Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo

Genome Editing – Bringing the Übermensch to a Shelf Near You

Last April, a Chinese group of researchers published a paper that set the scientific world ablaze in a fierce debate. The paper was about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo.
Scientists warned that altering the human genome line without thoroughly considering and researching into the consequences could bring about unintended, unpredictable and possibly terrifying results.

From dangerous mutations and painful deaths to political opportunism and genetic-social engineering, it is easy to imagine terrifying and dystopian outcomes to this technological advance. And  it’s all due to CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

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Hair Matter(s)

Clothing made of human hair. Alix Bizet, French student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, collected hair from African American hairdressers to create jackets and hats for her project Hair Matter(s). Why? Because she sees it as a sustainable solution, an animal-friendly alternative to fur and an entrancement of our cultural an ethnic differences.

We don’t know if fashionistas are willing to wear her striking outfits, what we certainly know is that our peculiar image of the week makes us shiver with Anthropomorphobia.

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Society of Simulations

Solutions to Virtual Reality’s Big Problem

Virtual reality glasses come with a big limitation: motion sickness. The human eye just wasn’t built to look at screens this way, you see yourself riding a virtual roller coaster while your body doesn’t feel the movement. This mental discrepancy not only affect the believability of the VR-experience, it also leaves you nauseous, dizzy and suffering from headaches.

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Forward to Nature

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Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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Wild Systems

Should Intelligent Sex Robots be Banned?

The Campaign Against Sex Robots, recently launched, is pushing towards banning the continuation of sex robots development. Over the last decades, an increasing effort from both academia and industry has gone into the development of these robots – going so far as looking to imbue them with artificial intelligence in order to make them seem more like humans, and therefore more attractive to customers. According to the campaign, these developments are unethical and will eventually harm humanity.

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Information Decoration

Artworks that Look Virtual, but Are Completely Hand Painted

These paintings by Johnny Abrahams look almost computer made – except they are not. Working mainly with black and white acrylic paints and with a lot of patience, the American artist is able to create dizzying, hyper digital-like canvases by hand. Compared to the many examples of digital art that we see emerging these days, it’s hard to believe that these extremely organised paintings did not roll out of a computer.

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whale and drone
Microbial Factories

Bacteria and Drones: New Ways to Collect Samples

Sample collection in hard-to-reach and harsh environments has often made scientific research a costly and dangerous exercise. Luckily technology has helped us overcome some of these difficulties.

Although costly robots, for instance, have for a long time been the equipment of choice to collect samples in space. But there is a new competitor for the robot space-sample collector. Experiments have shown that a remarkable amount of small organisms are able to survive in space. ESA researchers have send living kombucha bacteria into space to look for signs of life.

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