#10: But Maybe...

Sometimes just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. Which is a life lesson we should all take to heart -- says the thirty-something old man looking back on his youth, only patches of which he actually remembers -- and is most specifically appropriate when considering adventures such as wrestling a brown bear, or building a squad of female AI-powered robots in your basement and inviting an unsuspecting and vulnerable employee to quiz them, or using your burgeoning rap career as a platform to argue that the world is flat, or borrowing DNA from one animal to resurrect another. What I'm trying to say is "life finds a way". 

But, then again, if we don't try -- how will we ever find out if that bat-shit crazy idea will help us cure cancer, or extend lifespans, or wipe the atmosphere of carbon, or get a girlfriend, or whether -- despite all prior evidence -- man can fly, on his own, with only his whiskey to hold him aloft?

On to the news!


1. I'm just gonna leave this right here: "Panel Endorses ‘Gene Drive’ Technology That Can Alter Entire Species" - NYTimes

"Risks include the possibility that a gene drive might jump to another species for which it was not intended, or that the suppression of one undesirable organism will lead to the emergence of another that is even worse."


2. And again: "Virus uses 'stolen' CRISPR to hack its host's immune system". Not as terrifying as it sounds, but a healthy reminder that we don't know shit. - ScienceDaily

"CRISPR--or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats--are libraries of DNA typically used by bacteria to identify, and then destroy, infecting viruses. Since 2012, CRISPR has also been adopted by scientists as a revolutionary gene editing and manipulation technique.

"This is the first evidence we've seen that a virus can donate an immunity system via CRISPR," says University of British Columbia virologist Curtis Suttle. "This is like a hacker compromising a computer system, and then immediately patching it to ensure other hackers can't break in.""


3. Who wants to live forever? Apparently it doesn't matter, because only rich white men will be able to afford it. Saying that feels like playing economic MadLibs, like it could be applied to basically anything. - Fusion

"When George Packer of The New Yorker prodded Peter Thiel to comment on the access and affordability discrepancies life extending technologies might entail, Thiel delivered one of the most dismissive non-replies of all time: “Probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive and people who are dead.”"

+MY NOTES: Peter Thiel, everybody!


4. Next best chance to capture and store CO2 and save the world? Inject it into volcanic rock! Perfect. - ScienceMag

"Most other tests of carbon capture and storage (CCS) have taken place in sandstone formations. But sandstone is too chemically inert to foster CO2-trapping reactions, and scientists worry that gas injected into it could leak back into the atmosphere."


5. Also on the list of things that may not work out but would be fucking great for everyone if it did: GM (publicly) pushing full-bore into the autonomous electric future.

"The Bolt, Barra says, will straddle the line between the way we use cars today and how’ll we’ll use them 5, 15, even 50 years from now: “It’s a platform.”"