US researchers get $1.7m grant to create wonder bio-material that lasts 500 million years

US researchers get $1.7m grant to create wonder bio-material that lasts 500 million years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Everything in the universe is made from material, whether it’s biological or synthetic, and as we unravel natures mysteries we could create products that, literally, last forever.   It’s the most durable biological material you’ve never heard of, Sporopollenin, and it makes plastics and other materials...

Read more
Birth of genetically engineered twins resistant to HIV causes global outrage

Birth of genetically engineered twins resistant to HIV causes global outrage

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Imagine growing old and never experiencing what it’s like to be ill because you were genetically engineered in the womb to be resistant to all known pathogens and viruses, technology is starting to make that a reality.   A little while ago I wrote about...

Read more
Synthetic biology just got its own special programming language

Synthetic biology just got its own special programming language

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create and control discrete chemical and biological processes and reactions is extremely difficult, this new language aims to simplify it, alot.   Synthetic biology is an exciting new field of research that applies engineering principles to biology, and so far it’s being used...

Read more
Scientists get funding to grow neural networks in petri dishes

Scientists get funding to grow neural networks in petri dishes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of computing isn’t silicon or quantum, it’s biological.   Will the computers of the future be built in factories as they are today, or will they be grown in labs like cell cultures? You might think that this is a daft question, and...

Read more
Stopping the DIY bio-terrorists, US military embraces AI and Ginkgo Bioworks

Stopping the DIY bio-terrorists, US military embraces AI and Ginkgo Bioworks

WHY THIS MATTERS As the cost of powerful DIY gene editing kits continue to fall bioterrorism is going to be on the rise, so we need a way to defend against it.   Recently I gave a talk on the “Future of Cybersecurity” in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector...

Read more
Scientists have turned human cells into complex living computers

Scientists have turned human cells into complex living computers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to turn human cells into powerful, living computing systems will revolutionise computing, energy, and healthcare, along with a myriad of other industries.   Today’s computer hardware is about to get softer, a lot softer, after a research team in the US announced they’ve...

Read more
“No cut CRISPR” breakthrough lets scientists turn genes on and off at will

“No cut CRISPR” breakthrough lets scientists turn genes on and off at will

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to precisely turn genes on and off “at will” will revolutionise personal medicine and bring about the creation of new revolutionary healthcare treatments.   The gene editing tool CRISPR is one of the most exciting developments in modern genetics, for example recently it...

Read more
Milk and dairy products without the cow, Perfect Day re-invents dairy

Milk and dairy products without the cow, Perfect Day re-invents dairy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The way we produce food today is, for the most part, hugely wasteful and has a huge impact on the environment, vertical farms, clean meat, and now other “animal free” products are starting to disrupt the status quo.   Over the past year we’ve seen...

Read more
Experiment proves DNA computers could be the most powerful on Earth

Experiment proves DNA computers could be the most powerful on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF DNA computers will be the next, next computing revolution after Quantum computers, and their power could be truly staggering.   By making DNA endlessly change researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK, who last year created the first ever blueprint for a DNA...

Read more
Futurist keynote, London: The Future of Investing, STOXX Annual Conference

Futurist keynote, London: The Future of Investing, STOXX Annual Conference

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There has, arguably, never been a better time, or a risker time to invest in today’s markets, but as every industry undergoes titanic transformation investors who are ill advised, or who lack the right vision, could quickly find themselves on the wrong end of tomorrow’s...

Read more
Scientists stored a movie inside a living bacteria, then replayed it

Scientists stored a movie inside a living bacteria, then replayed it

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today our computing platforms are mechanical and non-organic, but tomorrow’s will be biological, and immensely powerful, this is just one of a host of breakthroughs in the space.   The bacteria E. coli might sometimes make us sick, but they have served as a workhorse in science...

Read more
Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of the largest ascending mega trends is Synthetic Biology, and as our command and understanding of the natural world increases it will help transform our world in ways you never thought possible.   It turns out that many of the complex folded shapes that...

Read more
World’s first in vivo human gene editing trial goes without a hitch

World’s first in vivo human gene editing trial goes without a hitch

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are tens of millions of people around the world with incurable inherited conditions and diseases, and being able to swap in new genes and replace faulty genes in vivo will be nothing less than revolutionary.   In a world first researchers in the US...

Read more
Scientists have a plan to seed life throughout the universe

Scientists have a plan to seed life throughout the universe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today we have the power to create new species of animals never previously thought possible and at some point it seems inevitable that humans will start seeding new life across the universe.   In the past six months’ scientists have created alien life forms unlike...

Read more
DARPA wants to genetically engineer smart plants to act as surveillance devices

DARPA wants to genetically engineer smart plants to act as surveillance devices

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Noone would suspect a plant of watching or surveilling them, but thanks to DARPA that’s all about to change.   This week Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, the bleeding US research arm of the US Department of Defense, announced it’s working on a new...

Read more
World first as researchers hack a computer using modified DNA

World first as researchers hack a computer using modified DNA

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we increasingly become masters of manipulating the makeup of life criminals will find new, innovative ways, to breach computer systems and cause havoc.   We are increasingly becoming masters of manipulating the building blocks of life, whether it’s creating new “alien” life forms that...

Read more
Scientists have built the world’s first biological ‘teleporter’

Scientists have built the world’s first biological ‘teleporter’

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We have reached the point where we can digitise life itself, albeit at a micro scale, and that opens up a whole host of new opportunities, from being able to create bespoke synthetic organisms to teleporting life across the universe.   The chance of a...

Read more
Scientists are creating next generation vaccines that are contagious

Scientists are creating next generation vaccines that are contagious

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The way that we vaccinate people today is, arguably, outmoded, but the next generation of vaccines that are being produced could be contagious and that could change health, and healthcare, forever.   What if you never got ill again? Ever. I’m not talking about not...

Read more
Space adventurers could be the first true ‘Designer humans’

Space adventurers could be the first true ‘Designer humans’

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Space is the harshest environment known to man and the idea of creating the world’s first genetically altered humans who can survive its extremes “naturally” without the need to take their artificial environments with them is gaining traction.   At last year’s International Astronautical Congress in...

Read more
Promising ‘Genetic Chainsaw in a pill’ could solve the world’s antibiotic crisis

Promising ‘Genetic Chainsaw in a pill’ could solve the world’s antibiotic crisis

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Bacteria’s stellar ability to rapidly evolve to overcome today’s most potent antibiotics puts tens of millions of lives at high risk, but now scientists are designing new genetics based antibiotic treatments that could kill off bacteria’s natural advantage.   Even since Alexander Fleming stumbled across...

Read more