It Isn’t Just Science Fiction Anymore

Remember when you first read a science fiction story with nanobots teaming inside a person? Were you afraid? I thought it was cool. But that was fiction. And nanobots aren’t real–yet. However, tiny robots inside your body isn’t just science fiction anymore. A team of researchers at the University of Vermont have created a new life-form. Computer-Designed Lead author and doctoral student, Sam Kriegman, used an evolutionary algorithm. He fed it into the Deep Green supercomputer cluster at UVM. The computer ran thousands of simulated designs over the next few months. The basic biophysics of what single frog skin and cardiac cells can do drove its decisions. It discarded designs that failed and refined the more successful ones. After a hundred independent runs of the algorithm, the research team chose the most promising designs. Repurposed A book is made of wood. But it is not a tree. The dead cells have been repurposed to serve another need. UVM News From there the research went to biologists at Tufts University. Michael Levin, who directs the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts, and his team brought the computer designs to life. With vital help from microsurgeon Douglas Blackiston, they harvested stem cells […]

City of the Future and Living Concrete

The future may seem grim right now, but there will be a future. And it may be brighter than you expect. As a science fiction writer, one of my favorite pastimes is following articles and predictions of future technology. Today we’ll look at reports of the city of the future and “living” concrete. City of the Future In Cnet’s report on the CES (consumer Electronics Show) one of the coolest new things was Toyota’s city of the future. Until now, they have done city planning around automobiles. The prototype city Toyota will build has no human drivers.  They plan to build the Woven City on 175 acres of a now-defunct factory near Mount Fuji. The plans feature self-driving vehicles run on hydrogen fuel cells, robots, smart homes, and new forms of personal mobility. Not only that, regular people will live in this city of tomorrow. “Living” Concrete Concrete is the second most-consumed material on Earth after water. Using sand, gel and bacteria, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a self-healing concrete. They believe that someday the concrete could “heal their own cracks, suck up dangerous toxins from the air or even glow on command”. They aren’t the only scientists […]

Your Out-of-This-World Vacation

It’s possible that in 2025 there will be a hotel orbiting the Earth. You can plan your out-of-this-world vacation today, but would you? Would you be willing to be one of the first to stay in the orbiting hotel? Who Will Build it? In 2018 National Geographic published an article about, Orion Span, a Houston-based space tech startup. Orion announced plans to launch the first-ever luxury space hotel into Earth’s orbit. The Gateway Foundation, a private company is developing plans for the orbiting Von Braun Rotating Space Station. Axiom Space is another company planning a space hotel. Their plan includes building their first module or two attached to the International Space Station. When ISS retires in 2025, the Axiom modules will separate from ISS to become independent orbiting objects.  Who Will Stay There? The Von Braun station will accommodate both scientific research and visiting tourists. Designed to be the largest human-made structure in space, it will house up to 450 people. Orion says intend to offer short- and long-term leases to governments, to lease for government and private manufacturing and research, and up to four space tourists can visit for twelve days. Axiom offers trips to space tourists who want to take part […]