Barely Distinguishable from Magic

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. ClarkeMagic Fireworks 2

Phil and Stephen review technologies so advanced they border on the magical.

Craig Venter’s ‘Digital-to-Biological Converter’ Is Real

Right now, it prints proteins. In the far future, it could print human babies on Mars. The tabletop device is called the Digital-to-Biological Converter, or DBC for short, and without a fancy box it looks like a bunch of complicated mechanical crap laid out on a table. The device accepts digital representations of DNA over the internet and reconstructs them on the spot using the chemical building blocks of life—adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.

Sound waves direct particles to self-assemble, self-heal

An elegantly simple experiment with floating particles self-assembling in response to sound waves has provided a new framework for studying how seemingly lifelike behaviors emerge in response to external forces.

The idea of creating a new universe in the lab is no joke

In the 1980s, the cosmologist Alex Vilenkin at Tufts University in Massachusetts came up with a mechanism through which the laws of quantum mechanics could have generated an inflating universe from a state in which there was no time, no space and no matter.

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