Science and technology news weekly round up: April 13-17
Well, it seems like it’s already Friday, which means that it’s once again time to look back and see what science and technology had to offer for us this past week in terms of interesting news stories. We’ve had a pretty busy workweek here at Geek Reply and tried to cover interesting science and technology news from a wide variety of fields that may be of interest to you. With the weekend already breathing down our necks, it is now with great pleasure that I bring you our weekly roundup just so you can take a quick look at what’s been going on during April 13-17. Down below you will find fascinating topics such as immortality, artificial photosynthesis, robot chefs, cryogenic freezing, liquid water on Mars, as well as a little bonus news story at the very end that’s likely to put a smile on your face.
Mars has liquid water, but only at night
We already knew that Mars has frozen water at its poles, but earlier this week we learned that it also has liquid water…sort of. NASA’s Curiosity rover found salty brine under the surface of the Red Planet, although the fluid is believed to be present only near the equator. This is undoubtedly a very important discovery, but what makes it an even more interesting news story is the fact that the liquid water on Mars seems to form at night and disappear shortly after sunrise. Science has come up with an answer for this seemingly mysterious phenomenon, which is believed to be the result of a little process known as evaporation. The bad news is that because of the thin atmosphere and cold temperatures on Mars, life is very unlikely to exist there despite the presence of liquid water. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to keep searching.
Robot chefs are almost ready to do all the cooking for us
The robots are here and they mean business. While some are worried about the day when humans will be forced to bow to our future mechanical overlords, others are relived that science will soon be offering an alternative to having to cook your own food. A UK-based company by the name of Moley Robotics is currently developing a robot chef (although they’re calling it a robotic kitchen) that will be able to prepare up to 2,000 different dishes for you and me to enjoy. The first commercial robot chef is scheduled to hit the markets something during 2017 and will most most likely bring forth a culinary revolution. Interestingly enough, Moley Robotics updated their website since we first published our story and it now has a much more futuristic vibe to it. If you’re interested in staying up to date with all the latest news related to the robot chef make sure to check it out at this link right here.
Two-year old becomes the youngest person to be cryogenically frozen
The tale of Matheryn Naovaratpong is a news story that’s a bit older, but for which important details have only been revealed a few days ago. The two-year old Thai girl died from ependymoblastoma (a form of cancer than only affects children) earlier this year and was immediately after cryogenically frozen by Alcor, an Arizona-based company that specializes in these types of things. The girl’s parents reached out to the company and asked for the procedure once it was clear that current medical science was unable to save her life. As outlandish as it may seem, the plan here is to keep her in cryostasis until technology will be so advanced that it can help resurrect the girl and cure her of ependymoblastoma, for which there is currently no cure. Science and technology never cease to amaze, do they?
The fountain of youth is almost within our grasp
Science tells us that immortality might be achievable by humans if we were to transfer our consciousness onto computers and possibly merge with our aforementioned future mechanical overlords. However, a certain gerontologist from the University of Cambridge by the name of Aubrey de Grey is approaching the problem from a slightly different angle. He is currently working on a new type of therapies that will eliminate harmful cells from our bodies in order to allow the healthy ones to do what they do best – divide – for a much longer period of time. We’re talking hundreds of years or perhaps even thousands. Now, de Grey has revealed his plans for building a metaphorical fountain of youth a while ago, but earlier this week new details surfaced in regards to how he plans to do it. To get straight to the point, the gerontologist believes that human trials for his innovative therapies should begin within “six to eight years from now.”
Artificial photosynthesis achieved by merging technology with biology
We all know that humans are inspired by nature and like to replicate its complex processes, but scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory may have just taken the mimicry to a whole new level. The researchers recently managed to construct an artificial photosynthesis system by combining nanowires with anaerobic bacteria. This system is capable of using sun light to produce chemicals and renewable energy, albeit it’s not very efficient just yet. Still, a couple of improvements here and there will allow the system to essentially change the face of the chemical and oil industries according to the scientists working on the project.
Stephen Hawking releases a new single
So, this is the bonus story I was talking about earlier and although it may sound like a joke, I assure you it’s not. As it’s always the case in science, a claim needs empirical evidence to back it up and in this case you can find it down below. As for what this is all about, the renewed physicist made a cover of “The Galaxy Song” from the classic sketch comedy film Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. You can already find the song on iTunes and on April 18th there will also be 1,000 7in vinyl disks up for grabs. Professor Stephen Hawking is famous for a lot of things, but maybe he missed his calling when he pursued theoretical physics instead of music. Make sure you check out the video because it’s pretty hilarious.
5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster
After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.
First time available on modern hardware
As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.
The visuals look better than ever
Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.
Quality of life improvements
While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.
The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.
The game is awesome
While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?
10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019
2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.
A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.
It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.
The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.
If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.
If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.
id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.
5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference
Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.
New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020
We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…
Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett
The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.
Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves
It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.
FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced
This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West
It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”
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