Our Increasingly Unprovable Universe

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There is a current “rumble” going on between roving gangs of rival physicists, each championing their own theories as to how our universe was created. On one side are the authors of the controversial article “Pop Goes The Universe” from the February issue of Scientific American. On the other are “33 Famous Physicists,” including Stephen Hawking, who have signed off on a very stern letter criticizing said article.

What hangs in the balance might very well be our perceptions of Life, the Universe, and Everything:

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Professor Predicts Brain Transplants Will “Sweep Away Religion Forever”

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This recent Telegraph article, based on a German interview with the controversial Professor Sergio Canavero, just got more and more insane and mind-blowing (if you will excuse the pun) as I read it…ending in like an operatic Frankenstein-meets-Nietzsche conclusion that is the stuff of fever-dream obscure conspiracy videos on YouTube.

Professor Canavero—Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group and most known for his upcoming plans to conduct the world’s first human head transplant—discussed with the magazine Ooom his next project, which will be human brain transplants.

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The Living Library: DNA Used As Data Storage

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If you have lived as long as I have, you’ve seen a number of information storage systems come and go: vinyl records, audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, the Cloud, and vinyl records. Their utility has varied, in terms of durability, storage size, bandwidth, and so on. But science is now perfecting what might be the ultimate form of data storage…

DNA.

In a recent study, researchers managed to fit six files—including a full computer operating system, a 1895 French film, and and an Amazon gift card—into 72,000 DNA strands. Sequencing technology was used to retrieve the information, with no errors.

One of the researchers, Yaniv Erlich, discussed with ResearchGate how DNA could be the perfect data storage system of the future:

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The World’s Screwed, But We’re Bringing Back The Woolly Mammoth So Yay

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When things are so messed up in the world, how is bringing the mighty Woolly Mammoth back from extinction so far up the priority list? I mean really. Good God.

But it looks like within two years, it will be a reality—the Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival Team (!) has plans to genetically splice mammoth genes recovered from deep freeze in permafrost with the embryo of an elephant.

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The Dangers Of Creating A Real-Life Jurassic Park (Besides The Obvious)

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It’s called “de-extinction”—the process of bringing extinct species back to life. And it’s plausible enough that in May 2016 The International Union for the Conservation of Nature issued a document outlining guidelines for re-introducing long dead species into the land of the living.

Called “Guiding Principles On Creating Proxies Of Extinct Species For Conservation Benefit,” the document stresses that no animal that could be brought back from extinction via genetic engineering could ever really be that animal as it existed in its original time-period/location. They would only be proxies—”a functional equivalent able to restore ecological functions or processes that might have been lost as the result of the extinction of the original species.”

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We Have The Actual Medical Technology To Regrow Teeth

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Having problems with your teeth? I can’t 100% promise this will be able to help you, but it should at least be a pretty encouraging development.

The Alzheimer’s drug Tideglusib has been found to actually stimulate the stem cells inside a tooth, generating new dentine. What this means is that it would be theoretically possible to use Tideglusib to close up cavities with self-grown tooth material—eliminating the need for fillings.

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Study: Computer Screens Mess With Sleep And Pineal Gland Function

Ordinarily, the pineal gland, a pea-size organ in the brain, begins to release melatonin a couple of hours before your regular bedtime. The hormone is no sleeping pill, but it does reduce alertness and make sleep more inviting.

However, light — particularly of the blue variety — can keep the pineal gland from releasing melatonin, thus warding off sleepiness. You don’t have to be staring directly at a television or computer screen: If enough blue light hits the eye, the gland can stop releasing melatonin.

So basically, computer screens, iPad screens, iPhone screens, etc. mess with your pineal gland, which is essentially, if you believe in such things, your “third eye”—which means that the harmful effects from the screen light may extend way beyond simply sleep function.

Which is why it is super-hard for me to get relaxed and read on a tablet, write on a laptop, listen to music on my phone, etc. Much less do any sort of editing work directly on these devices. Which is why I always feel rather foolish still printing stuff out. But maybe not that foolish.

Recently, I purchased a small “regular” (non-electronic display) alarm clock to keep in my bedroom, as well as a sound machine in case I need extra audio help falling asleep. The phone screen stays in a drawer until the morning. In a future post, I’ll update as to whether this strategy has given me any benefits.