A new laboratory technique enables biologists to “edit” the genetic makeup of entire species for purposes ranging from the benevolent to the nefarious, with the “potential to cause ecological mayhem,” Antonio Regalado reports in MIT Technology Review.
The discovery by U.S. biologists of how plants respond to increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere could provide agricultural scientists with new tools to engineer crops that can deal with droughts and high temperatures.
This is the kind of scientific story that’s a little “ooh” with some “ew!” mixed in, too: Scientists at Utah State University have cleverly combined goat and spider genes to make a normal-looking strain of goat that happens to be able to produce extra protein in its milk that can be made into spider silk.
The U.S. military bans FiveFingers shoes because they “detract from a professional military image”; Rupert Murdoch sells MySpace for a measly $35 million; and Google teams with the Getty Museum to create a smartphone application for art lovers. These discoveries and more after the jump.
It’s not news that the planet is in trouble, that global food and energy supplies won’t last long at the current rate of consumption, and that we’ve basically got a big mess on our hands as the species most responsible for all of the above and more. What’s the human race to do? Why, the answer may lie in intelligence augmentation, according to The Atlantic’s Jamais Cascio.