The modern office chair, with wheels, was invented by Charles Darwin. Or so says a Wikipedia article.
The famous Harvard professor Clayton Christensen says that half of all colleges are bound for bankruptcy. (I am skeptical.)
We can rather easily multiply the lifespan of worms. We might ask though whether such actions actually slow down aging, or just prevent death. The former is true. Researchers found enhanced organ functionality in older, long-lived mutants.
I have always been fascinated by how poor synthesized speech sounds. For all the progress made so far, Siri still sounds like a machine. DeepMind had demoed better sounding synthesized speech a few months ago, but it was impractical computationally. They have now announced that they have a computationally practical version. Thus you can safely predict that within a few short years, synthesized speech coming out of most your devices will pass the Turing test: you won’t be able to differentiate voice coming out of your smartphone from actual human voice.
Companies still invest heavily in innovation, but the focus is on practical applications rather than basic science, and research is often outsourced to smaller outfits whose intellectual property can easily be bought and sold.
If you think that the solution is more government research grants… please consider that the surest way to be denied a government research grant is to propose a project that has a good chance of failing. Failure must not be an option if you want your research grant to be a success. It is that simple: governments are risk averse. And probably rightly so… when governments take chances, things often end poorly.
I keep telling people that scholars routinely cite papers that they have never read. I often get incredulous looks. Well. A made-up article got almost 400 citations.
About half of all men (me included) will suffer from male-pattern baldness. We still don’t know exactly what causes it and we do not have a handy cure for it. We have now explained 38% of the risk using genetic analysis.
Professor Kambhampati is a pacifist that does not support the campaign to stop “killer robots”. I share many of his thoughts.
The sex of the mice handlers seems to make a difference in drug experiments. (I am skeptical.)