Princeton researchers, using a 3-D printer, have built a bionic ear with integrated electronics. lab-made organs could do more than just serve as ready options for patients in need: with the right blend of biology and materials science, they might even be able to endow people with superhuman abilities.
Here are some of my favorites in the “not so distant” and still “far out” genre of science fiction literature:
VR-storyline with immensive amounts of references to the best of eighties geek culture.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
The new book “2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years” by Jorgen Randers raises the possibility that humankind might not survive on the planet if it continues on its path of over-consumption and short-termism.
In the report author Jorgen Randers raises essential questions: How many people will the planet be able to support? Will the belief in endless growth crumble? Will runaway climate change take hold? Where will quality of life improve, and where will it decline?
Read more about the book on The Club of Rome.
The atrocities committed against innocent civilians in the recent terrorist attacks in Norway shows how much harm and disruption one person can do against an unprepared society. Is the attack a precursor for a general transformation and individualization of terrorism?
According to the evolution of military theory advanced surveillance, intelligence and sophisticated weaponry is useless against terrorists like Anders Behring Breivik (ABB). This was confirmed by the chief of the Norwegian chief of internal security (PST) admitting that even the STASI secret police couldn’t have stopped the attack.
In this project, public and private experts explore how to increase resilience to Future Global Shocks. The Project will generate options for governments to enhance capacity to identify, anticipate, control, contain and/or mitigate large disasters.
The project recognises that shocks can provide opportunities for progress, not just negative consequences. Amongst the inputs from which the final report will draw are six background papers and case studies on the following themes: Systemic Financial Risk; Pandemics; Cyber Risks; Geomagnetic Storms; Social Unrest and Anticipating Extreme Events.
Read the entire report: “OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies: Future Global Shocks“, PDF.
The BP oil crisis in the Mexican gulf, deadly heat waves in Russia, earthquakes in Haiti (7.0 Mw) and Chile (8.8 Mw) and flooding in Australia caused almost 300.000 deaths from natural disasters in 2010 (1).
A few months into 2011 New Zealand is hit by a 6.3 Mw earthquake followed by the Japan 9.0 Mw earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The situation in Libya, Syria and many other Arabic and African countries adds uncertainty to global stability. The complexity of the situation demands a new approach to early warning systems for natural disasters and reduction of global systemic risk.
In collaborative work between researchers at MIT and Northeastern University in Boston, MA a comparatively long and hollow nanoparticle has been developed that could be implanted under the skin and remain anchored at its original location to monitor levels of glucose or salt or other targets over time.
Source: IEEE Spectrum.
The report “Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk“ is part of OECD’s “Future Global Shocks” series, in which thinkers from various disciplines assess whether events in their fields might become as damaging to the world as the recent financial crisis or a global pandemic.
Single online events, such as a major DDoS attack, are unlikely to have such worldwide effects, but the combination of something like a botnet DDoS attack, a major EMP, and specific attacks on SCADA or other computer-controlled machinery, and some form of real-world “kinetic” attack might well shock the world.