cell therapy. As a regenerative therapy, the field of stem cell transplantation provides a ray of hope in today’s age of chronic, degenerative diseases. However, though stem cell therapy has been practiced since the late 1980s for bone marrow transplants,76 its practical application has thus far failed to extend far beyond that. The very prevalence of the phrase “stem cell research,” compared to the relative absence of the phrase “stem cell therapy,” attests to the therapy’s limited practical implementation: In 2008, according to Google’s Ngram Viewer, the first phrase was used eleven times more often than the second in a sample of more than 5 million books.77 Skeptical investors have been hesitant to throw their support behind further research and development.

The very prevalence of the phrase “stem cell research,” compared to the relative absence of the phrase “stem cell therapy,” attests to the therapy’s limited practical implementation: In 2008, according to Google’s Ngram Viewer, the first phrase was used eleven times more often than the second in a sample of more than 5 million books.77 Skeptical investors have been hesitant to throw their support behind further research and development. Jeffrey O’Brien writes, “Long time horizons, regulatory hurdles, huge R&D costs, public sentiment, and political headwinds have all scared financiers. Wall Street isn’t interested in financing this particular dream.”78 In short, the realization of the stem cell therapy dream appears to lie relatively far in the future. Today, though bright ideas and human ingenuity abound—as exemplified by the concepts of genomic medicine and stem cell therapy—translation into practical, clinical applications are relatively rare. Part of this discrepancy stems from the ever-increasing costs of developing new medical innovations. As we noted in figure 14–2, new drug approvals have stagnated since the 1960s. A more basic measurement of drug industry innovation is to use new molecular entities (NMEs), which contain previously unused chemical functional groups and form the fundamental, chemical base for families of related drugs.

During the 1870–1940 interval covered in part I of this book, life expectancy improved at all ages but most rapidly at birth, because these years witnessed the near eradication of infant mortality. By several estimates, the value of reduced mortality, particularly of infants, was as great as the value of all the growth over the same period in market-purchased goods and services. Predictions of future economic progress from our current vantage point place major emphasis on continuing advances made possible by medical research, including the decoding of the genome and research using stem cells. It is often assumed that medical advances have moved at a faster pace since the invention of antibiotics in the 1930s and 1940s, the development from the 1970s of techniques of radiation and chemotherapy to fight cancer, and the advent of electronic devices such as the CT and MRI scans to improve diagnoses of many diseases. Many readers will be surprised to learn that the annual rate of improvement in life expectancy was twice as fast in the first half of the twentieth century as in the last half.


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Thomas Davenport, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

The new era of precision medicine and granular understanding of the interplay of all genetic material and environmental stimuli has enlivened quests for extreme longevity. Google, for example, has launched Calico, a new company focusing on radical life extension; and Craig Venter is one of the cofounders of a company called Human Longevity, which is working on extending the healthy human lifespan through genomics-based stem-cell therapies that mitigate the diseases of aging. Venter’s company is sequencing hundreds of thousands of genomes and incorporating data from functional-MRI scans that capture views of and data from processes inside a living human body in order to match genetic processes with in vivo biological ones. The next big medical frontier after genomics is also already on the horizon: the microbiome, the bacterial population that lives inside your gut.

Atala has also bio-printed bladders in clinical trials, and is working toward creating more-complex organs with detailed vascular structures, such as kidneys and livers. Adding the blood vessels necessary to feed the tissues or organs that metabolize or process nutrients and toxins remains elusive; that could be decades away. But, within the next decade, any relatively simple structure that you might need replaced—heart valve, bone, ear, or nose—will likely be grown using a mixture of bio-ink and, to minimize risk of rejection, your own stem cells. There are now nearly a dozen companies working toward bioprinting real body materials; and industrial design giants such as Autodesk, led by its visionary CEO, Carl Bass, are researching the fabrication of biological materials through additive printing. Of course, we will need doctors and surgeons to do all this; it is not like printing and installing a spare part in your car. But these are the technologies that our medical practitioners will commonly use.

As we gain the ability to grow tissues and print organs, we also gain an unprecedented ability to create hybrid materials and weave together biology and chemistry. Nanomaterials are of particular interest in this regard; for example, researchers are studying bone regeneration with nanostructured calcium phosphate biomaterials. The calcium phosphate acts as scaffolding and mimics crystallographic properties of inorganic components of bone. Early findings have shown that these nanostructured materials, when combined with stem cells, can accelerate bone regeneration. Alongside better-than-human materials will come sensor systems with miniature electronics that turn our bodies into minutely measured machinery. In August 2013, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued Endotronix a patent for its wireless sensor reader for continuous monitoring of pulmonary-artery pressure. The tiny implanted biosensor is delivered to the artery via routine, minimally invasive, low-cost catheterization.


pages: 624 words: 180,416

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

anti-globalists, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, double helix, Internet Archive, inventory management, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, post-materialism, random walk, RFID, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, union organizing, wage slave

Perry followed, because he had a professional interest in the kind of wares they carried. Most of them originated on one of his printers, after all. Plus, it was the gentlemanly thing to do. “What have we here?” he said as he pulled up alongside her. She was trying on a bracelet of odd, bony beads. “Ectopic fetuses,” she said. “You know, like the Christian fundies use for stem-cell research? You quicken an unfertilized egg in vitro and you get a little ball of fur and bone and skin and stem-cells. It can never be a human, so it has no soul, so it’s not murder to harvest them.” The vendor, a Turkish teenager with a luxurious mustache, nodded. “Every bead made from naturally occurring foetus-bones.” He handed one to Perry. It was dry and fragile in his hand. The bones were warm and porous, and in tortured Elephant Man shapes that he recoiled from atavistically.

The clinic was in St Petersburg, Russia, in a neighborhood filled with Russian dentists who catered to American health tourists who didn’t want to pay US prices for crowns. The treatment hadn’t originated there: The electromuscular stimulation and chemical therapy for skin-tightening was standard for rich new mothers in Hollywood who wanted to get rid of pregnancy bellies. The appetite-suppressing hormones had been used in the Mexican pharma industry for years. Stem-cells had been an effective substitute for steroids when it came to building muscle in professional athletic circles the world round. Genomic therapy using genes cribbed from hummingbirds boosted metabolism so that the body burned 10,000 calories a day sitting still. But the St Petersburg clinic had ripped, mixed and burned these different procedures to make a single, holistic treatment that had dropped Lester from 400 to 175 pounds in ten weeks.

The Europeans knew from textiles, and expert tailoring seemed to be in cheap supply here. She’d have to get someone to run her up a blue blazer and a white shirt and a decent skirt. It would be nice to get back into grown-up clothes after a couple years’ worth of Florida casual. She’d see Geoff after dinner that night, get more detail for the story. There was something big here in the medical tourism angle—not just weight loss but gene therapy, too, and voodoo stem-cell stuff and advanced prostheses and even some crazy performance enhancement stuff that had kept Russia out of the past Olympics. She typed her story notes and answered the phone calls. One special call she returned once she was sitting in her room, relaxed, with a cup of coffee from the in-room coffee-maker. “Hello, Freddy,” she said. “Suzanne, darling!” He sounded like he was breathing hard.


pages: 467 words: 92,081

Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby

call centre, lateral thinking, stem cell

Apart from the double-orifice mitral valve her heart appeared normal, as did her new left coronary artery. Only a thin scar showed the position of the line of stitches up the heart. Remarkably, all other scar tissue had disappeared. The whole inner lining of her left ventricle had been pure white scar tissue – now all gone. This provided some of the first evidence that an infant’s own cardiac stem cells can regenerate heart muscle and actually remove fibrous tissue. Adult hearts cannot recover in the same way. But what if we could identify and culture stem cells that could do just this for an adult heart? Could it provide a solution for the hundreds of thousands of adult chronic heart failure patients with coronary artery disease? My grandfather was someone who might have benefited. We could inject the cells at the same time as their coronary bypass surgery, or get them in through a catheter within the heart.

I’d been advised to have surgery long before but typically had ignored it, concerned that it would end my surgical career. Now it had gone too far. I could no longer grasp the instruments without dropping some of them and I couldn’t shake hands without people thinking I was a member of some secret society. At that point I conceded that my operating days were over. I’d never get back to complex surgery. Instead my focus would be on our new stem cell research and the ventricular assist device we were developing – plenty to engage with but different, research with the potential to change millions of lives. Just a few weeks later I quietly disappeared from the hospital and had my right hand operated on. Normally my plastic surgery colleagues would have done it using a regional nerve block with me awake, but they didn’t want the interference.

Under the corporate banner ‘Calon CardioTechnology’ we now have an implantable British ventricular assist device to compete with the American pumps, all of which cost the same as a Ferrari! Stuart McConchie, past chief executive of the HeartWare Company and Jarvik Heart, came to help us with that. The Welsh connection put me in contact with the Nobel Prize-winner Professor Sir Martin Evans of Cardiff University, who first isolated foetal stem cells. With his colleague Ajan Reginald and the company Celixir he has worked on a heart-specific cell for regenerative medicine. With pumps and cells we aim to create a definitive alternative to heart transplantation. Despite a degree in biochemistry and a PhD in the bioengineering of mechanical hearts I’m a computer-illiterate technophobe who’s unable to perform the simplest repair on a car. So I’ve relied on good old-fashioned secretaries.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

But you know that birds’ brains are organized on completely different lines than mammal brains?” “No.” “I thought everyone knew that. Some qube architecture is based on bird brains, so it got discussed for a while.” “I didn’t know.” “Well, the thinking that we mammals do in layers of cells across our cortex, birds do in clusters of cells, distributed like bunches of grapes.” “I didn’t know that.” “So you can take some of your own stem cells and introduce skylark song node DNA into them, and then you can introduce it through the nose to the brain, and it makes a little cluster in the limbic system. Then when you whistle, the cluster links into your already existing musical networks. All those are very old parts. They’re almost like bird parts of the brain already. So the new ones get hooked in, and off you go.” “You did this?” “Yes.”

In both, androgens and estrogens are supplied with hormone pumps such that the child is born with potential for both kinds of genital development in the body, awaiting the choices prenatally selected bisexuality has the strongest positive correlation with longevity. Hormonal treatments begun at puberty or during adulthood also have positive effects on longevity, but the psychological set will be hormonal treatments support the surgical addition of a functioning uterus in the abdominal wall above the penis alteration of the clitoris into a small functioning penis, with testicles grown using either conserved Wolffian ducts or stem cells from the subject. Gynandromorphs can ordinarily father only daughters, as the construction of a Y chromosome from an X chromosome involves problematic females adding functional reproductive masculinity are helped by a process imitating a natural 5-alpha-reductase deficiency principal categories of self-image for gender include feminine, masculine, androgynous, gynandromorphous, hermaphroditic, ambisexual, bisexual, intersex, neuter, eunuch, nonsexual, undifferentiated, gay, lesbian, queer, invert, homosexual, polymorphous, poly, labile, berdache, hijra, two-spirit, cultures deemphasizing gender are sometimes referred to as ursuline cultures, origin of term unknown, perhaps referring to the difficulty there can be in determining the gender of bears KIRAN ON VENUS The moment Kiran was alone with Shukra, Shukra said to him, “We’re going to have to put you through some tests, my boy.”

And Swan was going to keep getting mad at him until he helped to make it happen. But he thought perhaps he could. Extracts (13) certain metabolic actions accumulate lifetime damage, and each kind of damage has to be treated individually, and the treatments coordinated with each other as well as with the ordinary functioning of the organism cell loss or atrophy is ameliorated by exercise, growth factors, and directed stem cells cancerous mutations are identified by massively parallel DNA sequencing and transcriptome sequencing and dissolved by targeted gene therapies and telomerase manipulation; chemo and radiation therapies are now highly targeted, using monoclonal antibodies, avimers and designed proteins death-resistant cells that are senescent in their function must not be allowed to transform into harmful forms, but must rather be targeted by suicide genes and immune response undamaged mitochondria are introduced into cells suffering mitochondrial mutations lipofuscin is one kind of accumulated junk inside our cells that can’t be carried away by the immune system.


pages: 104 words: 30,990

The Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demand response, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, obamacare, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, stem cell, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Walter Mischel

Wall Street Journal political columnist (and longtime Washington observer) Alan Murray spoke for many of us when he lamented, “I’m not interested in a Democratic Party that lets labor unions turn it away from free trade, or lets teachers unions block any semblance of education reform, or lets trial lawyers stand in the way of common sense class-action reform. But I’m also not interested in a Republican Party that is pushed by the National Rifle Association to give gun makers extraordinary protection from lawsuits, or is forced by extreme religious groups to ban stem-cell research that could save countless lives, or believes the worthiest recipients of tax relief are the heirs of the wealthy.”18 More and more voters are describing themselves as independent.19 But independents define themselves primarily by what they are not, namely, Republicans or Democrats. The challenge is organizing this discontent into a meaningful and positive political force. The Centrist Party will introduce a coherent governing philosophy around which Americans disenchanted with the traditional political fare will naturally coalesce.

Here is the fundamental insight: reasonable people disagree about whether or not abortion should be illegal; but no reasonable person thinks that abortion is a good thing. Reasonable people disagree about how readily guns should be available and what the requirements for purchase ought to be; but no reasonable person wants guns to fall into the hands of criminals or those who are dangerously mentally ill. There are plenty of other social issues: drug policy, stem cell research, flag burning, the death penalty, and so on. In time, the Centrist Party will have to wrestle with them all. For now, abortion and guns will do a fine job of illustrating how the Centrist Party can bring people together on issues that normally drive them apart. The key to diffusing these ideologically charged social issues is refocusing them on two more pragmatic questions: 1) What is the real harm to society associated with this activity?


Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker

addicted to oil, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bob Geldof, buy low sell high, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, drone strike, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, stem cell, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working poor, Yom Kippur War

On other issues, like education and entitlements, Cheney did not engage. “The vice president didn’t have to get involved in every issue. The president did,” said Dean McGrath, Cheney’s deputy chief of staff. “This afforded the vice president a little more freedom.” IN THE EARLY months of the administration, perhaps the toughest issue Bush faced was stem-cell research. For months, he struggled with whether federal money should be used to target the ravages of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by experimenting on stem cells from embryos grown in a laboratory. No one was talking about banning such research altogether, only whether taxpayer money should pay for it. The tension between Bush’s antiabortion convictions and the prospect of saving or improving the lives of millions weighed on him. He received a poignant letter from Nancy Reagan, who had become an activist since her husband’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s.

“This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research without crossing a fundamental moral line, by providing taxpayer funding that would sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos that have at least the potential for life.” For a leader who prided himself on crisp decisions, he hinted at the doubt that still racked him. “I have made this decision with great care,” he said, “and I pray it is the right one.” As aides predicted, he made both sides mad. But in presenting his decision in moderate, reasoned terms, he had advanced what his speechwriter David Frum called “the most unflinchingly pro-life position ever expressed by a president before a mass audience.” Frum considered it “a masterstroke—and Hughes’s finest hour.” ON AUGUST 6, even as he was preparing the stem-cell speech, Bush received a memo in the President’s Daily Brief titled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.”

Lefkowitz brought a copy of Brave New World, the Aldous Huxley science fiction novel in which humans are bred in hatcheries, and read passages to Bush. “We have got to be really cautious,” Bush responded, “because it is like stepping off a cliff. If you step off a cliff and you have made a mistake, by the time you realize it, you are at the bottom.” Andy Card set aside thirty-minute blocks of time for Bush to meet with ethicists and scientists. Doug Melton, a leading stem-cell researcher from Harvard University, told Bush that embryos were not alive, and while he agreed they should not “be treated cavalierly,” he believed the research could make a world of difference to real people. He mentioned that his son suffered from juvenile diabetes. “I’m committed to doing everything I can to help my son,” Melton told Bush. The president said he understood, mentioning his sister’s death from leukemia.


pages: 369 words: 153,018

Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane

Benoit Mandelbrot, clockwork universe, double helix, Drosophila, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, out of africa, phenotype, random walk, Richard Feynman, stem cell, unbiased observer

In contrast, if the mutation made the mitochondrion more alacritous in its response to an equivalent signal, we would expect to see an expansion of its DNA. At every signal to divide, the mutant mitochondria would leap into action, and so would eventually displace the ‘normal’ mitochondria from the population. And if the mutation occurred in a stem cell (which gives rise to Demise of the Self-Correcting Machine 293 replacement cells in a tissue) the mutants would be more likely to be passed on every time the stem cell divided, and so would finally take over the entire tissue. It’s important to note that such mutations are most likely to stage a tissue takeover if they’re not particularly detrimental to mitochondrial function. This is likely to be true, as there is nothing the matter with the respiratory complexes themselves.

As a result of such differing thresholds, the more serious mitochondrial diseases affect long-lived, energetically active tissues, especially muscle and brain. There are parallels with ageing here. We don’t inherit all of our defective mitochondria from the egg cell: some accumulate in adult life, due to free radicals formed by normal metabolism. This generates a mixed population of mitochondria in the cells affected. What happens next depends on the type of cell. If the cell is an adult stem cell (responsible for regenerating tissue), a possible outcome would be the clonal expansion of defective mitochondria. This happens in some muscle fibres, producing the ‘ragged red fibres’ characteristic of mitochondrial diseases, but also found in ‘normal’ ageing. Conversely, if the mutation affected a long-lived cell no longer capable of division, such as a heart-muscle cell or a neurone, then the mutation could not spread beyond the bounds of that single cell.

Our neurones, for example, are usually as old as we are ourselves: they are rarely, if ever, replaced, yet their function doesn’t spiral out of control in an error catastrophe, but rather declines imperceptibly. What isn’t possible though, is any return to the fountain of youth. While the most devastating mitochondrial mutations can be eliminated from cells, there is no way of restoring their pristine function, short of not using the mitochondria at all (which is how egg cells, and to a degree adult stem cells, do reset their clocks). The more a cell relies on defective mitochondria, the more oxidizing the intra-cellular conditions become (oxidizing means a tendency to steal electrons). When I say ‘oxidizing’, however, I don’t mean the cell loses control of its internal environment. It retains control by adapting its behaviour, establishing a new status quo. Most proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and DNA are not affected by the change—again, in disagreement with the predictions of the original mitochondrial theory, which anticipated evidence of accumulating oxidation.


pages: 288 words: 76,343

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, business climate, Doha Development Round, energy security, food miles, G4S, information asymmetry, Kenneth Arrow, megacity, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stewart Brand

By 1821 the French-German Enlightenment philosopher Baron d’Holbach was writing, “Man is only unhappy because he does not understand nature.” If only we could get back to nature we could get off the psychiatrist’s couch.The more prosperity has distanced us from nature, the more we have demanded that governments protect it from science. And the more emotive the issue involved the more it is apparent, as with stem-cell research and genetically modified food. Agriculture, as the economic activity that most directly impinges on nature, has borne the brunt of these sentiments. But the misunderstandings of ordinary citizens offer fertile opportunities for special interests. Regulation not only protects, it redistributes. Regulations can be manipulated by interest groups to their advantage and in the rich countries the agricultural lobby has thrived on popular misunderstandings which, through our aid programs, have extended to Africa.

As the peasant and industrial lifestyles have further diverged, reflecting the growth of our economies and the stagnation of theirs, the peasant lifestyle has come to emblemize a harmonious life. The development NGOs, dedicated as they are to the eradication of poverty, also reflect the environmental concerns of the wealthy countries that fund them. Their attitude to a local farming economy can therefore border on the schizophrenic: they want both change and preservation. The victims of today’s curtailment of stem-cell research are tomorrow’s incurables. But the victims of the anti-science, pro-peasant regulation of agriculture are today’s poor. Curtailing technology and discouraging the commercialization of African agriculture have tended to increase the price of food, and food is the main item of expenditure for poor households. Here’s a final formula: nature + regulation – technology = hunger. Environmentalists versus Economists?

See also fisheries self-sufficiency, 213–14 September 11 terrorist attacks, 129 service activities, 180, 185 Shirky, Clay, 234–35, 239 Sierra Leone and capital goods, 149 and construction, 147–48 and diamonds, 37, 165 and oil, 126 prospecting in, 69 territorial waters of, 163 signature bonuses, 90, 91, 110 Singer, Peter, 24 slum dwellers, xiii smallholder agriculture, 214–15 smuggling, 89 social ownership, 160, 161 social value, 179 solar power, 181, 182, 194 Soludo, Chukwuma, 234 Somalia, 163–64 South Africa, 64, 75, 224 South America, 66 Southern hemisphere, 209 South Korea, 218 sovereignty issues, 239 Soviet Union, 49 special-interest lobby groups, 135 Spence, Michael, 111, 138, 233, 234 Stability Pact, 238 Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment, 137 Starved for Science (Paarlberg), 220 stem-cell research, 8 Stern, Nicholas, x, 9, 26, 140, 186, 202 Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, 9, 140 stewardship, 32–33 Stiglitz, Joe, 5 structures, 131, 148 stunting, 211 subsidies, 164, 208, 223–24 subsistence agriculture, 213, 217 subsoil assets, 20, 64–68. See also specific assets, including coal and oil Sudan, 122, 218 sustainability and economic growth, 98 and extinction, 154, 161 and fisheries, 154, 161, 164, 168–71 of nonrenewable natural assets, 98, 100–102, 154 and Permanent Income, 103 and preservation of nature, 98 of renewable natural assets, 154, 155, 156, 161 Tanzania, 166 taxation and asymmetric information, 88–90 of carbon emissions, 185–88, 192, 198, 199, 241 and corruption, 51–52, 88 in decision chain, 127 excess-profits tax, 88–89 and extraction revenues, 84 of fisheries, 169–70 in low-income countries, 100 low-tax commitments, 85–87, 117 pan-European tax, 27 redistributive taxation, 24, 27, 28, 168 and rents and rent-seeking, 52, 88–89, 127, 143 and time-inconsistency, 85 and volatility in revenues, 117 technology and bottom billion countries, 5 and democratic power, 235 and discovery process, 68 fickleness of, 5 and fishing, 164–65 and modern agriculture, 216–17 and nature, 4 and ocean floors, 167 and oil demand, 106, 194 and prosperity, 4 and resource scarcity, 229 territorial waters, 162, 167 terrorism, 129–30 “Testing the Neo-con Agenda” (Collier and Hoeffer), 49 Thailand, 135 threshold effects, 60 tidal power, 181, 182 timber in Thailand, 135 time-inconsistency, 71–74, 85 Toxic Assets Recovery Program, 176 trade trade negotiations, 237 trade restrictions, 193, 194 trade wars, 237 tragedy of the commons, 161 transparency, 80–82, 94, 122–25, 129–30 Transparency International, 129 trees and custody principle, 157–59 of Eritrea, 158–59 of Haiti, 19 as natural assets, 160 See also forests Ukraine, 218 uncertainty, 18–19 unilateralism, 238 United Arab Emirates, 218 United Nations, 168–71, 218, 238, 240 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 215, 216 United Nations Industrial Development Organization, 184 United Nations Security Council, 238 United States anti-Americanism, 220, 225 and carbon emissions, 189–90, 195 and finders-keepers rule of assets, 46 and social cost of energy, 183 United States Congress, 176–77, 193 universalism, 24, 26, 27–28, 29, 31 urbanization, 209, 211, 217–18 Utilitarianism about, 23–25 and climate change, 200–201 and custody principle, 112 as ethical framework, 10, 25, 26 limitations of, 27 and Permanent Income, 102–3 and universalism, 24, 26, 27–28, 29, 31 value of natural assets, 83–84 vehicles, 182–83 Venables, Tony, xiv, 59, 111, 139 veto points, 135–36 violence and food crises, 211 Wall Street Journal, 128–29 Warnholz, Jean-Louis, 132 Welsh National Party, 30 West, American, 19, 21 West Africa, 94 wind power, 181, 182 worker productivity, 139 World Bank and Cameron, 81 Doing Business survey, 145 and ethanol subsidies, 224 evaluation of development projects, 141–42 and prospecting aid, 76 and subsoil assets, 20, 54, 65, 66 and Zambia, 87 world financial markets, 117, 128 World Food Programme, 170–71, 210–11 world interest rate, 104, 155 World Trade Organization, 164, 193, 219, 237 Wrong, Michaela, 159 Yamani, Ahmed Zaki, 106 Zambia and agriculture, 209 and copper mining, 5, 32, 64, 143 and private investment, 143 prospecting in, 76 and state-owned copper company, 93 and taxation, 86–87, 89 Zedillo, Ernesto, 6, 233–34 Zeufack, Albert, 81, 82 Zimbabwe, 199, 218


pages: 285 words: 78,180

Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life by J. Craig Venter

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bioinformatics, borderless world, Brownian motion, clean water, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, global pandemic, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine

This important piece of biological machinery has been adapted for synthetic biology by Boston University biomedical engineers Ahmad S. Khalil and James J. Collins. They have created novel zinc-finger designs that are intended to bind with new target sequences.27 The Boston team has engineered new circuits in yeast, a eukaryote, using modular, functional parts from the eukaryotes themselves and “wiring” them up with the help of zinc fingers.28 There are many immediate applications of this work, such as helping to develop stem cells for regenerative medicine, and in-cell devices and circuits for diagnosing early stages of cancer and other diseases. This method may also equip groups of cells to perform higher-order computational tasks for processing signals in the environment in sensing applications. Efforts by others are under way to extend and modify the existing genetic code, to code for new amino acids that don’t exist in nature.

I can envisage that, in the coming decades, we will witness many extraordinary developments of tangible value, such as crops that are resistant to drought, that can tolerate disease and thrive in barren environments, that provide rich new sources of protein and other nutrients, that can be harnessed for water purification in harsh and arid regions. I can imagine designing simple animal forms that provide novel sources of nutrients and pharmaceuticals, customizing human stem cells to regenerate a damaged, old, or sick body. There will be new ways to enhance the human body as well, such as boosting intelligence, adapting it to new environments such as the radiation levels encountered in space, rejuvenating worn-out muscles, and so on. Let’s keep our focus on the global problems that are affecting humanity. Many serious issues now threaten our fragile and overcrowded world, one that will soon be home to nine billion people, one that is running out of fundamental resources such as food, water, and energy, and one that is haunted by the specter of unpredictable and devastating climate change. 11 Biological Teleportation There was a sharp click and the man had disappeared.

This device has a number of names at present, including “digital biological converter,” “biological teleporter,” and—the preference of former Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson—“life replicator.” Creating life at the speed of light is part of a new industrial revolution that will see manufacturing shift away from the centralized factories of the past to a distributed, domestic manufacturing future, thanks to 3-D printers. This technology is already being used to assemble embryonic stem cells into tissues, grow bones, and to build planes or even entire buildings by “concrete printing.” Why stock warehouses with parts when entire designs can now be stored in virtual computer warehouses waiting to be printed locally and on demand? We might one day get to a point where individuals can make all the products they want, from door handles to smartphones, including the next generation of 3-D printer.


pages: 280 words: 74,559

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani

"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population

Underpinned by the same technologies of the Third Disruption, defined by declining costs of information and exponential progress in digital technology, it is no coincidence that cellular agriculture arrived at around the same time as genome sequencing, consumer AI and autonomous vehicles. Ultimately it will mean a world where producing meat, leather, milk and eggs no longer requires animals. Post’s approach is easy to grasp if not to execute. First you remove a small sample of muscle from an animal before isolating stem cell tissue which can be scaled in a bioreactor. You then proceed to warm it while feeding those cells with oxygen, sugar and minerals. After between nine and twenty-one days, the developed cells – which have grown into skeletal muscle – are harvested. At present this approach can’t work with all meats, especially those whose composition is highly complex and contains additional fats. It is a different story, however, with fish, shellfish and avian meat, whose lean protein content make them the perfect candidates for early-stage innovation in the field.

But it didn’t stop there: a year earlier Post, now at Mosa Meats, had already claimed the process he initially pioneered could produce beef in a laboratory for $80 a kilo, meaning that a burger using cultured meat could cost as little as $12 – a more than 99 per cent fall in cost from just four years earlier. And all in the absence of truly industrial-scale production. That isn’t to say there aren’t major hurdles to commercially viable steaks that don’t require cows. For one thing the material in which the stem cells currently grow is foetal calf serum. Using animal products to feed ‘synthetic’ animal tissue defeats the whole point, although those at the forefront of the industry claim a vegan alternative isn’t far away. The other major issue is energy – specifically for synthetic mammal meat like pork, beef and chicken. While synthetic seafood will be able to grow at room temperature, mammal meats need something close to the temperature of our bodies.

All this while alleviating suffering and reducing our use of otherwise finite resources. Post’s personal view is that synthetic meat will be competitive on price within twenty years. The truth is that the power of the experience curve could mean it’s even sooner. Meat from Vegetables Cellular agriculture extends beyond just synthetic meat, however. Indeed, farming minced meat, fillets and breasts from stem cells remains incredibly time-consuming – at least for now – and while these products could be mainstream within a generation, for some that isn’t soon enough. Which is why Impossible Foods have chosen a different approach in trying to create vegan products that are indistinguishable from meat. But rather than ‘grow’ meat proteins, they think they can do that by making non-meat proteins more closely resemble those found in animals.


Longevity: To the Limits and Beyond (Research and Perspectives in Longevity) by Jean-Marie Robine, James W. Vaupel, Bernard Jeune, Michel Allard

computer age, conceptual framework, demographic transition, Drosophila, epigenetics, life extension, longitudinal study, phenotype, stem cell, stochastic process

Springer-Verlag, New York 178 C. E. Finch: Longevity: Is Everything Under Genetic Control? Matsui Y, Zsebo K, Hogan BML (l992) Derivation of pluripotential embryonic stem cells from murine primordial germ cells in culture. Cell 70:841-847 Nelson JF, Felicio LS (l986) Radical ovarian resection advances the onset of persistent vaginal cornification but only transiently disrupts hypothalamic-pituitary regulation of cyclicity in C57BL/6J mice. BioI Reprod 35:957-964 Paganini-Hill A, Henderson VW (1994) Estrogen deficiency and risk of Alzheimer disease. Am J Epidemiol 140:256-261 Pesce M, Farrace MZ, Piacentini M, Dolci S, De Felici M (1993) Stem cell factor and leukemia inhibitory factor promote primordial germ cell survival by suppressing programmed cell death (apoptosis). Development 118:1089-1094 Phelan JP, Austad SN (1994) Selecting animal models of human aging: inbred stains often exhibit less biological uniformity than Fl hybrids.

With the many studies of neuron number that are ongoing, we may anticipate a brain map that gives the quantitative variations in different neuron populations and the thresholds of neuron loss during age-related neurological disease that are associated with different degrees of functional change. Some populations of neurons may prove to be strongly linked to life expectancy. Similar questions can be posed for the immune system, which depends on clonally lineages of cells that are derived from obscurely enumerated stem cells. A possible consequence is variations between individuals in immune responses at later ages that could be a determinant of resistance to infection or the proclivities to autoimmune disease. Thus it is likely that organ systems differ widely during aging between individuals in the stochastically determined numbers of cells above critical thresholds for irreversible loss of function that influence morbidity and mortality.


pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, creative destruction, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell, the new new thing

A cute rhesus monkey called ANDi (inserted DNA … spelled backward) … Showed that you could insert specific genes into animals very similar to humans …8 And begin to think about studying Alzheimer’s, cancer, blindness, Parkinson’s, vaccines, cancer … In a much more deliberate way. (Start-ups like Ximerex are beginning to engineer pig organs to include human enzymes in an attempt to someday transplant their hearts, kidneys, and livers into our bodies … Stem Cells has engineered mice that grow human brain cells to try to cure Alzheimer’s.) Which also raises the specter of eventually engineering human embryos.9 This should not surprise us. There used to be one way of getting pregnant … Now there are more than seventeen … Leading to test-tube babies, surrogate mothers, pregnant grandmothers, orphan embryos. Which gets lawyers like Lori Andrews to ask … Whether a child conceived from … A donated egg and anonymous sperm … Implanted in a surrogate mother … And brought up by an infertile couple … Has five parents.10 But I digress … Back to agribusiness.

Cambridge, Massachusetts March 2001 NOTES Chapter I: Mixing Apples, Oranges, and Floppy Disks … 1. “Stable Germline Transformation of the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles stephensi,” Nature 405 (2000): 959–62. 2. Britain was the first country to allow this. The measure passed in the House of Lords 212 to 92, despite the opposition of various religious leaders. The clones can grow only to 14 days. The objective is to create human stem cells (undifferentiated cells that can grow into any tissue), in an attempt to treat leukemia, Parkinson’s, and cancer. 3. Of course not everyone gets excited by new maps. During the presentation of the human genome at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meetings … folks were scrambling to get their hands on the first printed genome maps … One enterprising reporter snagged her copy … ripped it open … spread it out on the floor … and used it as a quilt to lie on during the press conference.


pages: 270 words: 85,450

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, delayed gratification, different worldview, longitudinal study, Skype, stem cell

And it happens to us: eventually, one too many joints are damaged, one too many arteries calcify. There are no more backups. We wear down until we can’t wear down anymore. It happens in a bewildering array of ways. Hair grows gray, for instance, simply because we run out of the pigment cells that give hair its color. The natural life cycle of the scalp’s pigment cells is just a few years. We rely on stem cells under the surface to migrate in and replace them. Gradually, however, the stem-cell reservoir is used up. By the age of fifty, as a result, half of the average person’s hairs have gone gray. Inside skin cells, the mechanisms that clear out waste products slowly break down and the residue coalesces into a clot of gooey yellow-brown pigment known as lipofuscin. These are the age spots we see in skin. When lipofuscin accumulates in sweat glands, the sweat glands cannot function, which helps explain why we become so susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion in old age.

Farquhar, and W. M. Aubry, False Hope: Bone Marrow Transplantation for Breast Cancer (Oxford University Press, 2007). Ten states enacted laws: Centers for Diseases Control, “State Laws Relating to Breast Cancer,” 2000. Never mind that Health Net was right: E. A. Stadtmauer, A. O’Neill, L. J. Goldstein et al., “Conventional-Dose Chemotherapy Compared with High-Dose Chemotherapy plus Autologous Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplantation for Metastatic Breast Cancer,” New England Journal of Medicine 342 (2000): 1069–76. See also Rettig et al., False Hope. Aetna, decided to try a different approach: R. Krakauer et al., “Opportunities to Improve the Quality of Care for Advanced Illness,” Health Affairs 28 (2009): 1357–59. A two-year study of this “concurrent care” program: C. M. Spettell et al., “A Comprehensive Case Management Program to Improve Palliative Care,” Journal of Palliative Medicine 12 (2009): 827–32.


Innovation and Its Enemies by Calestous Juma

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deskilling, disruptive innovation, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, global value chain, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, smart grid, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Travis Kalanick

This was used by opponents of the technology even though their objections may have been influenced by other considerations. The invention of lithography by Alois Senefelder of Munich in 1796 made it possible to print books without compromising aesthetic considerations. A contemporary example of such trends includes the identification of alternative sources of stem cells, which helped to reduce the intensity of objections from those concerned about obtaining stem cells from human embryos. Another potential example is the use of gene-editing techniques or precision breeding within crop species to address concerns about moving genes across species. Technological solutions alone are not sufficient in many cases without the complementary social change that makes new technologies more acceptable. Without such changes opponents can always find alternative ways of standing their ground.

This development, however, has resulted in concerns about the ability of countries to regulate the new technologies, as people doubt the adequacy of existing institutional arrangements in safeguarding human health and environmental integrity.11 Technological and engineering advancements themselves are a major source of answers to many controversies. For example, safety concerns regarding early mechanical refrigeration could not be addressed without advances in technology. Similarly, the rapid rate at which early tractors were improved helped to foster their adoption. Recent concerns about obtaining stem cells from human embryos have been addressed by innovative approaches that helped to identify other sources. A combination of technological abundance, continuous improvement, and greater involvement of users in innovation will help to create new avenues for resolving the technological controversies that arise from immature technologies. This is illustrated by the English army’s shift from the longbow to firearms.

See also Regulation Stanley, William, 153, 155 Starbucks, 45, 67 StarLink corn, 355n56 Start-ups, restriction of new technologies to, 18–19 State Laboratory for Nutritional Research (Denmark), 112 States (US). See also names of individual states cold storage legislation, 196 support for domestic oils, 115 Status quo bias, 35 Steam-traction engines, 124 Steckel, Richard, 339n48 Steel, use in plows, 123 Steering wheels, 295 Stem cells, 15, 92 Stevenson, Robert Louis, 148 Stigmatization (demonization). See also Romanticization of alternating current, 144, 158–167, 171 of coffee, 45, 66 of margarine, 103 of new technologies, 8 product analogies and, 308–309 of technological innovation, 309 of telephone, 165–166, 309 of transgenic fish, 274 Stockholm, coffeehouses in, 62 Stop Smart Meters, 172–173 Storage goods, 186 Strasbourg, first printing of Bible in, 76 Street lighting, 146, 147, 149 Stupidity, Pessoa on, 280 Sublime Porte (Bâb-ı Âli), 83 Subramaniam, Chidambaran, 283 Subsidies to fishing industry, 259 Subsistence farming, 122 Substantial equivalence, 10 Success dynamics of, in scientific research, 327n115 factors affecting, 29–30 Succession in technological evolution, 326n106 Sufis, 47–48, 328n11 Sulfur dioxide, 190 Sulfuric acid, 179 Sultan of Cairo, 49 al-Sunbati, Ahmad ibn ’Abd al-Haqq, 50 Supermarkets, opposition to stocking of transgenic fish, 271, 273, 279 Supreme Court on antimargarine laws, 105 Diamond v.


pages: 558 words: 164,627

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, John Markoff, John von Neumann, license plate recognition, Livingstone, I presume, low earth orbit, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, zero-sum game

In April 2014, scientists in the United States and Mexico announced they had successfully grown a complex organ, a human uterus, from tissue cells, in a lab. And in England, that same month, at a North London hospital, scientists announced they had grown noses, ears, blood vessels, and windpipes in a laboratory as they attempt to make body parts using stem cells. Scientists at Maastricht University, in Holland, have produced laboratory-grown beef burgers, grown in vitro from cattle stem cells, which food tasters say taste “close to meat.” “Can science go too far?” I ask Dr. Gardiner and Dr. Bryant. “The same biotechnology will allow scientists to clone humans,” says Dr. Gardiner. “Do you think the Defense Department will begin human cloning research?” I ask. “Ultimately, it needs to be a policy decision,” Gardiner says.

It’s a place where scientists like myself can work with a team of students and pursue risky ideas that would be hard to pull off within the confines of LANL itself.” 18 simulating the primate visual system: Quotes are from interviews with Garrett Kenyon, March–November 2014. 19 world’s record: “Science at the Petascale,” IBM Roadrunner supercomputer, press release, October 27, 2009. 20 Tianhe-2: Lance Ulanoff, “China Has the Fastest Supercomputer in the World—Again,” Mashable.com, June 23, 2014. 21 points inside: Kenyon noted that the computer room contains a number of different machines. 22 “Regeneration is really coming alive”: Quotes are from interviews with David Gardiner and Sue Bryant, June 2013–October 2014. 23 children born with mutations: Ngo Vinh Long, “Vietnamese Perspectives,” in Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, ed. by Stanley Kutler (New York: Scribner’s, 1996). 24 a human uterus: Stephanie Smith, “Creating Body Parts in a Lab; ‘Things Are Happening Now,’” CNN, April 10, 2014. 25 make body parts: “Ears, Noses Grown from Stem Cells in Lab Dishes,” Associated Press, April 8, 2014. 26 laboratory-grown beef burgers: Maria Cheng, “First Reaction: Lab-Made Burger Short on Flavor.” Phys.org, August 5, 2013. 27 “One can imagine”: S. Hawking et al., “Stephen Hawking: ‘Transcendence Looks at the Implications of Artificial Intelligence—But Are We Taking AI Seriously Enough?’” The Independent, May 1, 2014. 28 “these [autonomous] systems”: Interview with Steve Omohundro, May 2015; See also “Autonomous Technology and the Greater Human Good,” Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, November 21, 2014, 303–15. 29 “human-machine interaction failures”: Interview with Noel Sharkey, September 2014.

Bray: Information technologist, chief information officer, FCC; former information chief for Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control Rebecca Bronson: FBI records administrator Dr. Susan V. Bryant: Regeneration biologist, former dean of the School of Biological Sciences and vice chancellor for research, UC Irvine Colonel Julian Chesnutt (retired): Former program officer, Defense Clandestine Service, DIA Colonel L. Neale Cosby (retired): Former SIMNET principal investigator, DARPA Bernard Crane: Lawyer, Washington, DC Dr. Tanja Dominko: Biotechnoengineer, stem cell biologist, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Allen Macy Dulles: Student of history, Korean War veteran, son of Allen Welsh Dulles Dr. Jay W. Forrester: Computer pioneer, founder of system dynamics Ralph “Jim” Freedman: Former nuclear weapons engineer, EG&G Dr. David Gardiner: Regeneration biologist, professor of developmental and cell biology, UC Irvine Colonel John Gargus (retired): Former special operations officer, U.S.


pages: 298 words: 95,668

Milton Friedman: A Biography by Lanny Ebenstein

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, stem cell, The Chicago School, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, zero-sum game

In each case, Friedman’s preferred policy is for government to give individuals money or credits rather than for government to provide services directly. With respect to stem cell research and gay marriage, Friedman writes in 2005 correspondence that on “stem cell research, I believe that it should be freely open but that the government should not be financing it. It does seem to me wrong for the government to be spending its citizens’ tax money on programs which a significant fraction of the population find morally abhorrent.” Regarding gay marriage, “I do not believe there should be any discrimination against gays....The only question is whether th[e] laws should have a special category for a family unit whose primary objective is childrearing.”13 On abortion, he believes that it should be legal, but, similar to his position on stem cell research, that government should not pay for abortions. Friedman believes that the current public school system operates largely like a monopoly, with the inefficiency and lack of innovation that monopoly invariably entails.


pages: 315 words: 92,151

Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future by Brian Clegg

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Brownian motion, call centre, Carrington event, combinatorial explosion, don't be evil, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, game design, gravity well, hive mind, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, silicon-based life, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Turing test

At the time of writing there are at least two projects aiming to clone a mammoth, Akira Iritani at Kyoto University, who has been working in the area since 2011, with a target of success by 2016–2017, and Hwang Woo-Suk, a South Korean ventinarian who recently set out on a crash course in mammoth recovery. The fact that Hwang is involved is not in itself very encouraging, as he infamously fell from grace as a noted stem cell researcher when he was dismissed from a post at Seoul National University in 2006 for having forged data from imaginary research into stem cells. Yet he certainly had experience of cloning, (assuming the experiment was not faked), when he cloned a dog in 2014. Other scientists are both doubtful of the short-term chances of success, bearing in mind how many failures it took to get to the much less ambitious Dolly, and dubious that there is any scientific merit in bringing a mammoth back to life.

Perhaps the closest we have come to science fiction in real-world genetic engineering, raising visions of H. G. Wells’s dark tale The Island of Dr. Moreau, is the creation of human/animal chimeras where human cells and animal embryos are combined. Yet there is an important distinction that takes the impact out of the SF story line—where the fictional result is a monstrous crossover creature, in reality the result is not viable as a living organism, but results in the production of stem cells, which can then be used for medical purposes. Wells envisaged bizarre hybrids like the leopard-man, the satyr-man, and the dog-man on Dr. Moreau’s island. But he realized the impracticality of giving a human being wings. This hasn’t stopped science fiction writers from exploring one of humanity’s great dreams. What if the right technology could enable us to leave behind the airplane and soar solo into the sky?


pages: 193 words: 51,445

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin J. Rees

23andMe, 3D printing, air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic transition, distributed ledger, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, life extension, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanislav Petrov, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

The ‘code’ for a vaccine could be electronically transmitted around the world—allowing instant global distribution of a vaccine created to counter a new epidemic. People are typically uneasy about innovations that seem ‘against nature’ and that pose risks. Vaccination and heart transplants, for instance, aroused controversy in the past. More recently, concern has focused on embryo research, mitochondrial transplants, and stem cells. I followed closely the debate in the United Kingdom that led to legislation allowing experiments on embryos up to fourteen days old. This debate was well handled; it was characterised by constructive engagement between the researchers, the parliamentarians, and the wider public. There was opposition from the Catholic Church, some of whose representatives circulated pamphlets depicting a fourteen-day-old embryo as a structured ‘homunculus’.

See also planets; Sun space, threats to stability of, 112–13, 118 space elevator, 148–49 spaceflight: fuel as impediment to, 148–49; manned, 143–52; pioneering exploits, 138–40 (see also Apollo programme); private companies in, 146–48 space shuttle, 145, 148 space technology: international regulation of, 219; satellites, 140–42 space telescopes, 137, 142, 143 space tourism, 148 SpaceX, 146, 149 speech recognition, 85, 88 spiritual values, environmentalist, 33 Sputnik 1, 138 squirrels, genetic alteration of, 74 stars: as fairly simple objects, 173; in modern cosmology, 214 stem cells, 65 Stern, Nicholas, 42 strangelets, 112, 114 string theory, 169, 180, 187 Stuxnet, 20 Sun: ancient and modern understanding of, 3; eventual doom of Earth due to, 2; galactic location of, 124; life cycle of, 177–78; magnetic storms caused by, 16; nuclear fusion in, 54, 122; origin of, 122. See also solar system Sundback, Gideon, 202 superconductors, 190–91 sustainability, Vatican conference on, 34 sustainable development, 26–27, 28 sustainable intensification of agriculture, 23, 24 technology: improvement in most people’s lives due to, 6, 60, 215; need for appropriate deployment of, 4, 26, 60; optimism about, 5, 225–26; as practical application of science, 202; preserving basic methods for the apocalypse, 216–17; for scientific experiments, 206–7; timescales for advance of, 152; unintended destructive consequences of, 215 telescopes: on far side of Moon, 144; optical Earth-based, 134–35, 137; radio telescopes, 134, 144, 157, 207; space telescopes, 137, 142, 143 Teller, Edward, 110 telomeres, 79 terrorism: biological techniques and, 73, 75, 77–78; in interconnected world, 215; new technology and, 100; nuclear weapons and, 20 Thomas, Chris, 74 thorium-based reactor, 54 3D printing: making consumer items cheaper, 31; of replacement organs, 72 tidal energy, 50–51 timescales: of planning for global challenges, 3–4, 59–60, 217.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

In laboratory-grown human cells, CRISPR has already been used to “correct the mutations responsible for cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and some forms of blindness,” Doudna reports. “Researchers have corrected the DNA mistakes that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy by snipping out only the damaged region of the mutated gene, leaving the rest intact.”9 Say someone has sickle-cell anemia. It now seems entirely possible to isolate stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow, use CRISPR to repair the cells’ mutated genes, and then return the edited cells to the patient, where they will “churn out robust amounts of healthy hemoglobin.”10 This kind of work has just begun to leave the laboratory and enter the real world. In the summer of 2017, the FDA approved the first-ever such treatment, this one designed to modify a patient’s own cells to fight leukemia.

Forty percent of the land we use is for horizontal agriculture. We can do a better job without any of that.” By growing our food on vertical stands, he means. “As we extend longevity, we radically expand the resources of life.” That’s an ethical improvement on, say, Michael West, currently chair of a California start-up called BioTime, which specializes in “regenerative medicine.” West, who organized the first effort to isolate human stem cells for cloning purposes, was once asked whether immortality wouldn’t lead to overpopulation. Sure, he said, but “why put the burden on people now living, people enjoying the process of breathing, people loving and being loved. The answer is clearly to limit new entrants to the human race, not to promote the death of those enjoying the gift of life today.”16 That level of selfishness makes Ayn Rand look like Mother Teresa.

See also Bolshevik Revolution; Soviet Union Ryan, Paul Sahara SAM (semi-automated mason) Sandberg, Anders Sanders, Bernie San Francisco sanitation Savulescu, Julian sawflies scale Scandinavia Schell, Jonathan Schreiber, Kim Scotland screens sea ice sea level rise sea turtles selfishness Sense and Sensibility (Austen) Sex and the Single Zillionaire (Perkins) Shanahan, Nicole Shanghai sharks Shell Oil Shetland Islands Short, Marc Siberia Siberian Traps Sierra Nevada Silent Spring (Carson) Silicon Valley Silver, Lee Sinovation Ventures 60 Minutes (TV show) slowdown smallpox smartphones Smart Replay program Smith, Adam Snowden, Edward socialism social isolation social media social safety net Social Security Solar City solar power lobbying vs. microgrids and rooftop solidarity. See also community Solomon, Tom Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The (film) Southwestern Publishing Soviet Union. See also Russia soy space colonization SpaceX Spanish flu SpinVox Spotify Stalin, Joseph Standing Rock protests Staples, Sam Starr, Ken Startling Stories Star Trek (TV show) state governments Steffen, Alex stem cells Sternberg, Sam St. Louis World’s Fair Stock, Gregory Stonehenge stress hormones submarine landslides suicide SunEdison Sun Microsystems Sweden swordfish Synthego Syria Tanzania tar sands taxes cuts in opposition to Tea Party tech industry technology of maturity and repair replacement Teller, Edward Tesla Texaco Texas Texas Hold ‘Em thalassemia Thatcher, Margaret Theory of Moral Sentiments, The (Smith) Thiel, Peter Thomas, Clarence Thoreau, Henry 350.org 350 parts per million Thurow, Lester Tillerson, Rex Tiumalu, Koreti tobacco Tolstoy, Leo Tomasky, Michael totalitarianism TransCanada Corporation transhumanism transportation Trappist solar system Triassic-Jurassic extinction Trudeau, Justin Trump, Donald tsunamis Tunica, Mississippi Tunuliarfik Fjord Turkey Turner, Frederick Jackson Twenge, Jean 21st Century Fox 23andMe Twitter U-Barrier Uber Unabomber Unconquerable World, The (Schell) Underwood, Barbara United Nations General Assembly special rapporteur on extreme poverty Sustainable Development Goals U.S.


pages: 299 words: 98,943

Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization by Stephen Cave

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, back-to-the-land, clean water, double helix, George Santayana, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, life extension, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, stem cell, technoutopianism, the scientific method

They are summed up in his “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence” (“senescence” being a term for the deterioration caused by aging), a paradigmatic example of the Engineering Approach to immortality. Like most people in his field, de Grey relies on technologies that are now in their infancy but whose promise seems immense—in particular genetics, stem cells and nanomedicine. Genetic engineering should enable us to rewrite our bodies’ instruction books, ensuring many diseases that are now fatal never arise. Stem cells, which have the ability to develop into any kind of tissue, from skin to neurons, hold out the promise of growing healthy tissue to replace that which is diseased or worn out—even whole organs. And nanotechnology (engineering on the scale of atoms or molecules) gives hope of the ability to repair our bodies from the inside out using billions of tiny, targeted machines.

And Francis Bacon pursued what he considered this “most noble goal” of life extension to his death—in 1626 from pneumonia, which he contracted when experimenting with the use of snow to preserve corpses. Throughout its history, science has sought to make life unending and death reversible. In chapter 3, we saw that scientific progress is driven forward by the Engineering Approach to mortality, the modern version of the Staying Alive Narrative, which attempts to break down the challenge of death into a list of potentially solvable problems like curing cancer, harnessing stem cells or stopping smoking. We can now see that this is part of a broader ideology of mastering nature—a belief that there are no natural limits that cannot in the end be overcome by reason. This belief extends beyond the hope of staying alive to encompass also its Plan B: resurrection. This drive to mastery of nature is often regarded as the very essence of modernity. As the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman has noted, with the advent of science, death came to be seen as an insult to our newfound powers—“the last, yet seemingly irremovable, relic of fate in a world increasingly designed and controlled by reason.”


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

business cycle, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K, zero-sum game

So the festival city's body shop goes to work turning out hacked stem cells and fabbing up incubators. It doesn't take very long to reincarnate a starshipful of relativity-lagged humans these days. First, City carves out skeletons for them (politely ignoring a crudely phrased request to cease and desist from Pamela, on the grounds that she has no power of attorney), then squirts osteoclasts into the spongy ersatz bone. They look like ordinary human stem cells at a distance, but instead of nuclei they have primitive pinpricks of computronium, blobs of smart matter so small they're as dumb as an ancient Pentium, reading a control tape that is nevertheless better structured than anything Mother Nature evolved. These heavily optimized fake stem cells – biological robots in all but name – spawn like cancer, ejecting short-lived anucleated secondary cells.

"You're thinking about the implants again," she says carefully. The cat remembers this as a sore point; from being a medical procedure to help the blind see and the autistic talk, intrathecal implants have blossomed into a must-have accessory for the now-clade. But the male is reluctant. "It's not as risky as it used to be. If they screw up, there're neural growth cofactors and cheap replacement stem cells. I'm sure one of your sponsors can arrange for extra cover." "Hush: I'm still thinking about it." He's silent for a while. "I wasn't myself yesterday. I was someone else. Someone too slow to keep up. Puts a new perspective on everything: I've been afraid of losing my biological plasticity, of being trapped in an obsolete chunk of skullware while everything moves on – but how much of me lives outside my own head these days, anyhow?"


pages: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

But link an old mouse to a young one and it becomes able to repair muscle injuries nearly as well as its younger counterpart. Similar benefits are seen in liver cells and the nervous system. And it works in reverse, too: old blood can have a decrepifying effect on the young. Exactly how this all works is much less clear. The best guess is that some combination of hormones, signalling factors and other ingredients in the young blood affects the behaviour of stem cells in the old animal. Like everything else, stem cells – which are vital for healing wounds and for general maintenance – begin to fail with age. But that process seems to be reversible, with young blood restoring the cells’ ability to proliferate and mend broken tissue. Another theory is that the old animal benefits from access to the organs (kidneys, liver and so on) of its young companion. It may be that both explanations are correct: experiments in which animals are given quick transfusions, rather than being stitched together for weeks, still show benefits, though not as many as with full-on parabiosis.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Interestingly, 60 per cent of a newborn’s oxygen supply is consumed by the brain because the brain is doing huge equivalents of Bayesian analysis and other statistical/stochastic comparisons and learning to fully engage and interpret the data from their eyes, ears, nose, tongue, fingers, skin, etc. The National Institute of Health studies of Dr Henrietta van Praag and her colleagues, as popularised by the writing of Harvard’s John Ratey,13 instruct us that if we run for at least 45 minutes at a pace which raises our heart rate to at least 75 per cent of its maximum, we will create new neural stem cells, primarily in the hippocampus. These new cells will last for about 21 days. In order for them to “wire” with other neurons and last longer, we would need to learn something new. “Neurons that fire together, wire together” is the neuroscientist’s way of summarising this process. One of the more exciting discoveries about exercise-induced neurogenesis is that the brain loses brain cells more rapidly in some areas than others.

A project spearheaded by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, used CRISPR/Cas9 to edit HIV out of human T-cells. When HIV infects the body, it modifies the body’s own immune system by changing the DNA of T-cells. With innovations in the Cas9 process, researchers were able to successfully edit the CXCR4- and PD-1-infected genes in the T-cells, replacing them with healthy cells. Modified T-Cells from healthy patients have been introduced via stem cell therapy before, boosting the immune system’s response, but this was the first time that researchers were able to edit the HIV virus out of an existing patient’s cells. In Philadelphia, researchers were able to make HIV patients resistant to the virus by removing the CCR-5 protein from white blood cells through gene therapy. In March 2015, Chinese scientists announced that they had successfully used CRISPR techniques to modify the gene responsible for β-thalassaemia, a potentially fatal blood disorder, in non-viable human embryos.

Heart and lung diseases: celladon heart failure, calcium upregulation, congestive heart failure and peripheral arterial disease, cystic fibrosis, α1-antitrypsin deficiency, asthma, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pulmonary edema With gene therapy, we will be able to correct errors in our DNA as well as remove diseases, deficiencies and hereditary conditions. That is an astounding possibility, and it is most definitely within reach of the sciences. If you combine gene therapy, stem cell therapy, sensor-based monitoring and other augmentation that will be available, the fact is that we will have more control over disease and its treatment than ever before. In fact, it is likely that we will make more progress curing disease over the next two decades than in the last one hundred years of medical science. By 2030, access to advance medical techniques and gene therapy will have potentially added another 20 to 30 years to the life expectancy of those living in developed nations.


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Part of the instinctual legacy from our Pleistocene past that Shepard so values is our taste for meat, and one suspects that his global game park would encounter the same problems with poachers as its aristocratic and colonial predecessors – particularly since his education system is focussed around teaching youngsters the skills of hunting. Shepard rejects laboratory meat culture in favour of microbial stews only because he considers that it is not technologically feasible ‘because growth-control processes soon deteriorate when only part of an organism is cultured’. But with recent advances in stem cell technology this seems less likely to be a barrier. If the controllers of Shepard’s high rise settlements want to keep their part-time hunters satisfied they would be wise, like Lovelock, to include lab-cultured flesh in the diet. The idea of growing meat in laboratory conditions has been around for some time. In 1932, Winston Churchill remarked ‘50 years hence…[we] shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium’ and the idea has been developed by generations of science fiction writers, most recently Margaret Atwood, whose bio-engineered Chickie Nobs, in her novel Oryx and Crake, have eight breasts and no brains.

The NASA researchers claimed that their achievement held out the prospect of growing meat in industrial quantities from the muscle cell lines of various animals or fish. The gruesome method employed did not prevent project leader Morris Benjaminson claiming that ‘this could save you having to slaughter animals for food’.35 In the years since then, lab-grown meat has shown signs of becoming a sunrise industry. The technology is similar to the stem cell techniques that have resulted in the growing of organs, such as human windpipes, outside the human body under laboratory conditions. In June 2005 the magazine Tissue Engineering published what it claimed was ‘the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.’36 Two methods were described: growing cells either as flat sheets on thin membranes, or growing them on small three-dimensional beads.

At a time when the organic sector of the green movement is campaigning for slow food, real meat and fresh local produce, the vegan/vegetarian camp has been nudging the industry in the very opposite direction: towards factory farming and factory food. Cultured muscle tissue is the dream product that lies at the end of this road. The secret longing of some vegans for Chickie Nobs came out into the open in 2008 when Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered a $1 million prize to whoever can scale up stem cell techniques to grow edible animal tissue for a mass market. The New York Times reported ‘near civil war’ within PETA, with members leaving in protest. Jim Thomas, of the ETC group, picked up on the licentiousness inherent in allowing vegans to eat synthetic meat: ‘Culturing exotic meats opens new markets: Anyone for lion? A panda burger? What about ethical human cannibalism?’37 But when PETA issued its challenge, veteran animal rights philosopher Peter Singer was not slow to voice his support: I always thought it would be a good thing, the same way that I think it’s good that the abuse of horses for pulling loads has ended. … I think it would be good if the abuse of animals for raising them for meat were to end, because we had a technological solution to that.


Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

If you own a factory or a chain store, you can get by with high school grads. Not so if you’re running a litigation firm or a software company. Likewise, you’ll be attuned to how government investments in scientific research can play a key role in propelling your industry. If you own one of Austin’s many biotech firms, you’ll applaud every time that the National Institutes of Health ups its research budget and every time a state promises to put money into stem cell research, because some of the breakthroughs from this work may eventually lead to new products and profits at your firm. At a broader level, you will worry about the physical and technological infrastructure that allows goods and services to move around. You will understand the centrality of capital markets in ensuring that you have the money to invest in growth. You will sense the importance of a stable global order in which peace prevails, talented immigrants can move across borders, and open trade is the norm.

The reproductive rights movement has been backed by the rich since the days of Margaret Sanger, and among its largest contemporary donors is Warren Buffett, who has poured millions into support for Planned Parenthood. Whenever an abortion issue comes up on a ballot initiative, the votes by class are predictable. For instance, the highest margin of opposition to a 2008 ballot effort in California to require parental notification for abortions was among voters earning more than $200,000 a year. The same year in Michigan, higher-income voters provided the biggest margins of support for a law that would allow stem cell research. Civil rights has also been a cause célèbre among the wealthy at times. The civil rights movement didn’t draw in only upper-middleclass northern college kids; it also attracted serious liberal money starting in the early 1960s. Among the movement’s biggest funders were Stephen and Audrey Currier, forgotten figures today but perhaps the richest and most glamorous liberals of their time.

Much has been made of how Democrats alienated their blue-collar base by siding with the left in the culture war, which cost them elections, but this stance turned out to have a major upside. Democrats picked up new support among well-off Americans just as this group began to dramatically expand amid boom times. That support has deepened in recent years as Republicans have grown more conservative on social issues, fighting high-profile battles on Terri Schiavo and stem cell research. A tolerant Democratic Party has attracted large swaths of the upper class—although still only a minority of this group—even as the party has grown more populist, vowing to hike taxes on the rich and better regulate business. Those Democrats who actually represent the rich are no exception: Most of the congressional Democrats c04.indd 95 5/11/10 6:19:05 AM 96 fortunes of change who are very liberal on social issues are also very liberal on economic issues.


pages: 266 words: 67,272

Fun Inc. by Tom Chatfield

Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, credit crunch, game design, invention of writing, longitudinal study, moral panic, publication bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, upwardly mobile

Perhaps at no other point in peacetime history have an older generation seen their experience and knowledge so decisively outdated within their own lifetimes, and while this is a larger phenomenon, games are an increasingly integral part of it. It’s especially troubling because many of the most profound questions video games raise have yet to be addressed. There is, for instance, the growing problem of how to determine the legal status of actions and transactions within virtual worlds. In some ways, the kinds of legal and ethical questions raised here resemble those seen in medical science. Stem cell research, for instance, is a field where what is technically possible has evolved faster than the growth of the legal and philosophical framework addressing it. What are the ethics of creating, destroying and using human embryos in potentially life-saving medical treatments? The questions thrown up by games may be considerably less challenging ethically, but they too confront our current laws and cultural frameworks with possibilities far outside the imaginations of legislators even half a century ago.

34 Huizinga, Johan 233 Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture 229–32 human behaviour, and video games 165–79 human motivators 4 humour 8 I Dig It 213–14 I wish I were the moon 129 id Software 188 improvement 4 in-game interactions 51 Inconvenient Truth, An (film) 186 Infocom x installation art 132 intellectual property 60 intelligent shared spaces 160–61 internationalism 2 internet 210, 224 browser 156 casual gaming 33–7, 210–12 computers’ unrestricted freedom to browse 24 importance to younger children 64 online pursuits 83 and pornography 83 social relationships 89–90 sub-culture 7 the world’s most important gaming arena 24 internet cafés 80–81 Invisible Threads 143 iPhones 212–14, 216 Iraq 191 invasion of (2003) 192, 195 Japan 221–2, 229 Japanese firms 21–3, 222 professionalism 21 rivalry between Nintendo and Sega 21–2 success of Sony 22–3 Jo Kim, Amy 163–4 Johnson, Boris 56, 57 jumping 39–40 keyboard 157, 158, 159 Kindle 219 Korea 80–81, 221, 222 Koster, Raph 7–10, 39, 49 A Theory of Fun for Game Design 7 Kretschmer, Tim 67, 68 Krishna (Indian deity) 44 Kubrick, Stanley 113–14 Kufeld, Albert W 17–18 laptops 210 Lazzaro, Nicole 49–50, 51 learning 4, 6–8, 49, 94, 150, 153, 157, 180, 181, 209 contexts from learning 203 experiential 9 see also education; training Learning and Teaching Scotland 200, 201 Lee, Johnny Chung 160 Legend of Mir 3, The 60 Legend of Sword and Fairy, The 120 Lehtonen, Liz and Ville 103–4 Levene, Simon 216–17 Lewitt, Adam 68 live art 131–4 Lord of the Rings series 113 Los Angeles Expo (2009) 13, 14 Lovell, Nicholas 215–16 Lucas, George 46 Lumière, Auguste and Louis 111 McKechnie, Craig 99–100 Macropedia 216 Macs 23 Magnavox Odyssey 19, 20 Marine Doom 188–9 Mario games 39, 40 market locations 171 mass print media 20 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 15–18 massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) 7, 48, 93, 103, 105, 106, 138, 140, 162, 176 Medal of Honor series 65 ‘meta-game’ 105 microphones 51, 97 Microsoft 14, 216, 217 enters console war 218 programs 155 Windows 42 military games 187–97 Mind Candy 63 Minesweeper 41–2 mobile phones 28, 34, 157–8, 210, 212, 221–2 monitor 157 Moshi Monsters 63, 64 motion capture 14, 29, 137 motion sensitivity 23, 158, 159 motivation 149–51, 163, 177, 179, 180, 184 mouse 156–9 MP3 players 28 MP3 recordings 136 MTV 37, 186 mtvU 186 MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) 45 M.U.L.E. 10–11 multi-player games online 89, 169 text-based 89 time spent playing 29 Murdoch, Rupert 218 music interactive 135–6 recorded 57, 228 MySpace 89, 155 Natal tracking box project 13–14 National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning, Scotland 200, 202 National Parenting Publications Award 64 natural sciences 169 Negative Gamer 75 netbooks 220–21 neurological control 211 NeuroSky 158, 159 newspapers 227 Nielsen Games 63 Nintendo 21, 22, 23, 27, 31, 39, 76, 216 brain-training games 205 DS console 202, 205–8 Super Nintendo 200 Wii 37, 91, 138, 156, 158, 160, 215, 217–18 Nintendogs 83 Norrath (a virtual world) 167, 168 not-for-profit gaming 225 Novint Falcon controller 159 NP-hard problem (‘non-deterministic polynomial hard’ problem) 41–2 Oakdale Junior School, Essex 205–8 Olympics 2 online community management 224 online ‘counter-culture’ 110 online games creation of xi gaming community 29 motivating, co-operative social tools 108 players’ achievements in 29–30 profitability 221 reward distribution 177–9 OnLive service 220 OpenShaspa Home Energy Kit 161–2 OpenShaspa system 161 Overload series 119 Overload: Dark Legend 119 Overload: Minions 119 Overload: Raising Hell 119 Overload II 119 Pac-Man 20, 201 Pajitnov, Alexey 40, 41, 42 Palace, The 172 Pan European Game Information System (PEGI) 62–3 parents 63–4, 138 party games 91 Passage 126–8, 129 PCs 23 PDP-1 (Programmed Data Processor) 15, 16, 17 Pediatrics journal: ‘Longitudinal Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggression in Japan and the United States’ 67 pentominos 41 performance art 130, 133 performance games 91 persistence 154 personalisation 154 Pet Society 36–7 pets ‘pet’ games 83 in WoW 94 Pew Internet/MacArthur Report on Teens, Video Games and Civics (2008) 90, 108–9 Pictionary 3–4, 5 Pirate Bay website, The 109 Pirate Party 109 Pixar Studios 117 platform games 83 Plato: Phaedrus 55, 56 play, Huizinga on 229–30, 232 player motivations (Killer, Achiever, Explorer and Socialiser) 47–8, 49 Playfish 33–7 points 164 Pokémon series 83 political awareness 181 political issues 108–9 Pong 18–20 Poole, Steven 126 Trigger Happy 125 pornography 83 Posner, Judge Richard A 70–71 Pratchett, Rhianna 117–19 Pratchett, Terry 117–18 prefrontal cortex 72 primal response patterns 163 Psychiatric Quarterly journal 66 psychological science 153 Psychological Science journal 73 Psychonauts 119–20 Punchdrunk theatre company 133–4 radio 20, 57–8, 227 ‘raiding missions’ 97–8 RAM 157 Rama (Indian hero) 44 Ramayana 44 Ramis, Harold 137 ratings 63, 64, 65, 164 Rawlinson, Michael 64–5 reading 85 Real 216 real-time conversation 51 Reeves, Professor Byron 162–3 research organisations 225 Restaurant City 37 reward schedule 149–50 rewards 199, 206, 209 RiepI, Wolfgang 227 Riepl’s law 227 Robertson, Derek 199–206 robots, military use of 194–5 Rock Band games 91, 135–6 Rohrer, Jason 126, 127–8 role-playing games 29, 45, 83 Rothenberg, Stephanie 143 Russell, Stephen ‘Slug’ 15–16, 22 scarcity 172, 173 Scottish education 199–205 Scruton, Roger 91–2, 101 Second Life 90, 118, 142–6 Second World War 229 Sega 21, 22, 23, 31 Segerstråle, Kristian 34–7 Seggerman, Suzanne 181–2, 186, 187, 193 self-expression 4, 43, 51, 94 Serious Games Institute, Coventry University 153, 161 Shining, The (film) 113–14 Sims, The series 83 SingStar 136 sketching 115 smartphones 219 Smith & Jones Centre, Amsterdam 77 Smith, Michael 63–4 Snow, Linda 207–8 social awareness 181 social networks 14, 24, 34, 83, 89, 154, 212, 217, 218 social problems 78 social sciences 153, 169, 180 Sony 22–3, 31, 95, 103, 104, 168, 216, 217, 218 PlayStation 22 PlayStation III 215, 218 sound 20, 112, 116, 157 South-East Asia sector 222 Soviet Union 229 Space Invaders 20, 201 Spacewar! (world’s first true computer game) 16–18, 37 speakers 51 Spider-Man 3 (film) 29 Spielberg, Steven 14, 137–8 sports 2, 91 Star Trek series 113 Star Wars (film series) 7, 17, 46 Star Wars Force Trainer 159 Star Wars Galaxies 7, 139–40 Starcraft 81 stem cell research 59 Sundance Film Festival (2008) 143, 144 surface texturing 116 team games 100 television 58, 85, 114, 227 Baer and 19 console-based service 218–19 family entertainment 20, 59 and interaction 79, 136 user expectations 136 and virtual reality 160 and younger children 64 ‘tetriminoes’ 40 Tetris 40–42, 50, 122 text adventures x thatgamecompany 120 Thompson, Mark 226–7 Tolkien, J R R 45 Toy Story (film) 117 training 153, 157 emergency medicine games 197–9 military 188, 189, 190, 193 see also education; learning transnational relations 107–8 TripAdvisor 211 Triumph Studios 119 Trubshaw, Roy 45 Tunnel 228 show 133–4 Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London 132 Twitter 89, 208, 212 Ultima Online 7, 100, 148 universities 225 University of Southern California 121, 186 Up (film) 117 US Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS) 176 US Congress 182 US Department of Education 68 US Marine Combat Development Command 188 US Marines: First Recon unit 192 US military 187–8, 191, 194, 195 US Secret Service 68 value 151–2, 179–80 video arcades 87, 88 video game designer, as a career 37–8 video games addiction to 71–8 and art 117–34 big-budget 214, 222 born in a technology institute 15–18 a business devoted to miracles 14–15 and children 58, 62, 63–5 compared with other games 5–6 complexity 9, 11, 39, 42, 50, 72, 73, 130, 171, 214 consumers 61–2 creation of 114–17 education 199–208 equality 103 and the family 89, 91 feedback 9 and films 137 first icons 20 games-based vs. real-life interactions 91–3 the hero’s journey 46–7 and human behaviour 165–79 leadership in 98, 99, 101 as learning engines 6–7 as mainstream media activity 89 market for 22–3 military games 187–97 miniature games 126–9 mix of freedom and constraint in 102–3 moral panic 59 and music 135–6 nostalgia industry 52 perceived as played by adolescent males 87–8 players/non-players 59 power of 57–8, 223 progress by gaining experience 6 questions raised by 59–60 raising awareness 181–7 rapidly evolving 59 reviews 75 rules 6, 11 safety 58 as a social outlet 78–81 start of their commercial life 20 suitability for the digital age 28 teenage players (US) 90 time spent playing 29 two-player 88 and violence 60–61 and virtual theft 60–61 ‘visceral’ thrills 9–10 Villiers, Justin 112–13, 114 violence in games a minority interest 37, 82–3 regulation of 62, 224 and violence in life 65–71, 223 virtual currency 145–9 virtual economies 167, 169 virtual environments 142, 154, 172, 175 virtual epidemic 174–6 ‘virtual life’ simulations 83 virtual reality 14, 138 goggles 141 and the Wii 160 virtual screens 14 virtual voting system 225 virtual worlds 33, 45–7, 59, 95, 103, 141, 146, 154, 155, 160, 166, 168, 170–73, 210, 211, 223, 225, 226, 233 war games 188 watches 28 Watts, Peter 133 Wells, H G 45 Wii Play 83 WILL Interactive Inc. 196 wireless control 14 women players 61 word processing 155, 157 work virtual work 139–45 work/play separation 2–3, 5, 145 World of Warcraft (WoW) xii, 30, 93–102, 105, 147, 149, 174, 175, 176, 217 Wortley, David 153–4, 156, 157, 160, 161 Wright, Evan: Generation Kill 191–2 writing, origin of 57, 111, 228 Xbox 360 games console 14, 215 XEODesign 49 Yahoo!


pages: 414 words: 123,666

Merchants' War by Stross, Charles

British Empire, dumpster diving, East Village, indoor plumbing, offshore financial centre, packet switching, peak oil, stem cell

But anyway, what we've got next door is a bunch of cell tissue cultures harvested from JAUNT BLUE carriers. We keep them alive and work on them through here. We're using a 2D field-effect transistor array from Infineon Technologies. They're developing it primarily as an artificial retina, but we're using it to send signals into the cell cultures. If we had some stem cells it'd be easier to work with, but, well, we have to work with what we've got." "Right." The president's opinion on embryonic stem-cell research was well known; it had never struck Eric as being a strategic liability before now. He leaned towards the contraption behind the glass shield of the laminar-flow cabinet. "So inside that box, you've got some live nerve cells, and you've, you've what? You've got them to talk to a chip? Is that it?" "Yup." Hu looked smug.

"We figured out that the mechanosomes respond to the intracellular cyclic-AMP signaling pathway," Hu offered timidly. "That's what preparation fourteen is about. They're also sensitive to dopamine. We're looking for modulators, now, but it's on track. If we could get the nerve cells to grow dendrites and connect, we hope eventually to be able to build a system that works-that can move stuff about. If we can get a neural stem-cell line going, we may even be able to mass-produce them-but that's years away. It's early days right now: all we can do is make an infected cell go bye-bye and sneak away into some other universe-explaining how that part of it works is what the quant group are working on. What do you think?" Eric shook his head, suddenly struck by a weird sense of historical significance: it was like standing in that baseball court at the University of Chicago in 1942, when they finished adding graphite blocks to the heap in the middle of the court and Professor Fermi told his assistant to start twisting the control rod.


Dealing With Food Allergies: A Practical Guide to Detecting Culprit Foods and Eating a Healthy, Enjoyable Diet by Janice Vickerstaff Joneja

stem cell

It really isn’t possible to understand allergy unless you have some idea of how the immune system works. Let’s set off on this journey toward coming to terms with food allergy by starting right at the beginning: let’s take a look at the immune system. Blood Cells The most important cells of the immune system are found in blood (Figure 3-1). All blood cells start life as stem cells in bone marrow, which is present in the center of the larger bones of the body. Stem cells are immature cells that mature into different types of blood cells, each with a unique structure and function. There are three main groups or classes of blood cells: ◆ ◆ ◆ Red blood cells give blood its color and carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Blood platelets are responsible for the clotting of blood. White blood cells, or leukocytes (leuko = white; cyte = cell), are the most important agents of the immune system.

See also Open food challenge Serum sickness 336 Shellfish allergy 22, 102, 119, 199-202, 376 Single-blind food challenge 343-344 Skin tests 81-86 intradermal test 81-82 patch tests 84-86 prick to prick test 84 484 — INDEX — prick test 81-82 scratch test 81-82 reactors 15-17 Sodium benzoate 61-62, 277-278, 347 Sodium metabisulfite 347 Soy 363-364 allergy 102, 181-187 -free diet 183-187 milk 133 nutrients in 187 oil 187 terms indicating presence in food 183 Spice sensitivity testing for 380-381 Sprue. See Celiac disease Starches 226 Stem cells 30 Stress 26 Sucrase 226 Sucrose 223, 226 Sugar sensitivity testing for 376-377 Sulfates 67 Sulfites 103 allergy and intolerance 65-67, 287-299 symptoms of 288 -restricted diet 293, 297-299 sources of 289-292, 294-296 sensitivity 382 and thiamine (Vitamin B1) 293 Supplements 388 Target organ 15 Tartrazine 347, 382 intolerance 60-61, 265-275 symptoms of 270-271 -restricted diet 271-275 T cells 35-39, 40-41 helper cells (TH) 35, 36-39 lymphocytes 112 Tea 378 Therapeutic diets 339-340 Thiamine 293 Total serum IgE 89 Toxic reactions 51 Type I hypersensitivity 41-44, 328 Type II hypersensitivity 44-45 Type III hypersensitivity 44-46, 92 Type IV hypersensitivity 46, 85 Tyramine 58 intolerance 233, 240, 245 causes of 240 symptoms of 245 and histamine-restricted diet 246, 250-253 -restricted diet 246, 247-249 Urticaria 240, 270, 279, 288, 328, 340 Vegetable sensitivity challenge test for 368-374 Vega test 91 Vitamin B 293 C 89, 220 D 127, 390 Wheat allergy 161-170 and celiac disease 163 symptoms of 163 food products that contain 165 -free diet 164-170 sensitivity, testing for 359-360 Wheel and flare response 81 Whey -free margarines 134 proteins 351-352, 355, 357 Yeast and mold allergy 209-214 -free diet 212-214


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

That may sound like sacrilege, but the bar is set lower than you think: more than one hundred thousand people die each year in U.S. hospitals from preventable errors alone, more than those who fall to AIDS, breast cancer, and car crashes combined. At Bangkok Hospital’s five-year-old heart clinic— really a hospital in its own right, treating some fifteen thousand outpatients a year—stem-cell therapy is part of the standard tool kit for treating battered hearts that might otherwise demand a transplant. “Most of the patients have been ill for a long time,” the clinic’s director, Dr. Kit Arom, told me in his art-strewn office. “By the time they come here, they are all but incapacitated. They are waiting for a transplant or waiting to die.” After receiving stem-cell injections straight into cardiac muscle tissue—a treatment too controversial to be offered yet in the United States—most patients recovered enough to leave under their own power. On Arom’s watch, the clinic has also retired open-heart surgery in favor of a new, decidedly less invasive approach using small incisions.

A few additions have been announced since, none of which were ideal: warehouses, a hotel, a cancer radiation lab (since shelved), and an organic produce nursery. That’s all well and good for the tax rolls, but if Detroit is going to win this war of all against all that’s raging, it again begs the question: What is the aerotropolis for? The answer, given by everyone from Ficano on down, is anything and everything: batteries, biofuels, windmills, and smart grid-building software consultancies. Two years ago, Ficano announced Wayne County would build a Stem Cell Commercialization Center—adding genetic engineering to the list. When we met, practically the first word off his lips was The Graduate’s punch line, plastics—but in this case a biodegradable kind derived from wheat. Imagine the Big Three supplanted by Big Green. That may sound desperate, but they’re being pragmatic. Detroit dead-ended the last time its leaders—Henry Ford, Alfred P. Sloan, and Walter P.

Unnerved by the speed and severity of the recession, Beijing rolled back some of these reforms, while many factory bosses simply chose to ignore them. But the Delta’s upward trajectory is set. As exports were falling off a cliff at the end of 2008, China’s highest-ranking think tank unveiled plans for the “reform and development” of the Delta through 2020. Their wish list included a new Big Three of “superautomakers” led by the electrified BYD. The Delta would also dominate wind power, “environmental protection,” stem-cell research, “bio-breeding,” and a grab bag of electronics, including the shining symbol of Americans’ home equity hangover: the flat-screen TV. Not by coincidence, their list matches one by Harvard’s Willy Shih of the bleeding-edge technologies America is most at risk of losing, which also includes “electronic ink,” LEDs, and thin-film solar cells. If they get their way, a decade from now there will be twenty more companies the size of Li & Fung, only they’ll be “globally recognized brands” instead of hiding in the shadows.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Even the number of results returned by Google differed—about 180 million results for one friend and 139 million for the other. If the results were that different for these two progressive East Coast women, imagine how different they would be for my friends and, say, an elderly Republican in Texas (or, for that matter, a businessman in Japan). With Google personalized for everyone, the query “stem cells” might produce diametrically opposed results for scientists who support stem cell research and activists who oppose it. “Proof of climate change” might turn up different results for an environmental activist and an oil company executive. In polls, a huge majority of us assume search engines are unbiased. But that may be just because they’re increasingly biased to share our own views. More and more, your computer monitor is a kind of one-way mirror, reflecting your own interests while algorithmic observers watch what you click.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, IKEA effect, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, private space industry, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Some 3-D printers extrude molten plastic in layers to make these objects, while others use a laser to harden layers of liquid or powder resin so the product emerges from a bath of the raw material. Yet others can make objects out of any material from glass, steel, and bronze to gold, titanium, or even cake frosting. You can print a flute or you can print a meal. You can even print human organs out of living cells, by squirting a fluid with suspended stem cells onto a support matrix, much as your inkjet printer squirts ink onto paper. MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 2) CNC MACHINE: While a 3-D printer uses an “additive” technology to make things (it builds them up layer by layer), a CNC (computer numerical control) router or mill can take the same file and make similar products with a “subtractive” technology, which is a fancy way of saying that it uses a drill bit to cut a product out of a block of plastic, wood, or metal.

Right now that requires a 3-D printer the size of the building, but it may someday be built into the cement truck itself, with a concrete that uses positional awareness to decide where to put down concrete and how much, directly reading and following the architect’s CAD plans. Meanwhile, researchers are working just as hard at moving in the other direction: 3-D printing at the molecular scale. Today there are “bio printers” that print a layer of a patient’s own cells onto a 3-D printed “scaffold” of inert material. Once the cells are in place, they can grow into an organ, with bladders and kidneys already demonstrated in the lab. Print with stem cells, and the tissue will form its own blood vessels and internal structure. Today’s vision for 3-D printing is grand in ambition. Carl Bass, the CEO of Autodesk, one of the leading companies making 3-D authoring CAD software, sees the rise of computer-controlled fabrication as a transformative change on the order of the original mass production. Not only can it change the way traditional consumer goods are made, but 3-D printing can also work on scales as small as biology and as large as houses and bridges.


pages: 302 words: 74,878

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman

4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, Bonfire of the Vanities, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

Army general Ned Preble: former executive, Synectics creative problem-solving methodology Ilya Prigogine: chemist, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Nobel laureate in chemistry, author of The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature Prince: musician, music producer, actor Wolfgang Puck: chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur Pussy Riot: Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the two members of the Russian feminist punk rock group who served time in prison Steven Quartz: philosopher, professor at California Institute of Technology, specializing in the brain’s value systems and how they interact with culture James Quinlivan: analyst at the RAND Corporation, specializing in introducing change and technology into large organizations William C. Rader: psychiatrist, administers stem cell injections for a variety of illnesses Jason Randal: magician, mentalist Ronald Reagan: president of the United States, 1981–1989 Sumner Redstone: media magnate, businessman, chairman of CBS, chairman of Viacom Judith Regan: editor, book publisher Eddie Rehfeldt: executive creative director for the communications firm Waggener Edstrom David Remnick: journalist, author, editor of the New Yorker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize David Rhodes: president of CBS News, former vice president of news for Fox News Matthieu Ricard: Buddhist monk, photographer, author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill Condoleezza Rice: U.S. secretary of state, 2005–2009, former U.S. national security advisor, former provost at Stanford University, professor of political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Frank Rich: journalist, author, former columnist for the New York Times, editor at large for New York magazine Michael Rinder: activist and former senior executive for the Church of Scientology International Richard Riordan: mayor of Los Angeles, 1993–2001, businessman Tony Robbins: life coach, author, motivational speaker Robert Wilson and Richard Hutton: criminal defense attorneys Brian L.

Rugby Foundation Kenneth Watman: analyst at RAND Corporation specializing in strategic defense and nuclear deterrence James Watson: molecular biologist, geneticist, zoologist, codiscoverer of the structure of DNA, Nobel laureate in medicine Andrew Weil: physician, naturopath, teacher, writer on holistic health Jann Wenner: cofounder and publisher of Rolling Stone, owner of Men’s Journal and US Weekly Kanye West: musician, music producer, fashion designer Michael West: gerontologist, entrepreneur, stem cell researcher, works on regenerative medicine Floyd Red Crow Westerman: musician, political activist for Native American causes Vivienne Westwood: fashion designer who developed modern punk and new wave fashions Peter Whybrow: psychiatrist, endocrinologist, researches hormones and manic-depression Hugh Wilhere: spokesman for the Church of Scientology Pharrell Williams: musician, music producer, fashion designer Serena Williams: professional tennis player Willie L.


pages: 312 words: 78,053

Generation A by Douglas Coupland

Burning Man, call centre, Drosophila, hive mind, index card, Live Aid, Magellanic Cloud, McJob, new economy, post-work, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking

It was strange keeping the window open with the light on in the middle of night and not having bugs fly in. I always thought it’d be bald eagles and manatees that vanished first. But cicadas? Crickets? Even blackflies: now gone or going, and so quickly. Finally, Uncle Jay emailed that the site belonged to Finbar Manzies of Palmerston North, New Zealand. He was a dental researcher who specialized in using stem cells to regenerate new teeth in adults. Huh? He was also in the top zero-point-three percent of Kiwi income earners, flew regularly around the world and had recently spent NZ$3,450.00 for a series of visits to an area businessman named toby@manssage.sx.nz in a way that would show up on his credit card statements as a donation to UNESCO. I even had Toby’s unlisted mobile number. Uncle Jay, you’ve earned your ten percent.

Prisoners stopped feeling imprisoned; isolation stopped bothering them. When their daily hour of communal time with other prisoners came around, most simply shrugged and said they’d rather not. Trevor and his colleagues were onto something huge. The wondrous new drug, however, was both difficult and expensive to make. The protein used to start it refused to be cloned, either in a petri dish or within a crèche of stem cells; it took hundreds of litres of blood to isolate enough protein to make a significant dose of the drug. It had to be synthesized in a wildly expensive 128-step process. Of course, Trevor was hooked on this stuff from the start. So forget Finnegans Wake. Forget books and forget reading and forget everything else on the planet except for this godsend of a brain fixer-upper that slowed his gambling to a point where he could keep it in check.


pages: 900 words: 241,741

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Petre

Berlin Wall, California gold rush, call centre, clean water, cleantech, Donald Trump, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, index card, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Y2K

In a presidential election year, journalists speculated about me as a future contender, although that would require a change in the Constitution that nobody really expected. My numbers stayed high all year, right through the November 2004 election, when California’s voters backed me on every ballot initiative on which I took a position. The most dramatic of these were measures to stop “shakedown” lawsuits against businesses and the landmark stem cell initiative, in which we put up $3 billion for groundbreaking scientific research after the Bush administration restricted federal funds. We also shot down two initiatives that would have increased the already outrageous privileges of the Indian gaming tribes. I was making such a splash that Republican leaders asked me to help in the push to get President Bush reelected. They invited me to give the prime-time keynote address at the Republican National Convention.

I joked about my approval rating, which by now had sunk further, to the low thirties, and the fact that people had started asking, “Don’t you wish you were back in the movie business?” But I said that I still thought this was the best job I ever had, and that I now stood before them happy, hopeful—and wiser. I bragged about things for which we all deserved credit, from balancing the budget without raising taxes, to banning soda and junk food in schools. I reminded them of the big things we had accomplished—the workers’ comp reform, the funding of stem-cell research, the refinancing of state debt, new laws to make government more transparent and accessible. And then I laid out the big numbers: the hundreds of billions of dollars of investment that we would need in order to support California’s growth in the future. As a first step, I presented the ten-year plan my team had scrambled to refine. We’d named it the Strategic Growth Plan. I asked the legislature to put before the voters the $68 billion in bonds we would need.

Time magazine put a picture of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and me on the cover in June over the headline “Who Needs Washington?” The point of the story was that Bloomberg’s city and my state were doing the big things that Washington failed to do. Washington had rejected the Kyoto Protocol to combat global warming, but in California we passed America’s first cap on greenhouse gases. The administration had rejected stem cell research, but in California we’d invested $3 billion to promote it. The administration turned down our request for money to repair our water system’s levees, but we’d pushed through billions of dollars in bonds to protect the levees and start rebuilding our infrastructure. I told Time, “All the great ideas are coming from local governments. We’re not going to wait for Big Daddy to take care of us.”


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

If you compare it to health care as a world-altering, stagnation-ending breakthrough industry, regulatory obstacles are a far greater problem for pharmaceutical companies and for hospitals than for the likes of Google, Amazon, and Apple. Health care, with its physician licensing, Byzantine hospital regulations, and FDA approval process, also makes most of its changes quite slowly, for better or worse. It’s not just about the laws, but also because doctors and patients often have very conservative or moralistic views about how health care should be done; just look at the recent controversies over stem cell treatments and genetic engineering. Health care is an ethical minefield and arguably we should be especially cautious when evaluating new medical and institutional breakthroughs. In any case, we can expect slower progress. When it comes to mechanized intelligent analysis, patent law can be a problem but for the most part the paths forward are relatively free of regulatory obstacles. Some applications, such as driverless cars, do face potential lawsuits; for instance, imagine the first time an out-of-control driverless car runs down a child.

., 234 Russia, 20 Rybka (chess program) and computer chess matches, 72 and evaluation of chess play, 203, 224–25 and Freestyle chess, 47 and human collaboration, 135, 168 and human intuition, 114–15 and performance evaluation, 104 power of, 68 and training human chess players, 102, 106–7, 120, 124, 192–93 Santa Cruz, California, 9–10 Scholes, Myron, 203 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 134 science, engineering, and math majors (STEM), 21, 22, 27 scientific research and bureaucracy, 210 economics, 221–28 and impossible problems, 211–17 increasing complexity of, 205–6 machine science, 217–20 specialization in, 206–11, 219 screening systems, 121 searching skills, 151–55 Second Life, 145 self-awareness programs, 135 self-education, 188–94, 202 self-employment, 59–63 self-scrutiny, 14 self-service, 113, 118 service sector, 22, 62, 169 Shannon, Claude, 68–69 shanty towns, 245–46 Shogun (game), 135 short-run spending hypothesis, 53–54 Shredder (chess program), 78, 81–82, 105 Sicily, 174–75 Simon, Herbert, 75–76 simulation, 200, 210 “singularity” hypothesis, 137–38 Siri, 7, 17, 72, 119, 121, 149 Siu, Henry, 55 sketches, 146, 147 “Skynet,” 134 Skype, 146 “slackers,” 51, 246 smart phones, 92, 152 Smith, Adam, 28–29, 215 Smith, Vaughan, 26 Snow, Peter, 187 social contract and the fiscal crunch, 231–51 and inequality, 229–31 and political trends, 251–59 social interactions, 12–13, 73, 142 social networks, 188, 209–10, 223 social safety net, 231 social sciences, 224, 227 Social Security, 233, 234–35, 237, 247 social unrest, 253–55, 257 South Korea, 8 Southeast Asia, 171 Soviet Union, 168, 189, 252 Spain, 173–74 Spark (chess program), 70–72, 155–56 specialization in the sciences, 206–11, 219 spelling bees, 187–88 Spence, Michael, 176 spending trends, 54 standardization, 126–31 Stanford University, 193 state budgets, 237 stem-cell research, 17 Stephen, Zackary, 78 stock trading, 74 Stockfish (chess program), 68, 70–72, 155–56 string theory, 212–14 structural unemployment, 37, 55 Sunstein, Cass, 105 supermarkets, 118 supply and demand, 234 support service, 169 Sweden, 161 Switzerland, 161 Tang, Hangwi, 89 taxes and tax policy and the fiscal crunch, 232–34, 236 and political trends, 254, 256, 258 progressive taxation, 256–57 “tax incidence,” 234 TCEC Stage 2a (chess tournament), 156 Tea Party Movement, 251, 256 teaching schools, 196 team-orientation, 28, 36, 207 technical support, 111–13 Technique 2011, 140, 142–43 technological progress, 133 The Terminator (1984), 134 Texas, 239, 241, 247 textile mills, 8 Thaler, Richard, 105 Thatcher, Margaret, 235 theory development, 221–22, 223, 225–26 therapy, online, 145 Thoresen, Martin, 155–56 threshold earners, 202 Thrun, Sebastian, 189, 191 time management, 81 Toiletgate, 149–50 Topalov, Vaselin, 149 tourism, 174, 175 transparency in business, 130 Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), 10 Trefler, Daniel, 164 TripAdvisor, 16 Turing, Alan, 68–69, 141, 143–44 Turing test, 83, 139–51 “tutor kings,” 200–201 Twitter, 154 underemployment, 50, 164 unemployment and freelancing, 59–63 gender disparity in, 31 and geographic trends, 172 and the Great Recession, 54–59 and immigration, 163–71 and in-flow rate, 58 and intelligent machines, 45–50 labor force participation rate, 46 recent trends, 50–54 structural, 37 unskilled labor, 19, 56 US Air Force, 20–21 US Congress, 255 US military, 57 US Supreme Court, 238 USA Memory Championships, 152 utopian visions, 136 Vancouver, British Columbia, 241 Venezuela, 171 Vidal, Gore, 257 video games, 185–88 Virginia Tech, 183–84 virtual schools, 181 vision systems (robotic), 116 visual arts, 146, 147 voice recognition, 119 Vonnegut, Kurt, 126, 247–48 wages and the fiscal crunch, 236 and freelancing, 59–60 and gender, 52–53 and geographic trends, 171–73 and immigration, 163–71 impact of intelligent machines, 136 wages (cont.)


pages: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

At the Tribe stage you want employees with skill sets flexible enough to pivot along with the company, but if you have hundreds of employees, you better have some pretty well-developed theories about your business and where it is going! Almost any executive hire at the City or Nation stage is going to be a specialist. But even at these largest, latest stages, you should still mix in some number of generalists. Think of generalists as the “stem cells” of your organization. Your body has a small number of stem cells that have the capability to morph into various other types of cells as needed. In a large organization, you may need a small number of people who can perform various functions as needed, whether exploring new products and technologies or tackling issues that lack a well-defined solution. TRANSITION #3: CONTRIBUTORS TO MANAGERS TO EXECUTIVES The terms “manager” and “executive” are often used interchangeably.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Patrick has published papers on a mechanism by which vitamin D is able to regulate the production of serotonin in the brain and the various implications this may have for early-life deficiency and relevance for neuropsychiatric disorders. The Tooth Fairy Might Save Your Life (Or Your Kids’ lives) Dr. Patrick introduced me to using teeth for stem-cell banking. If you are having your wisdom teeth removed, or if your kids are losing their baby teeth (which have a particularly high concentration of dental pulp stem cells), consider using a company like StemSave or National Dental Pulp Laboratory to preserve them for later use. These companies will send your oral surgeon a kit, and then freeze the biological matter using liquid nitrogen. Costs vary, but are roughly $625 for setup and then $125 per year for storage and maintenance. Mesenchymal stem cells can later be harvested from the dental pulp of teeth for useful (e.g., bone, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels, etc.), life-changing (e.g., motor neurons for repairing damaged spinal cord), or potentially life-saving (e.g., traumatic brain injury) treatments using your own biological raw materials.

Per Dom: “If you don’t have cancer and you do a therapeutic fast 1 to 3 times per year, you could purge any precancerous cells that may be living in your body.” If you’re over the age of 40, cancer is one of the four types of diseases (see Dr. Peter Attia on page 59) that will kill you with 80% certainty, so this seems like smart insurance. There is also evidence to suggest—skipping the scientific detail—that fasts of 3 days or longer can effectively “reboot” your immune system via stem cell–based regeneration. Dom suggests a 5-day fast 2 to 3 times per year. Dom has done 7-day fasts before, while lecturing at the University of South Florida. On day 7, he went into class with his glucose between 35 and 45 mg/dL, and his ketones around 5 mmol. Then, before breaking the fast, he went to the gym and deadlifted 500 pounds for 10 reps, followed by 1 rep of 585 pounds. Dom was inspired to do his first 7-day fast by George Cahill, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, who’d conducted a fascinating study published in 1970* wherein he fasted people for 40 days.


pages: 325 words: 92,622

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

medical residency, stem cell, undersea cable, uranium enrichment

I could still be caught. You’d given me respite from the pain, for now, but I couldn’t take it for granted. I started opening drawers. I found stacks of disposable gowns and tied one around my middle. It was very messy and inexact and the wound was bleeding down my legs. I began to feel glimpses of pain. In another drawer I found all kinds of medical supplies and stuffed them into my bag—boxes of nanobiotics and stem-cell strips and tubes of surgical glue. I used more disposable gowns to slough the blood off my arms and legs as best I could. There were street clothes on pegs near the door; I picked a big red T-shirt that fit over my makeshift dressings, and black denim jeans that were three sizes too big for me, and fastened them on with a brown belt. I looked at the lovers one last time. They didn’t move, and the kreen was clawing at Dr.

I peeled up my T-shirt and untied the dressing gown I’d used to bind the wound. The pain was so great I thought I would faint. I made myself take deep breaths. I knew you wouldn’t abandon me now, having brought me so far. I had to have faith. I leaned back against the wall to make my torso as flat as possible, then used my hand to move the two walls of the incision together. With my other hand, I peeled a stem-cell strip out of its wrapper and laid it across the wound. I added one more on top of that, and then three more perpendicularly just to make sure. The wrapper instructed me to bind it over with gauze, but I had none, so I picked the bloody dressing gown back up off the bathroom floor and re-bound it around my hips. Infection. I had to watch for infection. I swallowed four broad-spectrum nanobiotics, dry, for the time being.


Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg

epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, phenotype, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell

Although scientists have long proven neurogenesis in various other animals, it wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists began focusing exclusively on trying to demonstrate neurogenesis in humans.3 In 1998, the journal Nature Medicine published a report by Swedish neurologist Peter Eriksson in which he claimed that within our brains exists a population of neural stem cells that are continually replenished and can differentiate into brain neurons.4 And indeed, he was right: We all experience brain “stem cell therapy” every minute of our lives. This has led to a new science called neuroplasticity. The revelation that neurogenesis occurs in humans throughout our lifetimes has provided neuroscientists around the world an exciting new reference point, with implications spanning virtually the entire array of brain disorders.5 It also has instilled hope among those searching for clues to stopping, reversing, or even curing progressive brain disease.


pages: 302 words: 95,965

How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper

3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

If other scientists decide to follow suit and we get an open source outflowing of scientific ideas and collaboration, science could go through the same explosion that we have had in entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, and human progress will again be accelerated. Look for industries to improve: healthcare, entertainment, real estate, insurance, fashion and banking. Look for new technologies to improve them with: the shared economy, social media, programmable stem cells, CRISPR, microsatellites, virtual reality, Bitcoin, solar economies, self-driving cars, electronic clothes, bioelectronics, robot brains, prosthetic limbs, Pokémon derivatives, offline massively open online courses (MOOCs), enterprise software, and multivariable authenticators. Put them together to approach or even invent new technology industries. Your imagination is unlimited. Use it. Business Ideas Here are some ideas to get you started.

Apparently, my idea was spot on--if not a little late, because there is a whole new field of science being created around bacteria and the effect it has on people’s metabolisms and overall health. It got me thinking that Earth might just be a small bacterium in the stomach of some greater celestial body. But that might be a discussion better suited for my sci-fi novel….Watch for it. Joon Yun is also interested in the idea of transplants as it relates to human longevity. Joon put together a longevity conference, where scientists were talking about fetal cell transplants, and how young stem cells are more effective than older ones. I took that concept and came up with the idea that instead of implanting fetal cells in people, doctors could just implant baby poop to reinvigorate the intestine, which may change the metabolism of the whole body. Another example of using one’s surroundings to come up with a breakthrough came when I was outside watching as bees flew happily into a bee trap.


pages: 91 words: 26,009

Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Bretton Woods, corporate governance, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, informal economy, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, neoliberal agenda, Occupy movement, RAND corporation, reserve currency, special economic zone, spectrum auction, stem cell, The Chicago School, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

Capitalism, he said, “has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, that it is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the netherworld whom he has called up by his spells.”3 In India the 300 million of us who belong to the new, post–International Monetary Fund (IMF) “reforms” middle class—the market—live side by side with spirits of the netherworld, the poltergeists of dead rivers, dry wells, bald mountains, and denuded forests; the ghosts of 250,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800 million who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us.4 And who survive on less than twenty Indian rupees a day.5 Mukesh Ambani is personally worth $20 billion.6 He holds a majority controlling share in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a company with a market capitalization of $47 billion and global business interests that include petrochemicals, oil, natural gas, polyester fiber, Special Economic Zones, fresh food retail, high schools, life sciences research, and stem cell storage services. RIL recently bought 95 percent shares in Infotel, a TV consortium that controls twenty-seven TV news and entertainment channels, including CNN-IBN, IBN Live, CNBC, IBN Lokmat, and ETV in almost every regional language.7 Infotel owns the only nationwide license for 4G broadband, a high-speed information pipeline which, if the technology works, could be the future of information exchange.8 Mr.


pages: 353 words: 98,267

The Price of Everything: And the Hidden Logic of Value by Eduardo Porter

Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, new economy, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, pension reform, Peter Singer: altruism, pets.com, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, ultimatum game, unpaid internship, urban planning, Veblen good, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

Donors can only recover out-of-pocket costs plus “reasonable expenses” of up to £55.19 per day—to a maximum of £250—to cover their forgone earnings. It makes a difference what the eggs will be used for. In California it is legal for a woman to sell her eggs for fertilization but not for research. If she wants to provide them for research, she must offer them for free. In New York, by contrast, the Empire State Stem Cell Board authorizes using state research funds to pay up to $10,000 to egg donors. Many transactions that are perfectly normal in one part of the world or at one point in time are considered repugnant in another. Indentured servitude, once a common way for Europeans to buy passage to America, today is banned across the world. Usury, an old sin of the Catholic Church, is today called credit. Dwarf tossing, which used to be an everyday bar sport, was banned in France in the 1990s despite opposition from a dwarf, who took his case all the way to the United Nations, accusing the French government of discriminating against him by denying his right to employment.

demand democracy Deng Xiaoping Denmark, Danes Denver shoppers deregulation Descartes, René Desperate Housewives (TV show) developing world climate change in garbage dumps in sex in Dickens, Charles Digital Rights Management technologies (DRM) discount rate discrimination divorce finances and dogs, as food dot.com bubble dowries drivers drugs abuse of Duke University Dunkin’ Donuts dwarf tossing Easter Island Easterlin, Richard Eastern Europe, former Soviet satellites in Eastman, George Eastman Kodak Company economic growth happiness and economics for a new world “Economics of Superstars, The” (Rosen) education of children wages and of women efficient markets eggs Egypt, Egyptians Ehrlich, Paul R. Eisenhower, Dwight D. elderly people/senior citizens elections U.S. electricity elephant-seal cows Elías, Julio Jorge e-mail, spam and Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act (1974) Empire State Stem Cell Board encyclopedias, free energy engagement rings engineers England environment see also climate change; pollution Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Epson ESP printers Essay on the Principle of Population, An (Malthus) Ethiopia Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock) eToys Eurobarometer surveys Europe Catholic Church in decline of polygamy in happiness in lack of sprawl in U.S. compared with work hours in see also Western Europe European Climate Exchange European Union evangelical Christianity executive pay ExxonMobil faith benefits of cheap cost of Fallaci, Oriana families changes to culture and income of of 9/11 victims size of Fanning, Shawn (the Napster) Federal Communications Commission Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Delaney Clause to (1958) Federal Reserve Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “Feeding the Illusion of Growth and Happiness” (Easterlin) Feinberg, Kenneth fertility decline in female file sharing film financial crises financial services fines fire departments fishing floors Florence foeticide food culture and faith and preparation of price increases for surpluses of Food and Agriculture Organization Food Quality Protection Act (1996) Ford Ford, Henry Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Fourier, Charles France happiness in work hours in Frank, Robert Free (Anderson) Freedom Communications free lunch, use of term free rider problem free things broadcast TV and movies music and Napstering the world and profiting from ideas freeware Freud, Sigmund fuel see also gas Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints future ethics of mispricing nature and price of Gabaix, Xavier Gallup polls Gandhi garbage gas price of General Motors (GM) General Social Survey General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, The (Keynes) genetics, genes Germany happiness in Germany, Nazi Gershom ben Judah Ghosts I-IV (album) gifts Glass-Steagall Act (1933) GlaxoSmithKline globalization global warming Goa God Goldin, Claudia goods Google Google News Gore, Al Gorton, Mark government hostility toward intervention of resource allocation of Great Britain bubbles in gas prices in happiness in politics in Great Depression Greece, ancient green revolution (1960s and 1970s) Greenspan, Alan gross national happiness (GNH) index Haiti Hammurabi Hanna, Mark happiness faith and genetics and life-cycle curve of loss aversion and money and problems with defining of right-left gap in U.S. trade-off and Hare Krishna Society Harvard University Haryana health health care health insurance Health Ministry, New Zealand Healthway Heinrich, Armin Hindus, Hinduism HIV homeland security, U.S.


pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

‘Give Stuff’ is based on the old saying that ‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ and we ask people to do a quick raid of their old clothes, linens, furniture – anything they no longer use – and bring it all in for central collection. ‘Give Life’ encourages people to go and sign up for blood donations, the organ donor register and (in the UK) the Anthony Nolan stem cell and bone marrow register. Virgin Media also introduced a policy that gives anyone called up for stem cell or bone marrow donations one week’s paid leave to recuperate. The internal (tongue in cheek named) ‘Give a Shout’ programme allows people to recognise the efforts of their peers with a message on their personal homepage – also entering them into a draw to win one of many £50 vouchers each month. ‘Give a Pat on the Back’ also allows colleagues to recognise each other (even bosses!)


pages: 387 words: 99,158

Period Repair Manual, Second Edition: Natural Treatment for Better Hormones and Better Periods by Lara Briden, Jerilynn Prior

crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, stem cell

Special Topic: Myth Busted—Women Do Not Run Out of Eggs We used to think women are born with about 400,000 dormant eggs that get used up and eventually run out. New research suggests that is completely wrong. You may, in fact, have ovarian stem cells that could continue to make new, viable eggs indefinitely [352], which biologically, makes a lot more sense. According to researcher Jonathan Tilly: “There’s no fathomable reason why a woman would have evolved to carry stale eggs around for decades before attempting to get pregnant while men evolved to have fresh sperm always available.” [353] If you have ovarian stem cells, then you do not simply run out of fertility because you’re old. You could keep reproducing, but you won’t, and scientists think they know why. It’s because you’re genetically programmed to stop reproducing while still relatively young to be able to give time and resources to your potential descendants.


pages: 362 words: 97,862

Physics in Mind: A Quantum View of the Brain by Werner Loewenstein

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, complexity theory, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, informal economy, information trail, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, Richard Feynman, stem cell, trade route, Turing machine

That sort of simple topographic arrangement is repeated at the pyramidal-cell layer of the cortex—alike connects to alike. Buck and colleagues more recently took the analysis a step further in mice. They genetically engineered mice that would express a marker protein in the olfactory sensory cells. The gene for the marker was inserted into embryonic stem cells next to the coding region of the gene for the sensory protein, and from those stem cells mice developed that expressed the marker concurrently with the sensory protein. The marker passed transynaptically from neuron to neuron, outlining the information channels from stem to stern. Two such channels are schematically represented in figure 7.2, illustrating how the corresponding domains at the sensory periphery map on the olfactory bulb and cortex.


pages: 317 words: 100,414

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, availability heuristic, Black Swan, butterfly effect, buy and hold, cloud computing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, drone strike, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, forward guidance, Freestyle chess, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, hindsight bias, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Laplace demon, longitudinal study, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Following best practices improves their odds of winning but less reliably so than in games where chance plays smaller roles.15 Even with a growth mindset, the forecaster who wants to improve has to have a lot of what my colleague Angela Duckworth dubbed “grit.” Elizabeth Sloane has plenty of grit. Diagnosed with brain cancer, Elizabeth endured chemotherapy, a failed stem-cell transplant, recurrence, and two more years of chemo. But she never relented. She volunteered for the Good Judgment Project to “re-grow her synapses.” She also found an article by a top oncologist that described her situation perfectly, leading to a promising new stem-cell transplant. “And here I am about to be cured,” she e-mailed GJP project manager Terry Murray. “It is amazing that I have a second chance.” Grit is passionate perseverance of long-term goals, even in the face of frustration and failure. Married with a growth mindset, it is a potent force for personal progress.


pages: 387 words: 105,250

The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling

carbon footprint, clean water, failed state, impulse control, negative equity, new economy, nuclear winter, semantic web, sexual politics, social software, starchitect, stem cell, supervolcano, urban renewal, Whole Earth Review

She is worse than her warlord husband, and he was terrible.” Herbert smiled at this bleak threat, imagining that he was being brave. “Vera, let me make something clear to you. Your fellow cadres and I: We care for you deeply. We always want to spare your feelings. But: Everybody here on Mljet knows all about those criminal cloning labs. We know. Everybody knows what your mother was doing with those stem cells, up in the hills. They know that she was breeding super-women and training them in high technology—the ‘high technology’ of that period, anyway. That foolishness has all been documented. There were biopiracy labs all over this island. You—you and your beautiful sisters—you are the only people in the world who still think that local crime wave is a secret.” Herbert smacked his fist into his open hand.

These toys never got anywhere and never saw a thing, for the hairdressing lab was the single most secure locale that Radmila knew. Radmila had spent a great deal of the Family’s money at the hair designers’—for the Family partly owned the lab. This fact didn’t make the local hair designers treat Radmila any better. On the contrary. Presented with a fresh surge of Family capital, they had simply and brusquely ripped out all of her hair. The new implants, their roots soaked in fresh stem cells, were state-of-the-art: radiant blond filaments that were genuine human hair, but with a much-enhanced ability to behave. Radmila’s damaged scalp was soaked with hot, wet, antiseptic foam. Her head was locked by a stainless fume hood where robot surgical arms whirred on tracks, took unerring aim, and deftly pierced her scalp. Implanting fresh hair took forever, like being tattooed. And, of course, it hurt a great deal.


pages: 471 words: 109,267

The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? by Polly Toynbee, David Walker

banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, call centre, central bank independence, congestion charging, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Etonian, failed state, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, market bubble, mass immigration, millennium bug, moral panic, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Right to Buy, shareholder value, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, working-age population, Y2K

Labour, as a quid pro quo to the free-speech lobby and as a sop to faiths that resented Christianity’s unique protection, used the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act to abolish the offence of blasphemy in England and Wales. The courts had already discarded it; after the BBC broadcast Jerry Springer: The Opera in January 2005, the fundamentalist group Christian Voice failed to persuade the judges to convict. And on such religious totems as abortion and stem cell research, rationalism ruled OK among Labour ministers. The worldwide scare over the Y2K millennium bug has become a classic of media hype and public gullibility – there was panicky talk of machines stopping and planes falling out of the sky. Ministers kept their cool and in October 1999, a couple of months before the witching hour, the NAO reported that the non-profit company Action 2000 set up by Whitehall to check IT systems had flashed only a couple of amber risks.

., 1 Rosetta Stone, 1 Rosyth, 1 Rotherham, 1, 2, 3 Royal Opera House, 1 Royal Shakespeare Company, 1 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, 1 Rugby, 1 rugby union, 1 Rumsfeld, Donald, 1 rural affairs, 1, 2 Rushdie, Salman, 1 Russia, 1, 2 Rwanda, 1 Ryanair, 1, 2 Sainsbury, Lord David, 1 St Austell, 1 St Bartholomew’s Hospital, 1, 2 St Pancras International station, 1 Salford, 1, 2, 3, 4 Sanchez, Tia, 1 Sandwell, 1 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 1, 2 Savill, Superintendent Paul, 1 Saville, Lord, 1 savings ratio, 1 Scandinavia, 1, 2, 3 Scholar, Sir Michael, 1 school meals, 1, 2 school uniforms, 1 school-leaving age, 1 schools academies, 1, 2, 3, 4 building, 1 class sizes, 1 comprehensive schools, 1, 2 faith schools, 1, 2, 3, 4 grammar schools, 1, 2, 3 and inequality, 1 nursery schools, 1 and PFI, 1, 2, 3 police in, 1, 2, 3 primary schools, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 private schools, 1, 2 secondary schools, 1, 2, 3 in special measures, 1 special schools, 1 specialist schools, 1 and sport, 1 science, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Scotland, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and children, 1 devolution, 1 electricity generation, 1 and health, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Scottish parliament, 1, 2 Section 1, 2 security services, 1 MI5, 1, 2, 3 Sedley, Stephen, 1 segregation, 1 self-employment, 1 Sellafield, 1 Serious Organized Crime Agency, 1 sex crimes, 1 Sex Discrimination Act, 1 Shankly, Bill, 1 Sharkey, Feargal, 1 Shaw, Liz, 1 Sheen, Michael, 1 Sheffield, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Sheringham, 1 Shetty, Shilpa, 1 Shipman, Harold, 1 shopping, 1 Short, Clare, 1 Siemens, 1 Siena, 1 Sierra Leone, 1, 2 Skeet, Mavis, 1 skills councils, 1 slavery, 1 Slough, 1 Smith, Adam, 1 Smith, Chris, 1 Smith, Jacqui, 1, 2 Smith, John, 1, 2 Smithers, Professor Alan, 1, 2 smoking ban, 1, 2 Snowden, Philip, 1 social care, 1, 2, 3 Social Chapter opt-out, 1 social exclusion, 1, 2 Social Fund, 1 social mobility, 1, 2 social sciences, 1 social workers, 1 Soham murders, 1, 2, 3, 4 Solihull, 1, 2 Somalia, 1, 2 Souter, Brian, 1 South Africa, 1 South Downs, 1 Spain, 1, 2, 3 special advisers, 1 speed cameras, 1 Speenhamland, 1 Spelman, Caroline, 1 Spence, Laura, 1 sport, 1, 2 see also football; Olympic Games Sri Lanka, 1, 2 Stafford Hospital, 1 Staffordshire University, 1 Standard Assessment Tests (Sats), 1, 2, 3 Standards Board for England, 1 statins, 1, 2, 3 stem cell research, 1 STEM subjects, 1 Stephenson, Sir Paul, 1 Stern, Sir Nicholas, 1, 2 Stevenson, Lord (Dennis), 1 Stevenson, Wilf, 1 Steyn, Lord, 1 Stiglitz, Joseph, 1 Stockport, 1 Stonehenge, 1 Stoppard, Tom, 1 Straw, Jack, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 student fees, 1 Stuff Happens, 1 Sudan, 1, 2 Sugar, Alan, 1 suicide bombing, 1 suicides, 1 Sun, 1, 2 Sunday Times, 1, 2 Sunderland, 1, 2 supermarkets, 1, 2 Supreme Court, 1, 2 Sure Start, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 surveillance, 1, 2 Sutherland, Lord (Stewart), 1 Swansea, 1 Sweden, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Swindon, 1 Taliban, 1, 2 Tallinn, 1 Tanzania, 1 Tate Modern, 1 Taunton, 1 tax avoidance, 1, 2, 3 tax credits, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 council tax credit, 1 pension credit, 1, 2, 3 R&D credits, 1 taxation, 1, 2 10p tax rate, 1 capital gains tax, 1, 2 corporation tax, 1, 2, 3, 4 council tax, 1, 2 fuel duty, 1, 2, 3 green taxes, 1, 2 and income inequalities, 1 income tax, 1, 2, 3, 4 inheritance tax, 1, 2 poll tax, 1 stamp duty, 1, 2, 3 vehicle excise duty, 1 windfall tax, 1, 2, 3 see also National Insurance; VAT Taylor, Damilola, 1 Taylor, Robert, 1 teachers, 1, 2, 3 head teachers, 1, 2 salaries, 1, 2 teaching assistants, 1, 2 teenage pregnancy, 1, 2, 3 Teesside University, 1 television and crime, 1 and gambling, 1 talent shows, 1 television licence, 1, 2, 3 Territorial Army, 1 terrorism, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Terry, John, 1 Tesco, 1, 2, 3, 4 Tewkesbury, 1 Thames Gateway, 1 Thameswey, 1 Thatcher, Margaret, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Thatcherism, 1, 2, 3 theatre, 1 Thornhill, Dorothy, 1 Thorp, John, 1 Tibet, 1 Tilbury, 1 Times, The, 1 Times Educational Supplement, 1, 2 Timmins, Nick, 1 Titanic, 1 Tomlinson, Mike, 1 Topman, Simon, 1, 2 torture, 1, 2 trade unions, 1, 2, 3 Trades Union Congress (TUC), 1, 2, 3 tramways, 1 transport policies, 1, 2 Trident missiles, 1, 2, 3 Triesman, Lord, 1 Turkey, 1, 2 Turnbull, Lord (Andrew), 1 Turner, Lord (Adair), 1, 2, 3 Tweedy, Colin, 1 Tyneside Metro, 1 Uganda, 1 UK Film Council, 1 UK Sport, 1 UK Statistics Authority, 1 unemployment, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 United Nations, 1, 2, 3 United States of America, 1, 2 Anglo-American relationship, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and child poverty, 1 and clean technologies, 1 economy and business, 1, 2, 3 and education, 1, 2, 3 and healthcare, 1, 2 and income inequalities, 1 and internet gambling, 1 and minimum wage, 1 universities, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and migration, 1 and terrorism, 1 tuition fees, 1 University College London Hospitals, 1 University for Industry, 1 University of East Anglia, 1 University of Lincoln, 1 Urban Splash, 1, 2 Vanity Fair, 1 VAT, 1, 2, 3 Vauxhall, 1 Venables, Jon, 1 Vestas wind turbines, 1 Victoria and Albert Museum, 1 Waitrose, 1 Waldfogel, Jane, 1 Wales, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and children, 1 devolution, 1 Walker, Sir David, 1 walking, 1, 2 Walsall, 1 Wanless, Sir Derek, 1 Wanstead, 1 Warm Front scheme, 1 Warner, Lord Norman, 1 Warsaw, 1 Warwick accord, 1 water utilities, 1 Watford, 1 welfare benefits child benefit, 1, 2 Employment Support Allowance, 1 and fraud, 1, 2, 3, 4 housing benefit, 1 incapacity benefit, 1, 2 Income Support, 1 Jobseeker’s Allowance, 1, 2, 3 and work, 1, 2 Welsh assembly, 1, 2 Wembley Stadium, 1 Westfield shopping mall, 1 Wetherspoons, 1 White, Marco Pierre, 1 Whittington Hospital, 1 Wiles, Paul, 1 Wilkinson, Richard, and Kate Pickett, 1 Williams, Professor Karel, 1 Williams, Raymond, 1 Williams, Rowan, 1 Wilson, Harold, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Wilson, Sir Richard, 1 wind turbines, 1, 2 Winslet, Kate, 1 winter fuel payments, 1 Wire, The, 1 Woking, 1, 2 Wolverhampton, 1 Woolf, Lord, 1 Wootton Bassett, 1, 2 working-class culture, 1 working hours, 1, 2 World Bank, 1 Wrexham, 1 Wright Robinson School, 1, 2, 3 xenophobia, 1 Y2K millennium bug, 1 Yarlswood detention centre, 1 Yeovil, 1 Yiewsley, 1 York, 1, 2, 3, 4 Young Person’s Guarantee, 1 Youth Justice Board, 1 Zimbabwe, 1, 2 About the Author Polly Toynbee is the Guardian’s social and political commentator.


pages: 437 words: 105,934

#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media by Cass R. Sunstein

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Donald Trump, drone strike, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, friendly fire, global village, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, prediction markets, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

The correction turned out to increase people’s commitments to the proposition in question: “Conservatives presented with evidence that tax cuts do not increase government revenues ended up believing this claim more fervently than those who did not receive a correction.”55 Liberals are hardly immune to this effect.56 In 2005, many liberals believed, wrongly, that President Bush imposed a ban on stem cell research. Presented with a correction from the New York Times or foxnews.com, liberals continued to believe what they did before. By contrast, conservatives accepted the correction. Hence the correction produced an increase in polarization. Importantly but not surprisingly, it mattered, in terms of the basic effect, whether the correction came from the New York Times or Fox News: conservatives distrusted the former more, and liberals distrusted the latter more.

See also specific service solidarity goods, 58, 141–44 Somalia, 239 sound bites, 43, 151, 224, 268n19 sovereignty: absolute, 203; Brandeis on, 52–57; communications and, 260; consumer, 30, 52–58, 89, 124, 134, 145, 157, 159, 167–69, 193–96, 199, 202–3, 212, 253, 260; “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” and, 178; democratic institutions and, 167–69; filtering and, 134 (see also filtering); freedom and, 44, 53, 55–56, 58, 145, 157, 159, 260; Holmes on, 52–57; Internet and, 52, 55; political, 52–55, 203; republicanism and, 44–45; self-government and, 54; social media and, 52–53; technology and, 188 Soviet Union, ix, 164, 189 special-interest intermediaries, 20 speech market, 26, 73, 89, 111, 190, 195, 253 sports, 18 Stalin, Joseph, ix, 180 Stanford University, 61, 133 status quo, 151, 165, 170, 233 stem cell research, 94 Stengel, Richard, 238 Stewart, Jon, 77 Stewart, Potter, 22 street corners, 25–26, 36, 142 subsidies, 35, 44, 183, 210–12, 215, 225–26 Syria, 18, 79, 242, 246, 283n22 tabloidization, 223–24 technology: automobiles, 8, 26, 186, 267n2; communications and, 26, 146 (see also communications); conveniences of, 31–32; cultural cognition and, 129–30; hacking, 109, 178, 184, 186, 188, 201; ILOVEYOU virus and, 176–78, 186, 191, 207; innovation and, 5, 133, 183, 243; legal issues and, 184–88; nanotechnology, 95–96, 129; net neutrality and, 29; newspapers and, 152–53; sovereignty and, 188; V-chip and, 219; virtual reality and, 13, 33, 71, 140, 243 Telecommunications Act, 219–20 television: ABC, 152, 179, 181, 198; advertising and, 28; bias and, 64, 151–52; Broadcasting Authority and, 140; CBS and, 19, 152, 179–81, 185, 197–98, 228; citizens and, 158, 165–66, 169, 173; CNN and, 62, 64–65, 115, 126, 228–29; Daily Me and, 1–2, 10; disclosure policies and, 215, 218–22; educational programming and, 170, 181, 197–99, 202, 204–5, 210–11, 221, 226; educational programming for children and, 170, 181, 197–99, 202, 204–5, 210–11, 221, 226; fairness doctrine and, 84–85, 207, 221, 227; filtering and, 1, 25–26 (see also filtering); First Amendment and, 196–99; forms of neutrality and, 207–10; Fox, 22, 61–62, 64–65, 72, 94–95, 115–16, 120, 152, 162, 180, 222, 228–29; freedom of speech and, 194–99, 202–5, 209–10; improving, 213, 215, 219–27; isolation and, 116; must-carry rules and, 226–29; National Association of Broadcasters and, 197–98; NBC, 61–62, 152, 179–80, 198; one-channel policies and, 140–41; particular histories of, 20; PBS, 179, 225–26; polarization and, 62, 64, 66, 71–73, 75, 77, 83–84; politics and, 64; President’s Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters and, 196–98; public forums and, 41, 43; public sphere and, 153; Putnam on, 267n2; ratings system for, 219–20; Red Lion Broadcasting v.


he Wisdom of Menopause (Revised Edition) by Northrup, Christiane

epigenetics, financial independence, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, women in the workforce

Initially developed in the United States but currently marketed only in France, the device has not had the success rate of other therapies and review studies suggest it be considered only as a last resort.34 New clinical trials in the United States are currently testing what researchers hope will turn out to be a more effective version. (See www.uromedica-inc.com.) ~ STEM CELL THERAPY. This is one of the most promising new procedures for stress urinary incontinence, and clinical trials are currently being conducted at the University of Toronto, the University of Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. In this therapy, doctors take cells from the patient’s thigh muscle during a needle biopsy procedure. The cells are then sent to a lab, where they are refined and grown into stem cells. Four to six weeks later, the doctor injects the stem cells into the bladder’s sphincter. These cells then help to strengthen the muscles that control voiding. Both procedures—the biopsy and the injection—each take half an hour or less and are done on an outpatient basis.

Periurethral injection of autologous fat for the treatment of sphincteric incontinence. J Urol, 151, 607–611; Bard, C. R. (1990). PMAA submission to U.S. Food & Drug Administration for IDE #G850010. 34. Vidart, A., & Cour, F. (2010). Guidelines for the treatment of nonneurological urinary incontinence in women using periurethral balloons. Prog Urol, 20, S150–S154. 35. Carr, L. K., et al. (2008). One-year follow-up of autologous muscle-derived stem cell injection pilot study to treat stress urinary incontinence. Int Uro-gynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct, 19, 881–883. 36. Ridout, A. E., & Yoong, W. (2010). Tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder syndrome unresponsive to medical therapy. J Obstet Gynaecol, 30, 111–114. 37. Anger, J. T., et al. (2010). Outcomes of intravesical botulinum toxin for idiopathic overactive bladder symptoms: A systematic review of the literature.


pages: 147 words: 39,910

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom

How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery. New York: Anchor Books, 2015. 4 Weintraub, Pamela. “The Doctor Who Drank Infectious Broth, Gave Himself an Ulcer, and Solved a Medical Mystery.” Discover, March 2010. 5 http://www.grandin.com/design/design.html 6 Grandin, Temple. “A response to Hibbard and Locatelli.” Stockmanship Journal, Vol. 3 No. 1 (January 2014). 7 Ruetzler, Hanni, quoted in “What does a stem cell burger taste like?” by Melissa Hogenboom, BBCNews.com, August 5, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23529841 8 Emerson, Harrington. Speech published in “The Convention: Fifteenth Annual Convention of the National Association of Clothiers, Held June 5 and 6, 1911.” The Clothier and Furnisher, Volume 78, No 6 (July 1911). Thought Experiment 1 Brown, James Robert and Fehige, Yiftach, “Thought Experiments”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 Edition), Edward N.


pages: 132 words: 37,391

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

double helix, lateral thinking, stem cell

The broken Red presses Blue’s last letter into her hand, jumps off the cliff, and does not die. The letter remains—the seal, the wax with a drop of blood inside. On a bare island far upthread, she places the seal upon her tongue, chews, swallows, and collapses. She shades herself with Blue, from blood, tears, skin, ink, words. She thrashes with the pain of growth inside her: new organs bloom from autosynthesized stem cells to shoulder old bits of her away. Green vines twine her heart and seize it, and she vomits and sweats until the vines’ rhythm matches hers. A second skin grows within her skin, popping, blistering. She claws herself off upon the rocks like a snake and lies transformed. And more: A different mind plays around the edges of her own. She feels herself alien. She has spent thousands of years killing bodies like the one she wears.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

—Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962 I daresay the environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than with any other thing we’ve been wrong about. We’ve starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment, and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool. In defense of a bizarre idea of what is “natural,” we reject the very thing Rachel Carson encouraged us to pursue—the new science of biotic controls. We make ourselves look as conspicuously irrational as those who espouse “intelligent design” or ban stem-cell research, and we teach that irrationality to the public and to decision makers. We also repel the scientists whose help we most need to develop a deeply sustainable agriculture: the agronomists, ecologists, microbiologists, and geneticists who are fulfilling Rachel Carson’s dream. • When genetic engineering first came along in the 1970s as recombinant DNA research, I was surprised by the hysteria it inspired.

I would say yes, but for political reasons rather than scientific. The guidelines set by the scientists were far more specific and appropriate than politicians would have set, and those guidelines could be adjusted annually in response to real experience in the world, whereas political regulations not only resist fine-tuning, they defy any change at all. The recent simplistic legislation banning most human stem-cell research in the United States was a classic case. The Asilomar scientists forestalled that kind of folly by taking public responsibility themselves, early and adaptively. • One particularly ingenious early adopter of the new genetic technology was Bruce Ames, a biochemist at the University of California-Berkeley. The problem he wanted to solve concerned the tens of thousands of novel chemicals that industry routinely creates and releases into the environment without much testing for their toxicity.


pages: 401 words: 115,959

Philanthrocapitalism by Matthew Bishop, Michael Green, Bill Clinton

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Bob Geldof, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, business process outsourcing, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Dava Sobel, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, don't be evil, family office, financial innovation, full employment, global pandemic, global village, God and Mammon, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Live Aid, lone genius, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass affluent, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Singer: altruism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, working poor, World Values Survey, X Prize

As well as the human genome, Broad’s other scientific interests have had personal and political motivations. He has given generously to research on inflammatory bowel disease since his son fell ill with Crohn’s disease. And it was his infuriation at the policies of George W. Bush that prompted him to become, he says, “maybe the largest private funder of stem cell research, certainly in California, perhaps North America.” Here he was trying to fix what he saw as a problem with government policy. “Because of the federal government ban on funding stem cell research, any center that received federal government funding of any kind, for anything, could not accept the $3 billion funding approved in a California ballot initiative. So I decided to invest in new buildings in which California-funded research can be done,” he says. Broad is not alone among today’s tycoons in giving huge amounts of money to research and to universities.


pages: 467 words: 114,570

Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science by Jim Al-Khalili

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Book of Ingenious Devices, colonial rule, Commentariolus, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, liberation theology, retrograde motion, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, trade route, William of Occam

The whole infrastructure of the research environment needs to be addressed, from laboratory technicians who understand how to use and maintain the equipment to the exercise of real intellectual freedom and a healthy scepticism and the courage to question experimental results, something that we found in abundance in Baghdad’s House of Wisdom and that was preached unambiguously by Ibn al-Haytham. Just spending vast sums of money will not be enough to reignite and rebuild a scientific culture in the Muslim world. In addition to this, a clear separation of science from theology must be ensured. On a recent visit to Iran, I visited the Royan Institute in Tehran where research in genetics, infertility treatment, stem-cell research and animal cloning is carried out in an atmosphere of openness that was quite dramatically at odds with my expectations. Much of the work at the Royan is therapeutic and centred on infertility treatment, but it was clear that their basic research in genetics was of a high standard. What struck me in particular was the way the authorities overseeing the research seem to have dealt with the ethical minefields of parts of the work.

He explained that every research project proposed must be justified to his committee to ensure that it does not conflict with Islamic teaching. Thus, while issues such as abortion are still restricted (it is allowed only when the mother’s life is in danger), research on human embryos is allowed. According to Islamic teaching, the foetus becomes a full human being only when it is ‘ensouled’ between forty and a hundred and twenty days from the moment of conception, and so the research at Royan on human embryonic stem cells is not seen as playing God, as it takes place at a much earlier stage. It is of course quite understandable that areas of science that touch upon ethical issues must be considered carefully and sensitively, and, in an Islamic state like Iran, ethical values and moral issues are guided by religious teaching. Nevertheless, for those of us in the secular West, a process whereby the science that can or cannot be pursued is decided by religion is viewed with foreboding, for it is not religion that should be guiding science, and religion should certainly not be seen to hold a monopoly on ethics and morality.


pages: 151 words: 39,757

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

But fake people have been bred and amplified by BUMMER. Truth, meaning a claim that can be tested or events that are honestly documented—the stuff that all people can hold in common—is by definition anathema to the manipulations of BUMMER. BUMMER must often route around truth and attempt to suppress it in order to thrive. WHEN PEOPLE ARE FAKE, EVERYTHING BECOMES FAKE The fake people from Component F are stem cells for all the other fakeness in BUMMER. Leaving aside explicitly fake people like Alexa, Cortana, and Siri, you might think that you’ve never interacted with a fake person online, but you have, and with loads of them. You decided to buy something because it had a lot of good reviews, but many of those reviews were from artificial people. You found a doctor by using a search engine, but the reason that doctor showed up high in the search results was that a load of fake people linked to her office.


pages: 436 words: 124,373

Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, hive mind, information retrieval, Kickstarter, risk/return, stem cell, trade route

“Not everyone who came aboard Nightingale could be saved, obviously—the ship was no more capable of working miracles than any other hospital. Wherever practicable, the dead would donate intact body parts for future use. Useful, certainly, but such a resource could never have supplied the bulk of Nightingale’s surgical needs. For that reason the ship was also equipped to fabricate its own organ supplies, using well-established principles of stem-cell manipulation. The organ factories would have worked around the clock, keeping this library fully stocked.” “It doesn’t look fully stocked now,” I said. Martinez said: “We’re not in a war zone anymore. The ship is dormant. It has no need to maintain its usual surgical capacity.” “So why is it maintaining any capacity? Why are some of these flasks still keeping their organs alive?” “Waste not, want not, I suppose.

Once we figure a way to wake Remontoire safely, he can help us fix the ship; make it faster too." "You've got this all worked out, haven't you?" "More or less. Something tells me you aren't absolutely ready to start trusting me, though." "Sorry, Mirsky, but you don't make the world's most convincing turncoat." She reached up with her free hand, gripping the box on the side of her head. "Know what this is? A loyalty-shunt. Makes simian stem cells; pumps them into the internal carotid artery, just above the cavernous sinus. They jump the blood-brain barrier and build a whole bunch of transient structures tied to primate dominance hierarchies; alpha-male shit. That's how Seven had us under his command -- he was King Monkey. But I've turned it off now." "That's supposed to reassure me?" "No, but maybe this will." Mirsky tugged at the box, ripping it away from the side of her head in curds of blood.


pages: 637 words: 128,673

Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass incarceration, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, single-payer health, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen

The imbalance between, on the one hand, constitutionally limited state power and, on the other, the relatively unconstrained power of science, technology, and corporate capitalism makes little difference to the Republican Party. It is content with an ancillary role of encouraging capitalism and allowing it to shape the directions of science and technology. By relying on corporate capital to provide major funding for the other two powers, the party can then even adopt a mildly disapproving stance toward public subsidies of some forms of scientific research (e.g., on stem cells) or of some technologies. The Democratic Party mirrors the problem more acutely. As the party with a history of both favoring state regulation of economic activity, especially of large corporations, and being well disposed toward subsidizing science and technological innovations, it would appear to be well positioned to use state authority to redirect the dynamic powers that are driving American imperialism.

This contemporary version of the old struggle between “enclosure” and the “commons,” between exploitation and commonality, pretty much sums up the stakes: not what new powers we can bring into the world, but what hard-won practices we can prevent from disappearing. Notes PREFACE 1. There are numerous instances, such as in the practice of torture or of elevating political or ideological considerations to limit or override scientific findings (e.g., in the areas of birth control, stem cell research, and environmental pollution), wherein the Bush administration approximates totalitarian practice. Throughout this volume I try to avoid the mistake of claiming that in a particular matter inverted totalitarianism “substitutes” one of its policies for a particular policy of the Nazis—for example, racism. That would be to presuppose that inverted totalitarianism and classical totalitarianism have the same structures.


pages: 467 words: 116,094

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre

call centre, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Desert Island Discs, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, placebo effect, publication bias, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Simon Singh, statistical model, stem cell, the scientific method, Turing test, WikiLeaks

Maybe the cognitive effort of mounting a defence against the incongruous new facts entrenches you even further. Maybe you feel marginalised and motivated to dig in your heels. Who knows? But these experiments were then repeated, in various permutations, on the issue of tax cuts (or rather, the idea that tax cuts had increased national productivity so much that tax revenue increased overall) and stem-cell research. All the studies found exactly the same thing: if the original dodgy fact fits with your prejudices, a correction only reinforces these even more. If your goal is to move opinion, this depressing finding suggests that smears work; and what’s more, corrections don’t challenge them much, because for people who already disagree with you, it only make them disagree even more. Why Cigarette Packs Matter Guardian, 12 March 2011 This week our government committed itself to the removal, albeit slowly, of cigarette displays in shops.

‘Is it possible that all that exercise is doing nothing to make us slimmer?’ Please, let the answer be yes. The Telegraph produced three lines of research for this claim. Firstly, more people are spending more money on more exercise than before, but there is also more obesity around in the UK than before: explain that with your science. Then there was some speculative laboratory research about interfering with brown fat in animal models, using stem cells and things: interesting to read, but very far from the headline claim. To properly examine whether exercise really will make you fat, the paper described two trials. The first one, I can tell you right now, is cherry-picked. The Cochrane Library is a non-profit collaboration of academics who produce unbiased, systematic reviews of the medical literature, and they have a systematic review of all the forty-three trials that have been done on exercise for weight loss.


pages: 480 words: 119,407

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, lifelogging, low skilled workers, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, the built environment, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

As for cell studies, a 2011 review of ten cardiovascular journals found that when sex was specified 69% of cell studies reported using only male cells.68 And ‘when sex was specified’ is an important caveat: a 2007 analysis of 645 cardiovascular clinical trials (all published in prominent journals) found that only 24% provided sex-specific results.69 A 2014 analysis of five leading surgical journals found that 76% of cell studies did not specify sex and of those that did, 71% included only male cells and only 7% reported sex-based results.70 And again, even for diseases that are more prevalent in women, researchers can be found ‘exclusively’ studying XY cells.71 As in animal and human studies, when sex has been analysed in cell studies, dramatic differences have been found. For years researchers were puzzled by the unpredictability of transplanted muscle-derived stem cells (sometimes they regenerated diseased muscle, sometimes they didn’t do anything) until they realised that the cells weren’t unpredictable at all – it’s just that female cells promote regeneration and male cells don’t. Perhaps of more urgent concern for women’s health is the 2016 discovery of a sex difference in how male and female cells respond to oestrogen. When researchers72 exposed male and female cells to this hormone and then infected them with a virus, only the female cells responded to the oestrogen and fought off the virus.

Australia gender pay gap gendered poverty Gillard ministries (2010–13) homelessness leisure time maternity. leave medical research military murders paternity. leave political representation precarious work school textbooks sexual assault/harassment taxation time-use surveys unpaid work Australia Institute Austria autism auto-plastics factories Autoblog autoimmune diseases automotive plastics workplaces Ayrton, Hertha Azerbaijan babies’ cries baby bottles Baker, Colin Baku, Azerbaijan Ball, James Bangladesh Bank of England banknotes Barbican, London Barcelona, Catalonia beauticians de Beauvoir, Simone Beer, Anna Beijing, China Belgium Berkman Center for Internet and Society Besant, Annie BI Norwegian Business School bicarbonate of soda Big Data bile acid composition biomarkers biomass fuels biomechanics Birka warrior Birmingham, West Midlands bisphenol A (BPA) ‘bitch’ bladder ‘Blank Space’ (Swift) blind recruitment blood pressure Bloom, Rachel Bloomberg News Bock, Laszlo body fat body sway Bodyform Boesel, Whitney Erin Boler, Tania Bolivia Boosey, Leslie Boserup, Ester Bosnia Boston Consulting Group Botswana Bouattia, Malia Boulanger, Béatrice Bourdieu, Pierre Bovasso, Dawn Boxing Day tsunami (2004) boyd, danah brain ischaemia Brazil breasts cancer feeding and lifting techniques pumps reduction surgery and seat belts and tactile situation awareness system (TSAS) and uniforms Bretherton, Joanne Brexit Bricks, New Orleans brilliance bias Brin, Sergey British Electoral Survey British Journal of Pharmacology British Medical Journal British Medical Research Council British National Corpus (BNC) Broadly Brophy, Jim and Margaret Buick Bulgaria Burgon, Richard Bush, Stephen Buvinic, Mayra BuzzFeed Cabinet caesarean sections Cairns, Alex California, United States Callanan, Martin Callou, Ada Calma, Justine calorie burning Cambridge Analytica Cameron, David Campbell Soup Canada banknotes chemical exposure childcare crime homelessness medical research professor evaluations sexual assault/harassment toilets unpaid work Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Canadian Institutes of Health cancer canon formation Cape Town, South A.ica carcinogens cardiac resynchronisation therapy devices (CRT-Ds) cardiovascular system care work and agriculture elderly people and employment gross domestic product (GDP) occupational health and paternity leave time-use surveys and transport and zoning Carnegie Mellon University carpenters cars access to crashes driving tests motion sickness navigation systems Castillejo, Clare catcalling Cavalli, Francesco cave paintings CCTV Ceccato, Vania cell studies Center for American Progress Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) Center for Talent Innovation Central Asia Centre of Better Births, Liverpool Women’s Hospital chemicals Chiaro Chicago, Illinois chief executive officers (CEO) child benefit child marriage childbirth childcare and agriculture cost of and employment and gross domestic product (GDP) and paternity leave time-use surveys and zoning children’s television China cholera Chopin, Frédéric Chou, Tracy chromosomes chronic illness/pain Chronic Pain Policy Coalition chulhas Cikara, Mina circadian rhythms Citadel classical music clean stoves cleaning climate change Clinton, Hillary clitoridectomies Clue coal mining coastguards Collett Beverly colon cancer Columbia University competence vs warmth composers Composers’ Guild of Great Britain computer science confirmation bias confounding factors Congo, Democratic Republic of the Connecticut, United States Conservative Party construction work contraception contractions cooking cookstoves Corbusier, Le Cornell University coronary stents Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) corrective rape cosmetology Cosmopolitan Cotton, Dany Coyle, Diane crash test dummies Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Crewe, Emma Crick, Francis Crime Prevention and Community Safety crime crime scene investigators Croatia crochet Crockety, Molly CurrMIT CVs (curriculum vitaes) Czech Republic daddy quotas Daly, Caroline Louisa Data2x Davis-Blake, Alison Davis, Wendy Davison, Peter defibrillators deforestation Delhi, India dementia Democratic Party Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic United Party dengue fever Denmark dental devices Department for Work and Pensions depression diabetes diarrhoea diet diethylstilbestrol (DES) disabled people disasters Ditum, Sarah diversity-valuing behavior DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) Do Babies Matter (Goulden, Mason, and Wolfinger) Doctor Who domestic violence Donison, Christopher Doss, Cheryl ‘draw a scientist’ driving dry sex Dyas-Elliott, Roger dysmenorrhea E3 Eagle, Angela early childhood education (ECE) Ebola economics Economist, The Edexcel education Edwards, Katherine Einstein, Albert elderly people Eliot, George Elks lodges Elvie emoji employment gender pay gap occupational health parental leave precarious work sexual assault/harassment and unpaid work ‘End of Theory, The’ (Anderson) endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) Endocrine Society endometriosis endovascular occlusion devices England national football English language ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) Enlightenment entrepreneurs epilepsy Equal Times Equality Act (2010) erectile dysfunction Estonian language Ethiopia EuroNCAP European Parliament European Union academia bisphenol A (BPA) chronic illnesses crash test dummies employment gap endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) gender-inflected languages life expectancy medical research parental leave precarious work sexual harassment taxation transport planning Evernote EverydaySexism evolution exercise extension services Facebook facial wrinkle correction fall-detection devices Fallout Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) farming Fawcett Society Fawlty Towers female Viagra feminism Feminist Frequency films Financial crash (2008) Finland Finnbogadóttir, Vigdís Finnish language firefighters first past the post (FPTP) First World War (1914–18) Fiske, Susan Fitbit fitness devices flexible working Folbre, Nancy Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) football forced marriage Ford Fordham, Maureen fragile states France Franklin, Rosalind Frauen-Werk-Stadt free weights Freeman, Hadley French language Freud, Sigmund From Poverty to Power (Green) funeral rites FX gaming GapJumpers Gates Foundation Gates, Melinda gathering Geffen, David gender gender data gap academia agriculture algorithms American Civil War (1861–5) brilliance bias common sense crime Data2x female body historical image datasets innovation male universality medical research motion sickness occupational health political representation pregnancy self-report bias sexual assault/harassment smartphones speech-recognition technology stoves taxation transport planning unpaid work warmth vs competence Gender Equality Act (1976) Gender Global Practice gender pay gap gender-fair forms gender-inflected languages gendered poverty genderless languages Gendersite General Accounting Office generic masculine genius geometry Georgetown University German language German Society of Epidemiology Germany academia gender pay gap gender-inflected language Landesamt für Flüchtlingsangelegenheiten (LAF) medical research precarious work refugee camps school textbooks unpaid work Gezi Park protests (2013) Ghana gig economy Gild Gillard, Julia GitHub Glencore Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Global Gender Gap Index Global Media Monitoring Project Golden Globes Google artificial intelligence (AI) childcare Images maternity leave News Nexus petabytes pregnancy parking promotions search engine speech-recognition software Translate Gosling, Ryan Gothenburg, Sweden Gove, Michael Government Accounting Office (GAO) Great Depression (1929–39) Greece Green, Duncan Greenberg, Jon groping gross domestic product (GDP) Grown, Caren Guardian Gujarat earthquake (2001) Gulf War (1990–91) gyms H1N1 virus Hackers (Levy) hand size/strength handbags handprints haptic jackets Harman, Harriet Harris, Kamala Harvard University hate crimes/incidents Hawking, Stephen Haynes, Natalie Hayward, Sarah Hazards Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) Health and Safety Executive (HSE) health-monitoring systems healthcare/medicine Hearst heart attacks disease medication rhythm abnormalities surgery Heat St Heinrich Böll Foundation Helldén, Daniel Henderson, David Henry Higgins effect Henry VIII, King of England Hensel, Fanny hepatitis Hern, Alex high-efficiency cookstoves (HECs) Higher Education Statistics Agency Himmelweit, Sue hip belts history Hodgkin’s disease Holdcrofity, Anita Hollaback ‘Hollywood heart attack’ Homeless Period, The homelessness hopper fare Hopper, Grace hormones House of Commons Household Income Labour Dynamics of Australia Survey housekeeping work Howard, Todd human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Human Rights Act (1998) Human Rights Watch human–computer interaction Hungary hunter-gatherer societies Huntingdon, Agnes Hurricane Andrew (1992) Hurricane Katrina (2005) Hurricane Maria (2017) hyperbolic geometry hysterectomies hysteria I Am Not Your Negro Iceland identity Idomeni camp, Greece Illinois, United States images immune system Imperial College London Inc Income of Nations, The (Studenski) indecent exposure Independent India Boxing Day tsunami (2004) gendered poverty gross domestic product (GDP) Gujarat earthquake (2001) political representation sexual assault/harassment stoves taxation toilets unpaid work Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) Industrial Revolution (c. 1760–1840) influenza Inmujeres innovation Institute for Fiscal Studies Institute for Women’s Policy Research Institute of Medicine Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) institutionalised rape Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) International Agency Research on Cancer International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and 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Leicester, Leicestershire leisure time lesbians Lesotho lethal violence Levy, Steven Lewis, Brandon Leyster, Judith Liberal Democrats Liberia libertarianism life expectancy Life of Pi Lilla, Mark Lim, Angelica Limpsfield Grange, Surrey Lin Qing Linder, Astrid literacy literature Littman, Ellen liver failure Liverpool, Merseyside lobotomies Local Government Act (1972) London, England Fire Brigade general election (2017) precarious work sexual assault/harassment transportation London School of Economics (LSE) London Review of Books Long Friday long-hours culture longevity Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California Loughborough University Louisiana, United States Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia lubricant lung capacity lung diseases Macedonia Mackinnon, Catherine Maconchy, Elizabeth Made by Many Madrid, Spain malaria Malawi male universality Malmö, Sweden Malta mammary carcinogens ‘Man the Hunter’ Manchester University Martínez-Román, Adi Martino, Tami Marvel Comics maternal mortality maternity leave mathematics Mazarra, Glen McCabe, Jesse McCain, John McGill University McKinsey McLean, Charlene Medela medicine/healthcare Medline Memorial University Mendelssohn, Felix Mendes, Eva Mendoza-Denton, Rodolfo menopause menstruation mental health meritocracy Messing, Karen meta gender data gap MeToo movement Metroid mewar angithi (MA) Mexico Miami, Florida mice Microsoft migraines military Milito, Beth Miller, Maria Minassian, Alek Minha Casa, Minha Vida miscarriages Mismeasure of Woman, The (Tavris) misogyny Mitchell, Margaret Mogil, Jeffrey Mongolia Montreal University Morgan, Thomas Hunt morphine motion parallax motion sickness Motorola multiple myeloma Mumbai, India murders Murray, Andrew muscle music My Fair Lady myometrial blood ‘Myth’ (Rukeyser) nail salons Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad naive realism National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) National Autistic Society National Democratic Institute National Health Service (NHS) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National Institute for Health and Case Excellence (NICE) National Institute of Health Revitalization Act (1993) National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Union of Students (NUS) natural gender languages Nature Navarro, Jannette Naya Health Inc Nea Kavala camp, Greece Neitzert, Eva Neolithic era Netflix Netherlands neutrophils New Jersey, United States New Orleans, Louisiana New Statesman New York, United States New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH) New York Philharmonic Orchestra New York Times New Yorker New Zealand Newham, London Nigeria Nightingale, Florence Nobel Prize nomunication Norris, Colleen Norway Nottingham, Nottinghamshire nurses Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane O’Neil, Cathy O’Neill, Rory Obama, Barack Occupational Health and Safety Administration occupational health Oedipus oestradiol oestrogen office temperature Olympic Games Omron On the Generation of Animals (Aristotle) orchestras Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Organisation for the Study of Sex Differences Orissa, India osteopenia osteoporosis ovarian cancer Oxfam Oxford English Dictionaries Oxford University oxytocin pacemakers pain sensitivity pairing Pakistan Pandey, Avanindra paracetamol parental leave Paris, France Parkinson’s disease parks passive tracking apps paternity leave patronage networks pattern recognition Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia peace talks pelvic floor pelvic inflammatory disease pelvic stress fractures pensions performance evaluations periods Persian language personal protective equipment (PPE) Peru petabytes Pew Research Center phantom-limb syndrome phenylpropanolamine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philippines phobias phthalates Physiological Society pianos Plato plough hypothesis poetry Poland police polio political representation Politifact Pollitzer, Elizabeth Portland, Oregon Portugal post-natal depression post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poverty Powell, Colin PR2 Prada prams precarious work pregnancy Pregnant Workers Directive (1992) premenstrual syndrome (PMS) primary percutaneous coronary interventions (PPCI) Prinz-Brandenburg, Claudia progesterone projection bias prolapse promotions proportional representation (PR) Prospect Union Prospect Public Monuments and Sculptures Association public sector equality duty (PSED) public transport Puerto Rico purchasing authority ‘quantified self’ community Quebec, Canada QuiVr radiation Rajasthan, India rape RateMyProfessors.com recruitment Red Tape Challenge ‘Redistribution of Sex, The’ Reference Man Reformation refugees Renaissance repetitive strain injury (RSI) Representation of the People Act (1832) Republican Party Resebo, Christian Reykjavik, Iceland Rhode Island, United States Rio de Janeiro, Brazil risk-prediction models road building Road Safety on Five Continents Conference Roberts, David Robertson, Adi robots Rochdale, Manchester Rochon Ford, Anne Rudd, Kevin Rukeyser, Muriel Russian Federation Rwanda Sacks-Jones, Katharine Saenuri Party Safecity SafetyLit Foundation Sánchez de Madariaga, Inés Sandberg, Sheryl Sanders, Bernard Santos, Cristine Schalk, Tom Schenker, Jonathan Schiebinger, Londa School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) school textbooks Schumann, Clara science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Scientific American scientists Scotland Scythians ‘sea of dudes’ problem Seacole, Mary seat belts Second World War (1939.45) self-report bias September 11 attacks (2001) Serbia Sessions, Jefferson severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) sex Sex Discrimination Act (1975) sex robots sex-disaggregated data agriculture chemical exposure conflict employment fall-detection devices fitness devices gendered poverty medical research precarious work smartphones taxation transport urban design virtual reality voice recognition working hours sexual violence/harassment shape-from-shading Sherriff, Paula Shield, The shifting agriculture Sierra Leone sildenafil citrate Silicon Valley Silver, Nate Singh, Jyoti single parents single-member districts (SMD) Siri Skåne County, Sweden skeletons skin Slate Slocum, Sally Slovenia smartphones snow clearing social capital social data Social Democratic Party (SDP) social power socialisation Solna, Sweden Solnit, Rebecca Somalia Sony Ericsson Sounds and Sweet Airs (Beer) South Africa South Korea Soviet Union (1922–91) Spain Spanish language Speak with a Geek speech-recognition technology Sphinx sports Sprout Pharmaceuticals Sri Lanka St Mark’s, Venice St Vincent & the Grenadines stab vests Stack Overflow Stanford University staple crops Star Wars Starbucks Starkey, David statins statues stem cells Stevens, Nettie Stockholm, Sweden Stoffregen, Tom stoves Streisand, Barbra streptococcal toxic shock syndrome stress strokes Strozzi, Barbara Studenski, Paul Sulpicia Supreme Court Sweden Birka warrior car crashes councils crime depression gender pay gap heart attacks murders paternity leave political representation refugee camps snow clearing sports taxation unpaid work youth urban regeneration Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute Swift, Taylor swine flu Swinson, Joanne Kate ‘Jo’ Switzerland Syria Systran tactile situation awareness system (TSAS) Taimina, Daina Taiwan Tate, Angela Tatman, Rachael Tavris, Carol taxation teaching evaluations Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) tear gas tech industry television temperature Temperature Temporary Assistance to Needy Families tennis tenure-track system text corpora thalidomide ThinkProgress Thor three-stone fires time poverty time-use surveys TIMIT corpus Tin, Ida toilets Toksvig, Sandi tools Toronto, Ontario Tottenham, London Toyota Trades Union Congress (TUC) tradition transit captives transportation treadmills trip-chaining troponin Trump, Donald tuberculosis (TB) Tudor period (1485–1603) Tufekci, Zeynep Turkey Twitter Uberpool Uganda Ukraine ulcerative colitis Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher Umeå, Sweden Understanding Girls with ADHD (Littman) unemployment unencumbered people Unicode Consortium Unison United Association of Civil Guards United Kingdom academia austerity autism banknotes breast pumps Brexit (2016–) Fire Brigade caesarean sections children’s centres chronic illness/pain coastguards councils employment gap endometriosis Equality Act (2010) flexible working gender pay gap gendered poverty general elections generic masculine gross domestic product (GDP) heart attacks homelessness Human Rights Act (1998) leisure time maternity leave medical research military murders music nail salons occupational health paternity leave pedestrians pensions personal protective equipment (PPE) police political representation precarious work public sector equality duty (PSED) Representation of the People Act (1832) scientists Sex Discrimination Act (1975) sexual assault/harassment single parents statues stress taxation toilets transportation trip-chaining universities unpaid work Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Commission on the Status of Women Data2x Economic Commission for Africa Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) homicide survey Human Development Report and peace talks Population Fund Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and stoves and Switzerland and toilets and unpaid childcare Women’s Year World Conference on Women United States academia Affordable Care Act (2010) Agency for International Development (USAID) Alzheimer’s disease banknotes bisphenol A (BPA) breast pumps brilliance bias Bureau of Labor Statistics car crashes chief executive officers (CEO) childbirth, death in Civil War (1861–5) construction work councils crime early childhood education (ECE) employment gap endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) endometriosis farming flexible working gender pay gap gendered poverty generic masculine Great Depression (1929–39) gross domestic product (GDP) healthcare heart attacks Hurricane Andrew (1992) Hurricane Katrina (2005) Hurricane Maria (2017) immigration 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agriculture and algorithms and gross domestic product (GDP) and occupational health and stoves and transport in workplace and zoning upper body strength upskirting urinals urinary-tract infections urination uro-gynaecological problems uterine failure uterine tybroids Uttar Pradesh, India Uzbekistan vaccines vagina Valium Valkrie value-added tax (VAT) Van Gulik, Gauri Venice, Italy venture capitalists (VCs) Veríssimo, Antônio Augusto Viagra Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom video games Vienna, Austria Vietnam Vikings Villacorta, Pilar violence virtual reality (VR) voice recognition Volvo voting rights Vox voyeurism Wade, Virginia Walker, Phillip walking wallet to purse Walmart warfare warmth vs competence Warsaw Pact Washington Post Washington Times Washington, DC, United States WASHplus WaterAid Watson, James We Will Rebuild weak contractions Weapons of Math Destruction (O’Neil) West Bengal, India whiplash Wiberg-Itzel, Eva Wikipedia Wild, Sarah Williams, Gayna Williams, Serena Williams, Venus Williamson, £eresa Willow Garage Wimbledon Windsor, Ontario Winter, Jessica Wired Wolf of Wall Street, The Wolfers, Justin Wolfinger, Nicholas ‘Woman the Gatherer’ (Slocum) Women and Equalities Committee Women Will Rebuild Women’s Budget Group (WBG) Women’s Design Service Women’s Engineering Society Women’s Refugee Commission Women’s Year Woolf, Virginia workplace safety World Bank World Cancer Research Fund World Cup World Economic Forum (WEF) World Health Organization (WHO) World Meteorological Organisation worm infections Woskow, Debbie Wray, Susan Wyden, Robert XY cells Y chromosome Yale University Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, Bedford Yatskar, Mark Yemen Yentl syndrome Yezidis Youth Vote, The youthquake Zambia zero-hour contracts Zika zipper quotas zombie stats zoning Zou, James Photo by Rachel Louise Brown CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ is a writer, broadcaster, and feminist activist and was named Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year and OBE by the Queen.


pages: 480 words: 123,979

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

4chan, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, cosmological constant, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, game design, general-purpose programming language, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, impulse control, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

But it was imaginable that one could self-fund research in experimental programming languages. So I did. Appendix 2 explains what I was up to, and I hope you’ll take the time to read about it. For the moment, all you need to know to follow the rest of the story is that I worked toward a kind of programming I called phenotropic. 10. The Feeling of Immersion The group that will start the first VR company forms. Woman as Social Stem Cell Grace might just be a real thing in the universe. I recruited fellow travelers to help implement utterly mad designs. This still amazes me. People in those days were open to being drawn into fantastical schemes. I can hardly express how much gratitude I feel now to those oddballs who were up for the ride. Remember Steve Bryson, from the Sunnyvale video game company? Sure, I’ll go slave away in Jaron’s hut on a bizarre experimental programming language with no reason or destination in sight.

VALLEY OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS El Paso del Cyber Optimal Us, and Them Finite and Infinite Games Loop Skywalker You Have to Get Awfully Weird to Avoid Becoming a Behaviorist Grounded A Club That Would Have Me as a Member Code Culture   9. ALIEN ENCOUNTERS The Essential Bug Rent-a-Mom Young Guru of Loneliness Realization Despite Myself Math Against Loneliness? 10. THE FEELING OF IMMERSION Woman as Social Stem Cell Impossible Objects Triptych Reality Engine Engine Much Touch Haptic Antics 11. TO DON THE NEW EVERYTHING (ABOUT HAPTICS WITH A LITTLE ABOUT AVATARS) Blind Bind Hand-Waving Demo; Digital Interface Passive Haptics Bearing Arms Haptic Lemonade First VR Consumer Product Interspecies Gastric Haptics Octopus Butler Robot Lick the Problem Deepest Time Machine Haptic Intelligence As If One Obsession Weren’t Enough Harm and Heal 12. 


World Cities and Nation States by Greg Clark, Tim Moonen

active transport: walking or cycling, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, business climate, cleantech, congestion charging, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent control, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council contribute a significant slice of teaching hospital research funds. Since 2006, federal government has invested more than C$11 billion ($10 billion) in science, technology and innova­ tion, and recent funding schemes support Toronto’s cutting‐edge research in neuroscience, cancer and stem cells. Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) has also helped attract international researchers, while Toronto’s universities also benefit from a new Canada First Research Excellence Fund (Crawford, 2012; University of Toronto, 2013; Gertler, 2014; Kazakov, 2014; Zeng, 2014). Integration of immigrants remains a shared government priority. A multi‐level Canada–Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA) was implemented in 2006 which gave nearly $1 billion to help immigrants to the state settle and integrate.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council provide a large slice of Toronto’s teaching hospital research funds. Since 2006, federal government has invested more than C$11 billion ($10 billion) in science, technology and innovation, and recent funding schemes support Toronto’s cutting‐edge research in neuroscience, cancer and stem cells. Federal funding streams have ultimately helped turn Toronto’s high‐quality universities and research institutes into world‐ class strengths (Crawford, 2012; University of Toronto, 2013; Kazakov, 2014; Zeng, 2014). For world cities where the State has played the decisive role in higher education, reforms to open up the sector to the market have to be pursued carefully and judiciously by national governments.


pages: 150 words: 45,389

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese

coherent worldview, delayed gratification, medical residency, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, stem cell

(One of the early meanings of patient, after all, is “one who endures hardship without complaint.”) Whether out of dignity or shock, silence usually reigns, and so holding a patient’s hand becomes the mode of communication. A few immediately harden (usually the spouse, rather than the patient): “We’re gonna fight and beat this thing, Doc.” The armament varies, from prayer to wealth to herbs to stem cells. To me, that hardness always seems brittle, unrealistic optimism the only alternative to crushing despair. In any case, in the immediacy of surgery, a warlike attitude fit. In the OR, the dark gray rotting tumor seemed an invader in the fleshy peach convolutions of the brain, and I felt real anger (Got you, you fucker, I muttered). Removing the tumor was satisfying—even though I knew that microscopic cancer cells had already spread throughout that healthy-looking brain.


pages: 458 words: 134,028

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K

But as deafness climbs among the boomers, and among vocal young people, there’s bound to be a great deal more. Look for bionic ear processors, single-chip implants that can be placed in a body and run without battery replacements for fifteen years. Look for the development of antioxidant drugs, which reduce the presence of free radical oxygen molecules that kill the delicate hair cells of the inner ear. Look for stem cell researchers to tout the possibility of regenerating damaged inner ear cells. And look for a public health campaign against noise. Like tobacco addiction and sun damage, if it gets you when you’re young, you will probably never recover. It’s a ripe issue for public activism—except, of course, for the challenge of being heard in Washington without shouting. Already, the hard-of-hearing and deaf community has moved quite mainstream.

Helpful articles on the future of treatments for the hard-of-hearing include Linda Marsa, “Auditory Achilles’ Heel,” Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2006; “Antioxidants May Sound Hope for Hearing Loss,” Associated Press, October 12, 2003; “UB, Military Collaborate on Design, Testing of First Drug to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss,” December 2003, accessed April 2007, at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=4915; and “Stem Cells May Be Key to Deafness Cure,” CBS News, August 7, 2006. For more on the mosquitotone, see Paul Vitello, “A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears,” New York Times, June 12, 2006. V. Family Life Old New Dads The birth rate data in this chapter come largely from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Mark O’Keefe, “The Joys and Pitfalls of Late-Life Fatherhood,” New House News Service, http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/okeefe061504.html, accessed September 2006; and Joyce A.


pages: 464 words: 139,088

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy by Mervyn King

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Doha Development Round, Edmond Halley, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, large denomination, lateral thinking, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

In 1798, the English cleric and scholar Thomas Malthus wrote that ‘with regard to the duration of human life, there does not appear to have existed, from the earliest ages of the world, to the present moment, the smallest permanent symptom, or indication, of increasing prolongation’.10 That past experience was to prove a poor predictor of the future. In 1798, life expectancy in Britain was around forty. Today it is over eighty, and even higher for women. We simply do not know how life expectancy will change in the future.11 Developments in medical science, especially the results of stem-cell research, may enhance the prospects for life expectancy radically, and new infectious diseases may have the opposite effect. Good judgement rather than statistical extrapolation is key to making assessments about changes not only in longevity but in many economic and social variables. Economists typically think about risk rather than radical uncertainty. They see the future as a game of chance in which we know all the outcomes that might emerge and the odds of each of them, even though we cannot predict the roll of the dice.

Is there good cause for pessimism about the rate at which economies can grow in future? There are three reasons for caution about adopting this new-found pessimism. First, the proposition that the era of great discoveries has come to an end because the major inventions, such as electricity and aeroplanes, have been made and humankind has plucked the low-hanging fruit is not convincing. In areas such as information technology and biological research on genetics and stem cells we are living in a golden age of scientific discovery. By definition, ideas that provide breakthroughs are impossible to predict, so it is too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the future will generate fewer innovations than those we saw emerge in the past. When Alvin Hansen proposed the idea of ‘secular stagnation’ in the 1930s, he fell into just this trap. In fact the 1930s witnessed significant innovation, which was obscured by the dramatic macroeconomic consequences of the Great Depression.


pages: 142 words: 47,993

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

Columbine, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, slashdot, stem cell, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence

My parents and I have been through so much and known each other for so long, share so many in-jokes and memories, our differences of opinion on everything from gun control to Robin Williams movies hardly matter at all. Plus, our disagreements make us appreciate the things we have in common all the more. When I call Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s office to say that I admire something he said about stem cell research, I am my parents’ daughter. Because they have always enjoyed playing up the things we do have in common, like Dolly Parton or ibuprofen. Maybe sometimes, in quiet moments of reflection, my mom would prefer that I not burn eternally in the flames of hell when I die, but otherwise she wants me to follow my own heart. I will say that, in September, atheism was a lonely creed. Not because atheists have no god to turn to, but because everyone else forgot about us.


pages: 1,072 words: 237,186

How to Survive a Pandemic by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, double helix, friendly fire, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, inventory management, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, phenotype, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, statistical model, stem cell, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, Westphalian system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Growing the virus directly in cultures of human cells, however, precluded that possibility.2584 Also, according to then director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Review, growing vaccine virus in culture not only eliminates the need for hundreds of millions of fertile chicken eggs, but also is expected to increase the flexibility, yield, and speed of vaccine production.2585 It was thought that President Bush’s break away from pro-life forces over stem cell research may facilitate research on cell culture-based vaccines,2586 some of which—like Sabin’s famous polio vaccine—use fetal tissue.2587 Efforts to upgrade and expand domestic vaccine production continued in the United States, but were expected to take years to have an effect.2588 Today, most flu vaccines are still produced using chicken eggs.2589 Asked if it was too late to prepare for the coming pandemic, vaccine industry insider Fedson replied, “It’s always too late, and it’s never too soon.

Growing commerce in bushmeat destroys great apes and threatens humanity. African Primates 3:6–10. 955. Walsh PD, Abernethy KA, Bermejo M, et al. 2003. Catastrophic ape decline in western equatorial Africa. Nature 422:611–614. 956. Fox M. 2000. The killer out of Africa. Hobart Mercury (Australia), February 9. 957. Karpowicz P, Cohen CB, van der Kooy D. 2004. Is it ethical to transplant human stem cells into nonhuman embryos? Nature Medicine 10(4):331–5. 958. Gunter C, Dhand R. 2005. The chimpanzee genome. Nature 437(7055):47. 959. Lovgren S. 2005. Chimps, humans 96 percent the same, gene study finds. National Geographic News, August 31. news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/0831_050831_chimp_genes.html. 960. Karesh WB, Cook RA, Bennett EL, Newcomb J. 2005. Wildlife trade and global disease emergence.

Goodman J. 2005. Meeting the challenge of pandemic vaccine preparedness: an FDA perspective. In: Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, John R. La Montagne Memorial Symposium on Pandemic Influenza Research: Meeting Proceedings (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, pp. 19–28). 2586. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Fact sheet: Embryonic stem cell research and vaccines using fetal tissue. usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/vaccfac2.htm. 2587. Sanghavi D. 2003. Flu: a shot worth taking. Boston Globe, December 9. boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2003/12/09/flu_a_shot_worth_taking?mode=PF. 2588. Gibbs WW, Soares C. 2005. Preparing for a pandemic. Scientific American, October 24. 2589. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

But imagine if they had not been. Imagine if the entire world had turned its back on the catallaxy then. Imagine if the globalised world of the twenty-first century allows a globalised retreat from reason. It is a worrying thought. The wrong kind of chiefs, priests and thieves could yet snuff out future prosperity on earth. Already lords don boiler suits to destroy genetically modified crops, presidents scheme to prevent stem-cell research, prime ministers trample on habeas corpus using the excuse of terrorism, metastasising bureaucracies interfere with innovation on behalf of reactionary pressure groups, superstitious creationists stop the teaching of good science, air-headed celebrities rail against free trade, mullahs inveigh against the empowerment of women, earnest princes lament the loss of old ways and pious bishops regret the coarsening effects of commerce.

Kung people 44, 135, 136–7 Kuznets curve 106 Kwakiutl people 92 Lagos 322 Lagrange Point 346 lakes, acidification of 305–6 Lamalera people 87 Lancashire 214, 217, 232, 263 Landes, David 223, 406 Lang, Tim 392 language: and exchange 58; genes for 55; Indo-European 129; and isolationism 73; Neanderthals 4, 55; numbers of languages 73; as unique human development 4 Laos 209 lapis lazuli 162, 164 Lascaux caves, France 6 lasers 272 Lassa fever 307 Laurion, Attica 171 Law, John 29, 259 Lawson, Nigel, Baron 331 Lay, Ken 29, 385 Layard, Richard 25 lead 167, 174, 177, 213 Leadbetter, Charles 290 Leahy, Michael 92 leather 70, 122, 167, 176 Lebanon 167 LeBlanc, Steven 137 LEDs (light-emitting diodes) 21–2 lentils 129 Leonardo da Vinci 196, 251 Levy, Stephen 355 Liang Ying (farm worker) 220 liberalism 108, 109–110, 290 Liberia 14, 316 libertarianism 106 Libya 171 lice 68 lichen 75 life expectancy: in Africa 14, 316, 422; in Britain 13, 15, 284; improvements in 12, 14, 15, 17–18, 205, 284, 287, 298, 316; in United States 298; world averages 47 Life (magazine) 304 light, artificial 13, 16, 17, 20–22, 37, 233, 234, 240, 245, 272, 368 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) 21–2 Limits to Growth (report) 303–4, 420 Lindsey, Brink 102, 109 linen 216, 218 lions 43, 87 literacy 106, 201, 290, 353, 396 Liverpool 62, 283 local sourcing (of goods) 35, 41–2, 149, 392; see also food miles Locke, John 96 Lodygin, Alexander 272 Lombardy 178, 196 Lomborg, Björn 280 London 12, 116, 186, 199, 218, 222, 282; as financial centre 259 longitude, measurement of 261 Longshan culture 397 Los Angeles 17, 142 Lothal, Indus valley 162, 164 Louis XI, King of France 184 Louis XIV, King of France 36, 37, 38, 184, 259 Lowell, Francis Cabot 263 Lübeck 180 Lucca 178, 179 Lunar Society 256 Luther, Martin 102 Luxembourg 331 Lyon 184 Macao 183 MacArthur, General Douglas 141 Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 1st Baron 11, 285–7, 359 McCloskey, Deirdre 109, 366–7 Mace, Ruth 73 McEwan, Ian 47 Machiguenga people 87 MacKay, David 342 McKendrick, Neil 224 McKibben, Bill 293 Macmillan, Harold, 1st Earl of Stockton 16 McNamara, Robert 203 mad-cow disease (vCJD) 280, 308 Madagascar 70, 299 Maddison, Angus 180 Maddox, John 207 Madoff, Bernard 28–9 Maghribis 178, 180 magnesium 213 maize 126, 146–7, 153, 155, 156, 163; for biofuel 240, 241 malaria 135, 157, 275, 299, 310, 318, 319, 331, 336, 353, 428, 429 Malawi 40–41, 132, 316, 318 Malawi, Lake 54 Malay Peninsula 66 Malaysia 35, 89, 242, 332 Mali 316, 326 Malinowski, Bronislaw 134 malnutrition 154, 156, 337 Maltese Falcon, The (film) 86 Malthus, Robert 139, 140, 146, 191, 249, 303 Malthusianism 141, 193, 196, 200, 202, 401 mammoths 68, 69, 71, 73, 302 Manchester 214, 218, 283 Mandell, Lewis 254 manganese 150, 213 mangoes 156, 327, 392 Manhattan 83 manure 147, 150, 198, 200, 282 Mao Zedong 16, 187, 262, 296, 311 Marchetti, Cesare 345–6 Marcuse, Herbert 291 Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France 199 markets (in capital and assets) 9, 258–60 markets (in goods and services): and collective betterment 9–10, 36–9, 103–110, 115–16, 281; disdain for 102–3, 104, 291–2, 358; etiquette and ritual of 133–4; and generosity 86–7; global interdependence 42–3; market failure 182, 250; ‘perfect markets’ 249–50; and population control 210–211; and preindustrial economies 133–4; and trust 98–100, 103; and virtue 100–104, 105; see also bartering; exchange; trade Marne, River 234 Martu aborigines 62 Marx, Karl 102, 104, 107–8, 291, 406 Marxism 101, 217–18, 319, 356 Maskelyne, Nevil 221 Maudslay, Henry 221 Mauritius 187, 316 Mauryan empire 172–3, 201, 357 Maxwell, James Clerk 412 measles 14, 135, 310 meat eating 51, 60, 62, 68–9, 126, 147, 156, 241, 376 Mecca 177 Mediterranean Sea: prehistoric settlements 56, 68–9, 159; trade 89, 164, 167–8, 169, 171, 176, 178 meerkats 87 Mehrgarh, Baluchistan 162 Mehta, Suketa 189 Meissen 185 memes 5 Menes, Pharaoh of Egypt 161 mercury 183, 213, 237 Mersey, River 62 Merzbach valley, Germany 138 Mesopotamia 38, 115, 158–61, 163, 177, 193, 251, 357; see also Assyrian empire; Iraq metal prices, reductions in 213 Metaxas, Ioannis 186 methane 140, 329, 345 Mexico: agriculture 14, 123, 126, 142, 387; emigration to United States 117; hurricanes 335; life expectancy 15; nature conservation 324; swine flu 309 Mexico City 190 Meyer, Warren 281 Mezherich, Ukraine 71 mice 55, 125 Michelangelo 115 Microsoft (corporation) 24, 260, 268, 273 migrations: early human 66–70, 82; rural to urban 158, 188–9, 210, 219–20, 226–7, 231, 406; see also emigration Milan 178, 184 Miletus 170–71 milk 22, 55, 97, 135 Mill, John Stuart 34, 103–4, 108, 249, 274, 276, 279 Millennium Development goals 316 Miller, Geoffrey 44, 274 millet 126 Mills, Mark 244 Ming empire 117, 181–4, 260, 311 Minoan civilisation 166 Mississippi Company 29 Mittal, Lakshmi 268 mobile phones 37, 252, 257, 261, 265, 267, 297, 326–7 Mohamed (prophet) 176 Mohawk Indians 138–9 Mohenjo-Daro, Indus valley 161–2 Mojave Desert 69 Mokyr, Joel 197, 252, 257, 411, 412 monarchies 118, 162, 172, 222 monasteries 176, 194, 215, 252 Monbiot, George 291, 311, 426 money: development of 71, 132, 392; ‘trust inscribed’ 85 Mongolia 230 Mongols 161, 181, 182 monkeys 3, 57, 59, 88; capuchins 96–7, 375 monopolies 107, 111, 166, 172, 182 monsoon 174 Montesquieu, Charles, Baron de 103 moon landing 268–9, 275 Moore, Gordon 221, 405 Moore, Michael 291 Morgan, J.P. 100 Mormonism 205 Morocco 53, 209 Morse, Samuel 272 mortgages 25, 29, 30, 323; sub-prime 296 Moses 138 mosquito nets 318 ‘most favoured nation’ principle 186 Moyo, Dambisa 318 Mozambique 132, 316 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 267 Mugabe, Robert 262 Mumbai 189, 190 murder 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201 Murrays’ Mills, Manchester 214 music 70, 115, 266–7, 326 Myceneans 166 Nairobi 322 Namibia 209, 324 Napoleon I 184 NASA 269 Nashville 326 Nassarius shells 53, 56, 65 National Food Service 268 National Health Service 111, 261 nationalisation (of industry) 166, 182 nationalism 357 native Americans 62, 92–3, 138–9 Natufians 125 natural selection 5–6, 27, 49–50, 350 nature conservation 324, 339; see also wilderness land, expansion of Neanderthals 3, 4, 53, 55, 64, 65, 68, 71, 79, 373, 378 Nebuchadnezzar 169 needles 43, 70 Nehru, Jawaharlal 187 Nelson, Richard 5 Nepal 15, 209 Netscape (corporation) 259 New Deal 109 New Guinea: agriculture 123, 126, 387; languages 73; malaria 336; prehistoric 66, 123, 126; tribes 87, 92, 138 New York 12, 16, 83, 169, 190 New York Times 23, 295, 305 New Zealand 17, 35, 42, 70 Newcomen, Thomas 244, 256 newspapers 270, 295; licensing copyrights 267 Newsweek (magazine) 329 Newton, Sir Isaac 116, 256 nickel 34, 213 Niger 208–9, 210, 324 Nigeria 15, 31, 99, 117, 210, 236, 316 Nike (corporation) 115, 188 Nile, River 161, 164, 167, 171 nitrogen fertlisers 140, 146, 147, 149–50, 155, 305 nitrous oxide 155 Nobel Peace Prize 143, 280 ‘noble savage’ 43–4, 135–8 Norberg, Johann 187 Nordau, Max 288 Nordhaus, William 331 Norte Chico civilisation 162–3 North, Douglass 324, 397 North Carolina 219–20 North Korea 15, 116–17, 187, 333 North Sea 180, 185 North Sentinel islanders 67 Northern Rock (bank) 9 Northumberland 407 Norton, Seth 211 Norway 97–8, 332, 344 Norwich 225 nostalgia 12–13, 44, 135, 189, 284–5, 292 Novgorod 180 Noyce, Robert 221, 405 nuclear accidents 283, 293–4, 308, 345, 421 nuclear power 37, 236, 238, 239, 245, 246, 343, 344, 345 nuclear war, threat of 280, 290, 299–300, 333 Obama, Barack 203 obesity 8, 156, 296, 337 obsidian 53, 92, 127 occupational safety 106–7 ocean acidification 280, 340–41 ochre 52, 53, 54, 92 octopi 3 Oersted, Hans Christian 272 Oetzi (mummified ‘iceman’) 122–3, 132–3, 137 Ofek, Haim 131 Ohalo II (archaeological site) 124 oil: and ‘curse of resources’ 31, 320; drilling and refining 242, 343; and generation of electricity 239; manufacture of plastics and synthetics 237, 240; pollution 293–4, 385; prices 23, 238; supplies 149, 237–8, 280, 281, 282, 296, 302–3 old age, quality of life in 18 olive oil 167, 169, 171 Olson, Ken 282 Omidyar, Pierre 99 onchoceriasis 310 open-source software 99, 272–3, 356 Orang Asli people 66 orang-utans 60, 239, 339 organic farming 147, 149–52, 393 Orinoco tar shales, Venezuela 238 Orma people 87 ornament, personal 43, 52, 53, 54, 70, 71, 73 O’Rourke, P.J. 157 Orwell, George 253, 290, 354 Ostia 174 otters 297, 299 Otto I, Holy Roman emperor 178 Ottoman empire 161 Oued Djebanna, Algeria 53 oxen 130, 136, 195, 197, 214–15 oxytocin (hormone) 94–5, 97–8 ozone layer 280, 296 Paarlberg, Robert 154 Pacific islanders 134 Pacific Ocean 184 Paddock, William and Paul 301 Padgett, John 103 Page, Larry 114 Pagel, Mark 73 Pakistan 142–3, 204, 300 palm oil 57–8, 239, 240, 242, 339 Pan Am (airline) 24 paper 282, 304 Papin, Denis 256 papyrus 171, 175 Paraguay 61 Pareto, Vilfredo 249 Paris 215, 358; electric lighting 233; restaurants 264 parrots 3 Parsons, Sir Charles 234 Parthian empire 161 Pasadena 17 Pataliputra 173 patents 223, 263, 264–6, 269, 271, 413–14 patriarchy 136 Paul, St 102 PayPal (e-commerce business) 262 peacocks 174 peanuts 126 peat 215–16 Peel, Sir Robert 185 Pemberton, John 263 pencils 38 penicillin 258 Pennington, Hugh 308 pensions 29, 40, 106 Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, The 174 Persia 89, 161, 171, 177 Persian Gulf 66, 164, 340, 429 Peru 97–8, 126, 162–3, 320, 387; silver 31, 132, 183–4 pessimism: and belief in turning points in history 287–9, 301, 311; natural pessimism of human nature 294–5; in nineteenth century 283–8; in twentieth century 281, 282, 288–91, 292–4, 296–308, 328–9; in twenty-first century 8–9, 17, 28, 281–2, 291–2, 308–311, 314–15; ubiquity of 280–85, 291–2, 294–7, 341, 352 pesticides 151–2, 154, 155, 336; DDT 297–8, 299; natural 298–9 Peto, Richard 298 Petty, Sir William 185, 199, 254, 256 pharmaceutical industry 260, 266 philanthropy 92, 105, 106, 295, 318–19, 356 Philip II, King of Spain 30–31 Philip II of Macedon 171 Philippines 61–2, 89, 234 Philistines 166, 170, 396 Phillips, Adam 103, 292 Phoenicians 166–70, 177 photography 114, 283, 386 physiocrats 42 pi, calculation of 173 pig farming 135, 145, 148, 197 Pinnacle Point, South Africa 52, 83 Pisa 115, 178 plagues 135, 176, 195–6, 197; forecasts of 280, 284, 307–310; see also Black Death plastics 237, 240, 270 Plate, River 186 platinum 213 Plato 292 Plautus 44 ploughing 129–30, 136, 145, 150, 195, 197, 198, 215 pneumonia 13, 353 Polanyi, Karl 164–5 polar bears 338–9 polio 261, 275, 310 political fragmentation 170–73, 180–81, 184, 185 pollution: effects on wildlife 17, 297, 299, 339; and industrialisation 218; pessimism about 293–4, 304–6; reduction in 17, 106, 148, 279, 293–4, 297, 299 polygamy 136 Pomeranz, Kenneth 201–2 Ponzi, Charles 29 Ponzi schemes 28–9 population control policies 202–4, 210–211 population growth: and food supply 139, 141, 143–4, 146–7, 192, 206, 208–9; global population totals 3, 12, 14, 191, 206, 332; and industrialisation 201–2; and innovation 252; pessimism about 190, 193, 202–3, 281, 290, 293, 300–302, 314; population explosions 8, 139, 141, 202, 206, 281; and specialisation 192–3, 351; see also birth rates; demographic transition; infant mortality; life expectancy porcelain 181, 183, 184–5, 225, 251 Porritt, Jonathan 314 Portugal 75, 183, 184, 317, 331 Post-it notes 261 Postrel, Virginia 290–91 potatoes 199 Potrykus, Ingo 154 pottery 77, 158, 159, 163, 168, 177, 225, 251 Pound, Ezra 289 poverty: and charitable giving 106; current levels 12, 15, 16–17, 41, 316, 353–4; and industrialisation 217–20; pessimism about 280, 290, 314–15; reduction in 12, 15, 16–17, 290; and self-sufficiency 42, 132, 200, 202, 226–7; solutions to 8, 187–8, 316–17, 322, 326–8, 353–4 Prebisch, Raul 187 preservatives (in food) 145 Presley, Elvis 110 Priestley, Joseph 256 printing: on paper 181, 251, 252, 253, 272; on textiles 225, 232 prisoner’s dilemma game 96 property rights 130, 223, 226, 320, 321, 323–5 protectionism 186–7, 226 Ptolemy III 171 Pusu-Ken (Assyrian merchant) 165–6 putting out system 226, 227, 230 pygmy people 54, 67 Pythagoras 171 Quarterly Review 284 quasars 275 Quesnay, François 42 racial segregation 108 racism 104, 415 radioactivity 293–4, 345 radios 264–5, 271 railways 252; and agriculture 139, 140–41; opposition to 283–4; speed of 283, 286; travel costs 23 rainforests 144, 149, 150, 240, 243, 250–51, 338 Rajan, Raghuram 317 Rajasthan 162, 164 Ramsay, Gordon 392 rape seed 240 Ratnagar, Shereen 162 ravens 69 Rawls, John 96 Read, Leonard 38 recession, economic 10, 28, 113, 311 reciprocity 57–9, 87, 95, 133 Red Sea 66, 82, 127, 170, 174, 177 Rees, Martin 294 Reformation 253 refrigeration 139 regress, technological 78–84, 125, 181–2, 197–200, 351, 380 Reiter, Paul 336, 428 religion 4, 104, 106, 170, 357, 358, 396; and population control 205, 207–8, 211; see also Buddhism; Christianity; Islam Rembrandt 116 Renaissance 196 research and development budgets, corporate 260, 262, 269 Research in Motion (company) 265 respiratory disease 18, 307, 310 restaurants 17, 37, 61, 254, 264 Rhine, River 265–6 rhinoceroses 2, 43, 51, 68, 73 Rhodes, Cecil 322 Ricardo, David 75, 169, 187, 193, 196, 249, 274 rice 32, 126, 143, 146–7, 153, 154, 156, 198 Rifkin, Jeremy 306 Riis, Jacob 16 Rio de Janeiro, UN conference (1992) 290 risk aversion 294–5 Rivers, W.H.R. 81 Rivoli, Pietra 220, 228 ‘robber-barons’ 23–4, 100, 265–6 Rockefeller, John D. 23, 281 Rocky Mountains 238 Rogers, Alex 340 Roman empire 161, 166, 172, 173–5, 184, 214, 215, 259–60, 357 Rome 158, 175 Romer, Paul 269, 276–7, 328, 354 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 109 Roosevelt, Theodore 288 Rosling, Hans 368 Rothschild, Nathan 89 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 43, 96, 104, 137 Royal Institution 221 rubber 220 rule of law 116–18, 325 Rumford, Benjamin Thompson, Count 221 rural to urban migration 158, 188–9, 210, 219–20, 226–7, 231, 406 Ruskin, John 104 Russia, post-Soviet 14; oil and gas production 31, 37; population decline 205 Russia, prehistoric 71, 73 Russia, Tsarist 216, 229, 324 Rwanda 14, 316 rye 124, 125, 199, 224, 286 Sachs, Jeffrey 208 Saddam Hussein 161 Sahel region 123, 334 Sahlins, Marshall 133, 135 Sahul (landmass) 66, 67 Salisbury, Wiltshire 194 Salk, Jonas 38, 261 salmon 297 Salmon, Cecil 142 saltpetre 140 Sanger, Frederick 412 Sanskrit 129 São Paulo 190, 315 Sargon of Akkad 164 SARS virus 307, 310 satellites 252, 253 satnav (satellite navigation systems) 268 Saudi Arabia 238 Saunders, Peter 102 Schumpeter, Joseph 113–14, 227, 260, 276, 302 science, and innovation 255–8, 412 Scientific American 280 Scotland 103, 199–200, 227, 263, 315 scrub jays 87 scurvy 14, 258 sea level, changes in 128, 314, 333–4 Seabright, Paul 93, 138 seals (for denoting property) 130 search engines 245, 256, 267 Second World War 289 segregation, racial 108 Seine, River 215 self-sufficiency 8, 33–5, 39, 82, 90, 133, 192, 193, 351; and poverty 41–2, 132, 200, 202, 226–7 selfishness 86, 87, 93–4, 96, 102, 103, 104, 106, 292 Sematech (non-profit consortium) 267–8 Sentinelese people 67 serendipity 257, 346 serfs 181–2, 222 serotonin 156, 294 sexism 104, 136 sexual division of labour 61–5, 136, 376 sexual reproduction 2, 6, 7, 45, 56, 271; of ideas 6–7, 270–72 Sforza, house of 184 Shady, Ruth 162 Shakespeare, William 2; The Merchant of Venice 101, 102 Shang dynasty 166 Shapiro, Carl 265 sheep 97, 176, 194, 197 Shell (corporation) 111 shellfish 52, 53, 62, 64, 79, 92, 93, 127, 163, 167 Shennan, Stephen 83, 133 Shermer, Michael 101, 106, 118 ship-building 185, 229; see also boat-building shipping, container 113, 253, 386 Shirky, Clay 356 Shiva, Vandana 156 Siberia 145 Sicily 171, 173, 178 Sidon 167, 170 Siemens, William 234 Sierra Leone 14, 316 Silesia 222 silicon chips 245, 263, 267–8 Silicon Valley 221–2, 224, 257, 258, 259, 268 silk 37, 46, 172, 175, 178, 179, 184, 187, 225 Silk Road 182 silver 31, 132, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 171, 177, 183–4, 213 Silver, Lee 122–3 Simon, Julian 83, 280, 303 Singapore 31, 160, 187 Skhul, Israel 53 slash-and-burn farming 87, 130 slave trade 167, 170, 177, 229, 319, 380; abolition 214, 221 slavery 34, 214–15, 216, 407; ancient Greece 171; hunter-gatherer societies 45, 92; Mesopotamia 160; Roman empire 174, 176, 214; United States 216, 228–9, 415; see also anti-slavery sleeping sickness 310, 319 Slovakia 136 smallpox 13, 14, 135, 310; vaccine 221 smelting 131–2, 160, 230 smiling 2, 94 Smith, Adam 8, 80, 96, 101, 104, 199, 249, 272, 350; Das Adam Smith Problem 93–4; Theory of Moral Sentiments 93; The Wealth of Nations vii, 37–8, 39, 56, 57, 93, 123, 236, 283 Smith, Vernon 9, 90, 192 smoke, indoor 13, 338, 342, 353, 429 smoking 297, 298 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act 186 soap 176, 215 social networking websites 262, 268, 356 socialism 106, 115, 357, 406 software, computer 99, 257, 272–3, 304, 356 solar energy 216, 243, 244 solar power 234–5, 238, 239, 245–6, 343, 344–5, 408 solar wind 346 solid-state electronics 257 Solomon, Robert 94 Solow, Robert 276 Somalia 14, 316, 337, 353 songbirds 55 Sony (corporation) 261 sorghum 126, 156 South Africa: agriculture 154; economy 316, 322; life expectancy 316; pre-historic 52, 53, 54, 83 South Korea 15, 31, 116–17, 187, 212, 322 South Sea Company 29 Southey, Robert 284–5 Soviet Union 16, 107, 109, 289, 299, 318, 324 soybeans 147, 148, 155, 156, 242 space travel 268–9, 275, 282 Spain: agriculture 129; climate 334; Franco regime 186, 289; Peruvian silver 30–31, 183–4; tariffs 222 spears 6, 43, 48, 50, 52, 70, 80, 81, 91 specialisation: by sex 61–5, 136, 376; and division of labour 7, 33, 38, 46, 61–5, 175; and exchange 7, 10, 33, 35, 37–8, 46, 56, 58, 75, 90, 132–3, 350–52, 355, 358–9; and innovation 56, 71–2, 73–4, 76–7, 119, 251; and population growth 192–3, 351; and rule of law 116, 117–18 speech 2, 55; see also language Spencer, Herbert 108 Spengler, Oswald 289 sperm counts 280, 293, 329 spice trade 167, 175, 176, 177, 179, 185 Spinoza, Baruch de 116 Sputnik 282 squashes (vegetables) 126, 163 Sri Lanka 35, 38, 66, 205, 208, 299 Stalin, Joseph 16, 262 stamp seals 130 Stangler, Dane 294 steam engines 126, 214, 221, 228, 231–2, 244, 256, 258, 270, 271, 413–14 steamships 139, 253, 283 Stein, Gil 159 Stein, Herb 281 stem-cell research 358 Stephenson, George 256, 412 Steptoe, Patrick 306 sterilisation, coerced 203–4 Stern (magazine) 304 Stern, Nicholas, Baron 330–31, 332, 425 Stiner, Mary 64, 69 storms 314, 333, 335 Strabo 174 string 70 strokes (cerebral accidents) 18 Strong, Maurice 311 Subramanian, Arvind 317 subsidies: farming 188, 328; renewable energy supplies 344 subsistence farming 87, 138, 175–6, 189, 192, 199–200 substantivism 164–5 suburbia 108, 110, 190 Sudan 316 suffrage, universal 107 sugar 179, 202, 215 sugar beet 243 sugar cane 240, 241, 242 Sun Microsystems (corporation) 259 Sunda (landmass) 66 sunflowers 126 Sungir, Russia 71, 73 superconductivity, high-temperature 257 Superior, Lake 131 supermarkets 36, 112, 148, 268, 292, 297 surfboards 273 Sussex 285 Swan, Sir Joseph 234, 272 Swaziland 14 Sweden 17, 184, 229, 305, 340, 344 Swift, Jonathan 121, 240 Switzerland 264 swords, Japanese 198–9 Sybaris 170–71 symbiosis 75, 351 synergy 6, 101 Syria 124, 130, 164, 174 Szilard, Leo 412 Tahiti 169 Taiwan 31, 187, 219, 322 Talheim, Germany 138 Tanzania 316, 325, 327–8; Hadza people 61, 63, 87 Tapscott, Don 262 Tarde, Gabriel 5 tariffs 185–7, 188, 222–3 taro (vegetable plant) 126 Tartessians 169 Tasman, Abel 80 Tasmania 78–81, 83–4 Tattersall, Ian 73 Taverne, Dick, Baron 103 taxation: carbon taxes 346; and charitable giving 319; and consumption 27; and declining birth rates 211; early development of 160; and housing 25; and innovation 255; and intergenerational transfer 30; Mauryan empire 172; Roman empire 184; United States 25 Taylor, Barbara 103 tea 181, 182, 183, 202, 327, 392 telegraph 252–3, 257, 272, 412 telephones 252, 261; charges 22–3, 253; mobile 37, 252, 257, 261, 265, 267, 297, 326–7 television 38, 234, 252, 268 Telford, Thomas 221 Tennessee Valley Authority 326 termites 75–6 terrorism 8, 28, 296, 358 Tesco (retail corporation) 112 Tesla, Nikola 234 text messaging 292, 356 Thailand 320, 322 Thales of Miletus 171 Thames, River 17 thermodynamics 3, 244, 256 Thiel, Peter 262 Thiele, Bob 349 Thoreau, Henry David 33, 190 3M (corporation) 261, 263 threshing 124, 125, 130, 153, 198; machines 139, 283 thumbs, opposable 4, 51–2 Thwaites, Thomas 34–5 Tiberius, Roman emperor 174, 259 tidal and wave power 246, 343, 344 Tierra del Fuego 45, 62, 81–2, 91–2, 137 tigers 146, 240 timber 167, 216, 229; trade 158, 159, 180, 202 time saving 7, 22–4, 34–5, 123 Timurid empire 161 tin 132, 165, 167, 168, 213, 223, 303 ‘tipping points’ 287–9, 290, 291, 293, 301–2, 311, 329 Tiwi people 81 Tokyo 190, 198 Tol, Richard 331 Tooby, John 57 tool making: early Homo sapiens 53, 70, 71; machine tools 211, 221; Mesopotamian 159, 160; Neanderthals 55, 71, 378; Palaeolithic hominids 2, 4, 7, 48–51; technological regress 80 Torres Strait islanders 63–4, 81 tortoises 64, 68, 69, 376 totalitarianism 104, 109, 181–2, 290 toucans 146 Toulouse 222 Townes, Charles 272 ‘toy trade’ 223 Toynbee, Arnold 102–3 tractors 140, 153, 242 trade: and agriculture 123, 126, 127–33, 159, 163–4; early human development of 70–75, 89–93, 133–4, 159–60, 165; female-centred 88–9; and industrialisation 224–6; and innovation 168, 171; and property rights 324–5; and trust 98–100, 103; and urbanisation 158–61, 163–4, 167; see also bartering; exchange; markets trade unions and guilds 113, 115, 223, 226 trademarks 264 traffic congestion 296 tragedy of the commons 203, 324 Trajan, Roman Emperor 161 transistors 271 transport costs 22, 23, 24, 37, 229, 230, 253, 297, 408 transport speeds 22, 252, 253, 270, 283–4, 286, 287, 296 trebuchets 275 Tressell, Robert 288 Trevithick, Richard 221, 256 Trippe, Juan 24 Trobriand islands 58 trust: between strangers 88–9, 93, 94–8, 104; and trade 98–100, 103, 104; within families 87–8, 89, 91 Tswana people 321, 322 tungsten 213 Turchin, Peter 182 Turkey 69, 130, 137 Turnbull, William (farm worker) 219 Turner, Adair, Baron 411 turning points in history, belief in 287–9, 290, 291, 293, 301–2, 311, 329 Tuscany 178 Tyneside 231 typhoid 14, 157, 310 typhus 14, 299, 310 Tyre 167, 168–9, 170, 328 Ubaid period 158–9, 160 Uganda 154, 187, 316 Ukraine 71, 129 Ulrich, Bernd 304 Ultimatum Game 86–7 unemployment 8, 28, 114, 186, 289, 296 United Nations (UN) 15, 40, 205, 206, 290, 402, 429 United States: affluence 12, 16–17, 113, 117; agriculture 139, 140–41, 142, 219–20; biofuel production 240, 241, 242; birth rates 211, 212; civil rights movement 108, 109; copyright and patent systems 265, 266; credit crunch (2008) 9, 28–9; energy use 239, 245; GDP, per capita 23, 31; Great Depression (1930s) 31, 109, 192; happiness 26–7; immigration 108, 199–200, 202, 259; income equality 18–19; industrialisation 219; life expectancy 298; New Deal 109; oil supplies 237–8; pollution levels 17, 279, 304–5; poverty 16–17, 315, 326; productivity 112–13, 117; property rights 323; rural to urban migration 219; slavery 216, 228–9, 415; tax system 25, 111, 241; trade 186, 201, 228 Upper Palaeolithic Revolution 73, 83, 235 urbanisation: and development of agriculture 128, 158–9, 163–4; global urban population totals 158, 189, 190; and population growth 209–210; and trade 158–61, 163–4, 167, 189–90; see also rural to urban migration Uruguay 186 Uruk, Mesopotamia 159–61, 216 vaccines 17, 287, 310; polio 261, 275; smallpox 221 Vandals 175 Vanderbilt, Cornelius 17, 23, 24 vCJD (mad-cow disease) 280, 308 Veblen, Thorstein 102 Veenhoven, Ruut 28 vegetarianism 83, 126, 147, 376 Venezuela 31, 61, 238 Venice 115, 178–9 venture capitalists 223, 258, 259 Veron, Charlie 339–40 Victoria, Lake 250 Victoria, Queen 322 Vienna exhibition (1873) 233–4 Vietnam 15, 183, 188 Vikings 176 violence: decline in 14, 106, 201; homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201; in pre-industrial societies 44–5, 136, 137–9; random 104 Visby, Gotland 180 vitamin A 353 vitamin C 258 vitamin D 129 Vivaldi, Antonio 115 Vladimir, Russia 71 Vogel, Orville 142 Vogelherd, Germany 70 voles 97 Voltaire 96, 103, 104, 256 Wagner, Charles 288 Wal-Mart (retail corporation) 21, 112–14, 263 Wales 132 Wall Street (film) 101 Walton, Sam 112–13, 263 Wambugu, Florence 154 war: in Africa 316; in hunter-gatherer societies 44–5; threat of nuclear war 280, 290, 299–300; twentieth-century world wars 289, 309; unilateral declarations of 104 water: contaminated 338, 353, 429; pricing of 148; supplies 147, 280, 281, 324, 334–5; see also droughts; irrigation water snakes 17 watermills 176, 194, 198, 215, 216–17, 234 Watson, Thomas 282 Watt, James 221, 244, 256, 271, 411, 413–14 wave and tidal power 246, 343, 344 weather forecasting 3, 4, 335 weather-related death rates 335–6 Wedgwood, Josiah 105, 114, 225, 256 Wedgwood, Sarah 105 weed control 145, 152 Weiss, George David 349 Weitzman, Martin 332–3 Welch, Jack 261 welfare benefits 16, 106 Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of 89 Wells, H.G. 65, 313, 352, 354 West Germany 289–90 West Indies 202, 216, 310 Western Union (company) 261 Westinghouse, George 234 whales 6, 281, 302 whaling 87, 185, 281 wheat 42, 71, 124, 125, 129, 139, 140, 146–7, 149, 153, 156, 158, 161, 167, 300–301; new varieties 141–3 Wheeler, Sir Mortimer 162 wheels, invention of 176, 274 Whitehead, Alfred North 255 Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) 99, 115, 273, 356 Wilberforce, William 105, 214 Wilder, Thornton 359 wilderness land, expansion of 144, 147, 148, 239, 337–8, 347, 359 wildlife conservation 324, 329 William III, King 223 Williams, Anthony 262 Williams, Joseph 254 Williams, Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury 102 Wilson, Bart 90, 324 Wilson, E.O. 243, 293 Wiltshire 194 wind power 239, 246, 343–4, 346, 408 wolves 87, 137 women’s liberation 108–9 wool 37, 149, 158, 167, 178, 179, 194, 224 working conditions, improvements in 106–7, 114, 115, 188, 219–20, 227, 285 World Bank 117, 203, 317 World Health Organisation 336–7, 421 World Wide Web 273, 356 World3 (computer model) 302–3 Wrangham, Richard 59, 60 Wright brothers 261, 264 Wright, Robert 101, 175 Wrigley, Tony 231 Y2K computer bug 280, 290, 341 Yahgan Indians 62 Yahoo (corporation) 268 Yangtze river 181, 199, 230 Yeats, W.B. 289 yellow fever 310 Yellow river 161, 167 Yemen 207, 209 Yir Yoront aborigines 90–91 Yong-Le, Chinese emperor 183, 184, 185 Yorkshire 285 Young, Allyn 276 young people, pessimism about 292 Young, Thomas 221 Younger Dryas (climatic period) 125 Yucatan 335 Zak, Paul 94–5, 97 Zambia 28, 154, 316, 317, 318, 331 zero, invention of 173, 251 zero-sum thinking 101 Zimbabwe 14, 28, 117, 302, 316 zinc 213, 303 Zuckerberg, Mark 262 Acknowledgements It is one of the central arguments of this book that the special feature of human intelligence is that it is collective, not individual – thanks to the invention of exchange and specialisation.


San Francisco by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, G4S, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Joan Didion, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mason jar, New Urbanism, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Buxom forms! at the BELLA UNION. And such fun! If you don’t want to risk both optics, SHUT ONE EYE.’ Biotech is nothing new here: in 1976, an upstart company called Genen­tech was founded over beer at a San Francisco bar, then got to work cloning human insulin and introducing the hepatitis B vaccine. California voters approved a $3 billion bond measure in 2004 for stem cell research, and by 2008, California had become the biggest funder of stem cell research, with SoMa’s Mission Bay as its designated headquarters. With the US in recession, it seems impossible that San Francisco could initiate another boom – but if history is any indication, the impossible is almost certain to happen in San Francisco. Timeline June 1776 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco Palou arrive in SF with cattle and settlers.


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The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene by Richard Dawkins

Alfred Russel Wallace, assortative mating, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, epigenetics, Gödel, Escher, Bach, impulse control, Menlo Park, Necker cube, p-value, phenotype, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, selection bias, stem cell

Species M’s runner was said to be a broad-fronted meristem, while species S’s runner narrowed down to a one-celled bottleneck at the base of each new plant. But what if there was an intermediate species with a two-celled bottleneck at the base of each new plant? There are two main possibilities here. If the pattern of development is such that it is unpredictable which cells in the daughter plant will be descended from which of the two stem cells, the point I have made about developmental bottlenecks will simply be weakened quantitatively: genetic mosaics may occur in the population of plants, but there will still be a statistical tendency for cells to be genetically closer to fellow members of the same plant than to cells in other plants. Therefore we may still talk meaningfully about vehicle selection between plants in a population of plants, but the inter-plant selection pressure may have to be strong to outweigh selection among cells within plants.

But he must show the same circumspection in this difficult theoretical field as Fisher (1930a), Williams (1975) and Maynard Smith (1978a) brought to the analogous suggestions about sexual reproduction being there because it speeds up evolution. The organism has the following attributes. It is either a single cell, or if it is multicellular its cells are close genetic kin of each other: they are descended from a single stem cell, which means that they have a more recent common ancestor with each other than with the cells of any other organism. The organism is a unit with a life cycle which, however complicated it may be, repeats the essential characteristics of previous life cycles, and may be an improvement on previous life cycles. The organism either consists of germ-line cells, or it contains germ-line cells as a subset of its own cells, or, as in the case of a sterile social insect worker, it is in a position to work for the welfare of germ-line cells in closely related organisms.


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Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, gender pay gap, Joan Didion, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, phenotype, pre–internet, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, stem cell, women in the workforce

In 2014, a review of over six hundred studies published in prominent surgery journals recently found that among cell studies, three-quarters didn’t specify the sex of the cell lines used and of those that did, over 70 percent used only male cells. This despite the fact that sex differences on the cellular level have been observed; as the 2001 IOM report put it, “every cell has a sex.” For example, studies have found that skeletal muscle stem cells derived from females regenerated new tissue faster than those from males did, and only female bone marrow mononuclear cells have proven useful in preventing plaque buildup in the arteries of mice. When it comes to animal studies, researchers can’t justify their exclusion of females out of concerns about fetal harm. Beery said that she’s heard a host of excuses, including that “female mice have smellier urine.”

Erin Schumaker, “Sexism in the Doctor’s Office Starts Here,” HuffPost, November 10, 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-are-excluded-from-clinical-trials_us_5637ad65e4b0c66bae5d36ba. In 2014, a review of over six hundred studies . . . Dustin Y. Yoon et al., “Sex Bias Exists in Basic Science and Translational Surgical Research,” Surgery 156, no. 3 (September 2014), doi:10.1016/j.surg.2014.07.001. For example, studies have found that skeletal muscle stem cells . . . Sabra L. Klein et al., “Sex Inclusion in Basic Research Drives Discovery,” PNAS 112, no. 17 (April 28, 2015), doi:10.1073/pnas.1502843112. But the widespread reliance on male animals seems to stem . . . Irving Zucker and Annaliese K. Beery, “Males Still Dominate Animal Studies: Many Researchers Avoid Using Female Animals,” Nature 465 (June 10, 2010), doi:10.1038/465690a. A 2014 meta-analysis of nearly three hundred articles . . .


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The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth by Robin Hanson

8-hour work day, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, business cycle, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental subject, fault tolerance, financial intermediation, Flynn Effect, hindsight bias, information asymmetry, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, lone genius, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, prediction markets, rent control, rent-seeking, reversible computing, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, statistical model, stem cell, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Similarly, while more complex and higher quality business products tend to become better adapted to circumstances, and to sell for higher prices, simpler cheaper products tend to have more descendants in new products, at least for products sold to firms (Christensen 1997; Thompson 2013). In multi-cellular animals, flexible generic stem cells create other more varied cells that are better adapted to particular body tasks. Yet new organisms descend mostly from generic stem cells, which have far more descendant cells in the long run. All of these examples suggest that as systems become better adapted in detail to particular situations, they become more fragile and less able to adapt in detail to very different situations. Human brains tend to have slower responses as they age, in part because brain hardware degrades (Lindenberger 2014), and in part because such brains need to sort through a larger experience base (Ramscar et al. 2014).


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Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

So far, Martha Gomez and her colleagues have been working with the endangered South African black-footed cat, by breeding it using IVF and gestating the embryos inside domestic cats. Next they plan to attempt Tasmanian tigers, extinct since the 1930s. Meanwhile, scientists at Brazil’s frozen zoo at the Embrapa research institute are trying to clone endangered species including the maned wolf and jaguar. Other biologists have managed to generate pluripotent stem cells from the endangered snow leopard, theoretically enabling them to create the sex cells that give rise to embryos. The possibilities are immense. For example, if a species is endangered or extinct because of a disease, a cloned variety could be brought back with its genome tweaked to be resistant to that disease. Or, if the animal is dangerous or competitive with humans, like wolves, it could be genetically modified to not like the taste of sheep and cattle.

Following an attack by hackers, the portal code has been changed and the delivery company clearly still has the old one. Kipp sighs, he was expecting a couple of new flat-weave algal shirts (once-common cotton is now very pricey), and has already thrown his frayed ones into the biodigester. Kipp is 87 now, yet his mind is sharp and his body sprightly (thanks to artificial joints, replacement cartilage grown from stem cells, eye and ear parts, and his decadal arterial scrub). He has the lifestyle, he thinks, a 60-year-old might have had in the year he was born: he works two days a week, he plays tennis with virtual and flesh opponents, he meets his virtual and flesh friends and family regularly. When he was born, there were just 7 billion people on the planet; now there are more than 10 billion, fewer than many had predicted.


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