Almost 9,000 years ago, ancient Chinese fermented rice, honey, and fruit. Ancient Egyptians dared to use yeast for leavened bread in 1000 BC. On the other side of the world, Aztecs made cakes with Spirulina algae. What do these foods and beverages have in common? It’s doubtful that any of these ancient peoples understood the science. Yet, they each performed an early bit of biotechnology. Biotechnology has grown from its humble origins into a cool blend of science and technology. What is Biotechnology? Hungarian engineer, Karl Ereky, coined the term in 1919. He invented the term to describe the creation of products from raw materials with the aid of living organisms. While the term is relatively new, humans have always manipulated raw materials hoping to make our life better. Don’t quite understand what biotech is yet? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary biotechnology is the manipulation (as through genetic engineering) of living organisms or their components to produce useful products. The dictionary includes that these are usually commercial products (such as pest resistant crops, new bacterial strains, or pharmaceuticals). The History of Biotechnology You may recognize many names in the history of Biotechnology. Names like Darwin, Mendel, Miescher, Boveri, Morgan, Levene, Chargraff, Avery, and many […]
What futuristic program(s) have you watched and wondered what life will be like that someday? As a science fiction writer, I can’t help but do that. I dream of the Jetson life. I’ve longed for the Jetson’s flying car and robots and a technology-filled home since I first watched the cartoon. Sadly, we’ve not come that far but there are amazing things on the horizon. Take a look with me. The Flying Car There are four prototypes discussed in this video. One is called Pal-V One. It’s a car-gyroplane hybrid. If you’ve read My Soul to Keep you know why this one appeals to me. One of these flying cars runs on unleaded gasoline but you must be a pilot to fly it. Another one claims that if you can drive a car, you can fly it. And one looks like a miniature space shuttle. It needs only a few hundred feet of flat surface to land. There’s a flying taxi, too. I hope it comes without taxi driver, Korben from The Fifth Element. Home Cleaning Robots Not exactly Rosie the robot, but we already have the Roomba vacuum and its kin. This video discusses eight new robots. Fedor is […]
I give thanks for many things. This week of gratitude would not be complete without listing these in particular. FAMILY INCLUDING GRANDCHILDREN Near and Far (in no particular order of preference or date) FURRY FAMILY FRIENDS Imagine YOUR photograph here. You thought I’d try to put in photos of all my friends? I love you all! I would not want to miss any of you. HOME that shelters me from all kinds of weather snowmagedon 2013 FOOD COFFEE the elixir of my life! MEDICINE and how modern medicine has sustained the lives of those I love MUSIC all varieties TECHNOLOGY NATURE in all its variety My Health FINISHING MY EVERLASTING MANUSCRIPT! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a safe and happy day and, of course, stuff yourself with all your favorite foods. But also, take a moment to be grateful for the people, places, animals, and things that make your life better. Need some ideas? Here are 20 weird things I’m grateful for. Remember, you are one of the 13 things for which I give thanks. Thank you for reading, for coming back, and for all your support.