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.