Friday Futures: an artificial leaf, black hole theories

artificial leaf
Image credit | Tetiana Soares

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: an artificial leaf to clean the air; designer babies; Hawking’s black hole theory; lightning strikes; dark matter and the size of the Universe.

An artificial leaf can produce clean gas that could replace gasoline

A widely-used gas that is currently produced from fossil fuels can instead be made by an ‘artificial leaf’ that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to gasoline. Read more…

Sorry, creating designer babies won’t work

In November, a company called Genomic Prediction announced that it had developed a multi-gene screening technique for embryos. This method, the company claimed, allowed it to scan an embryo for conditions or traits impacted by numerous genes, including intelligence, and give it a “polygenic score.” Read more…

Hawking’s black hole paradox explained

Can we produce babies in zero gravity?

In February, the Spanish pilot Daniel González climbed into a small aerobatic plane at the Sabadell Airport outside Barcelona and fired up its single prop engine. Once he was in the air, González began a steep climb for about six seconds before entering a nosedive. Read more…

A new way of removing carbon dioxide from the air

A new way of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of air could provide a significant tool in the battle against climate change. The new system can work on the gas at virtually any concentration level, even down to the roughly 400 parts per million currently found in the atmosphere. Read more…

Here’s what is in 20,000 year old ice

They just released the first dark matter images

The new images could give us invaluable insight into the nature of dark energy — the mysterious form of unknown energy that accounts for roughly 68 percent of the known universe — by mapping the structure of the cosmos in new ways. Read more…

A new site that shows you how enormously huge the universe is

A new website called “The Size of Space” illustrates how incomprehensibly vast the cosmos are. As you scroll to the side, the site takes you on a journey from the size of an astronaut all the way up to the entire observable universe. Read more…

Here’s what actually happens when an airplane is struck by lightning


(Compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by Tony Poulos)

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