Wed, 23 May 2012
Stephen Euin Cobb is today's featured speaker.
Topics: Erotic novels are getting a sales boost from ebooks such as the Kindle and the Nook; Google's anticipated eyeglass computers; many (and possibly most) human beings are chimeras; the next big boom-time for programmers who write apps; how science fiction's vision of the future changes based on the decade in which it is written; sequencing each patient's personal exome; and the steadily falling price of sequencing a patient's personal genome. I also mention interviewing Ari Kiirikki (then Vice President of Knome Inc. The world's leading provider of personal DNA sequencing) several years ago at the Singularity Summit in New York City.
Mini Speculative Essay: The news article I read into this episode about Human Chimeras specifies that expectant mothers get a dose of stem cells from their fetus, and that these stem cells travel through the mother's body and become a permanent part of her various tissues, including the brain. It just struck me that this may be part of why women have a statistically longer lifespan than men, who of course never get this or any bonus dose of fresh cells during their adulthood. The obvious test of this as a correlation would be to compare the longevity of a population of women who had no pregnancies, verses those who had many pregnancies. It should also be mentioned that births in this case may not be relevant. Pregnancy alone, even if only temporary, may be sufficient to dose a woman with fresh stem cells. It should also be mentioned that, the amount of stem cells received by the mother may be trivial to her longevity, that this amount my vary widely from mother to mother, or even from pregnancy to pregnancy for the same mother. There are many possible interesting variables to explore. Some of them may be meaningful. Maybe. This is just a speculative idea. Right now I have no strong opinion on it either way. An opinion would be impossible without data.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 23, 2012 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 42 minutes]
Stephen Euin Cobb is an author, futurist, magazine writer and host of the award-winning podcast The Future And You. A contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine; he is also a regular contributor for Robot, H+, Grim Couture andPort Iris magazines; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen's Universe Magazine. He is an artist, essayist, game designer, transhumanist, and is on the Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation. His novels include Bones Burnt Black, Plague at Redhook and Skinbrain.