SciBlogs

Living longer Robert Hickson Mar 29

Imagine, in 20 or 30 years, going to your health preservation service provider to receive your annual injections to remove senescent cells and down regulate selected gene expression in the hypothalamus, alongside a transfusion of synthetic “young” blood to promote tissue repair and healthier ageing. Later on you may take a pill to check your [...]

All transplants great and small Robert Hickson Mar 01

In the last few weeks reports have appeared that span the spectrum of bodily transplants: organelle, cellular,  faecal, and full body (or head) transplants. I noted others in a post last year. Seems like we can swap just about everything now. The full body transplant is pure hype. It seems unlikely to happen for decades, let alone within [...]

Uncertain predictions Robert Hickson Feb 19

“Active open-minded thinking” and “massive ignoramus”. Those are views on what makes a good forecaster according to two  “super-forecasters” from Philip Tetlock’s and IARPA’s Good Judgment Project.  It also helps if you forecast as part of a team with other good forecasters. But some things are more predictable than others. Michael Burnam-Fink, in a paper [...]

Amazon buys Santa’s workshop Robert Hickson Dec 22

Following on from the Listener’s highlighting of employment condition concerns at Santa’s workshop Amazon has just announced that it has acquired the global manufacturing and logistics enterprise for an undisclosed sum (rumoured to be in excess of US$15 billion). Alibaba would not confirm whether it too had attempted to buy the family-owned company. A combination [...]

Christmas 2024 Robert Hickson Dec 17

I’m starting to get the hang of Holoblogging now, though usually the holographic images are more disquieting than informative and they leave me feeling queasy. People don’t seem to spend as much time reviewing the “year that was” now. They’re more interested these days in sifting the data streams to predict what’s coming up. But [...]

State and trends of carbon pricing Robert Hickson Dec 10

The World Bank’s just released its report State & trends of carbon pricing. Thirty nine countries and 23 sub-national jurisdictions (eg, regions or states) have or are planning to introduce carbon pricing schemes, such as carbon trading schemes or taxes. The European Union has the largest carbon market, followed by China.   The report notes [...]

Transport Futures Robert Hickson Dec 07

Thirty billion, 60 billion, one billion, 10 billion. Those are some of the numbers from the Ministry of Transport’s recent Future Demand project. 30 billion kilometres travelled a year on New Zealand roads (excluding trucks) – that’s 100 round trips to the sun.  $60 billion is the cost of the road network (that’s about four [...]

Big data do do Robert Hickson Nov 20

“Smart” toilets aren’t new. But there are smart toilets and smarter toilets. Several Japanese companies are selling models that will lift the lid, have anti-bacterial nanoparticles, give you a wash and do the flushing for you. But that’s more politeness than smartness. Another Japanese company, Toto, sells models that can do a simple urine analysis, [...]

Post-mortem futures Robert Hickson Nov 03

With Halloween just past it’s a good time to consider end of life futures. While we are getting better at postponing death (including getting better at bringing those close to death back to life, transplanting “dead” hearts, as well as some successes against cancers), we’re not cheating it. People of European ancestry have in recent [...]

A nose for the future Robert Hickson Oct 23

It’s been a big time for noses recently. Who would have picked that? First up, a paper in PLOS ONE  indicated that losing one’s sense of smell may be a predictor (statistically speaking) of your demise (at least if you are older than 57). The authors speculate Olfactory function is thus one of the strongest [...]

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