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Links 1 through 10 of 128 by Charlie Schick tagged future

"But what happens next? Can Janelia Farm do 'great science' during the next 5 to 10 years? Will it pass Rubin's deletion test? Can it rewrite the introductory biology texts (Cech's favourite definition of great science), or foster “a couple of programmes that create a whole new direction” (Tjian's favourite)? That is the great unanswerable question. As Simpson says, “you can't engineer great science. You just have to create the conditions that make it possible, and see what happens.”"

Great overview of the current state of HHMI's experiment in cross-disciplinary collaboration. I say, step back and let it happen. Heck, it's only been five years.

But also, 1) don't measure it against traditional measures; 2) serve a an inspiration, if not model, for other privately (foundation) funded institutes. The government is at its limit and we're all fretting. We need new funding models. The HHMI and Jenelia is one.

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"Just as fortunes were made by the designers and manufacturers of the humble mouse mat after the launch of the Apple Macintosh, we are likely to see consumer products exponentially increasing. It is difficult for us now to fully appreciate the number of tiny ICT devices that populate our cars, kitchen goods and even children's toys; but the time is ripe for a new generation of biotech entrepreneurs to look for novel ways to create consumer products using biological advancements."

Nice thoughtful article on the future of making things with biology.

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"Although these appliances won’t be manufactured any time soon, lifelike models of the concepts are currently on view at the Piet Hein Eek gallery during Dutch Design Week (which opened on October 22 and runs through October 30) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. While the thought of cooking dinner with gas harvested from bathroom waste might not seem appetizing, the elegant concepts of Philips’ Microbial Home appliance system may seduce some skeptics via the power of their eye-catching design."

[via @erigentry]

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"The Microbial Home Probe consists of a domestic ecosystem that challenges conventional design solutions to energy, cleaning, food preservation, lighting, human waste and healthy lifestyle."

Very cool. And mentions of a Post Electronic Age, too.

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"In Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels," Gulliver encounters a small group of immortals, the struldbrugs. "Those excellent struldbrugs," exclaims Gulliver, "who, being born exempt from that universal calamity of human nature, have their minds free and disengaged, without the weight and depression of spirits caused by the continual apprehensions of death!"

But the fate of these immortals wasn't so simple, as Swift goes on to report. They were still subject to aging and disease, so that by 80, they were "opinionative, peevish, covetous, morose, vain, talkative," as well as "incapable of friendship, and dead to all natural affection, which never descended below their grandchildren." At 90, they lost their teeth and hair and couldn't carry on conversations."

Long life versus living long. Thinking of the ring wraiths. :-P

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"A study of open-access publishing — published last week in the open-access journal PLoS ONE — has found that the number of papers in freely accessible journals is growing at a steady 20% per year (M. Laakso et al. PLoS ONE 6, e20961; 2011). To many, the growth confirms the health of the free-access, author-pays model. But to a few it is a discouraging sign that open access is not about to take over the world of scholarly publishing."

This is heartening, and I suppose 20 years is not enough to change a model that is 400 years old. Nonetheless, I saw one figure that 30% of all published science is freely available and open access. Not bad. Especially where there is some good stuff out there. PLoS has been kicking butt, and Nature and some other big groups are starting to step up as well. Let's see how it goes!

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"Approved barely a month ago, the $30 million Living Foundries program should be sending out a request for proposals in the next few weeks and making awards several months from now. With its investment, over the next 3 years DARPA will support academic and corporate researchers for developing and applying an engineering framework to biology for biomanufacturing."

Here's a nice summary of the DARPA announcement made at the synthbio conference a few weeks back. Good to see the government funding agencies starting to pick up interest in synthbio and the practical uses of synthbio. The next 5 years should be quite interesting for those who are already doing synth bio. Also, big investments like this will get lots of students and post-docs flocking to synthbio, with a strong impact in 5-10 years. Yup. It's gonna be great.

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"The Knight Foundation noted in a blog post announcing the 16 winners that data and the use of it for journalism was a big theme among this year’s contestants. When the Knight competition first started five years ago, the idea of a “hacker/journalist” who developed applications and journalistic tools around data was unfamiliar one, but the foundation noted that this is now an established position at some media outlets."

This is just great. This year is certainly turning out to be the year of Big Data coming on the scene - folks are finding all sorts of angles and insights in their own areas. This article lists a bunch in journalism.

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"Developing countries lack both clean water and clean energy sources. By converting soiled water into energy and clean water, a new project could wipe away both problems."

Every since the organic waste conference I attended a few months ago, I've had anaerobic digestors on the mind - for farm, for municipal waste to energy, even for smalll-scale home systems. Decomposition of poop is an ancient process and we're just ignoring it and pissing away the benefits. In a smaller and smarter planet, we're going to have to take more control of the whole organics process - from food, to distribution, to waste, to energy and fertilizer. [I sense a new brainwave coming on...]

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Escaping the personal bubble? Recommendation algorithms are stereotyping you http://bit.ly/jd01xu (via @VenessaMiemis) #future

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