This exhaustive review of paper-based microfluidics technology has me thinking about how interesting the biosensing industry is becoming (and where investment opportunities lie). Also, though, it made me curious about laser-cutting microfluidic logic gates, which has led me to rediscover liquid computing, bubble logic, and the Center for Bits and Atoms.
I have a (poorly-informed) sense that people studying this space end up in exciting research about metamaterials and other exotic, quantum physics. I wish there was more hacking around with things an average person can understand, which can have educational merit and feels more likely to change the world at scale.
As a longtime vegetarian, I am used to people asking me if I’d eat cultured meat. It’s not a very interesting question, and answering “show me the environmental impact” doesn’t make for a long discussion.
Raising intelligent animals to sacrifice for human organs, though? That is a fun topic to kick off some philosophical conversation.
We’ve finally watched The Peripheral, a TV adaptation of William Gibson’s book of the same name. It’s a solid example of the philosophical science fiction I prefer, using imaginary technology and futures to consider issues of psychology and society.
One of my favorite aspects, though, is the depiction of modern Appalachian (including Ozark) culture. It reflects the economic insecurity, cultural tensions, and distinct language of the region. Most of all, it doesn’t dilute that character for the protagonists, but allows this flavor of America to be compatible with intelligence and cunning.
Whether or not AOH1996 or LK-99 amount to anything, I’m loving the week of science optimism.
I am optimistic that in my lifetime we will have the technology to work all the way from desired protein characteristics to the genetic engineering needed to coerce a cell into producing it. This will dramatically change the food production industry, and enable a lot of exciting medicine: https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/protein-design-ai-way
But I also expect to read a lot of breathless reporting about how we’re on the cusp of fixing every disease, while continuing to run into disappointment because the complexity of human metabolism remains beyond the reach of engineering.
I’d like to order whisky like a pharmacist: a nice balance of syringaldehyde (wood) and ethyl hexanoate (apple), please. And don’t be shy with the guaiacol or eugenol (smoke), I’m an OR10G4 mutant.