So, you are well aware that biotech will drive our evolution, you took the crash course on synthetic genomics, you’ve got your map of the DNA world in your backpack and are now eager to redesign some microbes that turn waste into energy, eat plastic, detect flu, or build a better being altogether? You have a brilliant project plan already, but only need some – let say– euro 25.000 and a bit of help from a research group to turn your vision into reality? We have cake for you.
We increasingly depend on car technology designed to make driving easier and safer. Therefore, can be said that these improvements are creating less-skilled drivers?
“Technological crutches like GPS are making us not only worse drivers – they could also be making us stupid. Technology wasn’t supposed to work that way. Manufacturers have supported drivers with power steering, cruise control, antilock brakes and electronic stability controls. Then they gave us sophisticated on-board computers that power car entertainment systems and fine-tune our cars’ performance on the go. Today we drive sleek, aerodynamic vehicles with more computing power than early Space Shuttles.”
We’ve already seen GPS lead people into some ridiculous situations.
But can we blame the GPS for this, when we follow directions that are totally contrary to good sense?
Read more on BBC Future
If you happen to be in New York City this week, you may want to join us for BIOFABRICATE, the world’s first summit dedicated to biofabrication for future industrial and consumer products.
The summit features visionary lectures from prominent thinkers and practitioners, including MOMA curator Paola Antonelli, Modern Meadow CEO Andras Forgacs, biocouture CEO Suzanne Lee and our own Koert van Mensvoort. Register here.
Bioengineer Drew Endy shares his idea of biology as a precision manufacturer that could potentially transform civilization as we know it.
“There is this natural technology out there in the wild that is so capable of manufacturing stuff that it coats the surface of the Earth. It takes atoms from the atmosphere and light from the environment and self-assembles huge structures with atomic precision.”
According to Endy the only option we have is to embrace a synthetic biological future, to change the way we live, manufacture and consume. “We are destroying environments, we are critically ripping away biodiversity; it’s a disaster” he states. “We actually have a chance of reinventing civilization”.
While evidence indicates that humans have been domesticated by technology, we’re not the only primates captivated by modernity. A Japanese macaque stole a tourist’s iPhone and fiddled around with it like a human would. Animals appreciate technological innovations as much as we do! Peculiar image of the week by dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten.
One of the main questions raised by next nature inquires if it is possible to integrated the biosphere into the technosphere. Saying, are there ways to combine the biology with the technology?
An example that makes us say “yes” to this question has been made by designer Teresa van Dongen. She dared to change the interpretation of nature’s functionality, and saw possibilities to use elements of nature as electronics. With a background in biology, she re-interpreted the life’s destination of deep-sea bacteria living on the fish’s skin. The result is the beautiful Ambio: a lamp that lights up by activating the bacteria.
Text by Anne Spaa. This article was originally published on Next Nature Lab
Domestication of flora and fauna is a concept that humans have been using to control nature in our advantage already since 33000 BC. A nowadays example are ‘house plants’ which have gone through generations of selective breeding to eventually give the best flowers, in extraordinary colours and unexpected shapes.
A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. From an animal and plants perspective this could be considered as a deprivation of their right to freedom. Human interventions in the last couple of decades resulted often in a shrinking natural habitat for many species and populations. Being on the edge of extinction, domestication might be their only refuge?
As technology evolves, what today seems science fiction may become the job market of tomorrow. Experts predict that 60% of employments in the next 10 years haven’t even been invented yet.
Based on social, technological, economic, and environmental changes occurring today, companies such as Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST) and Sparks & Honey recently conceptualized a series of jobs they think are going to be created or become common in the future. Rewilder, nostalgist, digital death manager, shown below a selection of 11 new professions that you may practice one day.