From an article in January last year:
Elon Musk has announced a new feature for the Tesla Model S that will allow you to ‘summon’ it to and from a parking spot, meaning it’ll drive itself in and out of the garage. Good news then, if you really hate parking.
And if you hate driving across country? Even better news. “Eventually, your Tesla will be able to drive anywhere across the country to meet you, charging itself along the way,” the company announced.
Yes, we could, say scientists:
Humans may one day be able to regrow missing limbs, and even brain tissue.
At least that’s the claim of scientists who have mapped the genome of a salamander, the Iberian ribbed newt.
Many amphibians have regenerative abilities, but salamanders have the special ability to regrow whole organs, including parts of the brain.
Among the early findings in the salamander’s genome is a family of genes that can provide clues to this unique ability.
Scientists say this will one day allow humans to regrow limbs and could also be the breakthrough needed to cure Parkinson’s and other degenerative brain conditions.
“Sleep expert Matthew Walker breaks down the many effects of sleep deprivation” — from bad to terrifying — “on your brain and body.”
“In the mid-20th century, we began launching satellites into space that would help us determine the exact circumference of the Earth: 40,030 km. But over 2000 years earlier, a man in Ancient Greece came up with nearly the exact same figure using just a stick and his brain.”
Electric cars are shaping up to be the new normal:
For all the hype, electric cars still make up a tiny percentage of global vehicle sales. Like, less than one percent tiny. But there’s a growing movement around the world to put a deadline on the life of the internal combustion engine. This year India, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and France, amongst other states and cities, have said they want to phase out gas and diesel vehicles within the next few decades. The planet’s largest car market, China, is moving in the same direction. Government incentives influence car buyers attitudes, as evidenced by Norway, where EV sales now account for around 30 percent of sales.
With the longterm future of the fossil fuel-powered car under threat, automakers have no choice but to adapt. General Motors says it’s working towards a fully electric future. All of Britain’s Jaguar Land Rover cars and SUVs will have an electric option by 2020. Sweden’s Volvo is doing the same, by 2019.
The “Eat fat, get fat” dictum which has guided “American diets for the past two decades” is being discredited by “more and more research.”
“Time and time again, the research reveals that people who restrict their intake of fatty foods do not lose weight or gain other health benefits. In contrast, people who eat diets high in fat but low in refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice tend to lose weight and see other health benefits as well.”
So, not only are “foods like buttery avocados, rich salmon, and savory nuts” yummy to eat, they’re also more nutritious than low-fat foods. In fact, “researchers found that low-fat diets were more likely to be linked with death from all causes and found a higher likelihood of heart attacks and heart disease. People on low-carb diets, on the other hand, had significantly lower risk of both of these outcomes.”
“To doctors and dietitians, these findings suggest that the real villain when it comes to weight gain isn’t fat but rather added sugar and refined carbohydrates that get quickly broken down into sugar.”
“The US government on Tuesday lifted a ban on making lethal viruses, saying the research is necessary to ‘develop strategies and effective countermeasures against rapidly evolving pathogens that pose a threat to public health.'”
But here’s the thing. “The work with three viruses can now go forward, but only if a scientific review panel determines that the benefits outweigh the risks,” meaning “the potential biosafety and biosecurity risks associated with such research.”
In other words, the potential of unleashing “a new germ that threatens millions if it is not properly stored or if it escapes from a lab.”
As they say, the risk is warranted. There’s no arguing with that.
Nevertheless, just the thought that a deadly new man-made germ could escape from a laboratory and kill millions, gives me the heebie jeebies.