How Biotech Could Make Life in Prison a Living Hell

At the University of Oxford, a team of scholars led by the philosopher Rebecca Roache has begun thinking about the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment. In January, I spoke with Roache and her colleagues Anders Sandberg and Hannah Maslen about emotional enhancement, 'supercrimes', and the ethics… » 3/17/14 11:00am 3/17/14 11:00am

Listen to the Purring, Electromagnetic Weirdness of Mushrooms

I was blown away when I first heard about a project that tried to tap into the electromagnetic communication potential of mushrooms. Using wires, radio waves, and circuits—not psychedelics—the project's off-kilter quest to find (and listen to) "electromagnetic fungi" was nonetheless more art than science. But who says… » 2/01/14 9:00pm 2/01/14 9:00pm

Silkworms Fed Dyed Mulberry Leaves To Produce Colored Silk

Fact: Snails fed colored paper will poop colored squiggles. Now, silkworms are getting in on the technicolor action: a recent report shows that, after eating mulberry leaves treated with fabric dye, regular larvae will produce cotton-candy-tinted fibers. They're like biological 3D printers for producing colored silk. » 12/06/13 3:40pm 12/06/13 3:40pm

How Close Are We to Building a Full-Fledged Cyborg?

The dream of the cyborg is coming true at an exhilarating rate. As humans gets better and better at making machines, we keep attaching those machines to our bodies to make ourselves better humans. It seems at times that the only question left is if we can put a human brain in a robotic frame. Actually, it's not a… » 10/21/13 3:00pm 10/21/13 3:00pm

Scientists Transform Deadly Plant Into Cancer Killing Smart Bomb

The ancient Greeks called the thapsia garganica plant "deadly carrot," because their camels would eat it and quickly die. The Roman emperor Nero mixed it with frankincense to treat bruises. Until the early 20th century it was used in a plaster to treat rheumatism—the side effects, however, were barely worth the cure. » 2/02/12 4:40pm 2/02/12 4:40pm

Artificial Skin Merges with Yours for Better Healing

British biotech company Intercytex shows that its artificial skin might make painful grafts a thing of the past. Intercytex's ICX-SKN is made out of fibrin–the same stuff your body uses to heal wounds–and fully integrates with test subjects' skin in 28 days, leaving little behind to show for the damage. The fibrin… » 6/26/07 9:20am 6/26/07 9:20am

Scientists Create Diode Propulsion Engine for Bloodstream-Swimming…

Science fiction edges ever closer to reality as researchers at NC State University devise a form of propulsion that can accelerate microbots through the human bloodstream. The challenge: not only finding a way to create this engine on such a tiny scale, but to provide power to it. The solution? Diode propulsion, using… » 3/15/07 1:37pm 3/15/07 1:37pm